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8 Expenses to Expect When Moving to Dubai


Anyone moving to Dubai should be prepared to take on extra expenses that most people don’t have to deal with when they move to other countries. This list of eight things you can expect to spend money on when you move to Dubai will help you get ahead of your new expenses and budget accordingly. The next time you plan on moving, keep this list in mind and save yourself some headaches down the road!

1) Removal and transport costs

First and foremost, every person moving from one home to another requires some amount of furniture. The size of your household, as well as your personal preferences, will dictate what sort of furniture you need, how much space it will take up in your new apartment, and how much it will cost. You can get services from Packers and Movers in Dubai to get professional packers and movers services. Depending on where you live in Dubai—the city or a remote area with fewer large shopping centers—the cost of furniture can vary greatly; however, many people estimate that their furnishing costs range between $1,000-$4,000 for a studio apartment. Most furnishings should fall within that price range; however, some items may be more expensive depending on your personal tastes.

2) Rent:

A one-bedroom apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residence will cost about 8,000AED/month (about US$2,500/month) including utilities. This is more expensive than most places in Dubai, but it comes with a free membership at The Address Fitness Center, which offers some of Dubai’s top yoga and pilates classes. You can get Movers and Packers in JBR when moving in Dubai, If you’re not picky about where you live and want your own bed—we’re talking real bed here—and room to spread out, rent should be less than 4,000AED/month (about US$1,100). We recommend hunting for apartments that come furnished for an even lower price. Furnished listings are easy to find and often have great amenities like pools and parking.

3) Home decoration costs

It’s hard to be precise about how much you’ll need for home decoration costs because it’s impossible to know if you’ll be happy with a more basic decor or decide that splurging on fancy furniture and art is worth it. But in general, you can expect that your homemaking budget will increase by at least 20% once you move abroad. If your rent or mortgage increases significantly, as is common when moving internationally, and if you decide that furniture and other essentials are necessary purchases, then it’s easy to see how these expenses could quickly add up. If a family member is coming with you on your adventure overseas, splitting an apartment could help alleviate some of these financial burdens—and give each person more room!

4) Household appliances cost

$150–1,500: Often it’s cheaper to buy household appliances in Dubai than it is in your home country. Appliances cost about 10% more than they do in Europe or North America. However, appliances are often sold without warranties or guarantees—they also don’t always meet European or American electrical standards and may be difficult to repair if something breaks down. If you want a guarantee with your purchase, you can get one by paying for home delivery from abroad and asking that it be installed before shipping (this usually costs extra). Or you can hire a specialist shop at your new address to install things for you. The bottom line: Purchase household appliances with an open mind—you might have a big bill coming up unexpectedly!

5) Furniture Cost

The cost of furnishing a home will depend on a number of factors, including your needs and tastes, as well as where you plan to buy. Many expats opt for furnished accommodation; whether you go that route or furnish your own place, expect to spend between 2,000 and 5,000 dirhams. For example, IKEA sells some of its items in bulk packages at low prices: You can pick up a comfortable sofa-bed mattress for just 400 dirhams. Office furniture ranges from around 800 to 1,500 dirhams per desk depending on size and material. And appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines are available for under 4,000 dirhams. There are also plenty of secondhand shops in Dubai if you’re looking to save money—just be sure to do your research before buying used sofas or other household goods.

6) Home protection costs

In addition to moving your stuff, think about all of your non-physical possessions as well. Do you need a new driver’s license? What about replacing insurance cards and registration? Depending on where you move, any of these could be hundreds of dollars. Make sure you have everything planned out in advance so that you don’t waste money on unexpected expenses. And don’t forget that many things, like pets and electrical equipment, may have to be left behind when moving abroad. Will they cost less back home? Are there different pet laws or electrical standards I should know about? These are great questions to ask before deciding whether it’s worth it for these items (and more) to come with you.

7) Medical insurance costs

Although some expats opt out of medical insurance, it’s a really good idea to make sure you have some form of healthcare coverage in place. It’s mandatory for expats, even those on a visit visa, but that doesn’t mean it comes cheap. Medical insurance is more expensive than most people think—even if you already have access to affordable healthcare where you come from. The costs can quickly add up when it comes time for treatment, so don’t forget about your insurance costs when estimating how much money will go towards living in UAE and/or moving across town.

8) Taxes and other additional expenses

While you can expect your new company to cover some of your moving costs, it’s best not to count on it. Assume you’ll have an additional $7,000 in expenses (and that number could easily be twice as high) that will come out of your pocket. The good news is that these costs are tax-deductible; make sure you keep track of them so you know what’s allowed and what isn’t. As with any move, try and work out a budget before things get too far along and stay on top of what comes in and go out throughout all stages of your relocation. It won’t help if you have a great time planning for something only to go into debt once everything is done!