Almost 50% of expats who move to work and live in the United Arab Emirates admit that they don’t have enough practical information, research shows.
A third found the overall relocation experience more challenging than anticipated, according to research from Zurich, one of the world’s leading insurance groups.
Once they had moved some 21% said that getting a driving license was the most difficult part of relocation, while 18% said it was finding employment, 17% cited the cost of living and 12% found the weather hard to cope with.
The greatest concern for most people before they move to the UAE was the cost of living (24%) and the ability to find or keep a job (22%). Younger people were most concerned about the cost of living, with 31% of those between the ages of 18 to 24 year citing this as a worry before they moved to the UAE. For people over the age of 35, continued employment is the greatest concern, with 34% highlighting this as an issue.
A lack of available information appears to account for the anxiety felt by expatriates before moving to the UAE, with almost half of respondents , some 45% reporting they had very little or no information about the UAE before they moved. Only 10% of 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, chief executive officer 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,’ he added.
The company had now launched a comprehensive guide to living in Dubai with the aim of making the transition easier for the thousands of newcomers who arrive in the emirate each year.
It includes information such as how to get a driving licence and finding a home, through to getting around the city and applying for a visa.
Meanwhile, leading international expat insurance provider has launched a new website dedicated to people living and working in the UAE.
The firm, William Russell, which provides international health, life and income protection insurance for expats, said that the new site offers expats in the region a bespoke portal from which to fulfil their international insurance requirements.
The firm says that it has an improved user experience, utilising a visually appealing and easy to use design. In addition to allowing expats to get a quick quote, it provides users with straightforward access to details of William Russell’s dedicated Dubai Claims Team as well key policy documentation specifically for the UAE region. In addition, intermediary partners in the region can use the site to access William Russell’s BrokerNet portal.
‘The site was developed in direct response to recent client and broker feedback, and we are confident that it will both strengthen our client support and improve our service proposition,’ said Colin Ward, international sales manager at William Russell.