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Pros and Cons of Living in Gibraltar

The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar is a fascinating destination that draws visitors across the globe. A lot of them, especially visitors from the UK, feel inspired to make their stay permanent given the stunning coastal views and warm weather this region enjoys. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding on a move abroad. Explore the varied facets of life in Gibraltar to make an informed choice.

Advantages of Living in Gibraltar 

Expats from all over the world, especially the UK, find Gibraltar an appealing destination. These are some of the perks you could enjoy upon relocating.

Flexible Taxation System 

Residents of Gibraltar benefit from a flexible taxation system that offers them the freedom to choose which form works better for them: income-based or allowance-based tax. Furthermore, the standard tax rate is only 20% and depends upon one’s income and the taxation system opted for. Residents don’t have to pay tax on dividends or savings interest either.

Certain neighbourhoods such as Ocean Village and South District offer additional perks such as exemptions on VAT and capital gains tax, plus a capped income tax rate. UK expats looking to maximise their earnings find Gibraltar highly appealing for these reasons.

Aerial view of Gibraltar showing the Bay of Algeciras, on the coast of Spain

Thriving Business Environment 

Gibraltar’s flexible taxation system has created an environment for businesses to thrive effortlessly. The territory’s stunning location on the Iberian Peninsula attracts a plethora of tourists which boosts local businesses. Along with the warm weather that creates an energetic environment, the economy is thriving from the growth in tourism, gambling, and finance industries.

Ease of Access 

For UK expats looking to move to Gibraltar, accessibility is another advantage that makes it appealing. Gibraltar’s airports provide direct access to major UK cities such as Bristol, Manchester, and London. At the same time, they’re also a quick gateway into popular regions on the Continent such as Casablanca and Tangier. Weekend getaways are the fingertips of Gibraltar’s residents with the territory’s road networks connected to historic cities such as Costa del Sol.

Vibrant Cuisine 

You don’t have to be a culinary expert to appreciate Gibraltar’s unique blend of African and European cuisines. The region’s historical and geographic setting has produced a fine blend of British, Spanish, and African delicacies. Seafood and pasta dishes are front and centre in the local cuisine, and so are tropical fruits such as the national favourite, Calentita.

Stunning Views and Warm Weather

Gibraltar’s ‘The Rock’ – a viewpoint highlighting the lush green forests and sandy beaches of the region – is one of the prominent features that distinguish its natural beauty. Nestled in a natural reserve, the Rock’s surroundings form a vibrant ecosystem for migratory birds and monkeys. Regions such as South District offer picturesque views of the Rock and the Mediterranean Sea, making it one of the best places to live for photographers.

View of the Gibraltar Rock

Disadvantages of Living in Gibraltar

With coastal views, warm weather, and mouthwatering delicacies, life in Gibraltar might seem highly appealing. However, there are also some possible downsides to living here which you must consider before you decide to move.

Steep Cost of Living  

The cost of living in Gibraltar is quite steep compared to the UK as well as other parts of Europe. Salaries and financing in local jobs are often less than at home, compelling those on tighter budgets to live in less attractive commuter towns. Regions in proximity to the city centre such as Westside are known for expensive housing costs, which could cause financial strain for some residents.

Limited Living Spaces 

Being a small island that’s highly sought after by tourists and expats alike means Gibraltar can easily become overcrowded. The Queensway Quay area, in particular, is tight on living spaces as its upscale waterfront properties get booked quite quickly. Space constraints and associated issues such as noise pollution often discourage people from adding to an already overflowing crowd.

View of Gibraltar main street

Traffic Congestion 

During peak hours, Gibraltar’s road networks get packed fast. The bustling city centre, in particular, with its shops, restaurants, and historical landmarks, experiences a lot of traffic congestion. As for those on the road, the warm weather starts to take its toll and can increase wait times when travelling by car.

Limited Job Opportunities 

Before moving to Gibraltar, one needs to bear in mind its shortage of readily available employment opportunities. Job opportunities are limited for Spanish-speaking natives alone, so it’s best to secure a job before moving to avoid financial issues.

Basic Healthcare Services

Gibraltar has limited services when it comes to healthcare. While basic healthcare facilities are available in most neighbourhoods, residents may often have to travel to the UK for complex medical treatments. Individuals requiring specialised care must bear this in mind when considering a move.

Difficulty of Getting Around 

When it comes to accessibility, Cyprus isn’t the easiest to get around. Despite being an island, you’ll need a car. Road infrastructure is lacking, to say the least, and traffic jams are frequent. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of living in Cyprus. If you’re looking for alternate means of travel, there are buses, but they’re not always reliable.

With its spectacular scenery, deep historical roots, and convenient geographical setting, living in Gibraltar comes with its own set of pros and cons. Whether you’ve just started looking or have been considering relocating for a while, our international moving guide has a lot of useful information that can help you plan your move. From visas and passports to help with settling in, our international moving services are tailored to your needs.


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