Unlike most major financial centres, the Cayman Islands
are blessed with fresh, clean air, rather than smog and pollution.
George Town, the main business centre, is located right by the harbour
so there is always a fresh sea breeze blowing through town. The
temperature in the Cayman Islands remains consistently warm throughout
the year. In the winter months, the temperature rarely drops below 22
degrees Celsius and in the summer months, it often rises up to about 31
degrees Celsius. Some of the nicest weather in Cayman is during the
winter months which are December to April. For these months, there is
little rain, consistent sunshine and lower humidity. Summer temperatures
and humidity levels peak in July and August. The rainy season runs from
May to November. This is the time of year when tropical storms and
hurricanes are more likely to occur. Although hurricanes can provide
some dramatic weather and sea conditions, they rarely pose any danger to
the well-prepared island resident.
Of the 55,000 plus people living in the
Cayman Islands, approximately 50% are expatriate workers; ex-pat
professionals are primarily from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia,
South Africa and New Zealand.
Law & Order:
Due mainly to full employment and
relatively high per capita income, the crime rate in Cayman is extremely
low by comparison to most western nations. The Cayman Islands are
protected by The Royal Cayman Islands Police (RCIP) which is comprised
of officers who are Caymanian, Canadian, British and Irish.
Some of the best dive sites in the world are
located around the Cayman Islands. A number of local companies offer
dive certification and tours. The crystal clear waters of Cayman also
make it ideal for snorkeling around the beautiful coral gardens and
reefs that are located just offshore. Other popular water sports
include surfing, windsurfing, sailing, jet-skiing, wakeboarding and
Watch our CML TV video about Stingray City,
Cayman's most popular tourist attraction, that you will be able to visit every weekend if you like!
Grand Cayman's rugby pitch is managed by the Cayman Rugby Football Club (www.caymanrugby.com
which co-ordinates full games on the weekends and touch rugby on
weeknights. The Cayman Islands Gaelic Athletics Association (http://caymangaa.com.ky
) is also a growing sports society and hosts games on Sunday afternoons in Camana Bay. For racquet sports enthusiasts, there is
both the Cayman Islands Tennis Club (www.tennis.ky
) and The South Sound Squash Club (www.squash.ky
) - check out their video on CML TV
There are also soccer, indoor hockey, field hockey, basketball, netball, volleyball (watch our video on the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tournament!)
, baseball, softball, flag american football and bowling leagues. The Britannia Golf Course is a Jack Nicklaus designed course, featured on CML TV
as well. The Hammerheads Swim Club and The Cayman
Triathlon Association both have regular races, weekly training sessions
and social events for their members. Grand Cayman also hosts the Cayman Islands Marathon each year in the beginning of December attracting hundreds of running enthusiasts. Being a relatively flat island, Cayman is a runner's dream! As a CML recruit, you will enjoy a 25% discount
(if purchased through CML) at the World Gym on Seven Mile Beach (www.worldgym.com/grandcayman
which offers well-maintained, modern equipment and air-conditioned
facilities. Joining a sports club or team is a quick way to meet people
and build a social network with like-minded professionals.
Grand Cayman has a number of bars and
restaurants to choose from, each with a unique theme and atmosphere. Many of the restaurants have both indoor and outdoor seating and the
majority of bars are open to the outdoors. Seven Mile Beach is where
most of the restaurants and bars are located so this is the place to be
on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. As the evening progresses,
expats, tourists and locals all make their way into the nightclubs. Televised sporting events, trivia nights, and themed parties to suit every taste are always on the menu each month in Cayman's local bars, for example on
the night of a full moon, Calico Jacks on 'Public Beach' is packed with people for their
Full Moon Party which includes djs playing house music and people
dancing on the beach.
Apartments and detached homes are available
for rent and for sale. The majority of expats tend to rent apartments,
at least to start with and then, once established, some choose to buy.
The local newspapers have a list of advertisements and there are a
number of real estate agents who are on hand to assist with rentals and
sales. Two bedroom apartments are the most popular and readily available
but 1 and 3 bedrooms can also be found. Generally a 1 year lease is
required with the upfront payment of a damage deposit (equivalent to 1
month's rent) and the first month's rent. Almost all of the apartments
and homes that are available for rent or for sale are fully furnished
and equipped. A 2 bedroom apartment starts at about US $1,700 per month
(plus utilities). Some condominium developments offer additional
amenities such as tennis courts and swimming pools. Monthly rent for a
two bedroom apartment in such a development is usually in the US$2,000 -
$3,500 range. Condominiums right on Cayman's famous Seven Mile Beach
are also available for rent and generally start at about US$2,400 and
can range up to $6,000 or more.
Check out our CML TV video about Living on Seven Mile Beach
Major airlines provide direct flights to and from
Grand Cayman, including British Airways, American Airlines, Delta, Continental,
US Air, Northwest, and Cayman Airways. Charter flights are also available
and usually coincide with bank holiday weekends. Most expats find that
they prefer to get off the island every few months. A long weekend is
the perfect opportunity to take a short trip and there are many direct
flights available. Weekend trips to Miami are very popular for those
wishing to do some shopping or experience the night life in South Beach.
Cuba, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama and South America are also popular
choices for weekend getaways.
The Cayman Islands currency is the Cayman Islands Dollar. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively CI$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is pegged to US$ at 1 Cayman Islands dollar to 1.2 U.S. dollars since 1 April 1974. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Both CI$ and US$ are accepted in stores and restaurants. Rental listings can be shown in either so make sure you identify which currency your rent will be in to minimize any surprises!
The standard of living in Cayman is considered amongst the best in the world. Some of the living costs in the Cayman Islands can be high however this is relative to the tax-free income you will earn.
There are various banks on Grand Cayman. To open a bank account you will need proof of ID plus a letter from your employer stating your income.
This can take up to a couple of weeks to set up so it is worth bearing that in mind when you arrive on island and ensure you have access to your existing funds to cover your relocation and set up costs.
Learn more from this video from ScotiaBank
Transportation and Driver's License
There is a public bus service available in Grand Cayman however it is restricted to main residential routes only and tends to operate a limited service. Therefore, there is a good used car market on island and also several car dealers, who sell new and used cars and have leasing options available. Left and right-hand drive cars are available but we drive on the left.
You can expect to pay around US$2500 for used car but a more reliable one can be upwards of US$5000. The average cost of car insurance is between US$500 and US$750 per year.
There are also several car rental firms and renting a car may be a good option when you first arrive and have relocation costs to bear.
If you have a full domestic driving license from a country within the Geneva Convention (which includes the United States and most of the Commonwealth) you can obtain a Cayman driver's license without having to take any further tests. You are currently allowed to drive on your domestic driving license for the first three months of moving here and then you must apply for a Cayman license.
We strongly advise you to obtain a Cayman driver's license as soon as possible. If you wait for over three months you may have to take a Cayman driving test rather than just convert your existing license. If you do not have a valid domestic license from a Geneva Convention country, then you will have to take both a written test and a road test to obtain a Cayman driver's license before being able to drive in Cayman.
Working in Cayman