Dubai ranks among world’s most dynamic cities

Dubai has emerged as one of the trailblazer cities in the world

Adding another feather to its cap, Dubai has cemented its position among the most dynamic cities in the world. The emirate, which is known for its towering skyline and innovative approach globally, has seen a remarkable improvement in various socio-economics aspects in the last couple of years, resulting into this ranking.

As per the JLL’s City Momentum Index (CMI) 2017 report, Dubai is ranked 11th in the global top 30, and it finished just behind Nairobi (tenth) and London (tenth) in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market.

“The world’s most robust, agile and open cities are generating considerable momentum and energy, and are taking the lead in shaping our future landscape,” said Craig Plumb, head of research at JLL MENA.

“However, the world has become a riskier place since our last report. These disruptions are happening just as our cities are undergoing major structural change as the effects of globalization, technological breakthroughs and rapid urbanization combine to challenge the very fabric of our urban spaces.”

The annual CMI report looks at the fastest-changing cities around the globe, tracking the speed of their changing economy and commercial real estate market, while identifying hubs that have the most dynamic attributes over the short and long-term.

At the top of the list was Indian powerhouse Bangalore, followed by Ho Chi Minh City, Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Hyderabad.

The Index covers 134 major established and emerging business hubs across the globe and looks at the key ingredients of population, connectivity, technology and R&D, education, environment, real estate investment, property prices and economic output, among other areas.

Despite challenges and a world of heightened risk, the 2017 edition of JLL’s CMI highlights remarkable dynamism in major global cities, many of which are consistently outperforming their national economies.

Dubai and Nairobi: urban stars of Middle East and Africa

Middle Eastern and African cities have struggled to maintain momentum, with many hit by the slump in energy and commodity prices.  The notable exception is Dubai, which has re-appeared in the Global Top 30 on the CMI, having fallen outside the top group in the last couple of years.

Nairobi is the star performer in Africa by a significant margin – making its second consecutive appearance in the Global Top 30.

Asia Pacific century

The Asia Pacific region is home to more than half of the world’s 30 most dynamic cities and real estate markets (based on the CMI 2017). This is testament to the rise of Asia Pacific cities as major hubs of commerce and innovation.

There has, however, been a realignment within Asia Pacific, with India supplanting China as home to the region’s most dynamic cities.


Technology drives momentum, notably in US

Technology and innovation continue to be a major driver of momentum, from Silicon Valley to Nairobi (Silicon Savannah).  Technology explains the strong presence of US cities in the Global Top 30.

Europe’s cities offering longer-term sustainable momentum

As in previous editions of the CMI, European cities are not well represented among the Global Top 30, a reflection of their maturity and dynamics.  Their strength lies in their longer-term sustainable momentum, which appeals to investors and corporate occupiers.

Missing world cities from the CMI Top 30

Tokyo and Seoul, which were in the top 20 in the CMI in 2016, have fallen out of the top positions, ranking in the mid-30s.  While Tokyo and Seoul finish in the top ten on long-term momentum, both cities have disappointed on short-term economic and real estate momentum during 2016.

While Singapore and Hong Kong are among the world’s most competitive cities, neither city has made this year’s top 30 in terms of momentum.