Moving to Germany

In Moving Guides by Steven Kane

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

Capital City: Berlin
Population: 83 Million
Official Language(s): German
Currency: Euro
Time: GMT +1
Internet domain: .de
International dialing code: +49


In 1990 the Federal Republic (West) and the Democratic Republic (East) reunified and today Germany is the 7th largest country in Europe, sharing its borders with nine other nations. The large population is mostly made up of German nationals however there are more than 7 million expatriates living and working in Germany. Around 80% of the total population residing in urban areas.

The capital Berlin has a population of approximately 4 million people other cities with sizeable populations include Bremen, Cologne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Stuttgart.

Germany is made up of 16 federal states with each state having its own rules, regulations and constitution. The President acts as head of state, whereas the Chancellor is the head of government similar to a Prime Minister.

Germany has a moderate climate and tends not have sustained periods of hot or cold weather. The North Western and coastal regions generally have warm summers and relatively mild winters. Inland, the climate becomes more continental with larger variations in temperatures.  Rain and even thunderstorms are not uncommon during the summer. During the winter the East and South of the country experiences very low temperatures and heavy snowfall especially in the mountainous regions.

Expats in Germany

One of the major barriers when moving to Germany is the language. Whilst many Germans speak English as a second language Germans appreciate the effort foreigners make when conversing in the local language and are generally keen to help you improve.

Etiquette plays a major role in German society, which may catch new arrivals off guard. For example it is not unusual for a German to comment on your parking and ask you to make adjustments.  Punctuality is important and expats should make an extra effort to be on time for social and business meetings.

In the workplace shaking hands and introducing yourself to each person individually is expected. Finishing a working day on time is customary. Working overtime is not necessarily viewed positively, instead the impression is likely to be that your day was not organized efficiently.

Whilst Germans may appear reserved and unemotional initially, it is more a case of respecting a fellow person’s privacy. Germans tend to form relationships at a slower place however this often leads to strong, long-term, bonds.

Cost of living

A meal at the standard restaurant is likely to cost roughly €15-20 per person with a beer priced around €3.80 and soft drinks around € 2.20 per can.  A reasonable bottle of wine costs approximately €6-8 and a coffee typically sets you back around €3

At the local supermarkets a loaf of bread is priced around €1.90, a litre of milk approximately €0.90 and a dozen eggs roughly €2.10

Public transport is very good with monthly passes at around €80. Taxis start around is €3.20 and then around €2.00 per kilometer thereafter. Petrol is around €1.25 per litre.

Accommodation is reasonably priced in most cities. A typical 1-2 bedroom apartment in the city would be approximately €950.  Outside of the city rent would reduce to around €700.

Basic utilities for an average two-bedroom apartment will be around €250-280 per month.  Prepaid mobile phone charges are approximately €0.20 per minutes and broadband Internet us roughly €25-30 per month.


Education in Germany is regulated by each individual federal state, however the general standard is very good. One benefit is that German class sizes are relatively small. Children normally start education at the age of six and attendance is compulsory. It is also required that pupils remain in education until the age of at least 15, although it is very common for students to continue with further education until 17, 18, or beyond.

The school day tends to be shorter than normal starting around 7:30 AM normally ending around 1:00 PM, however the volume of homework can be substantial and needs to be routinely completed. The school year runs from September to June with a six week summer vacation.

Public schools are free in Germany and expat children are welcome to attend although the lessons and courses will be conducted in German. Private schools are available but tend to be quite expensive. Boarding schools and all girls/all boys schools are rare.

Homeschooling in Germany is uncommon and not encouraged by the authorities, although special arrangements can be made. Special-needs schools are plentiful for children with learning/physical disabilities.

Most German universities are oversubscribed especially those specializing in law and medicine. Whilst some universities are free, the ones that do charge tend to apply low tuition fees, which may be covered by a student grant.  Student loans are also regularly awarded.

Moving Documents

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

  • Passport copy
  • Customs registration form 0350
  • Letter of employment
  • Customs declaration
  • Anmeldebestaetigung (registration)
  • Detailed Packing list in German or English
  • Visa, (if applicable)
  • Bill of lading / AWB

Helpful Website(s):

Note: This document is provided as a guide for people moving to Germany 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.