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Dubai, Abu Dhabi most competitive cities in ME

Abdul Basit / 13 March 2012

DUBAI - Dubai and Abu Dhabi have got top positions in the Middle East in terms of the most competitive cities in the region, according to a latest research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Commissioned by Citi, the report, entitled Hot Spots, analysed the characteristics of 120 cities worldwide. It measures competitiveness based on a city’s ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists.

Globally, Dubai has got 40th ranking and Abu Dhabi 41st. New York was ranked as the most competitive city in the world, with Singapore ranking 3rd after London.

In the Middle East, the UAE bagged first two positions among total nine cities. Dubai topped with 55.9 points, followed by Abu Dhabi at 55.8 points, and Doha at third position with 52.9.

Talking about opportunistic cities the report said: ‘Dubai, Santiago and Singapore are just three examples of cities with specific programmes in place to attract talent from elsewhere.’

‘Dubai is rapidly building a business friendly, zero tax environment to attract workers; Santiago is helping host a national initiative to directly incentivise hundreds of entrepreneurs from around the world to move there; and Singapore is bolstering its reputation as the gateway to Asia’s growth, with a first-rate living environment to support it,’ according to the report.

The report said there is a clear correlation between overall city competitiveness and physical capital. This suggests that physical capital is a prerequisite for competitiveness—good infrastructure that undergirds a city probably boosts all its other scores. Talking about Dubai and China the report said: ‘In an unprecedentedly short space of time, cities such as Dubai, Shanghai and Shenzhen have carved out a new physical identity to match their rapid economic emergence.’

By the key measure of Economic Strength, two cities in the region, Doha and Abu Dhabi, made it to the top 30 Cities list, while Dubai ranked 10th under the measure of Financial Maturity, and Riyadh came 8th globally as least risky in terms of Environmental and Natural Hazards.

‘This validates the attractiveness of major cities in the region as world-class metropolises, owing to their relatively stable economies, high rate of investment in physical and human infrastructure, as well as developed financial and commercial status,’ said Atiq Ur Rehman, Citi’s Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East.

‘Economic dynamism is definitely rising elsewhere, especially in Asian cities, but US and European cities have legacy advantages that give them a strong competitive edge,’ said Leo Abruzzese, the EIU’s global forecasting director. ‘In particular, these developed cities are better at attracting top talent from across the world,’ Abruzzese added.

For Hot Spots, the EIU developed a ‘Global City Competitiveness Index’ that measures cities across eight distinct categories of competitiveness and 31 individual indicators. Categories include economic strength, human capital, institutional effectiveness, financial maturity, global appeal, physical capital, social and cultural character and environment and natural hazards. A city’s overall ranking in the benchmark Index is a weighted score of the underlying categories. said Atiq Ur Rehman, Citi’s Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East.

‘Economic dynamism is definitely rising elsewhere, especially in Asian cities, but US and European cities have legacy advantages that give them a strong competitive edge,’ said Leo Abruzzese, the EIU’s global forecasting director. ‘In particular, these developed cities are better at attracting top talent from across the world,’ Abruzzese added.

For Hot Spots, the EIU developed a ‘Global City Competitiveness Index’ that measures cities across eight distinct categories of competitiveness and 31 individual indicators. Categories include economic strength, human capital, institutional effectiveness, financial maturity, global appeal, physical capital, social and cultural character and environment and natural hazards. A city’s overall ranking in the benchmark Index is a weighted score of the underlying categories. —abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

 

 
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