Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been ranked the top cities to live and work in the Middle East and North Africa region in a new survey.
The survey conducted by Bayt.com, a leading job site the Middle East, and YouGov, a global online market research company, is titled ‘Top Cities in the Middle East and North Africa’.
The ranking of this regional survey was based on several factors including economic, environmental, standard of living, socio-cultural and entrepreneurship factors, a statement said.
“Similarly, employers want to know where they stand and what they can do to contribute to the overall standard of living in their cities. Current and aspiring entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for cities that give them the opportunity to build successful benefits and contribute to the growth of the economy.“
Abu Dhabi skyline. Socio-Cultural factors
Socio-Cultural factors include factors that relate to cultures, cities and societies and the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours of people residing in these areas. In the Mena region, the most important socio-cultural factors are low crime rate (81 per cent said it is very important), effective law enforcement (78% said it is very important), and fair treatment to all nationalities (75% said it is very important). Dubai and Abu Dhabi were rated the best in these areas.
Although generally ranked less important, when respondents were asked about sports, culture and recreation factors, they claimed that the most important factors are availability of family-friendly activities (53% said it is very important), availability of natural areas/landscapes (53% said it is very important), availability of relaxation options (50% said it is very important), and availability of outdoor/sports activities (48% said it is very important). Yet again, Dubai and Abu Dhabi scored the highest in this category.
Furthermore, residents of Mena cities highly value environmental factors relating to cleanliness above all, with clean water (84% said it is very important), clean air (74% said it is very important), and clean streets (70% said it is very important) ranking as the most important ranking factors. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat took the top three spots in terms of environmental factors. In fact, more than nine in 10 respondents said the cleanliness of streets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi was either “good” or “excellent.”
Financial elements were the most important entrepreneurship factors for Mena respondents, including affordability of taxes and fees (62% said it is very important), market willingness to accept new ideas and innovations (59% said it is very important), and ease of finding finances to start a business (58% said it is very important). Dubai and Abu Dhabi once again received the highest scores in this aspect.
Economic Factors and Standard of Living
When respondents were asked about key economic elements, more than three quarters (77%) of respondents said that the availability of jobs is the most important economic aspect. More than four in 10 residents in Dubai and Abu Dhabi said that the availability of jobs in their city is “good” or “excellent” and over a third said it was “average”.
Health insurance and social security systems (82%) were named as the most important labor rights for respondents in the MENA region. Over two thirds of respondents in Dubai and Abu Dhabi said their social security and health insurance was either “good” or “excellent.”
These categories were followed by end of service benefits (74% said it is very important), wage protection (72% said it is very important), and termination rights (69% said it is very important). Abu Dhabi and Dubai scored among the best cities in the region in terms of labor rights.
When it came to standard of living, respondents from the Mena region claimed that the most important factors are based on safety, healthcare and education. The majority of respondents (84%) said that a feeling of stability and security was a “very important” aspect. This was followed by quality of education (82% said it is very important), availability of healthcare facilities (81% said it is very important), and quality of available healthcare facilities (81% said it is very important). Dubai and Abu Dhabi were once again ranked as the top cities in the region with the highest standard of living.
Anjali Chhabra, senior research manager at YouGov, said: “When conducting the Top Cities survey, not only did we look at the physical infrastructure and economic variables of each city, but we also analyzed the social and cultural factors that play an important role in the quality of life they serve. The results not only highlight that many cities in the Middle East region are offering high levels of satisfaction for current residents, but also what’s important for them to focus on to sustain that quality for the future.”
Data for the 2017 Bayt.com ‘Top Cities in the Middle East and North Africa’ survey was collected online from September 6, 2017, to October 2, 2017. Results are based on a sample of 5,114 respondents. Cities assessed include Algiers, Alexandria, Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City, Beirut, Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat, Muscat, Damascus, Jeddah, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Tunis, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Manama, and Sharjah. – TradeArabia News Service
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