Dubai Tops the Global List for Preferred Expat Destinations - Smart Zones® UAE

Dubai Tops the Global List for Preferred Expat Destinations

Dubai stands as the world’s most sought-after city for international relocation.

A recent analysis by financial services provider Remitly reveals that Dubai holds the top position as the city people worldwide aspire to move to.

This ranking, compiled from 12 months of Google search data, unmistakably places Dubai in the lead, with Miami, Paris, and New York following closely behind.

Dubai: The Ultimate Dream Destination

Global immigration is on the rise, with individuals seeking overseas travel for a myriad of motives.

As of 2020, an estimated 281 million people lived in a country other than their place of birth, marking a substantial increase of 128 million since 1990. This accounts for approximately 3.6% of the world’s population.

The study conducted by Remitly involved an analysis of Google search volumes for the phrase “move to [city]” across 164 countries globally. The outcome is a comprehensive ranking based entirely on how many countries favor relocating to a specific city over all others.

Dubai emerges as the clear favorite, topping the wish lists of a remarkable 60 countries.

Searches for relocating to Dubai were more prevalent than any other city in 60 countries, including India, Pakistan, the UK, Italy, Canada, the USA, Australia, and Sri Lanka.

Top Choices for Dream Immigration

  • Dubai, 60 (the number of countries desiring it the most)
  • Miami, 12
  • Paris, 10
  • New York City, 8
  • Madrid, 8
  • Singapore, 8
  • London, 6
  • Brussels, 6
  • Toronto, 3
  • Washington DC, Buenos Aires, Christchurch, Quebec City, Bogota, Portland, Vienna, Phoenix, Chicago, 2

Remitly states: “Renowned for its ultramodern architecture, vibrant nightlife, year-round sunshine, and abundant job opportunities, Dubai is globally regarded as an immensely attractive place to live. Its population increased by almost 100,000 during the 12-month period from 2022 to 2023.”

“For those seeking a fresh start in a city where making friends from all corners of the world is easy, Dubai emerges as the perfect relocation destination.”

However, UAE residents express interest in relocating to Singapore, another city featured in the top ten list, known for its diverse expat community and ample job prospects.

In Canada and the US, “move to Dubai” was by far the most popular search term.

Out of 50 US states, 37 selected Dubai as the most searched-for international relocation destination, and seven out of 10 Canadian provinces favored the UAE city.

In Europe, 14 countries placed Dubai at the top of their list, while residents of seven Asian countries preferred Dubai over any other location.

Similarly, African and Oceanic regions designated the UAE city as the prime choice for international relocation.

Jago McKenzie, Business Management Director at Remitly, explains: “People are increasingly considering the idea of relocating to another country at least once in their lifetime, whether for better job prospects, improved quality of life, or higher income to support their families back home.”

“With this in mind, it’s no surprise that people worldwide are searching for information about the city that could become their next home.”

“Dubai is the undisputed winner in our study, with its abundant job prospects, appealing lifestyle, and fantastic weather. It’s easy to see why it’s the top choice.”


Publish Date: Mon 6 Nov 2023


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