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Tips for Expats Relocating to Dubai

‘Tis that time of season when freshly relocated expatriates have more or less settled into the surroundings and situation of their newly chosen home countries.  It is also the time when potential new expats head out on their home search to scope out their new city.

To help first timers adjust to their new lives in Dubai, Move One’s relocation specialists have produced a list of very useful tips for those who are preparing to relocate to Dubai, and to those who have recently relocated.

Things newbie expats in Dubai need to know:

  • Work days are Sunday to Thursday
  • Friday is a religious day
  • Workers will always call you sir/madam and will always respond to anything you say with “yes sir/madam”. This does not always mean they have understood your request
  • Parking fines and speeding tickets are sent immediately by sms or fax to the registered owner of the car
  • Cars overtake on the left and right
  • Alcohol is only served in restaurants within hotels or select sports clubs
  • Alcohol for your homes can only be purchased with a license.
  • Not only do you have to get your boss’s approval to obtain a liquor license, but you must also get the company’s approval to rent property, have a telephone, or get satellite TV
  • Be conservative and respectful in the way you dress. Save your beach wear for the beach and not the shopping mall
  • You can only buy pork products in special areas of a few shops. Including, Spinney’s and Waitrose at Marina Mall
  • Pray times are approximately at (depending on the sun) 4.45am, 12.25pm, 3.40pm, 6.25pm, 8.20pm, so do not be alarmed if you hear arabic being loudly spoken at these times. This is how the Muslims are called to prayer
  • Visit Expat Echo Dubai and buy a Timeout magazine to learn what is happening in the city
  • Heat exhaustion is common – make sure you drink plenty of water
  • Buy an Entertainer guide – save money in restaurants and on entertainment
  • Have breakfast/lunch at the Sheik Mohammed Center of Cultural understanding. A local Emirati will answer all your questions about the culture in Dubai
  • Visit Dubai Museum to learn about the growth of the city
  • Workers on public beaches try to take photographs of children. They do not mean to offend just ask them not to do it and they will move on
  • Never aim a camera at an Arab woman. Even if you are not taking a picture of her, she may be offended
  • Friday brunch is a popular family meal offered at most hotels throughout Dubai
  • Bring lots of passport photographs of all members of the family. It saves time trying to find a shop when you have so many other things to do
  • Familiarize yourself with the local Emergency Hospital. There are many hospitals in Dubai, so it is good to know which one can help you in an emergency
  • Tips are now included in all hotel/tourist restaurants. Always check your bill to make sure you are not tipping twice
  • There is no door to door postal system. Your will need to arrange a PO Box
  • The government blocks websites deemed as offensive to the religious, moral and cultural values of the UAE
  • Roads can be structured interestingly, so be prepared that you might have to drive ten minutes out of the way to make a U-turn.
  • Not all residential areas have a great internet connection
  • You can only pay for fuel with cash, no credit cards

Should you need assistance with your relocation process to Dubai, please contact .

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