British Expats Getting Braver


Denis Foynes – The traditional UK retirement destinations of Spain and France are losing ground on new world countries, especially the United Arab Emirates.

According to the Natwest International Personal Banking Quality of Life report, the UAE is now the third-most popular destination for Britons seeking a life abroad, up from sixth place last year, and ninth place in 2011.

Australia is still number one for the British, drawn there by the better lifestyle and economic opportunities. Next up is Canada and then the UAE. South Africa comes fourth, followed by New Zealand, the United States, and then Singapore. France is now eighth, followed by Spain, and Portugal, with China in eleventh place and then Hong Kong in twelfth place.

75% of British stated career prospects as the reason they moved to UAE. Eight percent believe they will stay there forever and 92% of expats see themselves there for a “temporary assignment.”

“The most notable shifts in our Quality of Life results this year is the rise of the UAE as an expat destination. It seems expats are willing to adjust their lifestyle in exchange for a stronger economy and better job opportunities,” explained Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking. “The once loved traditional expat communities of France, Spain, and Portugal are diminishing, with quality of life drastically reducing for expats living there, making way for newcomers such as UAE and Singapore,” he added.

Modern communication has helped British expats puck up the courage to move further. With the revolutions of Skype and Facebook, it is a lot easier to stay connected with loved ones.


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