Survey shows expats now more settled in UAE

Published:  9 May at 6 PM
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Stabilising property prices and the UAE lifestyle are now major draws, reassuring expats formerly planning to leave.

Results of a recent survey report 36 per cent of expatriate respondents are now planning to stay long-term in the Emirates. The same survey’s 2015 results showed over half of expats working in the UAE were preparing to leave rather than purchase a home due to the soaring cost of living.

The poll, conducted by finance comparison website, strongly indicated that expatriate workers feel their future in the UAE is becoming brighter. CEO Jon Richards compared local media coverage in 2015 with the recent results, saying he is happy to announce the mood amongst expats is becoming more positive.

Last year’s survey revealed that property prices were squeezing expats’ financial confidence, along with a rise in the general cost of living. Given the cutbacks in relocation and salary packages, it’s hardly surprising that expat professionals were concerned about their financial wellbeing.

However, in the one-year gap between surveys, house prices in the UAE fell by an average of 11 per cent and are expected to continue on the downward slope this yeasr by around 10 per cent. Richards believes the market’s stabilisation is mainly due to the dramatic fall in crude oil prices and the resultant strengthening of the US dollar.

Another positive influence, he adds, is the high number of exciting developments as regards both business opportunities and lifestyle enhancements at present under way. Committing to living and working in the UAE, he says, is now an enticing option.

At present, over 8 million expats are resident in the Emirates, along with 1.5 million citizens. A further three million increase in inhabitants is forecast by 2030, with Dubai’s population alone expected to hit 5 million. The property market is expected to bottom out by the end of the year, giving long-term investment opportunities especially in the buy-to-let sector.
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