Expat life in UAE! It seems that expat men and women have different views on the best place in the world to live, with Malta, Hong Kong, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the UK ranking much higher for women than men.
However, both men and women agree that Ecuador is the top place to live in the annual Expat Insider survey from InterNations, with the country ranking high in terms of finding friends, being an easy place to settle down, a happy country and affordable for health care.
Mexico comes in second place for men but only ninth place for women, scoring high for personal finance in the male vote with 36% of men saying that they are completely satisfied with their financial situation, but only 19% of women felt the same.
Moreover, women in Mexico are not nearly as satisfied with socialising and leisure as men, placing the country ninth compared with first place at 90% for men and 77% of women. In terms of settling in, 32 % of men said it was easy compared to 15% of women.
New Zealand ranks third for men but only 14th for women. For the general Quality of Life Index, New Zealand ranks sixth for men and 32nd for women, which puts it in the bottom half. As in Mexico, expat men seem to be generally happier than women with the socializing and leisure activities at 85% to 72%.
The country comes first in the ease of settling in index for men and eighth for women. Only 21% of women said it is very easy to get used to the local culture, compared to 36% of men. Some 74% of men said it was easy to make friends compared to 57% of women.
Malta comes in second place among the women surveyed, with women rating the work life balance, quality and affordability of healthcare and ease of settling in highly. Some eight in 10 said they generally feel at home with Maltese culture, 27% said they found it easy to make friends and 77% said it was the easiest country to live in without speaking the local language.
Thailand ranks third for women, but only 13th for men. Women find it easier to settle down in the country and 76% of women said it was easy to get used to Thai culture, but only 68% of men. Women also give Thailand higher scores in the quality of life index, with half saying that the quality of medical care is very good, compared to 38% of men.
Several countries don’t rank in the top three for either gender, but have higher results for women, for example the UK, ranking 23rd for women, but 42nd for men. The difference revolves around work life balance. Some 19% of women said they were completely satisfied with their working hours but only 10% of men. 19% of women, but only 6% of men, are completely happy. Indeed, men work 42.3 hours on average per week, compared to 37.7 hours for women.
Hong Kong is another country that ranks much higher for women than men, coming in at 12th for the former and 39th for the latter. The biggest difference lies with work. While 17% of women are very satisfied with their career prospects, only 6% of men feel the same
Arab culture can be hard to adjust to, but the survey puts the United Arab Emirates at 13th for women but only 28th for men. Twice as many men find the cost of living very bad; 41% of women think their disposable income is generally more than enough for daily life in the UAE, compared to 35% of men. Nonetheless, more men have improved their finances by moving to the UAE at 73% compared to 67% for women.
At work, women are more satisfied with their career prospects with the UAE at ninth for women, but 18th among men worldwide. Settling in to life in the UAE is also easier for women, with 22% saying it’s very easy to get used to the local culture, next to 17% of men. Expat women find it easier to make new friends, too, with 73% compared to 67% of men