SULTANATE 14TH IN GLOBAL LIST OF MOST PREFERRED NATION BY EXPATS: SURVEY

MUSCAT: Oman is ranked 14th in the seventh Expat Explorer survey commissioned by HSBC Expat. From the GCC, Qatar is ranked 13th, UAE 15th, Saudi Arabia 28th and Kuwait 29th.

The Expat Explorer survey, conducted by YouGov, is one of the largest global surveys of expats. This year, nearly 9,300 expats from around the world shared their views on quality of life, financial well being and the ease of raising a family abroad.

Switzerland is ranked as the number one country by expatriates looking for a well-balanced, high quality lifestyle – followed by Singapore, China, Germany and Bahrain, according to the survey.

Nearly 74 per cent of expats in the Middle East said that they were satisfied with their host country’s current economic outlook – the highest among all regions in this year’s survey.

Countries in the Middle East continue to attract career-minded professionals, with nearly six in ten (56 per cent) expats who move to this region doing so for better prospects and over a third (35 per cent) shifting to increase their income levels.

Expats are most likely to move to Oman to improve their job prospects (59 per cent compared to a global average of (38 per cent) and earning potential (41 per cent compared to a global average of 20 per cent), with the majority of expats associating the country with higher salaries (66 per cent compared to a global average of 40 per cent).

With nearly nine out of ten (86 per cent) expats in Oman were satisfied with the state of the economy (compared to a global average of 62 per cent), the sultanate is placed fourth in the Expat Economics league table.

Overall, 69 per cent of expats in Oman say they have more disposable income than they would have at home (compared to a global average of 53 per cent).

When looking at the investment patterns of expats in Oman, the survey reveals that they are likely to increase in property (47 per cent compared to a global average of 24 per cent). ‘Expatriates in Oman don’t just believe in prudential money management but are also more likely to spend on an expensive car (63 per cent compared to a global average of 31 per cent).

Oman’s working life also stands out with 55 per cent of expats saying their work/life balance has improved since moving here (compared to a global average of 40 per cent) while 65 per cent saying that commuting to work has become easier (compared to a global average of 45 per cent).

The survey found that although expats in Oman settle in more easily at work they take time to acclimatise in their new surroundings. ‘Whilst 60 per cent say it is easy to adapt to the work culture (compared to a global average of 53 per cent), only 49 per cent found it easy to adapt to the Omani weather compared to a global average of 61 per cent.’

Similarly, while 73 per cent said they feel welcome at work (compared to a global average of 66 per cent), learning the local language proved difficult for 56 per cent of the Oman-based expats (compared to a global average of 33 per cent). ‘Moreover, 84 per cent of expats in Oman said that they enjoy the local culture in line with the global average of 83 per cent.’

SOURCE: MUSCAT DAILY