Why do expats leave Dubai?


Many countries across the globe have lost the “come back home” appeal for their citizens, who live abroad. Economic vows, financial crisis, natural disasters, civil unrest and inflation worries are constantly heralded by the media. In a slightly voyeuristic way, in Dubai many expats follow up all that news, because it makes them feel good about the decision they have made to move abroad.

Nevertheless, a return to the city after a long summer holiday always brings with it a tidal wave of positive emotion about the “back home”, wherever that is. While many expats are overjoyed to be in the emirates, having missed the relative ease of life, the optimism, the sunshine and the blue sky, there are also plenty who return to Dubai unwillingly. They are crying on the plane and talking wistfully about how lovely it was to see some clouds and rain, how clean the air was, what amazing things the children did, how fresh all the fruits and vegetables are, how cheap is the much tastier local produce and so on.

Are these holiday pleasures strong enough reasons to turn your back on a tax-free salary, all year round summer season and a very comfortable life in the U.A.E.? So, why do expats leave Dubai?

Goal achieved

Wise expats, who came to Dubai on a plan to save enough money to buy a property back home, put the children through university or provide for their retirement, naturally leave simply because they have achieved their goal. Others leave because their contracts have finished and they never planned to stay longer. Living overseas was just a temporary solution and nothing more. Mission accomplished – time to go home!

Plans gone wrong

Some expats have no choice but to leave, either to escape debt, court case or a crime resulting in deportation. Redundancy and lack of competitive job offers are very significant reasons too.


Many foreigners miss the falling of the autumn leaves, clear winter days, promise of spring, rains, warm clothes, fire places, smell of wood and so on. Although there are seasons in Dubai, they are quite different than the seasons in Europe and America.

Family responsibilities

The life of an expat anywhere in the world is largely disconnected from the extended family life back home. Many people move back simply because they miss their family and friends. Others are pressured by the need to care about their older parents.

Children and education

Often families return back home, because they want their children to experience the depth of their native culture that is missing in the U.A.E., to connect with their roots and to learn about real life”back home. Becoming more streetwise and to living in the real world, it is essential for youngsters in many expats’ views. The majority of parents in Dubai are terrified of how spoiled their children have become.

Education, especially at the senior school level, in reality, it is also a very significant reason for expat families to move back home. Parents want a better quality of private education, smaller schools, better chance for their children to get into university. Dubai offers plenty of choices as facilities and curriculums, but still the quality of education lags behind International standards, and this is evident from the acceptance rate of Dubai students into worlds leading universities.



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