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Kuwait named least popular destination for expats to live and work
October 21, 2015, 8:16 am
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Kuwait is the least popular destination for expats to live and work in the world, according to a new global survey compiled by InterNations.

The Expat Insider 2015 poll of more than 14,300 expatriates representing 170 nationalities and living in 195 countries ranked Kuwait 64th out of 64 destinations covered.

Saudi Arabia also ranked poorly at 61st while Qatar was also one of the least popular countries at 54th.

The survey, which was topped by Ecuador, Mexico and Malta, asked expats to rate their experiences for Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, Personal Finance, and Cost of Living.

The most popular Gulf destination is Bahrain, which ranked 17th globally, followed by the UAE (19th) and Oman (24th).

In the UAE, the survey showed that three-fifths of all working expats are generally satisfied with their job, and 62 percent find their career prospects appealing.

It added that five out of nine expats in the UAE are happy with their personal financial situation, but 42 percent find living there expensive.

The affordability of housing in particular is considered problematic by 60 percent of respondents while worldwide, only 42 percent of the expatriates criticise this factor in their respective host country.

 

In Saudi Arabia, adapting to the culture appears to be very problematic with almost half the expats (49 percent) saying they don't find settling down easy and 44 percent don't feel at home in the local culture.

Malta ranked first in the Expat Insider 2015 survey for overall job satisfaction, with seven in ten expats generally satisfied and 27 percent even completely satisfied, compared to a global average of only 16 percent. In terms of career prospects, only the USA and the United Kingdom ranked higher.

Sweden, Norway and Malta occupied the top rankings when it comes to work-life balance, while Saudi Arabia, India and Kuwait were at the bottom.

Malte Zeeck, founder and co-CEO of InterNations, said: “Finding the perfect balance between work and life can prove to be an ordeal for many expats. Countries such as Norway, Finland or Denmark provide ideal conditions for expats with the world’s shortest working weeks of about 40 hours. At the other end of our rankings, foreign residents in Uganda, Nigeria, the Philippines and Panama are working up to ten more hours per week than their counterparts in Scandinavia.”

According to InterNations, the average expat works a 42-hour week, with 86 percent in full-time and 14 percent in part-time positions.

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