Moving from the UAE to the UK? Do you have a proper financial exit plan?

When you relocate from one country to another there is a great deal you need to think about. These include the practical problems of shipping your possessions, finding a place to live, finding new schools for children, new employment and so on.

No doubt you will have lists of things to do but one area that is often overlooked is the financial side. It may not be exciting but you need to be aware of these issues to avoid any nasty surprise tax bills, especially in respect of UAE income or offshore investments.

Getting it right will save you money. Getting it wrong can be expensive.

I provide an exit planning service for people relocating to the UK and this professional service, with a personalised advice and a written report you can refer back to, can save you both money and headaches.

These are some of the topics that you may need to consider:

UK Taxation

The UK has a complex system of taxation and it changes regularly. Are you up to date? Have you been out of the UK long enough not to be liable for UK taxes on all of your UAE income?

Are you familiar with how the dual taxation agreement between the UK and UAE works and what you should do to ensure there are no tax issues related to termination of employment? A rule change in 2018 is not well known but is easily resolved if you know what to do.

Income Tax

Will you have any liabilities to UK tax on your UAE income?  Do you understand the Statutory Residency Test which came into effect in 2013 and totally changed the number of days people can spend in or out of the UK before becoming tax resident? Will you satisfy the requirements for a split tax year? Will you need to factor in overseas income such as from UAE property or any business venture here?

Capital Gains Tax

Did you realise that if you own property outside of the UK and sell it, you could be liable for UK capital gains tax on the profits? Are you aware that you could be liable for tax on the proceeds of a sale of your UK home even if you return to live there?


How and when you remit money to the UK matters. When you move during the UK tax year can also matter. Get the timing wrong and you could be landed with a tax bill that could easily have been avoided.

There are steps that should be taken when ending employment in the UAE to ensure there is no UK tax ‘hang over’.

Existing investments

Certain offshore investments can give rise to a UK tax charge once you are resident. Was this made clear when you invested? Some plans need a simple endorsement, others may need to be reviewed in order to decide the best course of action. Do you understand how the interest from offshore bank accounts is taxed for UK residents?

Comments from clients

After talking to you I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

I understand the tax issues as you explained in plain English.”

Money well spent!

All genuine comments and I save them money too.

How to get personalised professional advice

We need to have a conversation to go through your individual circumstances. Most take place over Zoom and this works really well, not least for everyone’s time management.

Once I understand your situation, I will know how much time is required for a personalised report so the total professional chargeable time will be agreed with you. It is usually no more than three hours. I send you a fee agreement for signature and return, before the report is prepared, and it is then sent to you by email.

Tax can be complex but I will explain all you need to know in an easy to follow manner, with details of any action you should take. This also includes follow up questions.

To arrange a discussion on any aspect of your personal financial planning, please email me at I run my own set-up under the Holborn Assets umbrella.

Getting your exit planning right and taking the correct steps can save you money, so don’t leave an important matter to chance.

Update 01/03/23 – new residency rules for the UAE relating to residency may affect some people and it is so important to get this right.

You can also find a useful guide to leaving Dubai in this article. It was written in April 2016 but the information is still correct.

It has been viewed over 23,000 times so far.     FinancialUAE – Need to know: Leaving Dubai 


If you are unsure as to whether a move to the UK is right for you, I work with a expert counsellor who supports expats in making life decisions. She has the personal experience to give you the guidance to make the right decisions for you and your family. Contact me for a no-obligation referral.

I am a highly-qualified and experienced Independent Financial Adviser with over 30 years of experience, the last 16 in the UAE and prior to that in the UK. I provide a fee-based personal financial planning service to expatriates resident in the GCC. I also comment on all kinds of financial isues in  The National  newspaper and have a regular column where I answer reader  questions. You’ll see my name in other UAE publications from time to time.  My business motto is proper advice for nice people.

Please take a look at the many other useful articles on this website.

Article updated March 2023

leaving dubai


About FinancialUAE

A qualified and experienced Independent Financial Adviser based in Dubai, UAE. Professional and ethical. Freelance writer on personal financial issues & the On Your Side column in The National. Founder of Facebook group British Expats Dubai. Senior Partner at Holborn Assets LLC, Dubai, UAE.
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3 Responses to Moving from the UAE to the UK? Do you have a proper financial exit plan?

  1. Pingback: Need to know: Leaving Dubai | Financial Planning in the UAE

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  3. Pingback: Information on the UK Statutory Residency Test | Financial Planning in the UAE

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