Monday 28 October 2019

Repatriation - Preparing for our return to the UK

Moving to a new country is difficult in terms of the language, culture and how things get done. With two international moves under our belt, to South Africa and Dubai, you'd think relocating back to the UK, our home country would be easy, but things over the past 8 years are different, things have changed since we last lived there and we are just too familiar with the way things are done in Dubai.

Each time we've relocated we've gone off into the unknown, required visa's, relied on others to prepare paperwork etc and had to re learn how to do things.

When I visit the UK, I wait in my car for the fuel to be put in the tank, wait for my shopping bags to be packed and hand over my bank card to the cashier for them to put it in the machine and since moving to Dubai, I've been known to actually give the pump attendant my PIN to save me getting out the car when it's too hot.

It takes a few moments to remember things work differently than where I'm used to.

I also have to deal with getting in the 'wrong' side of the car, pay great attention to the direction of traffic before pulling off, remembering the coins and notes and exclaiming 'how much?' after every transaction as the cost of living in the UK has definitely risen.

3 years ago we purchased a flat in the UK. I spent most of year 1 setting up accounts for water, electricity, property management, internet, council tax, TV licence, purchasing furniture, arranging delivery and equipment for the kitchen etc. Removing packaging to the local tip, finding out the bin days for various coloured bags and bins and setting up mobile phone contract.

We won't be moving back to the UK in 2-3 years time, we've started the process of reoccupying our family home and will be relocating the pets in January and the bulk of the furniture and our belongings in May. Until Peter retires, he will remain in Dubai full time and I will live between the 2 countries.

For this move we won't require a visa, which means I don't need my husbands permission as my sponsor to deal with things on my behalf and as British Citizen I've been able to provide acceptable ID, already have UK bank accounts and speak the same language. However I find myself saying on a regular basis. 'I don't live in the UK, I have no idea how these things work' which is greeted with looks of disbelief and tutting over the telephone as if I'm a simpleton.

However, I'm finding out things aren't as straight forward as I'd hoped for. I'll fill you in with further blog posts as things go.

You can read more of our Repatriation story below:

Some of these links aren't yet live and will be updated.

Repatriation or Operation Relocation

Part 1 Things we have to do

Part 2 Starting to get organised

Part 3 Transfer of Residence

Part 4 Relocating pets. Dubai to UK

Part 5 Sorting out our new home in the UK

Part 6 Bob and Pushkins arrive in the UK. What do they think of it? February 2020

Part 7 Renting an apartment in Dubai May 2020

Part 8 Vacating a Villa in Dubai May 2020

Part 9 Moving Day May 2020

Part 10 Relocation


  1. Good luck with the mountain of admin. We'll make a plan to get together when we get there too hopefully.

    1. thank you and you too, would be nice to meet up again

  2. Good luck and I hope it goes as smoothly as possible