There and back again is expats’ favourite journey nowadays

Posted on 26 Nov at 6 PM in UAE
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There and back again is expats’ favourite journey nowadays

There and back again is expats’ favourite journey nowadays

This expat version of there and back again might well explain why many never make it back to the home country on a permanent basis.

Expatriation for career purposes is assumed to be temporary at best, dependent on what’s on offer elsewhere once the gloss falls off the present position and a higher salary is in the offing. Moving on once the experience becomes mundane and the achieved result is reached is now the norm for millions of globetrotting expat professionals, with a three to five year stay considered enough if not too much.

The UAE is a favourite location for this modus operandum, with the millions of expat residents doing their time between 18 months and 10 years or even longer. However, an increasing number seem to be leaving sooner but returning after a few years in the all-too-real world. One recent survey revealed over half of all expat respondents had lived overseas before their present assignment, with a third giving their motivation as improving both their quality of life and their future career prospects via an overseas stint or two.

When asked about why they’re still working overseas, the responses were much the same, still involving career progression and quality of life. In the UAE, for example, just 35 per cent of respondents were first-time expatriates. Average salaries were listed as $117,802, and expats’ top priorities were purchasing property, kids’ education and saving or investing for an eventual early retirement. Often mentioned was the need to have a nest egg in the bank in case of an unexpected job loss or other disaster scenario.

The glittering desert city of Dubai sees a good number of returnees who’ve left after a first contract ended, tried out several other expat destinations and finally returned to Dubai by choice rather than necessity. The emirate itself wins out on quality of life as well as relative political stability, unlike other much-loved locations such as Hong Kong. Occasionally, British expats make the mistake of returning to the UK after their Dubai stint ends, but soon realise their error, taking the first Dubai job offer with a sigh of relief. It seems the UAE isn’t all about the money – it’s about living life and loving it.

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