Dubai ranked world's fastest growing metro city

Dubai global hub for transportation, tourism, trade and professional services: report

Smile, you’re in Dubai. The emirate has just been ranked as the world’s fastest growing metropolitan area relative to its national economy.

Of course, as Dubai residents know all too well, the city is indeed growing at the speed of thought, with infrastructure development happening in every nook and corner of the emirate.

And now we have confirmation of the same from the Washington-based Brookings Institution, a private non-profit organisation.

According to the institution’s Global Metro Monitor, “no metropolitan area grew faster relative to its national economy than Dubai, where the business and financial services sector helped drive 4.5 per cent growth in GDP per capita, versus 1.6 per cent growth for the United Arab Emirates as a whole.”

GDP Per Capita Growth Rate

 

 

Metro

Nation

Difference

1

Dubai

4.5%

1.6%

2.9%

2

Hefei

9.5%

6.7%

2.8%

3

Wuhan

9.3%

6.7%

2.6%

4

Vancouver

3.7%

1.2%

2.5%

5

Calgary

3.1%

1.2%

1.9%

6

Xiamen

8.6%

6.7%

1.9%

7

Changsha

8.6%

6.7%

1.8%

8

Perth

3.4%

1.9%

1.5%

9

Austin

1.9%

0.4%

1.5%

10

Chengdu

8.1%

6.7%

1.4%

Source: Brookings analysis of data from Oxford Economics, Moody’s Analytics, and US Census Bureau

“The most populous city in the UAE, Dubai is a global hub for transportation, tourism, trade and professional services,” the report elaborates.

“Thanks to an ambitious strategy to diversify its economy, Dubai no longer relies on commodities to power its economic growth, and today the service industry accounts for more than 70 per cent of total GDP,” it highlights.

These findings come from a report by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, released as a part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase.

Overall, Dubai is ranked #5 among the list of elite global metropolitan cities that are pushing the boundaries of the country’s economic growth.

Besides the top-ranked Macau, Dubai was the only developed economy city to feature in the Top 20 fastest growing metros, with GCC peer Riyadh ranked at #25 on the list.
 

Largest Metropolitan Economies (2013-14)

Rank (Economic Performance 2013-14)

Metro

Country

Development Status

1

Macau

Macau

Developed

2

Izmir

Turkey

Developing

3

Istanbul

Turkey

Developing

4

Bursa

Turkey

Developing

5

Dubai

UAE

Developed

6

Kunming

China

Developing

7

Hangzhou

China

Developing

8

Xiamen

China

Developing

9

Ankara

Turkey

Developing

10

Fuzhou

China

Developing

Source: Global Metro Monitor, 2014

This year’s Global Metro Monitor, the fourth edition of the report, analyses 2013-14 data on the performance of the world’s 300 largest metropolitan areas based on their annualised growth rates of GDP per capita and employment.

The Monitor combines these two key economic indicators into an economic performance index on which the 300 metro areas are ranked for 2014.

The report found that while developing metropolitan areas still lead the world on economic growth, developed metro areas from the US and the UK registered significant improvements in 2014.

Macau, China was the world’s top-performing metro area in 2014, followed by the Turkish cities of Izmir (#2), Istanbul (#3) and Bursa (#4). Dubai is ranked at #5, ahead of Chinese cities of Kunming (#6), Hangzhou (#7) and Xiamen (#8).

The report said that the 300 largest metropolitan economies are home to 20 per cent of the world’s population and jobs, but account for almost half of global GDP, underscoring that the global economy is truly a metro economy.

Among the key findings of the report are:

• Developing metro economies continued to be the sites of faster growth in 2014, further converging with their more developed peers. In an economic performance index combining employment and GDP per capita growth, developing metro areas accounted for 80 per cent of the top performers, led by metro areas in China and Turkey. Six developed metro economies from the US and the UK were also among the top performers.

• Metro areas continue to power national economic growth; most registered faster GDP per capita or employment growth in 2014 than their respective countries. A third of the world’s 300 largest metropolitan economies were “pockets of growth,” outpacing their national economies in both indicators, revealing that specific characteristics of metropolitan economies often differentiate their economic performance from that of their countries.

• Sustained growth means that a majority of the world’s metro economies (60 per cent) have recovered to pre-recession levels of employment and GDP per capita. At the other end of the spectrum, just over one-fifth of metro areas are “not recovered” in either indicator; 90 per cent of this group is comprised of North American and Western European metro economies.

• Metropolitan areas specialising in commodities registered the highest rates of GDP per capita and employment growth in 2014. Utilities, trade and tourism, and manufacturing specialisations were also associated with higher growth. Metro areas with high concentrations of business, financial, professional services grew more slowly.

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