Each one of us follows a different path through life and our needs and goals change with time.
The journey of an expat is quite unique. Many of us in the Gulf are here for a defined period and view our presence in the region as a transient stage of our professional career.
With this in mind, a crucial question that we will face at some point in the future is how to best prepare ourselves for our return home.
A good starting point is to maintain financial ties with your country of origin from the start. One way to do this is to keep your accounts back home open but there are also plenty of options that you have locally! Dubai offers access to a range of products and services through well recognised names in banking and finance. The regional banking market is highly established with the majority of global banks having a presence. Most offer a choice of both onshore and international offshore accounts, helping you to continue to take care of finances back home. Since a key part of moving countries is transferring money, having these accounts in place will give you a secure and trusted way to take care of this easily.
With your banking taken care of, a number of other tasks will need to be tackled closer to your date of departure. Here is our checklist of things to complete before you leave:
1. Clear any outstanding loans and pay off your credit card:
This is an area where your financial adviser can offer guidance. Pay off the bills attracting the highest interest rates first.
2. Sell your car:
Allow some time for this to avoid last minute spanners in the works! Think about how you will transfer the sales proceeds back home and crucially, remember to deactivate your Salik!
Prepare for your final rent and mortgage payments. If you are leaving before the end of your lease, check your contract to see if there is room for negotiate and reclaim part of your upfront payments.
4. Pay off your bills:
Notify Dewa and your telephone provider of your imminent departure. You will need to take your residency papers to all counterparties in order to close your accounts.
Your employer will usually notify your bank once your employment is terminated. It is a good idea as a matter of course to also contact your financial adviser to discuss the changes to your circumstances.
Also be sure to check with your employer if you are entitled to an end of service gratuity payment. Most companies give employees a minimum of 21 days salary for each year they have been with the company.
6. Cancel your visa:
Once your employment has come to an end, you have a grace period of one month before your visa expires. Overstaying will result in charges for each additional day which you will have to pay at the airport.
7. Close any local bank accounts:
Bear in mind that most banks require a period of inactivity on the account before it is actually closed. Speak to your bank to find out what is involved in this process.
Moving countries can be a daunting experience and it is important to be prepared. One significant aspect that can be taken care of early on is your personal finances. A financial adviser can step in to provide much needed guidance. In the UAE our proposition is designed with internationally mobile expats in mind. We are there for the journey.
- The writer is Head of Personal Banking for Lloyds TSB Middle East. Views expressed here are his own and do not reflect that of Gulf News or of his own organisation.