Dubai has been named among the world’s 10 most influential cities in a new list published by US magazine Forbes.
While traditional big-hitters London and New York top the list, Dubai is ranked seventh, backed by its position as the world’s best connected city, according to Forbes.
The emirate boasts nonstop flights at least three times a week to 93 percent of global cities outside of its home region, the magazine said.
It added that Abu Dhabi, which ranked joint 20th, is expected to rise in the list in the next few years.
A total of 58 leading metropolitan areas were ranked in categories including the amount of foreign direct investment they have attracted; the concentration of corporate headquarters; air connectivity; strength of producer services; financial services; technology and media power; and racial diversity – to deliver the final results.
On Dubai’s rise, the report said: „Much of what we see in the media about Middle Eastern cities are scenes of destruction and chaos. Yet in a relatively quiet corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is ascending, ranked seventh on our list.
„Its globalisation strategy hinges largely on its expanding airport, which includes the world’s largest terminal and an even larger airport under construction. It ranks first in the world in our air connectivity ranking, with nonstop flights at least three times a week to 93 percent of global cities outside of its home region.
„Its hub location and business-friendly climate have made it a favorite for companies looking to establish a Middle East headquarters or point of presence. As a crossroads of humanity, Dubai is unparalleled among global cities for its diversity: 86 percent of its residents are foreign born.“
Apart from London, New York and Dubai, the top 10 cities also included Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Sydney and Los Angeles.
Forbes said in North America up and comers include No 14 Houston, with its domination of the US energy industry, a huge export sector and an increasingly diverse population.
Overseas, other urban centres that could move up in the future include No 16 Seoul, Shanghai and No 20 Abu Dhabi. But outside of Dubai no other cities in our top 20 come from the developing world.
The Indian megacities of Delhi and Mumbai ranked in the low 30s along with Johannesburg in South Africa.
In Latin America, Forbes said the place to watch is No 23 Sao Paulo but until these areas can develop adequate infrastructure none can be expected to crack the top 20 for at least a decade.