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Mohsin Patel 23 January, 23 6 min read

Why I'm Moving to the UAE

Around a week ago, I landed in the UAE with my family. There was lots of interest from the IFG community on the move as a whole.

Many of you living in the UK and other Western countries are contemplating moving as the world becomes a yet smaller space with the new ways of working we have all developed post-COVID.

I wanted to pen this article to give further insight to my decision to move from our roots in Bolton, UK all the way to Dubai as many of you are going through the same thought process right now.

Key decision points

For me, as a business owner, things always had to make sense from both the professional and personal point of view.

Professional

Our business is headquartered in London and many of our team are based there. We are, however, a hybrid team, and our existence has never necessitated physical presence in the London office. We do regularly have office days as a team cultural point, but the fundamental point is that it was physically possible for me to be away from the office without much disruption.

If you run a business where you either don't have a big team around you or everyone is remote anyway, then this is not really an issue for you.

Similarly, if you are running a lifestyle business and you are by yourself, this sort of consideration would not come into the equation as you can be based anywhere as long as there is nothing physically keeping you in the place you are.

For us, having senior presence in the UAE has several tangible benefits including attracting investors for the Cur8 Capital platform by having local knowledge and presence, getting access to great regulatory infrastructure, and covering one of the world's largest financial hubs alongside London.

So from a professional perspective, it is the right time for us to be making this sort of move.

Personal

Moving countries with family (I have three children) is never straightforward. 

Like many of you, I have often toyed with the idea of moving abroad but for various reasons it has not been possible.

I spoke to a lot of experienced people before moving and the general consensus was that whilst the kids are fairly young (mine are 2, 6, 7), things are much more possible.

For those of you who have older kids in their teens with important exams on the horizons, things are not as easy. Particularly because in the UK, for instance, the quality of education is very high even compared to fee-paying schools abroad.

I wanted to make the most of the opportunity to enjoy a different way of living, and now seemed like an opportune moment.

Wider list of reasons

Here's a fuller list of reasons, both personal and professional. Some may resonate with you.

  1. The UAE is a place centred around expats. The local population is only ~10%. For someone like me moving abroad for the first time, it's important to know that systems and processes have been developed for ease for newbies like me.
  2. We now have the ability to serve our Middle East-based Cur8 Capital investors better. Better local knowledge means more opportunity to solve pain points and also more opportunity to unlock interesting local investment opportunities for the wider benefit.
  3. The UAE and the region more widely is benefitting tremendously from the oil boom. There is generally more positivity as compared to the gloomy outlook I experienced in the UK. This is both great for business and personal mindset.
  4. The UAE has focussed heavily on being a safe jurisdiction with legal certainty, solid regulatory frameworks and transparency. Doing business here is therefore not just easy, but extremely fertile.
  5. We were fortunate enough to be part of the fantastic Hub71 programme in Abu Dhabi. It is a great reflection of everything that is great about doing business in the UAE and the Hub71 community in particular is very active.
  6. The cost of labour here is cheap. That means that there is a pathway to hiring in the UAE. On the personal front, it also means that getting help around the house is cheaper. This unlocks more family time creating memories rather than simply surviving each day, and also unlocks a lot of my time to focus more on business.
  7. Last but not least, don't underestimate the effect of seeing sunshine every day!

 

Conclusion

So those are the main reasons behind my move. Have you thought about moving abroad before? Or perhaps you did and you have some lessons to share.

If you want delve further, please check out my video on this. I'll be covering more content as I settle in to the UAE, so stay tuned!

Please comment and let me know what you think!

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