Dubai has been named the most competitive city in the Middle East in a new Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) research report.
The study, commissioned by Citi, ranked Dubai at number 40 in the list of 120 of the world's major cities.
Dubai just edged out its neighbour Abu Dhabi which was ranked 41st alongside Spanish city Barcelona.
Qatari capital Doha came 47th in the list alongside Milan and Osaka while Kuwait City was ranked 80th, Muscat 86th and Riyadh 106th.
The list which named New York, London and Singapore as first, second and third in competitiveness, ranked the most competitive cities in the world for their demonstrated ability to attract capital, business, talent and tourists.
In the individual categories, Doha was the best performer among Gulf cities as it ranked fifth in the world for economic strength. Forbes named Qatar the richest country in the world earlier this month.
With a combined population of about 750 million, the 120 cities ranked in Hot Spots report represent approximately 29 percent of the global economy and generated a combined GDP of $20.24trn in 2011.
According to the report, the ten most competitive cities in the world were: New York, London, Singapore, Paris and Hong Kong (joint 4th), Tokyo, Zurich, Washington, DC, Chicago and Boston.
Citi CEO Vikram Pandit said: "Cities are engines of prosperity and innovation and we are committed to partnering with them to help reach their full potential. But as cities vie for investment, talent and business, we recognise that competitiveness is about more than growth."
Leo Abruzzese, the EIU's global forecasting director, added: "Economic dynamism is definitely rising elsewhere, especially in Asian cities, but US and European cities have legacy advantages that give them a strong competitive edge. In particular, these developed cities are better at attracting top talent from across the world."
The EIU developed a Global City Competitiveness Index that measures cities across eight distinct categories of competitiveness and 31 individual indicators.
Categories include economic strength, human capital, institutional effectiveness, financial maturity, global appeal, physical capital, social and cultural character and environment and natural hazards.
The report showed that 11 of the top 30 cities were European while 10 of the top 30 were US cities.
Asia's economic rise was reflected in the economic competitiveness of its cities with 15 of the top 20 cities in the economic strength category being based in Asia. Twelve were in China.
Although most companies target a combination of advanced economies and emerging market megacities, the fastest overall growth was found in a middle tier of mid-sized cities with populations of 2m-5m such as Abu Dhabi, Bandung, Dalian, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Pune, Qingdao and Surabaya, the report added.
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