In Moving Guides by Steven Kane

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

Capital City: Washington DC
Population: 324 Million
Official Language(s): English
Currency: US Dollar (USD)
Time: GMT -5 to -8, Alaska -9, and Hawaii -10
Internet domain: .us
International dialing code: +1


The original settlers in North America from Siberia, crossed into the continent via the Bearing land bridge 15,000 years ago. By the 16th and 17th centuries settlers arrived from Spain, (in New Mexico), France, (along the Mississippi) and England (the East coast). By the 1700’s Britain controlled much of the USA and Canada however following the War of independence, The US declared independence on the 4th of July 1776.

Following a civil war, which ended in 1865, further amendments were made to the US constitution, among many things, increasing the federal power of the government.

Today, the United States of America has the world’s largest economy and whilst its population makes up 4.5% of the world population it makes up 24.5% of the worlds GDP. It is a prominent force in political and cultural areas and one of the leading nations in science and technology.

Large-scale immigration from all over the world has made the US an incredibly diverse, multicultural nation. Virtually every ethnic group has a large contingent.

Even today 1 million people per year migrate to the US. However, with so many people looking to move to the ‘Land of opportunity’ the selection process has become more stringent in recent years.

Expats in the US

American culture is probably the most familiar due to the exposure it has in most of our daily lives. Many expats arriving in the US should find adjusting to life relatively straightforward, especially if moving to major cities such as New York, LA, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Washington, Philadelphia, etc.

Americans are generally friendly and welcoming to new arrivals and polite and tolerant in terms of other traditions, cultures and religions etc. Many Americans are very patriotic and uphold values like equality and freedom. Some may find Americans can be direct and honest. This is generally well intentioned and should not be considered as rude necessarily.

Whilst there are similarities throughout much of the US, certain aspects of life differ greatly between the urban areas of major cities to the coastlines of the East and West and the more rural parts of the country including the mid-west. Pace of life, climate, political, liberal and social views can be quite varied.

Crime is usually a concern for many new arrivals. Once again, the levels of crime differ drastically throughout the country. Despite the highly publicised gun culture in America, the chances are in most areas of the US it is highly unlikely you would be exposed to gun crime.

Cost of living (New York)

A meal at the standard restaurant is likely to cost roughly USD20-25 per person with a beer priced around USD7 and soft drinks around USD2 per can.  A reasonable bottle of wine costs approximately USD15-20 and a coffee typically sets you back around USD4.50

At the local supermarkets a loaf of bread is priced around USD3.50, a litre of milk approximately USD1.20 and a dozen eggs roughly USD4.25

Public transport in the US is generally very good. A monthly pass in New York is likely to cost around USD130. Taxis start around is USD 5 and then around USD2 per kilometre thereafter. Petrol/Gas is relatively cheap at around USD0.70 per litre.

Accommodation can be expensive, especially in New York. A typical 1-2 bedroom apartment in a prestigious area of the city would be approximately USD2,500-3,500 per month. Less desirable areas would reduce monthly rent to around USD1,500-2,000.

Basic utilities for an average two-bedroom apartment will be around USD200.  Prepaid mobile phone charges are approximately USD0.20 per minutes and broadband Internet us roughly USD50 per month.


There are many choices when it comes to schooling on the US. Literacy rates are high and schooling is mandatory for children between the ages of 5 and 16 although many student complete education to graduation at 17 or 18.

State schools are free and open to everyone. However they may be funded by property tax in the area and so affluent areas are likely to have better schools.

Private schools are plentiful and cater to gender, religion etc. They vary in cost with the more prestigious establishments commanding very high fees and normally lengthy waiting lists.

Schools for exceptionally gifted children and those with special needs are also very common.

Some of the best universities and colleges can be found in the US. This higher education commands potentially high fees for tuition and room/board. In certain cases scholarships are awarded, which normally does not need to be repaid. Financial aid/loans may also be available but these obviously do have to be paid back. Community colleges are also spread throughout the US, these offer 2 year courses and generally the fees are much lower.

Home schooling is rising in popularity in the US. Many parents want greater control over the method and atmosphere in which their children are educated. There may be state guidelines, which need to be followed, and these change from state to state.

Moving Documents

When moving to the USA from Dubai, importing Household Goods and Personal Effects, you require

  • Copy of passport including I-94 stamp/card (if applicable)
  • Power of attorney
  • CF-3299 customs form
  • Customs declaration – Form CF 6059B
  • Detailed Packing list in English
  • Bill of lading / AWB

Helpful Website(s):

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