If you are an American planning to move to the UAE, you will be pleased to know that doing so is relatively easy. The United Arab Emirates has an expat population that is approximately five times larger than the Emirati population simply because they made relocating to their country fairly straightforward. However, it is important to know that the UAE comprises seven different states (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain), which have different local governments, and thus, different laws and regulations. So, once you decide where you want to move, be sure to examine that state’s rules, and you will have no problems relocating safely, quickly, and efficiently. We are here to offer you some help, too – here is our guide for Americans moving to UAE that is full of first-hand advice. 

Visa & Work Permit 

It does not matter what the reason for your move to the UAE is. You will need to get a visa and work permit. But fear not – doing this is easy and simple because you will not have to do anything. Your employer will do everything on your behalf. However, if you are moving to the UAE for reasons other than work, first, you need to get an entry visa. Entry permits can be sponsored by an airline company, hotel, or even a fellow expat. Once you get it, you can apply for a visa. You can apply for several types depending on why you are moving. For instance, if you want to immigrate to Dubai to study, you need a student visa. If you wish to travel, you need a tourist visa, etc.

suitcase in airport
Be sure to apply for a visa long before you start packing your bags


The number one reason so many Americans are moving to the UAE is that doing so represents a tremendous career opportunity. Moreover, as employees do not have to pay any income taxes, the salary and ability to save money are a lot bigger. However, if you are moving to the UAE without a job waiting for you there, finding one may be challenging. The job market is not experiencing its best years, so the competition between expats and locals is intense. Thus, if you plan to look for a job after moving, be sure to apply for a position where you can truly stand out, and of course, be sure to have a top-notch resume and several cover letters ready. 


Once your visa is approved, it is time to look for housing. Our advice is to find a place to live before you move to the UAE. That is before you hire international movers such as a2bmovingandstorage.com and start packing your bags. You have several options for this. If you are moving for work, your employer will probably find you a place to live. But, if you are moving for some other reason, you can find a place to live with the help of a real estate agent. 

However, be prepared for the housing prices here. Most Americans moving to UAE get surprised by the rent and utility prices. Expect to spend half of your salary on these each month! For instance, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the average rent and utility costs go from 40,000 AED to 110,000 AED per year. The same goes for buying a property. As a non-resident foreigner buying a property in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, expect to pay 1,7 million AED for an apartment or 4,4 million AED for a house. 

A UAE home
The home styles in the UAE largely differ from those in the USA.


Once you have found your new home in the UAE, it is time to start planning the relocation. The good news is that most homes in the UAE come with all the needed furniture and household items. And, even if something is missing, you can easily buy it there. However, we understand that (if you are moving to UAE for good) you want to bring some of your precious belongings with you. To do that, you must adequately pack them and then ship them to your new UAE home long before you go there yourself.

Moreover, it might be a good idea to hire international movers. Only professionals of this kind will be able to prepare you and your items for this big international move from DC to the UAE. Just think about all the paperwork and all the moving tasks you will have to finish when the time comes to relocate from the capital to Abu Dhabi or Dubai, for example. Doing this will require a lot of your time and energy. If you do not want to waste these, either relocate with just a handbag or hire professional international movers. 

A professional mover
Moving to the UAE is easy as long as you have professional movers by your side.


One thing is for sure – the cost of living in all the states of the UAE is high. But do not let that scare you. The costs of living are high, but so are the salaries and standards. This means that life is simply good here and that you should consider yourself lucky. Everything from education and healthcare to entertainment and fitness is top-notch in the UAE. But, of course, you will need some time to adjust. People here speak different languages, practice different religions, eat different foods, and simply behave in a different manner. Once again, do not let that scare you – you will get the hang of it quickly and easily. 

However, let us warn you that there are many rules, regulations, and laws that you will also have to follow here. And, these are not the rules concerning COVID-19 safety. These mainly include things such as clothing, drinking, etc. It would be best for Americans moving to UAE to educate themselves on these laws before entering the country. Doing so will save you from unwanted troubles and prepare you for the inevitable cultural shock. 


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