Even though some expat packages are becoming less generous, UAE is still a very attractive and accessible option for young professionals with the number of job adverts rising 25% in the first quarter of 2018. However, it is important to exercise caution when planning a move. You should also draw up a practical budget and set realistic expectations for your future. It’s also important to make sure you are in a stable position to move forward.
Put your financial affairs in order
Leaving the US with debts is inadvisable and may affect your liability for residency in Dubai. Even if you have cleared debts this can have an impact on any future financial transactions and applications so it’s important to ensure your credit rating is accurate. It’s possible to challenge any information on your ChexSystem file that you feel is incorrect. If you do choose to move abroad, keeping an American bank account and continuing to use your US credit cards will maintain a good credit rating for when you eventually return to the States.
Save for short-term expenses
Many employment packages include accommodation in Dubai but if you are organizing your own make sure your rent is covered by your salary or savings. Dubai is one of the most expensive cities in the world for expats, however, the cost of living compares favorably with major US cities and the salaries tend to match the higher prices. If you already have work lined up you’ll still need to have enough money to see you through the first month. It takes on average three months to find work in Dubai so if you’re thinking of traveling on a visit visa to look for work you’ll need expenses to see you through this time.
Be prepared for the future
One of the attractions of working in Dubai is the tax-free income but don’t forget US citizens are still obliged to return a tax form in the US. The threshold is generously high at $104,100 but you will need to plan ahead in case your salary rises. You’ll be unaffected by exchange rates due to the Dirham being pegged to the dollar. This is unlikely to change due to the amount of foreign investment entering the UAE each year and also because of the current strength of the dollar but it has happened in Kuwait so it is always something to bear in mind for the future.
Moving to Dubai is a thrilling prospect and its economic security offers incredible opportunities to thrive. Being realistic and putting your finances in order before you go will ensure you are able to leave the US without difficulty and then make the most of all that Dubai has to offer once you are there.