Hard Brexit forcing expats in UAE to change long-term financial plans

Published:  9 Dec at 6 PM
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According to advisors in the UAE, the possibility of a hard Brexit is forcing UK expats to drastically re-evaluate their long-term investment plans.

Daily rhetoric from UK government sources still suggests a hard Brexit is the preferred option even although the likely result is financial hardship and a drastic fall in the value of sterling on the world markets. For Brit expats working in the UAE, the continuing exchange rate turbulence has resulted in sterling’s 14.9 per cent drop against the Qatari riyal, affecting expats living on a pension as well as those working and being paid in sterling.

Many expats with retirement pensions based in the UK are now looking at options to transfer their savings offshore via an HMRC-recognised QROPS scheme. Those paid in local currencies and sending money back to the home country are winners at present, but the rising cost of expat living in the emirates may mean less spare cash to send after paying for increased school fees and healthcare services.

Amongst UK expats in Europe and elsewhere across the world, the looming spectacle of Brexit is causing concern both financially and as regards the right to remain. Whilst the latter doesn’t affect those in the UAE, the lack of concrete information about Britain’s EU divorce and its effect on the home country and its economy is unsettling at the least.

As with the majority of worldwide expat hubs for work, retirement or starting a business, those in the UAE considering financial changes are advised to research local IFAs very carefully before committing to any one firm. Warnings of financial fraud by commission-hungry, unlicensed and unqualified international financial advisors can be found all over the internet, as can the sad but true stories of mis-selling resulting in significant losses by many thousands of expats.
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