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Tue 4 Sep 2012 05:15 PM

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Half of UAE expats say unprepared for move

New survey shows obtaining driving licence, finding job and weather are among difficulties

Half of UAE expats say unprepared for move

About half of all expats say they moved to the UAE without the necessary practical information to make the transition, according to a new survey released on Tuesday.

The findings published by insurance firm Zurich also said a third found the overall relocation experience more challenging than anticipated.

According to the survey of almost 800 UAE expats conducted by YouGov, 29 percent of expats found the overall experience of moving to the UAE more difficult than expected.

Obtaining a driving licence (21 percent) was cited as the most difficult part of relocation, followed by finding employment (18 percent), the cost of living (17 percent) and the weather (12 percent).

The greatest concern for most people before they move to the UAE was the cost of living (24 percent) and the ability to find or keep a job (22 percent).

Younger people said they were most concerned about the cost of living, while for people over the age of 35, continued employment was the greatest concern, the survey showed.

A lack of available information appears to account for the anxiety felt by expatriates before moving to the UAE, with almost half of respondents (45 percent) reporting they had very little or no information about the UAE before they moved.

Only one in ten expats said that they had all the information they needed before relocating.

"Although the majority of people find moving to the UAE straightforward and simple, a third of expats struggle with the experience," said Maroun Mourad, CEO of Zurich's General Insurance operations in the Middle East.

"Moving to a new country is always a daunting undertaking, and everyone's experience is different, but it seems that a lack of information increases the anxiety of people relocating to the UAE."

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RBH 7 years ago

It's propaganda not to tell you everything before you arrive. Or else, how will you arrive?!

Empty handed is how we came, and empty handed is how we will leave.