The UAE fell three places in this year’s Expat Explorer report, produced by bank HSBC, while its Gulf neighbours improved their positions.
The emirates ranked 10th in last year’s survey and 10th in this year’s but was marked as falling from seventh in the 2018 table as the number of countries included fell from 46 to 31.
It ranked 19th in the family category this year, 16th for experience and fourth for economics.
This compared to Bahrain, which rose from ninth overall (13th based on previous data) to fifth after ranking fifth for economics, 10th for experience and 11th for family.
Lower down the table, Saudi Arabia rose from 29th (40th based on previous data) to 26th after placing 29th for family, 25th for experience and 18th for economy.
Oman and Kuwait, which both made last year’s survey, were not included in the 2018 edition.
The average annual salary in the UAE was found to be the sixth highest globally at $155,039, compared to around $202,900 in Switzerland.
The report, which included 859 expats interviewed in the emirates, showed 40 per cent believed their income had increased on average compared to 25 per cent globally, while more than a fifth indicated their salary had doubled since they moved to the UAE.
In addition, half of respondents said they had been able to save for old age and more than half had invested in property.
“The truth is that only a fifth of a typical expat’s wealth remains in the UAE, with most returning to the expat’s home country. But that doesn’t mean those who have made this their home are here just for some short-term gain,” HSBC said.
One concern for 39 per cent of respondents in the country was job security after redundancies during the recent oil slump and into this year.
The top four countries in the overall survey, which saw participation from 22,318 expats this year, was unchanged from 2017 with Singapore in first followed by New Zealand, Germany and Canada.