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Moving to Dubai from USA

Published on Jul 14, 2021 by Kfir Cohen

SDC International Shipping specializes in the shipments of household goods and personal effects, and automobiles to Dubai. Commercial goods can also be sent straight to the UAE.

Dubai is one of the liveliest destinations in the Middle East, and, unsurprisingly, so many want to move there. If you are not already a citizen of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or one of the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, you are required to obtain an employment visa before you can move to the country.

What’s on this page?

01 | International Household Moving to Dubai
02 | International Car Shipping to Dubai
03 | Dubai Customs and Regulations
04 | How to move to Dubai from USA – Checklist
05 | International Shipping Options from USA to Dubai

Moving to Dubai from USA is also possible with a long-term residence visa if you meet the visa criteria, which is the ability to invest about $2.5 M in the country. Most of our clients moving to Dubai are returning Emirati citizens

The relocation to Dubai will be an exciting life-changing event for your family. There will be some challenges that go along with the move, and SDC International Shipping is here to help make your move easy.

International Household Moving to Dubai

Dubai is the business powerhouse of the Middle East. More shipment containers from the United States go there than any other port in the Middle East or Africa. It is an affluent and exciting city.

We highly recommend that you take your entire household with you. Furniture, clothes, and household items should all be taken with you. As most of our clients to Dubai have lived there previously, they already know what it is a good idea to send and what is unnecessary.

Every container entering the UAE is subject to inspection. You will need to provide a UAE customs form to which your shipping inventory will be attached. When SDC International Shipping’s movers come to pick up your things for shipping, they will create this list for you while loading your shipment. It is not required to translate your shipping list to Arabic. You must be physically present in Dubai when your container arrives and might be asked to attend a portion of customs clearance.

When you order door-to-door service with packing, SDC International Shipping’s movers will do everything. All you have to do is make sure that there is room to park the truck near the entrance to your house. We will bring new boxes, including specialized boxes for things such as dishes, clothes, and artwork.

If you have any items that require special handling, we can build custom crates to protect them and ensure that your things arrive in Dubai intact. If you want to purchase damage insurance for your shipment, you will have to have your shipment packed by us. Please see our international moving insurance guide.

International Car Shipping to Dubai

Many of our Emirati clients choose to send automobiles back to Dubai. Each returning citizen is permitted to bring one automobile per person and one motorcycle. However, you can only place one car in each container. If you want to send two cars, the most efficient method will be to send two containers.

Read more: International Vehicle Shipping from USA

If you are sending a motorcycle, the best method to do it will be to create it and include it in your container.

The UAE does not allow automobiles with dark tinted glass. If you are sending a car with dark windows, it is probably prudent to change the glass before shipment, as you might be charged a levy in addition to paying for the new windows there.

The vehicle title needs to be sent to SDC International Shipping along with the licenses. We will return these to you before you leave the country.

There are no special considerations for returning citizens in terms of automobile taxation. However, the UAE taxes on automobiles are only 5%. We encourage clients to check websites and call Dubai car dealers to compare prices. From our experience, many choose to send their American cars.

Dubai Customs and Regulations

You are required to be physically present when your container arrives in Dubai. Every container entering the country is subject to inspection.

Dubai allows for the duty-free import of used household goods. To qualify, goods should be in your possession for at least six months. However, as the Emirates charges a rate of 5% tax on the value of newer items, this is not usually considered an impediment for sending the things that you will want or need while living in Dubai. It is still a good idea to retain receipts for things that you put in your container that look new.

If you are a returning Emirati citizen, you will need to prove that you have resided abroad. The UAE does not specify a specific duration of sojourn abroad.

If you are sending a commercial shipment to Dubai, please appreciate that business regulations are established at both the UAE Federal level and the Emirates level. This website will help you with some local Dubai issues. Consult the UAE embassy website for more information about sending commercial shipments to Dubai.

How to Move to Dubai from USA – Checklist

SDC International Shipping is ready to relocate you and your family to Dubai. In the meantime, you will need to prepare many things to ensure moving to Dubai from the US is conducted properly, including:

  • Immigration visa. If you are a citizen of any GCC country you will not require this. If you are not, please see this site for information about obtaining a visa.
  • If you are taking your family with you, make sure that copies of important documents for all members are easily accessible.
  • If you are a returning Emirati citizen, children born abroad must be reported to the Emirati consulate.
  • If you are sending a pet, you will need to prepare early, including microchipping and vaccinations. All pets must be at least 27 weeks old to be imported. There is a specific form
    that must be filled in after you have received permission.
  • Immunization records. Dubai is not considered a special risk for diseases, but you should definitely be immunized against measles, and the MMR is mandatory. The CDC recommends tetanus, polio and chicken pox vaccinations before travel.
  • If you are shipping a car or motorcycle, request your import license early.
  • Bring along any professional credentials that you have. If you aren’t an Emirati, you have probably already found employment, but if you need to change jobs, you’ll need to show records.

International Shipping Options from USA to Dubai

All our sea shipments to the UAE go through Jebel Ali, typically taking 6-10 weeks for door-to-door service. Shipments that arrive during the holy month of Ramadan should expect an additional week for customs clearance work. Air shipments are also available for anyone who requires a more timely delivery.

Most of our shipments to Dubai consist of full container loads (FCL) shipments. We send both 20’ containers with 1100 cubic feet of storage space (about the size of a 3 bedroom home) and 40’ containers with 2200 cubic feet for cargo.

If you are sending two automobiles, your SDC International Shipping relocation specialist will work with you to figure out which shipping options make the most sense for your family, as only one car may be placed in a container. Sometimes we will recommend two containers, sometimes one 40’ container and one car shipped using a different method separately. This will be dependent upon the pickup location and the remainder of your shipment.

Sending smaller sea shipments to Dubai is also a possibility for those sending smaller shipments, and this service is often used by tourists to the United States who want to send things that they have bought here back home.

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