Photo of the Dubai skyline fading into the London skyline.

Homecoming –

From the Middle East to the UK: 25 steps for a successful move

Let us help you prepare for your return to the UK from the Middle East with our handy checklist of key activities.


15th December 2020


Preparation is key for a successful move. Moving house can be eventful enough, but when that involves moving continents, it can become a daunting challenge. That’s why we’ve developed our Middle East to UK checklist, to help you keep track of the key considerations. Here are 25 ways to help you prepare for your move.

Six months until the move...

  1. Check if anyone moving requires a visa.  If you or your partner are not a UK citizen, you may need to apply for a visa.  You can check if you need one on the UK government website. Applying for a visa can take several months, so plan ahead.
  2. Check everyone’s passports are up to date, including the pets.
  3. Tell your Private Banker. The more notice you can give your Private Banker, the more options you have to structure your finances in the most efficient way.
  4. Also tell your tax adviser. Your tax adviser can work hand in hand with your Private Banker and Investment Manager to help with the move from one tax jurisdiction to another.
  5. It is commonplace in the UAE to give 90 days’ notice to end a tenancy, so make sure you give notice to your landlord.  If you own a property you are looking to sell, instruct an estate agent.
  6. Education. If you have school or university aged children who are in full time education, arrange to enrol them in your chosen school and visit with their primary contact either in person or virtually. If this is an area that assistance is required, please let us know and we can introduce you to an Education Consultant.
  7. Find a property in the UK. Whether you’re buying new or renting initially, find an estate agent or property search consultant you trust to guide you. If you’re moving back to a property you own, ensure you give any tenants sufficient notice.

Three months to go...

  1. Hire the moving company. Ensure you receive quotes and know exactly what’s included. Ask how your items will be shipped, tracked and stored and make sure you know your insurance limits.
  2. Don’t leave without experiencing the best the region has to offer. Do something you’ve always wanted to do, or spend time in your favourite places one last time.
  3. Ensure your insurances are up to date and accurately reflect your change in circumstances: home, travel, life and car
  4. Open a UK bank account if you don’t already have one. Our accounts are based in the UK, so we can help you do this before you move.
  5. Ensure you discuss payment of your End of Service gratuity with your employer, and understand where this will be paid
  6. Have a clear out – whether it’s toys, clothes or even art that won’t suit your UK home, declutter now to make the move even easier.

One month before the move...

  1. Cancel your visa. Before you do though, you should tie up all the loose ends outlined above such as closing your bank account, settle any debts, sell your car and cancel your tenancy agreements, as well as utility services. Once you cancel your visa, you have 30 days to leave the country.
  2. Arrange any temporary accommodation. This could be a hotel before departure/on arrival, friends or family to look after the children for a period of time either side of the move, or somewhere for the pets to live while you unpack the boxes.
  3. Sell the car. There are certain rules to follow when selling a car in the UAE, so ensure you have all the correct documentation up to date.
  4. Give notice to any clubs you’re a member of, for example the gym, golf club, yoga studio.
  5. Register to vote in UK. Find how by visiting
  6. Register with a GP in UK.

One week until the move...

  1. Hold a leaving party – they’ll miss you, so have a final party with your friends.
  2. Enlist the help of friends and family. Whether it’s helping to pack, looking after the kids for a few hours, liaising with estate agents in the UK or something else, this is going to be a busy time, so ask for a little help.
  3. Arrange a rental car or other onward transportation for arrival to UK.
  4. Pack the essentials for a couple of days. Make sure everyone has something to keep them clean, clothed and occupied before you fully unpack.
  5. Arrange to pick up your keys at a convenient time and location.
  6. Buy a quality umbrella – well, it is the UK!

To find out more about our Homecoming Service, please click here. Alternatively, you can get in touch to speak to one of our team about how we can help you.