Oman among world's top five safest places for expats

Oman Tuesday 18/May/2021 21:01 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman among world's top five safest places for expats
Oman is one of the easiest countries for expatriates to settle in.

Muscat: Oman is among the top five safest countries in the world for expatriates, according to a new global report that ranks countries on the basis of how easy they are for foreign nationals to live in.

Oman is ranked fifth among 59 of the countries polled, with only the United Arab Emirates (ranked third) finishing above it among the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, according to the Expat Insider report by Inter Nations.

The report lists safety and security as one of seven factors that influence an expatriate’s quality of life. Qatar (9th) was third in terms of expat safety, followed by Bahrain (17th), Saudi Arabia (24th), and Kuwait (39th).

The other six factors are leisure options, travel and transport, health and well-being, digital life, and environmental quality.

“It’s a great place to bring up family,” said Nusreen Hamza, a Malaysian national.

“Omanis are among the friendliest people in the world, and this country is really safe. You don’t feel concerned about your safety when you go out at night and don’t need to worry about your children when they are out on their own or with friends, because everyone here is so welcoming.”

In the Quality of Life subcategory, Oman was third among the Gulf countries, finishing 32nd overall.
The UAE (17th) and Qatar (23rd) were above it, while Saudi Arabia (41st) and Kuwait (59th) were significantly lower.

The country also received a fairly high environmental quality score, finishing first among the GCC states, and 17th overall. The UAE was ranked 35th, Bahrain 42nd, Saudi Arabia 44th, and Kuwait 58th.
Taiwan, Austria, Portugal, Finland, and Canada offer the best quality of life to expatriates, according to the report.

Oman is also among the friendliest countries in the world, finishing fourth overall, with Bahrain (14th) in second among Gulf countries. The UAE (21st), Saudi Arabia (32nd), Qatar (36th) and Kuwait (59th) all finished lower down. Friendliness is among three conditions determining an expat’s ease of settling in, per the report.

Oman is one of the easiest countries for expatriates to get settled in, overall, finishing sixth. Mexico, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Bahrain are the easiest countries in the world for expats to settle in.

In terms of cost of living, Oman is the most affordable GCC country to live in. Ranked 21st in the Inter Nations report, it is well ahead of Bahrain (26th), Saudi Arabia (30th), the UAE (44th), Qatar (49th) and Kuwait (53rd).

“I actually moved to Oman from another Arab country in 2018,” said Sudip Gupta, an engineer. “I was surprised as to how affordable things are: the price differences can be seen even in day-to-day items, such as a bottle of water. I’ve lived in quite a few Arab countries, and I have to say, the cost of living and standard of life here is excellent.”

Expats polled regarding how happy there were in Oman said they were 80 percent satisfied with their life here, the highest rating after the UAE (82 percent), among the Gulf countries. Qatar (79 percent) and Bahrain (76 percent) are close behind, however. The overall satisfaction rating for the GCC stands at 77 percent.

The Expat Insider report ranks countries around the world where expats more commonly move to for work on the basis of four main categories: quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finances, and the prospects of working abroad. Overall, Oman ranks 24th among 59 countries.

Taiwan, Mexico, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, Canada, and Vietnam are the top 10 countries for expat workers. At the other end of the spectrum are Malta, India, Turkey, Cyprus, Japan, Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Italy, and Kuwait.

The report also puts into perspective how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s decisions to move to other countries for work or migration.

“On a personal level, many of us have been worrying about the health of our loved ones, wondering how our careers might be affected by the economic fallout, or simply longing for those carefree times when we’ll celebrate with all our friends and entire family again,” said Malte Zeeck and Philipp von Plato, the founders and co-CEOs of Inter Nations.

“The long period of uncertainty isn’t quite over yet, and there’s no easy answer to many of those questions raised during, and by, the pandemic.”