Web survey says UAE is among best places to live

The UAE's position was buoyed by the highest purchasing power of the 51 countries surveyed by the user-generated website Numbeo.

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DUBAI // The quality of life in the UAE is the fourth best in the world, according to a new index.

The Emirates followed Switzerland, Germany and Norway in the index published by the user-generated website Numbeo.

The results were compiled from information provided by more than 40,000 people worldwide, including more than 100 from the UAE.

The UAE's position was buoyed by the highest purchasing power of the 51 countries surveyed.

"I would say that, based on this, it is most likely a very nice place to live," said Mladen Adamovic, the founder of Numbeo.

The United States ranked 12th and Britain 18th.

The index was compiled using a formula based on a variety of other indices, such as purchasing power, health care, consumer pricing, house price to income and pollution.

The results differ markedly from other similar indices. In last year's quality of life survey by the human-resources consultancy Mercer, Dubai and Abu Dhabi ranked 74th and 78th respectively out of 221 cities, while International Living magazine put the UAE 144th of 194 countries, below revolution-hit Egypt and Tunisia, as well as impoverished Uganda and Mongolia. The previous year, the same magazine put the Emirates below even North Korea.

Mr Adamovic, a former Google software engineer, said it was unclear how the other indices had reached their conclusions.

"Many times it's not clear what methodology these websites are using," he said.

"Numbeo works in a similar way to Wikipedia, and the community is quite strong. We never say that the information is 100 per cent correct. However, we feel that it is reliable enough to be used for other research."

Edward Twaite, regional director of the global recruitment specialists Menasa and Partners, said the UAE was still well regarded by job seekers.

"People come here for the tax-free salary, the weather and the lifestyle," he said. "That adds up to making it one of the most popular places in the world to work."