Your guide to being an expatriate in Saint Martin

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Saint Martin, also known as Sint Maarten, is a unique island nation holding ties with both the Netherlands and France. Its fascinating blend of cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes nurture a picturesque atmosphere, making it an enticing destination for tourists. The island is divided into the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, and the French side, Saint-Martin, both boasting vibrant communities and hedonistic coastlines, all in tandem. The island is bordered by stunning beaches, crystal blue waters, and striking volcanic stones. Beyond its scenic wonders, Saint Martin is home to an array of social and economic activities that showcase its distinctive character, making it a destination rich in adventure, history and tropical splendor.

Saint Martin

Expat destinations in Saint Martin

Demographics of Saint Martin:

Ethnic groups

Mulatto (44.5%), African (15.7%), European (11.2%), Other (10.4%), Asian (8.5%), Taiyo (6.8%)


Dutch Creole, English Creole, French Creole, English, Dutch

Religion Overview

Saint Martin is renowned for its diverse religious landscape, with a mix of Christian denominations coexisting in perfect harmony. Roman Catholicism remains the most popular religion, accounting for approximately 70% of the population, while Protestantism follows at around 12%.

Major Religions


Saint Martin enjoys a tropical climate, characterized by high humidity, moderated winds, and low temperatures relative to its equatorial location. The island experiences a dry season between December and April and a wet season from May to November, driven by oceanic and atmospheric weather patterns.

Economy Overview

Saint Martin is primarily an economic powerhouse driven by tourism, prompting several agencies to accredit the island with an increasing number of visitors yearly. Such economic dominance has resulted in an array of job opportunities in the service sector, leading to substantial employment figures. Additionally, the island's prudent reliance on international financial services enables a favorable economic backdrop, enhancing conditions for commerce and enabling suitable structural growth.

Key Industries

  • Tourism
  • Financial Services
  • Retail
  • Other Services

Major Companies

  • ADIA
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Craig caterers
  • JCS Fasteners

Culture and Language Overview

Saint Martin's cultural heritage is an exquisite mix of African, European, and Caribbean traditions, forged by its historical background, geographical location, and interwoven ethnicities. The island's cultural fabric is firmly anchored by music and dance that range from Calypso and Soca, a multifunctional genre played during Carnival, to Swing and Jazz. Besides dances, arts and crafts such as locally created baskets, jewelry, hammocks, and textile arts offer an avenue to showcase the nation's distinctive artistic heritage. The people of Saint Martin cherish their traditional culinary delights, including salt fish, Johnny cake, and ConchStew.

Cultural Highlights

  • Carnival: This is a week-long celebration held in October, including parades, dancing, and pageantry
  • Liberation Day: April twenty-third commemorates Saint Martin's liberation from Nazi occupation
  • St. Martin's Day: Children dress up as St. Martin of Tours, and colorful parades are held island-wide on November eleven

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Saint Martin's terrain is predominantly volcanic, characterized by rugged hills and peaks such as Mount Flagstaff 196 meters and Mount Amelium 215 meters. The island is also home to diverse rock formations, such as the Sentry Hill Tuff Formation and the Rockland Formation. The southern coast is endowed with enticing beaches, such as Kimshi Beach, Little Bay, and Pinel Island, which offer an array of water sports. The most famous landmark is Cole Bay, a picturesque cove teeming with trade vessels and surrounded by lush forestry.

Notable Landmarks

  • Mullins Beach: Fringed by sparkling turquoise waters, Mullins Beach is a 170-hectare paradise bustling with tourists yearly
  • Philipsburg Harbor: Located on Saint Martin's southwestern coat, this historic trade hub is a prominent bustling hub shipping a broad range of wares and steamers and warships through its channels
  • Historical Simson Bay: A war-scarred battleground used by the Allies during World War II, this bay nestles between French and Dutch Saint Martin

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1)
  • Good Friday
  • Ascension Day (40 days after Easter)
  • Pentecost (7 weeks after Easter)
  • Worker's Day (May 1)
  • Liberation Day (April 23)
  • Kings Day (January 6 )
  • National Day (November 11 )
  • Christmas Day (December 25 )
  • Boxing Day (December 26 )

Political Stability

Saint Martin is an autonomous entity divided between the Netherlands and France. The nations' political systems operate independently, with the Dutch side enjoying relatively high levels of political stability, guided by a consensus-driven Governance Council policy. While the most pressing concerns on this side include seasonal erosion, traffic congestion, and hurricane susceptibility, on the French side, pollution and conservation concerns top the political agenda.

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