Increased job prospects, higher salaries and better economy. These are just some of the factors that prompted many expatriates in the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey to choose the UAE as the best country in the world for foreigners.
The 2013 edition of the survey, which was released on Wednesday, ranked the UAE the 9th best country overall for people choosing to move abroad. The ranking was based on expat attitudes towards their host countries in terms of several parameters such as financial incentives, quality of life and ease of raising children.
The UAE landed the 16th spot in terms of economics and scored the 26th place in work/life balance, working environment, social life, entertainment and local transport, among many others. The country is also the 13th best country for raising children abroad. Among the GCC countries, the UAE scored the highest in quality of education, childcare services and changes in children’s behaviour.
The survey collated answers from over 7,000 respondents across 100 countries and close to 800 people in the UAE.
Among the respondents in the UAE, 80 per cent are satisfied with how the local economy is doing, compared to the global average of 56 per cent.
Better job prospects were cited as a major come-on for three out of five expats, while 73 per cent said the financial status of their households has improved since they moved overseas, outpacing the global average of 59 per cent.
Another major factor for a quarter of the respondents in the UAE is the “higher earning potential”. About 70 per cent said they believe they make more money in the country than they do back home. Aon Hewitt earlier predicted that workers’ wages are likely to increase by 5 per cent next year.
The UAE is also preferred by many expatriates as an ideal place to bring up children. The country’s education cost is still considered high, but the UAE is viewed by 72 per cent of the expats as a safer place to raise children than their home countries.
“This year’s survey shows that the UAE is increasingly becoming an attractive destination for expats. With growing opportunities for financial gain, an environment supportive of career aspirations and a safe place for raising children, the country offers expats a complete package for their lifestyles,” Francesca McDonagh, head of retail banking and wealth management, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, said.
“As the UAE continues to grow and the quality of living improves, we will see it becoming an increasingly popular expat destination,” she added.