How Has Dubai Changed Since the Economic Downturn of 2008?
Dubai was hit by the recession in 2008-09 which sent droves of expatriates out of the UAE. However, as the economy begins to prosper once more and with other benefits such as a sun-filled lifestyle and good salaries, Dubai is seeing the return of many of these expats.
Whilst jobs are scarce across Europe, companies in the UAE, and specifically Dubai, are hiring once again. Now, however, top of their ‘wish list’ is employees with experience of the local area and market, so ex-expatriates are finding themselves in a very strong position, according to Jennifer Campori of Dubai’s Charterhouse Recruitment.
Regardless, Dubai is not the place it was at the start of the crash, and returning expats will find many changes within the UAE in general, as well as lower salaries in many cases. Expatriates comparing salaries on offer now to those on offer pre-2008 should keep in mind that whilst salaries are not drastically higher than the UK, Dubai does offers tax free income. Here are some differences between the Dubai of yesteryear and today that returning expats should note:
Salaries are lower – gone are the days of extravagant salaries. Nowadays salaries are not much higher than in the UK – but as a income tax free location, Dubai comes with a large financial gain. It is important to remember too, that as a senior executive you could be saving as much as 40 – 50% of your salary by moving to Dubai.
An Emirates ID card is required - The UAE has finally got its national identity card scheme up and running – you can find out more about this scheme here. Your national identity card will be required for an increasing number of government services, such as buying or selling a house.
Living in one of the central areas might not be possible - The prices of living in many of Dubai’s more established and up-market villa communities such as The Meadows, The Lakes and Palm Jumeirah have shot up and continue to do so on a regular basis. Many returning expatriates are choosing more cost-efficient communities such as Motor City and Jumeirah Village Circle.
The Dubai Metro is running - The Dubai Metro currently provides two lines which will take you to many of the major parts of Dubai quickly, efficiently and for a very reasonable price! Just be sure to read the rules first.
You may have a postman - For the majority of Dubai and Abu Dhabi residents mail collection and delivery is now available to your mailbox.
You’ll experience fewer traffic jams - Whilst we’re not suggesting Dubai is traffic free, the improved roads, new junctions and traffic management have freed the roads up exponentially.
Big Brother is watch you and your car - Hundreds of new speed cameras have been placed throughout Dubai, resulting in much slower speeds on roads, producing much safer roads.
You won’t be splashing the cash - Gone are the days where it’s cool to be so flashy as it was pre-crash, so saving your money and being more conservative is the way the Dubai of today is running.
Whilst Dubai isn’t the same today as it was 5 years ago, it still remains an incredible location with many benefits for expatriates – especially those moving from locations with higher income tax and cost of living.
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