ABU DHABI // The capital is the safest cities in the world, according to a 300-strong online index.
Compiled by Numbeo.com, a database of user-contributed information, the Crime Index Rate puts the capital in 288th place among 288 cities in terms of crime, meaning it is the safest city on the planet. Dubai is in 279th place.
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said the figures indicate that the UAE has the lowest level of violent crimes in the world. .
It is a finding that is supported by the people who live in Abu Dhabi, who said that safety is one of the capital’s biggest selling points.
“We don’t deny that there is no crime at all – there is – and every society in the world faces it but the number of crimes is the lowest here,” said Emirati Salem Al Qubaisi.
“Whether you are deep in deserts or the ocean, you feel safe. Even if you leave your family alone here and you travel somewhere, you feel they are very safe here. The Government invests in security for all.”
The worst three cities for crime were all in central or south America, with Fortaleza, Brazil, topping the list, followed by San Pedro Sula in Honduras, and Caracas, Venezuela.
Cairo, in Egypt, was the worst-ranking city in the Middle East at 66th.
“I appreciate the attentiveness of police and care for all the community,” said Abu Dhabi resident Shankar Chauhan, from India.
“If you want to indulge in crime [in Abu Dhabi], security people will stop you immediately because always we are under security radar.
“In Abu Dhabi when we see police, we feel safe but, on the contrary, in India mostly we avoid going to police.”
A spokesman for Numbeo said: “We consider crime levels lower than 20 as being very low; crime levels between 20 and 40 as being low; crime levels between 40 and 60 as being moderate; crime levels between 60 and 80 as being high; and finally crime levels higher than 80 as being very high.”
Abu Dhabi’s Crime Index score was 14.41, while Dubai’s was 19.50, so both cities slip into the very low crime category.
According to statistics on Abu Dhabi Police’s website, the number of crimes per 100,000 population was 119.8 in 2011, a figure that decreased to 110.2 by 2013 and continued to fall to 90.6 in 2014 and 83.8 in 2015.
German expatriate Sophia said the reason she has lived in the capital for five years is because it is safe.
“I have never been harassed or felt awkward walking the streets here,” she said. “Some Asians just stare at us when we walk past on the streets, but harmlessly, even though it’s awkward. But the rest is fine when you follow the rules.”
Although rates are low, the crime that does exist are largely traffic offences, petty theft, scams, cyber crimes, assault, fighting, bounced cheques and wages going unpaid.
Last year, cyber crime cases were on rise. According to a survey by telecommunications company du, two out of five UAE residents have been victims of cyber crime.
Other minor cases often seen in Abu Dhabi are cases of sexual harassment, prostitution, drinking or possessing alcohol without licence and public displays of affection, which is considered a crime in the UAE.
An Arab expatriate living in Abu Dhabi also agreed with the index results. Lebanese Gameel Abdullah said: “Safety is here because of strict rules, implemented equally on all.
“Such strict rules and fear of being deported and losing jobs prevent people from committing crimes.”
Sudip Karki, from Nepal, added: “Data about the crime rate in Abu Dhabi is absolutely genuine and it’s visibly seen anywhere.
“A woman can walk alone at midnight and nobody would bother her.”