5 reasons to consider investing in Australian shares and listed investments while living in Dubai

Published on: August 30th, 2023

As an Australian living in Dubai, you may be wondering what your options are when it comes to investing any surplus cash. Of course, you have options to invest locally, but investing in shares and listed assets in Australia can be a great move. Here’s why.

#1 A highly regulated system

By investing in Australia, your funds will be invested in one of the most highly regulated financial systems in the world, giving you more protection.

#2 Mitigate currency risk

The dirham is pegged to the US dollar. Therefore, if you are planning to move back to Australia, it is advisable to build wealth in Australian dollars to mitigate currency risk when you return home.

The risk can be further reduced by dollar cost averaging – for example, bringing money back to Australia at regular intervals rather than bringing the funds across in one lump sum. This prevents clients from chasing currency highs and lows or trying to time unpredictable currency markets.

#3 Low tax options and no capital gains tax 

Australian shares and listed assets are not assessable for capital gains tax if held whilst you are a non-resident. While there are opportunities for low-cost opportunities in Dubai, these are also available in Australia – and with one of the most regulated systems in the world, it makes sense to have more certainty with less tax.

#4 No tax on franked dividends

As a non-resident of Australia, the franked portion of your dividends are not subject to Australian income or withholding taxes. (It’s important to note that unfranked dividends are subject to withholding tax and will need to be declared on your Australian tax return.)

For Australians living overseas who intend to come home, investing on our shores makes sense. To mitigate currency risks, building your assets and wealth where you intend to use them makes sense for any expat.

While navigating your finances as an expat can seem complex, it doesn’t have to be. You can continue to build wealth and realise your financial goals. To achieve the best possible results, work with a professional team who understands both jurisdictions across your financial, taxation and legal affairs.

#5 Avoid potential estate planning pitfalls

While estate planning is something that can be uncomfortable to think about, it’s important to consider, even if you are young and healthy. In Dubai, Sharia Law is the sovereign law when it comes to inheritance. This means if you pass away holding assets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and don’t have a will registered to DIFC under Will and Probate Registry Rules, your property and assets may become the property of the UAE Government, in full or in part, according to Sharia Laws of Property Inheritance. It can also affect distribution between male and female family members according to local custom.

Shared assets can be impacted, which under local laws can be frozen until your liabilities are paid posthumously. This can cause problems for inheriting family members or any parties with a share in your assets.

Any assets you hold outside of the UAE will not be impacted.

The expert expat financial advisers at Apt Wealth Partners are experienced in working with Australians living in the Middle East to achieve long- and short-term financial goals. We work closely with your other professionals in Australia or overseas and can connect you with our highly reputable experts to ensure you have a cohesive team in your corner, wherever life takes you.

General Advice warning

The information provided in this blog does not constitute financial product advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. Apt Wealth Partners (AFSL and ACL 436121 ABN 49 159 583 847) and Apt Wealth Home Loans (powered by Smartline ACL 385325) recommends that you obtain professional advice before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.