Residents rank Dubai, Abu Dhabi among best Mena cities to live in
Staff Report/dubai Khaleej Times
Filed on November 27, 2016
Both UAE cities score high on standard of living and environmental factors
Dubai and Abu Dhabi have both emerged as two of the top cities to live in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region due to their high standard of living and business-friendly environments, a new survey by Bayt.com has found.
The survey titled ‘Top Cities in the Middle East and North Africa’ showed that the two cities ranked among the highest in seven criteria, including economic, environmental, standard of living, socio-cultural and entrepreneurship factors. The survey determined that the top 10 cities in the Mena are Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Eastern Province, Doha, Riyadh, Marrakech, Rabat, Jeddah and Kuwait City.
Moreover, most Mena respondents ranked their cities favourably. Out of 16 cities across the region, a majority of respondents in eight cities claim that they are happy about their current city of residence across all factors.
Suhail Masri, vice-president of employer solutions at Bayt.com, said: “The Mena region is very diverse when it comes to the factors that affect the overall quality of living in each city. Our Bayt.com Top Cities survey ranks the most desirable cities for people to both work and live in.”
Of the key economic elements addressed in this study, 75 per cent of respondents believe that availability of jobs is the most important factor. Affordable housing, followed by reasonably priced day-to-day necessities and career growth were also of high importance to respondents. Based on residents’ scoring, Abu Dhabi and Dubai ranked the highest in the region in terms of economic factors.
Health insurance and social security systems are considered the most important labour rights for respondents in the Mena region. These are followed by wage protection, end-of-service benefits and termination rights.
The survey also found that Mena respondents’ priorities for their city’s standard of living revolved around safety, education and healthcare. Feeling of stability and security at 84 per cent, quality of education at 81 per cent, availability of healthcare facilities also at 81 per cent and quality of available healthcare facilities at 80 per cent emerged as the most important standard of living factors. Dubai and Abu Dhabi also pulled ahead of the rest of the region for standard of living factors.
Financial elements were found to be the most important entrepreneurship factors for Mena respondents, with affordability of taxes and fees, ease of starting a new business and ease of finding finances to start a business being listed as the most important of them. With overall scores combined, Dubai and Abu Dhabi ranked the highest.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi also scored extremely well on the happiness scale, with more than three quarters of residents indicating that they are happy in their city of residence.
Arleen Gonsalves, assistant research manager at YouGov, said: “This is one of most comprehensive surveys conducted in the Mena which provides deeper understanding of standards of living across major cities using social and cultural yardsticks instead of focusing merely on physical infrastructure.”
When it came to socio-cultural factors in the Mena region, the most important ones are low crime rate and effective law enforcement; yet again, Abu Dhabi and Dubai performed best in this aspect.
Inhabitants of Mena cities value environmental factors relating to cleanliness above all, with clean water, clean air and clean streets ranking as the most important survey factors. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat took the top spots in terms of environmental factors.