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Pyypl Team
Jun 4
3 mins

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Moving from Kenya to the UAE

Your essential guide for moving to the UAE from Kenya

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Moving and working abroad comes with several benefits. Whether you're relocating for work, education, or a change of scenery, properly preparing for your move from Kenya to the UAE is important for a smooth transition and to avoid common mistakes expats often make in the UAE. Here are five essential aspects to consider when moving to the UAE from Kenya.

Understanding the Legal and Immigration Requirements

The first step in your journey is to navigate the legal and immigration framework of the UAE. The country offers various visa types, including work visas, student visas, and tourist visas, each with its own set of requirements and procedures. It's imperative to identify the correct visa type for your situation and start the application process well in advance.

Make sure you have all necessary documents ready and verified, such as your passport, work permit (if applicable), health insurance coverage, and any required identification. Familiarising yourself with the UAE's legal system can help mitigate potential hurdles.

For any queries, reach out to the Kenya Consulate in Dubai.

Adjusting to Cultural and Social Norms

The UAE's cultural heritage is deeply rooted in Islamic customs and traditions, which can be quite different from those in Kenya. Respect for local customs is essential; this includes dressing conservatively, understanding social etiquettes, and adhering to laws that may not exist in Kenya, such as those related to alcohol consumption and public behaviour.

Learning basic Arabic phrases can greatly improve your day-to-day interactions and help you integrate into the community more effectively. While English is widely spoken, showing an effort to speak the local language can go a long way in establishing connections with Emiratis and other expatriates.

Financial Planning and Management

Understanding the cost of living in Dubai and managing your finances effectively are key when moving to the UAE. Generally, the cost of living can be higher than in Kenya, especially in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Housing, food, and transportation are significant expenses that need to be budgeted for.

It's wise to familiarise yourself with the exchange rate of dirham to Kenyan shilling, as this will impact your financial planning and the conversion of your savings from the Kenyan Shilling to AED. Opening a bank account in the UAE is a straightforward process, but requires proper documentation and sometimes a minimum balance.

For Kenyans looking to send money to Kenya understanding the best methods for remittances is important. Financial services apps such as Pyypl offer the most convenient way and competitive rates for sending money from AED back to Kenya so your loved ones receive the maximum benefits of your hard work abroad.

Employment and Business Opportunities

The UAE's job market offers a range of opportunities for skilled professionals. However, understanding the employment landscape, including labor laws, contracts, and UAE WPS law is vital. Before accepting any job offer, thoroughly review your employment package, including salary, benefits, and terms of termination.

For entrepreneurs, the UAE is a land of opportunity, with its strategic location and business-friendly environment. Starting a business in Dubai requires navigating legal requirements, such as obtaining the necessary licenses and finding a local sponsor. The process can be complex, so seeking legal advice or consultancy services is advisable.

Healthcare and Education

The UAE has an advanced healthcare system, with state-of-the-art facilities and services. However, accessing healthcare services typically requires health insurance, which employers usually provide. For those moving with family, the UAE offers a wide range of international schools that cater to various curriculums for a high standard of education for your children, so you choose the best school according to your needs.

Planning for your family's healthcare and educational needs before moving can help avoid unnecessary stress, allowing you to focus on settling into your new life in the UAE.

Final Thoughts

Moving to the UAE from Kenya is an exciting step that opens up a world of new possibilities. Embrace the adventure, the challenges, and the opportunities that await you in the UAE, and remember, preparation is key to making your move successful.

Frequetly Asked Questions

What are the visa requirements for Kenyans moving to the UAE?

Visa requirements depend on your visa type — be it a work, student, or tourist visa. Ensure you have all necessary documents for your relevant visa before you apply.

How should I prepare for cultural differences in the UAE?

The UAE has a culture deeply rooted in Islamic customs. It's important for Kenyans moving there to dress conservatively, understand social etiquettes, and adhere to local laws, especially those concerning alcohol consumption and public behavior. Learning basic Arabic phrases can also help in daily interactions and community integration.

What are the healthcare and education facilities like in the UAE?

The UAE has an advanced healthcare system requiring health insurance, usually provided by employers. For families moving to the UAE, there is a wide range of international schools offering various curriculums, allowing for a choice that best fits your children's educational needs.

What should I know about managing finances in the UAE?

Understanding the cost of living, which is generally higher in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is essential. Budget for significant expenses like housing, food, and transportation. It's also important to understand the exchange rate between the dirham and the Kenyan shilling, and explore efficient methods for sending remittances back to Kenya.

What employment opportunities are available for Kenyans in the UAE?

The UAE offers diverse job opportunities for skilled professionals. It's important to familiarize yourself with the employment landscape, including labor laws and contracts. Review your employment package carefully, considering aspects like salary and benefits. For entrepreneurs, navigating legal requirements for starting a business, such as licensing and finding a local sponsor, is crucial.

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