Moving from Dubai to South Africa

True to its name, South Africa is found in the southernmost part of the African country. It has a landmass of more than 1.2 million square kilometers and a coastline that stretches over 2,500 kilometers. With these, the country became the 24th largest country worldwide. 

The country's natural beauty helped it gain global prominence. Consequently, the residents have to live with the country's steadily increasing cost of living. And as a result of their currency's instability when pitted against foreign currencies, those who live in South Africa need to fight against price increases for food, electricity, petrol, and other living essentials. 

In a worldwide survey, it was shown that the cost of living for Cape Town and Johannesburg is at rank 180 and 185th, respectively.

The cost of living in these areas are on par with the cost of living in Rwanda, Mozambique, and other African countries. Compared to Tokyo, London, New York, and other major international destinations, South Africa's cost of living is way lower.

For ex-pats earning in the local currency, their salaries don't stretch as much if they earn in stronger foreign currencies. They might even think that they have a better financial situation back home.

However, if you have planned properly and if you save up for your new life in South Africa, it's guaranteed that you'd love the country's good wine, fresh produce, and sunshine.

If you have relocation plans, now is the perfect time to start planning. Research whatever you can about the country you’re moving to and learn about people’s culture. Don’t be afraid to ask professional help, too!

Moving from Dubai to South Africa - Relocating

When you're relocating to South Africa from Dubai, you might want to bring some of your personal effects and household goods. 

The good news is you can bring these items provided that you have your original passport when in entry stamp, a filled-up Customs form called DA 302, and a temporary or permanent residence permit, student visa, or work permit. 

Apart from these, you also need to provide the Customs office with a detailed packing list written in English and a bill of lading. 

You won't have a problem if you want to bring your dogs and cats, either for as long as you can provide a veterinary import permit.

For cats, aside from this permit, you also need to provide a health certificate issued by the government veterinarian in your country of origin.

Your pets should also be vaccinated with a rabies vaccine before you decide to move to the country. 

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Visas and work permits

Moving to South Africa - South African passport on SA flag

You can get to South Africa through nine different visas -- tourist visa, visit visa, business visa, work visa, medical visa, study visa, relative's visa, exchange visa, and retired person's visa.

For those who are thinking of staying in South Africa for a longer time, the type of visa you should apply for would still depend on your purpose. 

For those who want to work or conduct business in South Africa, the right visa to apply for is either a work visa or a business visa.

For those who have special skills, you'd be glad to know that the country has many work opportunities for highly-skilled people. 

For those coming from Dubai, you need to comply with the following visa requirements: 

  • Completely filled Form 11 DHA-84 in black ink 
  • Two most recent coloured photos that are not older than six months 
  • A passport that is valid for 30-days before your travel to South Africa
  • Residence visa
  • NOC letter from the UAE employer
  • Marriage certificate for married applicants
  • Birth certificate (unabridged) for minor applicants 
  • Air ticket, accommodation, travel insurance, and bank statements
  • Yellow fever certificate

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The great news is you can buy real property in South Africa. There is no restriction for foreigners when owning real properties in the country.

If you decide to buy an apartment in the country, you'll realize that apartments in Johannesburg and South Africa are 72% cheaper than apartments in Dubai.

An apartment that costs 12,794.42 AED per square meter in Dubai will only cost 3,572.31 AED square meter in Johannesburg.

If you choose an apartment outside town, the prices can get even cheaper.

An apartment outside Dubai's city center that costs 8,455.15 AED per square meter will only cost 2,313.31 AED in Johannesburg. 

If, however, you decide that you still can't afford to buy a property, you have the option to rent out an apartment. A single-room apartment within Dubai' 's city center may cost you 5,595.51 AED per month. 

In Johannesburg, you can get the same apartment only at 1,507.70 AED per month. A three-bedroom apartment outside the busy city of Dubai may cost 11,503.64 AED per month, but you can rent the same apartment in Johannesburg for only 2,926.98 AED per month.

Moving to another country to start a new life can be overwhelming, especially if you're not mentally and financially prepared. 

Don't let yourself down with lousy planning and half-hearted research. Work with ex-pats who experienced moving to South Africa ahead of you. Besides the factual requirements, they can also share some tips they've gathered from experience with you. 

With their help, you can transition to South Africa smoothly. Talk to us today, and together, we'll plan your move.