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Madrid is an absolutely fantastic city for Sales professionals looking to move to
a destination that offers a magnificent quality of living, incredible leisure activities
and superb job prospects!
The world's 51st largest country, Spain is a located in Southern Europe, bordered
on the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea, on the north by the Bay of Biscay
and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Spain shares land boundaries with Portugal,
France, Andorra, Gibraltar, and Morocco.
On the northeast, the country borders France and the principality of Andorra. Spain
includes the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and various uninhabited islands
on the Mediterranean side of the strait of Gibraltar, known as Plazas de soberanía.
The country offers an ideal mix of old world beauty and customs alongside modern
attractions, conveniences and architecture.
Madrid is Spain’s capital; its largest city; the third most populous city in the
European Union, after London and Berlin; and the third most populous urban region
in the EU, behind Paris and London.
As of 2005, the city’s population was 3.5 million, with an estimated urban area
population of 5.5 million. The city is both economically and politically significant
and is widely considered to be one of the most important cities of the world.
Madrid is located on the Manzanares River, in the centre of the country. Like many
other Spanish cities, Madrid offers a great mixture modernity and history – with
a state-of-the-art infrastructure against the backdrop of quaint and historic structures
Since 1975, following the re-establishment of democracy and Spain's accession into
the European Union, Madrid has contributed a significant role in European finances,
marking the city as one of the most foremost European metropolises.
Economy: Spain and Madrid
Spain boasts the eighth biggest economy worldwide and the fifth largest in Europe.
The country is recognized for avoiding the almost zero growth rate of some of its
major partners in the European Union. Spain, in fact, was responsible for the creation
of more than 50% of all the new jobs in the EU between 2000 and 2005.
The European Union has been the principal investor in Spain, while the United States
- followed by Japan - was the single largest investor. In recent years, the services
segment has been the main area of investment – most especially in the transportation,
communications and financial segments.
Overall, the country’s economy is considered one of the EU’s most vibrant. This
can be at least partly attributed to the phenomenal growth of the Spanish tourism
industry, which is the second biggest in the world. By some estimates, Spain is
on track to surpass – in per capita income – other leading EU members, including
Foreign investment in Spain has surged – largely associated with the country’s accession
to the European Community in 1986 and the Government's programme to transfer state-owned
enterprise assets to the private sector. Non-nationals took advantage of the lower-cost
situation, and invested in many Spanish industries. The motor vehicle manufacturing
industry there, in fact, is now almost entirely foreign owned. Spain is currently
the sixth largest car producer in the world.
Madrid is deemed to be one of the chief financial centres of the Iberian Peninsula.
The bulk of the key Spanish companies are headquartered there, as are three of the
world's 100 biggest firms. Madrid also serves as the country’s political centre.
After Barcelona, Madrid is Spain’s most significant industrial centre.
Doing Business in Spain
The Spanish Government has invoked a variety of policies aimed at making Spain more
attractive to investors. Included in recent reforms:
- 100% foreign ownership of equity
- Liberal capital movements permitted
- Many economic incentives for new businesses
- Preferential access to official credit
- Bonuses for the acquisition of certain materials
- Real estate grants
- R&D incentives
- Numerous tax deductions and exemptions
- Guaranteed dividends
- Recruitment incentives
- Low interest loans
The incentives are offered to foreign companies under the same terms as they are
to Spanish firms.
Another incentive for living and working in Spain: The country has been ranked as
the EU’s least expensive for doing business. Spain offers a competitive, safe, steady
and dependable location in which to conduct business.
Spain has undergone swift modernisation over the past decade, vastly improving its
transportation, telecommunications and banking infrastructure.
Among some recent improvements and positive infrastructure features:
- Good transportation links to all economic centres
- Significantly expanded highway network
- More than 30 international airports
- Over 40 large seaports
- High-speed train lines
In addition, the Spanish telecommunications infrastructure is in line with that
of the European Union.
Madrid’s transportation network has vastly improved over the past decade. The city’s
metro network is considered to be among the best in Europe, its new airport is massive
and modern and its high-speed train system links most of the main cities in Spain.
Many, many wonderful dishes are ‘typical’ of Madrid. Among them:
- Cocido Madrileño: A stew containing chickpeas with vegetables
and chicken, beef and pork.
- Callos - or tripe: This can be found in the average Madrid
kitchen as well as in many of the well-known restaurants.
- Sopa de Ajo: A garlic soup.
- Caracoles: Snails, prepared in a variety of ways.
- Tortilla de patatas: A potato omelette, which tastes far
better than its name would indicate.
- Besugo al horno: This baked bream dish is very common in
Madrid, as are many other fish dishes.
Throughout Spain, Tapas - flavoursome samples of an assortment of dishes
– are a favourite with locals and Expats alike.
Among Madrid’s numerous and exceptional monuments and landmarks the puertas – or
gateways - are especially beautiful when seen illuminated at night.
Among the city’s well-known landmarks:
- Royal Palace of Madrid
- Teatro Real
- 1850 Opera House
- Buen Retiro Park
- 19th century National Library
- Prado Museum
- Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Cultural and Leisure Activities
As with most of the country’s major cities, Madrid is renowned for its nightlife
and clubs. Madrid residents are famous for dancing the night away – even on work
Some of the most fashionable night haunts include the areas of: Bilbao, Tribunal,
Alonso Martinez, and Huertas.
Many insist that Madrid is Europe's night life capital.
Do you like Flamenco? Then you’ve come to the right place! Flamenco, a authentic
Spanish art, comes in three forms: Cante, the song, Baile, the dance, and Guitarra,
the guitar playing. Gypsies are said to have played an important part in the formation
of Flamenco. Flamenco dancing is major attraction for locals and Expats alike in
Barcelona – as well as throughout Spain.
Fiestas – daytime and night time events – are also very popular in Madrid – and
Semana Santa - or Easter week – is well-known for its world-famous processions and
fiestas. Another most popular event is El Rocio, a traditional pilgrimage to the
village El Rocio in the province of Huelva. Another exceptional Fiesta is Las Fallas
de San José in Valencia, in March, when the entire the city becomes the locale a
massive party. The outstanding San Isidro fiesta take place in Madrid.
Carnival is also popular throughout Spain.
Like Flamenco, Bullfighting is certainly one of the most popular – albeit controversial
– of Spanish customs.
Bullfighting still takes place all across the country, and although other countries
feature this form of entertainment, only Spain breeds the genuine race of bulls
for bullfighting - the Toro Bravo.
Supporters of the custom view it as an art rather than a sport, and underscore its
importance as one of Spain's oldest cultural traditions. Those opposed to the gory
tradition have called for its be abolishment and insist that the cultural importance
of the bullfight does not justify the fact that the bulls are killed solely for
The average annual temperature in the shade in Madrid is 13ºC. In colder seasons,
the minimum temperatures often fall below freezing point. During the peak summer
months the temperature can easily reach 40ºC. Overall, Madrid's climate is considred
one of the healthiest in Europe.
Following closely behind Cyprus, Spain has the second highest immigration rate within
the EU, and the second highest migration in the world (after the United States).
In 2006, Spain accounted for close to 45% of the total number of immigrants who
arrived in the European Union.
Madrid houses thousands of Expatriates, many of which are native English speakers
from Britain, Ireland, Australia or the United States. Job opportunities for Expats
are fairly abundant, with many working for international businesses, embassies,
NATO, schools or their own businesses.
One well-known source of information for Expats and tourists states about Madrid:
“This is Spain's headiest city, where the revelling lasts long into the night and
life is seized with the teeth and both hands. Strangers quickly become friends,
passion blooms in an instant, and visitors are swiftly addicted to the city's charms.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
For further information about Madrid we recommend that you visit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrid where you will find many useful links
and informative articles to prepare you for your move.