If you’re thinking about a big move abroad, then clearly you’ll need to do some serious planning. Holborn Asset’s COO and Board Director Simon Parker shares his thoughts on how to make the transition as smooth as possible – particularly if you’re planning to move to Dubai…

Be prepared

“I’d strongly advise that you make sure you get all of your paperwork in order before you go – the authorities in Dubai are particularly keen that any documents you need for a resident’s visa are attested by UK officials before you leave. That could include anything from your degree certificates to the school records for your kids – just check what you need and get it sorted well before you leave.

“I’d also recommend getting an International Driving Licence. Dubai isn’t a particularly pedestrian friendly city, so getting a car is important – if you’ve already got a UK licence then you should be able to simply transfer it over pretty easily.”

Seek professional help

“My next piece of advice would be that you should never try and do the move on your own. There are plenty of expert firms out there that specialise in international relocation, so it’s worth putting the time in to find a good one. The only reason not to use a specialist firm would be if you’re only taking a suitcase and some hand luggage with you to your new home abroad. However, this can be incredibly expensive – so I’d always use an expert relocation firm who will do all your packing for you and will make sure that your possessions are properly insured.

“If you are moving to Dubai from the UK, a good place to start looking for a reputable international mover is the British Association of Removers (www.bar.co.uk). All members of BAR (UK and overseas) must abide by a Code of Conduct that governs a variety of key standards – so you know what to expect, and you’ll reduce the likelihood any unnecessary stress.

Play it safe

“If you’re not moving from the UK, or don’t want to use a UK firm, then look out for the FIDI Accredited International Mover (FAIM) badge. Again, it’s a great way to make sure they’re up to speed with all the standards you’d expect before you trust them with your possessions.

“The big advantage to hiring professionals is that they can pack your stuff while you can focus on what you can control best – the money side of the move. I’d recommend you get plenty of quotes for the move – and get everything in writing. It’s also a good idea to maintain a project checklist/financial schedule of all relevant dates and fees for the move.

“Also, make sure you have an emergency fund of at least two month’s expenses too, just in case anything goes wrong.

Last word

“A couple of final tips – learned from personal experience. Always check whether there is a chiller fee to be added on to the rental cost of your apartment – this happens when the air conditioning (which is essential!) is centralised and then charged to each apartment. It’s well worth asking about this before you commit, as it can add up to a surprising amount.

“And finally, if you’re interested in avoiding the challenges of driving in Dubai, then check out dubai.dubizzle.com/community/car-lift – it’s a classifieds site that’s a great place to find other drivers who want to car share their trip to work.”