Dubai Checklist


So now you’ve made the decision to move to Dubai but what needs sorting first? We found it useful to look through current blogs/websites/forums however a lot of the information is quite old or not relevant so we hope this helps you!

Firstly giving your notice to all companies that you have accounts with – this list helped me to ensure we didn’t leave the country on bad terms with any companies as you never know when you want to come back to the UK and you don’t want to incur fines and come back to debt…

  • Rent company
  • Gas and Electric
  • Internet, phone and TV
  • Car insurance (You may even get a refund if you haven’t completed the year like we did!)
  • Council Tax (again you may get a refund)
  • Student loan (We’ll speak about that in more detail below)
  • Tax forms – Income Tax: leaving the UK – getting your tax right (P85 form)
  • Loans – some places may pause your payments until you start working again but this is something you need to organise with the companies.
  • Mobile Phone – if you cancel your contract they will make you pay one lump sum for the remainder of your contract. Luckily my contract is up in a few months so it wasn’t much of a problem for me but if you’ve just recently bought into a contract you may want to sell and transfer it to a family member/friend before moving here and getting a PAYG line instead.


Student Loan – okay so the reason we’ve decided to go in more detail on this topic was because some people are under the impression that if you leave the UK you are exempt from paying Student Loan….unfortunately this isn’t the case. No matter where you are you are still expected to make payments unless you’re not planning to work and are being supported by someone else. There’s a form you have to fill in which will be used to assess how much you should pay back – living in Dubai means paying a higher amount or similar amount to what you would pay in the UK because of the higher salaries here. This did put a downer on our whole ‘we’re coming to Dubai to save’ plan but regardless with a better quality of life and chance to save SOME money with a tax free salary, it’s better than what we had in the UK! (This link breaks down the overseas thresholds for paying back Student Loan fees from a range of countries.)

Tax – Luckily being a British expat in Dubai you are exempt from paying tax back in the UK, however there are some things you should know – If you return to UK within one tax year, so for example if you came to Dubai in June 2016 and returned to work in the UK in September 2016- you would be taxed on your earnings from Dubai. If you worked in Dubai from April 2016 – June 2017 you wouldn’t have to pay taxes on your earnings.  Hope this makes sense!

It is really hard to learn new ways of doing things in a new country and we do miss some of the ways we did things in the UK but the sun makes it all that much better!!

P.S – If you are from a different country please do check what your country’s taxing process is if you move abroad.


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