About the Isle of Man

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Isle of Man Profile


Geography


The Isle of Man, with an area of 221 square miles, is situated in the Irish Sea. Its landscape varies from inland mountains, through heather upland and lowland valleys to sea cliffs and a coastal plain.


Douglas is the capital of the Isle of Man and the location of the Island’s government. It is the principal business town. The Island’s climate is temperate, influenced by the North Atlantic Drift. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 25°C. Winter temperatures rarely fall below freezing and snow is uncommon.


There are daily flights to London Gatwick and City airports, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast and Glasgow, regular flights to Jersey, Newcastle, Leeds, Blackpool and Gloucester and good links with other places.


Population


The Isle of Man has a population of around 86,000 and has grown by over 4% in the last five years. Almost half of the population lives in Douglas or its environs. The principal language is English.


Political System


The Isle of Man is an internally self-governing dependency of the British Crown. It is not, and has never been, part of the United Kingdom. The Island’s legislature (Tynwald) consists of two branches – a lower branch (the House of Keys) consisting of twenty four members elected by adult suffrage and an upper branch (the Legislative Council) consisting of ten members. Government Ministers, who are members of the House of Keys, head the seven departments of government. The Isle of Man is not a full member of the European Union. Its particular constitutional position in relation to the European Union was negotiated at the time of the United Kingdom’s entry into the European Community in 1972. The effect of this is that the Isle of Man falls within the EU common customs area and the EU common external tariff.


Legal System


The Isle of Man’s legal system is a common law system. The Island’s own legislature legislates for the Island.


In many respects, the principles of law are similar to English principles. In areas particularly relevant to international business the Island’s legislation is considerably different from that of England; this is so in the area of company law, employment law, tax law, the law of trusts, the law regulating insurance activities, collective investment schemes and financial services and the law relating to shipping, yacht and aircraft registration.


The Isle of Man has its own system of courts, with a High Court and a Court of Appeal. Appeal ultimately lies to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.


Living in the Isle of Man


The Isle of Man is in the same time zone as the United Kingdom (Greenwich Mean Time) and operates a summer-time system between the end of March and the end of October, when clocks are advanced by one hour.


Normal business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Shops are usually open on Saturdays and some are also open on Sundays. Businesses and industry are normally closed on the public holidays, which may vary slightly from year to year.


The Isle of Man has a well-regarded educational system covering a comprehensive range of subjects. Education is compulsory for children aged five to sixteen. All schools operated by the centralised state educational system are free.


There is a mixed public (fee-paying) school with a preparatory school. Higher education is provided through the Isle of Man College, which has links with the University of Liverpool and University of Chester.


There is a good national health service, which offers a wide range of services. Medical treatment is free at the point of use, except for subsidised prescription and dental charges.


Privately let housing is widely available and there is a wide range (in style, location and price) of owner occupied housing.


The costs of living are broadly comparable to those in the United Kingdom. The Isle of Man offers a wide range of sporting and recreational facilities in a beautiful and safe environment.


The Isle of Man has enjoyed continued economic growth for a consecutive 30 years and its per capita income continues to be higher than in the UK.