- This is according to Mercer’s 2019 Quality of Living survey
- The survey identifies the highest ranked cities in terms of quality of living worldwide
- Abu Dhabi and Dubai were ranked as the top 2 cities in the Middle East
Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and careers, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), today announced the results of its annual 2019 Quality of Living survey. In its 21st year, the survey ranked Dubai and Abu Dhabi as the Middle East region’s leading cities.
This marked the 7th year in a row which Dubai led the region, ranking 74th on the survey and was closely followed by Abu Dhabi, in 78th place. The UAE cities continue to rank highly on the survey and their positive scores are largely attributed to high marks in political and social environment, business environment, education and public services.
“The UAE government has progressively worked towards enhancing the country’s infrastructure, safety and stability among other factors to provide a comfortable environment for all residents,” said Rob Thissen, Energy sector and Talent Mobility Leader for the Middle East. “Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s stability overtime has proved that the cities are undergoing steady enhancements, which are attracting foreign investments and demonstrated a popular destination for employee and company relocation. Access to basic necessities are key drivers to attracting and retaining investors.”
Over the past decades, between 1998 and 2018, Dubai has increased 12,2% in living standards while Abu Dhabi has increased 12,1%. In the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates has witnessed the most pronounced living standard increases in its region. This can be attributed to the country’s continuous efforts to improve its infrastructure, especially its airports and public transportation, attractive economic environment for local and foreign businesses, as well as focus on creating dynamic new recreational and entertainment facilities that has continued in 2019.
Among other mentioned cities in the survey, Vienna in Austria topped the rankings for the 10th consecutive year due to its high scores in a number of categories, while Baghdad in Iraq was ranked the lowest on the list even though it has witnessed significant improvements related to health and safety services.
The Quality of Living Survey is essentially contingent on the degree of wellbeing experienced by an individual, which is affected by 39 different factors grouped into 10 categories, including the political and social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods, housing and the natural environment. Overall, the factors have all been chosen for the benefit of expatriates.
Mercer’s authoritative annual survey enables multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.
Notes to Editors
Mercer produces worldwide quality of living rankings annually from its Worldwide Quality of Living Survey. Individual reports are produced for each city surveyed. Moreover, comparative Quality of Living indexes between a base city and host city are available, as are multiple-city comparisons. Details are available at www.mercer.com/qualityofliving.
The data was analysed between September and November 2018, and it will be updated regularly to account for changing circumstances. In particular, the assessments will be revised to reflect significant political, economic, and environmental developments. The list of rankings is provided to media for reference, and should not be published in full. The top 10 and bottom 10 cities in either list may be reproduced in a table.
The information and data obtained through the quality of living reports are for information purposes only and are intended for use by multinational organisations, government agencies, and municipalities. They are not designed or intended for use as the basis for foreign investment or tourism. In no event will Mercer be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance of the results obtained through the use of, or the information or data contained in, the reports. While the reports have been prepared based upon sources, information, and systems believed to be reliable and accurate, they are provided on an “as-is” basis, and Mercer accepts no responsibility/liability for the validity/accuracy (or otherwise) of the resources/data used to compile the reports. Mercer and its affiliates make no representations or warranties with respect to the reports, and disclaim all express, implied and statutory warranties of any kind, including, representations and implied warranties of quality, accuracy, timeliness, completeness, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
Mercer also helps municipalities to assess factors that can improve their quality of living rankings. In a global environment, employers have many choices about where to deploy their mobile employees and set up new business. A city’s quality of living can be an important variable for employers to consider.
Leaders in many cities want to understand the specific factors that affect their residents’ quality of living and address those issues that lower a city’s overall quality of living ranking. Mercer advises municipalities by using a holistic approach that addresses the goals of progressing towards excellence and attracting both multinational companies and globally mobile talent by improving the elements that are measured in its Quality of Living survey.
Mercer Hardship Allowance Recommendations
Mercer evaluates local living conditions in more than 450 cities surveyed worldwide. Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:
- Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.).
- Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services).
- Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom).
- Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution).
- Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools).
- Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.).
- Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure).
- Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars).
- Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services).
- Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters).
The scores attributed to each factor, which are weighted to reflect their importance to expatriates, permit objective city-to-city comparisons. The result is a Quality of Living index that compares relative differences between any two locations evaluated. For the indices to be used effectively, Mercer has created a grid that enables users to link the resulting index to a quality of living allowance amount by recommending a percentage value in relation to the index.
Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organisations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer’s more than 23,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With nearly 65,000 colleagues and annual revenue over $14 billion, through its market-leading companies including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer