Abu Dhabi has once again topped the list of the world’s leading cities for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to London-based analytics consortium, Deep Knowledge Group (DKG).

The Deep Knowledge Group released the report, "Ranking of the Safest Cities during the COVID-19 Pandemic for the Second Quarter of 2021", which was based on 114 parameters covering key aspects of the COVID-19 response. The ranking focused on five main categories, including government efficiency, economic resilience, efficiency of the quarantine system, healthcare management and vaccination rates. The categories were applied to 72 cities and municipalities around the world, where 50 cities with the highest ranks among them were selected and analysed to identify the best practices and the challenges they encounter.

The first version of the report was published in April 2021 and ranked Abu Dhabi as the safest city in the world during the pandemic.

This achievement was the result of the wise guidance and continuous support of the Abu Dhabi leadership, that is continuing to follow the footsteps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in making the UAE a safe and prosperous country to live in. The ranking was also made possible through the efforts of senior management and staff in various public and private institutions, along with the dedication of field teams and healthcare professionals.

Abu Dhabi topped the ranking due to measures that contributed to enhancing the speed and effectiveness of its response to the pandemic. As a result of these measures, the health and safety of the community was protected, while maintaining an open and competitive economy. Abu Dhabi also maintained its position as a pioneer in scientific research, digital initiatives and technology, and a leading destination for medical tourism.

DKG ranked cities identified as having the most effective response to the pandemic. The cities were assessed on: healthcare management (efficient infrastructure, human competencies and efficient medical personnel, advanced tools, effectiveness of diagnostic systems, number of beds in healthcare facilities and spending on the healthcare sector); efficient health quarantine systems (home quarantine scope and duration, economic support to quarantined people, travel guidelines and restrictions, legal action against home quarantine violators); vaccination rates (availability of the vaccine, vaccination rates per capita and home-vaccination services); government efficiency (monitoring systems, crisis management, trust in government and digital services); and resilience of the economy (incentive packages, exemptions, social support and credit rating). Abu Dhabi was followed by Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv and Dubai.

Abu Dhabi’s robust response to the pandemic ensured that the Emirate maintained a low rate of positive cases and one of the lowest mortality rates per capita in the world, while adapting and scaling up healthcare provision to protect every member of society. Within weeks, field hospitals, mass testing centres and screening facilities, including drive-thrus, were established. New initiatives prioritised vulnerable groups, including providing free testing and health checks, distributing millions of free meals, providing health awareness programmes in multiple languages and mental health support.

The Emirate has led research and development, facilitated scientific discoveries to tackle the virus and collaborated in global efforts to find a vaccine, including participating in the world’s first Phase III trials of an inactivated viral vaccine.

Abu Dhabi has played a key role in the UAE’s vaccination campaign, leading to more than 88% of the UAE’s population having already received a free vaccine.

Abu Dhabi continues to work and develop to maintain the effectiveness of its strategies in dealing with the pandemic and to share its inspiring experience globally to help in eliminating the effects of the COVID-19 virus in various parts of the world.