Qatar is a good place for expats to live in terms of financial gain, but not an ideal choice when it comes to overall quality of life, health, culture and social integration, a new international survey has said.
Qatar ranked 22nd out of 39 countries in HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey 2015, falling significantly from 13th place last year.
To arrive at its findings, the report questioned 22,000 expats of different nationalities in over 100 countries. In addition to a general ranking, countries were scored separately in three different areas – economy, expat experience and family life.
Singapore was this year’s most popular expat destination, according to the survey.
Qatar’s lower ranking comes despite the fact that it scored very highly in the economics section of the report (fifth out of 39 countries), topping the list for disposable income and wage growth. It also came in second for savings potential.
Qatar’s expats are also very confident in the stability of the country’s economy, ranking the nation fourth out of the 39 countries listed in this regard.
In the same section, however, they give Qatar very low scores in terms of opportunities for entrepreneurship, job security and work/life balance.
When it comes to the “expat experience,” Qatar slipped six places since 2014, to 34th out of 39 countries.
Only Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil, Egypt and Kuwait got lower scores in areas such as quality of life, culture, healthcare and accommodation costs.
The factors that appeared to bring down Qatar’s ranking in this section appeared to be the high cost of accommodation, and a perceived lack of integration with local culture.
Qatar also fared poorly under “culture” and “health,” coming in at 37th and 32nd respectively, reflecting expats’ views of the cultural experiences on offer in Qatar and their views on their day-to-day well-being in relation to their health when living in their home countries.
The only high-scoring areas in this section were safety and personal finance, both ranking ninth out of the 39 countries on the list, reflecting Qatar’s low crime rate and its robust economy.
Qatar also received a low ranking for family life in this year’s report, coming in at 34th overall, down from 21st last year.
Its highest scoring areas were childcare quality and child health at 21st and 22nd, respectively.
But its scores on an expat’s perceived closeness to their partner (38th), the overall cost of bringing up children (34th) and tolerance of diversity (33rd) brought it down in the overall rankings.
Meanwhile, nearby Bahrain scored well in the survey, coming in fourth overall.
It ranked three places behind Qatar in terms of economic factors, but its scores in terms of expat experience and family life – seventh and sixth respectively – brought it into the top five nations.
The UAE also does fairly well in the rankings, coming in at ninth overall, and scoring fourth for economics, 18th for expat experience and 16th for family life.
However, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait both fall below Qatar in the table, coming in at 26th and 34th respectively. Kuwait scores particularly poorly in both expat experience and for family life, coming in last on both measures.
You can see Qatar’s scores in detail on HSBC’s Expat Explorer website.