Money matters to consider before moving to the Middle East

AmerahE's picture
AmerahE

When discussing a move to the Middle East, individuals always want to know if it will make an actual difference to their bottom lines.  People want to know if the trade-off of relocating to a foreign country, uprooting children, and leaving family and friends behind will be worth their financial while. 

 Unfortunately, there is no conclusive yes-or-no answer, it depends on everyone’s individual circumstances.  In this article we will review the incentives, factors, and key points to take into consideration to make an informed decision.

 Working in the Arab Gulf has serious pros, a substantial one being that there is “currently” no income tax.  However, keep in mind, that much depends on what country you are coming from, as your home nation may still collect taxes on your foreign income.  Be mindful of this.

Many public companies and large private companies also offer highly comprehensive packages.  These packages can include fully paid housing, health insurance, end of service gratuities (that are generally more generous than your average work pension plan), furniture and car allowances that after a certain number of years of service - never have to be repaid, free return flight tickets home for you and your family every year.  There are also other perks that can be offered such as: transportation allowance, mobile (cell) phone allowance, and funds per child to attend a private institution for school.    

At this point, everything is looking quite attractive; yet, make sure you are well-versed on the cost of living before you commit to your contract.  Many singles are now moving to Qatar and sharing accommodation because their housing allowances do not cover the cost of a studio or one-bedroom apartment.  Check out a few local classified sites to get a feel for pricing and to see if your package will cover your needs.   The last thing you want to do is seek out an opportunity to increase your financial freedom and you end up in the Middle East merely working to live.

Also, note that the significant drop in oil prices has had a major impact in the region, which has resulted in lay-offs in many public and private industries.  Thus, job security is something to consider if you are looking to enter a new career in the region.

Working in the Middle East can be a fabulous opportunity to gain new skills, diverse exposure, and save; but, you must ensure the variables are in your favor.