Font Size

- Aa +

Sat 29 Aug 2015 12:48 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Bahrain beats UAE to be named top MidEast expat destination

Bahrain is placed 17th most popular destination in the world in list topped by Ecuador, Mexico and Malta

Bahrain beats UAE to be named top MidEast expat destination
Bahrain World Trade Centre, Bahrain skyline, Bahrain business, Bahrain economy

Bahrain has been named the top expat destination in the Middle East, according to the InterNations Expat Insider 2015 survey.

Bahrain was ranked the 17th most popular destination for expats in the world, ahead of the UAE in 19th and Oman in 24th out of a total of 64 countries analysed.

Other Gulf countries did not fare so well with Kuwait ranked bottom of the global list with Qatar placed 54th and Saudi Arabia 61st.

Globally, Ecuador topped the list of the best places to live abroad in the survey, which polled more than 14,000 respondents, followed by Mexico and Malta.

Singapore, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Thailand, Panama, Canada, and Australia were also included in the top 10 expat destinations.

Although the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar did not rank among the top countries for expats, they did surprisingly rank better with women than with men, the survey showed.

The survey said the UAE ranked 13th for women, beating the likes of the US, Switzerland and all Scandinavian countries while only ranking 28th for men.

Reasons include that men are twice as likely to consider the cost of living to be very bad (10 versus 5 percent) while women said they find it easier to settle in and are more satisfied with their career prospects.

In a region often criticised for its treatment of women, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also regarded more favourably by women than by men, the survey said.

However, the survey added that despite this, all three countries host more male than female expats, with Saudi Arabia being the most extreme — only about one in four expats there is a woman.

The survey also showed that working hours for expats in Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia are longer than the global average of 42 hours a week.

Expats work considerably longer in these three countries with 46.3 hours in Qatar, followed by the UAE with 45.6 hours and Saudi Arabia with 44.8 hours. Qatar also does noticeably worse than Saudi Arabia and the UAE in regard to its cost of living, ranking 46th out of 64 countries.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is found among the top 10 countries for cost of living while the affordability of housing in the UAE is considered especially problematic with only 24 percent giving it a favourable rating.

The InterNations Expat Insider 2015 survey ranks countries by different factors such as the quality of life, personal finance, working abroad and making friends.

James 4 years ago

I lived in Bahrain in the 90's, and we loved it.

Glad to see, despite all the issues, it is still a recognised expat favourite.

Ali 4 years ago

Bahrain is the best GCC country to reside for an expat BUT i hope this does not change.

Chris 4 years ago

12 Years and Counting. Thank you Bahrain. Now let's work towards a collaborative, inclusive, peaceful future.

Appa Rao 4 years ago

I fully agree with this rating as I lived there for 10 years before moving to UAE. Now I can easily rate that Bahrain is a better place for an expat to leave compared to UAE.

Abdullah Jonathan Wallace 4 years ago

I have been visiting Bahrain since 1968 and I have been living here for over 10 years. As an oldster, I only know of the great life there is for expat families with children second hand. But I can well believe that Bahrain is top of the list for them. The best, by far, reason for having such a wonderful life here is the people of Bahrain who, with very few exceptions, are kind, courteous, welcoming and helpful to western expats. It is true that the cost of living is lower than elsewhere in the region, but so are the salaries.
Bahrain is now my home (I'm a Londoner, born and bred) and I hope to end my days here. For a Westerner it is the atmosphere of tolerance and kindness that trumps all the other benefits, which are many.

Farhad 4 years ago

I have been living in Bahrain for the past 10 years. I definitely prefer Bahrain to any of the Gulf Countries.

People are kinder. Cost of living much lower than the other countries. The Banking system is excellent.

Farhad 4 years ago

I have been living in Bahrain for the past 10 years. I definitely prefer Bahrain to any of the Gulf Countries.

People are kinder. Cost of living much lower than the other countries. The Banking system is excellent.