As Reuters reports, Vienna, Austria's grand capital on the Danube river, offers the highest quality of life of all cities in the world, while the Iraqi capital Baghdad, once more took its place at the bottom of a liveability list compiled by consulting firm Mercer.
The survey of 230 cities helps companies and organizations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It uses dozens of criteria such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.
Global centers London, Paris, Tokyo and New York City did not even make the top 30, lagging behind most big German, Scandinavian and Australian cities.
Vienna's 1.7 million inhabitants benefit from the city's cafe culture and museums, theaters and operas. Rents and public transport costs in the city whose architecture is marked by its past as the center of the Habsburg empire are cheap compared with other western capitals.
Switzerland's Zurich, New Zealand's Auckland, Germany's Munich and Canada's Vancouver followed Vienna - which reached the best position for the seventh time in a row - in the top five of most pleasant cities to live in.
As Ecns.cn reports, real estates or luxury commodities are no longer satisfying the wealthy Chinese, as they head overseas to snap up islands, a new signature to mark their status, Cankao Xiaoxi (Reference News), a newspaper affiliated to Xinhua reported Tuesday.
Lin Dong, 42, a Guangdong entrepreneur who made his fortune from a medical equipment company, is one of a small but growing number of rich Chinese acquiring their own islands. Since acquiring his first island nine years ago, Lin has bought more than 30 islands for 30 million yuan ($4.83 million).
Lin has founded China's first association of island owners, China Island Owners Association, which currently has 53 members, two thirds of whom are from Chinese mainland and the rest are overseas Chinese.
There are at least 600 island owners in China, Lin estimates.
By the end of this month, around 70 wealthy Chinese assembled by Lin will head out to Fiji, Tuvalu and Tahiti to purchase islands in a group tour.
Islands in China come with many restrictions on their use and a lease of just 50 years while most overseas islands are sold freehold, part of the reason why foreign islands are a hot cake.
Lin said, there is an elite group that buys islands for pleasure alone, while some look at islands from an investment point of view, mostly corporations planning tourism or fishing development.
"Buying islands is on the top of the pyramid of luxury commodities, and wealthy Chinese are showing growing interest in overseas islands in recent years", said Lin.
In march, four islands in Fiji, Greece, the United Kingdom and Canada were put up for auction on China's largest online shopping platform Taobao, and three of them were sold within 12 hours. A construction magnate in Yunnan province bought islands in Greece for 6.2 million yuan and in Canada for 1.7 million yuan.
A wealthy Chinese woman recently purchased Slipper Island, one of New Zealand's few privately owned islands, as a gift for her daughter. The 224 hectare island was sold for nearly 35 million yuan.
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