Abu Dhabi Handled the Pandemic Best, This Global Ranking Says

Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Seoul Handled the Pandemic Best, a New Report Says

The highest-ranking cities were able to contain the virus without sacrificing economic recovery.

When it comes to efficient pandemic responses and crisis management, not all cities are equal in the war against COVID-19. This far into the pandemic, you probably already have a rough idea of which cities handled the pandemic best and which ones did poorly. Nevertheless, a new global ranking that evaluates city safety should clear away any doubts. 

The most successful destinations to weather the pandemic are the capital cities of the United Arab EmiratesSingapore, and South Korea, according to the “COVID-19 City Safety Ranking” from London-based analytical agency Deep Knowledge Analytics (DKA). 

Also read: These Are the World’s Most Liveable Cities in 2021

Methodology of the COVID-19 City Safety Ranking

Image credit: David Rodrigo

To compile the COVID-19 City Safety Ranking, DKA’s research team drew data from primary legal texts and legal reports; government publications and reports; academic publications and reports; the websites of government authorities, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations; and local and international news media reports.

They evaluated 72 cities and ranked them with scores based on five key areas: economic resiliencegovernment efficiencyhealthcare managementquarantine efficiency, and vaccination rate. These are also the areas that city governments should prioritise in order to prevent other biological threats from occurring in the future, the report says.

Check out the top 50 cities with the highest scores below.

Top 50 cities that responded best to the COVID-19 pandemic 

1. Abu Dhabi: 73.16
2. Singapore: 71.69
3. Seoul: 71.41
4. Tel Aviv-Yafo: 67.28
5. Dubai: 67.02
6. Toronto: 65.40
7. Sydney: 65.24
8. Zurich: 65.23
9. Dublin: 64.75
10. Ottawa: 64.58
11. London: 64.14
12. Amsterdam: 63.75
13. Berlin: 63.31
14. Tokyo: 63.09
15. Copenhagen: 62.93
16. Beijing: 62.81
17. New York: 62.50
18. Shanghai: 61.83
19. Auckland: 61.47
20. Brussels: 60.63
21. Helsinki: 60.26
22. Wellington: 60.02
23. Bern: 59.98
24. Hong Kong: 59.45
25. Los Angeles: 59.40
26. Stockholm: 58.92
27. Canberra: 58.66
28. Oslo: 58.62
29. Jerusalem: 58.34
30. Warsaw: 58.30
31. Riyadh: 57.47
32. Madrid: 57.34
33. Vienna: 56.45
34. Valletta: 56.37
35. Budapest: 56.20
36. Doha: 55.82
37. Moscow: 55.50
38. Paris: 54.09
39. Prague: 53.75
40. Rome: 53.61
41. Kuala Lumpur: 53.45
42. Zagreb: 53.01
43. Bratislava: 52.43
44. Hanoi: 51.68
45. Manila: 51.61
46. Athens: 51.58
47. Jakarta: 51.43
48. Ankara: 51.08
49. Bucharest: 50.93
50. Lisbon: 50.37

What the best cities did right during the pandemic

Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Seoul Handled the Pandemic Best in Global City Safety Ranking

Image credit: ali suliman via Canva Pro 

Ranking first place in the COVID-19 City Safety Ranking, Abu Dhabi took the lead for its smooth vaccine rollout and access to vaccines, having achieved the world’s highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents in 2021. Thanks to emergency protocols and smart technology, Abu Dhabi’s healthcare system was adequately prepared to deal with the threat of COVID-19. 

While it came in second place overall, Singapore earned the highest score in economic resilience. The report praises the quick and efficient response of the Singapore government, which deployed “massive fiscal stimulus measures” from past budgetary savings to preserve jobs and revitalise the economy.

Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Seoul Handled the Pandemic Best in Global City Safety Ranking

Image credit: Reabirdna via Canva Pro

Despite taking third place in the global ranking, Seoul topped the charts in healthcare management. The city’s authorities favoured a more flexible approach in its pandemic response, using “testing, early isolation, free treatment of positive cases using advanced technologies, and engaging with society on mitigation strategies” to curb the spread of the virus. As a result, Seoul was able to reduce the socio-economic impact of the pandemic without imposing a full lockdown. 

How did your home city fare? We’d love to hear your thoughts on our official Facebook page here.


Featured image credit: vwalakte via Canva Pro

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany wrote articles on travel, food, and pop culture for TripZilla from 2019 to 2021. While she plans her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.

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