Do you want to move to Dubai from UK to get a job? If YES, here is a detailed guide on how to move to Dubai from UK with your family and how much it cost.

Dubai is one of the best cities to live in the UAE. It’s the biggest and most populated city in the Emirates, and the continuous influx of expats into this well-built and modern city is so surprising that one could for a second think that expats never had a better place to live.

But why wouldn’t they? Dubai has beautiful parks, beaches, a good housing system and endless opportunity for exploration and entertainment. Are you planning to move to Dubai with your family? If yes, that’s a brilliant idea.

Dubai attracts the highest percentage of expats in the world. However, you don’t just pack your bags and board a plane from UK and head to Dubai. Moving to Dubai is a gradual process and you need to complete each step one at a time. To put you on the right track, here is a detailed guide on how to move to Dubai from UK with your family.

A Detailed Guide to Moving to Dubai from UK With Your Family and How Much It Cost

Every British passport holder receives a visiting visa upon arrival. This visiting visa is valid only for 30 days and is meant for tourism purposes. However, you can extend your stay, but that will cost you some money.

Dubai Visas For UK Expats

Here are the types of visas to own for a hitch-free move to Dubai:

  • Employment Visa:: An Employment visa a kind visa that is set up by your employer that allows you enter the country, after getting your work permit.
  • Dependent Visa: A dependent visa is a type of visa issued for those whose parents or spouses are residents of Dubai
  • Student Visa:: A student visa is arranged for those enrolling into a university in Dubai
  • Investor Visa: An Investor visa is for expats who want to invest in companies in the United Arab Emirate.

Out of the above-listed kinds of visas, the most popular one is the employment visa. The basic requirement to get this kind of visa is for you to have a job offer from a company in Dubai. Immediate you accept the offer, the visa process and other costs are sorted out by the organization.

Documentation for Moving to Dubai

If you are moving to Dubai from UK on an employment visa, the organization will inform you about the needed documentation. These include your signed offer letter, educational certificate, passport copy, and a good conduct certificate from a reputable body in the UK or the countries you have lived in the last five years. However, you will need to do some things yourself, things like attestation of your certificate.

According to the guidelines from the Ministry of Labour, the attestation of certificate is compulsory. You will need to be patient when doing this because it can take some time.

Expert advice: Make sure the attestation of your certificate is complete before applying for a work permit in Dubai. Your documents must include the Apostille Stamp by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and must be duly attested by the UAE Embassy in London. When you get to Dubai, you will also need to get these attested by MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

Numerous agencies handle the attestation certificates at a fee; you can consult the one closest to you to save time and energy. Ensure every other paperwork is correct, and of course your passport, it must be valid for more than six months. Make sure your wallet or purse has enough of your passport in it. Passports are essential because when you arrive in Dubai, the first 2-3 days will involve tons of form filling which of course require your passport.

  • Health Check Visa Processing

There is a compulsory health check you will need to pass. The health check is part of the visa process, and if it is successful, you will be given the Emirates ID Card. Ensure all your details are accurate on this identity card because you will need it for almost all your transactions in Dubai such as renting an apartment, enrolling your children in school, opening a bank account and lots more.

Unlike in the UK, there is no NHS in Dubai, but medical insurance is compulsory. If you are on an employment visa, your organization will sort out your medical insurance. But if you are an investor or you have dependents, you will need to take care of your medical insurance yourself.

Living in Dubai as a UK Expat

Recent statistics have shown that 80% of the population in Dubai are expats so do not fret, you are not a minority. Dubai is a highly cosmopolitan city with different global influences in architectural areas and even food. Islam is the main religion in Dubai, so be cautious of the way you dress in public and the kind of language you use.

  • Accommodation

One of the essential things when moving to Dubai from the United Kingdom, is finding the right home. With its big and stable real estate industry, the housing structure in Dubai is second to none; from luxury apartments to a modest building, there’s something that fits your budget.

Best Neighbourhood for a British Expat

Where is the best place to live in Dubai? This may be the number one question for anyone looking for homes to rent in Dubai. If you want to send your kids to a top-notch school or you want to reside in a neighbourhood that boasts of excellent amenities, a high number of British expatriate and robust security, consider living in one of these areas:

  • Arabian Ranches
  • Emirates Hills
  • Green Community
  • Silicon Oasis
  • Jumeirah Lake Towers
  • Mirdif

Finding a home for rent in Dubai can be daunting. It is best you hire a property agent to help you with the task.

  • Rents in Dubai

The rent in Dubai is more or less similar to those in the UK. To give you a better understanding, the average cost of a 3-bedroom flat in Arabian Ranches last year was AED 220,000, but in an area like Mira, you can get a 3-bedroom apartment for AED 120,000-150,000.

If converted to British pounds you will see it is similar to what you pay in London. When you get to Dubai, you will have to pay your rent, most of the time in post-dated Checks, and it can be quarterly, or yearly payments. However, some landlords do accept monthly payments.

Settling into your Dubai Home

When you rent a home in Dubai, it won’t take you 2-3 days to settle into your home. There are local and international furniture and household goods stores. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority provides water and Electricity, but this depends on the kind of area or building you live in. During summer, when the sun shines more brightly than usual, expect to pay a higher bill since you air-condition usage will increase.

In Dubai, many neighborhoods boast of a good selection of grocery shops and Supermarkets. You can find your favorite brands like Waitrose that has a branch in Marina Mall and Dubai Mall.

Here are things you need to have in place to live in a Dubai neighborhood:

  1. Be a Good Neighbour

It is vital for you to be a good neighbour when you get to Dubai. Being a good neighbour will make your stay a peaceful and enjoyable one. Follow these simple rules to make yourself a better neighbour.

2. Be Friendly

You don’t have to open the door to everyone to come in or become best friends with everyone. However, a simple smile at your neighbours when they drive by or saying good morning when you see them in the morning will earn you a 10/10 on our good neighbour scorecard.

3. Be Neat

No one likes a dirty Neighbour. Even if you don’t mind that your yard is messy, try and be courteous to your neighbours who do. Mow your lawn often and ensure shrubs or weeds from your yard don’t creep into your neighbours yards. Earn better neighbour point by voluntary picking up litters around the area. This will send a good message and will get others to involve. Remember, a clean neighbourhood is a happy neighbourhood.

4. Mind Your Noise

Being quiet does not mean you should be quiet 24/7; it is more nuanced than that. Avoid mowing your lawn as early as 7 am on the weekend, wait till 8 or 9 am because you might disturb the sleep of others. Also, don’t hammer a nail into the wall in the middle of night. A general rule of the thumb is to avoid necessary noise in the wee hours of the morning and late at night.

5. Give a helping hand: Help your neighbours babysit their kids, or give them a hand if you notice they are having a tough time mowing their lawn.

6. Show Respect when using the parking lot: Anytime you exit or enter the parking lot, always slow down, you never can tell if there are kids and pets in the area.

  • Getting Around in Dubai

Sorting your house will surely give you peace of mind so, you can then think of exploring Dubai. If you are from London, it may interest you to know that the UAE has its very own metro. These metro lines link most parts of Dubai and are the most common mode of public transport for many Britons.

Well, if you are the type that loves to drive, you can convert your British driving license to that of the UAE. To do this, visit any Dubai Road and Transport office. Buying a car over there is also similar to that of the UK. If you want to buy a car in Dubai, you will need to know about petrol prices.

Petrol over there is cheap; a liter will cost you 50 pence or less. Government-run cabs are one common thing you will see on the roads. Also, there has been a great welcome to smartphone applications like Careem and Uber.

Schools For British Expats in Dubai

There are tons of British schools in Dubai for families moving from the UK. For expats, there are several top-notch private schools with international curriculum. Many Britons moving to Dubai enroll their kids in GCSE schools for a more similar method of education.

Dubai has 58 British schools, and all of these schools are vetted by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The cost of schooling entirely depends on the grade of your kid, the school management and the location. Some of the best British schools in Dubai include:

  • The Cambridge International School
  • GEMS Wellington Academy
  • Regent International School
  • Kings School
  • Newlands School
  • Horizon International School

Lifestyle in Dubai

The cosmopolitan lifestyle in Dubai is one of the beautiful things about the city. Dubai has plenty to provide in terms of lifestyle that you will be confused about what to do during the weekend. From sunny beaches to luxurious lounge, there is something for everyone.

The beautiful thing about Dubai is not only skyscrapers and luxurious hotels, there are heritage sites and theme parks where you can spend some good time with your family. If you are a lover of sport, you can head to any of the breathtaking golf courses.

Cost of Living in Dubai

The first few months after relocating to Dubai from the UK will affect your finances. There are rents to pay, household items to be bought and other expenses to cover. But after the first 5-6 months, your living costs will be based on some things like the place your area, the restaurants you eat, eating habit, shopping habit, how often you drive, i.e., the amount of petrol you buy monthly, etc.

Finally, as you plan to move to Dubai from the UK, we wish you the very best of luck over there, and we hope this guide assists you in making the right choices. Dubai is a wonderful city, so we are sure you and your family will have a great time there

Solomon. O'Chucks

Researcher / Senior Writer at Profitable Venture Magazine Ltd
Solomon O’chucks is a Researcher, Prolific Writer and a UNICEF trained & certified Facilitator and Counselor, A Graduate of Morris Cerullor School of Ministry and He Holds a Degree in Personal Development & Science of Success from IIGL Asheville, NC, USA.
Solomon. O'Chucks