GCC cities grab top spots in the financial attractiveness index

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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According to AIRINC’s new Global 150 Cities Index, each single GCC member has been listed in the world’s top 20 most financially attractive cities.

AIRINC is a US based global firm in the field of human resources.

The ranking lists 150 of the top global locations according to the attractiveness of finance and lifestyle. It combines local salary levels, tax rates, cost of living and living conditions to assess how desirable each location is to live in.

Manama, the capital of Bahrain, was named the world’s most financially attractive city, followed by Riyadh in 4th place, Kuwait City in 6th, Abu Dhabi in 7th, Dubai in 12th and Muscat in 16th place.

The data is gathered by the in-house survey department of AIRINC, which constantly examines the expenses and living standards in many cities around the world in order to determine international mobility.

The Kingdom of Bahrain, as the first GCC member to begin diversification, offers one of the easiest and most cost-effective environments to set up and operate a business globally. Businesses operating in the Kingdom enjoy 100 percent foreign ownership and 0% tax.

Thanks to its ambitious reform plans, the new Ease of Doing Business study by the World Bank recently named increasingly digital Bahrain the fourth most improved economy in the world. Along with being ranked first in the world in the AIRINC ranking for financial attractiveness, Manama also jumped 15 positions for overall attractiveness, to 48th.

GCC economies have invested substantial sums in making themselves more attractive to international businesses, in line with ambitious efforts to diversify the economy across the region.