A survey by professional services company Procorre shows 15.5% of all international workers chose the UAE as their country of choice for relocation, closely followed by the USA with 15.2%.
The UAE has undergone a rapid economic recovery since the financial crisis, which has outpaced more sluggish recoveries in the region and in places like Europe.
The recovery has been helped by the country’s 0% taxes on income, which attract some of the most skilled and talented workers.
The UAE’s relatively speedy recovery may also have been helped by the country’s economic free zones, which allow companies certain tax exemptions for at least 15 years and attract the regional headquarters of many global businesses. In turn these businesses attract individuals with a wide range of skills to the UAE.
There are also numerous infrastructure projects under way in the UAE that are attracting project specialists including:
- Etihad Rail, a 1,200 km railway line that will extend across the UAE connecting major industry zones
- Al Maktoum International Airport, located in Dubai, will be one of the world’s largest airports
- The Lagoons, a small city (70 million square feet) made up of five islands. It will house residential apartments, shopping malls, commercial buildings, five-star hotels, and resorts.
More than half (52%) of all international workers would opt to work in an English-speaking country as their top choice of location.
The top five countries preferred by international workers are:
- UAE (15.5% of international workers chose this as their ideal work location). Although Arabic is the official language, English is the lingua franca.
- USA (15.2%)
- Australia (8.4%)
- UK (6.9%)
- Canada (5.5%)
The economic strength of these five Anglophone countries has also led to an increasing demand for highly skilled international workers with specialist expertise, as companies look to take advantage of growth opportunities.
For example, the UAE has a booming oil and gas industry, undertakes a large number of engineering projects and is also a growing financial services hub – all of which provide international workers with plenty of job opportunities. Financial services, media, hospitality and marketing are also rapidly growing sectors, especially in Dubai.
In Australia the resources boom over the last decade has led to an increasing demand for international workers, which means not only that the jobs market is buoyant for those with specialist skills, but that there are also potentially very high salaries on offer.
Lifestyle factors are also important for international workers considering moving location. The top five countries differ in many aspects but the quality of life is very high in all of them.