Dubai: Residents in Dubai can now move home after downloading an emergency permit from the police website.
According to licenced moving companies in the UAE, who have been operating in a grey area of uncertainty over the last two weeks, it is now business as usual as residents now feel more comfortable to move home.
“Moving house is one of the top five most stressful things in life,” said Chris Humphrey, owner of Easytruck Moving and Storage.
“Now, add a pandemic and a lockdown to that equation and turn the anxiety dial to 11! The last two weeks did cause some confusion with regards to permits for moving home. But that has been put to rest. We do face some challenges on and off but just to reassure people that they can shift to a new place even during the sterilisation drive,” said Humphrey.
To help residents move seamlessly in the current scenario, Humphrey and his counterparts – have come together in a WhatsApp chat group so they can assist those looking to shift to new premises. “In the early days of the sterilisation programme in Dubai, the moving and storage industry was left somewhat unclear on what permissions and paperwork were required to safely and legally move their customers within the UAE. This confusion brought many of the top established and licensed movers together in a WhatsApp chat group, where long-standing competitors opened up to each other, shared information and advice and worked in unity to establish the best way to service our customers through these challenging times.”
Rick McIntyre, general manager, Mac Pack Removals said it is business as usual. “We have concluded 12 home moves in the last week. As long as you have your permits in place you can move home.”
What residents need to shift home
Residents need two permits essentially, according to McIntyre. The first one is the usual move permits issued by their respective residential communities and buildings. The second is a Dubai Police permit for the resident and his/her family which can be obtained under the ‘emergency’ section of the Dubai Police website. The link to the website is here.
Current scenario for shifting
According to Humphrey, the moving industry is considered an exempt sector and therefore free to operate across the Emirates, as long as all paperwork is in order.
Moving is all about trust. And this is now a bigger consideration than ever before. “Today it is not just about trusting strangers with your belongings but also letting people into your home during a pandemic. It is important that people make the right choice.”
Gulf News does some research and finds a list of high rated movers on platforms like Trustpilot, Google Reviews and Facebook. Take a look before making a choice.
How moving can be contact free in UAE
In times when people are experiencing heightened states of anxiety and stress over human-to-human contact, avoiding the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Humphrey explained that at Easytruck Moving and Storage, for example, the moving process starts with a contact-free “virtual survey” over Zoom whereby a moving specialist works with the customer to view the items to be moved online, determine a price there and then, and sends the customer an instant online agreement they can sign on their device.
“At Easytruck we are taking things very seriously and have put procedures in place. All staff has their temperature taken and recorded each morning prior to work. Gloves and masks to be worn on site. Hand sanitizer to be used throughout the day on-site and when the crew gets in and out of company vehicles. Trucks and Vans are disinfected inside every morning prior to loading. Vehicles to be washed daily. All reusables, like plastic boxes are cleaned with the disinfectant spray every morning prior to loading. Moving blankets are on a daily washing cycle. Maximum of three staff are allowed per vehicle. As an additional measure, if customers would like to have sanitized boxes pre-delivered to pack their smaller items themselves - this can be arranged. Our crew will move the packed boxes then you can unpack them at your new location. Our crew will just handle the heavy lifting, with gloves of course!”
Ross Dunlevy, country manager, DXI Logistics, said his company is operating under a grey line. “We have not been clearly informed about what we can and what we cannot do.”
“My company staff had an issue the other day when my team was coming back from Abu Dhabi. They were told to sleep overnight in a truck. They were not allowed to come through the border of Dubai. Some residential communities too are not allowing us access into their communities. This is one of the reasons we started a group so we can share our concerns and find a solution together.
Paper worked movers need to carry
Humphrey said it is critical for companies to carry all paperwork needed to seamlessly go about their move. Take a look at what these are.
- Up to date Trade License with the correct business “activity” like Cargo Packing, Transportation, Shipping & General Warehousing.
- All staff under the sponsorship of the company and holding valid Emirates I.D cards.
- We must carry a letter from the employer stating our movement to and from work. The paper has to be presented if stopped by authorities.
- No more than three crew members in one vehicle.
- All staff wears medical face masks and gloves.
- Operating within the permitted times in each Emirate. For example, trucks should be off the roads before 6.30 pm in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and 8 pm in Dubai.