The UAE has moved up a global list of the best destinations for expats to enjoy a successful career while Bahrain is also in the world’s top 10 places to move to.
The UAE now ranks as the fourth best destination after moving up two places on 2015 in the new data released by HSBC.
Bahrain, ranked 10th, fell three places compared to last year’s list, while the ranking was topped by Switzerland, Germany and Sweden.
The new data examines the views of people towards their host countries across eight categories – chances to acquire new skills; work-life balance; work culture; career progression; fulfilling work; benefits packages; and earnings prospects.
The UAE improved across all eight indicators in comparison to the views of expats in 2015, indicating the continually improving work environment for people in the country, HSBC said.
Among the primary reasons expats highlighted the UAE as one of the top international career destinations was for its earnings prospects (ranked 3rd), and the benefits packages offered by employers (5th).
The former, in particular, is an area that the UAE is consistently recognised for, with average salaries being 14 percent higher than the global average.
Nearly two-thirds of expats in the country (65 percent) said that they earn more than in their home country – only Switzerland (75 percent) and Qatar (66 percent) had a higher proportion of people that associated with this view.
HSBC added that the Middle East and Africa region led the way for employee benefits with Saudi Arabia (95 percent), Egypt (94 percent), Oman (94 percent), Kenya (93 percent), and the UAE (93 percent) making up the top five countries where the highest proportion of expats say they receive benefits as part of their employment packages.
Kunal Malani, head of customer value management, MENA, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Middle East, said: “Through the results of the research, it’s not surprising to see that the UAE continues to be rated highly globally for the financial benefits it offers.
“This has been one of the cornerstones of why people seek career opportunities here and it is indicative of the success of the government’s focus on diversification, which has resulted in the creation of an internationally recognised and sought after working environment with world-class infrastructure and services. Given these advantages, expats moving to and living in the UAE should look to make the best of their lives abroad.”
The UAE also ranked among the top ten (8th) in terms of career progression, with over half (54 percent) of expats recognising this to be the case since they moved from their home countries.
The HSBC report said that while the UAE was much closer to the global average when it came to work-life balance (24th), it rated highly for work culture (11th).
The report said expats living in Switzerland earn an average salary of $188,275 a year, the highest in the world and almost twice the global average. Hong Kong, India and Singapore were ranked second, third and fourth while China rounded out the top five.
Hong Kong and Singapore topped the ranking for career development with 68 percent and 62 percent respectively of respondents agreeing that these were good places to improve their careers.