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1st March 2021 | Tingyuan Zhang | China & World Sales Specialist

5 things you need to know before moving to Gibraltar

Gibraltar is located in the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula and is the smallest of the 14 overseas territories of the United Kingdom. With a high degree of autonomy, this peninsula, with the size of only 6.8 square kilometers, is not only a strategic location for the United Kingdom in the Mediterranean, but also a well-known tourist attraction and financial center in Europe.

1 - Location and climate

Gibraltar is at the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea, facing North Africa across the sea, and is an important gateway connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The terrain of Gibraltar is long and narrow and looks like a dagger. Most of the area is composed of limestone, with a 426 meters high giant limestone in the middle. This huge stone called The Rock is not only the most famous landmark in the area, but also a place with many complicated tunnels and caves inside, making this big rock a natural fortress.

Gibraltar has a Mediterranean climate nearby, with mild and dry summers and rainy but not too cold winters. The average temperature is around 22 degrees Celsius. In summer, plenty of sunshine and scenic beaches attract tourists from all over the world to come for vacations and sunbathing. In the winter, many people living in northern Europe will move to Gibraltar to escape the severe cold.


2 - Language and multi-culture

The population of Gibraltar is approximately 30,000 and its official languages are English and Spanish. For hundreds of years, many residents from different countries have migrated here, making it full of various customs and culture. In Gibraltar, you can see Mediterranean buildings with white walls and red tiles, Moorish churches, traditional Islamic mosques and the old town mixing with British, Italian and Spanish architectural styles. In terms of food, in addition to British fish and chips, you can also taste Spanish traditional paella, tapas, Italian Calzone, Argentinian barbecue, curry, sushi and other delicacies from all over the world.


3 - Economy

Although Gibraltar is an overseas territory of United Kingdom, it has a high degree of autonomy. The stable economic and political environment makes this peninsula a popular location for European investment. Service industry is the backbone of Gibraltar's economy, of which the financial industry and tourism are the most important ones. Due to favorable tax policies, Gibraltar has not only attracted banks from all over the world to set up offices here, but also become the preferred location for many insurance companies and fintech companies within Europe. In addition, Gibraltar is a famous tourist destination in Europe. This peninsula with an area of only 6.8 square kilometers receives an average of more than 10 million tourists every year. Due to the double impact of Brexit and COVID-19 epidemic, Gibraltar’s tourism industry has been seriously damaged in 2020. However, with the availability of vaccines and the mitigation of the epidemic, the tourism industry is expected to recover quite quickly. In addition, Gibraltar is one of the safest cities in Europe. The extremely low crime rate and unemployment rate allow travelers to visit Gibraltar with confidence, even at night.

Another advantage for Gibraltar’s economy growth is the agreement to join the Schengen area. Since there are almost no border controls between the countries in the Schengen area, international travelers from outside of Schengen area only need to apply for the visa of one of the Schengen countries or regions to freely move between the countries in the Schengen area. Therefore, when visitors arrive in Gibraltar, they can not only enjoy the British lifestyle and multi-culture food and services, but also travel to Spain, Portugal and other Schengen countries without extra visas.


4 - Education and health care

Like the United Kingdom, Gibraltar provides free and compulsory education for citizens between the ages of 5 and 15. There are 14 schools, 1 college and 1 university and all teachers working in Gibraltar will be trained at universities or colleges in the UK and have a registration number issued by the Department for Education (UK). The education system of Gibraltar is very similar to that of the United Kingdom which has the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (A-Level). After completed these courses, students can apply for British and European universities based on their A-Level results.

In terms of health care, the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) is using a primary care system similar to the British National Health Service (NHS) to provide free public medical services to local residents. The main medical facilities include the Primary Care Center and St. Bernard’s Hospital. The Primary Care Center is responsible for providing general outpatient services, vaccination and other services, while St. Bernard’s Hospital provides more comprehensive outpatient, emergency, surgery, nursing, hospitalization and other services.


5 - Entertainment

Gibraltar is rich in tourism resources. It not only has historical heritage such as churches, monasteries, museums, and castles, but also natural landscapes such as caves, beaches and ape nests. You can walk around the city, take the cable car to the top of the Rock, go through the huge tunnel network dug during World War II, observe the only wild apes in Europe closely, sunbathe on the beach, take a boat trip to see dolphins, or rent a bicycle to cross around the peninsula. In addition, the King’s Bastion Leisure Center next to city center provides a variety of modern entertainment such as cinema, ice skating, bowling, and arcade games to meet the needs of different travelers.


Conclusion

Gibraltar’s beautiful scenery, pleasant climate, stable economic and political environment, and complete education and medical services make this peninsula an excellent place for leisure and immigration. If Gibraltar can successfully join the Schengen area, it will be very convenient for local residents to travel between Spain and other EU regions, which will attract more and more tourist and investment.

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