By Andy Sambidge
New Global Cities Index ranks Dubai in 27th place, only Gulf representative.
Dubai is the Gulf's only entry in a new list to find the perfect 'global city'.Analysts at Foreign Policy, AT Kearney and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs have joined forces to create the Global Cities Index.
The index ranks cities’ metro areas according to 24 metrics across five sectors including business activity, information exchange, cultural experience, human capital and political engagement.
While New York emerged as the number one global city this year, followed by London, Paris and Tokyo, Dubai came 27th in the list of the world's top 60 cities.
It scored highest (14th) in the information exchange category, while it came 19th in human capital and 21st in business activity. It performed less well (44th) in cultural experience and political engagement.
The Big Apple beat out other global powerhouses largely on the back of its financial markets, while runner-up London won the cultural dimension by a mile.
Although the winners may be the usual suspects, index organisers say they have plenty of new competition on their heels.
Buoyed by their strong financial links, Hong Kong and Singapore finished fifth and seventh respectively while Beijing (12), Shanghai (20), and Dubai (27) are expected to jump up the list next year.
The only other Middle East city to feature in the top 60 was Tel Aviv in Israel which was ranked at 42nd.
"As diverse as they are, the most successful global cities have several things in common: As New York proves, global cities are those that excel across multiple dimensions," the Index report said.
"Global cities continuously adapt to changing circumstances. London may be the city hardest hit by the global credit crunch, but chances are that it will leverage its abundant global financial ties to bounce back," the report added.
Various ways some of this year’s 60 global cities manage to use urbanisation and globalisation to their advantage.
Open Cities: Large cities with a free press, open markets, easy access to information and technology, low barriers to foreign trade and investment, and loads of cultural opportunities.
Who they are: New York, London, Paris.
Lifestyle Centres: Laid-back cities that enjoy a high quality of life and focus on having fun. They attract worldly people and offer cultural experiences to spare.
Who they are: Los Angeles, Toronto.
Regional Gateways: Efficient economic powerhouses with favourable incentives for businesses and easy access to the natural resources of their region.
Who they are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Chicago.
National Leaders: Large cities that shape the collective identity of their countries. They do well in international business, but not because they’re necessarily globally connected; in these places, foreign firms can find something no other city offers.
Who they are: Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing.
Policy Hubs: Cities with outsized influence on national and international policy debates. Their think tanks, international organisations, and political institutions shape policies that affect all people.
Who they are: Washington, Brussels.
Platform Cities: Large hubs in typically small countries that attract huge amounts of investment through their strategic locations and international connections.
Who they are: Amsterdam, Dubai, Copenhagen.
If I draw a conclusion on the title, it would be that Dubai is nearing perfection..... having finally made the list of perfect cities, ranked in their various degrees of perfection. However, on closer examination, it turns out that Dubai only makes the cut coz of its location. A factor it has no control over, really.
I think the quality of life ranking by Mercer is a far more relevant evaluation for those looking for a good place to live. But of course since no Arab city even came in the top 50 ranking, you did not hear much about it in the spin machine's media outlets, did you? Rainigade's comment is right on the money. If you read more about the rankings on Foreign Policy's website, you will conclude that Dubai made it on the list because of its location.
if the criteria includes greed, sewerage issues, whale imprisonment etc., we should be winning pretty much hands down...