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So, you are new(ish) to Dubai or possibly planning to relocate to Dubai in the near future? We are happy that you have found our blog, Expat Echo Dubai. Hopefully, you will find it a helpful resource during your settling in process into this unique city.
First of all, let me start by the obvious. Dubai is unlike any other city in the world. It’s very likely that you will be relocating here from some place very, very different. Do not fear. Don’t let the glitz, glam or size scare you. (more…)

eid-al-fitrIf you have recently moved to Dubai this may have been your first Ramadan and now first Eid so you may be asking the question “what is Eid al Fitr?”

Eid al Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan, the month in which Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset. Eid al Fitr is a time for special prayers, a time to congratulate each other, exchange gifts and donate Zakat al Fitr (charity donation). After prayers the day is typically spent visiting friends and family and enjoying time together.  Just like many other religious festivities throughout the world homes are cleaned, much cooking is undertaken and new outfits are bought for this special celebration.   Read more

imagesWhen you move back to your home country, you will have to put some of the things you did before you moved to the Middle East in reverse. Try and plan well ahead of time, particularly if there are considerable assets both here in the UAE and/ or offshore. From a financial point of view be aware that moving back home can affect your tax situation, your savings and your investments – so you should talk to a financial expert.

Closing and opening bank accounts
Try to open a bank account in your home country before you move if you did not keep it open when you became an expat. If you closed your bank account in your home country, you may no longer have a credit history – so it may be worth keeping an offshore account open until you arrange a new account back home.

Be aware that, if you did not keep a bank account open in your home country while you lived overseas you may not be entitled to any credit (including a mortgage) on your return. Read more

photo-holidaysThe UAE Ministry of Labour has declared that the Eid Al Fitr holiday for all private sector employees will begin on the first and second days of Shawwal, work will resume on the third day of Shawwal of the year 1435 AH.

On the occasion, the Minister of Labour Saqr Ghobash sent his sincere regards and blessings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

Ghobash congratulated the people of the UAE and residents on the occasion, wishing the country further progress and prosperity, and more pride and glory for Arab and Islamic nations. Read more

Moving Tips 2When you are moving into your new home arrange to have pest control and a deep clean carried out in the house before you move all your ‘stuff’ in as it is much easier to do these things when there isn’t anything or anyone (including your pets) in the house. Read more

What Vaccinations Does My Child Need for Living in Dubai?

Most scheduled medical visits during the first two years of life involve vaccinations. Living in an expat environment presents a great number of challenges to parents wishing to get their child vaccinated; is the local vaccination schedule similar to the one followed in the home country? Are there vaccinations that are not given locally that might be needed in the home country? What is the quality and safety profile of the vaccinations given locally? Read more

debtDebt accumulating amongst expats in the UAE seems to be, yet again on the increase.

Moving to a new location can be an expensive process and it can be all too easy to start spending beyond your means. All too often expats live like they are on a constant holiday. Be warned – if you aren’t wary the bubble will burst, leaving you borrowing into a vicious debt trap.

The debt owed by expats in the UAE is for a whole manner of things from car loans, to boat purchases, to credit card debt and the banks seem quite happy to grant relatively large loans and credit cards to customers with limited income. This coupled with a high level of consumerism and often poor financial literacy can be a recipe for disaster. Read more

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