Being Maltese myself I’ve been living in Malta for the Past 31 years of my life.
All in all: Malta allows one to live a good work/life balance, its also a place where you can meet loads of people from all over the world, the food is also great.
However, as with all the positives, there are also negative aspects of living on such a small island.
Malta in recent years has experienced an economic boom, although this in financial terms is great some repercussions can be felt on the Maltese population.
The Maltese government with the set up of the passport scheme, designed to attract investment and business from abroad (by attracting executives from abroad) although is a great way of creating investment it also lead to the escalation of prices of the Maltese real estate.
This leaves little room for people like myself, who after having gone to university twice to study Pharmacy and Medicine are paid a mediocre 22,000 euros per year.
The issue with these schemes is that they have also been abused, with investors buying a property that has not been inhabited and listed as being their personal residence.
Low tax for companies is one of the reasons why online gambling companies set up base in Malta, hence the reason for Malta being classified as a tax haven. On the positive side Malta is also one of the countries that have managed to regulate gaming and also have set up a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency and blockchain mining Malta the “Blockchain Island”
Personally having chosen the medical field online gambling is not something that personally interests me and in general, I don’t like the vibe that they have about them. I’m sure many Maltese would tend to disagree with me on this, but this is my view on the topic.
on a positive note, the gambling companies pay very well (approx 26K + bonus for CS positions) and plus that they usually provide attractive offices and perks to their employees. This has also lead to the property prices in the Sliema and St Julian’s area to having risen to incredible levels. in addition to this a whole financial services sector has developed around these companies.
The problem i see is that the island has become highly centered towards these Igaming companies and is sort of dependent on them, while industries like Medicine, Biomedical and Pharmacy are neglected.
The problem with this is if other countries were to offer better regulations and tax incentives, it is likely that many of these companies would leave, due to the nature that these are highly volatile industries. the eventuality of them leaving, we will see serious repercussions on property prices and the financial services industry.
Other major problems with the country include the infrastructure (Roads, the way buildings are build, quality of the buildings), Traffic, lack of green open spaces and the size.
The roads and traffic in Malta are a major issue where it becomes a significant challenge getting up and going to work as gridlocks happen on a daily basis. the problem with the island is that its very heavily car-based. other solutions such as a ferry and public transport are improving but still needs better overall function and structure.
What are The Positives of Living in Malta?
Being a Pharmacist and a doctor myself i can state that Malta has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. With doctors being trained in the UK and having an affiliated training system to the UK, Maltese doctors and healthcare workers are open to the best source of guidelines and knowledge base.
Medical education is also offered free from EU/UK students at the University of Malta. With the opening of a new medical school in Gozo (the sister island of Malta) Queen’s Mary’s Barts Medical School which offers a British medical degree in the heart of the Mediterranean sea.
Malta is still a very good place for digital nomads to set up base in. compared to other cities in Europe Malta is affordable and has lower tax rates (however this depends on the area you rent in).
Co-working hubs such as the COCO HUB Malta provides an optimal space for digital nomads who opt for co-working. Malta has probably the best weather in Europe and allows one to enjoy an active lifestyle allowing outdoor activities like diving, kayaking or other forms of sports, or enjoying the odd glass of wine over some oven baked pizza by the sea at one of the great many restaurants it has to offer around the Harbour area, Marsaxlokk or Qawra and Bugibba.
Maltese people are usually friendly and accommodating and its not hard to make really good friends.
Being a mediterranean island the food is similar to Greece, Italy and Spain. where the typical Maltese diet revolving around pizza, pasta, salads, and fish. I personally being vegan prefer to eat out in various vegan restaurants around the island.
Of course the partying, Malta has one of the best party scenes in Europe and alcohol is cheap (approx 3.40euro for a pint of Cisk Lager)
Personally I think Malta is a good hub for travelling to Europe for a few years, If you are a sea and sun type of person Malta might be for you. However due to its limited size and opportunities it might not be the best option long term.