The most liveable cities in the Middle East and Africa


Some 99% of individuals within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have acquired at the least two covid-19 vaccine doses, the third-highest price on the planet. That helped the nation keep away from full-scale lockdowns in 2021 and, thus far, in 2022. Abu Dhabi and Dubai, its two main cities, have largely remained open for enterprise for the reason that first wave in 2020. Their comparatively fast restoration is one cause why the cities rank first and second respectively in a survey of “liveability” within the Center East and Africa by the EIU, our sister firm.

The EIU’s world index judges 172 cities—up from 139 final 12 months—on 5 classes: tradition and setting, schooling, well being care, infrastructure and stability. On common, cities within the Center East and north Africa acquired a rating of 58, in contrast with 50 for these in sub-Saharan Africa, the world’s least habitable area. (Western Europe, essentially the most habitable area, had a mean rating of 91.) Although Dubai and Abu Dhabi are prime of their a part of the world, they rank across the center globally. Their success with covid was outweighed by decrease scores for schooling and tradition. Each cities are nonetheless behind Hong Kong, for example—a metropolis with strict quarantine guidelines however excessive scores in different areas.

Regardless of the low total rating, life within the Center East and north Africa appears to be bettering: the typical rating for cities within the area is as much as 58 from 53 final 12 months as covid restrictions have eased. Doha, capital of Qatar, which is able to host the soccer World Cup later this 12 months, climbed six spots within the world rankings (regardless of continued criticism of its poor human-rights file and remedy of migrant staff). Kuwait Metropolis, capital of one of many fastest-growing economies on the Arabian peninsula, jumped 9 locations, the largest such enchancment within the area.

Cities in sub-Saharan Africa fared much less effectively. Johannesburg, South Africa’s greatest metropolis, stays essentially the most habitable place within the area, but it surely has dropped 5 locations down the EIU’s rankings. The nation’s unemployment price is at a close to file excessive, blackouts have gotten extra frequent and public providers are collapsing.

As in final 12 months’s survey, Damascus, Syria’s capital, has the world’s worst residing circumstances. Beneath Bashar al-Assad’s brutal dictatorship, some 90% of individuals in Syria stay in poverty. Lagos, the industrial capital of Nigeria, additionally fares poorly, partly as a result of jihadism and organised crime is widespread. Each cities have seen their scores enhance barely on final 12 months, however not by sufficient to maneuver them out of the underside two of the world’s rating.

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