Abu Dhabi among top cities for expats in GCC

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Abu Dhabi has been listed among the top cities in the GCC for expats to live and work in, due to factors such as the ease of settling in, the quality of its urban living, and its financing and housing index, new research by InterNations has shown.

According to the global network's 2019 Expat Insider survey, Abu Dhabi was ranked at the 15th position among 82 cities in the world for expats. placed 34th on the cities list, while the UAE placed 40th on the list of 64 countries ranked for their attractiveness by expats. Expats gave the UAE above-average ratings for the quality of life that it offers and the ease of settling in, with the country being ranked 21st and 20th in these two categories respectively. Abu Dhabi was ranked 11th on the list for its ease of getting settled in, while Dubai came in at 17th position for the same category.

The UAE is also considered a very safe country for expats and their children, ranking sixth for safety and security, after Oman, Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Finland. At 96 per cent, nearly all expat parents are happy with their children's safety, compared to the 81 per cent global average. Expats also find it easy to live in the country without speaking the local language (86 per cent vs. 45 per cent globally) and are happy with the friendly attitude towards foreign residents (77 per cent vs. 65 per cent globally).

"The UAE welcomes expats with open arms, offering a safe and opportunistic place to call home," said Lewis Allsopp, CEO of Allsopp & Allsopp. "The country has forward-thinking leadership, who are always coming up with new legislation and committees for the betterment of its people - including expats. In the last few years, the UAE Cabinet has introduced long-term visas, retirement visas and permanent visas all to encourage more expats to its cities and provide longevity for those already residing there."

Dubai and Abu Dhabi both scored a good ranking when it came to the quality of their urban living, with Dubai being ranked at the 28th position and Abu Dhabi being ranked 31st.

"Many expats move to create a better lifestyle for themselves and their families," said Allsopp. "Dubai is an incredibly cosmopolitan city with so many cultures and nationalities living and working together. The city is an expat haven, with an array of activities on every doorstep and the beach only a short drive or walk away. There are plenty of opportunities to make new friends with so many people in the same situation having moved from their home country to start afresh in Dubai. There are so many beautiful communities for families to reside across the city which are safe and secure within amenities within such as pools, sports facilities and landscaped community areas."

The 2019 survey results showed that Taiwan, Vietnam, Portugal, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, Bahrain, Ecuador, Malaysia, and Czechia are the best destinations for expats in 2019. The worst countries for expats are Kuwait, Italy, Nigeria, Brazil, Turkey, India, the United Kingdom, Greece, Russia, and South Korea. Vietnam and Malaysia rank among the top 10 countries for the first time in six years of Expat Insider. Kuwait, Italy, and Greece have always been in the bottom 10. While expats in Taiwan and Portugal are also extremely satisfied with the quality of life, those in Vietnam appreciate their great work life. While Kuwait is the country where expats find it hardest to settle in, Italy offers the worst work life, and Nigeria the worst quality of life in the world.

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Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Al Khaleej Today. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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