Which GCC city is the most expat-friendly?
The results are in.
August 9, 2009 12:48 by Aarti Nagraj
A recent survey by HR consulting firm Mercer found Dubai to be the most expensive city in the GCC for expatriates to live in. The Cost of Living Survey, which compared spending habits of expat communities in 143 cities across the world, saw Dubai rise from 52nd place last year to 20th place this year.
But the high cost of living doesn’t seem to have deterred residents from staying there; according to our poll, 62 percent of respondents believe that Dubai is the most expat-friendly city in the GCC.
Manama was a distant second, voted as the most expat-friendly by around 17 percent of our respondents. Meanwhile Muscat came in third with around 10 percent of the votes, followed by Doha with 5 percent.
The least expat-friendly cities, according to our poll, were Abu Dhabi (with around 3 percent of the votes), Riyadh (2 percent), and Kuwait City (1 percent).
A Mercer survey in April this year found Dubai to have the best “quality of living” in the entire Middle East and African region. The city came 77th on a global list.
“Dubai’s transport facilities have witnessed improvements, with the development of its road infrastructure and expansion of its international airport, and the city is up six places in the ranking,” said the report.
The survey also identified the cities with the best infrastructure, based on the following factors: electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transport provision, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports. Once again Dubai topped the Middle East and African region, securing 35th place globally.
Although severely affected by the global financial crisis, Dubai seems to have retained its charm. And away from the glamour, practical developments such as the Dubai Metro should further improve life for the city’s residents.
Surprisingly, Abu Dhabi, which followed Dubai on all those lists, does not seem to be appreciated much by our respondents. Can you think of reasons why?