- 10 things to do before you relocate to the Middle East
Moving to a new country, let alone a new continent can be a life-changing experience. Relocating to the Middle East is no exception. Although you may encounter some challenges along the way, the most important thing is that you enjoy the journey.
Whether you are relocating to the Middle East for work, family, or simply a change of scenery, there are several things to keep in mind before making the move. Here are ten tips to make your relocation as effortless and stress-free as possible.
10 things to do before you relocate to the Middle East
1. Research the Destination
Before you set your sights on a new country, it’s important to do your own research. Make a list of all the things you learn and try to accommodate your lifestyle to these findings.
For example, you’ll need to learn about the new laws, customs, and culture. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident when you arrive.
2. Obtain the Right Permits
When you move to a new country, you need to register all the right paperwork. This includes visas, work permits, and residency papers. To ensure you don’t miss anything from the list, speak to the local embassy. You should also ensure you are traveling with a passport that is nowhere near expiry.
3. Consider Health Insurance
No matter where you move to, health and safety come first. Research what the local health system is like and try to find some options that will suit your needs. For example, Israel health insurance is a good idea as this country has one of the highest rates of private health insurance enrolment in the world.
4. Learn the Basic Lingo
Don’t expect that everyone will know English. Although many people in the Middle East have a basic understanding of English, there are many individuals who only speak the local language. It doesn’t hurt to take a few lessons before moving to get a hang of the basic lingo before relocating to the Middle East. Just remember, each country has its own dialect, so account for this too.
5. Discover the Expat Community
In most Middle Eastern countries, there is a thriving community of international expats. With a quick search on Facebook, you’ll find a few groups dedicated to your local area. This is a great way to meet new friends and ask questions that you won’t find the answers to online. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with people in the group and join community events.
6. Find a Place to Live
You don’t want to find yourself stranded in a foreign country with all your stuff and nowhere to put it. If you want to find a place in person, we recommend you rent a temporary spot for a month and put your items in storage. This way, you can get a feel of your favorite neighborhoods before you decide.
7. Take Time to Explore
It’s not all work and no play. If you’re relocating to the Middle East because of a new job, don’t hesitate to ask for a few days off while you settle in. This way, you can relieve some stress and get used to your new home. Make sure to plan some fun weekend activities and explore surrounding towns as well.
8. Educate Yourself
Aside from learning a few basic phrases, you’ll need to ensure you educate yourself about the local customs and culture. If you are coming from America or a European country, you may find that the local traditions are very different. Respect the new culture you find yourself in.
9. Integrate with Locals
When people move to a foreign country, they often fall into the trap of solely meeting with other expats. Although this can bring you a sense of ease, it means you miss out on a considerable chunk of your experience. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try to integrate with the locals. You can do so by joining local activities or volunteering for causes in your area.
10. Stay in Touch with Old Friends
Although it is easy to get caught up with the thrill of moving to a new country, it’s always a good idea to keep in touch with your old friends. Pick up the phone and give your loved ones a call. Catch up and let them know that you are there for them, even if you’re hundreds of miles away.
At the end of the day, it’s important to plan ahead when you are relocating to the Middle East. The last thing you want before your move abroad is copious amounts of stress because you’re missing a permit or haven’t found a house to live in.
Moving to an entirely new continent and immersing yourself in a new culture is an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to take each day as it comes and enjoy every moment you can. Hopefully, the tips described above will help you feel more prepared and confident.