Bahrain wins praise of expatriates again

BAHRAIN is ranked among the top 10 countries by expats for its new way of working in the global and digital age, according to a report released yesterday.

The country is ranked sixth out of 55 destinations in the latest Expat Insider 2021 survey, ‘The Future of Working Abroad’, conducted by InterNations, the world’s largest expatriate online networking community.

A total of 8,313 working expats living in 175 destinations, including Bahrain, and representing 166 nationalities took part in the study.

The parameters on which the countries were ranked included work-life balance, remote working or new work concept, business culture in the host country, personal development and working conditions, among other factors.

“The top 10 countries where expats rate the importance of ‘New Work’ in the local business culture the highest are the US, the UAE, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands, Bahrain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Sweden,” said the report.

“For example, 74 per cent of working expats in the US say that New Work plays an important role in the local business culture.”

Bahrain has performed better than several European and Scandinavian nations, while among the Gulf countries it is ranked second after the UAE (second), followed by Oman (17), Qatar (18), Saudi Arabia (19) and Kuwait (50).

The countries ranked in the bottom three are South Korea, Egypt, and Japan.

The survey states that 47pc of working expats globally name their career as the most important reason for relocating to another country.

Most of them found a job on their own (17pc), were recruited internationally (15pc), or were sent by their employer (13pc).

“Expats all around the world shared what it is really like to work abroad and described their working conditions,” stated the report.

“They also provided insights into how new working arrangements (remote work) are changing their working life and what they would like to see in the future.”

Furthermore, data showed that expats working abroad are on average 43.1 years old, and the gender ratio is a fairly evenly split between male (53pc) and female (46pc) expats.

Overall, they are well educated, with four in five working expats either holding a postgraduate degree/master’s degree (47pc) or a bachelor’s degree (33pc).

The most common fields expats work in are education (12pc), Information Technology (11pc), and finance (8pc).

Other frequently mentioned fields of work include manufacturing and engineering (7pc), healthcare (6pc), and advertising, marketing and communication (5pc).

When asked to compare the importance of New Work in their home country and their current country of residence, 49pc of working expats say that New Work is more important in the business culture of their host country than in their home country.

“Working expats from Mexico (74pc), the Philippines (65pc), Turkey (61pc), India (60pc), and Italy (59pc) see the biggest difference in importance as compared to their home country,” added the report.

It further highlights the rise of remote work globally since the outbreak of Covid-19 last year with close to four in five (78pc) expats being able to work remotely in 2021.

However, while 62pc say that they can work remotely, 16pc add that they can work remotely but usually prefer not to.

Another 16pc are unable to work remotely due to the nature of their job, and only 6pc cannot work remotely because their employer does not allow it.

“What working expats enjoy about the job they have is not necessarily what they envision for their future career,” said InterNations founder Malte Zeeck.


“Businesses all around the world will have to offer more within the context of New Work, such as room for creativity.

He added that despite a growing desire for self-fulfillment and personal development, hard factors such as a “good salary remain extremely important for expats in a business context”.

InterNations released another survey in May this year stated that expats in Bahrain find it easy to settle in and are happy with their local career opportunities.

Bahrain was ranked 12th out of 59 countries in The Best and Worst Destinations for Living and Working Abroad in 2021.




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