UAE expats: ‘Our children are the safest here’
Foreigners rate the country as an ideal place to live, survey reveals.
October 31, 2013 12:18 by Muhammad Aldalou
Most expats (72 per cent) living in the UAE feel that their children and families are safer here than in their home countries, according to HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer 2013 Survey. The country was ranked highly as a place to bring up children, scoring the highest among GCC countries, in terms of quality of education, childcare services and changes in children’s behaviour.
The study, which quizzed roughly 800 people across the UAE, points out that 80 per cent are satisfied with the state of the local economy, 60 per cent chose to move here for better job prospects and 70 per cent believe that they earn more in the UAE than what they would back home. In fact, more than 56 per cent associate the country with higher salaries.
The report is this week’s second major survey showing us just how happy we expats are living in the UAE and how we prefer it over any other country in the world (in almost every aspect) and, well, just how much we love it.
According to the recent Standard Life Western Expatriate Wealth Study, financial stability is the driving force for Westerners to leave their home countries and become expats. The report adds that 78 per cent chose the UAE as the most ideal place to live, because it provides the best opportunities.
Yet, despite all of these positive sentiments, expats of the HSBC study point out that rising rents, inflation and the increasingly high cost of living in the UAE – where people had among the lowest levels of disposable income, when compared with the other countries surveyed – are causes for concern.
However, Francesca McDonagh, head of retail banking and wealth management at HSBC Bank Middle East, says with growing opportunities for financial gain, an environment that supports career aspirations and a safe place to raise children, the UAE offers expats a complete package for their lifestyles.
“As the UAE continues to grow and the quality of living improves, we will see it becoming an increasingly popular expat destination,” she says.
We’ve got year-round sunshine, tax-free salaries and a relatively safe environment to make us happy, but we’re not smiling all the time. What do you think are the perks and drawbacks of living in the UAE? Share your thoughts via Facebook, Twitter or in the comments box below.