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  #1  
Old 7 Apr 2007
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Importing a bike into Dubai from the UK

Hi,

I'm going to be moving to Dubai in a couple of months and I am thinking about bringing 1150GS over with me. Normally I'd ride it over, but time constraints mean that it'll have to be shipped over. This is in itself is not too much of an issue (I hope!!), but what I'm not sure about is how I go about permanently importing the bike into Dubai and registering it with the relevant UAE/Dubai authorities.

I understand the UAE is a carnet country and since I am going to be staying in Dubai for some time I don't really want to have the bike on a carnet for all of the time I'm going to be there (even if that was possible - which it probably isn't) and so I would like to have it registered in Dubai with Dubai plates etc, etc.

Anyway if anyone has anything they could share with me about this that'd be greatly appreciated. So any advice on import duties (if any), costs, the procedure for registration etc, etc would be welcome.

Thanks,

Peter
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  #2  
Old 8 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleype View Post
Anyway if anyone has anything they could share with me about this that'd be greatly appreciated.
Peter
Used cars are regularly imported into the UAE, e.g. from Japan, so you should be OK.

For starting information try the: Dubai government portal
Dubai government is very keen on online services so if you e-mail them you might even get a reply to specific questions, e.g. about possible import duties.

Vehicle registration is done in conjunction with agencies called Tasjeel ("Registration"). These are joint ventures between the police and petrol companies.

They are fairly efficient. If you try e-mailing them you might also get a reply.

Hope this helps.
Stephan
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  #3  
Old 9 Apr 2007
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Importing bikes into the UAE is relatively easy. Duty will be 5% of value. Be aware that you must register and pay duty on the bike in the place it is going to be ridden (ie Dubai if you intend to live there - all the emirates have their own customs and motor registry services). The bike must be trailered to the registry the first time (they take a VERY dim view of unregistered vehicles - mostly because of the insurance requirements to cover the enormous blood money payable after hitting a person). Inspections are cursory. Gulf specifications do not apply to bikes (they can be quite strict for cars) and very few inspectors know what they are looking at. Dubai is an economy largely based on import-export so there are hundreds of (mostly) reliable, cheap companies that can walk you through the process.

An import licence will be expected and Stephan's advice is useful in regards to contacting the govt. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how efficient things are.

cheers
Brett
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  #4  
Old 5 May 2007
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Thanks very much for both of your replies. I will send a mail to the Dubai government, but in the meantime I just wondered if you were able to help with a couple of issues you mention.

1. Brett - you mentioned cheap companies that could walk me through the process for importing a bike. I just wondered whether you had any details of a company I could speak to.

2. Brett - you say that the bike must be trailered to the registry for registration. I will need to check with the shipping company (who are bringing the bike from the UK for me) as to what will actually happen, but would the bike not need to be cleared through customs at the port of arrival and would the relevant registration not take place there? If not then how would I be able to get the bike from the port to my flat (presumably I'd need to organise a trailer!)?

3. Stephan - On the Dubai government website it states that "For registration of used car, buyer (must be resident of Dubai) & seller must be present. In case, the seller is not present, a sale deed letter from an authorized showroom or dealer is required. If the vehicle is from another emirate, the vehicle registration should have been cancelled there." Since the BMW (from whom I bought the bike) are unlikely to want to travel from the UK to Dubai(!) then I will have to show a "a sale deed letter from an authorized showroom or dealer is required". I am not sure what this is! When I bought the bike, BMW gave me a receipt but this shows the bike at being worth much more than it is now (nearly double) and I don't really want to pay 5% of the purchase price given it is now worth not even half that! Any thoughts on what the authorities would accept would be gratefully received.

Thanks very much,

Peter
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Old 5 May 2007
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‘Tasjeel’ have their own staff who, for a fee, do everything relating to registration for you.

Are you shipping the bike without UK plates? If so, you will need a trailer. I can help there, if required. If the bike has UK plates I would imagine they’d let you ride it out of the port (but the trailer offer is there if they don’t).

Regarding the web site, I think they only cover 99.9% of situations. I don’t think they’d expect the seller to be present in your case. Whatever the normal procedure, there’s always a way to get things done as long as you are friendly and open and talk to the right person.

As for import duty, I wouldn’t show the original receipt right away because as you say you don’t want to be hit for 5% of a high value. I’d have the originals and photocopies of my UK ownership documents. If, in the worst case, they did insist on the sale receipt, I think they would still accept the concept of depreciation because as you say the bike is currently worth less.

When are you and bike arriving?

Stephan
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  #6  
Old 5 May 2007
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Your shipping company will have a 'customs store' in their warehouse - ie a secure area where customs officials will come and check the bike. There shouldn't be a need to lug the bike all over town.

I don't know much about companies in Dubai - I'm in Abu Dhabi.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are plates you can get for the few days between import and registration. (like the export plates when you take the bike out) Like I said, insurance is the big issue. Go to the motor registry and ask them. Yours is not an unusual problem. Heaps of people import their own cars into the UAE. There will be a system in place to deal with it. As Stephan said, check the govt website.
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  #7  
Old 6 May 2007
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Thanks for your replies. Will be in Dubai around the middle of June with the bike hopefully being there a couple of weeks later. In any event I'll speak with 'Tasjeel’ and hopefully they will be able to answer my questions.

The bike has UK plates and so I guess will be able to ride the bike from the port to my flat pending getting registration sorted. Alternatively I may be able to leave the bike at the shipping companies warehouse at the port.

Anyway I'll keep you posted!

Cheers,

Peter
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  #8  
Old 7 May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleype View Post
Will be in Dubai around the middle of June.

Anyway I'll keep you posted! Peter
I'm here till June 21st for trailer assistance if required. After that, I can ask a friend to help you if needed.
Stephan
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  #9  
Old 21 May 2007
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Import

I am sure there will be no import duty as you are relocating to live in Dubai. You will also not have to pay import duty on all your household items that you might want to bring along in a container. It would be a different story if you were already living here, buying a bike in the UK and importing it. In that case you would be paying the 5% import duty.

A friend of mine brought a car from Germany when he came to live in Dubai. He drove with his german number plates until his residency was sorted out. He then registered the car locally. You won't need anybody to go with you for registration. You must just organize insurance beforehand. Once that is done you take your bike and all documents to the registration place. They will do a roadworthy test and register the bike. You must have residency though.

My guess is that insurance is really what you need to worry about. There are not many companies that insure a bike. Some only do so if you insure a car through them as well, others only do third party for a bike etc.

Bottom line: don't panic. It's been done many times before.....

Regards

Dirk
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  #10  
Old 21 May 2007
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Insurance in Dubai

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirkdxb View Post

My guess is that insurance is really what you need to worry about. There are not many companies that insure a bike. Some only do so if you insure a car through them as well, others only do third party for a bike etc.
Very true. Most of the cheap local companies don't want to touch a bigger bike. The company I insure my car with would insure my XR400 (in the past) but not a BMW 1200. ("nothing over 400 c.c")

The more expensive companies such as Norwich Union want you to insure your car with them too - at higher rates - and then they will quote for a bike (probably third party only).

If it's any help, I managed to insure a K1200RS in February, as a new customer (bike only), with Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance.
2nd Floor
Office Court Building
Oud Mehta Road
Dubai

Ask for Fiza ex. 278, Open: 8-5

Note: They did ask for a proof of no claims letter from my car insurer. I think it would be prudent to bring one out with you from your country of origin.

Another thing, they would only give me third party cover even though I was willing to pay for comprehensive, so no loss against theft. That might depend on the age of your bike (mine is a 2000 model) but make sure you bring adequate bike security with you from the UK or wherever.

Stephan
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  #11  
Old 21 May 2007
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I have experience with 2 insurance companies:

1. Arabian Scandinavian

They insured my F650GS for about AED1000, third party only. When I bought a 1200GS they would have given me third party again, but no fully comprehensice. It seems the AED1000 is a flat rate for 3rd party, never mind model and value of the bike.

2. AXA (previously called Norwich Union)

After having been unable to get fully comp from Arabian Scandinavian I turned to AXA, as the previous owner had it insured there. I needed a non-claim letter from my previous insurance company and almost didn't get the insurance since I have no car insured with AXA. Anyway, my premium is 7 or 7.5% of the value, which is very expensive. I could have gotten 3rd party again at AED1000 (as I said, seems to be the going rate), but I 'don't want to risk that. The bike is just too expensive.

The contact details are: www.axa-gulf.com I sat in the queue for an hour (which is by the way why I got the insurance, since the lady felt sorry for me!!!!) and realized that the most jacked-up consultant is deepa.chandrasekhar@axa-gulf.com , or Tel +971 4 315 0202 (direct).


With regards to import regulations you can talk to the following relocation company. I spoke to the guy and they have just flown 5 Harleys from Europe to Dubai, so they will know. Just ask for the guy in charge for vehicles. By the way, they might also help you with all your other stuff. (no, I don't get commission!!!). If you do bring household items, then it makes sense to stick the bike in the same container.

Crown Relocations
Ras Al Khor Complex
Show Room 9, Ras Al Khor
Al Aweer
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Postal:
P.O. Box 51773
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Tel:
(971) 4 289 5152
Fax:
(971) 4 289 6263
Email:
dubai@crownrelo.com
Another good contact might be Haitham from BMW in Dubai. He might also be able to help. haitham@agmc.ae

Hope that helps.

Dirk
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  #12  
Old 21 May 2007
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Thumbs up Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirkdxb View Post
It seems the AED1000 is a flat rate for 3rd party, never mind model and value of the bike.

I sat in the queue for an hour.
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance charged me 800 dirhams and I found them pretty friendly and cooperative considering I had no other policies with them.

When I rang AXA they would not even tell me what the bike premium would be if I switched my car to them. They wanted me to switch first and then find out!

Stephan
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  #13  
Old 22 May 2007
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Thanks for all your posts. I'm getting the bike shipped out with all of my other stuff which works out pretty well because although my company is paying only for the costs of me moving all of my furtniture to Dubai to do that I'm having to take a whole shipping container (my girlfriend has an incredible amount of shoes!). This means I can ship my bike out for no extra cost as there is still going to be enough room in the contained among all those shoes for my bike!

Peter
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  #14  
Old 22 May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleype View Post
(my girlfriend has an incredible amount of shoes!). Peter
Peter
Forgive me if I am posting out of turn but I felt I should mention it. Despite its modern outlook, cohabitation is still illegal in the UAE. If a couple were intending to do this, they should be very discreet. The authorities do not come looking to catch unmarried couples but if such a couple were ever to be involved in another situation (such as a burglary at home) it could be that the focus of any investigation might shift! Another such case might be a dispute with a landlord who would ‘have something over’ an unmarried couple should he decide to get nasty.

Only speaking for myself, I wouldn’t worry about a holiday visit from a person of the opposite sex (as the police would brush it off as such) but I’d feel very vulnerable about a long-term situation.

Have a look at this link from the British Embassy’s web site and then tell me to mind my own business.

Stephan

PS If they lock you up, can I have your bike?
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  #15  
Old 25 May 2007
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Import Bike to Dubai

Greetings,
Could you please keep me in the loop, I will be moving to Dubai in March 2008. I am German but live in Canada I like to bring my Honda 6000RR with me into Dubai. I don't mind shipping via Container. Any info would be appreciated. Cheers. Frank
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