Oil price falls could spark Brit expat exodus

A report in The Telegraph reveals that a significant fall in the price of crude oil could lead to thousands of British expats leaving Dubai.

In recent months, crude oil prices have declined by 45 per cent – bad news for an economy which is driven almost entirely by its petroleum wealth.

According to the Middle East Economic Digest, if oil averages US$65 per barrel next year then gross domestic product (GDP) across the Gulf Co-operation Council will shrink by an estimated 13 per cent. It is currently trading at below US$60 per barrel.

Although only a small percentage of the roughly 150,000 British expats already living in Dubai actually work in the oil industry, continued low oil prices would cause a severe contraction in emirate’s economy and seriously impact on standards of living and cause job losses; not just in Dubai, but throughout the whole Middle East region.

British expats currently make up the single largest Western expatriate community in the Middle East, but if oil prices don’t improve soon, this may not be the case this time next year.

Article published 30th December 2014