Dubai, Abu Dhabi 'top in quality of living'
Dubai, December 4, 2012
Dubai and Abu Dhabi rank highest in the Middle East and Africa region for quality of living, according to a new study.
Dubai ranked 73rd for quality of living and 34 for infrastructure globally in the annual report prepared by Mercer, a leading global HR consultancy. Abu Dhabi ranked 78 and 72 respectively.
The annual report uses New York as a base city to compare and rank 221 cities around the world.
The study looks at various elements that include political, social, economic, socio-cultural, along with medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods, housing and the natural environment, a statement said.
This year’s index also set out to uncover cities with the best infrastructure to find a correlation between the level of substructure and how it affects quality of living, it said.
Doha ranked (106), Manama (126), Kuwait City (119), Riyadh (157) and Muscat (103). Manama (126), Cairo (141) and Damascus (197) had the highest drops in the region (dropping 13, 6 and 18 places respectively). This downfall is due to unstable internal affairs and political unrest, the study said.
Globally, Vienna, retained the top spot again this year, followed by Zurich second and Auckland third. Lowest among the global rankings are Bangui, Central African Republic (220) and Baghdad, Iraq (221).
“That the two UAE cities maintained their high ranking shows that development is up to par with major cities around the world, providing a favourable atmosphere for employees to thrive, not only in work but in the life they will ultimately lead there as well,” it said.
This year’s special area of focus, City Infrastructure, took account of factors such as electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transportation, traffic congestion and the availability of international flights from local airports and uncovered cities with the best infrastructure.
“Infrastructure is crucial to maintain a high quality of living and should not be under estimated. It can cause the city severe disadvantages when it is underprovided and a significant edge when it is well established,” said Zaid Kamhawi, Mercer’s IPS business leader in the Middle East.
Dubai took an impressive lead among Arab states to rank 34 in the world, reaffirming the city’s position as an international hub up to par with cities around the world. It beat out Geneva (47), Miami (48), San Francisco (55), Barcelona (57), Rome (72) and Kuala Lampur (77), surpassing major global cities in terms of infrastructure readiness and development.
Kamhawi said: “It is no surprise that there is a near perfect correlation between a city’s infrastructure ranking and the overall quality of living ranking. The constant pace of progress and development found in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are in no doubt major contributing factors to their position as top-ranking cities in the region. The former’s ranking is quite extraordinary, being among the top international metropolises – showing that hard work thus far has paid off and will continue to do so.”
He added: “Infrastructure in Dubai is among the best in the world, in part due to their first-class airport facilities, telecommunication services, international and local connectivity, and a high standard of public services. Its high ranking in the infrastructure index reflects a combination of high level of public services offered, with its extensive public transportation system including airports buses and railroad services.”
Globally, Singapore is at the top of the City Infrastructure index, followed by Frankfurt and Munich in second and third place. Copenhagen (4) and Dusseldorf (5) fill the next two slots, while Hong Kong and London share sixth place due to the elevation in public services offered and an extensive public transportation system. As Port-au-Prince has the poorest public service, its ranks the lowest (221) at the bottom of the global list. – TradeArabia News Service