Abu Dhabi blossoms into a global hub
Team KT/ Abu Dhabi
Filed on 21/07/2017 | Last updated on 24/10/2018

Abu Dhabi blossoms into a global hub

The Capital came behind New York but has overtaken London and Paris in the global city index, which polled more than 18,000 people, aged between 16 and 64, in 26 countries worldwide.

Earlier this week, Abu Dhabi has been named as the second-best city in the world to live, work and do business in among 60 cities, including major hubs like Sydney, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Moscow, Toronto. The Capital came behind New York but has overtaken London and Paris in the global city index, which polled more than 18,000 people, aged between 16 and 64, in 26 countries worldwide.

The results highlight the significant increase in the global perception of Abu Dhabi as a commercial destination, with 21 per cent of survey participants listing Abu Dhabi as a top city to do business in, just 2 per cent below the leader, New York. Abu Dhabi ranked highest among participants from the three younger generations - Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z, which were all consistent in placing New York and Abu Dhabi as their top two cities.

Khaleej Times have asked Abu Dhabi residents why they love the city.

Planning is key to the success

(As told to Ashwani Kumar)

Planning is a crucial parameter in achieving success. And the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council has got its task cut out with the sole purpose of turning the city into a global Capital.

It is the sole agency responsible for the future of the Capital's urban environments, and the expert authority behind the framework plans for the emirate - Plan Capital, Plan Al Ain, Plan Al Dhafra and Plan Maritime.

Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council director-general Falah Al Ahbabi is in celebratory mood as the Capital is being ranked the second-best city in the world to live and work in.

"It is something to be celebrated. It is also important we continue towards constantly improving and evolving the emirate in line with the Abu Dhabi Plan," Al Ahbabi said.

He said there's more architectural coherence and Abu Dhabi is looking more attractive than ever.

"Undoubtedly, the graciousness of the city will always be emphasised and protected, but there is also a policy and culture of inclusion, making it a shining example of tolerance and coexistence, where people from all faiths and countries around the world can live together in city that is safe, peaceful and harmonious."

On reasons that set the Capital apart, he said: "Over the years, the economy in Abu Dhabi has improved and diversified into new sectors with dedicated free zones for renewable energy, financial and business services, manufacturing and logistics, real estate development and much more."

He said that the Abu Dhabi government has been continuously strengthening policies to improve the ease of doing business, with complete transparency in compliance and protection of investor rights as its top priority.

On the changes in lifestyle, Al Ahbabi said: "Liveability has also significantly improved. Walking spaces, pedestrian access and cycling paths have all been given importance in the overall planning, as well as access to greener spaces through parks like Umm Al Emaraat Park."

"There has been a vast improvement in the setup of neighbourhood communities, both in terms of facilities such as access to schools, mosques and healthcare units and suitability for the local culture. Additionally, in the downtown area, new projects are providing playgrounds, improved pedestrian arrangements, jogging routes, cycle paths, a new public beach and a host of other facilities as well," he added.

He stressed on new initiatives bolstering the Capital's image.

"New attractions for residents and tourists on islands such as Yas, Saadiyat and Al Mariyah have ensured Abu Dhabi can offer first-class leisure and business trips that ensure a memorable experience, while local residents can enjoy having these world-class activities right on their doorstep. With the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros World and other attractions opening soon this aspect of the city is only going to get better."

Al Ahbabi added: "The Abu Dhabi government, private developers, corporate organisations and the community have all worked together and played their part in getting us to number two in the world. And with so many fantastic developments in the pipeline this will only improve. We all have a lot to look forward to."

Chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council defines the shape of the Emirate, ensuring factors such as sustainability, infrastructure capacity, community planning and quality of life, by overseeing development across the city and the Emirate as a whole.