Abu Dhabi ranked in the top 15 out of 82 expatriate cities in the world for the third year in a row, a survey from global network InterNations on the best destinations to live and work abroad found.
The list was dominated by Asian cities, with Taipei in Taiwan leading the ranking for the second year in a row followed by Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Singapore, according to the Expat Insider 2019 study published on Tuesday. Abu Dhabi came in 15th position on the list.
Among the GCC cities surveyed, Abu Dhabi held relatively steady from 14th last year. Manama came in 21st, Muscat 28th and Dubai 34th, a decline since last year from 3rd, 10th and 28th, respectively. Although they did well in terms of ease of getting settled and safety, as well as the availability and affordability of housing, work-life balance was a weakness.
Kuwait City’s worst-performing area was in the getting settled index, but it also rated poorly in leisure activities, local climate, local transportation and work-life balance. However, 71 percent of expatriates in the country are satisfied with their financial situation, compared to 57 percent globally.
Barring Kuwait City, the GCC cities were among the top 25 worldwide for getting settled. Manama, the world’s best expat city for getting settled last year, came in 2nd. Muscat followed in 4th place, Abu Dhabi in 11th and Dubai in 17th.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai came in second worldwide for the ease of living there without speaking the local language. Nearly nine in 10 expatriates (87 percent) find this easy, compared to 47 percent globally. Almost three quarters (73 percent in Abu Dhabi and 71 percent in Dubai) said local residents are friendly towards foreign residents (versus 64 percent globally).
The UAE cities also ranked highly in safety at 97 percent in Abu Dhabi and 95 percent in Dubai, compared to the 81 percent global average. However, only 35 percent of Abu Dhabi expats and less than a quarter of Dubai expats (23 percent) are happy with the local cost of living, compared to 43 percent globally.