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Thu 9 Jul 2009 06:41 AM

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Opinions split on new expat family salary rules

Arabian Business poll results on UAE plan to raise salary to AED10,000 a month.

Opinions are split over the benefits of rule changes, which raise the minimum salary expats need to earn to be able to bring their families to live in the UAE, an Arabian Business online poll has found.

Soon, expat workers will have to earn more than AED10,000 ($2,723), a month to be able to bring their families into the country, officials announced earlier this week.

Some 35.1 percent of people who took part in the Arabian Business poll thought the limit was too high and would put people off coming here to live.

But, 17.5 percent said they thought the cap should be raised even higher.

The rule changes have been put forward after a study was carried out into the negative effects of allowing residents to bring their families without sufficient income and a suitable place to stay.

Previously the minimum salary requirement was AED3,000, which was later raised to AED4,000 and then AED6,000.

Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, director general of the Naturalisation and Residency Department (NRD), said at the time of the announcement that it was better to raise the minimum wage so expats could cope financially with the cost of living, rents, school fees and healthcare.

The Arabian Business poll asked people what they thought about this, with 21.1 percent saying living costs were quite high and the rule change made sense.

But, 26.3 percent of respondents warned that the move would be bad for the local economy.

When the new rules come into effect has not yet been announced.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

najma 11 years ago

living cost is high and there are no chances in salary increase .. so why is goverment thinking of impleminting such rule

Naveen 11 years ago

If this rule is implemented Dubai certainly will look like a Ghost Town.

Ahmed Zubair 11 years ago

I think this step could result in increase of crime with so many individuals living without their families. On the other hand the government should enforce stricter rules on banks who are providing credit cards and loans to those who earn much less than 10,000.

Alain 11 years ago

Cost of living being the root source of the problem. Government should multiply efforts to control inflation by regulating better on the fronts of rent and school fee increases which are all artificial and meant to fill the pockets of owners without credible justification. If rent, schooling and price of goods were not so high, they would not have to regulate on a minimum income for expats to bring their family over. Who wants to live aways from his family for extended periods? What used to attract tourists here, was relatively affordable holidays. Hotels and restaurants have become too expansive. What used to attract expats to live here, was the possibility to have a quality lifestyle and make enough "tax free" money to get ahead and eventually return to home country and be in a better situation. All considered, If the incentives to come work and live here disappear, the expats will think twice before leaving home. That goes for skilled professionals as much as for blue collar workers...

Concerned Guy from Al wasl 11 years ago

current state is already a problem, why make more problems in increasing these salary cap, Can we try to at least ease the suffering of the people

Ahmed 11 years ago

It's baffling how this is a solution to anything. It's a slap in the face of people who've built this nation that you could casually dispose of them like culling cattle. I can't accept that there isn't a better way to deal with any problem. At a time when you need the exact opposite, it's inexplicable that these kind of rules are even being considered. They are only going to create ill will and bad publicity. People are likely to be very cautious before anyone considers living here. Tomorrow there could be some other whimsical change of law and throw people's lives into disarray. Is anyone thinking of the consequences?

David 11 years ago

Whilst I can understand the feeling of those who do not earn the required salary, which should be 8k not 10k, I can understand the logic behind this move. I personally know of cases in the past where people have been joined by their family on the minimum salary requirement and quickly found themselves in debt. They had to resort to living off credit cards, which they had no hope of repaying, sending their family back, then could not return home themselves because of this debt.When we leave our home country in order to earn more money so as to provide our families with a better life, there are always risks and these risks are not always fully evaluated and understood. I am convinced that the government are bringing in this new earnings requirement in order to protect individuals who could fall heavyly into debt, causing greater misery for families than they had in their own country. May I also suggest that a law is bought in which states that nobody is allowed a credit card unless they have been in the country for a minimum of 18 months. This time period will allow the family to settle into the new environment and demonstrate that their salaries alone are sufficient for them to enjoy a certain standard of life.

Sanjay 11 years ago

It is true that high rents and school fees put many families in debts, possibly the new law will prevent this from happening. Good reasoning, sounds also convincing but with such high population, schools find it hard to survive, "To Let" a common sight now everywhere, will this new law really solve the issue, can schools then find themselves enough pupils to survive? can all these To Let signs vanish or will it get worse.....food for thought!