UAE more popular than France and Spain
According to a NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life report the United Arab Emirates has been voted as the third most popular destination for British expats, surprisingly coming ahead of France and Spain.
The report showed that many British expats ranked the UAE highly for the amount of career opportunities available and favoured the appeal of a better standard of living. Despite the high praise for the Arab country, 92% of those surveyed said that they would only stay in the country for the short term and only 8% said that they would consider staying in the country permanently.
The ongoing problems in the Eurozone saw the appeal of once highly popular European country’s slide down the scale. With unemployment at record highs across the region many expats turned to the UAE and places like Hong Kong and Singapore for work.
“The most notable shifts in our quality of life results this year is the rise of the UAE as an expat destination. It seems expats are willing to adjust their lifestyle in exchange for a stronger economy and better job opportunities” said Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking.
Dubai is changing to appeal to foreign workers. Already the emirate is perceived by many as a liberal place in the UAE with 70% of those surveyed emphasising that the lifestyle is one of the key benefits to living there.
The survey also highlighted that 63% of British Expats living in Europe are considering a move back to the UK. The tumbling value of property in nations like Greece and Spain has seen expats desperate to offload their overseas properties. Job prospects in most parts of Europe are also dismal, prompting expats to look further afield for work.
Expats living in Spain are feeling the pinch the most as unemployment stands at almost 20 per cent. A third (32 per cent) of respondents in Europe said they were already looking into returning to the UK.