In October 2013, when we made the decision to come to this part of the world, we didn’t know what to expect. But a surprisingly fast visa process later (less than a month after my husband’s move), here I was in this fabled city of glitz and glamour, with bag, baggage, two children and about 300 passport size photos.
The next few days involved a whirlwind of activity. I learnt quite a lot of practical info and a lot of not-so-practical, but very charming facts about my new home city.
What are some of the other things you need to know when moving to Dubai?
The lifestyle: Dubai has a reputation for being expensive, but it all depends on how you choose to live – Housing budgets vary dewaqq from area to area. When it comes to eating out, Dubai has the most expensive designer cafes as well as the ubiquitous fast food chains and smaller local eateries.
Organizing your paperwork: Everything works like clockwork in Dubai, so long as your paperwork is correctly organized. Employers help to obtain visas, the mandatory Emirates ID card and health insurance for their employees. Once your documents are processed, make sure you have multiple copies of everything and several passport size photographs – you will need these for everything!
Getting your driver’s license: License holders of 36 nations are allowed to drive in Dubai without any additional formalities. Others are required to undergo lessons (the number varies depending on whether you have a valid license in your own country or not) before appearing for a test.
Getting your utilities: To connect cooking gas and electricity, you will have to submit the right documentation as well pay a deposit. Internet connection, land phone and television usually come bundled as a package.
Getting around: Compared to many other cities in GCC, Dubai has excellent public transport. The metro runs on two lines and covers 47 stops. You can travel by Gold class, ladies’ coach, and silver class. Trains arrive at a frequency of 4 to 8 minutes depending on the time of day. The stations are served by feeder buses. AC buses (which stop at air conditioned bus-stations) connect various parts of the city. Taxis are abundant and not very expensive, but are not a realistic option for a daily commutes.
School admissions: Dubai only has private schools, but there are a number of budgets, and curricula to choose from – American, British, Indian, Iranian and so on. Check with the school what documents are required, as Dubai’s educational body, KHDA is quite strict regarding these procedures.
With parks, cafes, malls, concerts, and shows, Dubai is wonderful city to live in. Use a trustworthy moving service and you won’t regret your decision to come to this sunny part of the world.