Short Guide To The Gulf For Expats
Expats abound in the Gulf, and none more so than in parts of the United Arab Emirates. We a look at why the UAE is such an expat draw
The expat Gulf
While the Gulf may look quite samey from a satellite picture (as if it’s all just the same bit of desert) in fact the places that are situated in this part of the world are actually very diverse and different from one another, especially in terms of their respective cultures and also the numbers of expats in each.
So while for instance there is a long history of expats living in Saudi Arabia, it’s most often seen a as temporary residence, with western people living together in the same accommodation developments. In Saudi Arabia statistics also show that there are very few expat pensioners from (for instance) UK.
Meanwhile, the UAE is home to more expats from the UK and the most recent figures from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and
the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) show that around 65,000 UK nationals live in the UAE, of whom 680 are retirees. In Dubai itself, the city’s populace is regularly quoted as being comprised of about seven tenths comprised of expatriates.
Dubai and the rest of the UAE
The glitziest and most high profile emirate in terms of media coverage, Dubai’s been through the economic downturn and got through the other side. Famed for its skyscrapers, sand and high living, D This is still of course a very different culture in many ways and there are local customs that need to be respected. Abu Dhabi is another emirate bustling with expat life – but if you’re intending on going to Abu Dhabi or Dubai, ensure you have the right protection There have been stories of foreign nationals being turned away at the airport in Abu Dhabi for not having an insurance policy.
Other Gulf expat regions
Kuwait is another country that has its share of expats, but it’s looking to reduce its reliance on foreign workers in time to come. However, it’s possible that the more skilled the occupation, the later it could be before it’s affected. Nevertheless, new rules and restrictions for expats have been reported over the summer.
Qatar, with a population of around a quarter of a million local citizens, but 1.9 million in total, is another location in the Gulf where expats abound. And with the emirate’s abundant natural resources, it’s also regularly reported as being the richest country in the world.
Qatar’s healthcare system is free at point of entry for registered locals and expats alike, but there have been reports from those living there that waiting times for treatment can be lengthy. So as with most overseas locations, the right type of medical cover is advised. And for visitor
s to the country who aren’t registered within the system, routine and emergency treatments are available but the charges for it can be expensive.