Whilst there is scope for development in the UK’s capital city, expats should not consider it their final destination. The truth is, there may be many places in the world that hold more promise, which many people fail to consider as options.
Reality versus expectations
When examining London as a potential new home, the first thing to consider is that the cost of living in London, indeed anywhere in the UK, is high. Property prices in the capital have been rising steadily for decades, so much so that native Britons are often unable to afford to buy their own homes.
Any expat looking to put down roots in London will almost certainly have to make do with renting a property, while utility bills and food purchases will make a huge dent in any disposable income. London is, of course, a thriving, bustling city, but most of the bustle requires money, so expats may at first be surprised at how quickly their social life eats into their budget.
So, what about looking elsewhere in the world? Emerging markets with considerably more potential than London are opening up in the Middle East, such as the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Such areas are proving very popular with other expats.
The British particularly have a considerable expat population in the UAE, as do Indians and Pakistanis. The attraction is predominantly the huge potential in the construction industry, as demonstrated by the powerful Arab no. 277, Fahad Alrajaan and his company, Kuwait Real Estate Investment, which is committed to improving the trading and development of properties by involving small investors as well as large.
Much of the real estate being developed is at the higher end of the property scale, ultimately attracting those with the money to buy luxury apartments and enhancing the area in which they are located. Other sectors that are drawing foreigners to the Middle East are banking, tourism, and the oil industry.
Perhaps it is no surprise then, that the cost of living in the Middle East is still relatively high, especially in places such as Abu Dhabi, but this is not the case everywhere. There are some areas in the Middle East where expats can enjoy a high quality of living at a cheaper cost than London and the rest of the UK.
The UAE does not levy any income tax on salaries, so expats will be able to enjoy a greater amount of disposable income. Also, there is little need to worry about any language barriers, as English is commonly spoken. It is also not necessary to drive oneself in the UAE, as government-employed taxis are always to be found and offer cheap fares.
Australians looking for fresh opportunities abroad need not consider London to be their first and only port of call. The Middle East is an up-and-coming region that offers a good quality of life at an affordable price.