Growth in the UAE continues to make it an attractive proposition but be prepared

| September 23, 2013 | 0 Comments

UAE Business

As the world begins to emerge from the financial crisis that has affected economies all around the globe, more and more countries are seeing signs of growth, none more so than the United Arab Emirates. To this end, there is now no let-up in the number of foreigners, particularly Westerners, who are continuing to move to the UAE with the promise of secure jobs, tax-free wages and excellent benefits packages.

Since the beginning of oil exportation in the UAE some 50 years ago, the area has undergone phenomenal growth based on the vast riches that the oil industry has brought. In recent years, however, the country has diversified and now has thriving tourism, IT, banking and hospitality industries to name just a few. With these new industries comes a demand for certain skills and this is where there are significant and lucrative opportunities for those willing to move to the likes of Dubai.

First up, only consider a move to the likes of Dubai or Abu Dhabi if you have a definite job lined up. Arriving in the UAE without employment is a risky strategy as it’s difficult to access public services or secure accommodation without a job which will in turn allow you residency.

Also, before you go it is very sensible to get your financial affairs sorted out. If you bank with a large global bank, you will find that they have branches in the UAE so you can have accounts – both current and savings accounts – set up before your arrival. This will save the hassle of trying to open accounts locally, which can involve a great deal of bureaucracy including proof of residency and minimum cash deposits. Having an account with an international bank also ensures that you will be able to manage your affairs easily if you move back home after you decide to leave the UAE for whatever reason.

If you do have a position lined up, make sure you negotiate hard so that your employer will cover as many expenses as possible as the UAE can be expensive, even if you are on a generous tax-free salary. Accommodation and utilities are particularly pricey so look to have your employer pay these or at least offer a relocation package that will cover much of the increased cost.

Recent figures show that Westerners can command up to 41 per cent more in terms of salaries than local workers and the private sector is compelled to offer attractive compensation due to the relatively well-paid public sector in the UAE. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask for a generous package. In addition to housing and relocation expenses, if you have children, also look to have your employer pay school fees to ensure your offspring receive the best education possible when away from home.

There continue to be opportunities in the UAE as it remains an incredibly popular destination for expatriates. If you are tempted to go, plan everything well and have as much as possible organised before your arrive in the country so that you can make the most of a potentially financially rewarding period of your career.

Image by Martin Feher used under creative commons license

Category: Finance

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