Leaving Dubai for good? 5 decisions you must make


Leaving Dubai for good? 5 decisions you must make

Moving back to your home country after living abroad for years can be difficult. Plan it right.

By Anita Iyer

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Published: Mon 14 Aug 2017, 4:20 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Aug 2017, 5:59 PM

Going back to your home country for whatever reasons can be a daunting decision. Just like your move abroad needed careful planning, your repatriation back home needs meticulous attention too.
While there is a familiarity with your home country and mostly family and a network of friends to help, there are still some key things you need to consider:

Moving the family

A Dutch resident of Dubai Marina, who requested to be anonymous, said moving to Dubai was definitely an attractive option for them two years ago but the savings never added up. "The education cost for our children and the rising rent didn't allow us to save much in our bank accounts." The family of four waited for the academic year to be over before planning to move back to their home country.
But it wasn't an overnight move. They started considering it at least a year in advance.
Agreeing, Sangeetha Bhaskaran, an Indian expat who left Dubai after 30 years says, "If you have children, then the first thing would be sorting out their schooling and caregiving options. Depending on their age, the transition gets more challenging."
The most important question you need to ask, according to Sangeetha, is - "Do you have enough savings to sustain for a year of no income while the other expenses are ongoing?"  "Every city has its own cost of living so it is essential to know how much your monthly expenses back home will be - rent, groceries, school fees, water and electricity and other incidentals. Factor in the time it will take for you to land a suitable job."

Transferring every penny back home

Considering tax-free income in UAE, it is possible that you might have a corpus to transfer back home before relocating. Multiple options are available to send money back home - bank transfer, transfer via money exchange houses or wire services.
Nimish Makvana, Partner, Crowe Horwath - UAE, says, "One needs to consider forecasted exchange rate benefit or loss you may incur. You should not keep all funds at one place either home country or the country of residence from risk management point of view. Distributing the money offers flexibility should you decide to migrate from one place to another."
"You certainly get best exchange rate from the exchange house as compared to banks. However, ensure that exchange house is financially very strong and do not get lured with incremental benefit offered by a non-reputed exchange," he puts in a word of caution.
Sangeetha was very prudent with her investment approach and mostly transferred funds to a fixed deposit account in India, which gave a moderate interest. She swears that setting aside a portion every month is very important. "It's easy to get carried away with spending in a glamorous city like Dubai!" she warns.

Handling assets

Part of your financial preparation would be taking decisions on assets owned in the UAE. Many expats dispose of their property in a hurried transaction while relocating to home country. "Though rents are stagnant or dropping, it still offers highest tax-free return in the world. As interest rates are significantly dropping in India, one may retain property purchased in the UAE to diversify his investments," advises Makvana.

House rentals

Relocating decisions cannot be made last minute.  If you stay in a rented property, you should give the required notice period mentioned in your contract by the landlord. If you need an extension of a month or more, you need to renew your contract accordingly.
"It's better to decide well in advance that you're going to make the move rather than adopting the approach of 'Okay let's see how things go'. You then have more than enough time to give your lease notice period, sell your cars and furniture etc, say proper goodbyes and most importantly avoid the need to pay an overstay fine," says Sangeetha.
There are utilities to be set in order and bank formalities to be sorted. Read our detailed story here. 

Starting life afresh

While returning home, you need to consider any unexpected expenses you might have. As you are starting from scratch, mostly without a job, the initial expenses can overwhelm you.
There are two scenarios to it, points out Makvana. "If they are going to retire then ensure that they have considered current cost of living plus estimated inflation on compounding basis for future years, medical insurance for family members and education provision for children. Income should be considered net of tax. Ensure that adequate life insurance cover is taken in case of unforeseen event of bread earner. It is strongly recommended to prepare a cash flow forecast till the expected life span to get a real picture."

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