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Where’s best to live?

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

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).

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  1. jazzy jo on May 29, 2010 8:02 am

    Yeeeah 4 Dubai.
    To improve it’s ratings, Dubai need to work on air pollution, encourage
    recycling ( not enough is being done).
    The Environmental Agency does not do much except collects
    cans. We need to be more environmentally responsible. Other major
    issues .are better wages/pay, safety at work and better living & working conditions for factory , petrol station ( they breathe all the gas everyday which is terrible for them)
    construction workers etc…

  2. SS on May 29, 2010 8:13 am

    Hope the girls will be safe in Vienna. As we time and again hear about young girls getting missed out or probably getting abducted and put in dark den in the basement for years and years by strangers and in some cases by own father, and some being put into procreation… What a great city. I hope not the crime is not taken into account by Mercer before concluding seeing the survey results.

  3. Basel A-Shaban on May 29, 2010 10:21 am

    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.

    Clearly, Mercer study / survey did not include US cities or Far Eastern countries.

  4. Ron on May 29, 2010 2:09 pm

    Sorry Mr. Basel A-Shaban, that Vienna has gained 1st place yet again, in fact 6 out of the top ten cities are german speaking. For your info the Mercer rankings are based on a point-scoring index, which sees Vienna score 108.6 and Baghdad 14.7. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city, with an index score of 100.

    Do check the rankings yourself, the first US city mentioned is Honolulu (#31) and on the Far Eastern side is Tokyo (#40).

    @SS: Every country has skeletons in their closet, but this shocking discovery in Austria is nothing compared to what can be read in news papers from all over the world – America predominantly. Do some research before making allegations like crime rate is not included in the study.

    Mercer evaluates local living conditions in all the 420 cities it surveys worldwide. Living conditions are analyzed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:

    1) Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc)
    2) Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services, etc)
    3) Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom, etc)
    4) Health and sanitation (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
    5) Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools, etc)
    6) Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion, etc)
    7) Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
    8) Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
    9) Housing (housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services, etc)
    10 Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

  5. MCID on May 31, 2010 11:55 am

    Quality of Living Ranking…just as the name implies, it’s the quality of living that Mercer is talking about.

    Do you want to live there?

    How desirable are these cities, anyway?

    I can assure you that if a survey is conducted, asking people which cities they want to live in most…the ranking would turn out to be quite different!

    Dubai would rank much higher up!

    Vienna…I would love to visit the place but to live there? Anyone, seriously?

  6. Andrew on June 5, 2010 4:39 pm

    Well I’d certainly prefer to live in Vienna over Dubai, but that’s more because of my dislike of Dubai than any particular attraction to Vienna.

  7. DENISE-THE-MENACE-ONCE-AGAIN on June 10, 2010 11:18 am

    Oh WOW !!!

    I live in Dubai with a move to Muscat planned later in the year…in the past have lived in USA and Asia…Let me add to the confusion by saying All cities have closets with skeletons….

    Try and be happier where you’re at the moment.

  8. Miss Anne Thropic on June 20, 2010 8:22 am

    Vienna is marvellous if you’re rich. Then again, so is Dubai!

  9. Andrew on June 21, 2010 8:16 am

    Dubai is crass, vulgar and delivers an overpriced lower-quality version of something you’ve seen before. You don’t need to be rich to enjoy that, just gullible.

  10. Miss Anne Thropic on June 21, 2010 4:38 pm

    True, but Dubai is an easier place to live if you can afford to pay a year’s rent up front, aren’t living in a labour camp and have no conscience!

  11. Andrew on June 22, 2010 3:51 pm

    No, No, Possibly Yes.

  12. mike on July 5, 2010 5:54 am

    When ever you go. when ever you live, as the author of Home Sweet Home said: There`s no place like home….Yes!.. as soon as you`re contented of what you have, grateful for whatever you have big or small you must be grateful.
    Look what happen at this present times where economic crisis occurs. Most of the rich or say the super rich are restless. Do you think they have good sleep at night? Whereas simple people, they can sleep outdoors.This is the real wealth, when We Sleep we forget that we are hungry and overwork and most of the time humiliated.

  13. mike on July 5, 2010 6:18 am

    The author of Home Sweet Home had never have a Home. .. Yet deep inside his heart he is happy and Grateful of what he have.

  14. Miss Anne Thropic on July 5, 2010 8:19 am

    I’m sure the guys who have been stranded at the Sharjah labour camp with no pay for months living in third world conditions, and the others like them, will be very comforted by Mike’s words…


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