Expat Explorer Survey 2018 - Expats in the UAE


The UAE rewards those who work hard, but do expats come for more than just the money?

Far more expats than the global average are working full time in the UAE – an impressive 80%. While 46% came to progress their career and 38% to improve their quality of life, the most common reason for a move to the UAE was the chance to increase their earnings (55%).

The financial benefits of a new life here can be substantial. Those working and earning here say their income has increased by 40% on average compared with 25% for expats globally. More than a fifth even say it has at least doubled since the move.

And though job security is a concern for around two in every five expats here (39%) the knockon effects of their salary boost are dramatic. Two thirds say they have more disposable income now, despite a high cost of living. Eighty-five per cent have used the extra cash to improve their longterm finances – paying off any debts and building up savings.

Half have been able to save for their old age, more than half have invested in property and twice as many expats here as globally have been able to save for their children’s future, including their education and eventual inheritance. In fact, though the nation is down to 19th for family this year, more than half the expats here have their children with them, a trend that plays out across the region.

The truth is that only a fifth of a typical expat’s wealth remains in the UAE, with most returning to the expat’s home country. But that doesn’t mean those who have made this their home are here just for some short-term gain.

Almost two thirds have lived here for more than five years. And while the earnings potential remains important for 60% of expats here, half (49%) have stayed because of the quality of life the UAE offers. Overall, 71% of the expats here would recommend the country to someone looking for a new life abroad.

Source: hsbc.com

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