Moving to Dubai

Ship, shop, or drop?

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 covering clothes, especially if you're a woman, as you’ll have 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 take it as an opportunity to go shopping in one of Dubai’s incredible shopping malls! 

Prescription medicine

It's very important that you are aware of 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 doctors 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 ship 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  have 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 or move back home.

Adapter plugs

Dubai uses a 3-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 to have ready 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 medicine, 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 medicine without proof that you need them, you could be seriously fined.

Religious artifacts

Any objects, sculptures, paintings, books or magazines which do not adhere to the religious and moral values of Dubai are not allowed, or at the very least have to be approved prior to your arrival. Depending on your religion you should check what you can and cannot bring. Some things, like a small rosary, can be brought with you in your hand luggage. © 2003-2020 Just Landed