Dubai retained its top position in the MENA region on the Global Power City Index (GPCI) 2022. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Dubai retained its top position in the MENA region on the Global Power City Index (GPCI) 2022, issued by the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies in Japan, and climbed up three spots globally to rank 11th overall on the Index.

The city stood first regionally and fourth globally in the Cultural Interaction parameter of the 2022 report, improving from its fifth rank overall on the parameter in last year’s Index, according to a Dubai Media Office statement issued on Thursday.

The GPCI ranks the world’s major cities according to their ‘magnetism’, or power to attract people, capital and enterprises from around the world. The rankings are derived from scores on six parameters: Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Liveability, Environment, and Accessibility.

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World's best city to live

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, said the improvement in the city’s rankings on the Global Power City Index reflects the leadership’s vision to make Dubai the world’s best city to live, visit and work. His Highness said the rankings underscored the success of Dubai’s human-centred model of sustainable development.

“Driven by the farsighted policies of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai has emerged as one of the world’s great metropolises and a prominent global cultural centre, a dynamic hub for creativity and a destination for talent,” His Highness noted.

“The improvement in rankings reveals the richness and strength of Dubai’s vibrant cultural environment and its ethos of inclusive development that has brought well-being to its residents from around 200 nationalities. The progress in rankings on ‘Cultural Interaction’ shows Dubai’s emergence as a unique bridge between cultures and markets and its ability to promote engagement between people and institutions worldwide. The progress in various international indices encourages Dubai to raise excellence further and enhance its cultural and creative assets,” His Highness added.

City of the future

Commenting on Dubai’s progress in the GPCI rankings, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and member of the Dubai Council, said: “Dubai has developed an integrated strategy to consolidate its position as a city of choice for cultural practices, experiences and consumption. Driven by the vision of our forward-thinking leadership, Dubai has seen remarkable development as a global cultural hub. The successful hosting of Dubai Expo 2020, one of the world’s biggest cultural events, and the growth in visitors have added to the city’s cultural dynamism.

"The city saw more than 11.4 million overnight international visitors in just the first 10 months of the year. The number of new businesses in Dubai’s cultural and creative industries has also seen significant growth, catalysed by our enhanced value proposition and offerings for this sector. The progress achieved in the ‘Cultural Interaction’ parametre validates the success of our strategic plans and represents a major milestone in our efforts to achieve our leadership’s vision for Dubai.”

She added: “Dubai’s emergence as a major global hub for culture and creativity increases our determination to raise the emirate’s global competitiveness in these spheres.”

Top five rankings

The rankings of the top five cities in the ‘Cultural Interaction’ parameter have seen significant changes in the latest GPCI. Dubai has made rapid strides in this category over the last few years.

The issuer of the Index, the Mori Memorial Foundation’s Institute for Urban Strategies, said GPCI 2022 rankings were significantly impacted by how cities responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, which transformed working methods, lifestyles, and economic and cultural activities in cities. Cities in the Middle East significantly strengthened their performance on various parameters.

By tracking changes in international flight frequencies of cities since 2019, the GPCI analysed the responses and strategies of cities and countries to the pandemic. Dubai was the first city to reopen for international visitors since the onset of the pandemic.

It also created a safe environment for holding Expo 2020 from October 2021 to March 2022. Both achievements contributed to the emirate’s rise to third ranking in the ‘Tourist Attractions’ sub-parameter within the ‘Cultural Interaction’ parameter. The emirate also saw significant growth in other sub-parameters, including ‘Number of Foreign Visitors,’ ‘Cities with Direct International Flights,’ ‘Attractiveness of Shopping Options,’ and ‘Attractiveness of Dining Options.’