New year, new job? There are plenty of perks of resettling abroad for work, such as the chance to explore a new city or culture, learn a different language, and meet new people, among other reasons. But if you’re unsure of where to start, a new report from financial services company HSBC might prove helpful.
For the report, HSBC surveyed more than 22,000 expats from 163 countries about their first careers abroad. The “Expat Explorer” survey focused on eight career-focused criteria: The ability to acquire new skills, work-life balance, work culture, job security, career progression, gaining personal fulfillment at work, employee benefits received, and earning prospects. Unsurprisingly, countries in the Middle East dominated the list, with Bahrain (second) and the United Arab Emirates (fourth) rounding out the top five.
Bahrain, which jumped three spots from the year before, was touted by expats as having a great work-life balance and opportunities for career progression. Expats also viewed the tiny Middle Eastern country as a great place to raise kids due to access to quality child care, and noted there were more opportunities for higher salaries. “People are drawn to Bahrain for its exciting career prospects and laid-back lifestyle,” the report states.
Meanwhile, the UAE came in fourth place, one spot from last year. Expats viewed it as a great place to increase their income. 55% of those surveyed say the reason for relocating to the UAE was the chance to increase their earnings, with a fifth of expats revealing that their salaries doubled when they relocated to the Emirates. Despite the high cost of living in the Emirates, two thirds say they have more disposable income now.
Below, the full list of the best countries for first-time expat workers:
3. United Kingdom
4. United Arab Emirates
8. United States
10. Hong Kong
Now Read: Saudi Women Can Now Be Flight Attendants