By Andy Sambidge
Emirate jumps six places to 23rd in Economist ranking of most competitive cities in 2025
Dubai has jumped up a new global list predicting the world's most competitive cities in 2025.
The emirate has risen six places from last year's edition of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) list to 23rd, making it the top ranked city in the Middle East.
The Hot Spots 2025: Benchmarking the Future Competitiveness of Cities study, which was commissioned by Citi, lists a total of 120 cities.
Doha placed 24th, a rise of 14 places from 2012 while Abu Dhabi (39th) improved by two places.
Kuwait City was placed 63rd, rising 12 places, Muscat was ranked 64th, up 14 places; while Riyadh was 87th, rising 11 places.
“Dubai is a good all-round performer and improves its ranking in seven out of eight categories. Its competitiveness is in part owing to the fact that the city has been planning actively for a future without petrochemicals for some time,” the report said.
Globally, the 10 most competitive cities in 2025 are forecast to be New York (1st), London (2nd), Singapore (3rd), Hong Kong (4th), Tokyo (5th), Sydney (6th), Paris (7th), Stockholm (8th), Chicago (9th), and Toronto (10th).
"Around the world, cities continue to evolve as the centres of innovation and engines of economic growth," said Citi CEO Michael Corbat. "Core to Citi's strategy is a focus on the 150 cities we believe will shape the world in the years ahead."
"Major cities in India, Brazil, and other emerging markets are expected to improve their competitive position and gain ground on many cities in more established economies," added Leo Abruzzese, the EIU's global forecasting director.
"Strong economic growth, improving physical infrastructure, and increasingly skilled labour forces will boost emerging cities' competitiveness, though North American and Western European cities will ultimately retain their competitive advantage."
The study ranked across eight distinct categories of competitiveness and 32 individual indicators. Categories included economic strength, physical capital, financial maturity, institutional character, human capital, global appeal, social and cultural character, and environmental and natural hazards.
Sao Paulo, Incheon and Mumbai were top movers between 2012 and 2025 while New York continued its reign as the world's most competitive city.
According to the forecast, New York is the most competitive city today, and will remain so through 2025. It tops the rankings in terms of financial maturity, and is among the most competitive in institutional character and economic strength.
It added that the Eurozone crisis will impact cities in Southern and Eastern Europe, creating a 'competitiveness divide' in the region.
For example, Madrid (joint 46th), Rome (68th), and Bucharest (80th) all fell in the rankings from 2012 to 2025.
It will rise even further thanks to the futuristic vision of the Ruler of Dubai.