An annual ranking of global cities was topped by Bahrain’s capital and followed shortly by several GCC capitals.
Rabat – The AIRINC Global Cities Index ranked Bahrain’s capital Manama as the most financially attractive city in the world, with several other GCC capitals earning a high ranking. Manama came first out of 150, with Riyadh taking fourth place, Kuwait City sixth, and Abu Dhabi seventh. Dubai and Oman’s capital Muscat ranked 12th and 16th, respectively.
The ranking by AIRINC, a US company which facilitates outsourcing and international recruitment, published lists of cities with the most attractive lifestyle, financial attractiveness, and overall attractiveness. GCC cities made up a large part of those deemed most attractive “financially” because of the ease of doing business and extremely low taxes on high-income earners.
Also in the Greater Middle East, Casablanca, Morocco featured in the AIRINC ranking, coming in 76th overall. The city scored 92nd for lifestyle, significantly higher in the ranking than Manama, and 50th for “financial attractiveness. Noticeably few cities with low taxes for the rich performed well in the “lifestyle” category, with the exception of Swiss cities Geneva and Zurich.
While the GCC cities ranked high for their financial attractiveness, only Dubai made the top 30 for “overall attractiveness.” Dubai ranked 30th in the overall ranking. It was also the top GCC city in the “lifestyle” ranking, where it earned 48th place, while Manama took the 116th spot.
The fact that most GCC states barely tax high-income earners makes them attractive for those who wish to evade taxes in their native nation. Manama featured in the top three with notorious tax havens in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.
Global tax evasion like that facilitated by GCC states, Caribbean tax havens, and European countries such as the Netherlands and Switzerland, is a growing global problem. Tax evasion sees roughly $600 billion missing from much-needed state tax revenues annually. Instead of funding education and healthcare, an increasingly concentrated wealthy financial elite instead collects these funds.