The Persian Gulf – An Expatriate Heaven?

The rise of the Persian Gulf
It’s been an area of the world that’s long been talked about as somewhere for people from other countries to go and live, but why has the Persian Gulf become such an important expat destination in the last few years?

In part, it’s down to the almost unbelievable development of Dubai that was gaining masses of media attention for all kinds of interesting property schemes and glitzy skyscraping projects.

Of course, the economic downturn meant that life in the sunshine wasn’t without its ups and downs, but Dubai has managed to hold on to its wealth and property prices are currently gaining.

Around the Gulf
Dubai is only part of the story, as there is – obviously – a great deal more to the area as a whole. So if you’re thinking about going there for a visit or for a longer stay to work, then there are other places to consider such as Kuwait City.

Kuwait City’s metro population is over two million, making it one of the biggest cities in the Persian Gulf, and it’s estimated that about two thirds of the Kuwait population is made up of expatriates of various nations from around the world.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Qatar has long been a place that people have gone to work in various industries. The state’s economy was historically based around the fishing industry, but since the discovery of massive oil and gas reserves around four decades ago, Qatar has become one of the richest countries in the entire world. In fact various news reports earlier this year revealed that Qatar is – if you go by GDP per capita – the world’s richest country.

For people from Europe, one of the most striking things is the price of fuel. If you’re used to a feeling of mild shock at the price of petrol every time you fill up your  car, then a spell in the Gulf will no doubt have you doing a double take at the filling station, but for reasons of cheapness rather than expense. In Kuwait and Qatar, petrol costs less per litre than supermarket own-brand  lemonade does over here.

Employment in the Gulf

Despite the global economic downturn, there are still plenty of jobs for skilled people available in the Gulf. Whether you’re in wealth management, HR, medicine or a variety of other industries, there are opportunities available.

Living in the Persian Gulf brings with it a lot of positives – not least of which the sunshine is plentiful. But there are challenges too – the Gulf’s various expat hotspots are culturally very different from back home, and life there may not be for everyone. Although it won’t take long to find lots of stories about people who’ve emigrated to the Gulf and have happily made it home.

About the author: Jennifer S. Jones writes on expatriate subjects including international health insurance and global talent management. She currently lives in the UK and travels abroad as often as possible.