Is the Dubai bubble starting to burst? It’s well known that Dubai relies heavily on expat financial services – and more and more evidence is showing that an increased number of expats are hopping on planes and heading home.
New research at Oxford Analytica suggests that the emirate is no longer a desired place to be. Even worse, the study predicts that as the worldwide economy gets better, the exodus from Dubai may only increase. From the report:
Despite increasing worries regarding job security, the majority of expatriates have said they are likely to remain until the worldwide situation improves. This means that there could be an even greater exodus when things do improve… Their departure will in turn further depress the property sector, reduce consumer spending, and create further job losses.
Dubai has been an oasis for expats in the past, but this news doesn’t fare well for expats there, or for the prospects of expatriating to Dubai in the future. The report also indicated a list of bullet points as to why Dubai is being seen as increasinly unwelcome for expats:
- Increased salary requirements (10,000 dirhams a month) in order for expats to bring their families with them
- Continued focus on Emiratisation meaning it’s even harder to find a job and that westerners are laid off first
- Strict punitive rules around falling into bad debt
- A new code of conduct around clothing, displays of affection and alcohol consumption (among other things) creating an image of an overly-conservative society
- From October, the need to pass a local ‘culture test’ to obtain a UAE residency visa
For these reasons and many more, it’s becoming difficult to recommend Dubai and the UAE for expatriation.