The UAE has been ranked as one of the best countries in the world for language diversity and safety, according to a global survey of expatriates living in 181 countries. While it has been ranked sixth for language diversity, the UAE has secured the ninth place out of 58 countries for national safety, as per the survey. Overall, the UAE comes in at the 34th place out of 58 countries, scoring best in the language subcategory and worst in the personal finance index.
In 2020, 15,001 expats from across the globe took part in the Expat Insider survey by InterNations, representing 173 nationalities living in 181 countries or territories. InterNations is the largest global community for people living abroad and is the leading network and guide for expatriates in 420 cities worldwide.
Abu Dhabi world's 10th safest place
Out of 66 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2020, Abu Dhabi comes 10th overall, performing best in the safety and politics subcategory and worst in the work-life balance subcategory.
According to the report, a copy of which Khaleej Times has seen, among the Middle Eastern destinations in the Expat City Ranking 2020, Abu Dhabi is the one best-rated, ranking 10th out of 66. “It performs especially well in the Getting Settled Index (17th). Expats in Abu Dhabi do not only find it easy to live there without speaking the local language, 93 per cent vs. 54 per cent globally; however, they also consider it easy to make new friends – 57 per cent vs. 47 per cent worldwide,” said the report.
Moreover, they describe the local population as both friendly in general (17th) and friendly towards foreign residents in particular (16th).
The finance and housing index is Abu Dhabi’s second-biggest strength. While 70 per cent said it is easy to find housing versus 55 per cent globally, only 28 per cent find it affordable, versus 41 per cent globally. “Nonetheless, 63 per cent are satisfied with their financial situation, about the same as the global average - 61 per cent,” it added.
The city’s results in the quality of urban living – 33rd - and urban work life (36th) indices are just about average. Abu Dhabi benefits from the easy availability of healthcare (10th) and the high degree of personal safety. A total of 78 per cent of expats feel completely safe in Abu Dhabi as compared to 45 per cent globally. However, only 50 per cent are happy with the local climate and weather. In terms of working in Abu Dhabi, expats are dissatisfied with their job security (47th), their working hours (51st), and their work-life balance (52nd).
Dubai No. 1 for ease of living abroad without local language skills
Dubai ranks 20th out of 66 in the Expat City Ranking 2020. In the 'getting settled' index, the city is number one for ease of living abroad without local language skills.
“Maybe this is one reason why expats are happy with their social life in Dubai (69 per cent vs. 59 per cent globally) and consider it easy to make friends (61 per cent vs. 47 per cent worldwide),” said the report.
Dubai also performs better than average in the quality of urban living index. Respondents consider it the third safest city worldwide, after Tokyo, which came in first, and Singapore (second). Unlike in other Middle Eastern destinations, expats seem happy with the leisure options, too. However, 29 per cent are unhappy with the affordability of healthcare (vs. 21 per cent globally).
Affordability seems to be a touchy subject in general, with the city ranking 30th in the finance and housing index. “This is mainly due to the housing subcategory whereas Dubai ends up among the bottom 10 for finance. About 30 per cent of expats are not satisfied with their financial situation, and 32 per cent say their disposable household income is not enough to cover expenses,” it added. Another 54 per cent consider the cost of living too high, ranking Dubai 41st for the latter.
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