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The Ultimate Guide to Leaving the UAE

Simon Cahill19 April 2021


Moving countries can be stressful.

If you’re reading this guide, you have most likely experienced it at least once.

Anyone who has moved back to the UK from the UAE will understand the frustrations which can arise from experiencing the UAE systems and processes one must go through in order to permanently leave the country.

Having been a Dubai resident and expat for 4 years, I have been through this process myself and lived to tell the tale.

The purpose of this 7-part guide is to provide a blueprint of everything you need to know on how to repatriate.

From the very beginning when you first consider the idea, right up to settling down in the green, culture rich land that us Brits call home.

This guide has been compiled using a combination of my own experiences, interviews with over 30 former British expats who have recently repatriated, as well as significant research on local, institutional and government websites, both in the UK and the UAE.

I hope you find it useful.

Of course, please also feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, or require assistance with your finances, whether you are about to move back to the UK or have already made the jump.


Part 1: How to successfully leave the UAE

Part 2: What to do with your assets abroad?

Part 3: UK bank accounts and property: the 6 expat scenarios

Part 4: UK tax: 8 points which could save you money

Part 5: Retiring to the UK: 4 areas which you need to consider

Part 6: You’re back in the UK: 6 things you need to organise

Part 7: Financial advice in the UK. Do you need it?

Why did I write this guide?

Repatriating is difficult. Information is out there, but it is all over the place.

In preparing this guide, a number of the individuals I spoke to told me that they did not take tax or investment advice before repatriating.

Some then faced heavy tax bills later down the line.

I want to help people to have a smooth transition home. The move and planning for it is hard enough, the last thing you need is an unnecessary tax bill when you get back.

If you would like me to recommend UK based firms who specialise in expats, please feel free to get in touch.

Simon Cahill

Simon Cahill Partner

About Simon

Simon is a Chartered Financial Planner and has gained Chartership through both the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments. Prior to returning to the UK in 2020, Simon worked for a company dedicated to changing the face of offshore financial advice in Dubai.

AES’s mission was to deliver positive change to a market which historically had seen outstandingly poor levels of financial advice.

A lack of regulation in the Middle East has meant that thousands of expats have unfortunately been mis-sold to.

Many British expats still hold investments which are entirely inappropriate for their needs.

Whilst at AES, Simon’s role as an adviser was to meet with clients, the majority of whom had previously been mis-sold inappropriate investments.

Some were aware of this.

Many weren’t.

Simon’s job was to try and repair the damage and ensure that clients were able to reach their short and long term financial goals.

This included advice on financial plans, pensions, savings, investments, protection and estate planning.

Having relocated back to the UK in 2020 with his wife, Simon is now a Partner at Octopus Wealth, part of the Octopus Group and one of the country’s most exciting and revolutionary companies.

You can find more information about Octopus Wealth in Part 7 of this series.

Having repatriated from the UAE himself, and assisting numerous clients through the process, Simon is a specialist in providing financial advice for clients who are repatriating to the UK from the UAE. He continues to provide ongoing holistic advice for clients as they settle into their new lives in the UK and helps them to plan for the future.

This all starts with a plan. For former UAE expats with pensions and investable assets valued at £250,000+, I offer a free personalised ‘Lifeline’ and 60 minute discussion about your personal situation (usually valued at £2,000).


If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please do feel free to get in touch.

Important information

Circumstances vary for individuals and any personal opinions or firm opinions represented above should not be seen as advice or a recommendation to take any specific course of action.

We are not tax advisers. The value of an investment, and any income from it, can fall or rise. Investors may not get back the full amount they invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Personal opinions may change and should not be seen as advice or a recommendation. This post is based on current legislation as at the time of writing, which is subject to change and will not be kept up to date. This document is for UK retail investors.

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