The UAE has climbed two places to become the fourth best destination for an international career but its overall performance declined, according to HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer Survey.
In the 45 country ranking, which included responses from 27,000 expats globally and 3,092 in the UAE, the bank found that the emirates stood only behind Switzerland, Germany and Sweden in terms of career prospects.
But counting all criteria the country declined three places to 12th with a rank of fifth for economics, 19th for experience and 22nd for family.
Similarly, Bahrain declined from fourth to ninth, Oman from 14th to 18th, Qatar from 22nd to 29th, Saudi Arabia from 26th to 31st and Kuwait from 34th to 35th.
The UAE’s high ranking for career prospects was thanks partly to its third place ranking for earnings.
Average salaries in the emirates are 14 per cent higher than the global average and 65 per cent of expats in the country said they earned more than their home country, according to HSBC.
Only respondents in Switzerland (75 per cent) and Qatar (66 per cent) ranked their earnings more favourably.
The UAE also ranked eighth for career progression, with 54 per cent of expats suggesting their prospects were higher since leaving their home countries.
The country took 24th for work life balance and 11th for work culture, while over half of expats in the country said moving gave them a chance of acquire new skills (54 per cent) and work was more fulfilling (51 per cent).
“Through the results of the research, it’s not surprising to see that the UAE continues to be rated highly globally for the financial benefits it offers,” said Kunal Malani, head of customer value management, MENA, retail banking and wealth management, HSBC.
“This has been one of the cornerstones of why people seek career opportunities here and it is indicative of the success of the government’s focus on diversification, which has resulted in the creation of an internationally recognised and sought after working environment with world-class infrastructure and services.”
In the wider survey, respondents across the Middle East and Africa region cited benefits packages offered by employers as a key areas of satisfaction.
Saudi Arabia (95 per cent), Egypt (94 per cent), Oman (94 per cent), Kenya (93 per cent) and the UAE (93 per cent) had the highest proportion of expats that received benefits as part of their employment package.
More than nine in 10 expats (91 per cent) in the Middle East said they received at least one benefit compared to the global average of 67 per cent.
While in the UAE specifically 56 per cent said they received an accommodation allowance and 75 per cent health benefits.