Go to Search

Dubai ranks among the world’s top 5 cities in 2021

The emirate of Dubai took the 5th position in the list of the TOP 5 best cities in the world from Resonance Consultancy. Dubai took its well deserved place due to its numerous world-famous landmarks, high-level medicine and education institutions, and its foreign investment, amongst many more. The government of the emirate always seeks innovative solutions and develops new technologies in order to increase the standard of living of residents. We have prepared an article with the 5 main factors that make Dubai one of the best places in the world for living, including landmarks, economic climate, advanced technologies, business opportunities and safety.

Evaluation criteria of the World's Best Cities Report

The 5th position was taken by the emirate of Dubai in the ranking of the World’s Best Cities Report 2021, which was made by the Resonance Consultancy company. Big cities with a population of more than a million people were included and evaluated in this rating. The main parameters for evaluation of the survey include:

  • Human resources: immigration and diversification of the population.
  • Leisure: restaurants, cultural and entertainment facilities.
  • The quality of nature and urban development: safety, weather and so on.
  • Employment opportunities in the city.
  • Infrastructure, including airport accessibility.
  • The popularity of cities on the internet: links, recommendations and reviews in search systems and social networks.

The impact of pandemics on the urban development of the cities also was taken into consideration in the rating. London took 1st place, while Paris, New York and Moscow ranked from 2nd to 4th positions respectively. Dubai took 5th position due to its status of the safest city in the world, despite the biggest share of foreigners among all other cities in the world. There are also a large number of new 5-star hotels and numerous new attractions, such as the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, in the emirate.

Attractions in Dubai

The most famous landmarks of the emirate of Dubai comprise:

  • Deep Dive Dubai, which was opened in July 2021 and has broken the Guinness Book record as the deepest diving pool in the world. The depth of the pool constitutes 197 ft and visitors can explore a “sunken city” at the bottom of the attraction during an underwater dive.
  • The Burj Khalifa is the tallest tower in the world, the total height of which constitutes 2,716 ft. The owner of the Burj Khalifa is Emaar Properties and the cost to build it was USD 1.5B. The skyscraper also has 57 elevators.
  • Float Dubai is the largest nightclub on the water in the world and is located onboard the retired Queen Elizabeth II cruise ship. Float Dubai is designed for 1,000 people and offers a menu with dishes of Latin and Pan-Asian cuisine.
  • The Dubai Mall is the most visited retail trade center in the world, which offers visitors more than 200 luxury brands. The Dubai Mall helped the emirate to take 32nd place in the shopping subcategory of the rating. Visitors of the mall can also visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Kidzania, Dubai Ice Rink and so on.
  • Dubai Creek Tower in Dubai Creek Harbour will become the tallest tower on the planet upon its completion, thereby breaking the record of the Burj Khalifa. The estimated height of the skyscraper is 3,045 ft, while the cost to build it is AED 3.6B (USD 1B). Santiago Calatrava is the architect who designed the Dubai Creek Tower, which also will include a hotel, a covered garden, 10 observation decks and restaurants.
  • Ain Dubai Ferris wheel on Bluewaters Island has a height of 688 ft and is the highest and biggest Ferris wheel across the globe. The landmark was only recently opened on October 21, 2021.
  • Madame Tussauds Wax Museum was opened in Dubai on October 14 this year and is the first museum of its kind in the Middle East region. Seven themed halls are located inside, including Music A-List Party, Bollywood, The Leaders & Royals Room, Media, Fashion, Sports and Film. The museum on Bluewaters Island offers visitors the chance to see wax figures of more than 60 world superstars up-close.
  • Museum of The Future. The attraction is under development at the moment, with the estimated date of completion in 2022. Exhibitions, public events, film screenings and publications will be held here and the museum will also have elements of immersive theater with topics of shows such as health, future of climate change and ecology, wellness, spirituality and space travel and living. Museum of The Future will be connected to 4,000 megawatts of solar energy produced by a special station and more than 45,000 ft of Arabic calligraphy will illuminate the attraction from the exterior.

The economic climate in Dubai

The government of Dubai stated that the emirate has shown record economic growth in 2021 at a level of 3.1%. These gigh indicators are related to effective government measures to combat the pandemic, the mass vaccination rollout of the population in the UAE and their adaptability to change. All these measures have contributed to the opening of borders, which has increased the flow of tourists, therefore strengthening the economy. In 2022, the economic growth, spurred by the hosting of EXPO 2020 is anticipated to be at a level of 3.4%.

The government of Dubai adopted several amendments and stimulus packages in order to attract more local and foreign investments to the country. One of the new amendments is lowering the price threshold of buying property for obtaining a 3-year residency visa. Previously an investor must purchase property for a minimum amount of AED 1M (USD 272K) to obtain a visa, however this has recently changed to just AED 750K (USD 204K).

Five stimulus packages were launched by the Government of Dubai during the period from March 2020 to September 2021 that contained several support measures, which include reduction of customs duties, canceling fines, postponing rent payment, as well as the suspension and reduction of various fees, water and electricity bills. The total cost of 5 stimulus packages constituted AED 7.1B (USD 1.9B).

The growth rate of the insurance and financial activities constituted 3.5% in Q1 2021, compared to Q1 2020. According to data from Emirates NBD, the GDP growth of the whole UAE constitutes 1.9% in the current year. The real estate sector also has shown good results in 2021 as the growth rate in the 1st quarter of 2021 constituted 2.4% compared to the same period in 2020. Moreover, the biggest number of real estate transactions were made in Q3 2021 since 2009.

Business in Dubai

A large number of new companies have opened in the emirate of Dubai since the beginning of 2021. The Dubai Chamber stated that approximately 16,000 new firms were founded in the first 8 months of 2021 which shows an increase of 68.5% compared to the same period in 2020. EXPO 2020 and the recently announced ‘Projects of the 50’ strategy will only increase the economic growth of Dubai. ‘Projects of the 50’ is a number of economic and developmental projects, which cover sectors such as economy, advanced technologies, space, advanced skills, entrepreneurship and digital economy that will help strengthen the country’s economy.

The system of financing and business support is well developed in Dubai, as the government of the emirate pays great attention to the education and support of the next generation of entrepreneurs. For example, now companies in Dubai can be 100% owned by foreign citizens, without previously having an Emirati with a majority share in the business. There are free economic zones in the emirate with favorable conditions for startups, like affordable prices for renting premises, registering a business, purchasing licenses and so on. The Dubai Start-Up Hub provides a full range of services and information support for the development of technology and business startups. Intellectual property is reliably protected at the legislative level, which guarantees business projects confidence and freedom.

The government of Dubai reduced some duties and canceled several fees for the services of various sectors as part of a support programme for businesses. Waivers and a reduction in fees are provided by government entities (a total of 88 services), which include Dubai Land Department, Dubai Maritime City Authority, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), Department of Economic Development (Dubai Economy), Dubai Courts and Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

If you are planning to move to Dubai for the purpose of employment and/or starting your own business, we advise you to read our guide on the cost of living for expatriates in Dubai.


Dubai is the safest city in the Middle East, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index 2021. The emirate also took 35th place as the safest city globally, with a score of 64.6. The criteria of the Index also include the pandemic’s impact and environmental security. The government of Dubai applies technologies in order to ensure the safety of residents. For example, drones are used for street disinfection campaigns, while specialized transportation is used for patients with a positive reaction to COVID-19.

Special programmes were launched in Dubai in 2021 to reduce the police response times to traffic accidents and crimes from 4.4 minutes to 1 minute, using the Drone Box platform. Drones can help police to identify faces using high-resolution video. In addition, the emirate has a system of 24/7 smart cameras, the number of which constitutes 300,000 in Dubai.

Note: To know more about other safe regions in the Middle East, read this article.

Advanced technology

Dubai is a recognized leader in the sphere of innovations and advanced technologies as the government of the emirate promotes innovative solutions and promising business models. For example, programmes to support startup incubators and accelerators are being launched here. Dubai occupies a leading place in the world in terms of the number of foreign direct investments (FDI). The government is also directing efforts to create an experimental testing ground where it will be possible to test innovative technologies in a live environment, for instance, Hyperloop technologies.

One of the most important strategies in Dubai is the Smart Dubai initiative, which aims to transform all aspects of urban life, as well as create a smart city for the future. Within the framework of the programme, projects are being implemented in stages in cooperation with organizations from the private and public sectors. Due to the Smart Dubai initiative, the government has been able to save USD 1.2B over the past 13 years by the introduction of a unified infrastructure and joint intellectual services for 50 public sector entities. The emirate also invests in other strategies such as the Dubai Data Strategy, Dubai Pulse Platform, Dubai 10X and Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

The government of Dubai has recently set the goal of becoming a world leader in 3D printing in priority areas such as medicine, construction and consumer goods. According to the initiative, about 25% of all buildings in the emirate will be built using 3D printing technology by 2030.

How can we help?

The team at Metropolitan Premium Properties provide all our clients with the highest level of service and an individual approach, based on their personal preferences and goals. You can count on our full support and assistance in matters such as the selling or buying of a property (residential or commercial), renting property or the transfer of property ownership in Dubai.

Furthermore, we can help in obtaining mortgages, as well as having extensive practical experience in dealing with corporate matters. We provide legal advice in the UAE and full support from the execution of legal relations and to the immediate implementation of commercial operations, as well as providing support in making the contract of employment, contracts with partners, customers and suppliers, etc.

Our specialists can also help you with further management of the acquired property as we provide services such as development of individual pricing strategy, preparation of the property for lease, the search for reliable tenants and the control of timely payment, marketing services and full property lease management. This approach is a guarantee that your asset will always bring you a stable income and save you from having to do everything yourself, which significantly reduces your time and resources.

Rate the article:

  1. 5
  2. 4
  3. 3
  4. 2
  5. 1
5 1 vote

Popular articles

Latest blog Living in Dubai

Our newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for market updates!