Dubai: Dubai has ranked the best city for expats in the Middle East and Africa, according to Mercer’s 20th Quality of Living Survey.

Dubai ranks 74th globally in overall quality of living, making it the number one city in the Middle East and Africa region for the sixth year in a row.

The survey, said to be one of the world’s most comprehensive, is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

Vienna tops the global ranking for the ninth year running and is followed by Zurich, with Auckland and Munich in joint third place.

In the Middle East and Africa region, Dubai was closely followed by neighbouring Abu Dhabi, which claimed 77th place. The region’s lowest-ranked cities for quality of living included Damascus (225), Sana (229) and Baghdad (231).

Rob Thissen, senior associate at Mercer in Dubai, who is responsible for Global Mobility Services, said: “Dubai continues to make a name for itself as a popular destination for companies opening offices and sending employees to the Middle East. The government is consistently working on furthering its infrastructure, safety, security and health facilities to enhance the quality of living for those who choose to live and work here.”

This year, Mercer provides a separate ranking on City Sanitation, which analyses cities’ waste removal and sewage infrastructure, levels of infectious disease, air pollution, water availability and quality. Dubai and Abu Dhabi top the City Sanitation ranking in the Middle East and Africa, and surpassed other cities around the world like London, Paris and Los Angeles. Other cities in the GCC with a top 100 rank are Muscat (70) and Kuwait (99).

Thissen said: “Multinational companies need a full picture of conditions on the ground to help calculate fair and consistent expatriate compensation — a real challenge in locations with a compromised quality of living.

“Access to drinkable water, health care facilities, clean air and good sewage infrastructure are important factors that contribute to the quality of living of expatriates and their families. These basic services are a key competitive advantage for cities and municipalities trying to attract multinational companies, talent, and foreign investments.”