British expats head home as pandemic hits UAE economy
Left jobless due to the coronavirus pandemic, many British expatriates in the UAE have been selling their possessions as they try to gather some money before returning to the UK, according to a report by British daily The Telegraph.
The daily reported that "thousands of expats have been made redundant" due to the pandemic's devastating impact on the UAE economy.
While the situation is expected to improve as lockdown measures are lifted, the report said it may take years for the UAE economy to fully recover.
With no option but to head back to their home countries, the UAE's expatriate community is selling everything from cars to gym subscriptions.
An estimated 90% of the UAE's population are expatriates, the report noted.
It also quoted a study by Oxford Economics -- a quantitative analysis firm -- as saying that the UAE, with a population of 9 million, may lose up to 900,000 jobs, and British expats seem to be among the most affected group.
Selina Dixon, a fashion marketer, moved to Dubai from Surrey almost 11 years ago. She told The Telegraph that she was laid off from her job a few weeks ago, and is now living off her meagre savings.
She said her visa is set to expire in the coming weeks and cannot be renewed unless she finds a new job.
"Every day you wake up, you're looking on LinkedIn. Speaking to contacts and your network, but then you have to be mindful there are so many people going through this," Dixon told The Telegraph.