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By: Joy Aquino

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July 9th, 2015

Expat in the UAE? Here’s the best way to mess up your finances

Financial Education

Offshore banking for expats in the UAE - a must

You might think your biggest financial blunder is incessant borrowing, credit card debt, or your “one-day millionaire” lifestyle. But if you’re an expat in the UAE, your money and your family’s financial stability could be in peril from an altogether nastier danger than debt.

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So what is it?

Your bank account.

Many expats don’t even think about it, but failing to use an offshore bank can leave your money in jeopardy.

Here are three reasons why you should bank offshore if you’re an expat in the UAE.

1. Freeze! Says your local bank in the UAE

Did you know the UAE government can freeze your bank account without notice?

It could be frozen because:

a.You were involved in a car accident and were arrested for causing damage or injury;

b. You have existing loans and move jobs or leave the UAE; and

c. On death, the account will be frozen (even joint accounts) until the probate period (which could take years) is finished.

Imagine not having access to your money when you move jobs or head overseas for work? Or the distress to your family if you died and they were left without access to cash.

2. Transience: you’re probably here temporarily

Expats like you often move countries frequently, and moving your money from one country to the next is a major irritation. Even if you are simply planning to leave the UAE to return home in a few years, by banking offshore you can have all your assets arranged in one place.

3. Your family is your main priority

If you die without registering a foreign Will with the UAE courts, any money held in the country could be subject to Sharia law. This means your money may bypass your spouse and children and instead be awarded to your closest male relative.

Some foreign Wills are now recognised by the UAE courts, but it’s an untried and untested system, with astounding costs and a tedious process. And once your family goes through it, there is no guarantee they will be granted access to your money anyway.

So what should you do?

It’s simple. Opening an offshore bank account will remove these perils and will also help you efficiently manage your finances day-to-day. For more information, download our guide to offshore banking using the link below.

About Joy Aquino

Joy Aquino served as a Marketing Associate for AES International before relocating to Germany.