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Wed 7 Nov 2012 04:38 PM

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Expats seeing UAE as longer-term move - survey

Study says 62% of expat execs have been in UAE for five years, plans to stay longer

Expats seeing UAE as longer-term move - survey
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

More expats are looking at the UAE as a longer-term move to build their careers and future, a new study said on Wednesday.

Once considered a transient and short-term option, more and more nationalities are opting to stay longer in the UAE, according to the study conducted by Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

It said 62 percent of executives surveyed had been working in the region for more than five years and planned to be here "for the foreseeable future".

The study also found that working in tax-free UAE helped more than half of the employees surveyed to save between 11-30 percent of their salaries each month.

Monthly budgets were prioritised to cover day-to-day family and living expenses such as food, rent and utilities - which used around 60 percent of the salary, the report showed.

A majority of those surveyed (76 percent) said that their company did not have policies to help them save, indicating that personal savings were self-driven and voluntary.

Donations to charity took a backseat when it came to allocating their monthly salaries with 43 percent giving it least priority.

The study also showed that the ability to work virtually (45 percent) along with flexible work hours (43 percent) were two factors that were important to employees to balance their work and personal life successfully.

Peter Felix, president, AESC said: "As a fast-growing economy, the UAE has come a long way and is today in a unique position with access to the best of talents and skills from across all corners of the world.

"Our survey showed that the UAE continues to be the preferred destination among employees which is great news for local businesses. To take it to the next level it is important for organisations to nurture their employees' career aspirations and growth potential which has a direct bearing on business profitability."

The survey showed that executives were less likely to relocate to a new country due to concerns relating to a reduction in salary and relocating family.

"We see a growing trend among UAE executives wanting to take on entrepreneurial roles and more job responsibilities at a senior level, which are considered as a key component of a prospective career opportunity," added Felix.

Furthermore, 54.2 percent felt that organisations should institute voluntary measures to increase the number of women in board of director positions.

The study was conducted across middle to senior executives working across industries including retail, real estate, oil and gas, technology and the government sector.

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Taner Kilicarslan 7 years ago

This article is self-promotional, like an advertisement for the UAE.
To legitimise the claims the writer and AESC makes, we should be shown the "real" figures on the total number of people in the survey pool, what nationality were the people in the survey, what was the breakdown of these people in the surveyed sectors, what Emirates the demographics came from and their breakdown, and what is the breakdown of the level of executives surveyed amongst the whole survey pool.

Until this information is shown, anyone can purport anything in any percentage they want. We all know these types of studies mean nothing until we see the real numbers to back up these claims.

As we all know, 87% of people reading surveys where claims are made without showing the substantiating proof, believe anything they're told.... or do they?

Samual 6 years ago

Are you serious?
When residents can no longer afford rents and landlords do not honor contracts, or home prices that are 100 times more than what they really worth if developers ever deliver; school tuitions for un-educated teachers and non-professional administrations with sole purpose to make more money without consideration to our children's future; expensive food prices rising daily with the lowest quality ever; DEWA bills that has no limits; du and etisalat unexplained charges; unwilling to work government officers, and when they do, disrespect people with faces full of anger as if we forced them to work;...etc.
So you are telling me that as an expat, I am seeing UAE as a longer-term move?
Covering the bitter truth with thin layers of sugar will not work anymore when we are living the real thing.

Raj 6 years ago

I think you are being negative. The UAE is an amazing place which offers wonderful opportunities for business or work, where else can you get so many facilities like nice malls, clean roads, the ability to purchase property, strong law and order ?
I came to Dubai with a salary of 1000 dhs and now I earn more than 100,000, as long as you are willing to work hard and have the right attitude, anyone can prosper here

Ahmed 6 years ago

How can you have a long-term future in a country that doesn't give you a passport or any real rights? After living here 25+ years I don't have anything to show for it, just a visa that gets renewed every few years until one day when I'm out of a job it will be cancelled and I will be forced to leave. Buying property is pointless it doesn't guarantee you a visa to even live in your property.

Thoughtful 6 years ago

@Raj; Working hard and having the right attitude is important no doubt. However do not for a moment discredit the role that chance plays in any success.

Jonnie Millar 6 years ago

Ahmed, the survey is not suggesting expats are looking to settle in the UAE (which they cannot do), merely that they are considering staying for a longer term than they used to.

The majority of expats used to consider Dubai a 'port of call', perhaps only staying three to five years or less. Now, if you ask an expat they will more than likely say they are considering staying longer than this, often with no set agenda to move on.