The Middle East, particularly the United Arab Emirates, has long been a popular place for Western expats to settle. An abundance of job opportunities in a variety of industries, the presence of many large multinationals, and tax-free earnings all play a large part. The business scene is arguably more attractive than ever to expats in 2014. Here are four reasons why:
Emirates have long been creating favourable financial conditions for expats in a bid to attract skilled individuals across a number of industries. There is a high chance that you can earn more than in your native country doing a similar job in the UAE. Opportunities for promotion are also abundant. Those working within emirates including Dubai and Abu Dhabi can enjoy tax-free earnings, access to lucrative pension schemes, favourable interest rates on a business credit card or current account, and high paid jobs. No income tax means more disposable income, and its estimated that many expats can potentially save around 10% of their wages.
A Thriving Expat Community
Expats make up a high percentage of the population in emirates such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the multicultural society remains a key attraction for new arrivals. In fact, only 16.5% of the population were native Emiratis in 2010 with this figure ever decreasing. Whilst the ability to speak Arabic may be an asset in some sectors, it certainly isn’t a requirement, and anyone who speaks English can easily slot into most sectors and the wider community. A skill-based and very open job market, vibrant social scene and multicultural community are some of the UEA’s most celebrated assets.
Dubai to Host Expo 2020
Dubai has won the bid to host Expo 2020 and a huge number of jobs are being created in the lead up, many of which will be taken on by expats. These include positions in areas such as real estate, tourism, travel, construction and those industries related to infrastructure as Dubai prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors. Around 277,000 jobs are to be created in the lead up to the Expo, with the job market open to and favourable towards foreign workers.
Lifestyle and Luxury
Many who work in high paid jobs in Western cities migrate to the UAE for a more laid-back, luxury lifestyle and this transition has never been more possible than it is today. Sunny temperatures, lower cost of living, beautiful beaches and a luxury lifestyle have earned the UEA its reputation as being a place where high fliers can live the good life.
Of course, the cost of living is relatively high in certain parts of the UAE and financial planning is key to ensuring that savings can be made and a comfortable lifestyle maintained. Have you made the move to the UAE in recent years? What do you think are the main attractions?
Image by Christopher, used under Creative Comms license