Dubai skyline, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai
Dubai skyline. Image Credit: Shutterstock

For those of us who call the UAE home, there ought to be little surprise in the recent release of rankings that placed this nation as the fourth best place in the world to live. The annual survey, organised by HSBC, tracks the sentiments of more than 20,000 people who live and work away from home.

According to the 14th annual instalment of the Expat Explorer study, the UAE is now only ranked behind Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. The Channel islands of Guernsey and Jersey, followed by the Isle of Man, Bahrain, Singapore and Qatar round out the top echelon of countries that are most attractive and appealing to expats.

Ranking fourth in the world is a very satisfying accolade to receive and falling as it does — for now — behind Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, is no mean feat. Certainly, it’s a full endorsement of decades of planning and building, putting in systems, laws and infrastructure that enhance every aspect of life.

This is a nation that tackles problems head on, reacting quickly and decisively to the challenge posed by coronavirus for example, becoming a leading nation in rolling out vaccines and being able to open up to welcome the world to Expo.

This is a nation where health care is second to none, where its infrastructure is effective and modern, whether that be road, rail, aviation or any mode of public transport. It is welcoming, making sure that expats have every level of service and entertainment open to them as they work and help grow the prosperity of their adopted homeland.

Earlier this week, for example, Ain Dubai sprang into life, just the latest of a long list of attractions that make living in the UAE exciting, leaving all who call this nation home with a sense of being at the centre of things, a global crossroads between west and ease, north and south.

The vast majority of expats surveyed in the UAE feel optimistic that life will be more stable and normal again in the next 12 months despite the after-effects of the pandemic, and that feeling recorded by 82 per cent reflects the effectiveness of actions taken by every level of government these past months.

What’s more, the survey reports that 53 per cent expect an increase in their income and 57 per cent believe they will be getting a better work-life balance — something that planners and officials are eager to put into place.