Stock Dubai skyline
UAE makes a big push into the top country choices to live and work in. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE climbed 10 places to be ranked fourth best country in the world to live and work, according to HSBC’s 14th annual Expat Explorer study, which tracks the sentiments of over 20,000 people who live and work abroad.

The vast majority of expats surveyed in the UAE (82 per cent) feel optimistic that life will be more stable and normal again in the next 12 months despite the after-effects of the pandemic. Around 53 per cent expect an increase in their income and 57 per cent believe they will be getting a better work-life balance.

Other top countries are:

  • Switzerland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Guernsey
  • Jersey
  • Isle of Man
  • Bahrain
  • Singapore
  • Qatar

“The UAE being billed among the top five best places to live and work globally is inspiring and a clear indication of the huge potential that drives this country’s economy,” said Abdulfattah Sharaf, HSBC UAE CEO and Head of International Operations. “The country’s focus on innovation, infrastructure, quality of life, diversity and inclusion have made it the destination of choice for businesses and professionals looking to grow and prosper.”

Key findings

The progress of the UAE has been attractive for many who make this their home. The top three reasons cited by expats for choosing to move to the UAE are:

• To improve their earnings (56 per cent);

• To progress their career (49 per cent); and

• To improve their quality of life (43per cent).

Most expats in the UAE (86 per cent) say their overall quality of life is better than their home country, and six out of every 10 intend to stay longer for that reason. Only 11 per cent say the pandemic changed their plans of staying in the UAE. “The overwhelming sense of optimism from expats in the UAE about the 12 months ahead is reflective of the quick response from authorities to tackle the social and economic impact of the pandemic,” Abdulfattah said.

Culture and safety

In addition to a better quality of life, 80 per cent of respondents said their children are more aware and open to different cultures and experiences when here. “The UAE’s openness to diverse cultures and views is a key attraction for expats looking to make the country their home," the HSBC chief said. "Expo 2020 is putting this commitment to diversity and openness on the global stage,” Abdulfattah said.