Where’s best to live?
The 2010 Quality of Living worldwide rankings are out. How did cities in the region fare?
May 27, 2010 10:50 by Samuel Potter
The debate is ongoing: where’s best to live in the region? Abu Dhabi residents would claim the UAE capital, Dubai residents would argue for its brasher neighbor, Lebonon would probably make a good case for the crazy but brilliant Beirut… and so on, with every major city in the Middle East making its case, from Doha to Muscat to Manama and beyond. The argument never ends, it seems.
Just as well, then, that leading consulting and outsourcing firm Mercer has just released its Quality of Living rankings for 2010. Mercer says it conducts the rankings to help governments and multi-national corporations compensate employees when placing them on international assignments. The survey considers aspects such as political and economic stability, and socio-cultural environment.
The list considers 221 cities across the globe, including many major cities in the Middle East. So, how do they stack up?
Well, Dubai grabbed the regional top spot, placing number 75 in the overall list, while Abu Dhabi was not far behind (83). Muscat was the only other GCC city in the top 100, but only just – it was placed at 100. Doha puts in an appearance with Manama at 110 and 111 respectively. Kuwait is 122, Riyadh is 158, and Jeddah is 159. Beirut managed a lowly 172.
“The Abu Dhabi and Dubai governments have invested a lot of time and money to improve the quality of living in both cities and it’s only natural that they harvest the fruits of their hard work,” said Bassam Gazal who heads Mercer’s survey practice across the Middle East.
The ranking also identified the cities with the best “eco-ranking.” This was calculated based on water availability and drinkability, waste removal, quality of sewage systems, air pollution and traffic congestion. In the GCC, Muscat topped the pile at 48. Somehow, Dubai came next, sharing spot number 65 with Abu Dhabi. Manama was number 80, Doha was 85, Kuwait City was 88, Riyadh was 114 and Jeddah was 130.
So where’s the best place to live in the world? Vienna, apparently. In fact, European cities dominate the top of the list, with Zurich grabbing second and Geneva taking third. Perhaps it is time to put in a transfer? But while you do spare a thought for those in Baghdad; a lack of security and stability has that city at the bottom of the pile (221).