Dubai has been ranked the best city brand in the Middle East and 9th globally, according to the inaugural Brand Finance City Index.
The ranking is based on a global survey of close to 15,000 people conducted in April 2023 in 20 countries on all continents to measure perceptions of the world’s top 100 cities.
The index compiled by brand evaluation consultancy Brand Finance has placed London at the top, followed by New York and Paris.
Dubai has performed well across multiple Business & Investment attributes, ranking first for future growth potential, second in strong and stable economy, and third behind only New York and London as a city of global significance.
With a score of 75.8/100, Dubai has gained a reputation as the ‘City of Gold’ for being a major shopping destination for jewellery, but this title has grown to describe the city’s role in finance and trade more broadly.
To arrive at a comprehensive assessment of the city brands in the ranking, alongside measuring familiarity, respondents were asked about the general reputation and their personal consideration of each city as a place to live, work locally, work remotely, study, retire, visit, or invest in.
Abu Dhabi, ranked 28th globally, is the second best city brand in the region.
The UAE capital performs very well in Business & Investment too, ranking ahead of Dubai and claiming top spots globally on a number of attributes, including second in attractive corporate taxation, third in attractive personal taxation, fourth in easy to business in, seventh in great for start-ups and innovation, and ninth in easy to find employment.
Doha (65th) as well as Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah (77th) and Riyadh (78th) are also included in the study.
“Middle Eastern cities have built very strong brands in a much shorter time than many of their European counterparts. The last few decades have seen an exponential growth of business and investment opportunities across all major cities in the region,” said Andrew Campbell, Managing Director of Brand Finance Middle East.
“Efforts to raise the profile of the tourism offering are likely to further increase the familiarity and overall standing of Middle Eastern city brands globally,” he added.