With COVID-19 lockdowns, political turmoil, high costs making life difficult for foreign workers in Hong Kong, and increasing competition from Singapore for expats, young professionals looking for adventure and careers abroad face a dilemma. The most important question became what are the best global hotspots of the future to attract a vibrant international community with high paying jobs and luxurious and affordable lifestyles?
While countries like Curaçao and Cape Verde have issued digital visas to web-based nomads, building and maintaining a large global talent base requires more than a beach and Wi-Fi connection. In a world reshaped by infection, invasion and inflation, a group of cities challenge the old order, attracting large and emerging companies to hone their credentials as a global city. Amidst this momentum, 6 cities have emerged in front of foreign workers as the best places to live and work, according to the reports of travelers who have toured many cities, according to a report published by Bloomberg Agency and seen by Al Arabiya Net .
Long overshadowed by neighboring Singapore as a destination for expat workers, the Malaysian capital has become increasingly attractive to global companies due to its English-speaking workforce, ease of regional flights and relative affordability. In 2021, the city ranked first in a global survey of nearly 12,000 arrivals conducted by InterNations, and had the highest housing rates.
Caroline Bogo, who moved to Kuala Lumpur with her husband and 10-year-old son, shared her experience after living in the city for 15 years: “Malaysia is a country at the crossroads of many civilizations: Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East and India.” “There is a lot of cultural and linguistic diversity, but there is real harmony in all this diversity.”
She spends about 3,000 ringgit ($682) a month on rent and works as a consultant to organize events and conferences.
“In Shanghai, everything is very fast, I worked very hard. But as soon as I left, I realized it was like taking drugs all the time. Now things are more balanced for me,” Bogu (47) said.
One of Europe’s oldest cities, Lisbon has reinvented itself as a beloved destination, hosting events such as the annual Web Summit and offering a mix of culture, nightlife and warm weather within easy reach of some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches.
Expat website Dispatch last year described the city as “the most popular expat destination in Europe right now.” Lisbon is enjoying a boom whose consequences are ever-rising property prices with an influx of wealthy immigrants buying homes in the capital or along Portugal’s legendary Algarve coast. .
Last August, Alison Baxley and her family traded their 800-square-foot rental apartment in Brooklyn that she pays $4,300 a month for a three-bedroom house with a pool on the Portuguese coast for about half the price, a move she described as an “escape from the rat race.”
She said Cascais – an elegant coastal district up the coast from the Portuguese capital – was a “good landing point for expats”, with an international community and good schools.
“New York was plunged into an epidemic: politics, crime rates were rising across the country. I was worried about my children, especially when they were growing up,” Baxley, 39, added.
And she continued: “Real estate prices in Lisbon are rising, but they are not astronomical, and the dream of owning a property in New York is almost impossible.”
She added: “In New York you work hard all week. By the end of the week you’re exhausted. But here I can enjoy every day.”
The conflict between the emirates of Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore has been burning for more than a decade now over the movement of expats, and the combination of the epidemic and war in Europe has made the emirate more popular. Dubai has invested billions to create the city of the future with its skyscrapers and charming engineering architecture.
Bernd Hanke, a partner at the London-based fund, moved to Dubai during the pandemic to escape the rounds of lockdown and Covid measures in Stuttgart, where he had been staying for 9 months, to join a growing number of financial joining professionals moving to a city boosting its financial and cryptocurrency markets.
Hanky enjoys waking up to the view of the lush green golf course from his Emirates Hills residence, as well as the warmer climate, although summer temperatures outside air-conditioned homes and malls can reach 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit). Dubai is in a similar time zone to Europe, making it easy for him to reach UK investors in his $400 million equity fund.
“Dubai handled the epidemic very well and there was almost no closure,” says Hanky (48), whose family lives in London. Now he is considering whether to make the move more permanent and the purchase of property in Dubai.
Bengaluru, or Bangalore as it is called by many locals and expats, has become one of the world’s fastest growing technology hubs, home to thousands of startups and software companies, backed by money from global tech companies and prominent foreign investors like Sequoia Capital and Goldman Sachs. Venture capital is flowing to the southern Indian city faster than London or San Francisco by one estimate, rising to $7.2 billion in 2020 from $1.3 billion in 2016.
Joseph Kim, who left the San Francisco Bay Area last year to set up a game studio in the Indian city, recounted his experience of moving to the city. “New innovation centers are emerging all over the world, and I see Bangalore as a booming center,” he said. “People are increasingly resentful of Silicon Valley, its policies, crime rates and the dismal state of education,” says a combination of factors, lead to a “mass exodus” from the technological heartland of the US where he spent most of his career.
After attending a gaming conference in India in 2020, Kim joined forces with other co-founders to launch his startup Lila Games Pvt in the busy Indiranagar district of eastern Bengaluru, also securing backing from Sequoia.
“We studied in Finland, Latin America and Canada before settling in Bangalore,” says Kim, who graduated from UC Berkeley’s School of Engineering and holds an MBA from UCLA. “People here are thirsty to learn.”
However, like other places on the Indian subcontinent, Bengaluru can present a challenge to those accustomed to cities in the Western world, and Kim’s wife and children live in Santa Clara where he visits them once a quarter.
“A lot of things in Bangalore look unfinished, including roads and buildings, and everyone seems to be in a rush to get to the next thing,” he said. “But for the first time in a long time I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.”
While the vast urban sprawl of nearly 22 million people might make Mexico City seem like an unlikely candidate for an expat haven, the oldest capital in the Americas is quickly gaining interest as a hub for Latin American entrepreneurs and startups . Mexico topped the list in InterNations’ 2022 ranking of the best countries to live in and its high-profile capital is home to foreigners from all over the world.
Brian Ryckarth, CEO of startup platform Latitud, moved with his family to the Tony Polanco neighborhood of the Mexican capital in July. “It’s like Beverly Hills in Mexico City,” he said. “Very fancy, but safe.”
He compared Rickarth to his small town in California, where his children attend public school. which he described as very small. “My children were shocked when they visited their new school in Mexico City,” he said. “It’s huge, 20 times bigger than the school they go to now, and there’s a Starbucks! It feels like a college campus instead of a small neighborhood. school.”
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
The former capital of the Portuguese Empire was steeped in charm for much of the 20th century, boasting an iconic backdrop of tree-covered mountains surrounding one of the world’s most stunning natural harbors. As the city declined in the 1990s, it was eclipsed by the financial center of São Paulo, while Rio’s relaxed atmosphere and world-famous beaches continued to attract foreigners who moved to South America’s largest economy.
“I’m amazed at how many foreigners I find working here,” says Marie Alasor, 31, who manages B2B operations at Brazilian real estate platform Loft.
After a stint in Hong Kong and with Uber in Sao Paulo, Mexico and London, Alasor and her Brazilian boyfriend considered moving to Spain or Portugal, but in the early months of 2020, before the pandemic took over the world decided to try Rio.
“I feel at home,” she said. “There is a European spirit here – this is Brazilian Paris.”
Through a former colleague at Uber, Alasor got a job at the Loft, splitting her hours between her home, corporate office and Aussie Coffee Hangout, a local coffee shop and bakery that serves homemade banana bread and banana bread. In Ryo’s easygoing spirit, she spends part of her morning meditating or walking on the beach, sometimes making time for pottery lessons.
“When you work at a startup, there’s no limit to the amount of work you can do,” she said. “I love the balance I have now. I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy what I have.”