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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

UAE is the world's second safest country to visit, report shows

The country beat the likes of Singapore, the United States and many popular European holiday destinations in the Which? Travel index

The UAE was ranked the second safest country to visit, after Iceland, in a Which? Travel index. Pawan Singh / The National
The UAE was ranked the second safest country to visit, after Iceland, in a Which? Travel index. Pawan Singh / The National

The UAE is the world’s second safest place to visit, beating countries including Singapore, the United States and popular European destinations.

That is according to Which? Travel, which ranked the world’s top 20 holiday destinations using data collated by the World Economic Fund, the World Risk Report, NHS Fit for Travel website and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) terrorism assessment risk to assess their overall safety.

Iceland topped the index, followed by the UAE, Singapore, Spain and Australia.

“Of the 20 holiday destinations that we looked at, Iceland, unsurprisingly, came out as the safest country,” said the Which? report, noting it for one of the world’s lowest murder rates.

“The UAE and Singapore were also considered extremely safe, with Spain the next safest of the six popular European holiday destinations that we looked at. Worst rated were South Africa, Turkey, Thailand, India and Mexico,” said Which?

The UAE is also the third least likely country on the index to suffer from a natural disaster, after Barbados and Iceland. Singapore and France rounded out the top five at least risk of natural disasters.

The most dangerous was Japan, with a natural disaster risk of 13.47 per cent.

The UAE is also low-risk for health concerns, as are the five European countries included in the index: Spain, France, Italy, Iceland and Greece, according to NHS Fit for Travel.

Terrorism cannot be ruled out in any country, according to the Which? data source, the FCO. Only Japan and Iceland are listed as unlikely to suffer from a terrorist attack. Terrorism is either "likely" or "very likely" in the other countries.

“It’s ‘very likely’ in Australia, Jordan, France, the US, India, Thailand and Turkey,” the Which? report said.

In the UAE, it is listed as 'likely'.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners,” said the FCO website.

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The UAE’s position on the index is the latest endorsement of the country’s reputation for safety.

In September, it was announced that Abu Dhabi had been ranked the safest city in the world for the second year running, according to Numbeo, a website for crowdsourced global data.

Dubai was close behind in 11th place. The Numbeo index ranked 338 cities and is an estimation of overall safety levels in any given city or country. It also measures the cost of living, pollution, cost of travel and quality of life.