Why Live in Malta
- Great all year round weather.
- Very friendly and hospitable people.
- Easy integration within local communities.
- Relatively crime free and very safe to live in.
- EU Member country offering political stability.
- English and Maltese are the official languages of the Islands.
- Italian is widely spoken and German and French are commonly spoken especially within the tourism sector.
- Excellent national and private hospital and medical services.
- Easy to get help and services.
- Abounding with history and cultural life.
- Excellent social life for all age groups and a large selection of top quality restaurants and cafes’ with diverse cuisine.
- Surrounded by crystal clear seas and several sandy beaches.
- Very good sporting facilities.
- World-class diving, sailing and other water sports.
- Excellent schooling to above UK standards in English-speaking schools and University.
- Low cost of living and a wide variety of properties available in all price ranges.
- Very stable property market offering steady capital growth.
- Daily flights to all major European and North African airports with low cost airlines also offering a regular service.
- Excellent residency conditions with very low taxation. No rates or Council taxes are charged in Malta.
Moving to Malta
As an EU nation that forms part of the Schengen area, Malta is open to any EU nationals, who are able to live and work in the country, though they are still required to obtain an employment licence until May 20ll hut this is mere a formality and licences are easily granted. In fact, foreign residents are encouraged to settle in Malta and could benefit from a number of attractive fiscal advantages, as well as the very compelling lifestyle benefits.
For employees, working hours are generally 8.30am to 5.30pm and while salaries are still around a third lower than the UK, all employees are given an annual pay rise based on the cost of living. Under Maltas taxation system, individuals are taxed between 15 to 35 per cent of their income while permanent residents are charged a reduced rate of IS per cent on any income remitted into the country (not on capital), subject to a minimum of 4,193 euro per annum. It helps that the cost of living remains one of the lowest in Europe, with groceries, furniture and utilities amongst the cheapest in the EU.
Picture yourself in a place where you can enjoy the Mediterranean lifestyle to the fullest; where you can have the highest living standards, amidst colourful local culture and a landscape steeped in history. If you ever thought about relocating to another country, Malta might be the right choice. Rated as the country with the best climate in the world in the Quality of Life Index of the magazine ‘International Living’ in 2011, with an average of 5.2 hours of sunshine a day you can take it easy on the warm, friendly and centrally situated Mediterranean island, where the sea is clear and the climate mild. The proverbial eight hours work, eight hours play and eight hours sleep may not be easy to achieve in a big city environment where long commutes and even longer traffic jams eat away dwindling leisure time but living on a small island turns this fantasy into a reality.
Most expats in Malta cite the comfortable, relaxed lifestyle as one of the main reasons for their move. Nowhere is more than 30 minutes away from wherever you are and the sea, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, sports clubs or gyms are almost always within walking distance of your office or home.
But it is not only time issues that give Malta its edge over other European locations. The Maltese character is imbued with the British legacy of strong work ethic and powerful ambition, softened by the natural southern Mediterranean temperament. Doing business in Malta is both satisfying and pleasant because the same balance that adds value in terms of time is also present in the nature of the people you are working with.
Add to that the fact that the Maltese health service is one of the best in the world, the postal service works at a high level of efficiency, the infrastructure is robust and continually being upgraded, and schools, colleges and universities are among the best in Europe and an already pretty picture becomes even more attractive.
Malta is one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy eight hours of work, eight hours of play and eight hours of rest .
The cost of living remains one of the lowest in Europe, yet banking, taxation, insurance, social security, utilities and communications services are sophisticated, professional and reliable, often surpassing those offered in many European nations.
People and places
Malta’s population stands at around 410,000, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Most Maltese live in the satellite towns around Valletta, Maltas capital and the country’s political and commercial centre, Slierna and the Grand Harbour. Only around 10 per cent of the Maltese live in rural areas, The country has two official languages: Maltese and English. The vast majority of Maltese people speak English, due largely to the country having been a British colony in the past. Italian is also widely spoken, while French and German are also commonly spoken.
Setting up home
Housing is easy to organise, with a wide range of properties available to rent or purchase, from fully furnished apartments to rustic farmhouses, villas with pools, and even palaces, all at competitive prices, usually hill the price of similar properties on the UK market Foreigners are allowed to buy property in Malta, though due to concerns about artificial price increases, they are usually limited to owning one property at a time on the island. The exceptions to this rule include certain five-star developments being built on the island, including Portomaso and Tigne Point, which are targeted to foreign buyers. For rentals, the market is varied and affordable, with options ranging from modern flats in upmarket developments, to elegant townhouses, seaside homes and sprawling rural estates.
Health care and medical treatment
Malta has one of the hest health services in the world and all EU nationals resident in Malta are eligible to receive free medical treatment at government funded hospitals and clinics, though it may he necessary to produce your European Health Insur-ance Card (EHIC). The main general hospital is the state-of-the-art Mater Dei Hospital in Msida, while most towns and villages have their own medical clinics. Although free health care is available for EU Nationals, the Maltese Ministry of Health advises all foreign residents to take out private medical in-surance to ensure they are covered. In addition to the public health service Malta has several private hospitals located around the island.
Education and schools
The children of expatriates living in Malta can he educated in one of the private international schools, or enrolled in the local state, church or independent schools. The local school system is based on the British model, and provides an excellent standard of education. Education is compulsory between the ages of five and 16. Pre-primary education is also available and provided free in state schools for all children aged between three and five. Tertiary ducation is offered through the University of Malta, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and numerous private colleges affiliated to British, US or European Universities and educational institutions.
Leisure, entertainment and sports
Waters sports are extremely popular in Malta, where the climate and sea conditions are perfect for year-round activity. There are excellent conditions for scuba diving and snorkelling, particularly as the sea temperature never drops below 13 degrees C (55 degrees F), even in winter. The best sites are on the northern coast of Malta.
There are also a number of highly popular spectator sports, including national water polo competitions, horse-racing, clay pigeon shooting and football. Malta has one golf course, located at the Royal Malta Golf Club, which is adjacent to the Marsa Sports and Country Club, on the road to the airport from Valletta.
There are a wide range of festivals celebrated in Malta, the biggest one being the annual Carnival held in early Spring. In addition, every town or village in Malta celebrates the feast of its patron saint with a big outdoor festival that often includes processions, band marches, fireworks, bare-back horse riding through the streets, singing and dancing.
Sliema, St Julians, Valletta and Hamrun provide the best shopping in Malta, with both stand-alone boutiques and retail outlets and shopping malls being available. International brands are widely available. While there are few designer-clothes outlets on the island, most major European high street clothing brands are present in Malta. Shops usually open from 9am – 1 pm and 4pm – 7pm and most are closed on Sundays, except for those located inside the BayStreet Shopping Centre in St [ulians, and some outlets in busy tourist resorts such as Bugibba.
Cuisine and dining out
Malta’s Mediterranean cuisine, based on seasonal fresh produce, is one of the healthiest and tastiest in the region and features many of the main ingredients typical of the region: aubergines, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, onions and garlic together with freshly caught fish and seafood. Mediterranean herbs such as basil, mint, thyme, oregano and bay leaves are used in abundance, and flavours are enhanced by virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Meat dishes, pasta of all types, baked pasta and rice dishes are also very popular and feature heavily on traditional menus. Typical Maltese dishes include specialttes such as rabbit, octopus, ravioli and bragioli (beef olives). A favourite Sunday lunch is roast pork and potatoes flavoured with onions and herbs. Maltese bread is exquisite, and the traditional recipe calls for sourdough and a wood burning stone oven.
Traditional Maltese food is served in most restaurants offering Mediterranean cuisine, but in addition there are many specialist restaurants available: Italian, French, Chinese and Indian are the most numerous, but you will also find Greek, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Japanese and many others. Dining out in Malta can be a wonderful experience: from smart city restaurants in Baroque palaces, to family-run trattoria-style places in quaint village squares or seafront fish restaurants in tiny fishing villages, the choice is wide and there’s something to suit every mood, and every pocket.
All this and more
All of this, of course, under a Mediterranean sun that sparkles on the deanest and clearest water in the region, and that gives the island hot, dry summers, short, mild winters and gloriously warm spring and autumn weather. Does it get any better? Well yes, actually. The country offers a stable, secure environment for families and young children, crime is almost nonexistent, making Malta one of the safest places in the world, and the population’s strong Catholic tradition, evident in the hundreds of beautiful churches and chapels to be seen in every town, village or hamlet, bursts into joyous street celebrations with every feast day marked by processions, spectacular fireworks displays, band marches and general feasting. Malta offers residents and expats the unique opportunity to live every aspect of life to the full, with warm sunshine and sparkling seas providing an enchanting backdrop to a pleasant Mediterranean lifestyle .
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