UAE Increasingly Popular with British Expats


UAE Increasingly Popular with British Expats

According to a Quality of Life report conducted by NatWest International Personal Banking, the United Arab Emirates is rapidly working its way up the list of most popular destinations for UK expats.

Over the last four years the UAE has crept up the rankings as expats move to the region in order to benefit from tax-free incomes, a higher standard quality of life and good career opportunities.

Back in 2010 the UAE came tenth in the NatWest IPB poll.  Within two years it had achieved the number six spot, and now the United Arab Emirates in the bronze position at number three.

In the 2013 survey Australia held the top sport for another year while Canada came in second.

Of the 1,800 British expats questioned 149 were living in the UAE, with 75 per cent of them stating that they made the move because of an employment opportunity. Only 8 per cent of those approached saw themselves living in the UAE forever.

Particularly popular expat areas in the Middle Eastern country include Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, with the majority of expat employment opportunities being in the banking, tourism, construction and oil sectors.

And from the survey it seems that nations with long established, strong UK expat communities like Spain, Portugal and France are beginning to lose their appeal.

According to NatWest IBP spokesman Dave Isley; ‘The most notable shifts in our Quality of Life results this year is the rise of the UAE as an expat destination. The once loved traditional expat communities of France, Spain and Portugal are diminishing, with quality of life drastically reducing for expats living there, making way for newcomers such as the UAE and Singapore. It seems expats are willing to adjust their lifestyle in exchange for a stronger economy and better job opportunities.’

The poll also showed that over half of British expats living in Europe were thinking about returning to the UK because of unemployment concerns, austerity measures and dropping property prices.

What do you think of the UAE as an expat destination?

Do you think the popularity of Spain and France is fading?

Have your say in the Expat Hub Forum or on Facebook/Twitter.

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