Making Light Work of it — Relocation and Money Management in the UAE

Making Light Work of it —  Relocation and Money Management in the UAE
Relocation — it’s an adventure. However, it’s also stressful. Building a new life takes time and organization, and it takes money too.

Managing your personal finances in a new country is daunting and difficult, especially when you’re far away from home, but many people relocate to the UAE and make it work. Of course, they don’t survive on warm weather alone. They prepare carefully.


So here are a few facts that will help you plan your personal finances easier if you’re relocating to the UAE.

Taking nothing for granted

They say there are two things you can be certain of in life: death and taxes. You can’t do anything about the former, unfortunately, but in the UAE you will have some joy with the latter. UAE residents don’t pay income tax, but expats still have to pay some to their home country. The good news is that the UAE has tax treaties with different countries. Become a UAE resident for tax purposes and you can protect your hard-earned dirhams from the clutches of your country’s IRS.

Being up front

In the UAE, tenants must pay a year’s rent up front, as well as a deposit and agency fees. That’s a lot of money to pay all at once. You may want to cover this with a personal loan. If your employer covers the rent for you, you may use a personal loan to cover other expenses, such as your children’s education, which is cheaper if they attend a school that applies a UAE curriculum.

Avoiding being a work horse

The UAE is a great place to launch your career, boasting plenty of opportunities to build work experience. It’s best to find a job before you relocate. UAE companies that hire from abroad pay handsome relocation packages, whereas if you relocate before finding a job, the chances are you’ll earn less. Not only that, when you agree on a relocation package, your employer will help you obtain your work visa and residency permit, saving you some bureaucratic headaches.

Light fuel

Not surprisingly, in the UAE it’s relatively cheap to fill up the gas tank of your car. The other good news is that, though you’ll have to pay to get connected to the water and electricity networks, the cost of water and electricity itself is also relatively low. The UAE Government subsidizes both to make life that little bit easier for the consumer.

Food (and drink) for thought

Emirates like Dubai have experienced increased in the cost of living, but lately the consumer price index has fallen. Unless you can afford to splash out each week, avoid buying internationally branded goods. You can eat for less if you buy regional equivalents. They make just as good a meal!

If you enjoy alcohol but want to cut down, a move to the UAE will certainly help you. You need a license to drink alcohol in the UAE; in fact, separate ones to drink in each emirate. You can also only drink in designated areas, and in some, not at all.

Dick Whittington was a fairy tale, unfortunately. Relocation takes careful financial planning, organization, and money to make it work. The more you research your relocation to the UAE, the easier you can make it for yourself. And the easier you make it for yourself, the more fun your new life in the UAE will be. Here’s to that!

Denny Jones

Hello, I'm Denny Jones, the voice and mind behind this personal finance blog. With a passion for helping others achieve financial independence, I started this blog to share my insights, experiences, and strategies in managing money. Whether you're just starting out on your financial journey or looking for advanced tips to optimize your wealth, my goal is to provide practical and actionable advice that anyone can follow.

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