Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Brits Abroad: Why We Move Overseas and Where We Go

According to a study by the Office of National Statistics, around 350,000 British people move overseas every year, which is quite alarming when you think about it. While the UK has a lot to offer in terms of career opportunities, education and housing – three of the most important assets – it’s countries more further afield that have the pull factor with Australia and the UAE holding the top positions in terms of where the Brits are heading.

 Many put this down to the climate with both countries far warmer than the UK, but there are a number of other contributing factors such as the tax-free salaries, stunning architecture and beautiful beaches on offer in the Emirates. Moving further afield to countries such as Australia isn’t for everyone, with many choosing to leave the UK preferring to stay within Europe. In fact, European countries make up around one third of the chosen destinations with countries like Portugal, Spain and France all in there. One of the reasons for that being that it’s now much cheaper than it used to be to buy a property in Europe from an agent like with the overall cost of living nowhere near it’s peak at the turn of the millennium. 

While countries such as the UAE and its most popular cities – Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah – are filling up with Britons looking for a new way of living, a lot of them aren’t looking at staying forever with around 63% of people involved in a recent NatWest International Personal Banking study saying that they would look to move back to the UK at some point. It’s easy to see why they’ve moved out there in the first place, however, with the rapid expansion in industries such as construction, banking, tourism and oil offering numerous career opportunities from the ground right up to managerial positions all of which are – as already mentioned – tax free.

No matter how appealing the prospect of moving abroad might be, there are always a number of factors that complicate the process. The first of which being the fact that you will have to adapt to their way of living. What might be legal in the UK might not be where you’re moving to or you may have to drive on the opposite side of the road – which will certainly take some getting used to! Some countries have businesses that will close for several hours during the day or may not open at all on certain days of the week, and you’ll also have to make sure that you give yourselves the best chance of integrating into the neighbourhood by meeting your neighbours and trying to learn the language.

You’ll also have to get used to the exchange rate. Sometimes you don’t noticed just how much you’re spending on a holiday because the price sounds similar to what

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