The UAE ranks as the third best country in the world for expats based on a host of parameters, including finance, lifestyle and raising kids, a recent survey reveals.
HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey shows that the UAE ranks No. 1 in the world when it comes to the nicest cars being driven by expats and almost a third of foreign workers in the country fall into the top earners category, making it a lucrative move for them.
“The UAE continues to be a good location for those who enjoy the finer things in life with expats here much more likely to have access to luxuries than average (43 per cent vs. 32 per cent average),” according to the Expat Explorer report.
“This could be a result of the country’s rating in the Expat Economics Income league table with expats here being among the highest earners,” the report states. According to the survey, the UAE ranks No. 13 in the world in terms of expat salaries, with about a third (29 per cent) of expats earning more than $200,000 (Dh734,600).
The country ranks a high No. 5 worldwide in terms of luxuries enjoyed by expats, including driving nice cars, living in bigger properties, more luxurious holidays, disposable income and healthcare facilities, etc.
As any expat with a family in tow will corroborate, the cost of raising children, their education and the quality of child care available in the destination country are one of the topmost concerns of an expat while making a move.
And the UAE fares very well on these parameters, with the survey showing that expat children especially find integration much easier than their parents. This may be because the UAE is indeed a melting pot of cultures, with the country boasting of more than 200 nationalities that live and work in the emirates.
“Interestingly children seem to find integration easier than their parents with the majority of expats reporting that their children have settled in faster than they have (59 per cent) and that their children are enjoying their life overseas (81 per cent). Children also benefit from better education and childcare, with the UAE ranked 3rd for both,” the survey shows.
However, the country’s expats rank at the bottom (No. 31 out of 31 countries surveyed) when it comes to making friends with the locals, and don’t fare well when it comes to learning the local language.
“Expats in the UAE continue to find integration a struggle. They are the least likely to find it easy to make local friends (31st out of 31 in the Expat Experience league table) or learn/use the local language (43 per cent compared to 75 per cent average),” the report says.
Among the other findings of the survey are that expats in the UAE typically relocate for improved career prospects (70 per cent vs. 55 per cent average). “One of the key drivers of this seems to be the positive outlook many have on the economy with 57 per cent expecting this to improve over the next 12 months, considerably higher than the global average of 39 per cent,” the report highlights.
While UAE expats enjoy one of the best lifestyle standards and finances, the top two slots in the survey go to Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively.
The survey spoke to 3,385 expats around the world about every aspect of living life abroad, including questions relating to their finances, the impact of economic, political and social factors and even how recent natural disasters have affected their experience of living life as an expat.
Now in its fourth year, the 2011 Expat Explorer survey continues to provide valuable insights into expat life around the globe and how the experience of living and working abroad differs from country to country and continent to continent.