Malta’s Digital Nomad Appeal Wanes Amidst Cybersecurity and Quality of Life Concerns


Key Takeaways

  • Malta’s push to become a digital nomad hub faces hurdles regarding online safety, living expenses, and personal rights.
  • A global ranking placed Malta 33rd in social safety, emphasizing the need for improvements.
  • Rising living costs and inflation are pushing many households towards poverty.
  • Cybersecurity remains a significant concern, with Malta ranking last among EU nations.
  • Despite efforts, Malta is struggling to retain foreign workers.

A recent Nordlayer report paints a concerning picture of Malta as a remote working hub. The nation ranked:

  • 20th in social safety.
  • 9th in inclusiveness.
  • 41st in personal safety.

According to The Shift News report, a high Social Safety score implies lower crime rates, better inclusiveness, and robust human rights protection.

Malta’s ranking suggests considerable room for improvement, something which could impact all the people visiting the country through its digital nomad visa program.

Economic Concerns

The cost of living is spiraling, and Malta ranked 77th globally. Inflation, especially in food and rent, exacerbates the situation.

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Tragically, a significant portion of Malta’s workforce earns under €1,000 monthly, making it challenging to afford basic needs.

Cybersecurity Woes

For a country aiming to be a digital hub, cybersecurity is paramount.

However, Malta ranked last among EU nations in 2022, with threats like spoofing, account theft, and malware prevalent.

Despite launching a Cybersecurity Strategy in 2016, conditions seem to have deteriorated.

Global Ranking Insights

The report noted that in a global index of 108 countries, Malta stands alongside Latvia and Switzerland, surpassed by nations like Singapore and the UK.

Denmark tops the chart, while Angola trails at the bottom.

Promoting Malta as a Digital Destination

The Maltese government’s Residency Malta website brands the nation as an ideal location for digital nomads, emphasizing its rich history, good infrastructure, English communication, and appealing ‘island life’.

In 2021, the Nomad Residence Permit was launched, costing €300. Yet, only around 1,000 applications have been received so far.

Expat Concerns

Despite efforts to attract foreign talent, more expats are leaving Malta prematurely.

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Reasons range from high costs to concerns about pollution, traffic congestion, power outages, and increasing rents.

What We Think

While Malta’s government is putting in the effort to market the country as a digital nomad haven, there are tangible issues it needs to address.

Cybersecurity, living costs, and safety concerns are critical deterrents that could overshadow Malta’s innate charm and potential.

On a long enough timeline, Malata’s residence permit seems to be a great option for digital nomads wanting to live in the country, but so much of it depends on how their government responds to the feedback it has already received.


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