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These are the World’s Best Cities for Expats to Live and Work?

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Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been ranked as the world’s second and ninth best cities, respectively, for expatriates (Expats) to live and work based on the high quality of life they offer, according to a new report by global network InterNations.

Last year, the survey ranked Dubai in third place and Abu Dhabi in 16th.

Valencia in Spain topped the global ranking for the best city for foreign workers to live, with Mexico City in third place, Lisbon in fourth and Madrid in fifth, InterNations says in its annual Expat City Ranking 2022 report released on Tuesday.

Rounding out the top 10 was Bangkok in sixth place, followed by Basel (seventh) Melbourne (eighth) and Singapore (10th).

InterNations polled 11,970 people in 50 cities, asking questions based on five categories: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Personal Finance and an Expat Essentials Index, which covers digital life, administration topics, housing and language.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi claim the top two spots in the Expat Essentials Index, and both also rank in the top 10 for Quality of Life,” says InterNations, which has more than 4.5 million members.

Top 10 cities for expats to work and live in 2022

  1. Valencia, Spain
  2. Dubai, UAE
  3. Mexico City, Mexico
  4. Lisbon, Portugal
  5. Madrid, Spain
  6. Bangkok, Thailand
  7. Basel, Switzerland
  8. Melbourne, Australia
  9. Abu Dhabi, UAE
  10. Singapore

The UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, has undertaken several economic, legal and social reforms in recent years to strengthen its business environment, boost foreign direct investment, attract skilled workers and provide incentives to companies to set up or expand their operations.

Meanwhile, the survey found that Valencia and Mexico City are great for personal finances and offer a good quality of life, while Lisbon has an “amazing climate but mediocre work options”.

Madrid has good leisure activities and a welcoming culture, expatriates say they feel at home in Bangkok and foreign workers are “satisfied with their finances, jobs and quality of life” in Basel, the InterNations survey says.

However, Johannesburg (50th), Frankfurt (49th), and Paris (48th) were voted the worst destinations in 2022 for expatriates to live and work.

“Expats in Johannesburg are particularly disappointed with the low quality of life and their working life, while Frankfurt and Paris do poorly in the Ease of Settling In and Expat Essentials indices,” InterNations says.

“Additionally, expats in all three cities struggle financially.”

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