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The Cayman Islands is a United Kingdom Overseas Territory located 180 miles south of Florida. The country consists of three islands; Grand Cayman itself, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. It currently has an estimated population of around 40,000 with the expatriate community making up almost 20,000 of that. These islands comprise a total land area of 100 square miles with Grand Cayman being the largest and most populated.

Cayman residents enjoy a high standard of living, a low level of unemployment and an average GDP per capita of approximately US $36,000. The Cayman Islands are tempered by trade winds that maintain a consistent temperature in the 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Centigrade) range. May and October are the rainiest months, and March and April the driest. The humidity is increased from May until the end of October. Surrounding waters are crystal clear with visibility of at least 100 feet, which allows for excellent snorkeling and diving.

The capital of Cayman is George Town, located on Grand Cayman, which is home to government and judicial services and is the centre of the economy’s two major industries, tourism and financial services. The local currency, the Cayman Islands dollar, is fixed to the US currency such that CI$1.00 =US$1.25. Both currencies are freely useable on the Islands. There are no direct taxes in the Cayman Islands; this includes income tax, company tax, property tax or tax on inheritance, capital gains and gifts.

The only visitors who do not require a valid passport for admittance are those traveling from the United Kingdom, United States and Canadian nationals and these must have proof of identity and citizenship plus photo ID. As is the case on many other islands, however, all visitors are required to have a return ticket.

Grand Cayman offers an outstanding quality of life as well as excellent career opportunities in the international finance arena. As Grand Cayman falls within the six largest banking centres in the world, there is usually demand for qualified professionals to work in either the Big Four firms, or in industry with a financial institution.

Since there is no income tax, revenue is generally raised for government spending through imposing tariffs on goods imported from overseas (typically, Canada or the United States). This means that products are more expensive than professionals may be used to (although candidates from the United Kingdom will not find it much of an adjustment). However, this is more than offset by the fact that employees will be making huge tax savings and, further to that, annual local transport and travel costs (apart from occasional holiday trips) will be negligible. The most significant regular expense will be accommodation.

Other pages about the Cayman Islands

There is never a lack of anything to do in Cayman, especially if people like the outdoors. The climate is ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing. There are many clubs which have leagues catering to rugby, cricket, netball, basketball, golf, football, touch rugby, tennis, triathlons and squash. Some of the array of places to visit are Pedro St James, the Birthplace of Democracy in the Cayman Islands; or the Botanical Park, with its varied flaura and fauna; or even the Cayman Islands National Museum with its many exhibits.

Stingray City with its resident stingrays or the Turtle Farm with some 16,000 sea turtles are world famous attractions. For evening entertainment, one can choose from a vast selection of good quality bars, restaurants and late-night dancing venues. There are two local theatres and two movie houses.

A typical day on a weekend could include a ski off famous Seven Mile Beach in the morning, watching a match at the rugby club in the afternoon and a BBQ in the evening with some friends at a condo overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Infrastructure and Services
Cayman has had to develop a strong infrastructure to keep pace with the extremely fast-growing economy. The Cayman Islands boasts well-maintained roads, a modern international airport, dependable utilities, seaports and state-of-the-art communications.

There are two hospitals with experienced staff from both the Cayman and expatriate populations. Most medical procedures can be performed on-island with only unusual cases being referred to the US, mainly to hospitals in Miami. There are several private schools which would cover all necessary schooling requirements. Jamaican or Philipino nannies care for many of the expatriates’s younger children. There are four large supermarkets within and around George Town. The Police are made up of both Caymanians and British expatriates (the island is a former British Colony – now classified as an Independent British Territory).

Vacation Travel
To start, most employers offer 15 to 20 days paid vacation days plus statutory public holidays (approximately an additional 10 or so days) making 25+ days in all.

There are many popular destinations for the expatriates living in Cayman. Direct flights can be made to Jamaica, the Bahamas, the UK, Canada, Cuba and several cities within the US. Most flight connections are made through Miami, which makes it possible to travel easily into Central and South America.

Culture and Politics
Caymanians are from a mixed background. There are no indigenous people on the island. The population is made up of descendents of former slaves, immigrants from other islands of the Caribbean and immigrants from Europe. There is no birth right to Caymanian citizenship; status is granted by the Government. There does not appear to be any strict criteria and this politicisation of citizenship has been a source of major controversy on the Island, especially for expatriates who want to make Cayman their home. A significant number of people were granted citizenship a few years ago, which did temper the situation. The country has a young democracy, not without its problems. Competition over jobs is one of them. A large selling point for Cayman as a destination for business is its social harmony and noticeably less class distinctions when compared with other countries in the Caribbean.

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