Charming Shanghai | What they say
Linda Painan, chairwoman of The Expatriate Center
Having lived here for 25 years, I have witnessed Shanghai grow from strength to strength, becoming more and more developed, both in terms of physical infrastructure and soft skills. Physical infrastructure is always the easiest to copy and build, but the speed at which Shanghai has developed in terms of services and its conduciveness of living has greatly surpassed most other international cities, too. For example, one can now leave the house comfortably without having to bring along physical cash－just a phone in hand will do.
Shanghai culture is uniquely cosmopolitan and yet deeply rooted in traditions. Though it is a large melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures, it also manages to stay unique in its own way. I would use words such as "fast-paced", "exciting", "open", "welcoming" and "international" to describe it.
Also, Shanghai is hungry to embrace other best practices by consistently holding dialogues with local expats to understand their needs, from religion to work to living in this city, and then refining policies based on those opinions. These are very clear signs of a welcoming city that is yearning to improve.
Kamran Vossoughi, president and CEO of Michelin China
Shanghai is a window into a China that is open to the world. Shanghai is the place where East meets West, and where China meets the world. Shanghai culture is amazing, and the city is filled with smart people, dynamic interactions, a willingness to move and an appetite for being modern while embracing diversity and creating a business friendly environment. Shanghai is a people-centric city. I stayed in Shanghai during the pandemic and my perception and love of the city has changed as I experienced a city that cares about its citizens regardless of their nationality and origin. I felt protected and safe during the crisis. I was very touched when Shanghai set up a hotline for foreigners to help them during the crisis.
Shanghai is a big city in the world. While it is deeply rooted in Chinese culture, Shanghai has also moved with the times and became a modern metropolis. From doing sports and running on Bund to traditional Chinese art or modern Western art museums, every activity is feasible in Shanghai. What I like the most are the traditional wet markets, restaurants offering various dishes and the numerous cultural activities that are available here.
Diane Ho, executive coach for Transcend Beyond
Before I came, Shanghai was just an old city with a historical charm in my mind, but after living here for 20 years, I see Shanghai as a global city comparable to other leading cities in the world. One can also find suburban areas which allow you to enjoy the bustling city while living in a relatively quiet community. There is always something new and interesting in the arts, music and culinary scenes to explore in the city.