Moving to Australia

In Moving Guides by Steven Kane

We are pleased to provide you with our guide on moving to Australia from Dubai, UAE. Please make note of the special links at the foot of this page.

Capital City: Canberra
Population: 22 million
Official Language: English
Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
Time: GMT +8 to +10
Internet domain: .au
International dialing code: +61


With a landmass of 7.6 million km² (30 times the size of Great Britain), stretching three time zones, and with a population of less than 22 million people Australia is one of the least populated countries on earth.

The majority of people live in coastal areas in and around major cities such as Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and to a lesser extent, the capital Canberra.

Around 25% of the population was born outside of Australia with a high proportion of these coming from the UK and Europe however in the last 20 years European numbers have decreased whilst Asian expats have begun settling in Australia in increasing numbers.
Australia comprises six states including the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).  Whilst each state has its own laws and authorities, each is overseen by and subject to the national government.

Australia is one of the driest countries in the world and the central area is largely made up of desert.  Whilst the country is mostly flat there are some mountain ranges and also rain forests which are home to many unique animals and plants.

With over 7,000 beaches and the Great Barrier Reef stretching 2,000 km along the north eastern coastline Australia is a place where outdoor activities are popular and widespread.

Expats in Australia

Expats are generally made to feel very welcome in Australia, with its broadly relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Most areas of Australia including the major cities have relatively low crime figures and that high standards of living.

Another major advantage the country office is the opportunity for work particularly to skilled workers such as teachers, engineers IT, finance and medical professionals. Though the regulations relating to work visas are stringent.

With an excellent climate, Australia is a very popular destination for people who enjoy and outdoor lifestyle.

Sydney offers a very cosmopolitan lifestyle and a truly multicultural city experience. It offers a very high standard of living, though the cost of living is higher than any other part of the country.

Though less trendy than Sydney, Melbourne offers very good amenities and a lower cost of living. With its laid back atmosphere Melbourne is regarded as one of the most ‘liveable’ cities in the world.

Brisbane offers a clean friendly welcoming atmosphere with ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. It’s a great place for families who can take advantage of the numerous parks and beaches. The city and surrounding suburbs have excellent public transport links.

Cost of living

A meal at the standard restaurant is likely to cost approximately AUD 18-20 per person with a beer costing roughly AUD 7 and soft drinks around AUD 3.20 per can.  A reasonable bottle of wine costs around AUD 12-14 and a coffee typically costs approximately AUD 4.

At the local supermarkets you would expect to pay similar prices to the UK and US with the loaf of bread costing approximately AUD 2.50, a litre of milk roughly AUD 1.50 and a dozen eggs around AUD 4.80.

Public transport is excellent and relatively cheap with monthly passes at roughly AUD 130. Taxis start around is AUD 4 and then approximately AUD 2.20 per kilometer thereafter. Petrol is approximately AUD 1.30 per litre.

Accommodation is relatively high. A typical 1-2 bedroom apartment in the city would be approximately AUD 1,700-2,200.  Outside of the city rent would reduce to around AUD 1,300-1,700

Basic utilities for an average two-bedroom apartment will be roughly AUD 180-200 per month.  Prepaid mobile phone charges are around  AUD 0.40 per minutes and broadband Internet is approximately AUD 70 per month.

(Note. Sydney tends to be a little higher across the board)


Education services are governed at a regional and national level which can result in slight differences depending on your location.  However the following general terms should be applicable.

Educational standards are generally very high with a general focus on encouraging pupils to develop interests in the subjects they learn as opposed to an emphasis on memorizing information.

Most children begin primary school at the age of six and by eleven or twelve they enter five to six years of compulsory secondary education.   It’s important to understand the policies in your region ahead of the move date so that an appropriate plan can be put in place.

The academic year begins in February and runs through to December with the majority of schools operating for terms per year.

Public and private schools, as well as home schooling are available/permitted.   Public school is administered by the state government and is essentially free. You will need to apply to the school directly and ensure you have your child’s passport copy, visa and school reports and certificates at hand.

If you need an all girl/all boy school then private education id the only option

Useful Resources

Moving Documents

When moving to Australia from Dubai, importing Household Goods and Personal Effects

  • Passport copy
  • Australian Customs Form B534 (Completed)
  • Copy of Visa or E-Visa Approval (non-citizens)
  • Detailed Packing list
  • Alcohol inventory, (if applicable)
  • Visa, (if applicable) 
  • Bill of lading / AWB (7 days prior to arrival of shipment)

Helpful Websites:

Note: This document is provided as a guide for people moving to Australia from Dubai, UAE and for information purposes only. Customs regulations can and do change at any time, usually without notice. Your mover will provide you with more information.