Doha, Abu Dhabi top Middle East cities for expats, Kuwait City named worst


Qatar capital Doha and the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi emerged as the top Middle East cities for expats to live, according to a recent Expat City Ranking 2019 by InterNations. Kuwait City, however, was ranked as the worst city to live by expatriates.

Doha and Abu Dhabi ranked 12th and 14th on the list respectively. Bahrain capital Manama occupied the 21st spot while Oman capital Muscat at 28th spot. Another UAE city, Dubai, emerged 34th on the list.

Kuwait City, at number 82, ranked at the bottom of the list.

Taiwan’s Tapei emerged as the best expat destination worldwide in 2019 for a second consecutive time in a row. The second place went to Malayasia’s Kuala Lumpur, followed by Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City. Singapore took the fourth slot while Canada’s Montreal was judged the fifth best city for expats to live in the world.

Read: Oman is the most safe and friendly city, according to Expat Insider Survey

Five other European cities took the rest of top 10 ranks: from Portugal’s Lisbon (6th), Spain’s Barcelona (7th), Netherlands’ The Hague (9th) and Swiss cities Zug (8th) and Basel (10th).

The survey interviewed over 20,000 participants who were asked to rate their respective host country and share insights regarding their city of residence.

“Respondents rated more than 25 different aspects of urban life abroad on a scale of one to seven, with the rating process emphasizing expats’ personal satisfaction with these aspects. The individual ratings were bundled in various combinations for a total of 13 subcategories, and the mean values of these subcategories were used to draw up four topical indices,” said InterNations in its official statement. The four indices are:

  • Quality of Urban Living Index
  • Getting Settled Index
  • Urban Work Life Index
  • Finance & Housing Index

In contrast to other cities in the GCC States, Kuwait performed poorly in the Quality of Urban Living Index, leisure activities, local climate, transportation, career opportunities and work-life balance.

Read: Access to Public Transportation Can Ease Traffic, Carbon Woes: Mark Buchanan

Apart from Kuwait City, other cities to put up a disappointing performance are Italian cities Rome (81st) and Milan (80th), Nigeria’s Lagos (79th), France’s Paris (78th), US cities San Francisco (77th), Los Angeles (76th), and New York City (74th), Peru’s Lima (75th) and Myanmar’s Yangon (73th)

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