Action at Kite Beach in Jumeirah, Dubai
Residents at Kite Beach in Jumeirah, Dubai. Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: The culture, liveability factor and rate of accessibility has enabled the city of Dubai to land first place in the best city to live in 2020 for the Middle East and North Africa region.

In a recent report, Global Finance ranked 48 countries on a score that reflects a comprehensive list of eight unique factors, which include: economic strength, research and development, cultural interaction, livability, environment, accessibility, GDP per capita, and COVID-19 deaths per million for the country.

“Each of these factors brings with it a critical way of understanding the quality of life in the cities and each of the metrics was normalized in order to properly quantify them into a single overall score. It is important to note that we weighted the COVID-19 deaths metric by a factor of three in order to underline how a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic affected which cities would be best to live in,” stated the report.

Due to COVID-19, the usually well-performing countries in Europe dropped to the bottom of the list, such as Brussels, Milan and Barcelona, which is a stark contrast to the cities in East Asia that unexpectedly jumped the list. The low rate of COVID-19 deaths is also the main reason why Kuala Lampur (23) and Bangkok (32) and are ranked above many US cities such as Los Angeles (33), Boston (36) and Washington D.C (39) as the US has a high rate of COVID-19 deaths.

Cultural interaction 

Most of the other top 10 cities remain unchanged this year, though Dubai (6), Bangkok (8), and Moscow (10) are new entrants in the cultural interaction indicator. Both Dubai and Bangkok saw high scores in the number of foreign visitors and number of luxury hotel rooms, while these two cities were also evaluated highly in number of foreign residents and number of hotel rooms, respectively.

Dubai reached 19th place in terms of economy and 9th in the new indicator Nightlife Options, ahead of Chicago, Singapore and Tokyo. The city also came in at 28th place in terms of liveability, and earned ninth position in the accessibility category.

“Within the newly added cities to the [list] this year, Dublin (11) in particular achieves excellent results. Among European cities, it obtains the highest scores after London (2) and Zurich (5), with Corporate Tax Rate scoring just behind Dubai, while also earning the only European top-10 position in GDP Growth Rate,” said the report.

Frankfurt (5) and Dubai (9) improved their ranks with their respective strengths in Commuting Time and Traffic Congestion, areas where large cities are weak. Tokyo (8) dropped its rank this year due to the lack of improvement in Cities with Direct International Flights and Travel Time to Airports, as well as the higher scores obtained by Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

Best Cities to Live in 2020

JAPAN 1-1602753315038
An art installation in Tokyo. Image Credit: AFP
  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. London, UK
  3. Singapore, Republic of Singapore
  4. New York, US
  5. Melbourne, Australia
  6. Frankfurt, Germany
  7. Paris, France
  8. Seoul, South Korea
  9. Berlin, Germany
  10. Sydney, Australia
  11. Hong Kong, China
  12. Copenhagen, Denmark
  13. Vienna, Austria
  14. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  15. Helsinki, Finland
  16. Zurich, Switzerland
  17. Dubai, UAE
  18. Osaka, Japan
  19. Toronto, Canada
  20. Geneva, Switzerland

Source: Global Finance