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Abu Dhabi Ranks in Top 20 World Cities

Abu Dhabi : 08 May 2011

The capital of the UAE holds the number one spot with regards to ease of hiring and overall tax rates. Abu Dhabi ranked within the top twenty cities worldwide included in a fresh global study.

The recently released Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ study entitled “Cities of Opportunity” places Abu Dhabi in the number one spot for overall tax rates with a score of 26, the maximum for the index. Abu Dhabi fell in ahead of Singapore, Santiago, Johannesburg and Hong Kong.

The emirate also received top scores for the index covering ease of hiring, putting the area right in line with Singapore and Hong Kong. This index measures conditions within hiring such as if permanent task contracts with fixed terms are allowed and the maximum and cumulative duration of contracts with fixed terms, as well as the ratio between a trainee or new employee’s minimum wage and the worker’s average value added.

In terms of air quality, Abu Dhabi ranked in second place and tied with seven cities across the globe. It also tied with New York and Istanbul for third place in skyscraper construction activities.

The report noted that Abu Dhabi fell into the top three places for ten different categories, ranging from air quality to commute times and hospitals, as well as the economic competitiveness in terms of tax rates, ease of hiring and the total employment-aged population.

Abu Dhabi’s total score added up to 705, putting it at 18th place among the study’s 26 cities. New York’s score of 1,226 garnered a first place ranking due to high scoring within lifestyle assets and technological readiness. The number two spot went to Toronto, while San Francisco landed in third place, Stockholm in fourth and Sydney in fifth.

There are ten categories within the PwC study and each of those had multiple measurements. Categories included: innovation and intellectual capital; readiness in terms of technology; infrastructure and transportation; security, health and safety; cost of doing business; ease of conducting business; lifestyle assets; sustainability; living arrangements and demographics; and economic clout.

Ranking for a region’s carbon footprint is where the emirate lost out, but the report did note that this was mainly due to Abu Dhabi’s geographic location. It was acknowledged that the emirate is found in one of the world’s harshest environments.

The explosion of growth the emirate has experienced as a financial and business hub has resulted in the expected issues, including traffic congestion and the recycling of waste. Everything indicates that rapid growth in the population will continue over the next twenty years, although the report also praised the emirate for the steps being taken to counteract problems found during growth.

The city has answered typical issues with the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030, integrating social, cultural and economical factors into every decision regarding development. There are clear expectations within the emirate that the advantage of being a second-mover will provide opportunities to learn from the mistakes of others and develop a full plan for growth keeping those lessons in mind. Although the Plan 2030 is still in the early stages, there is hope that it will serve as a prototype for cities that are growing at a comparable rate, according to the PwC report.

The report noted that Dubai has fallen in the ranks this year due to slower growth in the Great Recession, while Abu Dhabi rose in the ranks as a thriving center for business.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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