STOCK Dubai skyline museum of the future
Dubai jumped up the rankings to 9th place on the list of cities with the most positive outlook for the future. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been ranked 9th and 11th respectively among cities likeliest to assume and sustain leadership roles in the years to come, according to the 2022 Global Cities Report published by Kearney - a global management-consulting firm.

The Global Cities Report looks at the impact of socio-economic and political developments on 156 cities and their futures. It aims to quantify the ability of a city and its leadership to attract, retain and generate inflows and outflows of capital, people, and ideas.

The Global Cities Index (GCI) measures current performance, while Global Cities Outlook (GCO) analyses markers of future performance. The UAE is represented in the top 30 of the Global Cities Index as well, with Dubai rising to 22nd place.

New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Beijing make up the top five global cities according to the report. While these cities have maintained their ranks for six years, political and economic uncertainties have had an impact on the scores, the report noted.

Global Cities Outlook 2022

  1. London
  2. Paris
  3. Luxembourg
  4. Munich
  5. Stockholm
  6. New York
  7. Dublin
  8. Copenhagen
  9. Abu Dhabi
  10. Amsterdam
  11. Dubai

In the Middle East, Dubai tops the list in terms of Cultural Experience, which the firm says is one of the hardest criteria to quantify.

Positive outlook for MENA

The region has seen positive markers overall despite a global downturn resulting from inflation, political turmoil and economic slowdown. This, Kearney’s experts said, is a direct result of continued efforts from the regional leaders.

The Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has had a jump in points due to cities hosting iconic global events resulting in increased local and international tourism. This, the report added, includes the Expo 2020 Dubai, and the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Saudi Arabia’s National Culture Strategy in 2019 has seen Riyadh record a 46-point increase in rankings, the highest increase in the Cultural Experience category.

EY revealed that in their EY MENA IPO Eye report that the MENA region witnessed a 500 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of companies listing. In H1 2022, 24 IPOs raised proceeds of $13.5 billion. The second quarter of 2022 saw nine IPOs raise approximately $9 billion in proceeds in the region.

Stock - Saudi economy / Riyadh skyline
Riyadh recorded a 46-point increase in rankings in the Cultural Experience category. Saudi and the UAE led the IPO boom this year with listings including those of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Borouge plc, TECOM Group, and Saudi Home Loans Company among others.

UAE and Saudi lead growth

This is significant as there has been a drop globally to the tune of 46 per cent in the number of IPOs and 58 per cent in the proceeds raised. Saudi and the UAE led the IPO boom this year with listings including those of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Borouge plc, TECOM Group, and Saudi Home Loans Company among others.

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) revealed that the UAE ranked first in the region on the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2022, issued by Economist Impact, compared to the third place in the region for the year 2021.

According to the index, the UAE ranked first of all MENA countries in the overall food security index and in the food availability indicator, second in food quality and safety, and fifth in food sustainability and adaptation as well as affordability.

The Global Cities Report explains that food affordability and availability are key pain points for city leaders, since lower income groups are most affected by this metric. Given current inflation trends, and anticipating the trends to continue for the next year, UAE’s rank in food security is advantageous to maintaining a positive outlook.

Bright future

London leads the GCO list, but the experts behind the report agree that European cities still being so high on the index can be attributed to the lag in data used for creating the ranking. London’s economic markers have had a serious tumble in the last month, with Elizabeth Truss resigning her post as Prime Minister following a drastic budget announcement that rocked the economy.

The other cities on the list are Paris, Luxembourg, Munich, Stockholm, New York, Dublin, Copenhagen, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam and Dubai.