Move to Abu Dhabi

Tips And Best Practices

  • Working Days

    The ideal timeframe to conduct business in Abu Dhabi is Monday to Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm However, most schools, government and private organisations close for business at 12pm on Fridays in observance of Friday prayer.

    The UAE is four hours ahead of GMT.

  • Currency

    The Arab Emirati Dirham is the official currency of the UAE. The official abbreviation for the dirham is AED however it is commonly referenced as Dh and Dhs. The dirham is divided into 100 fils and coins are available in the following denomination: AED 1, 50 fils and 25 fils. Notes are available in the following denominations: AED 5, 10, 20, 500, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000.

    The Arab Emirati Dirham (AED) is pegged to the US dollar (USD): 1 USD = AED 3.6725

  • Documentation

    Preparation is the key to any well organised move. To facilitate the process of applying for a Residence Visa and associated credentials, such as an Emirates ID or driver’s license, compile the following list of documents and have them on hand:

    • Passport copies of dependents (spouse, children, parents)
    • Passport photos of yourself and dependents (Note that passport sizes differ by country. Dimensions for the UAE are 4.5 x 3.5 cm.)
    • Medical clearance certificate for dependents over 18 years old
    • Copy of the sponsor’s employment contract
    • Salary certificate from the employer confirming the employee’s monthly salary
    • Birth certificates
    • Marriage certificate
    • Registered tenancy contract
    • Latest utility bill

    Some documents require attestation, which is the process of checking and declaring the authenticity of a document. Documents requiring attestation include academic degrees, teacher licenses and birth and marriage certificates. The process involves having copies of the original documents notarized in the country of origin, verified by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (or equivalent organisations in the person’s country of origin) and then forwarded to the UAE embassy in the country of origin for verification. This is a lengthy and sometimes confusing process so it’s highly recommended to use a third party service provider. It is also recommended to have documents attested prior to leaving your home country.

  • Preparing Pets for the Move

    Pets are like extended members of the family, so they can make the move to Abu Dhabi too. Moving to the UAE with pets is easy once you have the required documents in order. Unlike other countries, the UAE does not have required quarantine periods for animals entering the country.

    You will need a pet import permit that costs AED 200 (55 USD) per pet for dogs and cats or AED 400 (108 USD) per horse. You must have this permit prior to your pet entering the UAE and it is valid for up to 30 days. Your pet must be microchipped and travel with a full vaccination record. Keep in mind that you can only bring two pets into the UAE and some dog breeds are banned.

    Learn more about importing pets.

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