NAT 181121 Paddling away to fitness
File photo of an event during a previous edition of Dubai Fitness Challenge. Photo for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai has been ranked among the world’s top 'healthy lifestyle cities' in a new report by UK-based Lenstore.

‘Healthy Lifestyle Cities Report 2022’ studied 44 global cities across 10 metrics ranging from pollution levels to sunshine hours, and even the average cost of a gym membership.

Dubai placed second (after Vienna), thanks in part to its “staggering 3,509 hours of sunshine per year… The city isn’t just perfect for those in need of some Vitamin D and wanting to relax, with the city having almost 2,000 (1,889) outdoor activities for active-lovers…”

Europe hub of healthiest cities

In the top 10 healthiest locations to live in the world, eight are located in Europe. Three of these are Scandinavian countries – Copenhagen (3rd), Helsinki (6th) and Stockholm (8th), which are all known for their low pollution levels, short working hours, and high happiness levels.

Fukuoka, Japan, ranks ninth in the world and is the healthy destination to live in Asia. Geneva, Switzerland, ranks 10th overall.

Top ten

1. Vienna

2. Dubai

3. Copenhagen

4. Frankfurt

5. Amsterdam

6. Helsinki

7. Berlin

8. Stockholm

9. Fukuoka

10. Geneva

American dominates bottom 10

Whilst some cities are great to pursue a healthier life, others can make it more challenging. The bottom 10 cities include:

1. New York

2. Hong Kong

3. Johannesburg

4. Moscow

5. Mexico City

6. London

7. Washington D.C

8. Shanghai

9. Chicago

10. Boston

The US dominates the bottom 10 cities for a healthy lifestyle, with New York labelled as the worst. With the US facing the highest levels of obesity, equating to 36.2 per cent of the population, as well as cities such as Washington D.C, Chicago and Boston all having some of the longest working hours, the US “may not be the best location to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle”.

Roshni Patel from Lenstore said: “Our health has never been more important, and it’s really interesting to see that leading a healthy and happy life can be influenced by your location by such a significant amount. The shorter working weeks and low pollution levels have proved greatly successful for cities in the north of Europe such as Copenhagen, despite these locations receiving some of the lowest hours of sunshine each year.”


Data was collected across 10 metrics for 44 cities around the world. Each metric was awarded a weighted score, and these were combined to give each city a total score out of 100. This score was then used to rank the 44 cities to determine which were best for healthy living.


1. Obesity levels

2. Life expectancy

3. Sunshine hours

4. Air & water quality

5. Happiness levels

6. Cost of a bottle of water

7. Average annual working week

8. Outdoor activities

9. Number of takeout places

10. Cost of a monthly gym membership