Dubai named global ‘City of Opportunity’

Dubai named global ‘City of Opportunity’

Emirate ranks global first for the lowest tax rate, construction activity and airport access

By Issac John

Published: Thu 22 May 2014, 11:18 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:35 PM

Dubai ranks fifth in global affordability that measures cost of living, purchasing power and corporate tax rates. — AFP

Dubai has been named a global “City of Opportunity” by PwC, which also ranked the emirate the world’s first for lowest total tax rate, construction activity and airport access.

As the only Middle Eastern city in PwC’s “Cities of Opportunity” report, Dubai has been positioned 16th overall in the latest study that takes the pulse of 30 cities at the heart of the world’s economy and culture.

Dubai ranked fifth in global affordability that measures cost of living, purchasing power and corporate tax rates, behind only San Francisco, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Toronto, PwC said in a statement.

Dubai was also ranked seventh as an urban gateway, replacing Los Angeles in the Top 10, bolstered by the efficiency of its airport connections to central business districts for which it ranked 1st globally.

Dubai fared well in other categories as well: ranked second for working age population; fourth lowest crime rates; fourth for attracting Foreign Direct Investment; seventh for rate of real GDP growth; eighth for internet access in school; and 12th for its healthcare system, outscoring all US cities.

However, Dubai ranked 30th (last of out the cities studied) for its sustainability and natural resources which looks at elements such as the proportion of a city’s land area designated as public recreational and green space, and the percentage of recycled waste.

Cities of Opportunity analyses the development of 30 global cities, and through their performance seeks to add insight on the policies and actions that make cities function best. Dubai’s greatest advantage is cost-effectiveness, offering better value than most developed or emerging cities and ranking fifth as the world’s most affordable city.

Hazem Galal, Middle East Partner and Global leader of PwC’s Cities and Local Government team, said the report highlighted the remarkable progress Dubai has seen over the last few years, in its efforts to position itself as a global gateway and an easy place to do business.

“The combination of its low corporate tax rates, the proximity of its airports to business, its cost of living and quality of life mean that Dubai continues its ascent into the world’s top cities. Looking to the future to continue this upwards trend, areas the city should focus on improving include its performance in sustainability and the natural environment, as well as its educational framework,” he said.

Gus Schellekens, PwC’s Middle East Sustainability Leader said, Dubai obviously had to contend with an extreme climate which creates a heavy reliance on air conditioning and desalinated water. “However, since 2006 when sustainability was an omission in many government visions, Dubai has taken great steps to make it a central part of its policy and planning.”

Action is now being taken across a range of areas for example, the amount of public park space being created, the introduction of stricter building codes, and the introduction of renewable energy and demand side management programs, Schellekens pointed out.

London, which finished first in three of the 10 indicators — economic clout, city gateway and technology readiness, a category it ties with Seoul — posts the highest score for the first time, with New York coming in second. In addition, London finishes a narrow second to Paris in intellectual capital and innovation and a narrow second to Sydney in demographics and livability, both key areas for future urban prosperity.

New York continues to show strong consistency across most of the categories. Rounding out the top five cities are Singapore, Toronto and San Francisco.


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