How to relocate your dog to Dubai
Written by Lauren Davies
Making a big move to the UAE, you will have plenty of things to sort out. Let me try and help you with making your furry friends move that little bit easier..
I recently moved to Dubai to be with my Partner and the absolute non-negotiable for me was Toffee. This little dog is my baby, she has been everywhere with me and during covid, she kept me sane, she is Poochon that weighs around 4.5kg, she now has a sister whom my partner had before I came along. I will later tell you all of our favourite spots to go on our family days out, doggy staycations, and life in Dubai as a dog parent.
Let’s start at the beginning, I was living in the Cotswolds, UK, and spent hours searching the internet for the best, easiest and safest way for Toffee to arrive in Dubai. I found a company called Airpets who would look after doing everything. needed on the UK side of things, I was adamant that i could do these things myself to save on costs, but when I looked into it I really could not and it was much easier to let Airpets do it for me. I paid £1200 for this which included her flight (she was down in the hold and I was up top!) airline handling fees, the delivery from Airpets to Heathrow, customs export entry, DEFRA export certificate, and a kennel for her to travel in. I dropped her off at 2 pm, ready for an 8 pm flight. There is an option of collection from your home, however, I decided I felt more comfortable dropping her off. Please note, your dog must have had a Rabies vaccine 21 days before the flight (around £100).
Onto the Dubai side of things, again I did my research and actually found a company that works closely with Airpets called Pets Express an English lady who also has a poodle! She made everything on the Dubai side absolutely seamless. Her services covered the Import Fee, Vet check (at airport customs), Customs Bill Entry, and Emirates Handling Fee. Toffee was finally handed over to me around 2 hours after landing. The cost of this service was 3150AED (around £650)
Luckily I had my Partner who already lived in probably the most pet-friendly community in Dubai (obviously I am very biased) The Palm. We are so lucky as on our doorstep we have the racing track which is probably used more for people walking their pooches. It has a great community feel and you end up knowing the dog’s name before the owners! However, if you don’t live on the palm there are many other dog-friendly areas to live with great walking spots such as JLT, Arabian Ranches, Dubai Hills, almost everywhere however, you cannot walk your dog around the marina.
Where can I take my furry friend I hear you asking, well Dubai is seeming to become more and more pet-friendly, and let me share with you some of my favourite places to take my two doggies. We are very fortunate to be within walking distance of West Palm Beach, one of the only dog-friendly beaches in Dubai along the boardwalk there is an array of amazing restaurants with Koko Bay and February 30 being amongst my personal favs, on the other side of the palm you have Club Vista Mare which is always full of dogs and just up the road from that The Pointe also allows dogs, you must try Brunch and Cake with your loved fluffy ones whilst you are there. You also have the lakes around JLT to walk around they also have a dog park, the new harbour is a good stretch for you and your dogs and in the Greens you have Lah Lah’s which I am very fortunate to work in a dog-friendly building there. I am sure that there are many places that I am missing out on, but that will give you a good start.
Once you have moved here, you will feel like life is always a holiday at the weekend, however, you may decide that you want to refresh and have a change of scenery, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are many dog-friendly hotels in the UAE, let me start with a few of the gems I have found, W hotel Abu Dhabi, yes you read that right! The W allows your fluffs to stay with you! The Vida Beach Resort Umm Al Quwain, they even have a separate beach area for you and your woofs! Banan Beach in Ras Al Khaimah where if you are after something a little more casual and a Boho effect then this is a great spot!
I hope that gives you a better idea of doggy life here in Dubai and good luck relocating with your furry friend!