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Moving from US to UAE - What You Need to Know

Monday, March 27, 2023
A groups of women having breakfast around a table at a restaurant in UAE

A question may arise such as: Why move from one country to another? The answer is a simple one: Why not? The idea of not only exploring new cultures, traditions, foods, etc. is an inviting one. There is no better place to do so than in Dubai, certainly if you want a different feel from the US. Now, a new question arises: Can you move to the UAE as a professional or learning adult? The answer: Go for it.

Reasons to Move to UAE

A woman leading a man by his hand through the desert in UAE

Moving to the UAE can be for a number of reasons, be it for the love of your family, lover, or the country itself. It can also be for work-related purposes since Dubai is rich when it comes to corporate culture. Everyone who moves to the city of Dubai, or even the surrounding areas of the city has their own reason for doing so. But, a big draw is the corporate culture that Dubai has plenty of. As well as the chance to experience a different way of living, while having an adventure. Plus, you may even pick up the language which can be a big help while living there.

UAE Paperwork- Apply for a UAE Visa

Ramps going up with people walking and jogging on them

As you know when it comes to immigrating to a new country you would have to apply for and obtain a visa. A UAE visa is your best option for living in Dubai or Abu Dhabi if you are not a citizen of it. There are a number of different types of UAE visas you can apply for. You can check them all out at the UAE immigration website. But, you would have to go in person to the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, to apply. 

Furthermore, you would have to bring the following with you while doing the application process, and all of these documents have to be updated:

  • Valid passport that will be 6 months old before the moving date
  • Proof that you can financially support yourself while living in UAE
  • A marriage certificate as well as proof of sponsorship (a letter) from your spouse if you are married 
  • An invitation letter from the company that is UAE based who hired you if you are moving there for work reasons
  • No Objection Certificate for minors from their parents, as well as photos to use for identification 

It is highly important that you have the correct, and updated paperwork for the UAE visa process. As well as to know which one you are going to apply for. The application may take up to three working days to process, but it would be best to do the process now in case you get rejected. This will give you time to try again.

The most common types of UAE visa applications are residence ones (marriage) and working permits. You can also take a trip to Dubai or Abu Dhabi for less than a month without a visa, if you want to check it out, and find your new forever home.

Laws of UAE to Be Aware Of

A close up of an arm pressing a screen of building while apartment hunting in UAE

When moving to a new country, it can feel like moving to a new planet to a certain extent. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws of the UAE, since they can be vastly different from the ones in the US which you are more used to.  

One of the laws is that you cannot live with someone be it a house or an apartment of the opposite sex. The expectations are if they are a family member or someone that you are married to. 

So if you are moving with your long-term partner then you may want to consider marriage just to make it easier. While we are on the subject, well kind of, of love another law is that you are not allowed to display public displays of affection outside of holding hands with your married partner. Plus, homosexuality is also illegal as is the LGBTQ community facing more hardship in UAE compared to some other places.  

Another few laws to take note of is the use of rude hand gestures, and language, as well as wearing “too revealing clothing” is also against the law. The best is to look up the fashion of Dubai so that you can get yourself ready for it.

Move to the UAE Easily 

A Note for Women Moving to The UAE

Dubai is known for being a safe place for women. However, there are sometimes things that you should be aware of if you are a woman moving to Dubai or Abu Dhabi. For one thing, if you want to sponsor your family to make the move to Dubai then you would have to earn about 10, 000 AED ($2, 723) monthly. 

Furthermore, if you go to a holy place then you would have to cover your face and self, out of customs and respect. Something more to notice when you move to UAE is that the metro has women and children-only carriages, as well as there being women-only queues to government buildings. Even some taxis are specific to women, driven by women. While we are on the subject…

Public and/or Private Transportation

Like many places around the world, there are different forms of transportation in the UAE. We have mentioned the metro and taxis for the public side of it, but there are also buses that you can catch.  

Getting around Dubai or Abu Dhabi will require timing and planning certainly if it is your first time getting used to public transportation times and structures. But you can also opt to purchase a private car. You can buy one while living in the UAE. Plus, you would not need to worry about switching to another side of the road since the UAE and the US share the same roadside, the right-hand side. 

The speed limits for private transport may be something to get used to since they can be quite high. For example, highways in Dubai can clock in a limit of 160 km/h (99mph) and some areas, this can be 110 km/h instead.

Taxes in The UAE

A man dressed in UAE traditional menswear standing outdoors with a hawk on his arm

Many Americans that chose to move to the UAE may often do it for business purposes. And, Dubai does promote a quite fast-paced busy lifestyle. A big draw is the notion that you would not have to pay income tax in the UAE. However, this does not mean that you have escaped the taxing giant just yet.  

This is because you may have to still pay taxes in the USA while living in the UAE. You would have to declare your income to the US government meaning that you will be taxed. This can also include renting out a property as a tax resident living and working in the UAE. It would be a wise choice to speak to a professional in the tax world before making the move to the UAE. You would have to check with the US Embassy or the IRS for what you need to do, and how to do it. 

And, while living in the UAE you would still have to pay VAT (Value Added Tax), sales tax, and fees on utilities and government services.

How to Move to UAE with Shyft

A woman posing outdoors in a forest with wild roses growing behind her

Moving to the UAE can be easily done with the help of Shyft. Shyft is the world's first tech-driven moving platform where we organize your whole moving process for you. We are there for you every, single, step of the way. Also, we can even aid you with the paperwork in the form of advice. We help you find the right moving company for you and compose your inventory list. As well as save you time, money, and more importantly, your nerves.  

All you need to do is decide which day you want to be your moving day, and let us know by filling out our short, secure, online form at Shyft Moving. Here is also where you can get a lot more information about what we do, and how we do it. But, to put it plainly, your very only Move Coach will contact you to start the Shyft moving process.  

This will be a video call done through the free-to-download, and easy-to-use mobile app called Shyft Next. This video call will happen when you say it will, not before, nor after. Plus, it will give you the chance to meet your real-life Move Coach, virtual face to virtual face. You can ask them all your questions, get advice, and more. The best part of using Shyft Next is that your Move Coach will be able to create your inventory list right there and then, without stepping into your current home.

A man sitting on a barrel next to a graffiti of a man who had just finished shaving

All you have to do is “vlog” the interior of your home, and show what you wish to move. Within half an hour the 95% accurate inventory list that the Move Coach has constructed will be sent to you. This is all secure. You will have the chance to add items, remove items, and make notes on your inventory list to bring it up to 100% accuracy.  

When you are pleased with the list, send it to your Move Coach so that they can proceed to the next step of the process. This is where they take the 100% inventory list, as well as your moving details to Shyft’s secure move board. This part will exclude your personal details.  

The move board is where we find qualified, vetted, and experienced moving companies. This is because they gather on the move board to bid on moving gigs, yours included. From here we collect three or more moving quotes where each quote is from a different company. We send this as well as information about the company to you. You decide which one to work with. Furthermore, since the movers are international moving companies they can also help you with customs, and other aspects to make your immigration to the UAE a lot easier and smoother.  

Plus, all the moving quotes are fixed. This means that if you want to add an item to your inventory list then the price of using the moving company will stay the same. Likewise, if you wish to remove an item. 

Contact Shyft today to get started on the moving process. Your move to the UAE will be in the safe, experienced, and well-organized hands of Shyft. We aim to get you there safely, in due time, while saving you money and decreasing your stress levels. Furthermore, if you have any questions, or want to check in you can connect with one of our representatives 7 days a week to put your concerns at rest. We hope to speak to you soon and help you get to the warm country of the UAE in due time. 

A close-up of two UAE woman fist bumping among friends while being outdoors