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Dual citizenship and tax advice for South African expats in the UAE

If you’re a South African citizen living and working in the UAE, you need to be aware that significant changes to the South African tax law are being proposed. It also doesn't hurt to be fully appraised of the dual citizenship options that could be available to you. Start planning your next few years, by attending either one of our seminars or one-on-one consultations in November. Our wealth, forex and citizenship experts will be in the UAE to help you figure out your next move.

More about Andrew Rissik

Director: Forex and International Projects

Andrew grew up in South Africa, where he was schooled at Michaelhouse after which he completed his education at the University of Stellenbosch. He served as an officer in the South African Navy before completing his management training with the McCarthy Group.

In 1994, he relocated to join their UK operation, after which he was involved in start-up businesses and business turnarounds before returning to South Africa in 2004. He established a company that facilitated the investment of UK client money into the emerging South African property market. He successfully sold his interests before being appointed to head up Sable International's forex team.


More about Mike Abbott

Director: Wealth

Mike grew up and was educated in South Africa, after which he began his career at Investec Private Bank. In 2006, Mike founded the property and lending advice division of Sable International. Mike now manages Sable International's wealth team (Sable Wealth) and heads up the Investment Committee.


More about Niel Pretorious

Senior Wealth Adviser

Niel grew up in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route of South Africa. After being admitted as an attorney in 1999, he practised in family law, estate planning and practice as well as litigation for nine years.

His career in finance began at the start of 2008 after qualifying and specialising in offshore financial services. Prior to joining Sable International, he worked in Cape Town and Zambia as consultant and country manager for a large international financial consultancy. In 2013, he returned to Cape Town to join another international consultancy.

Niel specialises in offshore structuring and planning, with cross-border tax planning as well as estate and succession planning. He also provides emigration advice for those looking to financially emigrate.


More about Kelly Hendricks

Business Development Manager: Citizenship and Immigration

Kelly joined the team as Business Development Manager in June 2013. Based in Cape Town, South Africa and the UK she is responsible for lead generation, marketing and promotional activities for the firm. She is predominantly responsible for organising our British Citizenship Seminars in Commonwealth Countries and the Middle East and our relationship with the NHS in the UK.

Prior to joining Philip Gamble & Partners, she worked at our partner company, 1st Contact Visas, in South Africa for three years where she gained extensive knowledge of the UK Immigration System and British Citizenship matters.


Why are we visiting the UAE?

In this year’s budget speech, then Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, confirmed a change in how the government is looking to tax South African residents working abroad. The government has proposed that section 10 of the Income Tax Act be amended to exclude the foreign employment exemption insofar as the employee is not taxed at source.

What this means is that a number of South African citizens working in the UAE may stand to have to pay up to 45% of their earnings to SARS. It is worthwhile noting that only employment income is included, not other income or gains.

The draft legislation has been published and proposes a complete repeal of the foreign income employment allowance. If all goes to plan for the government we would expect the changes to come into force early next year, probably as of the new financial year.

This presents an opportunity for foreign workers to plan their affairs with the new legislation in mind to ensure that they are not unduly prejudiced by such changes.

Who should attend?

If you are a South African working in Dubai you should attend. Whether you are a long- or short-term resident and whether you intend going back to South Africa in the future or not. Besides the proposed tax changes, there are a number of other considerations that South Africans abroad need to take into account to ensure they are adequately protected from changes in legislation.

What will be discussed?

  • Second citizenship and foreign residential programmes
  • Sending funds to South Africa, the easy way
  • The basis on which SARS taxes its nationals and the impending changes
  • The role of the DTA between South Africa and the UAE in relation to the changes
  • What to do if you don’t intend moving back to South Africa
  • How to claim treaty relief
  • How to structure your affairs if you do intend going back to South Africa
  • How to effectively manage your investments in South Africa whilst abroad
  • How to properly structure your international investments to ensure tax efficiency if you intend on returning to South Africa, or moving to another country once you have left the UAE

Book now to avoid missing out

More about Sable International

We are experts in helping small to medium-sized businesses, private individuals and clients with international interests. These clients are often global citizens with family, offices, suppliers, clients, property or wealth overseas.

Our clients are at the heart of our business. First-hand referrals are a major source of growth in each sector. We realise that all of our clients are unique in terms of both their current circumstances and their future plans and we pride ourselves on thinking differently to tailor solutions that help.

If you are looking for a smart, approachable addition to your team, we’re always here and we look forward to working with you.

South Africa

Cape Town

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


25 Richefond Circle
Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

United Kingdom


Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
WC1A 1DG +44 (0) 20 7759 7514


5-7 Selsdon Road
South Croydon
CR2 6PU +44 (0) 20 7759 7581



9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS License number 335 126).

Our United Kingdom business, Sable Private Wealth Management Ltd, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our Companies House registration number is 222501. Our authorisation can be checked on the FCA register here: Our South African business, Sable Private Wealth (Pty) Ltd, is an authorised FSP, regulated by the Financial Services Conduct Authority under licence number 48122.

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