Dismayed Brits not eyeing a UAE move
Wealthy Brits planning on ditching the UK and setting up a new life abroad are shunning Dubai and other Middle Eastern destinations.
That’s the picture painted by new research from banking giants Lloyds TSB - that shows a staggering half-a-million Brits with more than £250,000 (Dhs1.45 million) each of personal savings and investments are considering leaving the UK in the next two years.
With high earners hit by a 50 per cent income tax rate, a stuttering economy and high living costs - not to mention the weather - the survey showed 19 per cent of rich Brits are thinking of emigrating.
But the tax-free sunshine of the UAE appears to be losing its appeal to well-heeled Britons. Asked what countries they’d like to move to, they listed France first, with 18 per cent choosing it as their likely destination. Spain, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada were other popular choices - but just two per cent plumped for Middle East destinations.
UK expat David Burns - who works with auditing and accounting firm UHY and who has lived in the UAE for more than 25 years - says there’s a reason wealthy Brits aren’t dreaming of the UAE.
“I think first of all you need to look at the people Lloyds have asked - and they are bankers and
brokers,” said Burns.
“You can quite easily see why they wouldn’t come here - the financial business here just isn’t what it used to be.”
Interestingly, among those most keen to ditch the UK are wealthy people living in London - and the highest proportion of wealthy people looking to leave are those aged 25-34.
“The figures include a large number of successful, affluent individuals who play an important role in powering the UK economy,” said Lloyds TSB International Wealth Director Nicholas Boys Smith.
But Dubai-based Burns believes those who want to get ahead now head east - far east. “If I was in that category and wanted to make money, I’d go to Australia - or Hong Kong or Singapore. As far east from London as you can get,” he said.
7DAYS asked tweeters: Is the UAE a good deal for workers?
Expat Docs (@ExpatDocs): The UAE is still popular, the world is just different. My question to you is: where on earth is better than the UAE for work?
I think it is losing its appeal since the financial crisis. This is because people are not feeling secure about their jobs anymore.
Rob Singleton (@Robsinhotels):
I'm very happy living and working in the UAE, and think that the environment is improving, especially transport.