Dubai edges out neighbour to offer best quality of life in Middle East

Mercer’s 2017 Quality of Living Survey ranks Dubai 74th globally, just head of Abu Dhabi which climbs to 79th
Dubai edges out neighbour to offer best quality of life in Middle East
(Image: shutterstock)
By Staff writer
Tue 14 Mar 2017 02:27 PM

Dubai has retained its number one spot for quality of living across the Middle East and Africa region, according to Mercer’s 2017 Quality of Living Survey.

The city came in 74th place in the global ranking, making it the region’s top city for the fifth year in a row. 

Dubai rose one position in this year’s survey to stay ahead of its neighbour Abu Dhabi which climbed three spots to claim 79th place due to improvements in infrastructure.

Saudi cities Riyadh and Jeddah were ranked much further down at 166th and 169th respectively, beaten by other Gulf cities such as Muscat (106th), Doha (108th), Kuwait City (126th) and Manama (134th).

Sana’a (229) in Yemen, Bangui (230) in the Central African Republic, and Baghdad (231) in Iraq were named the region’s and world’s three lowest-ranked cities for quality of living.

Vienna topped the global rankings for the eighth year in a row.

The survey of 231 cities helps companies and organisations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It uses dozens of criteria such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.

Global centres London, Paris, Tokyo and New York City did not even make the top 30, lagging behind most big German, Scandinavian, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian cities.

Singapore was the highest ranked Asian city, at 25 while 29th-placed San Francisco was the United States' highest entry. Top of the list in Africa was South Africa's Durban at 87.

Ilya Bonic, president of Mercer’s Career Business, said: “Economic instability, social unrest, and growing political upheaval all add to the complex challenges faced by multinational companies when analysing quality of living for their expatriate workforce.

"For multinationals and governments, it is vital to have quality of living information that is accurate, detailed, and reliable. It not only enables these employers to compensate employees appropriately, but also provides a planning benchmark and insights into the often-sensitive operational environment that surrounds their workforce.”

He added: “In uncertain times, organisations that plan to establish themselves and send staff to a new location should ensure they get a complete picture of the city, including its viability as a business location and its attractiveness to key talent.”

City infrastructure was highlighted separately in this year’s Quality of Living Survey and Dubai also took took spot in the Middle East and Africa region, claiming 51st place.

While Dubai ranked highest, only a few other cities in the region made the top 100. These were Abu Dhabi (67), Muscat (97) and Doha (96), the upcoming host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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