The United Arab Emirates is famous the world over for its high quality of life and finds itself firmly amongst the financial powerhouses of the world. The two most famous cities in the UAE are Dubai and Abu Dhabi and both are extremely popular destinations for expatriates.
Dubai in particular has seen a meteoric rise over the past 20 years to establish itself as one of the leading financial capitals in the region, and the world. Currently home to the worlds tallest building, Dubai certainly lacks nothing in terms of soaring ambition.
The UAE has a zero percent rate of personal income tax, as well as zero percent capital gains tax, which make it an extremely attractive destination for skilled workers and finance professionals. Many expatriate workers can expect to earn substantially higher salaries in the region, compared to their home country.
Dubai suffered with falling house prices following the global financial crisis in late 2008 and the Dubai Real Estate Investments have had a turbulent decade. the relaxed real estate ownership rules mean that many expats choose to invest in Dubai Real Estate, either as a principal residence or as a buy to let property.
Property rental in the UAE is often somewhat different to other countries. Typically rent is paid upfront in a single cheque for the entire lease, or in a range of post dated cheques. This is true for residential units as well as commercial property rentals.
There a range of local and multi-national banks that operate in the UAE offering Credit Cards, Personal Loans, and a range of Shariah compliant financial products.
The UAE legal system is built around Islamic principals and this has some impact on the financial laws and regulations that one should be aware of before moving. A good example of this is that allowing a cheque to bounce remains a criminal offence which is punishable with fines and imprisonment. There are also a range of laws relating to debt obligations and legal requirements to repay outstanding loans.
Most European and North American citizens can stay in the UAE for up to 30 days without a visa, and long term residency is possible with an employer sponsor. Employer sponsorship also extends to health care and a wide range of employment benefits including a legally guaranteed end of service gratuity payment and a free return flight to your country of origin each year. A residency visa is typically required to open any kind of bank account, residential contract, or financial agreement within the country.
For the most part, the UAE offers unparalleled standards of living and is growing exponentially as a target destination for Expatriate workers from around the globe. Expat make up around 85% of the countries population making it one of the most culturally and racially diverse countries on earth.