Gulf States see massive falls in popularity with expat professionals

Published:  30 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Australia, UAE
A recent InterNations expat survey has shattered the Gulf States’ reputations as great places for expat professionals to further their careers and enjoy luxury lifestyles.

In the past, landing contracts in Saudi, the UAE, Kuwait and several other oil-rich emirates gave expats an opportunity to kick-start upward mobility in their careers, accumulate savings for their futures and enjoy an enviable lifestyle. Since the price of crude crashed, the dream seems to be over as lawmakers turn to blaming expats for problems caused by decreasing national wealth on a huge scale.

The latest expat survey, conducted by InterNations, gives an illustration of how far the formerly popular expat professional hubs have fallen as regards their desirability. Saudi Arabia is now firmly set in the ten worst countries for expats, Kuwait crashed to the bottom of the entire list three years ago and is still there and in 2017 the UAE dropped from a respectable 19th position to 40th. Qatar is also placed in the 10 worst countries.

Recent controversies in Kuwait and several other Gulf States have concentrated on blaming expats for everything from traffic congestion to the demographic imbalance caused by hiring expat professionals rather than locals. One female, recently electing Kuwaiti lawmaker made headlines by calling for taxation of all foreigners, and is in the news again after explaining her comments were not out of prejudice but rather the result of patriotism.

She told Kuwaiti media her remarks on adjusting the demographic balance by getting rid of foreigners didn’t mean she had less than ‘full respect’ for Kuwait’s expat community, adding she didn’t know why expats were getting so upset. Her comments on road tax for expats, she explained, were simply her attempt to help with the problem of road congestion.

At the same time and after several well-publicised denials, another Kuwaiti lawmaker affirmed that medical charges would be increased for expats needing heathcare. Given the above, the InterNations survey result for the Gulf States comes as no surprise, but expats caught in the middle of the ongoing morass of misinformation and disinformation could be forgiven for feeling badly let down.

Source: Gulf News
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