Moving to Dubai

Ship, shop, or drop?

Moving to Dubai

While Dubai is the most liberal Emirate, their laws are stricter than most Western countries’. Find out what you can and can’t bring with you, and what is just plain easier to get once you’ve arrived.

What to ship


Be sure to pack conservative clothing, especially if you're a woman, as it is required to wear clothes that cover your back, stomach, and shoulders. Clothes cannot be transparent, low-cut or short. Men have to cover their chest and make sure their underwear is out of sight. Ship your favourite clothes, but also see it as an opportunity to go shopping in one of Dubai’s many incredible shopping malls!

Prescription medicine

It's very important that you know what kind of medicine you can take with you. Most drugs that can be bought over-the-counter in other countries may not be accepted in Dubai unless you have a specific doctor’s note.This note must cover the period of travel or stay, and describe the illness and the relative medicines prescribed for that illness. As you’re not allowed to bring more than a three month's supply, finding an equivalent that is available in Dubai should be a priority.


You can bring your pets to Dubai, but in order to do so you need to have a residence visa. It's easiest if you arrange your residence visa upon arrival in Dubai and then transport your pets later. You can find all the information on what you need to do to get your furry friend into Dubai, here .

It’s a good idea to get professional advice on what you can bring with you to Dubai. AGS Movers Dubai  has a lot of experience moving expats to the Emirate and can advise you on the local laws.

What to shop


Dubai is the 5th cheapest place in the world to buy electronics, so you might want to reconsider bringing your electronics with you. Instead of going through the hassle of unlocking your phone, get a local one; you’ll then have your old one available when you visit home or move back.

Adapter plugs

Dubai uses a three-pin plug which you’ll probably need an adapter for if you do bring any electronics with you. They are cheap and easy to find in Dubai, but it might be worth buying one before you move ready for immediate use when you first arrive.

Water cooler

The tap water in Dubai isn't suitable for drinking, so having a water cooler with clean water when living in temperatures of up to 48.5ºC is vital. Get one as soon as you can, and stay stocked up on water from your local supermarket.

What to drop

Tumble dryer

With those scorching temperatures, a tumble dryer is one of the last things you need. Hang your washing outside like the locals and let Mother Nature do the drying for you.

Over-the-counter medicine

Unless you manage to arrange a prescription beforehand, you cannot bring certain over-the-counter medicines, such as Paracetamol or Advil, with you to Dubai. If you do need to bring any sort of painkillers, be sure to have a doctor's letter. If you bring in any medication without proof that you need it, you couldreceive a hefty fine.

Religious artifacts

Objects, sculptures, paintings, books or magazines that do not adhere to the religious and moral values of Dubai are forbidden, or at the very least must be approved prior to your arrival. Depending on your religion, you should check what you can and cannot bring. Certain items, like a small rosary, can travel with you in your hand luggage.

Further reading

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