Career-orientated expats are continuing to be attracted by the economic and political stability in the UAE compared to other markets globally, according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer 2016 survey.
Despite complex macroeconomic conditions and rising prices, people recognise the UAE for the financial benefits it provides, along with the safety and high quality of life for families, HSBC said in a statement.
The country was ranked 12th out of 45 markets around the world by expats as a destination to live and work, while Singapore, New Zealand and Canada were chosen as the top three markets globally.
A safe haven
The survey, which examined the responses of nearly 27,000 expats from across the world and 3,092 in the UAE, showed that the UAE was highlighted by expats as a safe haven, with nearly 8 in 10 (78 percent) selecting it for being more politically stable than their home countries.
This sentiment far exceeds the global average of 51 per cent, revealing the degree of uncertainty expats in some other markets have towards their host countries.
According to the research, nearly 6 in 10 (57 per cent) are confident about the local economy, but this represents a 4 per cent drop in the number of UAE-based ex-pats that expressed the same attitude in 2015.
It said the UAE also continues to be recognised for starting a business (53 percent) and advancing a career (54 percent), sentiments that rose from last year and exceed the global average of 43 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
Expats earn more in the UAE
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of expats state they earn more in the UAE compared to their home countries, evidenced by respondents reporting an average salary that is about 14 per cent higher than the global average.
According to the report, almost two-thirds of residents in the UAE (63 percent) say that their disposable income has risen since moving from their home countries, ahead of the global average of 56 percent, while a similar proportion (62 percent) say that they are able to save more.
HSBC’s report also showed that over 6 in 10 (61 percent) believe that their quality of life has improved since moving, compared to the global average of 52 percent.
However, costs are a rising concern, particularly in terms of children’s education.
Bahrain was named the Middle East’s top destination for expatriates, ahead of the UAE, according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer 2016 report.
Overall, the UAE was placed 12th, ahead of Oman (18th), Qatar (29th), Saudi Arabia (31st) and Kuwait (35th).