The majority of expatriates when come to the UAE get surprised at the high standard of living. According to a recent survey published by an international recruitment consulting firm, UAE’s biggest cities, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, once again have come top of a list for the highest quality of living in the Middle East.
The survey, which was largely analysed between September and November last year, takes in consideration some issues such as political stability, crime, law enforcement, currency exchange regulations, standards and availability of international schools, public services and transport, consumer goods, housing, banking services.
Moreover it includes media availability, censorship, limitations on personal freedom, infectious diseases, sewerage, waste disposal, air pollution, climate and record of natural disasters.
According to Mercer’s 2016 annual Quality of Living survey, Dubai reached the regional top spot for quality of living in the Middle East and Africa for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Abu Dhabi.
On a global scale of 230 world cities measured for factors including safety, ease of doing business, personal freedom and access to services, Dubai came in 75th place Abu Dhabi came 81st, down four places from last year.
Due to political turmoil, conflicts and an elevated risk of terrorism Middle Eastern and African cities ranked fairly low. Baghdad in Iraq came bottom of the global ranking, rated 230 in the world, while Damascus in war-torn Syria was ranked second-worst at No 229.
The research reported that both Middle East cities had been hit by continual violence and terrorist attacks that weigh upon the daily life of locals and expatriates”.
Nonetheless, the low ranking of Middle Eastern cities may have an upside for expatriates living here. The report is used by international companies to compensate expatriates for living in difficult conditions.
Abu Dhabi ranked highest in the region for safety, coming in 23rd place globally. It was followed by Muscat (29), Dubai (40).
The Austrian capital, Vienna, claimed top spot for overall quality of living, followed by Zurich in Switzerland, and Auckland in New Zealand.
According to Ilya Bonic, president of Mercer’s Talent business heightened domestic and global security threats, population displacement resulting from violence and social unrest in key business centres around the world are all elements adding to the complex challenge facing multinational companies when analysing the safety and health of their expatriate workforces.