Highest quality of life?
If you want to work abroad, head to Vienna. The Austrian capital, according to the results of our 2014 Quality of Living Survey, offers the best lifestyle for expats. Out of 223 cities worldwide, Zurich comes second, followed by Auckland, Munich and Vancouver, with European cities dominating due to high standards of safety and stability, healthcare, infrastructure and recreational provisions for expat living.
Most interesting, however, is the emergence of cities outside of the traditional financial centres. These are the hubs that have established themselves to entice foreign investment by increasing their resources. They are becoming serious contenders in the world market, working to improve their quality of living and attracting more global companies.
Although foreign investment and offshoring in Asia remains high, activities are increasing in Africa and European employers are reinvesting in Central & Eastern Europe, where the labour and talent market is competitive.
Having grown considerably in the past decade, many second-tier Asian cities are starting to emerge as important places for multinational companies. Cheonan in South Korea, ranked 98th on our list, is strategically located in an area where several technology companies have operations. Meanwhile, Pune in India – at 139th in our rankings – has become a hub for education and IT, as well as other high-tech industries and car manufacturing.
The Middle East and Africa remain the most challenging regions for multinational organisations and expats. Regional instability and disruptive political events, lack of infrastructure and natural disasters prevent the quality of living from improving in many cities. However, some cities are making greater efforts.
In 73rd position on our list, Dubai is the highest scoring city in the Middle East. Durban in South Africa, at 85th, has been identified as an emerging city in this region, due to the growth of its manufacturing industries and the increasing importance of the shipping port.