Moving to the UK

In Moving Guides by Steven Kane

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

Capital City: London
Population: 65 Million
Official Language(s): English
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP)
Time: GMT
Internet domain: .uk
International dialing code: +44


The United Kingdom encompasses the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and although each county is steeped in centuries of history, the UK as it known today, was formed relatively recently, in 1801.

With a total landmass of only 224,000 square km, the relatively large population is fairly dense especially in the urbanized areas. For a relatively small country, (78th largest sovereign country), the UK has had a striking impact on the world we know today. It is the worlds 5th largest economy and its judicial and political systems have been adopted in many countries in part due to the days of the British empire when one quarter of the worlds landmass was under British rule.

Britain has a long tradition of immigration. In the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s the United Kingdom a policy of decolonisation began with many former colonies becoming members of the Commonwealth. During this period the UK government encouraged immigration especially from Commonwealth countries and consequently the UK became much more of a multi-ethnic society.

Despite the 2008 financial crash, the British economy has remained relatively strong and although the country voted to leave the EU in mid-2016, the future looks positive and foreign workers are expected to continue to relocate to the UK, particularly skilled workers.

Expats in UK

Most expats arriving in the UK should find adjusting to life relatively straightforward, especially if moving to major cities such as London, Birmingham or Manchester, which are all very multi-cultural.

There are sizeable Indian, Pakistani, Jamaican, Eastern European and African communities as well as people from most other Commonwealth countries.

The British people are generally friendly and welcoming to new arrivals and polite and tolerant in terms of other traditions, cultures and religions etc.

The climate in the UK is the topic of much debate, some might say to the point of an obsession. The temperate climate is renowned for being changeable. It is not unusual to experience all four seasons in one single day. The chance of rainfall is common pretty much year round. Summers are warmest in the south east of the country and milder in the north.

Daylight hours during the summer increase with the longest day around 21st June (16 hours 40 minutes). Winters are generally milder than parts of North West Europe, but temperatures regularly drop below zero. During winter months days are much shorter with the shortest day falling around 21st December with only 8 hours of sunlight. The UK adjusts its clocks (by one hour) twice per year to counter this.

The weather and time of the year can greatly affect the social activities of people in the UK.

Cost of living (London)

A meal at the standard restaurant is likely to cost roughly GBP15-20 per person with a beer priced around GBP4.50 and soft drinks around GBP1.20 per can. A reasonable bottle of wine costs approximately GBP8.00 and a coffee typically sets you back around GBP2.75

At the local supermarkets a loaf of bread is priced around GBP1, a litre of milk approximately GBP0.90 and a dozen eggs roughly GBP2.20

Public transport in the UK is very good. A monthly pass in London is likely to cost around GBP130. Taxis start around is GBP5 and then around GBP3.00 per kilometre thereafter. Petrol is relatively expensive at around GBP1.10 per litre.

Accommodation is expensive especially in London. A typical 1-2 bedroom apartment in a prestigious area of the city would be approximately GBP1,800-2,400 per month. Less desirable areas would reduce monthly rent to around GBP1,000-1,200

Basic utilities for an average two-bedroom apartment will be around GBP200. Prepaid mobile phone charges are approximately GBP0.20 per minutes and broadband Internet us roughly GBP30 per month.


There are many choices when it comes to schooling on the UK. State schools are free and open to everyone. The school year runs from September to June year. Education is compulsory and generally starts around the age of 4 or 5 depending on which country you live within the UK. Pre-school and kindergarten is available.

The general standard of education is good. There are private schools for those able to meet the fees.
All children attend primary and secondary education after which some may choose to further education (similar to a college in the US) where students study for A level. From there the option of higher education / normally at University provides the options for degree course such as bachelors, master and PhD.

State schools tend to vary in quality with the best schools in each area generally over subscribed, so planning in this area if possible is highly recommended. It is important to note most schools base admissions on a catchment area and so your proximity to the school is likely to be a factor.

Schools typically run from 8:30am – 4:00pm Monday to Friday.

Moving Documents

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

• Copy of passport
• Transfer of residence document (approved) see note below
• Detailed Packing list in English
• Bill of lading / AWB

Important note: The manual C3 customs form is no longer valid. As of 31st March the owner of the goods must apply for transfer of residence via HMRC website – Please read our article on this for more information.

Helpful Website(s):

Moving to the uk
Transfer of Residence – ToR01

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