No information UAE expats

The cost of living and finding a job were among the top worries for people moving to the UAE.

A new survey has shown nearly a half of expats moving to the UAE don’t have enough practical information. A third found the relocation process more difficult than they expected, according to the research from Zurich, an international insurance company.

The survey of 775 expatriates in the UAE was conducted by YouGov, and found the most difficult part of relocation was obtaining a driving licence, with 21 percent of respondents reporting this. Finding employment (18%), the cost of living (17%) and the weather (12%) followed in second, third and fourth place.

Before moving to the UAE most people were worried about the cost of living (24%) and the ability to keep a job (22%). A lack of available information appears to account for the anxiety felt by expatriates before moving to the UAE, with almost half of respondents (45 percent) reporting they had very little or no information about the UAE before they moved. Almost half (45%) of respondents said they had little or no information about the UAE before they moved.

“Although the majority of people find moving to the UAE straightforward and simple, a third of expats struggle with the experience,” said Maroun Mourad, CEO of Zurich’s General Insurance operations in the Middle East.

“Moving to a new country is always a daunting undertaking, and everyone’s experience is different, but it seems that a lack of information increases the anxiety of people relocating to the UAE.”

Worst mistake to make

According to a poll run by Emirates 24/7, 45 percent of people said living beyond their means is the worst mistake expats make when moving to the country. For 39 percent, not doing enough homework about living costs is the worst mistake.

The UAE does offer a tax-free environment but people often underestimate the cost of life in the country. The rents and education costs, which make up a big component of an individual’s budget, should be considered carefully.

To help expats avoid these mistakes and, hopefully, have a smooth relocation to the UAE, expats should check Just Landed’s expat country guide for Dubai.