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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Abu Dhabi: The Desert City Offering a Great Quality of Life

Abu Dhabi offers a high quality of life and expats find it easy to get started there. But are there also downsides to life in this expat hub?

Abu Dhabi places 5th out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023. Among the Gulf State cities compared in this ranking, Abu Dhabi offers the highest Quality of Life (6th). It has the best infrastructure for cars in the world (1st), and expats rate Abu Dhabi among the top 3 for medical services: 88% are happy with the quality (vs. 70% globally) and 90% with the availability of healthcare (vs. 71% globally). On top of that, 94% value their personal safety (vs. 83% globally) and 84% the political stability (vs. 63% globally).

Abu Dhabi also offers expats one of the smoothest transition phases, according to the Expat Essentials Index (3rd). Admin Topics (2nd) are easy to handle, from getting a visa (2nd) to opening a bank account (5th). According to 86% (vs. 60% globally), government services are easily available online, but 18% are dissatisfied with the restricted access to other online services like social media (vs. 6% globally). The city also offers great Housing (8th), and is the easiest place in the world for expats to get by without speaking the local and/or official language (1st).

Abu Dhabi also claims a top 10 rank for Working Abroad (9th): 55% say that moving there has improved their career prospects by a lot (vs. 32% globally), and another 86% are happy with the state of the local economy (vs. 62% globally). What’s more, 68% say that the local business culture encourages creativity and thinking outside the box (vs. 51% globally).

However, Abu Dhabi’s expats are less satisfied with their Personal Finance (23rd): 25% believe that they’re not paid fairly for their work (vs. 19% globally), and 34% say that their disposable household income is not enough to lead a comfortable life (vs. 27% globally).

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