Hi Skint pals,
Would you up sticks and move to the Middle East for a couple of years if it meant you could earn serious money and build a nest egg for the future?
That’s the question I’ve been asking myself, after a pal of mine announced her decision at the weekend to move to the Middle East for work. My friend has been out of luck recently finance-wise, having been made redundant from her job and now, with no luck finding a new post in the recession-hit UK, she’s turning her attention to the Middle East as a possible solution to her money woes. Countries like Dubai in the United Arab Emirates are known for paying higher salaries, which are also tax free – meaning you get to keep just about every penny of what you earn. Imagine that – pocketing your gross salary every month, watching the cash roll in, then tucking it away in a savings accounts in the UAE . . .
The Money Low-Down
So, just how much can you earn in UAE? Well, on average, salaries are 10% higher than the UK, which isn’t tons, BUT, because income isn’t taxed you can actually add 25-35% to your take home pay.
And, even more amazing, if you stay and work in UAE for two years or more, a mandatory 15% lump sum of the your yearly salary is paid on departure!
Not bad eh? Getting a 15% bonus in your hand at the end of a couple of years . . . it’s worth putting up with a lot for, even with that 50 degree heat in summer. And that bit about no tax? How amazing would it be to see no deductions coming off your salary? Even if you’re a homebird at heart, it would be tempting to work there for a couple of years and put the money into savings, a deposit for a house or just start building for retirement. (Today, I was inspired by this story of working hard and retiring early from my fellow blogger Pauline Paquin)
Is It Worth It?
But, would earning a UAE salary like that make up for leaving your family and friends behind? Or are you the go-getting sort who’d jump at the chance to start afresh somewhere else? As well as the money on offer, another intriguing aspect of living in UAE is the chance to mix with so many different nationalities: more than 85% of the people living there are not Emiratis but expats who have moved there from across the globe to enjoy the lifestyle and salaries on offer. Imagine living in such a diverse place with so many nationalities all coming together.
If you joined them, you’d only be doing what big business is already wise to. Every day, according to HSBC whom I’ve worked with to bring you some of the stats in this post, huge companies ping billions of pounds worth of investments back and forth between UAE and the UK – by 2015, trade between the two countries is predicted to hit a staggering £12 billion. Makes the eyes go all funny.
Wile doing some research into working, playing and saving in UAE I found this Q & A from a twenty-something expat really helpful for giving more info on what it’s really like to up sticks and work so far from home.
Could you ever do it? Or have you? How much did you manage to squirrel away, if so? We’d all love to know!
PS: In Dubai there are no street addresses and everyone gets their mail delivered via a PO Box. But how do you find your way around? I’m intrigued!
Photo credit: deviantart