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Updated 8 months ago

Are you shipping your stuff to Dubai and wondering how this works? Expat.com provides you with some practical information below.

Relocating to another country involves a lot of preparation. However, with proper planning, it can be a smooth and almost stress-free task. It is a good idea to start preparing your move about 3 months in advance. Give yourself ample time to get the necessary visas, work, permits, and cancel your subscription to existing services. And of course, make sure you choose a reputable moving company.

You can find excellent moving companies and get a free quote here. Alternatively, try browsing the internet for a reputable moving company. We advise choosing a company that is an affiliate of FIDI (International Federation of International Removers).

Contact the removal company and set up an appointment with one of their relocation advisers - they will come to your home to get an estimate your items for shipment. Explain your plans to them so that they are able to determine the best shipping method for your needs.

Take an inventory

  • Make a list of all the items you wish to ship. You might find out there are some items that you might not need in Dubai.
  • Make a list of the objects that require special care - glass items, art, high-value items.
  • Make a list of the valuable objects that you want to be insured. Note down their value.

The inventory is important so you can obtain a quote. It will also help when you purchase a moving insurance.

Understanding your quote

Once you’ve received the quote, it might be a bit overwhelming as there will be a lot of detailed information and perhaps even some jargon handed to you. Here’s a guide to help you decipher some of the terms:

  • Your address in your current country: this is where removers will come, pack & load your belongings.
  • Your destination address in Dubai: this is where removers will unload your belongings. Make sure your mover specifies it is door-to-door. Otherwise, you may have to pick them up yourself in a warehouse. Check your contract carefully.
  • Your shipping volume or weight. This is usually measured in cubic metres or kg.
  • Ocean or air freight. For ocean freight, there’s 40ft FCL (full container load), 20ft FCL and LCL (less than container load).
  • Insurance (sometimes called marine insurance). There are different tiers of insurance available that you’ll have to add on to your quote. You can insure all your items or some specific valuable items. Ask your moving company for more details.

Customs in Dubai

Dubai has certain prohibitions and restrictions on goods. For example, content on audio, video or print format that breaches local moral standards (like pornography) is not allowed. Additionally, import of alcohol is limited and all products from Israel are banned.

To learn more, read our article on Customs in Dubai.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.