Gulf Expat Destinations Voted Worst Places To Live

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Two of the most popular expat destinations are ranked as the worst places to live and working a new survey.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait hit rock bottom of the list of 61 countries – taking the bottom two places.

According to government statistics, around 33% of the Saudi population of 30 million are expats, while the figure for Kuwait is around 55% of the 1.8 million population.

Expats voted down both countries, with Saudi Arabia coming bottom in the ‘leisure activities’ category of the survey, with 54% of expats expressing dissatisfaction in leisure opportunities in the country.

Meanwhile 95% of expats said they did not feel at home in Kuwait and 93% complained they had problems making friends with Kuwaitis.

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Surprise packages

Greece took the third bottom placing, mainly due to poor job security following the country’s economic woes and European Union bail-out.

The winners are surprise packages.

Ecuador came out on top of the survey, published by expat group Internations and based on a poll of thousands of expats worldwide.

The small South American nation headed the financial happiness category and 82% of expats said they found settling in their new home easy and that the locals made them feel welcome.

One drawback is 37% of expats had problems communicating if they did not speak Spanish; however another 30% said they found learning the language quite easy.

More than nine out of 10 expats confessed they were happy living in Ecuador, while 42% said they had no plans to return home or move to another country.

Top place

Ecuador is especially popular as a retirement destination with expats from the United States.

Luxembourg took second place in the vote.

The tiny European duchy scored highly on career expats who are high-earners in banking and financial services.

Around two-thirds of expats in Luxembourg were there for work reasons.

Nearly a third expressed willingness to stay for the long-term, but a fifth was on posting of between a year and three years.

Although high in the job stakes, Luxembourg lost out in vote for personal happiness, with just 11% saying they were happy living in the duchy.

Third place went to Mexico. More than 90% of expats were happy with their life in the country, while 44% expressed no desire to move.

Mexico ranks high with romantics – with 20% going to the country to move in with a partner.

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