Cost of living, personal finance
The UAE, however, was rated poorly in terms of cost of living (44th), as well as in the area of personal finance (56th). Almost half (42 percent) of expats said they are unhappy with the cost of living in the UAE, compared to 34 percent globally. One German expat who participated in the survey even claimed that “the cost of living is impossibly high” in the UAE.
Nearly three in ten expats (28 percent) said they were dissatisfied with their financial situation, compared to 19 percent globally
Another 32 percent said their disposable household income is not enough to cover their daily living expenses.
Among the expats polled for the survey, 21 percent said they have a disposable income of less than $12,000 per year, 6 percentage points more than the global average of 15 percent.
While they might not be happy with their income, expats in the UAE are optimistic about the state of the UAE economy. About 75 percent rated the UAE economy positively, compared to 62 percent globally, while 47 percent said they are happy with the job opportunities available.
When it comes to safety and security, the UAE also did very well, ranking third in the subcategory. When it comes to language, the UAE also earned good scores, placing fourth overall, with 93 percent of expats saying it is easy to live in the country without speaking Arabic, compared to 54 percent globally.
About a quarter (25 percent) of expats said they have been impacted by the pandemic significantly, compared to 15 percent of the global respondents who shared the same sentiment. In particular, the crisis has affected expats’ personal travel, according to 18 percent, while 16 percent said the outbreak has hurt their personal finances.
In the long run, 25 percent of expats also believe that their personal finances will be impacted the most, compared to 11 percent globally.
Overall, Taiwan emerged as the number one destination for expats, followed by Mexico, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, Canada and Vietnam.
Many of these countries in the top ten stood out in various categories, including ease of settling and personal finance.
At the other end of the scale are Kuwait, which ranked 59th, Italy, South Africa, Russia, Egypt, Japan, Cyprus, Turkey, India and Malta. Besides Japan, which landed in the 21st position, all these countries ranked far below the global average in terms of quality of life.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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