So You’re Moving to Dubai, I recommend..

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Translation: “May you arrive as part of the family, and tread an easy path (as you enter).”

I remember when I just arrived here about 3 months ago, I was filled with huge excitement passing the glittering sky scrapers, the vast malls, and the sandy shores that is Dubai.

We were just waiting to relish the unknown.

But you see, it’s not all about touring.  You will have to rent a house, move your furniture, take your kid to the doctor and well, do your duties for this thing called “Life”.

Below are some of my recommendations of people, companies, and places that have helped me along the way.  They aren’t many but just keep coming back as I’ll be adding more.



Dr. Roula Amer at the American Doctor’s Hospital. I found her very charming and friendly.  It was like meeting an old friend.


I tried Dr. Khan at Cooper Health Clinic as many found him good.  But honestly he seemed like just another doctor to me so now I just bring Tyler to the American Doctor’s Hospital.


Mossel +9715.556.302.60

I haven’t met Mossel but he’s usually the one on the other end of the line.  He usually just sends his brother, Shah.

Shah is very courteous and mild mannered.  His is the personality you will appreciate amidst all the clutter and chaos that goes with moving.  His frequent companion, his cousin, is just quiet.  I really don’t like loud men around the house.  Shah and his relatives are pleasant, strong, and hardworking.

They have transported our belongings (they were few then), moved furniture, installed mirrors, and well did handyman things here and there.  I must advise you to always supervise.  They are ordinary workers in need of direction.  These guys aren’t professional packers so please don’t trust them with delicate, exquisite, or expensive items or if you’re moving your whole house!

Cleaning Companies

Maid For You 042208095

I usually ask for Genelyn Japitan for ironing.

AED 30/hr for cleaning and babysitting

AED 40/hr for ironing

Jenny (Freelance cleaner) 0558872817. I have 3 neighbors who avail of her services. She’s very discreet, loves kids, and is hardworking.  I am very satisfied with her cleaning, not very much ironing though.

Drinking Water

I considered Nestle and Masafi because they are pure, safe, and of low sodium content.  They are also the more popular ones on expat forums.  I called them both with the goal of trying them at the same time.  Nestle was quicker to answer and prompt in delivery.  The latter responded about one week after my order that I just cancelled.

Ever since, I have been happy with Nestle.  They come by once a week—Monday in our area.  We just leave our empty bottles, along with vouchers, outside the door and before the day ends they are replaced with new ones.  During the days we forget, the delivery man makes an effort to knock at our door and ask if we need new bottles.


Where To Shop Click here

Where To Buy Groceries


Where: The Dubai Mall

Why I go:

  • I buy Lil T’s organic yoghurt here
  • Lots of cheese, organic produce

I noticed that people who shop here leave with just few plastic bags.  Their products are said to be pricier.  Convenient for “emergencies” but not for bulk buying.


Where:  I am often here as there’s a branch that’s just 10 minutes (by foot) away from where I live.

There are a lot of Spinneys in Dubai –Oud Metha, Mirdif, Dubai Marina, Rashidiya, Deira, etc

Why I go:

  • For Bolthouse Juice
  • Freshly Baked Bread
  • Some branches, like mine, sell pork


Where: Deira, Bur Dubai, Mirdif

Why I go:

For bulk buying.

There are also gadget kiosks inside


Where: Festival City across Ikea

Why I go:

For bulk buying

Convenient after a trip to either Ikea or Ace Hardware

Union Coop

Where: Jumeirah, Rashidiya, Deira, etc

Why I go:

For bulk buying

Carrefour Express

Where: Oasis, Jumeirah Lake Towers,

Why I go:

Just like a 7-11.  It operates round-the-clock thus very convenient. Smaller than Carrefour means it’s easier to navigate. I can go in and out in just a few minutes.

I’ve heard the products are more expensive than just the ordinary Carrefour.

Where To Buy Furniture, etc?

There are so many home stores here in Dubai. Too many, it’s overwhelming!

You’ll find the basics at Ikea.

Our couches are from Pan Emirates and IDesign.

Our mattresses and pillows are from Homes R Us.

We purchased home accessories at Home Centre.

Marina Exotic Home Interiors has a lot of gorgeous stuff! But it’s pricier than the rest.

You also might want to visit Q Home Décor and Options

Who delivers food in my area?

Food Delivery

Where to live?

Serviced Apartment vs Regular Apartment

My examples:

Jumeirah Living WTCR

Old Town Apartments

We seriously considered Murjan 4 in Dubai Marina.  The view was just amazing—full sea view! But Old Town’s location is very convenient for us.

Apartment vs Villa (house)

Before closing in on Old Town, we also considered Arabian Ranches, The Springs, and Meadows.

We chose an apartment, as we did not want to bother ourselves with maintaining a garden, a pool, and a bigger home especially in our first year here in Dubai.

We’ve never lived in a villa.  So I’ll just share what I’ve heard:

  • Villas are more prone to have cockroaches than apartments
  • An Umm Suquiem acquaintance told us he pays AED 3500 for water and electricity.. monthly!!  And that’s not because there are 50 of them at home.  It’s because the infrastructure in place is so old and awful that they end up paying much much more than they consume.  He’s so pissed he’s moving to an apartment
  • On the otherhand, Falcon City Villa residents told us they pay only about AED 150-300/month for DEWA.
  • In addition to the maid’s room, some villas offer a driver’s room (which you can use as storage).

I still consider myself “new”.  I’ve been here on a holiday (the real kind, not more than 2 weeks) twice before but this is the first time we’ll really be staying here. Living here.

I’ve compiled this list to help anybody who is new or moving to Dubai.  This list is a product of my experience, some research and a few referrals.  Please take note that these people (and places) have minor flaws, you know I cannot come up with a list of perfect people.  You can give them a try until you find the right ones for you.  Who knows you might even come up with better recommendations.  If you do, please share them with me too.


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