More than just a smart place to invest, Malta is a multi-faceted jewel shining at the centre of the Mediterranean. This small, friendly and welcoming island contains everything you could want to strike that perfect balance between business and pleasure.
Malta - A Cosmopolitan Lifestyle in the Med
A Short Flight Away
As a leading finance centre, Malta is well connected. Malta International Airport, the island’s only airport, is just two or three hours flying time from most European cities. Several airlines operate regular flights to the island including Air Malta, Lufthansa, Emirates, British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, Scandinavian Airlines, Ryanair, EasyJet, Turkish Airlines and Air Berlin.
Determined to uphold its reputation as a five-star destination for high-end travellers and the global business elite, Malta features a number of international and luxury hotels such as the Hilton, Excelsior, Radisson, Intercontinental, Westin Dragonara, Corinthia and the Hotel Phoenicia. Superior accommodation is also offered at the boutique hotel Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux.
When it comes to dining, Malta is an island of staggering options. The food scene is defined by an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking with strong Italian influences, fuelled by rich ingredients fresh from farm and sea. There are also many restaurants offering international specialities, and the choice is wide, from smart city restaurants in Baroque palaces and family-run trattorie to seafront fish restaurants.
The World’s Best Climate
With an average of 300 days of sun a year, expatriates in Malta often become the envy of friends back home. Hot, dry summers and mild winters have earned Malta the title of world’s best climate by ‘International Living’ magazine. Even in winter Malta enjoys an average of 5 to 6 hours of sunshine and more than 12 hours a day in summer.
Universal Use of English
As an official language of Malta, English is spoken by nearly everyone. English is so prevalent in Malta that thousands of foreign students travel from all over the world to learn English on the island. It is the main business language, while laws and regulations are published in both Maltese and English. Maltese is a unique language with Arabic roots and speckled with Italian, French and English words. Many Maltese are multilingual and also fluent in Italian, German or French.
A Home in the Sun
For those looking for something more permanent, Malta boasts a wide range of properties available to rent or purchase, from furnished apartments to farmhouses, villas with pools, and even palazzos, all at competitive prices. Finding a good property close to amenities is fairly easy. Most notable properties include five-star apartment complexes built in Tigne and Portomaso.
Cosmopolitan, but not Costly
Whether choosing a modest apartment or a luxury villa, costs in Malta are very reasonable. Malta comes close to having the lowest cost of living in Europe, while still catering to all lifestyles. Moreover, the island offers highly sophisticated and reliable banking, taxation, insurance, social security and communications services
The End of Long Commutes
In Malta the trip to work is a breeze, as it takes only 45 minutes to cross the entire island. Malta’s public transport system covers every corner of the two main islands. Water taxis are a scenic way to jump between the capital Valletta and the nearby headlands of Sliema to the west and the Three Cities to the east.
Safe and Quiet Streets
Few locations in the world can offer the same high standard of transparency, security and stability that Malta does. The country follows a zero-tolerance policy for corruption, and crime is almost non-existent. Children play on the streets, and there are still some areas where people leave their doors unlocked at night.
Malta has a highly family-oriented culture. Almost all restaurants and public places are family-friendly, while nurseries are free and the Government offers working families subsidies to cover the cost of daycare. Older children can be enrolled in one of many excellent international private or local public schools, nearly all of which teach in English. Tertiary education is offered through the University of Malta and other institutes and private colleges.
First Class Healthcare
Malta has some of the best healthcare in the world, which is offered free to EU nationals residing in Malta, while foreign residents are advised to take out private medical insurance. As well as local clinics in each town, Malta has a large and modern public hospital, Mater Dei, while also being home to the renowned St James private hospital.
Work and Live Visa Free
As a member of the Schengen Zone, Malta attracts thousands of professional EU nationals every year, who are free to reside and work on the island. Non-EU citizens can find details about visa-exempt countries and visa application procedures on the website of the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security (www.mhas.gov.mt). Third-country nationals require work permits, and the granting of these is subject to a labour market test.
Malta’s Mediterranean climate lends itself to a year-round outdoor lifestyle of water sports, golfing, hiking, fishing, horse riding and more. The conditions for scuba diving and snorkeling are excellent, particularly as the sea temperature never drops below 13C (55F). Malta has one golf course, located at the Royal Malta Golf Club, and gyms, football or water polo clubs can be found all over the island.
Active in Malta
The sea, cafés, restaurants, clubs, cinemas, theatres, sports clubs or gyms are almost always within a walking distance of office complexes or residential areas. Malta also hosts many great festivals of culture and art. Each town or village has its own annual feast and parade for their patron saint. For those in need of some retail therapy, Malta is home to shopping malls for big brand names and markets for local goods.
Centuries of Captivating History
Heritage forms an important part of island life. With 7,000 years of history and many remains visible to this day, Malta can be described as an open-air museum. Megalithic temples, medieval towns and massive bastions have all been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These formidable structures regularly provide the backdrop for events listed in Malta’s packed cultural calendar such as concerts, plays or art exhibitions as well as its thriving film industry.