Going global or expanding? Your company may be looking at new business opportunities in new hotspots - cities where talent is either available or easy to attract. This economic environment is also ripe for mergers and acquisitions that could shift activity within your global mobility program and bring on the need to deploy talent in new locations. No matter what is driving your cross-border talent movement during this period being referred to a "The Great Talent Migration", the world is looking a bit different these days from an expat perspective.

Many cities across the globe have been heavily impacted by Covid-19, war and political upheaval, climate crises, and soaring costs of living. But there are some other cities that have come through and that are emerging as new hot spots for expatriate talent. Per this Bloomberg article, "In a world reshaped by infection, invasion and inflation, a clutch of cities is challenging the old order, luring companies and start-ups to burnish their credentials as a global city." Let's take a look at 6 locations that seem to be emerging as new expat hot spots.

  1. Kuala Lumpur: (aka KL) often overshadowed by Singapore's glitzy expat presence, in 2021, the city ranked first in a worldwide survey of some 12,000 expats by InterNations, scoring top for housing. Diversity and harmony are real talent attractors in KL and offers a balanced and more economical lifestyle. 
  2. Lisbon: Why is one of Europe's oldest cities so attractive? Per the Bloomberg article, "Lisbon has reinvented itself as a hipster 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 spectacular beaches."  Note that Lisbon Tops Hybrid-Working Ranks for Globetrotting Executives too!
  3. Dubai: OK, well this one is not really a "new" expat hot spot as it has been a top destination for years, but with the pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine, the location is growing in popularity. Per Expatra, "...the lifestyle locally is exceptionally good, particularly for Western expats who benefit from a largely excellent climate, wonderful leisure facilities, a relatively laid back pace of life and good education and healthcare standards."
  4. Bengaluru (Bangalore): The city has long been growing into one of the biggest tech hubs in the world and is home to thousands of startups and software firms. It is seen as an increasingly good (or better) option to the Bay Area due to the fact that with "a growing expat community has come international schools, as well as bars and bistros that serve everything from craft beers to pork ribs."
  5. Mexico City: In case you forgot, Mexico topped the global ranking in InterNations’ 2022 Expat Insider ranking of the best countries to live in and Mexico City is attracting global expats in droves. One of the more progressive location across the Latin America region, this is a location that offers a a high level of talent and ambition!
  6. Rio de Janeiro: Stunning beaches, natural beauty, lively culture, and crazy festivals makes Rio exciting! According to Expat Arrivals, the cost of living will be reasonable and well below that of major expat destinations in Western Europe and North America for those expats earning in a foreign currency. A relaxed lifestyle in a vibrant city is calling many these days.

As workers continue to re-evaluate and reconsider what they want from life and work, they are also heavily weighing where they can create the kind of life they want in the future. While the above locations may provide both new business opportunities for companies and the ability to recruit key talent to them, other locations are also working hard to attract a growing number of "work from anywhere" players. We dive into some of those locations that are offering incentives in this recent post, What does the future look like for digital nomads? 

And to keep you thinking, here are a few other recent posts that tap into how talent and geography are playing out within talent mobility programs:

If you could really work from anywhere...? 

Best (and worst) places for expats in 2022? 

The world's most expensive cities for expatriates in 2022 (at this point)