The UAE has been named the sixth best place to live globally during the pandemic in a new ranking.
It has climbed nine places since the last Bloomberg Covid Resilience Rankings in August, from the 15th slot.
Ireland is the best place in the world to live right now, followed by Spain, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark, according to the list.
Together with the UAE, France, Switzerland, Canada and Norway round out the top 10.
Top 10 best places to live in the world during coronavirus
The UAE’s score was 74.7, with 92.3 per cent of the population vaccinated, according to Bloomberg figures – the highest rate in the world.
The country also has among the fewest Covid-19 restrictions of the 53 countries, according to the ranking.
The improvement was due to “less stringent restrictions amid falling cases and deaths,” said Bloomberg.
Its ranking of 53 countries is a “monthly snapshot of where the virus is being handled the most effectively with the least social and economic upheaval”.
It is compiled using 12 factors, including virus containment; the quality of healthcare; vaccination coverage; overall mortality and progress toward restarting travel and easing border curbs.
New Zealand, which led the list last November, tumbled to 29th place in August and has fallen further to 38th place in the latest survey, below countries such as the UK, Germany, Brazil and the US. The country recorded 45 new Covid-19 cases in the community on Wednesday, a significant rise in recent days.
“A Delta incursion after months virus-free has left the country in varying degrees of lockdown, still seeking to stamp out infections as it strives to boost vaccination levels,” said Bloomberg.
Ireland achieved the top spot with a resilience score of 79.4 thanks to its high vaccination coverage, at more than 90 per cent of the adult population, and the decision to allow more “social activity” to resume safely.
“Ireland rose three places from August thanks to one of the world’s best vaccination rates, projections for a rapid economic rebound and the government’s decision this month to loosen both domestic restrictions as well as travel quarantine rules,” said Bloomberg.
The Philippines is currently the world’s worst place to live, according to the ranking.
It dropped to number 53 after facing the onslaught of the Delta variant, which has hit South-East Asia particularly hard. This was coupled with difficulties containing the more contagious strain and slow vaccination rollouts.
The authors stress the list is “not the final verdict”.
The next six months will be key, as the temperature drops across Europe, the US and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, they said.
“Winter in the northern hemisphere will be the real next big test to see how effective high levels of vaccination have been,” Peter Collignon, a professor of infectious diseases at the Australian National University Medical School in Canberra, said.