Qatar has one of the highest paid expatriates in the Middle East, with one in four expats earning more than $200,000 per year. The expats have a monthly disposable income in excess of $3,000, an international expatriate survey has revealed.
The 2009 Expat Explorer Survey, commissioned by HSBC Bank International, revealed Asia is home to the highest paid expatriates in the world. The survey identified Qatar as having some of the wealthiest expats after Russia and Japan. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were among the other GCC countries listed as having the richest expats.
Russia ranked first overall for expatriates in terms of savings. The rest of the top 10 countries were all in Asia and the Middle East. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE topped in the Middle East region among countries where people had increased their savings.
Expats in Qatar, Russia and Saudi Arabia manage to save more now since moving away from their country of origin than expats in any other country.
The survey was based on an expat’s quality of life, annual income, disposable income, ability to save and possession of luxury items.
According to the research, the Middle East has not been hit as hard by the credit crunch as other regions. Two-thirds (63 percent) of the expatriates surveyed in Qatar said the credit crunch had not changed their attitudes at all. In the UAE, over two-thirds of the expats stated that their attitudes to spending had changed as a result of the economic crisis.
However, the global financial crisis has taken a heavy toll on expats in Britain and the United States, with many considering returning home due to the high cost of living, lack of savings and low wages. Generous salaries are also relatively scarce in Australia and Belgium.
In Britain, 44 percent of those surveyed considered going home compared to 23 percent of expats living in the US. The lowest paid expats in the survey were found in Australia and Belgium, where more than 60 percent earned under $100,000 annually. More than two-thirds said the credit crisis had changed the way they spent money.
Aside from the usual bank accounts, popular means of saving and investing money among expatriates include shares, property and managed funds. Property was a popular option in Bahrain and South Africa. The collapse of the global markets has not deterred investors in Asia, however, with shares still popular among expatriates in Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia. Expats originating from Germany and Brazil are the most reluctant to invest in property.
Food and accommodation have seen the largest increase in spending for expats, a continuing theme form the 2008 Expat Explorer report.
Expat Explorer, now in its second year, surveyed more than 3,100 expats from more than 50 countries, and is the largest survey of its kind, with 46 percent more respondents than last year.
Follow us on our social media channels: