Moving to Dubai From US Guide

Moving to Dubai From US Guide

Dubai's rapid growth is made all the more appealing by stunning beaches and bustling city streets loaded with possibilities. Whether you enjoy clubbing, shopping or immersing yourself in arts and culture, you're bound to find things you love about this city. 

Moving to Dubai from the US is a massive endeavor, but it's one you can manage, especially if you have the right moving company by your side. Atlas International has made expat dreams come true in countries around the world. We're well-versed in facilitating a seamless move that safely gets your belongings to their final destination. 

Why Dubai? Insight Into the City's Allure

Expats around the globe turn their sights on Dubai as their international destination of choice for several reasons, including:

  • Economic opportunities: Dubai has a thriving job market, and many economic benefits add to its allure. With a business-friendly environment and zero income tax, there's a lot to love about this city. Its hospitality and tourism, logistics and transport and banking and finance sectors excel.
  • Attractive lifestyle: Dubai's rapid growth has resulted in an attractive modern atmosphere. You'll find top-notch amenities and opportunities for socialization and experiences around every corner. Like shopping? Dubai has one of the largest shopping malls in the world. Its world-class night scene attracts tourists and locals with theaters, bars and nightclubs. Excellent schools and health care also make it particularly suitable for expats looking to relocate with families.
  • Cultural diversity: While Dubai is situated in a primarily Muslim nation, it's also very welcoming to people of all faiths. All nationalities and religions are welcome in this grand city.
  • Safety: Strict laws keep crime to a minimum, ensuring your safety. It's one of the safest cities in the Middle East for tourists and expats.

Preparing for a Move to Dubai

Moving to Dubai requires extensive planning, but it will all be worth it when you arrive at your new home. Before you begin, you'll need to understand the legal documentation and visa requirements to relocate, know what to expect from the cost of living and have a general idea of how to integrate into life.

Visa Requirements and Legal Documentation

To move to Dubai, you'll need a UAE residence visa. They're most commonly given to people who want to work, study or retire in the nation, although other options exist. Each has its own specific requirements.

People seeking to work in Dubai are classified based on the type of work they intend to do. Skilled employees may self-sponsor and enter the UAE for up to 5 years without requiring an employer or UAE national to sponsor them. A standard work visa allows individuals to seek employment and requires an employer to sponsor them.

Some people opt for residence visas while maintaining employment based outside the UAE. Dubai allows people to relocate under the virtual working programme, which allows them to stay in the city for 1 year. 

Student visas allow people to stay under the sponsorship of a university or their parents — if their parents are residents of the UAE. These visas last 1 year and are processed by the Student Affairs offices at the universities.

Retirement visas last for up to 5 years at a time. They require the individual to have worked for at least 15 years or be aged 55 or older upon retirement. Applicants must also meet financial eligibility requirements.

Living Costs Comparison: Dubai vs. USA

The cost of living in Dubai compared to the US varies based on where you live. If you live in a major city, such as Seattle, New York or Los Angeles, the housing costs may seem comparable, but if you're used to a lower cost of living, Dubai may be more expensive. 

Food is typically more affordable in Dubai than in the US, although milk tends to cost more in the UAE than expats may be used to.

You'll likely see savings in transportation. It's much more affordable to get around in Dubai than in the US, thanks to lower fuel costs. 

Likewise, public health care provides free coverage for basic care (although this excludes vision and dental). However, private insurance to bridge the gap in care tends to be more affordable in the UAE.

Before you finalize your move, you'll want to ensure your finances are in order. You'll need to be able to cover the following:

  • Fees for residence visas
  • Airfare
  • Shipping

  • Activating utilities and phone lines
  • Cash to keep you afloat until your new income flows

Life in Dubai: What to Expect

Integrating into Dubai can feel overwhelming. However, you'll have one benefit — English is commonly spoken. While the official language is Arabic, you'll often see forms, signs and menus available in English.

Leisure activities vary greatly, from enjoying time on yachts and at upscale clubs to rugged adventures amid the sand dunes. Shopping opportunities abound here. However, the internet is much more restricted than in other areas of the world.

Some items you'll want to bring to Dubai include: 

  • Clothing suitable for a desert climate, such as cotton, linen and rayon
  • An adapter for your electronic devices
  • Important personal documents, such as your passport, drivers license and birth certificate

One area that may bring some culture shock is dressing norms. As part of a Muslim country, Dubai encourages its residents to avoid revealing clothing. While there's no official dress code, it's generally a good idea to adapt to the environment you're in.

Choose Atlas International for Your Move to Dubai

Ready to move to Dubai? You need the right international moving services to make it happen. Atlas International boasts over 60 years of experience helping expats expand their horizons internationally. With impeccable customer service and the accreditations to back our claims, we help make your move as seamless as possible.

Our custom solutions ensure you get a moving experience that's uniquely your own. Our full-service packages can eliminate relocation hassles by providing door-to-door moving services. This includes packing up your belongings and unpacking them in your new home. We also offer storage solutions that keep your belongings safe until you're ready to receive them.

Step-by-Step Moving Process With Atlas International

The moving process with Atlas International couldn't be simpler. After helping thousands of people with moves like yours, our process has been streamlined over the years.

  1. Contact us to get started. Either speak with an international moving expert or submit an online quote request. It's a good idea to start this at least 90 days before you intend to move.
  2. Receive an estimate. We'll have you complete a premove survey so we can make it as accurate as possible.
  3. Let us pack and prepare your belongings for international transport. We provide effective packing materials and ensure all items are carefully documented and sealed to keep them safe. We'll then load them into shipping containers in preparation for international travel.
  4. Your belongings will be transferred by air or sea to your new destination.
  5. Your items will pass through the local customs authority. Once they've cleared, one of our international moving partners will receive them.
  6. After your items pass clearance, they'll be delivered to and unpacked in your new home or placed in storage until you're ready to receive them.

Making Dubai Your New Home

Once you arrive in Dubai, it's time to settle in and make yourself at home. Some things you'll need to do include:

  • Setting up utilities: You may have to pay security deposits to secure electricity and water services in your new home.
  • Setting up your phone: UAE airports have telecom provider kiosks where you can purchase a SIM card if your phone is unlocked. 
  • Setting up your bank account: In most cases, you'll have to go to the bank to do this. To prove your identity, you'll need your passport and visa, as well as your employer's name, a signed rental contract and an Emirates ID card (or a copy of the application for one).
  • Getting to know the new laws: Dubai takes its laws very seriously, which is how it maintains order and safety. For example, you can't consume alcohol outside of licensed venues. Likewise, swearing, dressing immodestly or public displays of affection can get you in trouble. 

Let Atlas International Help You Start Your Dubai Move

Ready to make your dreams of sand dunes and shopping malls a reality? Start by reviewing our international moving resources. Then, contact Atlas International for a consultation or quote for moving to Dubai from the USA. We'll ensure your move comes off without a hitch.