I love numbers! I love reading the latest stats, crunching the numbers, and using numbers to prove the latest statistics are actually wrong. 🤣
We all enjoy reading articles with titles like “most expensive cities to live in,” “best cities to retire in for less than $500/month,” and “the average income in this city is $100,000 per year.”
And although I enjoy skimming those articles, I don’t put much stock in the numbers. Generally, I use the information as a good reference point for comparison when I do travel to that city.
I’ve been posting photos and writing about my experience in Europe and the Middle East for the past two weeks. I’ve received various messages inquiring about my experience in Doha, Qatar and Muscat, Oman and I thought it would be useful, particularly for individuals that have not traveled to the Middle East, to share my thoughts.
Often the question/statement sounds similar to this:
Are you scared when you go over there [the Middle East]? Be safe. Did you see what was happening in (insert another country)? The news said (insert scary statistic).
I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some pretty cool places in my life and the Middle East easily sits near the top.
One thing that I’ve learned over the past few years of traveling extensively is the “news” can be often be misleading. Additionally, if you’ve never traveled to a specific destination, it can easily be lumped into a region.
For example, North America includes the US, Canada, and Mexico but I would argue that these countries are very different in terms of official languages, healthcare systems, politics, cost of living, etc.
This concept applies to other countries as well. Within the Middle East region there are a lot of countries but they are not the same by any stretch of the imagination.
Numbeo is the world’s largest database of current info on the cost of living, traffic, crime and pollution in cities around the world. The methodology can be debated but overall, I’ve found their stats to fairly accurate.
Recently, they published the stats of the world’s safest cities to live and they are fascinating.
For the fourth year running, Abu Dhabi has been named as the world’s safest city to live in.
In fact, 5 of the Top 10 cities are located in the Middle East. Those cities are:
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Doha, Qatar
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Quebec City, Canada
- Sharjah, UAE
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Dubai, UAE
- Munich, Germany
- Eskisehir, Turkey
- Bern, Switzerland
If you’re interested in seeing the complete list of rankings, here is the DIRECT LINK.
In my experience, these statistics are fairly compatible. I’m a big fan of the Middle East. The people, the culture, the food, and now the safety are all reasons that I visit and transit through the region fairly often.
It’s also worth noting that crime can happen anywhere at anytime. Just because a city is ranked as the “safest city” does NOT mean that crime does not take place. As a visitor to any city, domestic and international, you have to stay aware of your surroundings.
I would also caution anyone that has not experienced a city / country/ culture to not pass judgement. One reason that I love travel is that it opens your eyes to aspects that aren’t on the “news.”
Personally, I’ve visited countries that have imparted such an impression that I wanted to move there the next week. I say all of this to say, you never know what you may find in this world. Go and explore it!
Is safety a consideration when you choose to visit (or move to) a city? What is your favorite city to visit?