Changing moving trends

Dec 18 | 2023

Middle Eastern countries are rising rapidly up the table of desirable destinations for Brits moving abroad, according to figures released by Bristol moving firm 1st Move International.

Mike Harvey, managing director of 1st Move InternationalThe data shows Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates becoming increasingly popular expat destinations, with the UAE displacing the likes of Canada and New Zealand at the upper end of the table.

Analysis of more than 40,000 international moves since 2019, including over 6,000 in 2023, paints a fascinating picture of where Brits are choosing to move to post-COVID.

As ever, the USA and Australia are at the very top of the list, with the company reporting more than 1,000 moving to each destination this year alone. Next up is the UAE, which has climbed to third in the table, followed by Canada and New Zealand.

Cyprus jumps one place to sixth, with South Africa falling behind in seventh, before a static Singapore in eighth, Brazil in ninth and Saudi Arabia climbing one place to tenth.

Further down the table, big movers include Barbados, jumping 22 places to claim 18th place, Costa Rica up 22 to 23rd, the Bahamas up 21 to 25th, Trinidad and Tobago up 11 to 27th, Hong Kong up 12 to 32nd, Panama up 24 to 33rd and the Dominican Republic up 58 places to 35th.

Other popular destinations featuring in the top 40 include Turkey, Thailand, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Japan. 1st Move International does not operate in mainland European destinations.

Mike Harvey, Managing Director of 1st Move International, said that one reason people chose their destinations is because of the better weather. However there were also economic reasons. “Economically, there is significant development in countries such as the UAE and Brits moving there can enjoy tax-free salaries in job sectors such as finance, healthcare and education. Inflation is currently sitting at just over 2.2%, which is much lower than the UK and other EU countries, with the Dirham being pegged to the US Dollar providing exchange rate stability.” Mike also said that the Middle East is a central location for travel to Europe as well as Asia and Australasia, making it a good base for travel-minded professionals.

Mike speculated that the increase in destinations such as the Caribbean could be due to people’s change in perceptions of what is possible, post-COVID. “For many people without family ties the ability to work remotely means they can easily and practically live anywhere in the world. In fact, even moving with a family is not perceived as arduous a task as it used to be.

Photo:  Mike Harvey, Managing Director of 1st Move International.