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UAE best country for expat lifestyle, earnings and family stability

The survey was conducted by HSBC

by Staff Reporter
Published: Last Updated on
UAE rated highest for expat lifestyle, earnings and family stability.

A chance to secure a better lifestyle is the top reason why people relocate to the United Arab Emirates, according to a new HSBC survey that highlights the motivations and challenges faced by those who take the decision to move abroad.

Lifestyle is the prime motivation for 36% of respondents who have relocated to the UAE – a proportion higher than any other global market surveyed – with expat life in the UAE rated most favourably compared to other markets for increased earnings (36%), family stability (34%), making money go further (37%) and the option of living in a more sustainable environment (30%).

HSBC estimates there are over 90 million international customers across just 10 of its key international markets – people already living, working and studying abroad. The study was commissioned to understand how, post pandemic, international citizens’ financial lives are evolving, their motivations for moving abroad and the issues they face as they settle into their new home.

Getting settled and getting help

Globally, the survey also uncovered some of the difficulties people face when moving abroad as 53%, for example, say they were unsettled by the initial struggle with setting up a bank account or home utilities. A lack of local credit history was the reason for these challenges say 56% of respondents.

For the UAE, these figures are much lower than the global survey’s average at just 44% for both feeling unsettled and citing local credit history as the reason.

Half of all respondents (51% across all nine markets in total and in the UAE) say nobody helped them prepare financially for the move while 70% of all respondents (74% in the UAE) say they need help understanding tax implications of overseas investment.

UAE rated highest for expat lifestyle, earnings and family stability.

Commenting on the research, Daniel Robinson, Head of Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC UAE, said: “The attractiveness of the UAE as a place to live has drawn people from all over the world. While moving anywhere internationally can be a challenge logistically, financially and personally, we see the UAE so highly rated among the categories that matter most to expats.

“People with banking needs in more than one market are a core customer segment for HSBC and a population we’re proud to know very well across our network. These findings are a reminder that help is at hand when moving internationally and a bank that knows you on arrival can help make getting settled and planning a new future both quicker and simpler.”

Lifetstyle

Rogerio Pereira de Lima is a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist who founded his own Brazilian Jiu Jitsu business, BKG Dubai after moving to the UAE with his wife three years ago from the United Kingdom. “It was a work opportunity for my wife that initially brought us to the UAE and, like many people, we didn’t know at first how long we intended to stay here which impacted how long it took us to develop a long-term plan.

“We enjoy the lifestyle because although we work hard, there is so much to do in the evenings and weekends. This is particularly true now as we have a two-year old girl and another baby arriving in April so quality of life and a great place to raise a family are important to us both.

“Also like many people who moved here, we have needs from and ties to multiple countries. I am Brazilian, my wife is Slovakian and the earlier part of our careers were spent in the UK. This spreads out where we have savings, where we have extended family commitments, complicates long-term financial planning and adds to what we have to think about for retirement planning.

“Managing all that in more than one country with different banks and multiple joint or single accounts for personal banking or my business can get quite complicated quite quickly. HSBC has joined the dots and I can see a clear picture with everything in one place. That works out for me.”

‘Welcome home’

As a UAE-based ‘internationalist’, Rogerio was one of two HSBC customers to feature in a new documentary produced by the bank to promote internationalism and highlight the six customer promises underpinning HSBC’s proposition.

Starring Rogerio and another customer who is split between the UK and India, in addition to an HSBC colleague in the UK, the short film focuses on the importance of getting settled in a new country.

Uniquely, the film and supporting campaign invites viewers, including over 200,000 HSBC’s staff worldwide, to engage positively with people online who are newly-arrived in any market to share local tips, advice and welcoming messages to help expats everywhere feel like they belong.

Proposition supported by promises

Available as a consistent product suite across 10 markets, the re-launched international proposition is supported by six promises covering simpler account opening, recognising home credit history, simplifying cross-border payments, offering financial planning, 24-hour global support and going beyond banking.

Qamariya Ibrahim, HSBC UAE’s Head of Retail Distribution said: “Like our customers, HSBC people are diverse and international in outlook so it’s natural that we understand expats’ needs and are best-placed to connect them with their previous – or their next – home country.

“Day-to-day, that support boils down to connections between people, offering a practical and familiar welcome in a new market and to personally committing to promises that serve them even better. I’m thrilled at how well this campaign draws out the people stories that illustrates what we do.”

tanvir@dubainewsweek.com

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