GCC's a pretty great place to be an expat if money's on your mind

Published December 3rd, 2015 - 04:59 GMT

Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council rank among the highest in the world in terms of offering expatriates financial incentives, according to a survey by HSBC.

The bank’s 2015 Expat Explorer survey found that the region provides among the strongest wealth creation dynamics globally in terms of higher salaries, better work incentives and a less complex environment to manage finances for expats.

The survey examined the responses of 21,950 expats from across the world.

Countries in the GCC were rated by the greatest proportion of expats as the places to move to that offered the best financial incentives.

Expats in Qatar (76 per cent), Oman (72 per cent) say that they have more disposable income since moving, compared to a global average of 57 per cent.

Meanwhile respondents from Oman (76 per cent), Qatar and Saudi Arabia (75 per cent), and the United Arab Emirates (61 per cent) stated that they are able to save more since moving, above the global average of 52 per cent.

The ability to save more and higher disposable incomes allow expats to own additional property as a result of moving, the survey noted.

Head of Regional Wealth Development at HSBC Bank Middle East Gifford Nakajima said: “The GCC continues to be recognised by expats as the place that offers the greatest financial opportunities, despite the recent economic slowdown we have witnessed.

“We see that they are, in particular, highlighting the growth in their disposable income and their ability to save as factors boosting their long-term planning capabilities, which allow them to achieve their biggest aspirations, including purchasing a home.”

Working age people in the UAE have the highest degree of confidence in property as a good way to generate income for their retirement, with 81 per cent identifying with this sentiment, according to HSBC’s Future of Retirement research.

Regional respondents to the Expat Explorer survey also highlighted that the GCC offered the right financial footing to purchase property.

Expats in Bahrain (30 per cent), Saudi Arabia (27 per cent), UAE and Oman (25 per cent) are the most likely to identify with this sentiment, compared to the global average of 17 per cent.

That compares to 6 per cent in the United Kingdom, 24 per cent in India and 19 per cent in the United States.

Additionally, a large proportion of the respondents highlighted that they receive accommodation allowance from their employers.

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