Thursday, 21 May 2009

Survey shows 50% of expats in the UAE fear job loss

From This research could be done by glancing at any expat web forum or eavesdropping on conversations in any supermarket queue. Without too much effort, one would find that virtually every expat in Dubai:

- is worried about their job security;
- knows more than 3 people personally who've been made redundant plus all the "friends of friends" who've lost their jobs;
- has stopped spending and started saving.....hard

Many members of the expat community in the UAE are worried because if they lose their job, they have 30 days to leave the UAE but if they've bought a property they're required to pay off the mortgage in full before being allowed out of the country, but if they haven't got a job they can't pay the mortgage and round and round and round...... It really isn't surprising that some people have felt overwhelmed and have "done a runner".
Expatriates living in the UAE and Bahrain are becoming increasingly concerned about job security, a new survey has found.

Research carried out by Zurich International Life revealed that more than 50 percent of foreign workers in the two countries are far from confident about retaining their jobs.

Among non-resident Indians polled, 64 percent and 61 percent in the UAE and Bahrain respectively said job security was a cause for concern.

"It is clear that the current financial crisis is having an impact on professional expats, as around 80 percent of people surveyed in the two countries feel their ability to save due to the impact of the global credit crunch has been decreased,” said Carlos Sabugueiro, Zurich’s CEO of global life emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa.

“Last year, all anyone could talk about was how to spend their bonuses and the continuing good times. Now they appear genuinely worried about losing their jobs.”

Sabugueiro added many respondents said the financial downturn had led to tighter budgets, higher expectations and reduced benefits in their workplace.

Some 41 percent of UAE expats and 32 percent of foreigners in Bahrain cited these issues during the study. On the upside, the report showed that 50 percent were optimistic about their financial futures. A further 70 percent said they were prepared to stay put until global economies bounce back, with all confident about the GCC’s long-term health.

"Professional expats are here to stay and many of those who have spent 10 or more years in the region know that the Gulf has an amazing ability to bounce back very quickly," Sabugueiro said.

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