Information that everyone needs about Dubai. Updated July 2009. Read before posting.

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Information that everyone needs about Dubai. Updated July 2009. Read before posting.


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Old 8th July 2009, 11:16 AM
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Thumbs up Information that everyone needs about Dubai. Updated July 2009. Read before posting.

Please read this post as it contains much of the initial information that anyone moving to the UAE needs to know. You can also find loads of useful info and ‘how to’ advice in a book called Dubai Explorer. It is available from Amazon.

Residency Visa

This is supplied by your employer, once you arrive the application for residency visa starts. You will need to have a blood test and if you will be working in a free zone, a chest x-ray. This is organised by your Company and depending on their efficiency can take anything from two days to two months.

In most cases you will need your residency visa to enable you to rent accommodation. A few landlords however, will take a letter from your Company confirming that they are in fact going through the process of applying for your visa.

You need to be resident to purchase and insure a vehicle.

Your employer will also supply you with a Labour Card.

Men can sponsor their wives and children, but only women in a handful of select occupations (lawyer, doctor, teacher, engineer – on high salaries) can sponsor their husbands. A wife’s visa will say ‘Housewife-not permitted to work’, but she can work provided the husband provides a NOC (No Objection Certificate). Under new rules (announced July 2009) expats must have a minimum salary of AED 10,000 in order to bring in their families.

You should get certain documents, such as marriage and birth (for dependents) certificates and qualification and degree certificates attested before you leave your home country.

You cannot sponsor your partner if unmarried. It is also illegal to co-habit. (Many people do however and if you behave discretely it is unlikely to be a problem, but be aware that you are breaking the law.)


Accommodation

Accommodation is still expensive, despite the drop in prices over the past few months. Ensure that you get a big enough housing allowance to cover your rent, or factor this in with your basic salary. Fewer people get hefty housing allowances these days. Ralism is finally creeping in and it is now more common to pay quarterly, six monthly, or even more frequently in a few cases. Many employers will advance rent from salary.

The area where you choose to live should largely be dictated by where you will be working. Rush hour traffic can be very bad, so best to minimize journey times. Prices vary between areas and the type of development you choose.

One bed apartment – from AED 50K (all prices vary between areas)
Two Bed apartment – from AED 90k
Villas - 3 bed - AED 170k average
Villa 4 bed - AED 220k average
Villa 5 bed - AED 300k average

Unlike in many other countries it is common to live in apartments. Most decent buildings have a pool and a gym.

Useful article from Time Out in November 2008 regarding the different areas. :Time Out Dubai - City Guide, Information, Events, Reviews & What's On in the City of Dubai


Driving and cars

We drive on the right and the vast majority of cars are automatic. The driving can be dangerous and standards are poor.

You need to be resident to purchase and insure a vehicle.

If you want to import your car from your country of residence, here is a useful post: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/dub...car-dubai.html

If you want to drive immediately, you get a lease car, but obtain an International Driving Permit from your home country. You can also obtain an IDP rom Emirates Post Offices. The usual international rental agencies all have offices here and there are also a number of local companies.

You will require a resident’s visa to get a full Dubai licence. Not all country’s driving licences are recognised in Dubai. If yours is not eligible for conversion, you will need to take 20 lessons and a test.

Beware of making hand gestures at other drivers no matter how dangerous they are. What may seem OK is other countries is illegal here and can even result in arrest.


Schools

School fees for primary/elementary school will cost you a MINIMUM of 30,000 Dhs per child ( older children about 50- 60,000 Dhs a year) - not including uniforms, extracurricular activities or transport.

Many schools will ask for several thousand Dirhams in advance to secure a school place, but the law sys that may charge a maximum of Dhs 500 only. Remind them of the KHDA ruling.

BSME: British Schools in the Middle East
BSME: British Schools in the Middle East

Schools and Universities in Dubai
UAE schools


Nurseries

Jebel Ali Nursery at Polo Club (AR) is approx 5,000 dhs a term for 2 mornings, and 8,000 for 5 days (8am-12)
Kids Island in Umm Sequeim 6,900 a term (5 days), or 4,900 a term (2 days)
Super Kids- Mirdiff - 6,000 a term (full time)
Childrens Oasis 5,000 Dhs PER MONTH (for 5 days, 8 - 5pm)

Nurseries in Dubai
Nurseries in Dubai


Banking

Most banks require you to have residency before you can open a current account. Service is very hit and miss to prepare to be frustrated.


Domestic help

Minimum monthly salary which you are required to pay by law varies from nationality to nationality. Phillipina maids have the highest minimum salary of around 1500 Dirhams a month to live in. I think Sri Lankan maids have a minimum of around 800 Dirhams (if your conscience permits this!).

1,500 to 1,800 a month seems to be about average, with every Friday off. If baby-sitting is required in the evenings, this is usually paid for on top of their monthly salary.

Paying a maid on someone else’s sponsorship to come and clean for you for a few hours is illegal and there are occasional crack downs on this.

It is more usual to use an agency maid. There are numerous cleaning agencies and the going rate is around Dhs 35 per hour, usually with a four hour minimum. Some of the agencies are listed below:

Howdra 04 227 2726
Focus Cleaning Co 04 331 6006
Helpers Co 04 393 3777
Home Help 04 355 5100
Macco Building and Cleaning 050 295 8823
Molly Maid 04 398 8877
Smart Maid Service 04 344 1595
Solutions Hygiene 04 324 0076
Open House 04 332 403
Home Maid 04 339 3211


Alcohol

Alcohol is available in hotels, as well as bars and restaurants with a link to hotels. Also a handful of private members clubs. To buy alcohol in a shop you will require a licence. An application form can be obtained in any branch of A+E or MMI, the two main outlets that have branches across the city. You will require a NOC from your employer and proof of residency and income. Your purchasing limit is linked to your salary. Married women cannot obtain their own licence, but may use their husband’s.

It is illegal to have alcohol in your home if you do not have a licence. Muslims cannot get alcohol licences, no matter where they are from.

There is a 30% tax on alcohol in Dubai, so many people travel to other emirates to shops where this tax is not charged. Take care though, as it is illegal to transport alcohol across Sharjah (the only route) without a licence.


Medicines

Many medicines that are freely available in other countries (codeine for example) are banned or restricted. DO NOT attempt to bring in any banned medicines as the penalty can be severe. A list of banned medications can be found at this link.

Gulfnews: Keep banned drugs off travel kit

Under this heading I will also point out that all 'drugs' are illegal here and if even the smallest amount of any substance is found on you, you will end up in jail and then deported.


PETS

Interesting article about bringing your pets into the UAE

http://thenational.ae/article/200812...882851470/1056


GENERAL INFORMATION - In no particular order:
  • It is illegal for unmarried couples to cohabit. Yes, many people do it, but it is still illegal and there may be consequences, such as imprisonment and deportation.
  • If you want to know what's going on, get a copy of Time Out.
  • If you don't know already, learn a little about Islam. You should remember that this is a Muslim country, albeit one that makes many allowances for non-Muslims. Show respect for your hosts. And be aware that everything takes longer in Ramadan and certain restrictions apply.
  • Get various documents notarised before you move to the UAE - marriage certificate, education certificates.
  • Voltage is 220/240v. Plugs are UK style 3 pin.
  • Summer is VERY hot and it can be chilly in winter, especially in the evenings. Bring a few jumpers.
  • Ladies – please consider your attire. Skimpy tops and short skirts are not appropriate for anywhere except a beach.
  • Whilst medical care is good and hospitals sophisticated, you must have good medical insurance as it can be costly. There is no state funded scheme for expats.
  • The tap water is safe to drink, although many people prefer the taste of bottled water. (Ask for ‘local water’ in restaurants so you don’t get charged a fortune for expensive imported water.)
  • Bouncing a cheque is illegal and can result in a spell in jail, a fine and possibly even deportation
  • It is illegal for an employer to hold your passport. Do not permit them to do so.
  • Whilst there is no personal income tax in the UAE, this does not mean that you may not be liable in your home country


Many other questions have been answered on numerous threads, so please do a search to find information. Regular posters will usually be happy to provide advice on salary packages and best place to live based on work place, but please quote income in Dirhams per month as this is the format used here.

.

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Last edited by dizzyizzy; 23rd April 2010 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Added link to Import Cars
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Old 15th July 2009, 10:45 PM
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Thanks,
I clicked on your link regarding bringing Pets to Dubai, and the link didn't work. Could you try to re-post this info?

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Old 16th July 2009, 06:58 AM
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The article is some six months old, so it looks as if the newspaper has removed it. I'll see if my editor can restore it.

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Old 16th July 2009, 10:53 AM
 
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Default hey

this information is really useful...many thanks and some things i wasnt even aware of!!

i'm moving here soon from uk also landing on teh 23rd fingers crossed!

isabella

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Old 16th July 2009, 11:41 AM
 
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Question UAE Resident Visa

Dear Friend,

I am getting a job offer in Dubai. I have two minor children who are being looked after by their paternal aunt and grandmother.

My employer shall get a Visa for me but I am wondering how I would get Visa for the children's aunt and grandmother to join us in Dubai and for how long I can get Visas for them as they are their caretaker when I am away for work.


Aaftab

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Old 26th July 2009, 01:04 PM
 
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Hi there,

I would like to ask you if you think it is "OK" to be leaving in Dubai, i.e. Arabian Ranches, and working in Al Rahba City, which is like 85 Km away. Do you think it would be taking me more than 1 hour drive in each direction?

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Old 27th July 2009, 01:57 PM
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Hi all,

what about restricted goods?
I read in the Iexpert guidebook that DVDs, CDs and books are restricted goods but i do not have a clue on which extent.
I was thinking to send packages to Dubai with my Dvds, Cds, and books but now i do not know if it is a good idea.
Do you have any more information?
Thanks.

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Old 27th July 2009, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biancanevo View Post
Hi all,

what about restricted goods?
I read in the Iexpert guidebook that DVDs, CDs and books are restricted goods but i do not have a clue on which extent.
I was thinking to send packages to Dubai with my Dvds, Cds, and books but now i do not know if it is a good idea.
Do you have any more information?
Thanks.
This will be referring to the content. Anything that is the slightest bit anti-Islamic, ant-Arab, pornographic or relates to gambling is restricted. Just remember that this is a Muslim country and remove anything inappropriate.

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Old 2nd August 2009, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elphaba View Post
This will be referring to the content. Anything that is the slightest bit anti-Islamic, ant-Arab, pornographic or relates to gambling is restricted. Just remember that this is a Muslim country and remove anything inappropriate.

-
Thank you for the info.
What about photocopied books?
I have one bok that I use for work and is a copy of it, the original one is not with me sice i left it in my home country.
It is going t be a prblem?

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Old 3rd August 2009, 08:55 AM
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As long as the book is not of some seedy content you'll be fine... dont worry about it.

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