Qatar is the “best destination” in the Middle East for expatriates who want to boost their standard of living, according to HSBC’s latest “Expatriate Explorer” survey.
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman also perform strongly for expat personal finances, it said.
The ability to save more, enjoy greater disposable income or acquire real estate assets are all important considerations for expats moving to a new country.
Offering expats a regional view of the financial benefits on offer, Expat Explorer reveals the best countries to increase one’s standard of living.
Increase in disposable income
Expats in the Middle East enjoy the greatest standard of living globally. Over three-quarters (76%) of expats in Qatar saw an increase in their disposable income as a result of moving. This also helps them boost their long-term planning, with 75% being able to save more.
One in four (24%) say they living in Qatar made it possible for them to own additional property, and a majority (54%) can now afford more expensive holidays.
Bahrain, UAE shine
Bahrain and the UAE also “shine” for the Middle East: 68% and 65% respectively of expats there enjoy greater disposable income than they did in their home country.
The region is also home to the second biggest group of expats with annual incomes over $200,000 (16%, behind Asia Pacific at 19%). These highest-earning expats face increased financial challenges when living abroad: nearly half (46%) say their finances have become more complex as a result of moving, which compares to a global average of 30%.
With a low tax environment, countries in the Middle East offer this group an unrivalled opportunity to simplify their finances: only 13% of expats in Oman and 16% in Bahrain have seen their finances becoming harder to manage as a result of moving.
Middle Eastern destinations are also appealing for younger expats (aged 18 to 34) from a financial point of view. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of expats under 35 years of age increased their earnings after moving to Qatar, while 68% receive an accommodation allowance from their employer.
Qatar is also the best place for young expats to step on to the property ladder: almost a third (31%) of young expats bought their first home while living in the country. The UAE is close behind, with a quarter (25%) of young expats in the country able to afford their first property.
The Expat Explorer survey was commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by YouGov.