UAE among top five career destinations globally according to expats

Expats have recognised the UAE as the 4th best destination globally for an international career. According to new data released by HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer Survey, the country improved from 6th place in 2015 as one of the places expats look to in order to build their careers.

The UAE ranked as the best country in the Middle East and Asia, and followed Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, which were respectively the top destinations for a career abroad.

In its ninth edition, 'HSBC Expat Explorer: Achieving Ambitions Abroad' examined the responses of nearly 27,000 expats from across the world, and 3,092 in the UAE, to assess their views towards their careers in their host countries.

In particular, the new data examines the views of people towards their host countries across eight categories: chances to acquire new skills, work-life balance, work culture, career progression, fulfilling work, benefits packages, and earnings prospects.

The UAE improved across all eight indicators in comparison to the views of expats in 2015, indicating the continually improving work environment for people in the country.

Among the primary reasons expats highlighted the UAE as one of the top international career destinations were its earnings prospects, ranked 3rd, and the benefits packages offered by employers, ranked 5th.

The former, in particular, is an area that the UAE is consistently recognised for, with average salaries here being 14 percent higher than the global average. Nearly two-thirds of expats in the country, 65 percent, said that they earn more than in their home country, with only Switzerland (75 percent ) and Qatar (66 percent ) having a higher proportion of people that associated with this view.

Closely linked to this area, are the positive attitudes expressed towards the benefits packages offered by employers in the country. In fact, according to the survey, over 9 in 10 expats (91 percent) living in the Middle East receive at least one benefit as part of their contracts, compared to the global average of 67 percent.

In the UAE, for instance, 56 percent of expats said they receive an accommodation allowance and 75 percent receive health benefits.

Commenting on the findings, Kunal Malani, Head of Customer Value Management, MENA, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Middle East, said, "Through the results of the research, it’s not surprising to see that the UAE continues to be rated highly globally for the financial benefits it offers. This has been one of the cornerstones of why people seek career opportunities here and it is indicative of the success of the government’s focus on diversification, which has resulted in the creation of an internationally recognised and sought after working environment with world-class infrastructure and services. Given these advantages, expats moving to and living in the UAE should look to make the best of their lives abroad."

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