Bahrain named world’s best expat destination

Bahrain has been named the world’s top destination for expats, by expats, in a new survey.

The tiny island nation topped the 2017 Internations survey, carried out on more than 13,000 expats of 166 nationalities. Bahrain jumped from 19th place in 2016 to the top spot in 2017, ahead of 65 countries that were analysed.

The survey revealed that the Gulf State makes it easy for expats to feel at home due to its friendly population — nearly nine out of ten expats (86 per cent) rate the Bahrainis’ attitude towards expats positively. Bahrain also scored particularly well on making expats feel at home, topping the ease of settling in index. It also ranked first for people being able to get by without learning the local language, the report added.

Meanwhile those surveyed also said they were happy with their careers, with Bahrain ranking third in the working abroad index, and second in the job and career as well as the work-life balance subcategory.

For the first time since the Expat Insider survey was introduced, none of the previous year’s top 3 destinations lead the rankings. Bahrain was followed by Costa Rica and Mexico, with Taiwan in fourth and Portugal fifth.

Like Bahrain, the friendly attitude of the local population towards foreign residents is a major reason why Costa Rica and Mexico rank so highly. Eighty-one per cent of expats in Mexico found it easy to settle in their new surroundings, while 75 per cent of those in Costa Rica felt the same way, This compared to a global average of 67 per cent.

Traditional emigration favourites did not fare so well. New Zealand ranked sixth, while Canada was 16th, Australia 34th, America 43rd and the UK well down in 54th.

At the other end of the ranking, Greece, Kuwait, and Nigeria are least popular among those living abroad. Issues range from insufficient incomes to a poor quality of life to problems with personal safety.

Top ten expat destinations 2017

  1. Bahrain
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Mexico
  4. Taiwan
  5. Portugal
  6. New Zealand
  7. Malta
  8. Colombia
  9. Singapore
  10. Spain

Article published 7th September 2017