Report ranks UAE 6th for expat life; residents share why they love living here

Expat Insider 2022 report is based on the responses of 177 nationalities living in 181 countries


Lamya Tawfik

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Published: Sun 20 Nov 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 20 Nov 2022, 9:56 PM

In a few weeks, the UAE will celebrate its 51st national day, a day of great pride for all residents. And a recent report, which placed the UAE in the sixth ranking in the world as the best place for expats, has given everyone even more reason to feel proud.

The data in the report, Expat Insider 2022, issued by Internations, is based on the responses of 11,970 people from all around the world. The respondents represented 177 nationalities and live in 181 countries. The report stated that a sample of at least 50 participants was required to list a destination in their final ranking.

The report placed the UAE in the 5th ranking when it comes to the Quality of Life index – which took into consideration factors such as leisure options, travel and transit, health and wellbeing, safety and security and the environment. The UAE also received 5th ranking in the working abroad index which took into consideration career prospects, work and leisure, salary and job security and work culture and satisfaction.

Meanwhile, the UAE ranked 2nd in the expat essentials index which looked at digital life, admin topics, housing and language.

Eve Mila from the US told Khaleej Times that she came to the UAE in March with a dream to start a water sports instruction school for women. She is currently working in the real estate sector and continues with her plans. “I found people here very friendly and accommodating. The office culture is much friendlier than it is in the US,” she said.

The multicultural aspect of living here is something she appreciates. “You are not expected to assimilate but instead you can be unique and just be yourself here,” she said, emphasising that everyone around her is very respectful. “I want to bring more people here because this will change their perception of the Middle East,” she added.

Safety is another very important aspect of her life in the UAE. “I can walk down the street here and feel safe can’t say the same thing about my own neighbourhood back home,” she said.

Echoing her sentiments, Alessandra Rocchi from Italy who has been in Dubai as an expat for 9 years, said that the sense of safety in the UAE is unparalleled especially after having moved to Dubai from a two-year stint in Africa.

She also emphasised that the UAE is a place that is structured for families. “All services are of top quality and for a family it’s a great place,” she said. Alessandra said that was struck by how everything was easy, organised and modern, and how fast the construction industry worked.

The multi-cultural aspect is also very important for her. “In my daughter’s birthday party there were 25 different nationalities. This is something that you will not find anywhere else. If you are open minded, you can really grow and become enriched here,” she said.

When asked how long she plans to stay, Alessandra said that she bought a house as an indicator that she doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon.

Another expat who also bought a house here is Penny Mackenzie from Zimbabwe who came with her husband to Dubai in December 2007. “It was a metropolis. I felt like I was in the first world, and I loved it,” she said adding that they were lucky to immediately find like-minded people from the start. They walked into a theatre and saw people rehearsing for a play and immediately joined the theatre scene, she explained. “When you have small children, you can meet people through schools, but our children were older,” she said, adding that today, with three generations of their family already here, they plan to stay as long as they can.

“Our son met his wife here and we have a grandson. We love that we can all be together as a family and that we can support them. It’s a place that is really safe, which is great. As a woman I feel secure, and I feel that I can go out at any time during the night or day. It’s fantastic,” she said.

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