Bayt's Top Cities in MENA 2015

Published October 18th, 2015 - 09:40 GMT
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. (Pixabay)
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. (Pixabay)

When it comes to life in the Middle East, opinions diverge. If you head to Dubai or Abu Dhabi or Doha or Muscat, you will get a rosy account of life there from the many expatriates who left their home countries to build a better life for themselves and their families. But head to less fortunate countries, let’s say Jordan or Lebanon or even Egypt or Algeria, and you will encounter much less enthusiastic stories of people’s lives, not to mention other countries where people are merely trying to stay alive in the middle of war, forced immigration and struggling economies.

Previously this year, The Economist released its 2015 Global Livability Ranking where major cities across the world were ranked based on their livability. Some cities like Dubai and Kuwait City saw their livability index increase compared to 2014, while the livability of other cities didn’t witness any change, such as Riyadh.

Similar to other parts of the world where the livability of cities is measured so that people can make an informed assessment if they are looking to move, has conducted its own survey on the Top Cities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for 2015.

The survey ranks cities across the MENA region using six different factors:

1) economy which includes the availability of jobs, competitiveness of salaries and career growth opportunities;

2) labor rights which includes termination rights and end-of-service benefits;

3) environment which includes clean streets, comfortable weather and manageable traffic;

4) standard of living which includes the availability and quality of both healthcare and educational institutions;

5) socio-cultural environment which includes the equal treatment of both genders, fair treatment to all nationalities and freedom of expression;

6) entrepreneurship which includes the ease of starting up a business, lack of bureaucracy and ability to find local talent to employ; and

7) sports, arts and culture factors.

Rankings varied based on the factor being measured. For example, Dubai came first in entrepreneurship but second in labor rights and third in environment.

Overall, these were the top 10 cities in the MENA as measured by the survey:

Below are some interesting findings from the Top Cities in the Middle East and North Africa Survey 2015 that show how different cities differ along different factors that measure the quality of life in any of them.

1. Career Growth 

2. Feeling of stability and security

3. Ease of starting up a new business

4  Stable political environment

5. Fair treatment to all nationalities

6. Freedom of expression

For more interesting insights and information about the best cities to live in the MENA, download the new Top Cities in the Middle East and North Africa Survey 2015.

Is your city one of the best cities to live in the MENA region?

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