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Expats in Middle East — Statistics and Trends

Created: Mar 31, 2016

Updated: June 3, 2024

Did you know that Expats now account for around  50.9%of total population in GCC countries and more than 46% of Expats in Middle East think they are earning a lot more than they would back home. Check out our infographic on Expats in Middle East for latest statistics and trends.

The Middle East continues to be a region of interest for expatriates, with several notable trends emerging in recent years. These trends reflect changes in the expat population, their preferences, and the overall economic and social landscape of the region.

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Estimated Numbers of Expats in Middle East as %age of total population

 Country Expats as %age of total population
United Arab Emirates 88.5%
Qatar 85.7%
Kuwait 69.2%
Bahrain 52.0%
Oman 44.0%
Saudi Arabia 32.7%

Male-Female Expat Ratio in Middle East Countries

Country Male Female
Global Average 47% 53%
UAE 63% 37%
Qatar 64% 36%
Saudi Arabia 76% 24%

Top three sectors of industries

UAE Qatar Saudi Arabia
Construction 12% Construction 25% Construction 25%
Retail/Wholesale trade 11% Education/ Research 13% Education/ Research 13%
Financial services 10% Business services/ Professional consulting 10% Healthcare 10%

Benefits Expats receive in Middle East Region Vs Global Average

  Benefit Type %age of Expats in Middle East Global Average
Health and Medical Allowances 70% 52%
Annual Trips to home/ Airfare allowances 67% 33%
Accommodation Allowance 60% 33%
Permanent Expat Contracts 33% 21%

%age of Expats with disposable income higher than in their home country

 Country %age of Expats having higher disposable income
Qatar 76%
Oman 72%
Bahrain 68%
UAE 65%

47% of Expats in Bahrain took less than Six months to feel like home as compared to global average of 31%

Key findings about Expats in UAE

 Findings %age
Send child to International Schools 76%
Have confidence in local economy 61%
Better Overall Quality of Life 60%
Good for career progression 53%
Moved to improve job prospects 40%

Latest Global Rankings of Middle East Countries in Best destinations for Expats

  Country Name 2015
Bahrain 4
UAE 9
Oman 14
Qatar 22
Saudi Arabia 26
Kuwait 34
Turkey 36
Egypt 37

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Future Outlook of  Expats in Middle East

  • Sustainability Initiatives: With a growing focus on sustainability, the Middle East is investing in green technologies and renewable energy projects. This trend is likely to create new job opportunities for expatriates.
  • Healthcare and Education: Continued investment in healthcare and education infrastructure will improve the living standards for expatriate families, making the region more attractive.
  • Global Events: Events like Expo 2020 in Dubai and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar have significantly boosted the region’s global profile, likely sustaining expatriate interest in the coming years.

Related :Future Of Smart Cities In The UAE: Innovation And Sustainability

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