The world’s least liveable cities are starting to improve
Read the full findings from this years liveability index here. EGYPTS GOVERNMENT worries that its citizens may get trapped in their lifts. Frequent power outages in Cairo, the capital, during the sweltering summer months mean that such miserable confinement is not an unlikely occurrence. Like many other cities in the Middle East and Africa, Cairos wobbly infrastructure makes it a difficult place to live. Food inflation is running at 66%, and members of the middle class are sliding into poverty. That reality is reflected in findings by EIU, our sister company, and its liveable cities index. See where Cairo and other cities in the Middle East and Africa ranked in our map below. EIUs global index judges 173 cities on five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Notably, some big cities like Khartoum, in Sudan, and Baghdad, in Iraq, are not included in the index. Despite the general low rankings of cities in the Middle East and north Africa, liveability is generally improving. Its cities received an average score of 61, up from 58 last year. The score for sub-Saharan Africa (the worlds least liveable region) rose from 50 last year to 54 in 2023. Both regions saw improvements in cities at the bottom of the rankings. Algiers and Lagosboth in energy-exporting countriesbenefited from rising energy prices, allowing their governments to pump money into public services and infrastructure. Abu Dhabi retained its top spot in the region, thanks to good scores for its infrastructure and stability. Dubai, another city in the United Arab Emirates, was a close second. Tel Aviv in Israel, once a beacon of democracy in the region, came third. But its score was dragged down by increased instabilityin large part because of unrest spurred by the governments bid to limit the powers of the countrys independent judiciary. There were other notable shifts across the Middle East and north Africa. Several cities in Saudi Arabia improved their score in the culture and environment category, which measures such things as the availability of sporting and cultural offerings. In culture, Saudi Arabia once lagged behind the likes of Cairo and Casablanca. Now it is trying to establish itself as the regions media hub, pumping money into home-grown films and lavish music concerts. Even more notable is its foray into sports: it has acquired several European footballers to play in its domestic league, including Cristiano Ronaldo in late 2022. In June of this year it reportedly invested $3bn to merge its upstart golf tournament with Americas PGA Tour and Europes DP World Tour, the biggest in the sport. But Saudis stability scores remained unchanged. Its rulers continue to stifle any opposition. As in the past several years, war-ravaged Damascus, Syrias capital, scored the lowest of any city in the world. Although Bashar al-Assad, the countrys brutal dictator, is no longer a pariah in the Middle East, his gradual return to the international stage has not led to any improvements in the living standards of his people. It is not likely that will change anytime soon. Cities in sub-Saharan Africa didnt fare so well either. Johannesburg, South Africas biggest city, is still the most liveable place on the continent south of the Sahara, but it dropped seven places in the rankings. (Cape Town, the countrys much-improved second city, is not part of the index.) The public sector there is failing: those with the means pay for private alternatives. Blackouts are more frequent there than they were last year. Its residents probably worry about getting stuck in a lift even more than Cairenes. Read more on this topic: The worlds most liveable cities in 2023 These are the most liveable cities in Europe Are cities in Asia becoming better places to live? Are Canadian cities better than Americas?