UAE a 'top-five favourite for expats'

Workers are attracted by career opportunities, benefits packages and higher salaries

A picture taken on September 26, 2018 shows people on the beach in the United Arab Emirate of Dubai. / AFP / GIUSEPPE CACACE
Powered by automated translation

The UAE is the fourth-best country in the world for expatriates looking to work abroad, according to newly released data from HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey.

The survey of 22,000 people across the globe scored the Emirates in the top five for the third consecutive year due to generous benefits packages from employers and earning prospects.

“Better earning potential is the cornerstone of why people seek career opportunities here. It is indicative of the success of the UAE’s focus on diversification, which has resulted in the creation of an internationally recognised and sought-after working environment,” Marwan Hadi, head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, UAE at HSBC, said.

Germany was the most popular location for expatriates to move to, followed by Bahrain in second place and the UK in third. Switzerland was the fifth most-favoured relocation destination.

Salary increases are no longer enough to attract and retain the best candidates in the UAE, a January study from global recruitment consultancy Michael Page found, as employees prioritise other career benefits such as career development, organisational culture and flexibility.

While benefits packages was another primary factor luring newcomers in, earning prospects was also among the top three attractions, the HSBC study found. Three-quarters of residents say they receive an annual airfare allowance to their home country and 85 per cent receive health allowances compared to the global average of 17 per cent.


Read more:

UAE jobseekers look for career development over salaries and perks

UAE salary guide 2019: How much should you be earning?

Financial confidence on the rise for UAE residents


However, other factors play into the decision for those planning to relocate. Fifty-five per cent said the UAE was a good location to progress their career and six in ten of those polled said working in the Emirates has developed their confidence.

Almost three-quarters of expatriates in the country (73 per cent) said they earn more than in their home nation.

Salaries in the UAE are projected to increase by 4.8 per cent across all industries this year, a November study from global consulting company Mercer found.

In October, HSBC said more than half of UAE expatriates moved to the UAE to boost their income, while a fifth said their salaries doubled when they relocated to the Emirates.

Twenty per cent said their yearly wage doubled in comparison to their earnings before their move to the UAE, with the average annual expatriate salary of $155,039 (Dh569,500), the sixth highest globally.

Those looking for a more sociable life should head to Brazil, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to HSBC's latest data, while 57 per cent of foreign workers say working in Brazil has made them more creative.


Read more:

A fifth of UAE expatriates doubled their salary when they relocated

New to the UAE guide: set-up costs, visas, rent, school fees and more

New to the UAE guide part 2: banking, saving, investing and sound financial advice