Dubai ranked among the world’s most powerful cities for attracting expatriates and businesses. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives/Arshad Ali

Dubia: Dubai has been ranked for the first time among the world’s most powerful cities for attracting expatriates and businesses.

In the latest Global Power City Index, which rates nearly 50 cities according to their “magnetism” or power to attract enterprises and human capital from around the world, Dubai was ranked the most powerful city in the Middle East and 23rd place globally, ahead of some popular destinations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. 

The annual index was first published in 2008 by the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies, a research body established by urban developer Mori Building.

It ranks major metropolises in the fields of economy, livability, research and development, cultural interaction, environment and accessibility.

To be considered a top city to live in, the cities included in the study were rated on the basis of working environment, cost of living and well-being of residents, among others.

London took the crown as the most powerful city, followed by New York, Tokyo, Paris and Singapore in the top five.

Livability, economy

Dubai was ranked ahead of Washington DC, Vancouver, Geneva, Madrid, Boston, Barcelona, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.

The city earned the highest score in terms of livability and significant votes for economy. 

However, Dubai scored lowest in environment, which takes into account air quality, natural environment and ecology; as well as in research and development.

The annual ranking is considered an important benchmark for investors and individuals looking to pursue opportunities abroad, especially since people today are not just on the lookout for destinations with strong economies, but also offer great lifestyles.

Attracting global players

“Global players today are seeking cities not just with a strong business environment, but those additionally offering improved lifestyles: high quality residences, diverse cultural and retail facilities, a stress-free transportation network and rich natural environment,” said Shingo Tsuji, director of the Mori Memorial Foundation and CEO of Mori Building.

“For global cities to thrive, they need to bolster their overall magnetic power: this will help them attract talent and investment from around the world.”