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With the rise of new global hotspots it seems that young business professionals are increasingly looking for a sense of adventure when they move abroad – and the map of these sought after locations is beginning to shift.

The traditional destinations of the USA and Australia remain popular as do the European destinations of Spain, Germany and France – but there are also some new faces on the block as the new generation of expats becomes more open to alternatives.

The Expat Insider Inter Nations Survey 2017 polled expats across the world and ranked countries based on a combination of quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, family life and personal finance.

There was a surprise winner in the shape of Bahrain – up from 19th only a year earlier. Bahrain excelled in making expats feel at home and ranked highly for work and career too – both important areas for young professionals keen to work abroad.

The rest of the top five new global hotspots made interesting reading, too. Costa Rica was second, Mexico third, Taiwan fourth and Portugal fifth – all relatively new destinations on the expat map which show how things are changing.

Some of the other new global hotspots for young professionals include:


This is a country which is rapidly moving up the expat table – up to 12th in 2017 – and which is spending big on infrastructure. It appeals to younger professionals as an exciting base to explore new destinations. There is also a strong expat community in cities such as Ho Chi Min where English is spoken at work – and is increasingly financially stable, with a low cost of living.

Costa Rica

The work-life balance in Costa Rica is attractive to young professionals thanks to its warm climate, amazing scenery and low cost of living. Locals call this the ‘Tico lifestyle’ and it is particularly attractive to expats from the US and UK.


Increasingly complicated immigration policies, which are making getting a green card or a work permit a challenge, have made the news – but the USA remains a hotspot for young professionals nevertheless. It is still the country of opportunity in many people’s eyes and provides a big welcome to UK expats who find the culture accessible.


Still a big favourite thanks to its climate, awe-inspiring scenery and wildlife and a strong work-life balance. Wages are high Down Under too, often 20 per cent above those in the UK, which makes up for the high cost of renting property, especially in Sydney. Entry conditions are getting stricter but do favour young professionals who can contribute to society.

Hong Kong

A vibrant place to work – with strong cultural links to the UK and a buzzing British expat network. Low taxes can also be attractive and Hong Kong is an excellent travel hub. Learning Mandarin or Cantonese can be a challenge, however.

Close to home


The Silicon Docks in Ireland’s capital are a hive of innovation with huge companies such as Google, LinkedIn, Amazon and Facebook already there – and a skills gap to bridge.


Germany remains one of the top destinations for young professionals and the scene in Berlin is great for creativity and innovation. The city’s slogan of ‘Berlin ist arm, aber sexy (poor but sexy) is a pull in itself, with tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists also moving in.


There are plenty of incentives to set up business in Sweden, the home of some huge brands, in a country which embraces innovation.


Rapidly moving up the ranking tables, Portugal is becoming increasingly popular with expats. There has always been a big British community in the Algarve but Lisbon is now emerging as an international hub.

Considering relocating abroad as your next career move and after a moving quote? click here. Alternatively if you would like to find out more about the countries listed above by reading our destination guides.

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