Dubai: Dubai’s credentials as the place to do business has been given a firm push with a new ranking naming it the third “most dynamic” city in the world, just after San Francisco and London and ahead of Chinese metropolises, Shanghai and Wuhan.
In all, the pros and cons of 111 business hubs were filtered through in a new study — the City Momentum Index — put out by the real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.
In particular, the rankings reflect how well or otherwise a city is able to get ahead and meet its socio-economic goals and the momentum this can derive for its commercial realty. To cap a fine performance, the city must be able to sustain the momentum over the longer term.
New York, Austin, Hong Kong, San Jose and Singapore make up the other five cities in the Top 10.
Dubai also figures in the list of “elite cities” in the Index, based on the fact that they — San Francisco, London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles and Tokyo apart from Dubai — accounted for a quarter of direct commercial real estate investments in the period 2012-13.
“Dubai is bouncing back following a deep slump in its economy and real estate market...property prices are rising but growth appears to be on a sounder footing than in...2006-08, underpinned by the city’s strong global connectivity and its status as the service hub for the region,” the report said. The city’s ranking also reflects its status as a staging point for the “increasingly dynamic sub-Saharan Africa”.
Dubai topped in parameters set for bringing about quick-silver changes in “socio-economic” and “commercial real estate” momentum, but lagged in developing “high-value incubators”.
“Events such as Expo 2020, along with Dubai’s strong global connectivity and growing status as a service hub for Mena and southern/central Asia will support sustainable momentum over the longer term horizon,” Alan Robertson, CEO at JLL Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.
It is a view that has broad support. Right through the last eight weeks, the absorption rates of office space in Dubai has shot up significantly. “What the Dubai Expo 2020 announcement has done is provide the space to grow,” Monica Malek, economist at EFG-Hermes, said while speaking at a Meed conference in Dubai last week. “The Expo will move ahead with development plans that were already there — this is what makes it long and sustainable.”
Incidentally, there is one other city in the rankings that has got a 2020 timetable to execute — Tokyo, which is hosting Summer Olympic Games.