Tag Archives: globaleye

Living in United Arab Emirates: Expat Guide From Globaleye

The United Arab Emirates is very much a worldly country; after all, of the over 8.2 million people living there, roughly 17 percent are local Emiratis with the rest of the population being expats. While a great deal of expats are Indian and Pakistani, a large and constant influx of Brits are coming to the UAE, and most of them living in the financial hubs of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
For the past 8 years the rate of UK expats moving to the UAE has stayed constant at over 10,000 a year, while also steadily rising as jobs in energy, tourism, construction and architecture, banking and other international trades have come to find the UAE as their new corporate home. And the wages are so good that less than 700 Brits are drawing from their UK state pensions.
While moving away from one’s country of birth can sometimes be a melancholy choice, trading the UK’s less than ideal winter weather for the UAE’s sunny skies, warm sandy beaches and pristine water makes coping with homesickness much easier. And although living expenses can be a bit high in places, especially Abu Dhabi, it’s still much more affordable to obtain a higher quality of life in the UAE than the UK, and that’s thanks to generous tax laws, you don’t have to pay any income tax to the UAE on money earned in the emirates.
If you’re planning on, or contemplating going to the UAE, whether for work or just for pleasure, there are a few things you should know and Globaleye can help.
Before you go you’ll need to apply for a visa, and each Emirate issues them separately. Along with the visa, if you intend to work in the UAE, a work permit, residence visa and Emirates ID card are obligatory. Employers will generally take care of this for you, but always double check to make sure nothing has been left out. And keep in mind for a residence visa, which is valid for two years, you must prove your salary is no less than AED 4,000 (£288) a month. Also, if you’re family will be moving with you, all birth and marriage certificates must be legalized by the UK Foreign Office, because you must be married to live with a partner in the UAE.
Unfortunately the UAE does not offer any pensioner visa, however if you are looking to retire there and can find someone who’s working there and earns enough so that they can sponsor you, it’s possible to obtain a visa that way. But keep in mind that once you move to the UAE and begin drawing from a UK state pension, the level it was at when you left the UK will be frozen, rather than growing each year.
Lastly, make sure to check that your employer has your medical insurance covered, such coverage is mandatory and you have a legal right to it. If you’re just visiting, you’ll still need to buy the most basic health insurance available upon entering the country.
Beyond those basics everything is very accessible in the UAE and while the official language is Arabic, English is commonly spoken, so if don’t expect to have any difficulty finding lodging, explaining directions to taxi drivers, or doing day to day activities.

Oman Levies Tax on Foreign Workers

The economic and financial committee of the Shura Council, an advisory committee to the government of Oman, has proposed that the country should tax the billions of dollars sent out of the country by foreign workers, by two percent. Many countries in the region with a great deal of migrant workers have been looking at ways to account for the loss of this money in the economy, when workers send back a large portion of their paycheck to family members back home.

While worries of a negative effect have arisen, the deputy head of the committee, Ali bin Abdullah al-Badi has assured that the tax rate is appropriate so it will not have negative effects on the economy. At the moment no taxes are levied against money transfers.
Oman has a population of about 3.9 million people and of those, 1.5 million are migrant workers, most from southeast Asia and are the focus of the new proposed tax.
Of course the government says this tax isn’t going to solve all of its fiscal issues, but it would help to drive opportunities in diversifying income, which at the moment is mainly relying on oil and is steadily declining.

This tax would make foreign workers more expensive to hire, so the alternative effect it could have would be to create more jobs and hire more Omani citizens, which at the moment, many are suffering from unemployment.
In 2012, transfers accounted up to 3.1 billion rials ($8.1 billion) according to a report by the central bank. This would mean the proposed tax could bring in around 62 million rials a year.

Other countries such as Saudi Arabia have deported almost a million foreigners since last March in order to allow for more room for Saudi citizens to get into the job market and prevent money from flowing out of the country. The UAE also has been talking about leveling a similar tax, but does not have the same problem of being overly dependent on foreign workers, since the business model is based off of foreign investment and driving international trade.

But Oman, like most Gulf oil exporting states, is in a tricky situation as its oil resources decline and has to wane off its dependency on foreign workers. And with social unrest following 2011, the government had to boost state spending to keep order, which has had a strain on the state. Next year Oman is projected to spend around 13.5 billion rials; that’s up from the 12.9 billion that was planned for 2013. And that’s not including the approximately 900 million rials the government may have to pay to raise wages, effectively standardizing salaries after a royal order to do so in the public sector.

Other recommendations have also been made by the committee, including raising the royalty rate on natural resources and reevaluating fees collected by the government.
At the moment Oman is projecting a budget deficit of 1.8 billion rials, six percent of their GDP. However, as long as the price per barrel of oil doesn’t drop below $100, which is sits at $108 now, Oman should have a surplus in 2014. Yet, counting on oil is a slippery slope, as the Gulf state must look to other industries to help keep the economy on track.
Think you might be affected by this new tax as an expat? Talk with an adviser at Globaleye today to see how you can plan and prepare.

Start 2014 Anew: Saving Tips from Globaleye

The New Year means fresh starts, and a chance to create a new you; financially, personally, career wise, and more. So here are some tips from Gobaleye on different areas that can help you gain more success in 2014.

Exercise

If you don’t have your health, then it doesn’t matter what else you may have. Starting to get into a regular exercising routine will not only have immense benefits for your body, but your mind will be sharper and in just a week of sticking to a routine, you’ll already notice a difference and have more energy.

While going to the gym is the typical place to workout, it’s a common misconception that it’s the only place you can. Investing in a fitness ball, a pull-up bar and a few dumbbells can open up a lot of opportunities for exercising at home when you’re not able to make it to the gym. Also, keep in mind that you can still get the same benefits from body weight training (not using weights) – squats in a wide stance, side bends, holding push-ups, jumping-jacks, and other activities that combine strength with cardio. The key is to remember the higher the intensity, with fewer breaks, the more reward and improvement you’ll see.

Career shift

If you’re tired of your current job and looking for a refreshing change, you have to clean up your CV as it’s the first thing your potential employers are going to see and your ticket to getting an interview. The most basic point is to cut to the chase; employers generally have a lot of applicants and little time, so don’t waste your time with long run-on sentences or points that aren’t relevant – make sure your strongest qualities and experience are covered right of the bat and if they want to know more, they’ll ask. You’ll also want to highlight what makes you unique and separates you from all the other applicants, so think carefully what strengths you have that will be an asset to an employer.

And if you’ve been sending out the same version of your CV, you’re doing it wrong. You should be adjusting it to the needs and wants of each employer, because while two companies may be in the same industry, their mission and goals could be completely separate.

Also, spelling or grammatical errors are a definite deal breaker, so have someone else look it over before you submit it; a fresh pair of eyes is always a good idea to give you feedback and notice if anything is off.

Earning and saving more

There’s a reason a large portion of the wealthiest individuals are entrepreneurs – they utilize all of their strengths and find ways to develop basic things into profitable businesses. So maybe you have a hobby that could be earning you some extra cash by turning it into a home business, perhaps it’s knitting clothes or photography that you could try to sell online, either way there are plenty of ways to make the most of your activities.

Or maybe you’ve been working at the same place for a while and are about to get a raise. Instead of taking that extra cash and having some fun, the smart way to save is to stick to the budget you were operating off of before the raise, and stash the extra bit away, as if you didn’t even have it. Save it; invest it; just don’t spend it and it’ll make up for those dipping pensions. And if you’re not sure how or what to invest in, talk with a financial advisor at Globaleye to see how you can make the most of your money.

Remember, it takes some determination to stick to it, but if you do, by the time 2015 rolls around you’ll look back and see just how far you’ve come.

Looming Debt Challenges with Dubai Expo 2020

World Expo

Following Dubai winning its bid to host the World Expo 2020, there’s been a lot of celebration and optimism around the event. Yet, with the high cost of hosting such an event, financial experts are turning their focus to the elephant in the room, the emirates debt. At the moment the emirates debt is estimated to be around US $103 billion, and is expected to increase with renewed borrowing needed to fund projects for the Expo.

With an estimated $43 billion needed in infrastructure projects to prepare for the Expo, the government of Dubai has indicated that a considerable amount of funding for the event will probably come from borrowing, most likely from state-linked firms. According to the IMF, the borrowing is expected as the emirate is set to pay off $85 billion in debt before 2017.

Even though Dubai has been curbing its levels of debt since Dubai World, a state-controlled firm, called for a freeze on $25 billion of debt in November 2009, the levels of government debt and state-owned companies is still quite sizable, having increased by $13 billion from last year to almost $103 billion, as according to estimates by Barclays.

Yet with the overall excitement from Dubai winning the bid for the Expo, along with gains in the economy, have, within the bond market, helped push Dubai’s credit to right levels. Yet, these high levels of debt could increase borrowing costs for Dubai.

However, a great deal of focus is being targeting on $20 billion of debt which was borrowed from the government of Abu Dhabi and other domestic institutions as a result of the financial crisis in 2009. The total amount comes from $10 billion borrowed from the Central Bank, $1 billion split between two banks in Abu Dhabi, and another $9 billion from the government of Abu Dhabi. The good news is Dubai is on track to paying back the debt and there are no talks to refinance the debt with Abu Dhabi.

But it’s not just the government that’s coping with debt; many state-owned companies are also facing debt payments, which are coming up. Dubai Group is still restructuring $10 billion of debt, aiming for repayments to be within the next three to 12 years. Dubai World is also coping with debt, but has managed to deal with a $4.4 billion loan due in two years by selling off some of its assets.

Yet, companies such as Borse Dubai, with $1.8 billion in loans due, and Nakhell with $1.9 billion, are expected to be refinancing according to a recent report by Barclays.

Even though the debt repayment schedule looms over Dubai, most companies are going to be able to pay back the loans, and those who aren’t will simply refinance those loans, while all companies are expected to borrow again in the next year to prepare for the Expo and make the proper investments, which should turn by 2020. So for now there’s little need to worry as the recovery from the 2009 financial crisis is still taking its course, all while Dubai’s economy continues to grow and show no signs of stopping. That being said, now is the right time to start thinking about new investment opportunities in anticipation for an economic boom from the Expo. So talk to Globaleye and find out what’s right for you and your portfolio.

The Necessities of Emergency Planning and Saving

The Necessities of Emergency Planning and SavingSure, you save; in the financial world it’s a must. But most financial advisors will focus more on long-term investing and retirement plans, rather than give the proper emphasis on emergency planning, which for some reason always seems to get put on the back-burner.

Of course your Roth IRA is important, and so are your other investments. But all too often when something unexpected arises, most people aren’t prepared financially or logistically, which is made apparent after natural disasters, such as Typhoon Haiyan, Hurricane Sandy and and numerous other disasters, small and large, natural and financial, that no one thought would happen to them. So in the name of preparedness, below are some tips that you should take so you’re not caught off guard and ensure your retirement fund will be there to enjoy.

1) Always have cash

From disastrous storms, to the banking crisis in Cyprus, one thing to remember is most likely credit cards won’t be an option for payment and ATMs won’t be working, so as the saying goes, “cash is king.”

It’s always a good idea to have a couple hundred dollars stashed away, because if you aren’t fully prepared and need more supplies, it’ll probably be your only means of getting water, fuel and food.

2) Have an emergency kit.

Most recommendations for an emergency kit include enough food and water for no less than three days, along with tools and a first aid kit (which can be bought easily online). Emergency kits include those basic items, along with flashlights and a radio so you can still hear any news on emergency broadcasts. If you are unsure about building your own kit, you can buy one here from the Red Cross.

3) Stock up on non-perishable foods

As mentioned before, most basic emergency kits only cover three days, so if there’s a real disaster, you’re going to need to be prepared and have plenty of food and water. Canned foods are always a safe bet because they last a long time and are generally ready to eat right away (if there’s no gas or means of cooking anything), so it’s very important to take into account you may not have the luxury of being able to heat a pan or boil water, which means rice and pasta, which do store well, may not necessarily be a good option.

Plus, you can always eat the food that was bought first and keep replenishing the supply so you’re always prepared and not sitting on a decade of old canned foods covered in dust. And even if it’s not an emergency, having some food stored away can be very helpful when going through a period of unemployment and saving is even more important.

4) What does your insurance cover?

Live in an area prone to natural disasters? Know which ones might be of risk and make sure you have personal insurance to cover it; from auto, health, disability, to homeowner’s or renters insurance, it’s an absolute must because the last thing you want is to have all your hard-earned savings drained having to replace something damaged or lost because it wasn’t insured.

Also, if you’re the main provider for your family, make sure your life insurance will be enough to support them. And if you have a considerable amount of assets, looking into long-term care insurance and umbrella liability is a good idea

5) Save some for a rainy day

Not all savings in you bank have to be specifically for a disaster, because an emergency doesn’t always mean you’re safety is dire straights, it could just mean you’re unemployed and need to fall back on some cash reserves until you’re back on your feet. As the financial crisis during 2008 demonstrated in Dubai, having enough money saved to cover mortgages and loans can mean all the difference, and Globaleye can help every step along the way to make sure you’re prepared

 The amount recommended for your emergency savings varies, depending on the individual’s financial situation and the stability of your income. In general, having six months of salary stashed away is a good goal to have, and focus on fulfilling that goal before paying off debt. It’s also wise to keep these funds in an insured bank or credit union, that way you can be collecting interest with no risk. That, or using a Roth IRA can suffice; traditionally it’s not used this way, however you are always able to withdraw the sum of your contributions at anytime without paying any penalty. And the latter option proves to be a great call because if there’s no need to pull out these funds early, you can simply invest more rigorously for retirement.

The bottom line, be prepared so your hard-earned money isn’t needlessly expended when it could’ve been prevented. And don’t only think in terms of a disaster, also keep in mind unexpected unemployment which could always come at the least convenient time, because your ultimate goal should be a stable and fruitful retirement with good investment returns.