It may seem slightly odd to start an article about smoothly transitioning into your new home and life in the Gulf by going back to your life pre-move, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Why? Simply because that is where your transition starts. There are many things you can do pre-move to make your immediate post-move life a whole lot easier. Let’s delve right in and take a look.
Getting Pre-move Right to Avoid Post-move Stress
- Tie up as many loose ends as possible. Pay those final bills and close your utility provider accounts. Set up your internet banking. You may want to declare yourself as non-resident for financial reasons, although it’s wise to take advice before taking this step. The general point here is that post-move you want to be able to focus on transitioning into the next chapter of your life, so the less your pre-move life ”comes a-callin” with demands on your time, the better.
- Select the right international moving company. This is a biggie. You want an experienced and reputable company. You want a company that will help, not hinder. Getting your precious possessions smoothly and safely into your new abode will ease your transition and allow you to focus on settling into your new life. Check out our handy tips for choosing an international moving company here.
- Research, research and more research. There’s no doubt that the Gulf is one seriously big region. It consists of seven countries – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq. Depending on where you’re headed, your experience could differ drastically from a fellow expat. For example, an expat moving to the UAE is heading for a very different experience than an expat relocating to Kuwait. So it’s wise to do your research. Visa and work permit requirements, registration formalities, vaccination requirements, laws, cultural do’s and don’ts. Get yourself clued up. It will help you enormously as you navigate your settling in period.
Congratulations are in order. You’ve successfully negotiated one of life’s most stressful events. Now you’re attempting to find your feet in your new country of residence. Where to start? We’ve got you covered:
- Visa. Bit of a no-brainer here. The sooner it’s sorted, the better. It will deliver some much-needed peace of mind amidst an unsettling period.
- Driving license. In most Gulf countries, you can drive on your home country driving license until you have your residential visa. In these countries, once you have your residential visa, you are required to obtain a native driving license. Find out the rules and processes in your new country of residence. You’ll feel a whole lot better knowing you’re driving around and discovering your new adopted home country in a completely legal way.
- Minimise the culture shock through gathering knowledge. Culture, religion, food, arts, traditions – you will find yourself wrestling with some hearty differences from your homeland. Research before moving can certainly help to lessen the impact, but really the key is to immerse and learn. Treat it as an adventure. A journey of discovery. Your mindset can make all the difference here.
- Bank account. You’ll want to get yourself one of these asap (although this may be dependent on obtaining your visa). It’s one of life’s staples. Being without a bank account can cause significant stress and feelings of vulnerability. Save yourself the grief.
- Cost of living. Try to swiftly establish a strong knowledge of the cost of living in your new country of residence. What’s expensive, what’s reasonable, what’s cheap. Utility bills. Weekly shopping costs. Mobile phone packages. It’s very easy to overspend when you’ve just arrived in a new country. You don’t want to be starting your new chapter with a whopping dose of debt.
- Explore for more. Don’t be afraid to get out there and discover your new home. The sooner you acquaint yourself with your new place of residence, the better and more at home you will feel. Where are your local shops? Where’s your coffee shop of choice? How near is the nearest mall? Where are those all-important idyllic green spaces? Familiarise yourself with your surroundings. It’s an easy win for quickly feeling more at home.
If this article has achieved its desired effect, you’ll now be feeling ready, prepared and organised for your move to the Gulf Region. We very much hope that’s the case. Try to embrace and enjoy your move. Stay positive, keep smiling, and enjoy the sunshine….you’ll feel right at home before you know it.