UAE cities world's 5th-best managed

The UAE is currently investing Dh213 billion on roads and bridges alone, including projects which are currently underway and in the planning stage.

With fast rising populations, governments around the world are facing the uphill task of managing cities to meet basic infrastructure needs and provide citizens a better quality of life.

The UAE has managed its cities and infrastructure development  efficiently, helping it to notch up a higher rating than most of the developed world in managing cities.

IMD's World Competitiveness Centre has released its 2012 ranking of world’s top 60 countries in terms of better management of their cities. The UAE was rated 5th best worldwide in managing cities, better than most developed countries including Germany, Britain, Canada, Japan, Norway, France, Australia, US and many other advanced countries.

The UAE has also been investing heavily in infrastructure development projects over the years. According to Business Monitor International, the UAE is currently investing $58 billion (Dh213 billion) on roads and bridges alone, including projects which are currently underway and in the planning stage. This figure - which is more than any other Gulf country - accounts for nearly half of the regional spend on development of basic facilities.

IMD’s World Competiveness Centre rated Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Sweden as the best in managing cities in 2012.

Professor Stephane Garelli, Director at IMD's World Competitiveness Centre, said: “Good management of cities will more than ever support or hinder the competitiveness of a nation. Very little is done or taught to increase the ability of governments to manage their urban areas and the optimum utilisation of their national territory. This could very well be the next frontier in competitiveness.”

He said some of the megalopolises of the world – Istanbul, Karachi, Mumbai, Sao Polo, Delhi, Mexico, Jakarta or Cairo – are already a management nightmare for their leadership. But as their boundaries merge into mega-regions, things could get worse.

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