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6th February 2014

What long-term residents wish they had known before they arrived

If you have recently arrived in Dubai, you may already be aware that property prices are increasing meaning the cost of living is more expensive than it was this time last year.

This fact makes finding the perfect property for you a bit more challenging, so, we highlight ways to reduce the stress of moving to the Emirate with our five top money and time saving tips.

Prepare to apply for a visa

A lot of people come to the UAE with their visa application well under way but if you are coming to the country expecting to look for work when you arrive, you should be aware that for most employment visa or labour card applications, you will need to have your education certificate attested by a lawyer, your country’s foreign office and by the UAE Embassy in your homeland. It will be easier, quicker and cheaper to carry this out before you leave home for the UAE. If you do not have time to do this and have no one in your home country to do it for you, bring the certificate with you as there are firms in the UAE that you can pay to do it.

Rent property through a reputable agent

You are likely to have heard a few horror stories about the experiences of a few unlucky people who have come to grief in the Dubai property sector. The thing to remember about horror stories is that you get to hear about them because they are unusual events. Take comfort in the fact that the property industry in Dubai and the UAE is subject to more regulation than it used to be, and, although there will always be bad apples who find ways to get around the rules, searching for somewhere to live through a reputable agent like Better Homes will give you peace of mind that your rental contract is legitimate. And, if you choose a property managed by us, the property you choose will be well maintained.

Click here to view our listings www.bhomes.com

Be ready to pay your rent in advance

Rising property prices in Dubai mean that it is once again becoming the norm for landlords to ask their tenants to pay their rent in one cheque a year in advance. To account for this, many firms pay their employees an accommodation allowance which can be taken out of their salary in the manner of an interest free loan. However, this is becoming less common, so it is worth establishing your company’s position in this respect before you arrive. If possible, be ready to pay at least six months’ rent in advance for when you arrive in the UAE, as landlords tend to charge more to tenants who pay in more than one post-dated cheque.

Get ready to get ship shape

When relocating yourself and your personal belongings to a new country, unless you are lucky enough to have somewhere to store everything, you have two options

a) Sell as much of your property as you can and split the rest of it between donations to friends, relatives and storage.
b) Ship it to your new country.

Internet auction websites have made the first option far easier than it used to be, but, if you want your home comforts with you, shipping is your best bet. Before you entrust your family silver to a shipping company, do your research. If a shipping price sounds too cheap to be true, it probably is, and you could end up having your property damaged, lost or subject to severe delays. Search ex-pat forums for your home country and for Dubai to get advice from others who have done it before, and, if in doubt, choose a well-respected company that is more likely to have procedures in place should problems arise with your shipment.

Hunt for bargains

Dubai, the UAE and the wider GCC region has such a transient population that the city’s branch of Ikea in Festival City is habitually packed with ex-pats buying anything and everything they need to set up home in a new place. The Swedish furniture giant is not the only low-cost option for furnishing your home, as thousands of secondhand items are available on Dubai’s one stop shop for buying everything you need.

Click here www.dubizzle.com

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