HSBC Expat Explorer 2018 - Part 2 - The Gulf


Fraser Clarke

HSBC has published the results of its annual ‘Expat Explorer’ survey, with Singapore once again leading the way as the most popular location for expats globally.

In the second of a two part special we’ve examined the results from the Gulf region - the most popular with medics seeking a more rewarding career overseas.

Part One is Available Here

Bahrain - 5th (+4)

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Bahrain is one of the Gulf’s hidden gems - bringing together a relaxed island mentality with traditional Arab culture.

Expats Loved

  • Bahrain was considered the best location globally for wage growth
  • The country scored highly across all financial indicators
  • The high quality of childcare and educational facilities
  • An open and tolerant society
  • The outstanding work/life balance
  • How safe the country was for families

Expats’ Downsides

  • The cost of childcare was high
  • Compound living made integration difficult
  • Traditional food and a lack of fitness facilities saw a move have a detrimental impact on expats’ health
  • The heavily westernised culture

United Arab Emirates - 10th (-3)

The UAE remains a firm favourite with expats, even if it has slipped three positions over the past 12 months.

Expats Loved

  • A move had a hugely positive financial impact
  • The country’s stable government and increasingly liberal laws earned praise
  • The UAE was rated as one of the world’s safest locations
  • The Emirates are great for entrepreneurs
  • The quality of childcare and education is extremely high

Expats’ Downsides

  • There are few remnants of traditional culture - especially in the expat hubs
  • It was expensive to raise children
  • Expats found it very difficult to integrate into society

Saudi Arabia - 26th (+3)

Saudi Arabia rises, but remains in the lower half of the table.

Expats Loved

  • 2nd best location in the world for enhancing savings
  • 4th best for wage growth
  • Job security was high, with many people working within vital industries
  • The country’s impressive healthcare system scored well
  • The value for money and standard of accommodation on offer

Expats’ Downsides

  • Expats found adapting to the country’s culture difficult
  • A move wasn’t great for career progression
  • With little entertainment on offer expats said that their social lives suffered

Interested in relocating to any of the locations mentioned in this article? Register on our website for job alerts today. A life changing move could be closer than you might imagine.