Common misconceptions and clichés about life in the Cayman Islands

Hello everyone,

Old clichés die hard, as the saying goes... and living in the Cayman Islands can generate lots of misconceptions in the eyes of the people.

What are the most common misconceptions about the expat lifestyle in the Cayman Islands?

What are the most common clichés about life in the Cayman Islands in general?

Did you have a biased view of the country before moving there? What is you view now?

Thanks in advance,


It comes as a surprise to most new expats here, how much our community is despised by about 50% of the native-born Caymanians, and about 100% of the elected politicians. Here, a "mixed marriage" is between a native-born and an expat. However long he or she lives here, an expat is rarely ever recognised as an immigrant, much less a citizen! "Driftwood' is a common term of contempt among politicians.

Fortunately, there are enough "good guys" (that other 50%) to make life bearable. Also, we expats - from a hundred or so different countries - tend to stick together in self-defensive mode, and we don't have much to do with the natives, socially. There is no racism as such (if you don't count the expat-versus-natives ethnic distinction), and that's refreshing and nice to see.

When I began writing my blog, I wrote specifically for a local audience, and anybody wanting to learn what Cayman is like as a place to live should start with the very oldest of my posts in the archives of October 2010, and work their way forward in time. … ax-havens/
One of the most common misconceptions about Cayman is that its government and financial professionals set out to cheat tax-paying nations of their dues. The link above illustrates this well. It reports the call of "an independent human-rights expert" to abolish tax-havens (by which he means "offshore" tax havens) and to impose a single worldwide rate of tax on all corporate profits and individual earnings. He doesn't quite say this last bit, but his inference is clear: a standard, unavoidable, rate is what the world needs to make it a better place. In reality, all that offshore havens do is 1) impose rates that are lower than other countries' rates, and 2) allow foreigners to set up companies here without hindrance. In Cayman, the tax-rate is zero on profits and earnings, but our government is as wasteful and thriftless as most other governments, and it levies taxes on imports and all kinds of things.

In case any member of in interested, I give below links to two little essays posted on my personal blogsite. They are a few years old, now. The first dates from the US Presidential campaign of 2012, when Mitt Romney was hammered for using Cayman's facilities to avoid US taxes; the other was a follow-up of a few months later. As you will see, tax-havens are set up by and for the politicians of high-tax nations - in Cayman's case, the politicians are British. … avens.html … ey-do.html

I'll be glad to answer any questions. Well, almost any...!

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