Dubai expats urged to plan for their future

Tags: Estate Planning,News

25 Nov, 2016

As published in Emirates 24/7
By Staff

The phrase ‘time flies when you are having fun’ has never been truer for residents in Dubai.

The DIFC Wills and Probate Registry (WPR) is calling for expats to get on top of their ‘life admin’, as its most recent consumer poll* suggests that most people are staying in Dubai longer than they think, but are failing to safeguard their future.

According to WPR’s findings 64% of expats stay significantly longer in Dubai than they had originally thought.

The majority of respondents have lived here at least three years longer than planned, and a staggering one in ten people have stayed over twenty years longer than they expected

The results also showed fascinating insights into people’s perception of Dubai as their home. More than 70% of respondents agreed that their life is here in Dubai, but nearly 60% of respondents still don’t see Dubai as a permanent home, citing that they will move back or move on to another country at some point in the future.

The findings highlight a huge gap between people’s beliefs about their future in Dubai and their everyday reality.

Life Coach Zeta Yarwood suggests this perception gap affects the way in which people approach their future here.

“Dubai is considered a fast-paced city which means time appears to move a lot quicker than expected – this is sometimes referred to as the ‘Dubai Bubble’. People are staying for the great lifestyle, but before they know it ten years pass and they may have acquired a family, property or a business that they hadn’t originally planned for. They have had the time of their lives making the most of what Dubai has to offer, but they haven’t got a grip on their more serious life admin. They must look further ahead.”

The majority of respondents (77%) agreed that time seems to move faster in Dubai than in their home country, and say that most or all of their friends have stayed longer than planned.

However, despite 58% of respondents claiming they had assets in Dubai, little more than 10% have a will registered in this country.

Sean Hird, Director, DIFC Wills & Probate Registry said, “These insights are fascinating and indicate that Dubai is a place where expats are laying down their roots. It also tells us that it’s time to start taking our future seriously and understand what our options are in Dubai. Since we opened last May we have already registered over 1,700 wills, but we know there are many more non-Muslim residents with assets in Dubai that haven’t taken action to safeguard them. Avoid leaving life admin too late: plan ahead while you can.”

DIFC Wills and Probate Registry is an initiative of the Dubai government.

WPR gives effect to the freedom provided by UAE Personal Status Law which allows non-Muslims the chance to choose what happens to their assets in a simple, secure and confidential process – enabling them to take care of tomorrow.