Thinking about moving abroad? The top 5 things about life in the Middle East for a British Expat.
There’s no getting away from it, life in the Middle East is very different from life in the UK. But with the UAE ranked third for the second year running in a league table of countries with the best quality of life for British expats – a full six places above Spain – the Gulf Coast Countries are definitely worth a look for anyone thinking about relocating.
So what’s so great about life in the Middle East? Read our Top 5 reasons for living here:
1. Year-round sunshine
Okay, so temperatures regularly in excess of 40 degrees aren’t for everyone, but at least if you live in the Middle East, you always know what to expect from the weather (hot and dry) – a far cry from the UK where April is equally likely to bring soaring temperatures, rain showers or even snow. And unlike the UK where unexpected sunny spells cause shops to run out of water and fans after just a few days, the Middle East is built to cope – the temperature may have rocketed, but you know you can always sit in a cool, dark room, sipping an icy glass of water, looking an the sun reflecting off your own private pool. Delicious!
2. Money money money
The main draw of the Middle East for most expats is financial – as well as generous, tax-free salaries, many employers will offer packages that include a housing allowance, free private education, free flights back home and a minimum 30 days paid holiday.
3. Home help
You may have left Blighty behind, but you can feel like the quintessential Brit in Downton Abbey by having your very own maid!
Friends back home may think you’ve gone all ‘hoity toity’, but in the Middle East, hiring a maid is the norm.
4. Spring board to Asia and the Far East
When you’re based in the Middle East, you’re perfectly positioned to travel to parts of the world that you might not otherwise have visited. Countries like Turkey, Egypt and Oman are potential long weekends away, while flight times to further afield destinations like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are halved.
5. The sense of community
Many expats moving to the Middle East will live on a compound. While the word itself might not sound very appealing, the reality is quite different – they usually have fantastic facilities, with huge pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, gyms, supermarkets, cinemas, restaurants etc. And no matter how large the compound, it’s smaller than a town, so it’s intensely social – you’ll rarely manage to nip to the shops for a pint of milk without bumping into at least three people you know.
 Natwest IPB Quality of Life report, 2014