Dubai top choice for expats

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Dubai top choice for expats
Dubai retained its ranking as the number one destination for quality of living across the Middle East and Africa region.

Published: Tue 14 Mar 2017, 7:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Mar 2017, 4:51 PM

Dubai retained its ranking as the number one destination for quality of living across the Middle East and Africa region and came in 74th place in the global ranking topped by Vienna, according to Mercer's 2017 Quality of Living Survey.
It is for the fifth year in a row Dubai is retaining its positions as the region's top city.
Dubai, globally placed 74, continues to rank highest for quality of living across Africa and the Middle East, rising one position in this year's survey. It is followed closely by Abu Dhabi, which has climbed three spots since last year's survey to claim 79th place due to improvements in infrastructure, said Rob Thissen - Mercer's Middle East Talent Mobility Lead.
Saudi cities Riyadh and Jeddah find themselves further down the ranking at 166th and 169th respectively, whereas Sana'a (229) in Yemen, Bangui (230) in the Central African Republic, and Baghdad (231) in Iraq are the region's and world's three lowest-ranked cities for quality of living.
Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities: Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place. The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79).
Dubai is also among the top 10 most expensive cities in the world to live and work, according to Savills Live/Work Index that has placed Dubai in eighth. The study found that Dubai's total annual cost per employee of living and working accommodation stood at $53,913.This is less than half the amount of first-placed New York, at $114,009, a rise of two per cent. The US city replaces London at the top after a two-and-a-half year stint.
The city has also been ranked first in the GCC according to the latest 'Global Cities' report released by AT Kearney. Dubai is one the world's top five cities for imports and exports, and serves as the major business trading hub in the GCC region. It is also a key destination for international tourism, and houses Emirates airline and two international airports. The city also scored high in human capital, thanks to its huge expatriate population.
"Economic instability, social unrest, and growing political upheaval all add to the complex challenges faced by multinational companies when analysing quality of living for their expatriate workforce. For multinationals and governments, it is vital to have quality of living information that is accurate, detailed, and reliable. It not only enables these employers to compensate employees appropriately, but also provides a planning benchmark and insights into the often-sensitive operational environment that surrounds their workforce," said Ilya Bonic, president of Mercer's Career Business.
Bonic said in uncertain times, organisations that plan to establish themselves and send staff to a new location should ensure they get a complete picture of the city, including its viability as a business location and its attractiveness to key talent.
City infrastructure, highlighted separately in this year's Quality of Living Survey, plays an important role when multinationals decide where to establish operations abroad. When sending expatriates to new locations, important considerations include easy access to transportation and reliable electricity. These are especially significant factors for determining whether or not to offer employees a 'Quality of Living allowance' based on differences between their home and host location. Dubai also ranked highest in the Middle East and Africa region in terms of infrastructure, claiming 51st place in the survey's global ranking and reaffirming the city's position as a leading regional business hub.
While Dubai ranked highest, only a few other cities in the region made the top 100. These were Abu Dhabi (67), Port Louis (94), Muscat (97) and Doha (96), the upcoming host of the 2022 Fifa World Cup. Cities in African and Middle Eastern countries dominate the bottom half of the list for infrastructure, with Brazzaville (228) in the Republic of the Congo, Sana'a (229), and Baghdad (230) ranking the lowest.
Mercer's authoritative Quality of Living Survey is the most comprehensive in the world, taking the city's political and social environment, medical care and health considerations, public services, recreation facilities and natural environment into account, amongst myriad other factors. The report is compiled by the company to assist multinational companies in compensating employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. It also provides valuable information and hardship premium recommendations for over 440 cities throughout the world, ranking 211 cities across five continents based on criteria such as safety, economic transparency and growth.
"The success of foreign assignments is influenced by issues such as ease of travel and communication, sanitation standards, personal safety, and access to public services. Multinational companies need accurate and timely information to help calculate fair and consistent expatriate compensation - a real challenge in locations with a compromised quality of living," said Thissen.


Issac John

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