7 things to do now you’ve moved to Dubai..

What to do once you’ve moved to Dubai…

  1. Get a SIM card. Preferably at the airport upon arrival, otherwise go to any Du, Etisalat or Virgin store in a mall such as Dubai Mall, Mirdif Mall or Mall of Emirates and set yourself up with a SIM card. Literally everything here is done by phone. If you don’t have a phone number it will make life a lot harder. Even if your work or resident visa hasn’t yet come through then it’s fine – you can get a tourist SIM which lasts for a few months. Make sure to take your passport or Emirates ID with you.
  2. When your Emirates ID is sorted (this is the ID card all Dubai resident have) make sure you get your home internet and bank account set up ASAP – get them on the same day if you can. Your internet provider will either be Du or Etisalat, and there’s a wide variety of banks to choose from. I have used Emirates NBD and have been very happy with the service they provide.
  3. Join some clubs/groups. Whatever you are interested in join some groups or clubs or the gym. There are so many classes to take advantage of and meeting new people here is key to success and happiness. Meet Up has lots of groups- browse and try a few out. I personally enjoy yoga and weekly horse riding classes. 
  4. Apps to download – Zomato or similar- most restaurants do delivery here- from Mcdonalds to fancy restaurants. With apps like Zomato- one click of a button and the food will be at your door. Time out Dubai and Whats on Dubai – there are so many events in Dubai, often on a Thursday daytime something will pop up from one of these sites and my plans will change! Keep up to date with events by liking these on facebook and downloading the app to your phone. Dubai Police – you can make payments for example for traffic violation fines by downloading this app and also organise paperwork efficiently e.g. a police clearance certificate. 
  5. Alcohol licence- if you are not Muslim and you will be drinking alcohol in Dubai you must apply for an alcohol license. There is a little paperwork and a fee involved but it is necessary and a legal requirement. For the sake of filling in a few forms and paying a fee (270aed in MMI) it could literally be the difference between getting arrested or not…exactly so get that paperwork sorted ASAP!
  6. Convert your driving license – again another small amount of paperwork (an eye test from an approved opticians, photocopies of your ID, passport and resident visa) and a fee and if you are from a number of approved countries you can simply show the authorities (go to any happiness centre) your license and receive a Dubai one that very same day- they print it there and then for you! Even if you’re not planning on buying a car, it is useful in case you wish to hire one for the day say to take a trip to Oman or one of the other Emirates. Or even just as an extra form of ID. Some nationalities may have to take their test again, there are plenty of driving centres to do so.
  7. Purchase the entertainer app – see linkThis app comes at a one off cost but lasts the year, and you will very quickly recoup these savings. It gives you two for one offers on restaurants, cafes and a whole load of attractions and activities! Yay. 

I hope these tips are useful. Let me know if there’s anything essential I’ve missed and if you’re moving to Dubai then get in touch!! 

About The Author

Dubai Dreamer

Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.


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