Best cities for British expats – including Malaga, Dubai and Singapore | Travel News | Travel


InterNations is the largest global community for expats around the world and has over four million members. In the Expat City Ranking, expats rated cities based on several important factors.

The cities were ranked on factors including the quality of life they offer expats, how easy it is to make friends, work-life balance and finance and housing.

The best city in the world for expats came in first place because so many expats feel at home there.

Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, was ranked as the best city in the world for expats.

Over 75 percent of expats find it easy to get used to the local culture while 80 percent think local residents are friendly towards foreigners.

READ MORE: Which is the UK’s ‘best’ Christmas market? New data

One expat from the USA said: “I love Kuala Lumpur’s culturally diverse environment and the overall friendliness.”

The buzzing Malaysian city is also very affordable for most expats with 74 percent saying they found housing well priced.

Over 90 percent of expats said housing was easy to find in Kuala Lumpur while over 60 percent thought their household income was “more than enough”.

Kuala Lumpur is also a top tourist destination with travellers flocking to the city to visit the limestone Batu Caves and marvel at the views from the Petronas Twin Towers.

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The second best city in the world for British expats is already a firm favourite with British migrants and tourists.

Malaga ranked second highest in the InterNations study and was chosen as the best city for making friends and socialising.

Nearly 70 percent of expats found it easy to make friends in Malaga while over 85 percent thought the cost of living was very affordable.

One US expat in Malaga said: “Malaga has everything to offer for downtime.” Not a single expat said they were unhappy with the weather in Malaga.

Malaga is a fantastic choice for British expats with 16 beautiful beaches and it’s just a short hop from many top Costa del Sol resorts.

Dubai was the third best destination for British expats and was ranked the best city in the world to live in without speaking the local language.

Over 80 percent of people said the local people were friendly towards foreign residents while almost 60 percent thought it was easy to make friends there.

Almost all the expats felt safe living in Dubai but the great quality of life unfortunately comes at a price.

Only 41 percent of expats thought housing was affordable in Dubai and over 30 percent thought their household income was not enough.

The fourth best destination for expats was sunny Sydney in Australia. An expat from Pakistan said: “I like the clean environment, the beautiful scenery and the diverse community with its mix of cultures.”

Over 80 percent of expats in Sydney thought it was easy to get used to the local culture and 72 percent felt at home in the Australian city.

Best 10 cities for British expats (InterNations)

  1. Kuala Lumpur
  2. Malaga
  3. Dubai
  4. Sydney
  5. Singapore
  6. Ho Chi Minh
  7. Prague
  8. Mexico City
  9. Basel
  10. Madrid





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Portugal’s golden visa system offers new opportunities for British expats | Travel News | Travel


Designed for non-EU citizens, Portugal’s golden visa is a residency by investment scheme that launched in 2012. Since the UK left the EU, the Portuguese golden visa has become an attractive option for British expats.

Patrick McCaghy, managing director of Golf Travel Centre, told Express.co.uk: “The golden visa has been a great way to encourage investment across Portugal, allowing many Brits to purchase holiday homes and boost tourism.

“Since the visa, Golf Travel Centre has continued to see immense growth and demand for travel to locations such as the Algarve, Porto and Lisbon.

“With the changing rules, it’s an opportunity for other, less-visited regions to economically benefit and become new must-see destinations.”

In good news for British expats, the minimum investment value for property to qualify for a golden visa will remain at €500,000 (£420,937).

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After the rules change in January, expats could have the chance to explore a new area of Portugal.

Christopher Nye, senior content editor at Portugal Property Guides, told Express.co.uk: “If you’ve still got your heart set on a home in the Algarve, the good news is there are still some areas that will qualify for the golden visa in January 2022.

“They’re all beautiful, good value for money and within driving distance of the region’s favourite beaches.

“These include Alcoutim, Aljezur, Castro Marim, Monchique and Vila do Bispo.”

A popular tourist destination, visitors come to Monchique to enjoy treatments at the Caldas de Monchique spa.

Quiet and peaceful, Vila do Bispo is a pretty village, located just a short trip from stunning sandy beaches.

Christopher told Express.co.uk: “Portugal’s Golden Visa is widely regarded as one of the best visa schemes in the world.

“In return for investing in property or business in the country, applicants will receive five years of residency with the opportunity to later apply for citizenship. The visa also gives free movement around the Schengen zone.”





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Spain: British expats share ‘brilliant’ tip to avoid residency issues in Spain | Travel News | Travel


On the official British Embassy Facebook page ‘Brits in Spain’ the Embassy posted: “We know that some of you have yet to exchange your green residency certificate for the Withdrawal Agreement TIE.” The TIE is a biometric card that contains the identity details of a foreigner who lives in Spain.

“And since February this year, we’ve had shiny new TIEs, which have made life so much easier.

“Absolutely brilliant. I definitely recommend anybody to apply for it. Very straightforward, you do practically everything online.

“Sort out your appointments online. Download the application form and fill it in online and just turn up with that, proof that you’ve paid the tax, take your green card, your passport, your padron certificate.

“They do things in the computer and take your fingerprints. And then six weeks later you get one of these.

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“And really it has made travel an awful lot easier. If you, for example, if you leave or enter Spain, make sure that you present this together with your passport and you shouldn’t get your passport stamped.

“So definitely recommend that. And if you come back into the Schengen Zone, this just looks so much more official than the green card.

“It says residence permit in three different languages. On the back it says that we’ve got our right reserved under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

“So a win-win. Yeah, definitely win-win. It’s also a lot more durable than the old green card or A4 paper certificate.

“It’s credit card sized, so it slips into your wallet or purse. Yeah, definitely recommend it. Go for it.”

British expats need to apply for Spanish residency if they want to live in Spain for more than 90 days out of 180.

Since Brexit, British people are allowed to visit the Schengen Zone for 90 days in every 180 which has impacted some expats without residency.

Seasonal expats, sometimes known as ‘swallows’, used to visit Spain for the winter months to escape the UK’s cold weather.

Swallows without residency will not be able to visit Spain for more than 90 days at a time without breaking the law.

British expats now need to apply for Spanish residency from the UK after the deadline to apply from Spain passed in December.

They will need to prove they had healthcare in place as well as demonstrate they were living in Spain in 2020.

This can be difficult and proof can include bank statements, restaurant receipts and medical bills.





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British expats in Spain ‘relieved’ about booster jab travel news before Christmas | Travel News | Travel


The Prime Minister said the Government intends to add booster jabs to the NHS Covid Pass in the coming months.

He said: “I think we will be making plans to add the booster dose to the NHS Covid travel pass.

“But again, I think what the general lesson is from anybody who wants to travel, you can see that getting fully vaccinated with a booster is going to be something that will, on the whole, make your life easier in all kinds of ways, including on foreign travel.

“So I would just say, if you’re thinking about that, then this is yet another reason to get it done.”

READ MORE: British expat town in France sees drop in numbers – ‘rollercoaster’





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British Airways returns to US from Gatwick | News


Following the recent reopening of US borders for Brits, British Airways’ first transatlantic flight from Gatwick took off earlier bound for Tampa, Florida.

The airline’s services to Tampa will operate three times a week.

British Airways will also resume flights from Gatwick to popular family holiday-hotspot Orlando on Friday.

This is the first time the airline has operated to these destinations, and to the US from Gatwick, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year.

British Airways is planning on operating to 23 US airports this winter, more than any other transatlantic carrier, with 246 flights a week from January.

As well as Tampa and Orlando from Gatwick, flights to much loved cities Nashville and New Orleans will restart in December from Heathrow.

The airline’s A380s will also touch down in the US once again, with the jumbo jet due to start operating to Miami from Heathrow from December 5th, Los Angeles from December 9th and Dallas from March 27th.

Claire Bentley, managing director of British Airways Holidays, said: “Orlando and Tampa are among our most popular destinations, so we know how much our customers are looking forward to heading back.

“Florida is such a diverse state, so whether it’s a relaxing beach holiday, a theme park adventure or an epic road trip, there’s something for every type of traveller.

“In addition, we’re offering a wide range of British Airways Holidays deals to suit every budget.”





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‘Polar Preet’: British Sikh Army officer Preet Chandi embarks on solo South Pole expedition


Editor’s Note — This story is part of CNN’s commitment to covering issues around identity, including race, gender, sexuality, religion, class and caste.

(CNN) — Preet Chandi is aiming to make history. The British-born Indian Sikh Army officer is embarking November 7 on the long voyage to Antarctica. Once there, she hopes to become the first woman of color to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole.

Nothing about the expedition sounds easy.

After flying to Chile, she will be dropped at Antarctica’s Hercules Inlet. From there, Chandi will trek solo 700 miles across the ice to the pole, hauling a sled weighing 90 kilograms (nearly 200 pounds) with all her kit, fuel and food for around 45 days.

The sun will never set but temperatures could dip as low as minus 50 Celsius (minus 58 Fahrenheit) with wind chill. Her only contact with the outside world will be a daily check-in with her support team.

Chandi, who has adopted the nickname “Polar Preet” for her blog and fundraising efforts, has spent two and a half years preparing for the grueling expedition.

She’s undergone crevasse training in the French Alps, trekked across Iceland’s Langjökull Glacier and endured 27 days on the ice cap in Greenland — not to mention months spent dragging a heavy tire behind her back home in England, to simulate pulling a sled.

‘I’m told: “You don’t really look like a polar explorer”‘

08 preet chandi

Preet Chandi is a British-born Indian Sikh Army officer.

Courtesy Preet Chandi

The 32-year-old Army captain is determined to achieve her goal — both for her own satisfaction and, she hopes, to inspire others to push their boundaries and defy cultural norms.

“I’m not really the image I think people expect to see, even now,” she told CNN, referring to her South Asian background. “I’m told that ‘you don’t really look like a polar explorer.'”

While battling appalling weather in Greenland Chandi suffered frostnip — an early stage of frostbite — on the tip of her nose. “People have said to me, they’ve never seen frostnip on somebody with my color skin before,” she said.

“I really hope that this does inspire people, I hope that me doing something that was so far out of my comfort zone… would inspire people to push their comfort zones and push their boundaries.” That could be anything, she added, since clearly a polar expedition is not realistic for everyone.

Chandi’s own journey has already taken her far from her roots in the English city of Derby, where she grew up with two older brothers.

After playing tennis competitively in her teens and moving to a tennis academy in the Czech Republic age 16, Chandi returned to the UK age 19. She joined Britain’s Army Reserve as a medic while studying to get onto a physiotherapy degree course.

She waited a few weeks before she even told anyone in her family that she had joined up, she said, “because it’s something very out of the norm for somebody from my background.”

According to the latest UK government report on diversity in the Armed Forces, Black, Asian and minority ethnic personnel made up 2.7% of officers in the UK Regular Armed Forces as of April 1, 2021. Only 0.1% of personnel who declared their religion were Sikh, the report said.

After graduating and juggling work as a physiotherapist with her Army Reserve commitments, Chandi decided to join the regular Army in 2012. Her military duties have taken her to Nepal and Kenya and, most recently, South Sudan, where she was deployed on a six-month United Nations peacekeeping tour.

Along the way Chandi developed a passion for endurance events, starting with her first half-marathon age 20 and building up to ultra-marathons including the six-day Marathon des Sables — a 156-mile race across the sands and salt plains of the Sahara Desert.

It was after completing this event that Chandi realized she needed a new “big thing” to aim for — and the dream of her solo trek to the South Pole was born, despite her having very little skiing experience.

Other women have skied to the South Pole, with Norway’s Liv Arnesen the first in the world to make the trip alone and unsupported in 1994. But Chandi believes she will be the first woman of color to do it solo and unsupported.

‘Representation does matter’

Chandi trained in Greenland in 2020.

Chandi trained in Greenland in 2020.

Courtesy Preet Chandi

The Covid-19 pandemic has complicated Chandi’s efforts to prepare for her trip, making her trip to Greenland last year more time-consuming and expensive, for example. As a trained medic, she was also part of Britain’s Covid-19 vaccination drive.

She has named her pulk — the nearly 7-foot long Nordic sled she will haul across the Antarctic ice — for her niece, Simran. Her Nordic skis are named for her nephew, Karanveer. The journey should take her 45 to 47 days to complete; the pulk will carry food for 48 days.

Chandi plans to listen to audiobooks along the way — Michelle Obama’s memoir “Becoming” is a favorite — and has voice messages from close friends on her cell phone ready to play in times of need. She will record a daily vlog to be uploaded by her support team so others can follow her progress.

Nonetheless, spending more than six weeks alone in such tough conditions will be Chandi’s biggest challenge yet. But the belief that she can inspire others will help to drive her forward.

“I think the more you do, the more you realize you’re capable of. And this isn’t just for people from my community, but I do understand that coming from a community like mine, there are a lot of boundaries and barriers — and this is something very out of the norm. And a lot of the time, it’s not always seen as positive when you’re doing things out of the norm.”

While preparing for her expedition, which is being undertaken as part of her active military service, Chandi has also become increasingly aware of how much it matters for young people to see someone like her as a role model.

One entry in her blog from April shows her dragging her tire behind her in traditional Indian dress. “I am proud to be a Punjabi girl,” she wrote, adding that she spent years denying her Indian roots.

“There was a time ago that I probably wouldn’t have thought or realized how much representation does matter,” she told CNN. “It’s probably the last few years and also going through this journey that I realized how important it really is, how there are other young girls out there called Preet, because Preet’s a common Indian name, or with my middle name Kaur.

“They see somebody that might be from the same background, or just looks a little bit different to what they expect, and how powerful that is.”

The Army officer is helping others in more tangible ways too. While in South Sudan, Chandi organized a charity endurance event for herself and other service members. During England’s first Covid-19 lockdown last year, she raised money for charities supported by England’s National Health Service through another endurance challenge.

On her return from Antarctica, Chandi plans to set up an “adventure grant” for women using half the money raised through the Go Fund Me appeal for her polar trip. It will be open to women of any age or background, she said.

“It can be for any adventure, any unique adventure they want to do that is pushing some kind of boundary. It doesn’t have to be a polar expedition. And I really hope that this is something that will continue, year after year after year.”

She also has the graduation ceremony for her recently completed MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine to look forward to in mid-January — and hopes to enjoy a well earned beach holiday next summer. “It’s definitely on the to-do list,” she said.

Top photo courtesy Preet Chandi



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Listen in: Travel writer Simon Veness talks the next British invasion, as Orlando prepares to welcome back UK travelers next week – Central Florida News


Orlando International Airport will begin welcoming back fully vaccinated international passengers on Monday for the first time since the start of the pandemic. 

In 2022 alone, some 765,000 people from the UK are expected to visit the theme parks bringing in an estimated $765 million dollars to the local economy.

WMFE spoke with Simon Veness of Veness Travel Media about this latest tourism-based British invasion.

Read the full interview below or listen to it by clicking on the link at the top. 

Simon: Virgin Atlantic will set the ball rolling with two flights, I believe, from the UK, one from London and one from Manchester. And they’re going to be using their A350, which is the best part of 400 passengers per plane. We understand that they are absolutely full for the first few flights. So we’re certainly going to see, you know, nearly 1,000 people a day coming into MCO from the UK via Virgin Atlantic, and then British Airways will chip in from November 15th, with a daily flight from London, and probably another 350 plus. So it’s going to be an exciting and busy time for Orlando International Airport.

Danielle: You know, I have a question about pent-up demand. When I think about the Midwest, where I’m from, there are so many people that were so excited to come back when they thought it was safe. Do you think that’s going to be the case? We’re just going to see this huge surge?

Simon: Yes, I mean, within reason, yes. I think that there is a huge pent-up demand for Florida because it’s such a popular long haul market for the UK. And we have so many people who are dedicated to coming here, you know, every year pretty much. So there are an awful lot of people ready to come back. Obviously, the one sort of not necessarily snag, but the one possible drag on the proceedings will be the new regulations that everyone has to follow to visit the US from outside countries at the moment by air in terms of being fully vaccinated, in terms of taking a COVID test no more than three days in advance of their flight here. And also, for children under 18, they will also be required to take a second COVID test, once they’ve you know, once they’re here between three to five days after arrival. So there are quite a few hoops that people will need to jump through, which I think might just act as just a little bit of a an inhibitor for the initial rush. But I think once we get through this opening period, and we can see how everything works. I’m sure we’ll see even more people coming in and more flights, especially in the run up to the Christmas period.

Danielle: You know, do you think we’re gonna see kind of that sector of our tourism industry, you know, kind of come back to what it was before the pandemic right away? Some people are saying 2023? Are you still hearing some people even maybe have concerns coming to Florida after what they’ve seen in the news about the Delta variant?

Simon: Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s a there’s a very realistic understanding that that the virus hasn’t gone away. It’s still part of our lives, and we still need to take account of it. But you know, once we’ve got people fully vaccinated, I think that will act as something that really gets people comfortable with the idea of traveling again, especially, you know, a long haul flight when they will still be required to wear masks. It’s going to be a little bit awkward at first, but I do think people will get into the routine very quickly. And once they can see that the new systems are in place and are working and it’s smooth and it’s just one more process if you like in the long haul travel. I think we’ll see the UK market come back to Florida very consistently in 2022. And not only that, we’re gonna see some new faces here as well. Because with all that Disney are doing for their 50th anniversary, it’s going to be very much in the hearts and minds of the UK audience.






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The 5:00 News: Congressional Maps, International Travel and British Tar Heel


97.9 The Hill News Director Brighton McConnell brings you several local and state news stories on Thursday, November 4. Governor Roy Cooper visits Orange County to see progress for children getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Congressional maps for North Carolina are approved, but already face challenges. Raleigh-Durham International Airport prepares for increased international travel, despite changes during the pandemic. Plus: Erin Matson continues her run of greatness and George Harmer celebrates Carolina Basketball overseas.



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Travel news: British tourists should ‘check status’ of lateral flow test provider | Travel News | Travel


Since October 24, double-vaccinated passengers can take a lateral test on or before day two after arrival in the UK. The tests must be booked on the Government website with an approved provider.

Denis Kinane, an immunologist and founder of Cignpost Expresstest, told Express.co.uk how to avoid some classic mistakes.

Kinane said those that feel unsure while taking a test could watch an online video online make sure they are doing so correctly.

He said: “It is advised that travellers read the instructions provided with the lateral flow test and it is recommended to watch video tutorials provided by the test provider or NHS on the correct way to take a lateral flow test.

“Travellers must send a photo of their test result along with the booking reference to the test provider and failure to do so could result in a fine of £1,000.”

READ MORE:Flight attendant shares thing passengers should ‘never do’ on plane

In order to get an accurate result of their status, travellers will need to take the lateral flow test properly.

Tourists can not use NHS lateral flow tests for travel purposes and must purchase from a Government approved company.

At the time of writing, the price of a day two lateral flow on the Government website ranged from £8.99 to £39.

Travellers are advised to check all terms and conditions when booking as there may be hidden extras.

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Kinane told Express.co.uk: “Travellers should ensure that their test provider is Government listed on its register of authorised providers.

“We would also advise they check the accreditation status of the provider with UKAS, and that they display the kite mark for the LITO (Laboratory Testing Industry Organisation).”

For passengers who think they might have symptoms of Covid on arrival, Kinane advised they order a PCR test.

He said: “PCR tests are the gold standard, and it is advisable that anyone with symptoms while abroad get a PCR test immediately and before their return home.

“A PCR will highlight even the smallest trace of the Covid virus, and through laboratory testing, identify whether the virus is a new variant. Anyone testing positive must quarantine immediately.”

British tourists are advised to think ahead when it comes to booking tests for their return from holiday.

Kinane said: “Prior to travel you must fill in a passenger locator form with the test details that you have booked- these are provided by the testing company.

“You must have an arrivals test booked before you start your journey back to the UK.”

Tourists should also check the entry requirements for their destination on the Government website before travel.

From November 1, all seven countries currently on the red list will be removed and hotel quarantine will be scrapped.

The Government has said the red list will remain an option if restrictions need to be brought in to protect public health.

Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Pamama will all be removed from the red list on November 1. 





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