Muscat: The Expat Essentials Index of the InterNations has released the list of 52 destinations that make life abroad easy and those that make life most challenging for foreign expatriates.
The index is based on data from the Expat Insider 2022 survey by InterNations, the world’s largest expatriate community with over 4.5 million members.
While the Sultanate of Oman (rank 5) figures in the top 10, the report said that the top three destinations, Bahrain (first), the UAE (second) and Singapore (third), offer easy communication with the lack of a language barrier, while also posing minimal bureaucratic issues.
On the other hand, expatriates struggle the most with getting started in Germany (52), Japan (51) and China (50). Expats in all three countries struggle with the local language and a lack of modern digitalisation.
The report said that the Sultanate offers a smooth start for expatriates.
Expats find it very easy to find their footing in Oman — it excels in the Expat Essentials Index (5th), ranking among the top 10 in both housing (8th) and language (7th) subcategories.
Expats report that housing is both easy to find (79 per cent vs. 54 per cent globally) and to afford (57 per cent vs 39 per cent globally).
It is also easy to live in Oman without speaking the local language (75 per cent vs. 51 per cent globally).
In fact, only 33 per cent speak it fairly or very well, 20 percentage points less than the global average of 53 per cent.
However, the Sultanate has its restrictions and joins Kuwait (51st) among the bottom three destinations for unrestricted access to online services (e.g., social media).
In fact, 13 per cent of expatriates feel that their online access is limited, nearly twice the global average (7 per cent). This leads to a below-average 38th place in the digital life subcategory.
The Expat Essentials Index is part of the annual Expat Insider survey by InterNations. In the 2022 edition, InterNations asked 11,970 expats representing 177 nationalities and living in 181 countries or territories to provide information on various aspects of expatriate life, as well as their gender, age and nationality.
Participants were asked to rate up to 56 different factors regarding life abroad on a scale of one to seven.