Expats in UAE taking advantage of sterling falls

Published:  13 Dec at 6 PM
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It seems Brexit isn’t bad news for everyone, as expat professionals in the UAE are repatriating cash at great rates.

As the pound sterling continues its path downwards, expatriates working in the UAE are laughing all the way to their UK banks as they remit currency at the best rates seen since the 2008 financial crash. Even so, they’re now in a dilemma – whether to wait until the pound crashes still further or send money home using today’s attractive exchange rates. One insurance broker is holding off as he’s convinced sterling has further to fall, hedging his bets by storing his dirhams in his offshore account.

It now seems Theresa May’s fate is inextricably bound up with and influencing sterling exchange rates, given its downward move after the no-confidence vote and its recovery when her ousting failed. It’s still possible a no-deal Brexit will become inevitable, given the general parliamentary displeasure about May’s deal, a move which would spell sudden death for the pound. Her attempts to solve the backstop problem to date haven’t worked, and EU leaders’ ‘no further negotiation’ stance looks as though it’s set in tablets of stone – at least for now.

The longer the situation goes on, the better it looks as regards expats’ currency transfer opportunities. Other British expat professionals in the Gulf States are taking advantage of the fall in UK property prices to investing in buy-to-lets in the hope of long-term capital appreciation and rental remittances along the way. For expats in general, it seems a good way to take advantage of the Brexit-led exchange rate as well as profiting from rentals. London is still expensive, leading many to focus on student accommodation in the southwest and the northeast of England, with Manchester and Southampton particular favourites for their low real estate prices and high student populations.
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