Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

In Abu Dhabi, safety is not just in the numbers

The UAE capital has been named the world's safest city for the second year running − and it's easy to see why

A sunset stroll along the Corniche shows many of Abu Dhabi's charms. Antonie Robertson/The National
A sunset stroll along the Corniche shows many of Abu Dhabi's charms. Antonie Robertson/The National

To those of us fortunate enough to have made our homes here, it will come as no surprise that Abu Dhabi has once again been named the world’s safest city. For the second year running, the data website Numbeo has placed the UAE capital at the top of a league table of more than 300 global centres, clearly ahead of locations such as Singapore, Tokyo and Munich. Such a ranking is an achievement by any measure, but the fact that it has been based on people's actual experiences speaks volumes about the quality of life enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

When choosing a place to live, freedom from the fear of crime is a key consideration. As Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary at the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, has commented: “Our capital’s strong reputation for safety and a virtually crime-free society is a testament to the ongoing efforts to establish the emirate as a destination of distinction.” It is also telling that Dubai follows closely behind, in 11th place. Of course, well-resourced and effective policing contributes to the safety of any city, but there is more to this story than the simple enforcement of laws. With its vibrant, rapidly diversifying economy, the UAE provides a stable and rewarding environment for all to live, work and prosper within.

And this is not just borne up in the figures. The peaceful family-friendly atmosphere can be clearly observed on a leisurely wander down Abu Dhabi Corniche. In a recent piece for The Guardian on the joys and challenges of walking in cities such as Chicago, Hong Kong and Bangkok, the renowned US author David Sedaris wrote glowingly of the city’s public spaces. “Refreshing, and really sweet, were the great numbers of young children out with their parents,” he observed, of a late-night stroll with a friend. With this so apparent to even the most fleeting of visitors, it is no wonder that so many people choose to build their lives here.