Busy sum­mer for re­lo­cat­ing res­i­dents

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Veathika Jain @veathika

Re­lo­ca­tion firms say they are see­ing their busiest sum­mer in years as fam­i­lies re­turn to their home coun­tries, with some cit­ing re­dun­dan­cies and the cost of liv­ing among the rea­sons.

The ar­rival of sum­mer and the end of the school year is of­ten a con­ve­nient time for fam­i­lies to leave if their time in the UAE has come to an end.

But some of the largest mov­ing firms said they have seen a spike in busi­ness this sum­mer.

Curt Cle­ments, CEO of Move One, said the com­pany has seen “an un­usu­ally high amount of ex­pats leav­ing the UAE and the re­gion in com­par­i­son to past years”.

He said: “This is about three to four times more than nor­mal. The top 10 movers in the coun­try would prob­a­bly have packed out a 100 to 150 fam­i­lies per day in June.”

Ear­lier this year, Dubai Statis­tics Cen­tre said the cost of ed­u­ca­tion had risen al­most 5 per cent in the first three months of the year, com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2015. Then in June, Dubai and Abu Dhabi rose in Mercer’s global rank­ing of the world’s most ex­pen­sive cities to live in.

Cle­ments said: “We are see­ing an ab­nor­mally high amount of down­siz­ing, where the fam­ily go home and the fa­ther or mother stay in Dubai and travel back monthly.”

Cle­ments said that those com­ing into the UAE tend to be younger, sin­gle em­ploy­ees. “We are see­ing a dif­fer­ent mix of trans­feree,” he added.

Mike Arnold, from Santa Fe Re­lo­ca­tions, told 7DAYS the num­ber of leavers is up 20 per cent, with the UK, France, Aus­tralia and the US the top des­ti­na­tions. He said the num­ber of in­com­ing ex­pats is 40 per cent of what was seen last year.

Mean­while, Crown Re­lo­ca­tions saw a 40 per cent rise in en­quir­ing about mov­ing in the first six months of the year. The firm’s num­ber of ac­tual moves rose by 25 per cent, sug­gest­ing some chose not to go af­ter all.

Gen­eral Man­ager Mark Neave pointed to “an ero­sion of dis­pos­able in­come”.

He said: “We have seen a trend of peo­ple leav­ing Dubai in re­cent months that have lived here for twenty years or more, as prices have in­creased over the last few years. “There is also a trend for some com­pa­nies to re­lo­cate their younger, sin­gle and more mo­bile em­ploy­ees over­seas as this does re­duce expatriate costs such as hous­ing, school­ing and visas.”

Chi­ran­tan Joshi, CEO of E-Movers, has also seen in­creased de­mand, but pointed out that the UAE is a tran­sient coun­try, and it is in­evitable fam­i­lies will move on.

He said: “There are a lot of peo­ple here on projects, like in con­struc­tion and teach­ers, who come on two year con­tracts. “And a lot of these con­tracts are not re­newed or ne­go­ti­ated.”

HEAD­ING HOME: A Dubai re­moval crew from Move One pack up a fam­ily’s be­long­ings

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