Stringent safety measures, easier Covid jab, rising confidence places Dubai on world's 2nd top city

The Emirate ranks highest in terms of health and safety among the top 10 cities in the index

Photo: File
Photo: File

Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 6 Dec 2021, 4:08 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Dec 2021, 5:21 PM

High Covid-19 vaccination rate, stringent health safety measures, increased confidence of local and international tourists in the emirate, and high disposable income of the residents have placed Dubai as the world’s top best city in Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations Index 2021.

The index covers six sub-indexes: economic and business performance, tourism performance, tourism policy and attractiveness, tourism infrastructure, health and safety, and sustainability.

Dubai has been open to international tourists since July 2020, and government efforts to mobilise and support the travel and tourism sector have been pivotal. The Emirate is the only city from an emerging country to feature in the top 10, said Rabia Yasmeen, consultant – project lead at Euromonitor International.

The emirate has slipped from 1st position in 2020.

Dubai ranks highest in terms of health and safety among the top 10 cities in the index. The top list includes Paris, Dubai, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, New York, London, Munich and Barcelona.

“The vaccination process is easy, and vaccination rates are high and stringent safety measures are in place for all public places and tourist spots. As a result, increasing visitor confidence among international and local tourists to the city,” she added.


The emirate, the commercial and business hub of the Middle East and North Africa region, is the only emerging market city in the top 10 for economic and business performance sub-index. In addition, Dubai has one of the highest levels of disposable income globally, offering great potential for the city to see improved expenditure on leisure, recreation and hotels.

For the tourism performance sub-index, Dubai is the leading city in terms of international tourist arrivals but it is second, after Paris, in the overall pillar due to a smaller domestic travel market. The emirate is rated the fourth-best for tourism policy and attractiveness.

When it comes to the health and safety sub-index, Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi were ranked second, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations Index 2021.

In the Middle East and Africa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Sharjah, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Cairo, Marrakech, Riyadh and Makkah are the top 10 city destinations.


The Middle East and Africa have the lowest number of cities featuring in the Top 100 City Destination Index 2021. There are 16 destinations in the overall ranking and only Dubai and Abu Dhabi feature among the top 25 globally. Most of the cities from the region rank below 75 in the index.

“Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi showed strong performance on Health and Safety and Tourism Infrastructure pillars. Dubai successfully initiated the long-awaited Expo, opening doors to both international and domestic visitors and boosting investment in Dubai and the wider region,” said Rabia Yasmeen.

“Abu Dhabi remains the first choice for many global events, especially sports. Its stadiums hosted the Indian Premier League as well as the ICC World Cup in 2021. Abu Dhabi has established a strong reputation for being the best ranking destination for health and safety,” she added.

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