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UAE: 95% of expats feel safe, says new study

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 18, 2021
According to a global crime index Numbeo, the UAE secured the rare distinction as the world's only country with three of its cities — Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah — ranked among the planet's top 10 safest cities. — File photo

In the Quality of Life Index, the UAE ranks 17th with especially good results in the Safety & Security subcategory (3rd), where only Finland (1st) and Singapore (2nd) do even better, according to the Expat Insider 2021.


The UAE ranks as one of the safest and most peaceful places in the world for expatriates, and performs better than the global average in several other key metrics to figure overall in 18th place out of 59 countries in a survey released on Tuesday.

In the Quality of Life Index, the UAE ranks 17th with especially good results in the Safety & Security subcategory (3rd), where only Finland (1st) and Singapore (2nd) do even better, according to the Expat Insider 2021.

“Nearly all expats (95 per cent) feel safe in the UAE (vs. 84 per cent globally). Additionally, 92 per cent of expats find the destination peaceful (vs. 80 per cent globally), and 89 per cent rate its political stability positively (vs. 64 per cent globally),” said the survey report by InterNations covering more than 12,000 respondents.

Ranking at top

According to a global crime index Numbeo, the UAE secured the rare distinction as the world's only country with three of its cities — Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah — ranked among the planet's top 10 safest cities.

The 2020 Global Law and Order Report by global analytics firm Gallup also ranks the UAE in the top ten countries in the world for security and personal safety. While regionally, the UAE was second, it came ninth on the overall index behind countries including Austria, Switzerland and Singapore.

The Expat Insider report said while the cost of living in the UAE is high with little work-life balance, the country offers good job opportunities. But, as an expat respondent claims, “the cost of living is impossibly high” in the UAE.

Taiwan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, Canada, and Vietnam are the best destinations for expats in 2021.

The worst countries for expats are Kuwait (59th), Italy, South Africa, Russia, Egypt, Japan, Cyprus, Turkey, India, and Malta (50th).

The UAE also ranks among the top 10 in the Travel & Transport subcategory (7th): 95 per cent of expats are satisfied with the transportation infrastructure (vs. 76 per cent globally), and 90 per cent rate their travel opportunities positively (vs. 84 per cent globally).

Ease of Settling Index

The UAE also performs well in the Ease of Settling Index (17th), placing 4th in the Language subcategory, just behind Malaysia (1st), Singapore (2nd), and Kenya (3rd). In fact, 93 per cent of expats think it is easy to live there without speaking the local language (vs. 54 per cent globally), placing the UAE first for this factor. Moreover, 67 per cent of expats feel at home in the local culture (vs. 63 per cent globally), and 69 per cent describe it as easy to get used to (vs. 65 per cent globally), said the report.

On the other hand, 39 per cent of expats find it difficult to make local friends in the UAE (vs. 36 per cent globally).

Friendly with locals

Only just two per cent of expats in the UAE describe their friends and acquaintances as mostly locals (vs. 20 per cent globally), while 59 per cent mainly socialize with other expats (vs. 32 per cent globally).

The UAE lands among the bottom 10 in the Personal Finance Index (56th): 28 per cent of expats are dissatisfied with their financial situation (vs. 19 per cent globally), while a further 32 per cent say their disposable household income is not enough to cover their daily living expenses (vs. 23 per cent).

In the UAE, 21 per cent of expats have a disposable income of less than $12,000 per year, six percentage points more than the global average (15 per cent). “The country’s results in the Cost of Living Index (44th) are hardly any better: 42 per cent of expats are unhappy with the cost of living in the UAE (vs. 34 per cent globally).”

The UAE lands roughly in mid-field in the Working Abroad Index (28th). Three in four expats (75 per cent) rate the state of the local economy positively (vs. 62 per cent globally), and 47 per cent are happy with the local career opportunities (vs. 45 per cent globally).

Moreover, 28 per cent of expats rate their job security negatively (vs. 20 per cent globally), and 21 per cent are unsatisfied with their work-life balance (vs. 17 per cent globally).

In the UAE, expats with a fulltime job work 46.9 hours per week (vs. 42.3 globally). Perhaps this is one reason why 19 per cent of expats are dissatisfied with their working hours (vs. 16 per cent globally). The Impact of Covid-19 on Expat Life in the UAE In the UAE, 25 per cent of expats have felt a huge impact of the pandemic on their work or businesses (vs. 15 per cent globally); 18 per cent say it has mostly affected their personal travel (vs. 28 per cent globally), and 16 per cent mention their personal finances (vs. 8.0 per cent globally). In the long run, 25 per cent of expats believe their personal finances.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

author

Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.





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