Two Gulf cities have been named among the most improved cities to live in the world, according to a new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Dubai and Kuwait City were both ranked in the top five most improved cities over the last five years, with Dubai third behind Harare, Zimbabwe, and Kathmandu, Nepal.
But the improvement for both cities in the Liveability Ranking and Overview August 2015 report failed to see either making an impact on the overall global ranking.
Dubai moved up to 75th out of 140 cities covered while Kuwait City ranked 83rd.
Melbourne in Australia retained its position as the most liveable location of the 140 cities surveyed, followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna.
Vancouver in Canada, which was the most liveable city surveyed until 2011, placed in third place.
Over the past six months, 38 cities of the 140 surveyed have experienced changes in scores. Of these changes the majority have been negative, 38 in the past 12 months, reflecting a deterioration in stability in many cities around the world, the report said.
Civil unrest, acts of terror and violence have triggered stability declines around the world. High-profile terrorist shootings in France and Tunisia, and the ongoing actions of ISIL in the Middle East have created a further heightened threat of terrorism in many countries, it added.
Overall, the global average liveability score has fallen by 1 percentage point to 75 percent over the past five years, and one-third of this decline has come in the past year.
The report said that over the past five years, Tripoli, Kiev and Damascus have seen significant declines of 21.9, 25.8 and 27 percent respectively, illustrating that conflict is, unsurprisingly, the key factor in undermining wider liveability.
Seven of the top ten scoring cities are in Australia and Canada, with population densities of 2.88 and 3.40 people per sq km respectively. Elsewhere in the top ten, Finland and New Zealand both have densities of 16 people per sq km.