Dubai, Abu Dhabi top GCC quality of living
Dubai, May 26, 2010
Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively offer the best quality of living among the cities in the Middle East, according to a study.
Dubai ranked 75th while Abu Dhabi took the 83rd spot in the global Quality of Living survey released by Mercer, a leading provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services with its GCC headquarters in Dubai.
Elsewhere in the GCC, Muscat (100) was the region’s only other city in the top 100.
Following the revision of the index a selection of cities globally has been added, including Doha (110), Manama (111), followed by Kuwait City (122), Riyadh (158) and Jeddah (159).
'The Abu Dhabi and Dubai governments have invested a lot of time and money to improve the quality of living in both cities and it's only natural that they harvest the fruits of their hard work,” said Bassam Gazal who heads Mercer’s survey practice across the Middle East.
This year’s ranking also identifies the cities with the best eco-ranking based on water availability and drinkability, waste removal, quality of sewage systems, air pollution and traffic congestion.
The highest-ranking eco city in the GCC is Muscat (48), followed by Dubai and Abu Dhabi jointly occupying the 65th place, Manama (80), Doha (85), Kuwait City (88), Riyadh (114) and Jeddah (130).
Globally, Vienna retains the top spot as the city with the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2010 Quality of Living worldwide city rankings.
Zurich and Geneva follow in second and third position, respectively, while Vancouver and Auckland remain joint fourth in the rankings.
Baghdad (221) remains at the bottom of the table, with a lack of security and stability continuing to have a negative impact on Baghdad’s quality of living.
To ensure expatriates are compensated appropriately and an adequate hardship allowance is included in their benefits package, companies seek a clear picture of the quality of living in these cities.
The rankings are based on a point-scoring index. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city, with an index score of 100.
“As the world economy becomes more globalised, cities beyond the traditional financial centres are emerging as attractive places in which to expand or establish a business,” said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer.
“Cities in many emerging markets, such as in the Middle East or Asia, have seen a significant influx of foreign companies and their expatriate employees in recent years.”
Canadian cities still dominate the top of the index for this region with Vancouver retaining the top spot, followed by Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal.
Honolulu (31) is the city in the US with the highest quality of living, followed by San Francisco and Boston. Chicago and Washington share position 45 and New York - the base city - is in position 49.
Parakatil continued: “Quality of living remained stable in North American cities. However, in South and Central America a general decline is witnessed mostly due to political instability, economic woes and energy shortages in certain countries. High levels of crime also remain a major problem in many of the region’s cities.”
Europe has 16 cities amongst the world’s top 25 cities for quality of living.
In the UK, London is the highest-ranking city at 39, followed by newcomer to the list Aberdeen, Birmingham, Glasgow and Belfast. The lowest-ranking Western European cities are Leipzig at 64 followed by Athens.
Mercer evaluated local living conditions in all the 420 cities it surveys worldwide. Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories including political and social environment, health, education, public services, recreation, consumer goods and housing. – TradeArabia News Service