DUBAI 18 November 2020: Abu Dhabi has powered its way into the world’s top-ten cities with the most promising outlook, according to the Global Cities Outlook by management consulting firm, Kearney.
Dubai has also improved its ranking substantially and is at 27th spot.
Long-term investment in governance and economic well-being are paying off and Abu Dhabi and Dubai are rapidly catching up to their North American and European contemporaries.
The marked advance of Middle Eastern cities Global Cities Index was led by the strong emphasis on national transformation and economic diversification in Gulf countries. Still, New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo retain their respective top four positions, highlighting the breadth of advantages needed to reach and maintain the highest levels of global status.
The GCO results, in comparison, show more volatility in the rankings, reflecting intensifying competition to secure future global status. London retains its leading position, but most other cities rise or fall dramatically. Cities that saw a rise in their outlook performance mainly improved in the areas of innovation and economics, where long-term investments were beginning to show results. Abu Dhabi and Dubai topped the economics metric in infrastructure, thanks to their openness to the private sector and robust engagement in public–private partnerships. For cities of the United States, the future outlook is particularly uncertain – several drop out of the top 10, 25, 30, and 50.
“While the full ramifications of the pandemic will only be understood in the coming months and years, it has shattered the status quo, revealing new challenges and opportunities for city leaders. What is already abundantly clear in the emerging reality is that previous status will not be enough to secure continued global prominence. Instead, city leaders will need to make strategic choices and investments, which are likely to look very different from years past, if they are to emerge stronger and more resilient,” commented Rudolph Lohmeyer, Partner, National Transformations Institute, Kearney Middle East.
While each city will necessarily adapt in its own way to cater for variations in geography, demography, and industrial strength—among other factors— there is a need for leaders to drive innovative progress in three vital areas;
“As cities prepare for life after COVID-19, the Global Cities Report provides a snapshot of where they stood as they entered the crisis – a recent, but very different, past. This year’s results can be used as a reference point by city leaders to assess where they have come from as they prepare for a future of unknowns,” concluded Antoine Nasr, Partner, Government Practice Leader, Kearney Middle East.