What are the necessary “personal lifestyle” characteristics of ‘A New Switzerland’ (such as Dubai) to be ideal to attract The Rich? Full advantages would continue to exist in the future for the persons with significant presence and personal and business interests locally in such a place:
- A regime that preferably prohibits unethical and/or high risk activities such as gambling, pornography etc.
- No social unrest, very low crime rate
- Abundance of top-end accommodation, marinas, entertainment, super-luxury lifestyle, world-class shopping
- A good climate preferably sunny for most of the year and at a sea coast location
Advantages of Living and Working in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates is a thriving part of the world that is playing an increasingly significant role in both international business and tourism. A huge investment, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has been made into infrastructure and today impressive skyscrapers and hotels now characterize these locations. The UAE is working towards becoming one of the top destinations in the world by 2021.
The UAE as the Ideal Expat Destination
Although the region’s economic success originally was due to its oil reserves, two decades of diversification have seen the United Arab Emirates expand to become one of the most highly-developed, fastest growing economies globally.
The boom in sectors like construction and financial services, together with amendments in the laws of foreign ownership, has resulted in many of the world’s leading companies establishing themselves in the UAE. This in turn has led to wonderful career opportunities in numerous industries for professionals wishing to relocate to this region.
The UAE leads the rest of the world by far in the net migration rate, proving that it is the first choice for professionals from a wide range of industries wishing to work overseas. New jobs are continuously created thanks to the ever increasing number of new projects.
The UAE has a very significant expat community from over 190 countries. Expatriates make up for almost 85% of the total population. The number is increasing, with many ethnic and culturally diverse groups coming to this region. Most people are friendly and willing to make new friends and, since it’s an international community, expatriates have the opportunity to make friends from all over the world.
The majority of expats are drawn here because of the tax-free lifestyle and the high standard of living in comparison to their home countries. These matched with 365 days a year of sunshine, excellent private education facilities, amazing shopping and abundant entertainment options make this a fascinating and enjoyable place in which to live.
The United Arab Emirates provides all the social and economic benefits that most people can only dream of. The UAE provides its residents security and safety together with a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
This attractive package has made the UAE a global magnet that draws people who are looking for a taste of this advanced lifestyle from all parts of the world.
The United Arab Emirates has established itself as the ideal place to conduct business and is the perfect channel for imports and exports from the East and the West, largely due to its strategic location in the Middle East region.
The UAE is within 4 hours’ flying time from most of the world’s main business destinations including Europe, Asia and North Africa. The UAE is the perfect starting point to exotic destinations such as the neighboring Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Syria or Egypt. Europe is not far with London only a 7 hour flight, about the same as flying to Bangkok and Singapore. You can fly from Dubai to Maldives in four hours!
Flying in to the UAE is easy and convenient. The UAE houses world-class modern airports such as the Dubai International Airport (which in 2012 was named the second busiest airport in the world), and the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The UAE has developed an impressive infrastructure to cope with the ever increasing influx of people. Roads are well designed and maintained and road networks are continuously upgraded and expanded. Taxis are affordable and plentiful.
Emirati Culture and Values
The generosity and hospitality of Emiratis has also played an important role and has made the UAE government’s mission of transforming the country into a top global destination even easier.
The UAE, although continuing to race into the 21st century and embrace the newest global technological advancements, still manages to hang on to its cultural heritage. This, many people find, is an intriguing and exhilarating experience.
The UAE is a Muslim country with Islamic values, however other religions are permitted to be practiced and people of different religions coexist peacefully, making it one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East. For example, there is a church compound in Jebel Ali which houses Christian churches and a Sikh temple) although there is a strong warning that no evangelization is permitted.
Emiratis are well known for their hospitality and for living and working with other nationalities while remaining strongly attached to their values. The more they are open and accepting to foreign cultures the more they are proud of their identity as a nation. Emiratis are generally gracious people and it is ingrained in their culture to not make anyone lose face. This is apparent when they say “no” in such gracious ways!
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi and Dubai is 38 and 42 per cent respectively less than Sydney, based on The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey.
The gap is smaller but is still significant for London (35 and 37 per cent respectively) and New York (27 and 30 per cent respectively).
This means that expats from the above locations will be left with more disposable income at the end of the month.
One of the biggest benefits for expats living in the UAE is that utilities are cheaper here than they are in many countries due to government subsidies on electricity, gas and water.
Property costs have a major impact on the personal finances of UAE expats, just like anywhere else. In the UAE however, expatriates tend to rent high-end accommodation. Rental costs in the UAE for high-end accommodation compare favourably with those of New York, London and Sydney.
The UAE offers many housing options and wonderful expat communities, such as Al Hamra Village in Ras Al Khaimah – UAE REAL ESTATE. There you can choose from luxurious apartments and villas that boast spectacular views that you can buy or rent. Properties are mostly newly built and short-term leases are available.
There are international fast-food franchises throughout the UAE so you can eat familiar and popular food. Friday brunch is popular with expats, with hotels and restaurants offering delicious food and drink.
Anything is delivered in the UAE at all hours of the day or night, from food, dry cleaning, groceries and office supplies.
Entertainment and Nightlife
The UAE offers a dynamic lifestyle with its world-class attractions, entertainment and a superb nightlife, making it a highly desirable place to live and work in.
The nightlife scene is especially vibrant in Dubai. Nightlife starts after 9.00 pm and continues till the early hours. Internationally known entertainers and parties are advertised continuously.
There are excellent healthcare facilities and services available in the UAE with modern state-of-the art medical centres and hospitals, including a wide variety of alternative medicine centres.
Advantages of Working in the UAE
As a relatively young economy which is advancing at a fast rate, the UAE needs to establish efficient operations in its industry sectors (especially construction, information technology, telecommunications, media, medicine, oil and gas) and is largely dependent on its expat population who can provide this expertise. This means that there are wonderful opportunities for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to set up companies or who want to work in the region. All types of services, goods and expertise are needed. Such is the health of the economy that unemployment figures fall under 2%.
Specialists with unique skills, in particular at managerial level, are offered very attractive packages.The government has also succeeded to attract foreign investors by creating many free zones for a variety of industries in order to encourage the setting up of new businesses.
Including the Middle East on your CV, which is regarded as a “difficult region” to work in, makes for a stronger CV.
One of the major attractions for people wishing to work in the UAE is that there are no taxes on salaries. This means a much higher disposable income per capita, making the UAE a very appealing place to work in. No tax means a positive impact on the cost of items such as vehicles, electronic goods and local produce.
For most UAE expats, a tax-free income means that a big chunk of average individuals’ salaries has the potential to become savings. Most expatriates working in the UAE can live with a relatively high level of comfort and afford luxury items that they would not be able to afford in their own countries.
Employment Packages and Benefits
Most employers in the UAE offer good salary packages that include medical cover, 30 days annual leave and tickets for the employee and his/her family once a year to the home country.
Moreover, many employers offer housing allowances, schooling allowances, performance bonuses over and above salaries and flexible working hours.
In the UAE, if you have worked for over two years, a lump sum which is 15% of your yearly salary is payable to you on departure (widely known as end-of-service benefit).
A Multi-Cultural Workforce
With the growth of tourism in the UAE together with the deliberate diversification from an oil-dependent economy, the country has managed to establish itself as a foreigner-friendly destination. The very large percentage of expats from all over the world has resulted in an internationally diverse work force. This means that expats have the opportunity to gain valuable experience on an international level and establish their own network with people from all over the globe.
With a high presence of international companies based in the UAE, the exposure to high-profile projects is much greater, meaning that people are exposed to working on projects that they may never have had the chance to work on in their own countries. Work experience abroad together with the ability to work with a diverse workforce provides employees with transferrable skills that are beneficial for their careers.
English Language Widely Used
Unlike other countries where the language barrier is a major hindrance to the establishment of new overseas companies, English is used widely in the UAE and is understood and spoken by the majority of people who reside and work there. English is mainly used throughout the day to day running of businesses. Government officials and most of the Emirati population communicate well in English.