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Dubai best globally for infrastructure: Knight Frank


Dubai: In a benchmark of Dubai against other key global cities such as London and New York, the city lagged against rivals on issues such as the ease of doing business, but had the best ranked infrastructure of any country listed.

According to data compiled by property consultancy Knight Frank in its annual Global Hub Report, the UAE vastly outperformed every other country in the region when it came to the number of sea freight and international passenger numbers.

The study assesses a country’s strength as a hub for doing business. Other countries benchmarked include Australia, the UK, China, Singapore and the US.

Air freight was also a strong area for Dubai, ranking third behind the US and China, with 16.7 million ton-km.

For buyers seeking bang for their buck, Dubai is the top hub in the world, too. In the emirate, $1 million (Dh3.67 million) will buy you 138 square metres, compared with 25 square metres in New York and 19 square metres in Hong Kong, the report states.

It added that in terms of the price of residential property, Dubai has also declined by 3.8 per cent. Only London has declined more in price, recording a 4.6 per cent drop in property prices in 2017.

Shanghai, conversely, has seen a near 15 per cent increase in the price of property since 2016. This is offset, Knight Frank argues, by the fact that there is no personal income tax in Dubai.

Despite performing strongly in some of the financial services indicators, Dubai, however, lagged in the ease of doing business rankings.

According to Knight Frank, it requires eight days to start a business in the emirate, while in China it takes 23 days.

The UAE ranked 21 for ease of doing business, the third lowest of major global cities ranked.

Tourism

In tourism, meanwhile, the UAE outperformed all of its global competition. Dubai has 29.9 hotel keys per 1,000 people, far more than its closest rival, Paris, whilst 83.7 million people travelled through Dubai International Airport last year, making it the busiest airport in the world.

Additionally, Dubai’s average spend per overnight visitor was estimated to be over $2,000 (Dh7,350) in 2017, the highest among all global hub cities measured.

“Despite facing challenging market conditions, Dubai’s hospitality sector remains among the top performers in the Middle East, underpinned by the emirate’s positioning as a regional commerce hub and the development of world class demand generators,” Ali Manzoor, head of hospitality at Knight Frank, said about the sector.

Visitation has, for the most part, continued to grow from key source markets, with India and China notable standouts, and Russian visitation continuing its positive momentum from the previous year, he added. “We remain optimistic about the future outlook of the sector, and envisage that the market will once again stabilise once the rate correction has run its course.”

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