Growth of the Gulf: Who is Moving to the Gulf and Why?

  • Publish date: Thursday، 07 March 2024
Growth of the Gulf: Who is Moving to the Gulf and Why?

The Gulf region has a population of more than 50 million and the GCC countries have an expatriate population of 30 million. 

Who is Moving to the Gulf Region?

Growth of the Gulf: Who is Moving to the Gulf and Why?

The GCC is home to expats of various nationalities, however to some more than others. 

In the UAE, the highest number of expats are from India at 2.8 million followed by Pakistan at 1.3 million, according to research from Global Media Insight.

Other expat populations that are in high numbers in the UAE are nationals from Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Iran.

According to a 2022 Consensus, the highest number of expats in Saudi Arabia are from Bangladesh at 2.1 million, followed by India at 1.88 million, and Pakistan at 1.81 million. 

Other nationalities that have a large expat population in Saudi Arabia and rank in the top five of consensus are Yemeni, Egyptian, and Sudanese. 

These statistics emphasize that the GCC is an attractive destination for expatriates to live and work and here are some of the reasons why the GCC is the ideal second home for expats. 

Reasons for Expats to Move to the GCC

GCC Countries Ranked the Best Destinations for Expats to Live in

In the 2023 InterNations survey, five GCC countries ranked amongst the best countries for expats to live in. 

Bahrain ranked 9th in the survey, the UAE ranked 11th, Oman ranked 12th,  Saudi Arabia ranked 28th, and Qatar ranked 31st. 

Access to Digital Services

Growth of the Gulf: Who is Moving to the Gulf and Why?

Bahrain ranked the highest because it ranked eighth in digital services of the InterNations survey.

After all, expats found that they have access to high-speed internet in the country and most administrative services are available online. 

The UAE ranked nineteenth in this category because 84 percent of respondents to the survey were satisfied with the availability of online government services and 87 percent found it easy to secure high-speed internet services for their homes. 

These rankings emphasize that GCC countries provide excellent internet connectivity and their important administrative services are digitalized, making it easily accessible for expats. 

Quality of Life

Growth of the Gulf: Who is Moving to the Gulf and Why?

In the Quality of Life Index of the InterNations survey, Bahrain ranked 20th, which referred to the country's services for travel, safety, healthcare, and others. 

In this index, UAE ranked fourth, which emphasizes that the country has an efficient infrastructure for healthcare and other services, which makes these very accessible for expats. 

Job Opportunities in the GCC

Growth of the Gulf: Who is Moving to the Gulf and Why?

In the Working Abroad Index of the InterNations survey, which refers to job opportunities, career prospects, and salary, the UAE ranked fourth, while Bahrain ranked 19th. 

These statistics reinforce that these GCC countries provide job opportunities across various sectors with reasonable salaries. 

In a recent LinkedIn survey, 82 percent of professionals from the UAE and Saudi Arabia said that they preferred working in the GCC region. 

According to the survey, 31 percent of the respondents noted down opportunities for professional growth as a reason for preferring to work in the GCC. 

Some of the fast-growing jobs in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are found to be legal specialists, real estate consultants, environmental specialist, and content creators, which emphasizes that there are jobs across various sectors available in these countries.

A Hub for Innovation 

Growth of the Gulf: Who is Moving to the Gulf and Why?

The UAE has become a hub for innovation and technology because Dubai's free zones have attracted various multinational companies.

Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 is also working towards diversifying the economy, therefore the country is fostering various startups and tech-driven ventures.

Qatar also has the National Vision of 2030 to develop a self-sustaining and advanced economy, which is also creating a lot of investment, business, and innovation opportunities. 

These reasons make the Gulf region a very ideal for expats to reside and work in, which is why the GCC has such a large expat population. 

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