Dubai among best for quality of living
Dubai continues to rank highest across the Middle East and Africa for quality of living, followed by Abu Dhabi and Port Louis in Mauritius. It is for the fourth time in a row that Dubai has been ranked as the top Middle Eastern city for expatriate living. Worldwide, Vienna is ranked the world's best city to live in and Baghdad is the worst.
Dubai's position is 75 globally, while Abu Dhabi takes the 81st ranking, according to 'Mercer's 2016 Quality of Living Survey' In the Middle East, the South African cities of Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg rank among the top 10 cities for quality living, according to the international human resources consultancy's report. For personal safety, the report has placed only a handful of cities in the Middle East region in the top 100 - with Abu Dhabi ranking highest at 23rd place, followed by Muscat (29), Dubai (40), and Port Louis (59). Doha, the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, ranks 70th in personal safety.
Paul Vadassery, CEO of Desert Link Trading Company of Abu Dhabi, who has been a resident of the UAE capital for 40 years, said that apart from personal safety, the city offers the best-in class comfort and living standards. "Life in Abu Dhabi is peaceful. The city is culturally vibrant and offers affordable healthcare, superb working environment and world class shopping and leisure facilities," said Vadassery.
Pradeep Kumar Poogadan, General Manager of Orient Hospitality, and a Dubai resident for 16 years, said the cosmopolitan city, home to more than 190 nationalities, offers security, comfort and luxury. "For expatriates, it is like a home away from home, offering investorfriendly environment and modern and efficient system of governance. Magnificent parks, beaches, sand dunes, sporting facilities waterways, mega shopping malls and efficient public transport make Dubai one of the best cities in the world to work, do business and live a leisurely life," said Poogadan.
"Regional geopolitics is highly volatile and characterised by safety concerns, political turmoil, and an elevated risk of terrorism. The lowest ranking cities in the region are Damascus (229) and Baghdad (230), both of which have witnessed continual violence and terrorist attacks that weigh upon the daily life of locals and expatriates," said the report. "Rankings in many regions were affected by recent world events, including economic and political upheavals, which resulted in currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices," said Rob Thissen, Consultant on Global Mobility at Mercer ME. "After a few years of sharp increase, Dubai's residential market is showing signs of slowing down. The delivery of a significant number of new units added pressure to the residential market. Prices are expected to continue falling as the additional residential units will be ready for occupancy this year," he added.
Vienna continues its reign in the top spot for overall quality of living, followed by Zurich (2), Auckland (3), and Munich ( 4). Vancouver ( 5) is North America's highest ranking city, and Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city, holding 26th place. Mercer's survey also identifies the personal safety ranking for the full list of cities; it is based on internal stability, crime figures, performance of local law enforcement, and the home country's relationship with other countries. Luxembourg tops the personal safety list and is followed by Bern, Helsinki, and Zurich - all tied in 2nd place. Baghdad (230) and Damascus (229) are the world's least safe cities according to the ranking. The safest UK cities are Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow - all ranked in 44th place.
In Asia, Singapore (26 globally) remains the highest ranking city, whereas Dhaka (214) is the lowest. Following Singapore in Southeastern Asia is Kuala Lumpur (86). Other key cities include Bangkok (129), Manila (136), and Jakarta (142). Japanese cities rank highest in Eastern Asia, with Tokyo in 44th place. Other notable cities here are Hong Kong (70), Taipei (84), Shanghai (101), and Beijing (118). For personal safety, the rankings for Asian cities again vary greatly. Singapore (8) ranks highest overall and is followed by five Japanese cities-Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohamathat are tied for 32nd place. Other key cities include Hong Kong (37), Taipei (78), Beijing (97), Seoul (115), New Delhi (142), and Jakarta (172). Following considerable political unrest and terrorist attacks in several tourist areas over the last few years, Bangkok ranked 173rd for personal safety.