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LinkedIn Names UAE as Top Expat Destination

Dubai, UAELinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, has just published some fascinating research based on member profiles. With a reported 364 million members LinkedIn has a lot of data to work with. Their latest findings are based on the locations of their members, looking particularly at changes to their country of residence during 2014.

The recently-published research aimed to find those locations that are most popular with professionals, and in doing so to deduce the top expat destinations in the world based on real-world profile entries from their millions of members.

According to the study, the United Arab Emirates come top of the chart, seeing a gain in expat workers of 1.89% last year. The reasoning is simple enough; with the UAE’s fast-growing economy, generous wages and low-tax environment there are employment opportunities aplenty for skilled workers. Furthermore, with no income tax payable at present, salaries can be proportionally higher than equivalent jobs in higher-tax locations.

The report also demonstrates the roles that this influx of expat workers are filling. The good news is that this list is surprisingly diverse, suggesting there are opportunities for individuals with a wide range of skills. It goes without saying that many workers are taking up roles in finance – such as insurance and accountancy. Many more took up positions in industry; architecture and engineering roles also proving popular.

However this is far from the end of the story. Other popular roles among expats in the UAE include technology, sales and retail management.

What is perhaps just as interesting is where these expats are coming from. Traditionally the UAE’s most common source of expat workers has been highly-skilled professionals from India; however the study shows that it is becoming an increasingly popular destination among expats from the UK and USA. The UAE is even drawing an increasing number of expats from nearby Qatar.

The second most popular destination for expats was Switzerland, with a gain of 0.9%. LinkedIn reports that the top occupations for expats in Switzerland are sales people, software developers, marketing specialists and projects managers.

Saudi Arabia comes in third, with a 0.85% increase in expat talent.

Possibly even more interesting is the countries that have been losing expat talent over the last 12 months. The LinkedIn global talent study found that the three countries losing the most expat workers in 2014 were India (0.23%), France (0.2%) and Italy (0.19%).

Both the UK and the US also saw small drops in expat talent.

The study of LinkedIn membership data also looked at which job roles are most likely to be taken up by expat professionals globally. The most common source of expat employment – accounting for 21% of international moves – is accounted for by the technology sector. Professional services came in second place, representing 15% of the moves, with the broad governmental/educational category coming in third.

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