ABU DHABI // Abu Dhabi is the world’s fourth favourite city, ranked behind only New York, London and Paris.

It is also the best city after New York to do business in, beating Hong Kong, Tokyo and London, a new survey suggests.

“Abu Dhabi does incredibly well when one considers its size compared to New York or London, and it’s relative newness compared to Paris,” said Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori, who polled 18,147 people aged 16-64 in 24 countries in February this year.

“It is punching above its weight against super-brand cities.”

People who took part in the survey were asked to rate 48 world cities in five categories: favourite city, best city to live in, Europe’s top city, best city to do business and best city to visit.

Dubai was not among the options and UAE residents were not polled.

The survey found that the world’s least popular city was Karachi in Pakistan.

The countries polled were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.

The best cities to live in were Zurich, Sydney, London, Paris and New York. Europe’s top cities were London, Zurich, Paris, Berlin and Rome. The best cities to visit were Paris, New York, Rome, London and Sydney.

Saudi Arabians were Abu Dhabi’s biggest supporter – ranking it first place to visit, do business and live in.

Elsewhere, the Japanese public viewed Tokyo favourably, placing it top in all categories. The same happened in Turkey, where Istanbul came out on top.

The German public see Berlin as number two for business and the best place to live, but they look further afield when they think about where they want to visit. The capital did not feature in the German top 10.

“All countries are chauvinistic, but some are more chauvinistic than others,” said Mr Page.

“This unique survey gives us an on-the-ground view – not just of what people around the world think of the world’s great cities, but also what they think of their own.”

Meanwhile the UAE’s rise to 19th from 25th last year in the World Economic Forum‘s annual Global Competitiveness Report was welcomed yesterday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

“The UAE’s overall competitiveness surpassed that of important players like France, Ireland and Australia,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

He noted that the UAE came second globally in foreign investment and technology transfer, first in roads quality and absence of organised crime, and fifth for infrastructure in general.

“Our only objective is to make our people happy. Maybe that’s why we came third for citizens’ trust in their leadership,” he said.

He said the UAE was continuously following up on reports “as retreat was not an option’.

“Thanks to the federal and local teams who are jointly working in line with a vision the term of which extends to the year 2021, as well as with agendas and plans that are continuously being revised and assessed as per our growing ambitions in all sectors, the UAE has been able to visibly stand out among the countries of the world,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“Our economy is continuously developing, and the indices for security and stability are the best globally. The welfare of our citizens is at the top of our priorities.”

The report states that “higher oil prices have buoyed the budget surplus and allowed the country to reduce public debt and raise the savings rate”. It noted that the UAE was “aggressive” in adopting technology, but there was room for improvement in the health and education sectors, where the UAE ranked low.
source: http://www.thenational.ae