From DKC's Janet:
My family in the UK haven't even met my kids yet and they're 7 and 8 years old. Well... they're my "kids" to me, of course, my lovely four-legged Chihuahuas.
It's not that I wouldn't like to take them with me on my annual sojourn to see the family - quite the reverse, in fact. I'd love to take them with me and since the UK dropped the requirement for the rabies blood test and it's now possible to gain a Re-Entry card for returning to the UAE, it's become a whole lot more technically feasible. However, it's still not cheap.
In shipping terms, one is looking at two exports and two imports, and all as cargo because of the requirements for the UK and the UAE. However, it may be possible for you to take your pet with you as accompanied/excess baggage on the way out of the UAE depending on where you're holidaying, and that would certainly save you a significant bit of money. Sadly though, for some destinations the entry and exit requirements are so exacting that you simply wouldn't do that to yourself or your furry bundle of joy. I'm talking here about pre-travel tests, treatments, import permit, quarantine upon arrival, etc. etc. It is just too much.
This said, and conversely, if you're going to be away for quite some time, and if your pocket can indeed stand the expense, it might be worth considering the effort to have your pet with you; all the European Union countries, the U.S. and Canada, and many other countries only require travel and identity health certificates, and basic pre-travel treatments. Definitely doable if you're committed and will miss your kids just too much otherwise.
But if you can't take your kids on holiday with you, what are your other options? Well, there's boarding at one of the UAE boarding facilities; using a pet-sitting service; perhaps having a friend look after him or her; or perhaps you have live-in help. Both boarding and pet-sitting can be expensive, particularly if you're going away for a lengthy period of time. A friend - well, it's a lot of responsibility and quite an ask of them. All the options involve a high degree of trust in choosing the right company or person to look after your lil' darlin'. I keep my kids at DKC, of course.
Meanwhile, I will dream about taking my two away with me, meeting the family, running freely through a forest and joining me outside a café for a full English breakfast. Although... come to think of it... sometimes it's nice to have a break from the kids, and I think I can weather those extra holiday kilos better than they can!
Love... and other stuff too