Best City In GCC - Kuwait Topped In Business Category

4:10 AM

INTERNATIONAL. Abu Dhabi has ousted Dubai to claim the top spot as the Best Arab City to live in, according to the second annual study of its kind published by Dubai-based Saneou Al Hadath magazine.

The 2008 study showed a sharp rise in the rankings of many cities compared with last year’s survey, illustrating the remarkable progress made in both the economic and service sectors in the Arab world.

There was, however, a marked deterioration in some cities, where the quality of life dropped dramatically. The report showed a widening gap between Arab cities in the Gulf and those elsewhere. Oil was cited as a major contributor to growth in most GCC cities, but a lack of discernible progress in some Saudi cities proved that petroleum was not the sole factor. Riyadh’s status remained unchanged while Jeddah dropped one place.

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Manama and Kuwait City all moved up in the rankings, taking primary positions in most of the categories. The progress some of these cities have made now elevates them to a position comparable to that of some major cities in the developed world, said report author Yazan Neme.

The economic and cultural progress these cities are experiencing have caused a brain drain from other, less-developed Arab cities. In seeking a better quality of life, professionals have increasingly been migrating to the GCC. This is having an impact on the progress of the poorer Arab cities, where human resources are the main, or the only, source of progress. Beirut, from where graduates are rushing to Dubai and other Gulf cities, is an example.
Among the 19 Arab cities covered in the study, Abu Dhabi was first, followed by Dubai. In the 2008 study, Abu Dhabi scored very well in the entertainment and culture category – although Dubai retained its top slot here – and also beat Dubai in the business, communication and transport categories.

At the other end of the scale, however, little has changed from last year. Khartoum was placed last, after Algiers. Rabat dropped one place to 17. The most remarkable change in this year’s rankings was Tunis and Beirut. Tunis has moved up to sixth position from 11th last year. Beirut, however, dropped six points to 10th place from fourth last year.
Kuwait City topped the business category, followed by Manama, Riyadh, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and Doha, while Dubai came seventh.

Although Doha and Dubai are the most economically-active Arab cities, they did not top the business category because of their high cost of living and high inflation, at 12% in Qatar and the UAE in 2007. Kuwait City came in first due to a number of factors, including Kuwait’s high GDP per capita, which reached US$55,300 in 2007, and relatively low inflation, at 3.9% (according to the CIA’s World Factbook).The country had the second largest GDP per capita in the Arab world and the fifth largest worldwide.

The UAE’s GDP per capita put the country in sixth position worldwide, down from fourth last year. According to the study, Khartoum is the worst place to do business, coming 19th after Aleppo and Damascus. The two Syrian cities fared poorly in many of the survey’s measurement sources including the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom.

Abu Dhabi also topped the health category, followed by Dubai and then Doha. Bahrain is the biggest spender on healthcare, at US$871 per capita, while Sudan is the smallest, at US$41 per capita. Beirut is the city with the highest percentage of doctors, with 325 per 1000 inhabitants, while Emiratis enjoy the longest life span and the lowest infant death rate.
Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai came first in the security and human rights category. This category factored in murder rates, drug abuse, security, risk of war and gender equality, among others. In its Press Freedom Index rankings, Reporters Without Borders put Kuwait at the top and Syria at the bottom.

Abu Dhabi is again the best Arab city in the communication and transport categories, followed by Manama, Kuwait City and Tunis. Dubai came fifth due to its heavy traffic, though the city has the best road infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum. The worst roads are in Khartoum. In entertainment and culture Dubai was again ranked number one. Abu Dhabi, however, made a giant leap to second place.

The UAE as a whole ranked 18th in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, beating Tunisia at 34th and Qatar at 36th place.
In education, Amman topped the category, beating Manama and Doha. The Qatari government spends the largest share of its budget on education (28%). On amount spent per capita, Doha shared first place with Beirut and Tunis. Morocco had the highest rate of illiteracy (53.3%). Beirut enjoyed the highest tertiary education rate, at 48%, whilst Khartoum once again scored the lowest.

Kuwait dinar is love. Need I say more?

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images