Expat News Roundup - week 50, 2012

Posted on 11/12/2012

There’s good news for expats in the Middle East this week, as a result of two separate stories: Enviable expat bonus and benefits packages appear to be returning the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, the construction industry in Dubai appears poised to create a multitude of new jobs.

Elsewhere, France shows no sign of losing popularity with UK expats and is yet again the top destination in a British survey. Expats in France are also more likely to be able to continue to watch British TV programs – something becoming less likely in more Southern parts of Europe, as another story shows.

Finally this week, there’s more positive expat news from Malaysia, where the government is creating a brand new department to look after migrants’ visa issues.
France Still Top Choice for UK Expats

A survey by HiFx has revealed that France remains the number one destination for prospective British expats.

The report showed that nearly 25-percent of those surveyed about their plans for buying abroad expressed an interest in moving to France – the UK’s closest continental neighbor.

Spain also retained its second place position in the annual survey.


Malaysia Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Expats

Malaysia will be making a concerted effort to attract expats in the coming year, with the launch of a new Expatriate Services Division.

The new government department is intended to help prospective expats deal with visas and administrative issues and make the destination more attractive to skilled professionals.

This new initiative will be supported by the re-launch of a 10-year working visa for expats and their families.

The Malaysian government is clearly hopeful that these new measures will lead the country to emulate the expat success story of neighboring Singapore.


Bonuses are Back in the UAE

Current and prospective expats in the United Arab Emirates have two positive pieces of news this week.

The first is a report in The National stating that attractive expat pay packages are beginning to reappear, after becoming thin on the ground as a result of the global recession.

Salaries and bonuses for expats appear to be rising steadily, but are not expected to reach their pre-recession heights.

The UAE has to compete for talented professionals with countries in Asia, where salaries are rising even faster.


Building Projects Restart in Dubai

Still in the United Arab Emirates, The Telegraph reports this week that Dubai’s building industry is showing strong signs of recovery.

Many projects stalled as a result of the financial crisis, but a number of ostentatious builds, both old and new, are now back underway. These include a replica of the Taj Mahal, intended to be quadruple the size of the real thing.

As around 80% of workers in Dubai are expats, this represents a serious resurgence of job opportunities in the Middle East.


Distress for Expat TV Addicts in Iberia

British expats in southern Spain and Portugal’s Algarve are reeling from the news that they may soon be unable to watch their favorite TV shows from back home.

Changes to the Astra satellites that broadcast Sky and Freesat television mean that the signals will soon be unable to reach the southern extremities of Iberia.

While there is currently no fully legal way to watch these broadcasts, thousands of expats have satellite dishes and Freesat receivers and many others have Sky subscriptions registered to UK addresses – something not formally allowed by the broadcaster.

Many people have already began to lose channels as the satellite switch-overs begin, and due to the questionable legality no one is able to gain formal information as to when the remainder may become inaccessible.