Strangely enough, cities across the Gulf are yet to be recognised as among the top in the world for their quality of living. This is illustrated in the latest rankings put out by Mercer.
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The 2016 version, which ranks 230 cities, has Dubai as the 75th best globally, a notch down from what it was a year ago. Abu Dhabi saw its ranking decline by four positions to 81st, clearly reflecting the stiff competition among global cities for prominence as a living space.
The rankings of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the best among Arab countries at large, a clear acknowledgement of the UAE and its lead in the region. In reality, only UAE cities are ranked among the top 100 worldwide, serving as testimony to the cosmopolitan nature of living conditions of these places.
Moreover, Dubai and Abu Dhabi enjoy rankings ahead of Kuala Lumpur, Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Johannesburg, Riga, Zagreb, Santiago and Shanghai, to name a few. Still, major UAE cities deserve better rankings given what they have to offer in accordance with the variables used in Mercer’s report.
Remarkably, the survey is ranked on the basis of 39 factors grouped in 10 categories, all of which are deemed essential for expatriates. The categories are based upon the political and social environment such as political stability, crime and law enforcement; the economic environment like regulations on currency exchange and banking services; the sociocultural environment, media sources and censorship, as well as limitations on personal freedom.
Also contributing as factors are medical and health considerations, notably accessibility to medical supplies and services besides the quality of air pollution.
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