Dubai tops list of best MENA cities for expats, and it's not just the pay

Dubai tops list of best MENA cities for expats, and it's not just the pay

Dubai tops list of best MENA cities for expats, and it's not just the pay
 Source: Getty Images


Expatriates face some tough choices when it comes to where they want to work.


For many, the best city is where you can get the best pay. A recent survey, however, suggests that infrastructure, including sanitation, is even more important for expats.


In the latest annual survey by global consulting firm Mercer, Dubai has been named the top city in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) based on quality of life.


Dubai is ranked in 74th place on Mercer’s Quality of Living Index, making it number one in the region for the sixth year in a row. Dubai was closely followed by neighbouring Abu Dhabi, which claimed 77th place. The lowest-ranked cities for quality of living in the MENA included Damascus (225), Sana’a (229) and Baghdad (231), according to the Mercer index.


Source: Getty Images


“Dubai continues to make a name for itself as a popular destination for companies opening offices and sending employees to the Middle East,” said Rob Thissen, Senior Associate at Mercer in Dubai. “The government is consistently working on furthering its infrastructure, safety, security and health facilities to enhance the quality of living for those who choose to live and work here.”


Mercer’s survey enables multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Vienna topped the 2018 global ranking for the ninth consecutive year, followed by Zurich in second place and Auckland and Munich in joint third place.


This year, the global consultant also provided a separate ranking based on city sanitation, analysing the cities’ waste removal and sewage infrastructure, levels of infectious disease, air pollution, water availability and quality. All of these are important aspects of a city’s attractiveness for both talent and businesses.


Dubai and Abu Dhabi topped the city sanitation ranking in the Middle East and Africa, surpassing other cities around the world, like London, Paris and Los Angeles. Other cities in the GCC with a top 100 rank included Muscat (70) and Kuwait (99).


“Multinational companies need a full picture of conditions on the ground to help calculate fair and consistent expatriate compensation, [which is] a real challenge in locations with a compromised quality of living. Access to drinkable water, healthcare facilities, clean air and good sewage infrastructure are important factors that contribute to the quality of living of expatriates and their families,” Thissen said.


“These basic services are a key competitive advantage for cities and municipalities trying to attract multinational companies, talent, and foreign investments,” he added.

(Written by Seban Scaria)

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