By Shane McGinley
Most of Gulf nations in bottom half of global list compiled by Int'l Living magazine.
The UAE has been listed below countries such as Colombia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mongolia, Swaziland, Azerbaijan and North Korea in terms of quality of life, according to a new list compiled by a magazine specialising in moving overseas.International Living magazine’s 2010 Quality of Life Index ranks 194 countries in terms of their quality of living and ranked the UAE 141st, just below Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and North Korea.
“This isn't about best value, necessarily. It's about the places in the world where the living is, simply put, great,” claims the magazine, which is based in Ireland.
The countries were scored in nine categories including cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, freedom, health, infrastructure, safety and risk, and climate.
The UAE scored high in the economy and safety categories but low in the environment, freedom and climate categories.
The freedom category measures “a citizen’s political rights and civil liberties”, according to the magazine.
The UAE scored 50 points overall while France, which topped the list scored 82 points and at the bottom of the list on 194th was Somalia with 30 points.
The top ten countries were mainly European-based and included France, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Luxembourg, the US, Belgium, Canada and Italy.
Most of the Gulf countries ranked in the bottom half, with Jordan coming 104th, followed by Kuwait (106th), Syria (124th), Qatar (128th), Egypt (135th), Iran (150th), Oman (168th), Saudi Arabia (169th), Iraq (170th) and Yemen.
The UK was 25th, India was 88th, China was 97th and Pakistan was 178th.
Such reports are politically motivated. We have seen , as with the Tiger economies in the 1990s , when a country emerges onto the world scene , and has the potential to be a stronger player than the existing so-called developed countries , they will face explicit or as in this case subtle negative publicity. Its like a school playground , when the the old boys feel threatened by a newcomer , they start bullying.
I'd love to know how this list was complied - is it a survey or just "expert" opinions?
Mutjaba, I am not aware of much negative publicity the asian tiger economies got (and I lived in one for several years in the 90s). Quite the reverse in fact. Certainly in the case of Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, all progressed to democracy and direct elections in the last 80s/90s as well as maturing econonically and socially - something that is widely praised. But putting the UAE below North Korea does seem rather dubious though.
How come France is topping this list when we hear frequent racially motivated attacks, lack of freedom for those who want to wear burqa, a huge human traficking playground. Yes they have a very rich culture but then every nation have them. (even somalia) Its just that the compiler of this list place no values or understand other cultures.
What on earth were the skewed criteria that led to UAE being rated below North Korea. This result alone throws the whole basis of the survey into question. The absence of longer term property owners' visas (six months at present) does add uncertainty for those who wish to live in UAE without working and technically one cannot just 'live' here but outside of that I would have expected UAE (particularly Dubai) to score top twenty as a minimum - certainly for European ex-patriates.
Life in UAE is certainly better than all GCC countries. Hence, if Kuwait is 106th, UAE should be within the first half, i.e., within 100, by mere rule of thumb! I think there is so much more freedom in UAE compared to other GCC states, and so much more attractions and opportunities than GCC. UAE cannot be within 50; but let's say , i would vote it to be 80.
The criteria puts weight on climate and Political freedom; North Korea had a much better climate than the UAE and to a certain extent both countries almost share the same level of plotical freedom so it wins; very simple! UAE although an open country; it remains without free media or free elections. Kuwait is more democratic in this sense and has free elections; so it wins; very simple! This survey however doesn't depicit the quality of life properly; we here enjoy a better quality of life to many countries even in Europe; the criteria should focus more on: education; health care, income, taxes, free movement, unemployement, housing, etc... This survey is quite amusing and has no value.........
I cannot believe that the UAE ranked so low compared to so many aweful countries. Life here is great . Stay within the law like anywhere else. It is safe , clean , exciting ,with plenty to Other than the inconsiderate drivers , it is populated by friendly and helpful people, especially in Dubai
For all of the problem in the UAE, the list doesnt make sense at all. For the average person, UAE definitely should fall in top 30 for quality of living. And if you talk about upper middle class, UAE has a very good chance of being in top 15.
France is a beautiful country but if the report takes in consideration low tax, then we are truthfully been hoaxed in a candid camera. France is one of the most taxed place in EU and maybe in the whole world. Then when I get on and read all the other parameters I fall from standing from the laughs. Let's get serious please.