(MENAFN- Khaleej Times)
Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been ranked as the world's second and ninth-best cities respectively for expatriates to live and work, according to a global ranking released on Tuesday.
The two UAE cities claim the top two spots in the Expat Essentials Index, and both also rank in the top 10 for Quality of Life, according to Expat City Ranking 2022 covering 50 cities worldwide. The ranking is based on InterNations' annual Expat Insider survey, which is one of the most extensive surveys about living and working abroad. This year, 11,970 expats participated in the survey.
The final ranking has been made after collecting in-depth information about five areas of expat life: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Personal Finance, and the new Expat Essentials, which cover digital life, admin topics, housing, and language.
In the ranking, Valencia came first, followed by Dubai, Mexico City, Lisbon, Madrid, Bangkok, Basel, Melbourne, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore to figure in the top 10 cities for expats to live in.
On the other hand, expats consider Johannesburg (50th), Frankfurt, Paris, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Hamburg, Milan, Vancouver, Tokyo, and Rome (41st) the world's worst cities to live in.
However, Dubai ranks sixth and Abu Dhabi 27th when it comes to Working Abroad as expats are generally more satisfied with their jobs and their compensation. While both UAE cities do fairly well in the Ease of Settling in Index, the Personal Finance Index is their weakest point.
The Admin Topics Subcategory, in which Dubai comes first is a particular highlight, since almost two in three expats (66 per cent) report that it is easy to deal with the local bureaucracy/authorities, compared to only 40 per cent globally. This could be due in part to the fact that most expats (88 per cent) are happy with the availability of administrative/government services online (vs. 61 per cent globally).
“The basic things can be taken care of, you do not have to struggle for them,” shares an Indian expat.
The Ease of Settling In Index (8th) is another highlight for Dubai, and the city lands among the top 10 in all three subcategories of the index. Expats are happy with their social life (68 per cent happy vs. 56 per cent globally) and feel welcome there (81 per cent vs. 66 per cent globally). Expats are similarly pleased with the Quality of Life Index (6th), and Dubai comes in fifth place for both the Travel & Transit and the Leisure Options Subcategories.
Nearly all Dubai expats (95 per cent) are satisfied with the infrastructure for cars (vs. 75 per cent globally), and 80 per cent are even very satisfied with this factor (vs. 43 per cent globally). It seems like there are many reasons to make use of this infrastructure since Dubai ranks fifth for culture and nightlife, as well as third for culinary variety and dining options. Aside from the great leisure opportunities, expats are also pleased with their working life, with Dubai coming sixth in the Working Abroad Index.
Dubai, one of the most sought-after global destination for talents, entrepreneurs, tourists and shoppers, ranks fifth in the Work Culture & Satisfaction Subcategory, since 70 per cent of expats are happy with their jobs (vs. 64 per cent globally) and 78 per cent report that the local business culture encourages creativity (vs. 51 per cent globally).
According to the survey, more than four in five (82 per cent) also feel that moving to Dubai has improved their career prospects (vs. 60 per cent globally). Despite their overall job satisfaction, their income may not be sufficient: over one in three expats (34 per cent) say that their disposable household income is not enough to lead a comfortable life there (vs. 28 per cent globally).
“This is one of the factors that lead to Dubai's mediocre performance in the Personal Finance Index (28th),” said the survey report.
The capital city performs best in the Expat Essentials Index (2nd), placing just behind Dubai. Like in Dubai, expats are especially happy with the Admin Topics Subcategory (4th): expats find it easy to open a local bank account (74 per cent happy vs. 64 per cent globally) and deal with local bureaucracy (53 per cent vs. 40 per cent globally).
What is more, 72 per cent say that it is easy for expats to find housing (vs. 54 per cent globally). However, while Dubai (6th) excels in the Working Abroad Index, Abu Dhabi only ranks midfield (27th). While three in four expats in Abu Dhabi (75 per cent) feel that moving there has improved their career prospects (vs. 60 per cent globally), 31 per cent feel paid unfairly for their work (vs. 20 per cent globally). Perhaps it could also be connected to the perceived low pay that the city places in the bottom 10 for expats' satisfaction with their financial situation (43rd), leading to a below-average ranking in the Personal Finance Index (34th).
In Abu Dhabi, expats are quite pleased when it comes to the Ease of Settling in Index (12th). Around three in four (72 per cent) describe the local population as being friendly towards foreign residents (vs. 65 per cent globally). After getting settled in, expats find a great Quality of Life (8th) in Abu Dhabi. The city claims first place for both the availability of healthcare and the quality of medical care in the Health & Well-Being Subcategory (1st), compared to Dubai's 13th place rank in this subcategory. While the capital city ranks much lower than Dubai for Leisure Options (21st vs. 5th, respectively), both Abu Dhabi and Dubai perform very well for personal safety (3rd and 2nd, respectively).