Dubai was acknowledged as a rising star among the world's dream-factor cities, recording its highest placing on an influential global list.
Moving up to 17th, Dubai is the only Middle Eastern city in the top 20 of the Global Power City Index.
London and New York stay as the top two cities, largely because they continue to attract residents from around the globe. The gallery above shows the top 20 cities.
The system tracks performance across six factors – the economy, research and development, cultural interaction, liveability, environment and accessibility – crucial to city living and persuading international workers to become locals.
Since 2008, the annual index has ranked about 40 major cities in terms of their power to entice creative individuals and enterprises from around the world.
Cities are rated on the basis of 70 indicators and in 2020 the response to the coronavirus pandemic was added to the list.
Dubai scores on culture
Dubai first appeared on the list four years ago in 23rd position, and this year it has moved to its highest position of 17th.
It also has top 10 positions in two of the categories – cultural interaction and accessibility.
Cultural interaction includes the number of tourist attractions, the magnificent Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall no doubt helping the city shoot up the rankings, and all this despite the Dubai Expo being postponed until 2021 by the pandemic.
Accessibility looks at all aspects of travel, from the convenience of arrival and departure to commuting times and bicycle infrastructure.
Istanbul in Turkey (at 34), Tel Aviv in Israel (41) and Cairo, Egypt (46) are the only other Middle East regional cities on the list.
London vs New York
London continues to hold off New York, Tokyo, Paris and Singapore in a top five unchanged in three years. London and New York also pulled further ahead of the competition.
The UK capital has maintained its pole position for the ninth consecutive year and was placed in the top 10 of all categories except environment.
It produced a remarkable improvement in accessibility, where it took first place, replacing Paris. Four international airports helped its case, as did direct rail and Tube access to Heathrow, the busiest of the four. The Eurostar train also helped the city pick up points.
With its free museums and galleries alongside world-class theatres, London also topped the cultural interaction section, although its economic ratings fell for the second consecutive year.
New York topped the economy category, a key factor in any city’s pulling power.
The Big Apple improved its scores for employment and support for workers, also securing the highest ratings for variety of workplace options. It also consolidated top place for research and development.
The city lost out in liveability, coming in at 33rd in a category likely to gain significance in 2021 as the world continues to grapple with Covid-19.