Qatar is the best place in the world to move if you want to boost your standard of living, according to a global survey of nearly 22,000 expats.
More than three quarters of those (76 per cent) who moved to the oil-rich country – which has the world’s highest GDP per capita – said they had more disposable income as a result.
Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said they had been able to invest in property and just over half said they could save more.
The research was carried out by HSBC as part of its online Expat Explorer survey in spring 2015, with the results released today.
Victoria Scott, a freelance journalist who lived in Qatar for six years, said the British professionals who move there often do so with a financial goal in mind.
“There are two camps among the expats – the first is those who come to Qatar to save for something particular, usually a big project like paying off their mortgage, buying a buy-to-let property or starting up a new business,” she said.
“The other camp go out there with that in mind but then realise that they can have a very comfortable life. The expat lifestyle is very alluring as it allows lots of fantastic things like a nanny or a big car – although you need the latter for life preservation reasons, owing to the standard of driving.
“They spend a lot of money on meals out and help around the house, and don’t end up saving as much as they thought they would.”
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Ms Scott warned that school fees, rent and food shopping all take a big chunk out of expat salaries, although it helps that these come tax-free.
HSBC found that 68 per cent of expats under 35 years old receive an accommodation allowance from their employer when moving to Qatar, and 31 per cent in this age bracket bought their first home while living there.
According to a separate survey conducted earlier this year by InterNations, 23 per cent of expat workers in Qatar say their annual gross household income is $100,000 USD (£66,800) or more.
However, complaints about a lack of leisure facilities meant it scored poorly for quality of life.
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The next best place to move for more money in your pockets is Oman where 72 per cent of expats have more disposable income, 76 per cent can save more, and a quarter have been able to invest in bricks-and-mortar.
Saudia Arabia, Bahrain and China came in joint third place with 68 per cent of international workers feeling richer in those locations than at home.
The only European country to make the top five was Switzerland, which took joint fifth place with Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. A total of 65 per cent of expats in those countries said they had more disposable income. In the UK, the figure is 45 per cent.