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Dubai tops GCC in global cities ranking

Dubai tops GCC in global cities ranking

The cities were ranked on business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural exchange, and political engagement

Dubai has been ranked first in the GCC according to the latest ‘Global Cities’ report released by AT Kearney at the World Government Summit.

The cities were ranked on five factors including – business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural exchange, and political engagement.

Dubai ranked in the first quartile in most dimensions, the report found.

The emirate is one the world’s top five cities for imports and exports, and serves as the major business trading hub in the GCC region.

It is also a key destination for international tourism, and houses Emirates airline and two international airports. The city also scored high in human capital, thanks to its huge expatriate population.

Dubai’s top position was also in part due to the range of international sporting events it hosts, including
the Tennis Championships, the Desert Classic golf tournament, the Dubai World Cup horse race, and the Rugby Sevens.

“Recent changes in public sector administration will serve the nation well, with future-oriented and innovative concepts such as the Ministry of Happiness and Tolerance. The newly launched Industrial Strategy 2030 will transform Dubai into a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable, innovation-focused businesses,” the report said.

However, the city still has room to grow, it added.

Michael Romkey, principal with AT Kearney and co-author of the report, said: “Dubai has a high growth potential among the cities in the GCC region across all dimensions and continues to capitalise on its current capabilities and position.”

Regionally, Dubai was followed by Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, Kuwait City, Muscat and Manama.

Abu Dhabi was ranked high because of its political influence, increased investment and its move towards becoming a cultural hub.

“Doha has grown rapidly in the past few years, and the city’s future continues to look bright, reinforced by
the world’s highest GDP per capita,” the report said.

“The government is well on its way to achieving its goal of becoming the world’s leading sports city by hosting international events such as the World Cup 2022. These ambitious goals have inspired the city to launch mega-projects to transform its infrastructure.”

The cities of Riyadh and Jeddah are also anticipated to move upwards in the global rankings because of the key role they are expected to play in implementing Saudi’s Vision 2030.

Antoine Nasr, partner with AT Kearney and co-author of the report, stated: “As regional cities continue to
build their global influence, we expect to see strategies founded on increased innovation and
differentiation, such as Riyadh’s efforts to become a regional logistics hub for the Middle East.”

Globally, New York, London and Paris ranked as the world’s most global cities, although the attractiveness of London as a global hub may change in the future given the Brexit vote, the report added.

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