Global Liveability Index 2024: Three Saudi Cities Make Progress

Three Saudi cities have gained higher rankings in the Global Liveability Index 2024.

According to the report, published Thursday by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Vienna, Austria, topped the list for the third consecutive year. Some cities have shown improved performance, while other cities dropped in the rankings.

Strong Performance

Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Al Khobar have made strong gains in the Global Liveability Index 2024, together with Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE. This strong performance in the Gulf states is largely due to sustained investment in healthcare and education.

Global Liveability Index 2024: Three Saudi Cities Make Progress
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The EIU, a sister organization to the Economist, ranked 173 cities across the world, taking into account five key categories, including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, infrastructure, and education.

Saudi Liveability Progress

The improvement of Saudi cities’ scores in the Global Liveability Index is a result of efforts made under the “Quality of Life Program.” Launched in 2018, the Program aims to transform Saudi Arabia into a top destination to live, work and play by creating a better quality of life for all.

Global Liveability Index 2024: Three Saudi Cities Make Progress
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

With the goal of achieving Saudi Vision 2030, the “Quality of Life Program” seeks to get 3 cities in Saudi Arabia ranked in the top 100 liveable cities in the world by 2030.

For this purpose, the Program focuses on the empowerment of arts and culture, promotion of sports and leading a healthy life, and the development of more liveable urban areas. It is also creating new sectors to diversify the economy and enhance employment opportunities.

Top Achievers

Western Europe remains the best-performing region in Liveability index. Its cities have retained their position as the most liveable in the world, with Copenhagen, Zurich and Geneva among the top ten. The 30 Western European cities in this year’s ranking have performed well, with an average score of 92 out of 100. However, the region saw an overall decline in stability scores.

Furthermore, four Asia-Pacific cities, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Osaka in Japan and Auckland in New Zealand, have made their way to the top 10 most liveable cities.




1 Vienna Austria
2 Copenhagen Denmark
3 Zurich Switzerland
4 Melbourne Australia
5 Calgary Canada
5 Geneva Switzerland
7 Sydney Australia
7 Vancouver Canada
9 Osaka Japan
9 Auckland New Zealand

Top 10 Cities in the Global Liveability Index 2024

Liveability Decline

On the other hand, Tel Aviv, Israel, scored the biggest drop, declining 20 places to the 112th, due to the Gaza war and the potential conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Damascus, Syria, still maintains its ranking as the least liveable in the world.

In North America, an acute housing crisis has impacted the infrastructure scores for Canada, with Toronto dropping out of the top 10 list to the 12th position, making Calgary and Vancouver the only two North American cities among the top ten.

Additionally, most US cities didn’t show improvement in their rankings. Los Angeles and New York ranked at 58th and 70th respectively. Honolulu, Hawaii, was the highest US city performer in the Liveability, ranking in the 23rd place.

Global Liveability Index 2024: Three Saudi Cities Make Progress
Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Stability Factor

The report noted that stability factor has registered the biggest decline of the five categories. In this regard, Barsali Bhattacharyya, deputy industry director at EIU, said: “Global liveability has risen fractionally over the past year but risks to stability remain. Still-high inflation accompanied by high interest rates and other economic headwinds led to another year of frequent protests across the world.”

Bhattacharyya added: “Since we conducted our survey, there have been more instances of civil unrest and demonstrations around the world, such as the campus protests across the US, suggesting continuing stress on liveability that is unlikely to ease in the near future.”

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