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Moving to United Arab Emirates

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Shipping from the UK to the United Arab Emirates

Our team is comprised of experts who can help you with international removals to UAE and reduce stress at every stage from packing to delivery.
Many expats choose to relocate to UAE for its glorious climate, lucrative employment opportunities and in search of unique localised cultures that can be found nowhere else. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are three of the most common destinations which we move many expats to every year. Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is one of the most modern cities in the world and migrants will be able to enjoy stunning scenery and a high standard of living. The port of Jebel Ali is one of the busiest ports in the world and the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) is a popular location for international companies. However many younger people or those without families are often enticed by moving to Dubai because of its decadence an splendour which is hard to beat.

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Shipping to the UAE – Useful Information


With over a decade of experience, our Move Managers have a vast array of experience in handling all of the components and managing the various functions required. We ensure that your possessions arrive in the condition they left in and within the parameters of your schedule. Our team who manage internal removals to UAE can provide you with the most up to date information and regulation requirements which you will need for your overseas move. They will be on hand to guide throughout all of the stages of moving to the UAE.

Exclusive Use / Full Container Load (FCL) Service: Container shipping to the UAE through the FCL option is recommended for a full house removal. This allows you to have sole exclusive use of a 20ft or a 40ft steel shipping container. As a rough guide, the contents of a three bedroom house usually fit into a 20ft container.

Shared Container / Groupage Service: If you have less than a full container load of 20ft, you can ship your belongings to the UAE using our groupage service. This is essentially a shared container service. This way you can split the cost with other consignments. This is a cheaper option for many people who do not want to ship their whole house or are trying to keep the costs down for their move to the UAE.

Shipping a Car to the UAE

Fortunately, there are no age limits for vehicles when importing a car to the UAE. As experienced International Moving specialists helping many individuals and families with moving to the UAE, your car will be in very safe hands. A made to measure wooden frame is hand built inside the container to ensure maximum protection, your car is secured to avoid any shifting or incidental damage throughout its time in transit. Find out more about shipping a car internationally.

Moving a Pet to the UAE

If you are interested in international removals to UAE and want to take your pets with you as part of your extended family group, we can help with documentation advice and careful transit for your pet to reduce both yours and their stress. Moving a pet to the UAE requires an import permit. Requirements for this include a document from your veterinary surgeon (signed and stamped) showing the animal was vaccinated against rabies between one year and 30 days previously. 

Moving Your Money to the UAE

As part of our international removals service to UAE John Mason International FX provides a complete range of currency exchange services allowing you to transfer money to the UAE with a click of a button. 

Custom Regulations in the UAE

In order for customs clearance to take place upon arrival of the shipment, the client must be present in the UAE at the time of clearance.

When moving to UAE clients should be respectful of the Islamic faith and therefore not ship any non-Islamic religious items.

Nearly all shipments will have a physical inspection by UAE Customs. If any prohibited items are found in the shipment, they will be confiscated and in some cases, explanation will be required from the client and possible penalties applied. It is important that you are aware of the prohibited items prior to shipping. A full list is contained in your Customs Guide.

Restricted items include records, films, photographs, magazines, and books and are subject to censorship by the UAE Ministry of Information.

In most cases, used household goods and personal effects will not attract duty. New items will however be subject to customs duty.

What Can’t I Take Into The UAE?

Finding a Job in the UAE

When it comes to the current job market, the UAE remains a very competitive destination with a positive outlook for professionals looking for a position or planning to relocate to this expat haven.We would normally advise that those looking to move to the UAE discuss or arrange interviews with prospective employers ahead of their international removal to ensure that they are in the best stead to secure a job swiftly upon arrival. In many cases a job will need to be confirmed or secured before expats are able to begin the moving process.

Finding a place to stay in the UAE

Many employers in the UAE either provide accommodation or an allowance to be used on accommodation. Make sure that you know the kind of deal you are being offered before signing your contract. Buying a house in the UAE is also an easier way of gaining residency permission.

Getting a visa for moving to UAE

There are a few easy ways of get a renewable residency in the UAE. This includes through employment, starting a company or business in the UAE or investing in a property.

Once you have secured work, starting a new life in the UAE is a fairly straight forward process. You will need both a work permit and residency visa which your employer will apply for. Residency visas are valid for up to three years, but can be renewed. The application fees and medical checks will cost around £1000.

Please keep in mind that customs regulations can change on a regular basis so please contact us for further information regarding your move to the UAE. A full Customs Guide to the UAE is available upon request. 

For more information about moving to Dubai specifically please read our destination Guides:


Our Credentials

As one of the leading providers of overseas removals on a national and international scale, we pride ourselves on providing a professional and friendly service from our highly trained and competent team. We have been recognised as one of the leading international moving companies by the networks below and we are, therefore, proud of our credentials and the quality standard they represent.

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Some of our Customer Reviews

From the initial meeting to the pack up John Mason were both friendly and professional. We have already recommended them to friends, we don’t hesitate to recommend them for your move.

Surrey, UK to Auckland, New Zealand - June 2018

My whole experience with John Mason's has been very good, from having Tony surveying till today with the container being packed, I will definitely recommend John Mason to provide removal services.

M.H. South Shields, UK to Perth, Australia – November 2018

Absolutely one of the best movers I have worked with. Pleasant helpful admin staff and the delivery drivers were absolute angels sorting and moving the boxes where I asked them to. Arrived exactly when they said it would.

Selby, UK to Sydney, Australia - September 2019

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