Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been recognised among the world's most competitive cities, ranking 40 and 41 respectively, out of 120 major cities across the world, according to a new Economist Intelligence Unit research report, commissioned by Citi.
The report, entitled Hot Spots, which came out on Tuesday has shown that European cities are the world's most competitive, with London ranking first in Europe and second globally. It ranks the most competitive cities in the world for their demonstrated ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists.
With a combined population of about 750 million, the 120 cities ranked in Hot Spots represent approximately 29 percent of the global economy and generated a combined GDP of US$20.24 trillion in 2011.
Two cities in the region, Doha and Abu Dhabi, made the top 30 Cities list for Economic Strength, one of the key measures in the report. Dubai ranked 10th under the measure of Financial Maturity and Riyadh came in 8th globally as the least risky in terms of Environmental and Natural Hazards.
The research report has also found that a "middle tier" of mid-sized cities is emerging as a key driver of global growth.
Although most companies target a combination of advanced economies and emerging market megacities, the fastest overall growth is found in a middle tier of mid-sized cities with populations of 2-5 million such as Abu Dhabi, Lima, Bandung, Dalian, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Pune, Qingdao, and Surabaya.
These mid-size cities are collectively forecast to grow by 8.7 percent annually over the next five years, ahead of the megacities (with population over 10 million) on which many firms focus.
According to the report, the most competitive cities in Europe are: London (2nd), Paris (joint 4th), Zurich (7th), Frankfurt (11th), Geneva (joint 13th), Amsterdam (17th), Stockholm (joint 20th), Copenhagen (joint 23rd), Vienna (joint 25th), Dublin (27th) and Madrid (28th).