A recent Sustainable Cities Index from Arcadis disclosed that Dubai ranks ahead as the most sustainable city in the region, followed by Abu Dhabi and Doha.
The Index, which was conducted by the Center for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) explores three demands of social (people), environmental (planet) and economic (profit) to develop an indicative ranking of 50 of the world’s leading cities.
Globally, cities are performing better for being sustainable for profit and planet purposes than they are for people factors. Many of the world’s economic powerhouses are becoming less affordable for their citizens, with the cost of property in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong penalizing their rankings. There is also a trade-off globally between strong education and poor work-life balance, particular demonstrated in Hong Kong.
“The trade-off between planet and profit is most starkly seen in the Middle East where Dubai and Doha score much lower on environmental factors than economic ones,” said Terry Tommason, Doha City Executive of Big Urban Clients at ARCADIS. “Cities in the Middle East have seen the highest real term population growth over the past five years, with Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi experiencing a rise of over 30%, putting a strain on city infrastructure.”
Dubai leads in the Middle East at 33rd, followed by Abu Dhabi at 34th, Doha at 41st, Jeddah at 43rd and Riyadh at 44th. Dubai also takes first place in the region on the profit sub-index at 27th, followed by Doha at 30th.