Quality of Life: Which are world’s best – and worst – cities?

By Eudore R. Chand

Abu Dhabi and Dubai ranked top 2 cities in Mideast

DUBAI 14 March 2019: The 2019 Quality of Living survey has ranked Dubai and Abu Dhabi as the Middle East region’s leading cities.

This marked the 7th year in a row in which Dubai led the region, ranking 74th on the survey and was closely followed by Abu Dhabi, in 78th place. The UAE cities continue to rank highly on the survey and their positive scores are largely attributed to high marks in political and social environment, business environment, education and public services.

The survey, in its 21st year, is conducted by Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

“The UAE government has progressively worked towards enhancing the country’s infrastructure, safety and stability among other factors to provide a comfortable environment for all residents,” said Rob Thissen, Energy sector and Talent Mobility Leader for the Middle East. “Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s stability overtime has proved that the cities are undergoing steady enhancements, which are attracting foreign investments and demonstrated a popular destination for employee and company relocation. Access to basic necessities are key drivers to attracting and retaining investors.”

Rising Standard of Living

Over the past decades, between 1998 and 2018, Dubai has increased 12.2% in living standards while Abu Dhabi has increased 12.1%. In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates has witnessed the most pronounced living standard increases in its region. This can be attributed to the country’s continuous efforts to improve its infrastructure, especially its airports and public transportation, attractive economic environment for local and foreign businesses, as well as focus on creating dynamic new recreational and entertainment facilities that has continued in 2019.

Vienna Best, Baghdad Worst

Among other mentioned cities in the survey, Vienna in Austria topped the rankings for the 10th consecutive year due to its high scores in a number of categories, while Baghdad in Iraq was ranked the lowest on the list even though it has witnessed significant improvements related to health and safety services.

The Quality of Living Survey is essentially contingent on the degree of wellbeing experienced by an individual, which is affected by 39 different factors grouped into 10 categories, including the political and social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods, housing and the natural environment. Overall, the factors have all been chosen for the benefit of expatriates.