Due to its high living standards and career opportunities, the UAE is attracting British expats in record numbers and has become one of their most popular destinations.
The latest NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Report places the UAE ahead of other European countries, like France and Spain. However, only 8 percent of the expats are likely to relocate to the UAE permanently, with 92 percent of them on “temporary assignment.” About 63 percent of the European expats are likely to consider moving back to the UK, encouraged by falling property prices, austerity measures and fears over job security.
With the recession hitting Europe, the UAE has risen as an expat destination in recent years. The traditionally popular European destinations have fallen back on the list due to their reduced living standards. This shift has paved the way for emerging destinations, such as the UAE and Singapore. According to the report, 96 percent of expats living in the UAE, Hong Kong, China and Singapore enjoy larger disposable incomes on a temporary basis.
The results show that expats are willing to adjust their lifestyle in return for improved economic prospects and better job opportunities. Their jobs allowed them to enjoy a higher disposable income and live a high quality of life in the UAE. Banking and finance sector continued to attract some of the best European talent, with about 88 percent of respondents in another survey willing to take up a financial services job in Dubai.
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Dubai is heavily reliant on expats to meet its labour needs as they form about 90 percent of the total workforce. Even though the UAE is perceived to be much more liberal than other countries across the region, the Emirate needs to continue working on removing misconceptions about its culture and lifestyle. The government also needs to heavily invest in upgrading its infrastructure to cut down the cost of living.
Photo courtesy: BBG Dubai NE