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The numerous local and international banks offer all the usual banking services with some offering offshore banking. There are no government restrictions on the international transfer of funds into or out of the country. (more…)

Woman using calculator2015 is almost upon us and the New Year is the perfect time to try and get your finances in order. Here are five financial fundamentals to get you off to a kick- start.

Figure out your finances - The economic climate of today should be enough to tell you how important it is to figure out your finances. Only when you’ve got a grip on where your money goes, spending habits, expenses and the rising cost of future living can you start to manage your money more effectively.

Find your net Worth - It’s time to take inventory and find out exactly how much you’re worth. Calculating your net worth will give you an accurate picture of where you stand financially. If you have any financial plans for the future, such as sending your children through university or retiring by a certain age, It’s especially important to know your current financial state. Net worth is the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. In other words, your net worth is the difference between what you own and what you owe. Read more

There is certainly no set rule that says that you must tip in Dubai however the general consensus amongst expats seems to be a resounding you should indeed tip. Perhaps the happy residue of stringent tipping stipulations in many of our home countries. The expat voice of reason however is slightly more muffled when one posses the questions; how much should you tip, when and which services (if any) are excluded from our strongly held belief in tipping. So what on earth shall dictate our social and financial decorum in the absence of hard and fast rules to follow? Answer, majority rules, empathy and common sense of course. The team at Expat Echo Dubai summarizes… Read more

expat-star-awards-2014-bronzeThe team at Expat Echo Dubai are thrilled to be the bronze winners of MyCurrencyTransfer.com  Expat Star Awards 2014.

This prestigious awards recognises, celebrates and rewards the sheer hard work, effort and creativity that goes into making an expat blog invaluable to its expat community. The award is a true appreciation and admiration for the people or teams who put everything into ensuring expats have the information and insights they need for a smooth and enjoyable transition to another country or a peak at life in another country.

There were 10 categories throughout the world covering all variety and diversity of expat blogs, portals and websites available today.  Each category had a Gold, Silver & Bronze award.

Thank you MyCurrencyTransfer.com

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pensionsAre you an expat in a UK public sector defined benefit pension scheme? If so you have less than 10 months if you wish to transfer it.

Why?

The government is removing the right to transfer from public sector Defined Benefit schemes to Defined contribution arrangements.

Experts say the move is designed to prevent large numbers of public sector workers ditching their DB scheme in favour of a defined contribution arrangement after Osborne announced a radical overhaul of the UK pensions framework earlier this year. The reforms, which will take effect from April 2015, will allow anyone who is aged 55 or over to take their entire pension fund as cash. 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

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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