Abu Dhabi voted 'Best City' in MENA region

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 26, 2010 16:50 hrs

Dubai, Nov 26 (IANS/WAM) Abu Dhabi has been voted the 'Best City' in the Middle East and the North Africa region (MENA) in a study, it was announced Friday.

The report titled 'Best Cities of the Middle East and North Africa 2010' was produced by the Middle East's top job site Bayt.com and research specialists YouGovSiraj.

They surveyed the cities in the MENA region based on the economic, labour, environmental and socio-cultural factors.

The 10 best cities were ranked thus: Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Dubai, Manama, Tunis, Sharjah, Doha, Kuwait City, Marrakech and Amman.

The economic factors consisted of five key elements that could be related to an individual's life in a city.

Each of these elements plays a crucial role either directly or indirectly in shaping the overall quality of life.

The cities that scored 'extremely' well in economic factors were ranked in the following descending order: Manama, Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Sharjah, Kuwait City, Tunis and Jeddah.

'The top cities in the Middle East study revealed some very interesting insights into the Middle East with some cities like Manama and Doha recurring at the top. Indeed, 85 percent of respondents screened stated availability of jobs as a very crucial criterion in a city.

'This is not surprising considering the recent crisis and it is also the reason why cities with high employment were listed at the top of the economic factors' section.

'The rest of the criteria upon which respondents were surveyed indicated that people in the region also valued cities built to cater to professional work environments.

'This is not surprising considering that most expats are attracted to this region for its current work opportunities and opportunities for career growth and development,' said Amer Zureikat, VP Sales, Bayt.com.

The labour rights section consisted of five key elements that could affect the lives of individuals in the city they reside in.

These are considered not only crucial for working professionals but also for the non-working population, including housewives and children.

These were identified as wage protection system, service benefits, termination rights, vacation allowances and parenthood allowances.

The cities that scored 'extremely' well in the Labour rights section were ranked in the following descending order: Abu Dhabi, Manama, Muscat, Dubai, Tunis, Doha, Sharjah, Kuwait City, Rabat and Aleppo.

The environmental factors surveyed consisted of a set of aspects related to comfort and cleanliness that affect the overall quality of life in a city.

These included: Clean water, air and roads and comfortable weather. The cities that scored 'extremely' well in environmental factors were ranked in the following descending order: Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Marrakech, Dubai, Tunis, Manama, Rabat, Amman, Aleppo and Sharjah.

The socio-cultural factors are forces within cultures, societies and cities that affect the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of individuals who are a part of them.

These included: low crime rate, effective law enforcement, political stability, fair treatment of all nationalities, freedom of expression and the equal treatment of both genders.

The cities that scored 'extremely' well in the socio-cultural factors were ranked in the following decending order: Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Sharjah, Tunis, Dubai, Damascus, Manama, Doha, Amman and Aleppo.