Singapore is Asia's best city for expats: Mercer

Singapore's Marina Bay skyline, illuminated at night, on Feb 18, 2016.
Singapore's Marina Bay skyline, illuminated at night, on Feb 18, 2016. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Singapore was named Asia's best city for expatriates in a ranking of 230 cities worldwide by consultancy firm Mercer.

But European cities dominated the top ten on Mercer's 2016 quality of living ranking, despite the recent migrant crisis, terror threats, and concern about the region's economic outlook.

Singapore beat other major cities in Asia including Tokyo and Hong Kong, at 26th place worldwide.

The Austrian city of Vienna took the top spot for the seventh consecutive year for providing the highest quality of life.

Other Western European cities that did well include Zurich, Switzerland, in second place and Munich, Germany, in fourth.

New Zealand's Auckland cliched the third spot, making it the highest-ranking city in the Asia-Pacific region.

Canada's Vancouver, at number five, was North America's best city.

In sixth place was German city Dusseldorf, followed by Frankfurt in seventh, Geneva at eighth, Copenhagen in ninth and Sydney, Australia, making 10th.

The survey also identifies the personal safety ranking for the cities, based on internal stability, crime figures, performance of local law enforcement, and the home country's relationship with other countries.

Luxembourg topped the personal safety list, jointly followed by Bern, Helsinki, and Zurich.

Singapore ranked highest for personal safety in Asia, clinching the 8th spot globally.

Dubai, at 75th, ranks the highest for quality of living across Africa and the Middle East.

The survey of more than 440 cities evaluated standards in ten broad categories including safety, health, schools, public services, recreation, consumer goods, housing and environment. Out of which, 230 cities are ranked.

Volatile regional geopolitics characterised by safety concerns, political turmoil, and an elevated risk of terrorism have sent many Middle Eastern and Africa cities to the bottom of the list.

Iraq's Baghdad stands at 230, while Central African Republic's Bangui is at 229, and Yemen's Sana'a is at 228.

Baghdad and Damascus, the capital of Syria are the world's least safe cities according to the ranking.

kohping@sph.com.sg