Dhaka - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Fairly small. In a city of millions of people it's rare that you will see a westerner on the sidewalk. When you see one it's noteworthy and everyone is like "who is that? does anyone know them?" Morale ranges wildly. Some people have never been this unhappy in their lives while some people are all smiles. This place will take whatever your baseline personality trait is and will amplify it time 100. If I had to do a survey I'd surmise that most of the expat community is at a numb flatline just going through the motions. - Jul 2023

Small expat community. Morale varies. During the plague, it was low. Most people who are here, want to be here. - Dec 2021

The morale is generally high, avoid the negative folks. It's not paradise, but it can be close if you try. "The grass is greener where you water it!" has been my motto and it's served me well here. - Sep 2021

It's a fairly robust community, and the adversity brings us together. The morale is ok. - Jun 2019

Morale is pretty good. The people here are great and the social scene is fun and interesting if a bit repetitive. - Jul 2018

The expatriate community is relatively small. Given the movement restrictions that apply to embassy staff, there are, however, few opportunities to visit or socialize with other expatriates outside the US embassy community. Morale among the US embassy staff is uniformly poor, in my opinion. People try to stay positive, but even experienced staff will say that Dhaka is probably the most difficult post they've ever served at. - Apr 2017

Medium-sized. Morale is not good, although people are trying to do their best in a tough situation. - Jun 2016

Large and morale varies. Some people try to stay happy and some people are Debby Downers. - May 2016

Large expat community due to development organizations. Morale is pretty low, people try to escape every few months. - Jun 2015

Large and morale is what you make it. I started off not so good but I've made many friends now and am actually content. - Sep 2014

Pretty large. People were simply trying to get through their tour. - Aug 2014

Large; a little crazy. A lot of rich Bangladeshis have dual citizenship and mingle with the expats. Expats have a mix of reactions to this. Most of the community revolves around the clubs and the numerous annual balls, or around school for families. - Jul 2014

Big! The U.S. Embassy alone has 130 direct hires. In addition to all the other embassies here (there are 40 some-odd missions), there are lots of international organizations and development agencies, and about half a dozen international schools. - Aug 2013

The U.S. Embassy has about 130 American direct hires (I think). - Apr 2013

Pretty large, many NGOs are here. The embassy has about 100 US employees. - Aug 2011

A few thousand: embassy employees, NGO employees, oil company employees and garments executives. - Feb 2011

The community is rather big but spread around. - Jan 2011

Large. - Jan 2011

Thousands. - Oct 2010

Moderate, very international. - Apr 2010

Not sure of the numbers, but much larger than I expected--besides embassies, there is a huge community of aid workers and those staffing international organizations, plus some in international business, especially the apparel sector. - Oct 2009

medium - Aug 2009

Medium. Lots of expats working in the development field and some in the garment sector. - Mar 2009

Pretty large expat community. At the Embassy, you can ask for the DAWC directory with contact numbers for expats, along with maps and all kinds of other useful information. - Nov 2008

Big. - Mar 2008

Large - especially if you're willing to branch outside the American community. There are many people here doing really interesting work from garments to NGO to large corporations. - Feb 2008

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