The top 10 cities for expat life in 2021: Dubai ranks third

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia topped the list while Italy's Rome was bottom of the pile

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Dubai has ranked third in a survey of more than 12,000 people about the best cities for expatriates to live and work in.

The new InterNations Expat Insider survey concluded that Kuala Lumpur is the top city for expatriates in 2021.

The Malaysian capital city leads the list which ranks 57 cities around the world. In second place is Spain's Malaga and Dubai comes in at No 3.

Results are based on respondents' satisfaction across five categories, including quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance, housing and factors related to working overseas.

Participants in 186 countries rated more than 25 different aspects of life overseas in each category.

Dubai scored its highest marks in the Getting Settled index, making it into the top 10 of every subcategory.

The emirate was deemed the easiest city in the world to live in without speaking the local language and more than 80 per cent of those surveyed said the local people in Dubai are friendly towards foreign residents, that's compared to 67 per cent as a global average.

“They are warm, welcoming and friendly,” said an Indian expatriate questioned for the survey.

Dubai also performs very well in the Quality of Urban Living Index, with most people saying that they feel safe in the city, and it was also lauded for its political stability.

The emirate dropped points for job security, work-life balance and affordability, with 41 per cent of respondents saying they find the city unaffordable.

The top 10 cities for expatriates in 2021 are Kuala Lumpur, Malaga, Dubai, Sydney, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Prague, Mexico City, Basel and Madrid.

Abu Dhabi ranks in top 20 cities for expatriates

Abu Dhabi didn't make the top 10, but it did rank in the top 20, being listed in 16th position. The report concluded that the UAE capital offers “a good quality of life but a poor work-life balance". Expatriates also feel safe in Abu Dhabi with the city scoring 93 per cent in this subcategory, compared to the 84 per cent global average.

“It is safe for my daughters and me here, and the healthcare is of high quality and efficient,” a Kenyan expatriate said.

Other factors that stood out for the capital include medical care, friendly locals and being able to live in the city without speaking the local language. The emirate ranked less favourable for finances, with three in 10 expatriates unhappy with their financial situation and 31 per cent finding the city expensive.

Two other GCC nations also made the top 20 list, with Doha ranking in 15th position and Muscat in 17th.

Italy's Rome was named the worst city for expatriates to live and work in 2021.

Updated: December 03, 2021, 5:28 AM