Dubai one of the most livable expat cities in the world, expert says
In 2020, the UAE Government issued one of the overhauls of the national legal system, adapting policies to enhance the ease of living and raise the happiness bar for expat residents
Ahmed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Residential Communities at Dubai Asset Management - Supplied
Published: Thu 5 May 2022, 6:20 PM
Constant improvements to the UAE’s regulations are boosting business, cultural and social spheres, and cementing Dubai’s position as an attractive destination for people from around the world, says Ahmed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Residential Communities at Dubai Asset Management.
He explained that the UAE leadership’s readiness to evolve with the changing times and markets, paired with a series of economic strategies, have enhanced Dubai’s already rising reputation as a city known for its high-quality lifestyles.
“We ranked in the top three best cities to live and work in the InterNations Expat City Ranking 2021, scoring higher than major cities such as Sydney, Prague, and Madrid,” said Al Suwaidi. “Dubai’s appeal is only rising – the Dubai Statistics Centre's live population counter has passed the 3.5 million mark with our population rising since the end of 2020 by almost 100,000 new arrivals. The reasons to relocate here are aplenty – it is the reasons to stay that prove most important in preserving.”
Echoed around the world, Al Suwaidi said that the UAE is known for a “lifestyle that spoils.”
“Everyday conveniences, access to high quality living, international and regional brands, and a plethora of cultural, recreational and business opportunities; the UAE has always ranked high in the World Happiness Report, especially within the Arab world, surpassing many developed countries like Singapore, Italy, and Spain,” he said.
He also described Dubai’s quality of healthcare as “outstanding” and which continues to improve under the directives of government-led initiatives and growing private healthcare providers. “We are home to world-class primary and higher education institutions, including some of the world’s most credible universities. Dubai’s economy is strong and remained resilient despite the challenges of recent years, demonstrating strong economic growth and widespread job opportunities across a variety of key sectors stimulated by the push for economic diversification.”
Dubai’s location within the Mena region and its centrality between the East and the West make it ideal for expats who make frequent trips back home, Al Suwaidi noted. Travel and tourism are already strong sectors, giving residents access to a variety of airlines and flight routes to virtually any place on Earth. “We boast some of the most advanced infrastructure for civic facilities, telecommunications, post services and transport, which under Vision 2021, were prioritized to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.”
For the time not spent travelling, Dubai’s plethora of retail and leisure experiences provide ample entertainment and happiness, he added. Leading retail destinations like Bluewaters, Al Seef and more bring homegrown and international restaurants, activities and excitement for all ages, interests and tastes.
“This connectivity has been a key appeal for residents across Dubai Asset Management’s portfolio of communities. Malls, recreational activities, dining hubs, business districts and all are easily and closely accessible via key ingress and egress routes. This convenience has only increased in neighbourhoods like Ghoroob Square, Shorooq and Al Khail Gate, which offer retail centres featuring nurseries, grocery stores, cafes and salons within walking distance of residents,” he said.
In the InterNations study’s ‘Finance and housing’ index, Dubai received mixed results. Of those surveyed, 86 per cent said it’s easy to find housing in the emirate, however 41 per cent consider it unaffordable. Traditionally, this has been a barrier to achieving the happiness agenda as well as retaining skilled talent and long-term residents, Al Suwaidi pointed out.
“Dubai Asset Management’s residential communities provide a balanced offering and in turn, a solution to this sentiment,” he said. “Our diverse portfolio caters to every kind of lifestyle. From fresh graduates getting started in their careers to growing families and luxury living; we offer a variety of price points, amenities and accommodations. Properties are performing well across the board, with high occupancy levels, especially in villas. Covid-19 spurred many residents to scale to larger homes, which they were able to do affordably.”
Looking ahead, Al Suwaidi said that the world standard is changing as a commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness grows globally. Dubai is leading the way for smart, efficient and sustainable living spaces under the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. Residential communities across the emirate are welcoming the change.
“At Dubai Asset Management, we will be installing electric car charging stations at select communities and introducing solar paneling at car parks,” he said. “Even our digital solution Dubai AM app, which enables online rent payment and service requests contributes to creating smarter, efficient and paper-free communities.”
He added: “These elements have been integral to Dubai’s reputation for high-quality living and attracting expats from around the world. It is why our industries continue to grow and thrive – skilled human capital from around the world are seeing in increasing numbers that Dubai is the ultimate place to live, work and play. It is imperative to preserve these qualities to fuel economic growth and livability for generations to come.”