UAE and Oman rise, other Gulf states fall in HSBC expat ranking

The Gulf countries performed well in economics but less favourably in the experience and family categories



The UAE has climbed two places to enter the top 10 of HSBC’s 2017 Expat Explorer Survey but the majority of its Gulf peers saw their rankings decrease.

Data from 235 expats in the UAE, of 27,587 surveyed globally on economics, experience and family, showed more than half (56 per cent) moved to the country to improve their earnings and 92 per cent had succeeded compared to a global average of 78 per cent.

The country also beat the global expat average salary of $100,000, with the average annual gross personal income in the emirates standing at $127,197.

HSBC said the country had seen a 10 per cent increase in the number of expats who said their earning potential in the UAE was better than their home country, ranking the UAE fifth in earnings potential.

As a result, 66 per said they could save more than back home and 68 per cent said they had more disposable income.

In addition, 72 per cent of expats in the country were found to own property compared to 62 per cent globally, 75 per cent said they felt safer in the country than back home and 85 per cent expressed confidence in the country’s political stability.

Instead the chief concerns for respondents included job security at 42 per cent, compared to a global average of 21 per cent, and tax increases – cited by 44 per cent compared to a global average of 23 per cent.

This was likely due to redundancies linked to the economic slump in the Gulf over the past two years and the upcoming implementation of value added tax in 2018.

Read: UAE’s tax authority prepares for excise tax, VAT implementation

In terms of personal life, 55 per cent aid they had better work/life balance and 62 per cent said their quality of life had improved, while 66 per cent of parents said their children’s quality of life was better ranking the country 13th in this area.

Based on this positive experience, 81 per cent of respondents said they had lived in the country for more than two years compared to a global average of 74 per cent and 60 per cent had lived in the UAE for more than five years compared to a global average of 50 per cent.

Singapore led the wider survey of 46 countries with Norway, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Austria making up the remainder of the top nine, followed by the UAE.

In the wider Gulf, the UAE was followed by Bahrain, which dropped from 9th to 13th and Oman, which rose from 18th to 15th.

Qatar’s position declined from 29th to 31st, while Saudi dipped from 31st to 40th and Kuwait slid from 35th to 42nd.

Generally speaking, the Gulf countries ranked worse for family and experience than they did for economy, with Bahrain standing in 15th in the family category, the UAE 24th, Oman 32nd, Qatar 41st and Saudi and Kuwait 45th and 46th respectively.

For experience, Oman ranked 11th, Bahrain 15th, the UAE 20th, Qatar 40th, Saudi 42nd and Kuwait 44th.

While for economics, the UAE stood fifth globally followed by Oman in 12th, Qatar in 13th, Bahrain in 17th and Kuwait and Saudi in 21st and 22nd.

Based on wage growth alone, Oman ranked first, Qatar third, Saudi fourth, the UAE fifth and Kuwait sixth.

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