Top 10 Destinations in the Middle East for UK Expats

The Middle East is considered one of the most popular destinations for UK expats. From the diverse food to the unique attractions, well-knit expat communities and fascinating lifestyles, it is no wonder why UK expats have become so interested in experiencing Middle Eastern culture.  

With 14 countries to choose fromplanning where to move to can often be difficult. Therefore, we have outlined the top 10 destinations for moving to the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is renowned for being a progressive and ancient nationThe country’s rich history and booming economy offer a diligent backbone to the bustling city life, loved by natives and expats alike. Featuring modern architecture, an upcoming metro project and relatively low cost of living are just a few reasons as to why the country is a popular destination for expats looking to move.  

The country has been long famed for three key areas; religion, oil, and wealth. Subsequently, Saudi Arabia offers British expats a wealth of renowned history and culture from ancient sites to modern artworks. 

The Oil and Wealth in Saudi Arabia mean that the country have drove a positive shift within the economy, with continuous growth and investments. As a result of the country’s efforts, the job market has continued to boom through all major cities.  

Not only is the country’s economy soaring, but taxes are also considered relatively cheap which has majorly weighed into British expats choice in relocating to the country. 

For UK expats who are considering moving to Saudi Arabiawe can offer a range of conclusive options for transporting your possessions using our international removal services.  

Saudi Arabia Meca
Meca, Saudi Arabia


Dubai is an attractive destination for many UK expats. With hundreds of British residents relocating to the location every year, Dubai truly is a prosperous city with an gorgeous nightlife scene. Stretching its offerings beyond job prospects and high salaries, Dubai has continued to host home for an estimated 240,000 British expats. 

For expats who are looking to move somewhere that has a vibrant social scene, then Dubai can certainly deliver. Many expats typically join a private beach club, and spend their non-working hours enjoying the assortment of amenities that the city has to offer. In addition, expats can expect to be met with a perfect climate for 8 months of the year, with cloudless blue skies dominating the long warm days, making the city the perfect destination to move to.  

Downtown Dubai


In recent years, Qatar has become one of the shining jewels of the Middle East. With a progressive and innovative state offering a multitude of appeals for UK expats, Qatar is both rich in its culture and diverse in its lands. Famed for its diversity in landscapes which have melded iconic city skylines and stunning coastal waters, the country remains a popular destination for UK expats looking to relocate abroad.  

The Oil and Gas industry alongside construction have provided a plethora of job opportunities for UK expats. As a result, international workers have now outnumbered native Qataris. Regardless of this, the local cultural identity and traditions remain strong, with the country having since thrived as a diverse destination offering innovation and collaboration.  

Expats who are planning on relocating to Qatar can expect to be met with a multicultural environment, with a strong expat community.  

Doha Qatar skyline Moving to middle east
Doha, Qatar


Boasting many delights that truly embody both the modern progressive attitudes of the country along with a proud and rich heritage, Kuwait is a popular destination for expats looking to relocate. Renowned for an exquisite cuisine along with a love for shopping, both in traditional Souks and in modernised malls, Kuwait is full of vibrancy and life.  

The city serves a balance of the new and old with architecture, restaurants, and attractions, not forgetting truly iconic landmarks of the nation, the Kuwait Towers. The bountiful attractions and rapidly advancing job and property market make Kuwait the perfect place for those considering moving to the Middle East. 

Al Shaheed Park, Kuwait
Al Shaheed Park, Kuwait

Abu Dhabi

As an increasingly cosmopolitan city, Abu Dhabi offers a rich cultural landscape for UK expats to truly immerse themselves in. Providing a wealth of opportunities and steeped in culture, Abu Dhabi is loved by expats and natives alike. The UAE’s oil rich capital has since become an increasingly popular choice for British expats looking to move abroad and enjoy a new life in the sun.  

The country is known as a tax-free haven which is one of the reasons that the expatriate population of UK expats continues to grow. Along with this, the hot desert climate offering sunshine all year round is a much-loved benefit for expats planning on relocating to the city. 

Considered one of the wealthiest emirates within the UAE due to its growing economy, Abu Dhabi offers a wealth of career opportunities to expats seeking a secure high-level role in multi-national corporations.   

For expats that are planning on moving to Abu Dhabi, will most certainly be met with an abundant array of benefits. 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dahbi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dahbi


Sharjah is recognised for being the third largest emirate in the UAE and is a popular destination for UK expats looking for a unique place to relocate to. Considered a cheaper alternative to living in Dubai, the state is well known for providing expats with fantastic properties for a family life.  

Specific areas of Sharjah are in fact particularly close to the Dubai-Sharjah border, which makes the destination a popular choice for UK expats who are opting for working in Dubai, whilst living in Sharjah, since it can be considerably cheaper.  

Majority of offices and educational institutes are situated within city centres, meaning that people often look for areas that have well-developed road links. With cheaper property prices, and a stunning climate offering diverse attractions and unique landmarks, Sharjah is a unique destination for expats seeking a cheaper alternative to Dubai to move to. 

Sharjah, UAE

Khor Fakkan

Khor Fakkan is a city located on the East coast of the United Arab Emirates and is the second largest location situated on the east coast, following on from Fujairah City. Renowned for its leisure and activity offerings and gorgeous beaches, UK expats can expect to be met with a sunny climate, offering a warm atmosphere during the daytime, and cooler evenings with low humidity.  

The city is recognised amongst natives and expats alike for its 4-star holiday beach resort, the Oceanic Hotel, along with its fish, fruit, and vegetable souq (market). With an abundant array of stunning landmarks and historical landscapes to explore, Khor Fakkan remains to be a popular destination for expats looking to relocate to the Middle East.

Khor Fakkan beach


Ajman is a unique destination for UK expats who are planning on moving to the Middle East. With a population of 490,035, Ajman is recognised as the capital of the emirate in the United Arab Emirates. The city offers many benefits for expats seeking somewhere to move to within the Middle East including a variety of leisure and entertainment options and not forgetting, a stable real estate market. 

Engulfed by the larger emirate of Sharjah, Ajman continues to provide expats with excellent amenities, that enable the city to grow in economy and popularity amongst UK expats.

Ajman, UAE


The emirate of Ras al Khaimah is known for being a small and most certainly beautiful emirate, located up North of the UAE. The city is larger than Ajman and Umm al Quwain, and is renowned for being the 4th largest city within the UAE, following on from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.  

Ras al Khaimah, more popularly referred to as RAK is a quieter city in comparison to other popular destinations within the Middle East, and features less traffic congestion, making it the perfect destination for UK expats looking to live a quieter life.  

Featuring many amenities including stunning landscapes and beaches, along with a vibrant set of attractions such as the National Museum of Ras al Khaimah and Suwaidi Pearls, RAK is a marvellous destination for UK expats to relocate to.

Pink lake, Ras al Khaimah


Last but certainly not least, Bahrain is considered an attractive location for many UK expats looking to move abroad. The country has been an expat hotspot for many years, with the expat population outnumbering natives.  

Located at the heart of the Persian Gulf and is known as the commercial and cultural hub of the region. With almost 1.3 million in population, Bahrain is recognized as the fourth most densely populated destination in the world. Holding a luxurious reputation for its world-class events for events such as Formula 1, the country is fames for its plethora of stunning Islamic sites and iconic landmarks.  

UK expats moving to abroad for professional advancements can expect salaries in Bahrain to be high, with no personal taxes, adding to its appeal as an expat destination. Most expats and nationals residing within the country maintain that they earn a large disposable income, with a higher standard of living. 

Muharraq, Bahrain


There are many destinations within the Middle East that offer benefits far beyond one can imagine. At John Mason, our international removals to the Middle East are designed to offer expats in the UK removals services that make a difference. For more information on removals, you can contact us and one of our friendly advisors will be in touch.  

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