Finance on the Move — Managing Money When Relocating to Dubai

Relocating can be stressful, especially when you’re moving to somewhere as far away as Dubai. As well as packing and boxing up items, making the shipping arrangements, tying up loose ends before you leave and saying all your goodbyes, you have to manage the financial aspect of things.

When you’re planning a long-term move to Dubai, one thing you should consider is arranging a home loan with HSBC before you head out. This is much easier if you do your personal banking with an international bank like them, who have branches throughout the UAE.

Of course, relocation generates a host of expenses, and you may find yourself turning to the bank to ease the burden. Here are some of the main expenses, plus tips on how you can save money while living in Dubai.

Be prepared

If you rent a property, you’ll have to pay several expenses up front. These include a whole year’s rent, a deposit (5% of the annual rent), agency fees (5 to 10% of the annual rent), and water and power. You may choose to cover these expenses by taking out a personal loan.

Moving into a new place takes time, so you’ll have to arrange temporary accommodation, whether renting or buying. If you’re relocating for your job, your employer is likely to cover the cost for you. But don’t take this for granted. Make sure you can pay for at least two months of temporary accommodation.

Learning doesn’t come cheap

Like anyone else, children need food, clothes, and a roof over their head. The other thing they need is education, which is expensive in Dubai. Depending on the school, private school tuition for expats ranges from 5,000 to 100,000 dirham (1,360 to 27,230 dollars) each year per child. You can save money if you send your child to a school that follows a UAE curriculum, but you’d have to pay for private language tuition for your child, as lessons will be given in Arabic.

Food and clothing easy on the purse

Dubai may be opulent, but some areas cater for budget-conscious consumers too. In Bur Dubai, Deira, and Karama, you can find shop for food and clothes cheaper. Keep an eye open for discounts during sales periods: some clothes stores take off as much as 75%!

Take the time to learn about Arab cuisine before you go. Typical Arab foods cost less. Learning to prepare and appreciate them can save you money.

Hitting the road

The UAE is a cheap place to buy a car, one of the cheapest places in the world in fact. Fuel prices are also low, so you can drive the kids to school without worrying too heavily about the household budget. However, if you are worried about the costs of running a car, you can save money by renting one from a local car rental firm, by using taxis or by using the metro system.

Relocation has its expenses, but banks like HSBC offer good accounts for people who are moving to the UAE. Consider a home or personal loan with them, spend sensibly while you’re there, and you can manage the financial side of your relocation much easier. More importantly, you can make it much cheaper so that while Dubai is welcoming you, you can be welcoming extra dirhams in your pocket.

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