Dubai, Abu Dhabi ranked among top financial centres globally

Abu Dhabi: Dubai and Abu Dhabi are ranked among the top 25 financial centres in the world in terms of their competitiveness, a survey reveals.

According to the 22nd edition of Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres prepared by the Z/Yen group, Abu Dhabi has moved up three places to secure the rank of 25 from the previous position of 28.

Dubai has moved up seven places to be ranked 18th, having been 25th position previously.

The report is the result of a rigorous process from the GFCI, which measures 29,000 financial centre assessments, together with over 100 indices from organisations such as the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The financial centres were ranked based on factors such as competitiveness, business environment, infrastructure, financial sector development, human capital, political stability and macroeconomic environment among others.

While mature cities such as London, New York, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore maintain their leads, the latest index highlighted how emerging economies have gained considerable strides in the global rankings index as financial hubs.

In the Middle East and Africa region, Dubai retained the top spot as the best financial centre, followed by Abu Dhabi, Casablanca, Doha, Johannesburg, Bahrain, Mauritius and Riyadh. Riyadh is ranked 77th and Bahrain 51st.

Doha, which is facing heat from its Gulf neighbours due to its support for terrorism, slipped in the ranking from 39 to 45.

“We are excited that Abu Dhabi is ranked among the top 25 cities this year. This serves as an endorsement of Abu Dhabi’s initiatives and efforts to enhance its strengths as a financial centre. It also spurs us to continue raising the bar and improving the sectors to better serve the needs of our stakeholders,” said Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, as he reacted to the latest findings.

There has been a little change in the top five positions. London and New York remain in the first and second places. Interestingly, despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations, London only fell two points, the smallest decline in the top ten centres. Hong Kong has moved just ahead of Singapore into third and Tokyo remains in fifth.

“Abu Dhabi, second in the region, reduced the gap [between it and] first-placed Dubai to just nine points. Elsewhere in the Middle East, there were good rises for Bahrain and Riyadh,” said Mark G Yeandle, associate director of the Z/Yen group while releasing the details of the survey at an event in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The China Development Institute in Shenzhen and London-based market intelligence firm Z/Yen collaborated in producing the GFCI survey, which is updated every March and September. Ninety-two global financial centres were surveyed as part of the report.

Abu Dhabi attracts Dh14.67b in FDI in finance and insurance in 2016

Abu Dhabi: The contribution of financial and insurance sectors to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Abu Dhabi rose from 5.8 per cent in 2013 to 6.9 per cent in 2016 due to the performance of its banks and financial markets, a top government official said on Monday.

“It is expected that this sector will add significantly to the diversity of the economy of the emirate within the next few years,” said Saif Mohammad Al Hajeri, chairman of the Department of Economic Development, while speaking at the launch of 22nd edition of the Global Financial Centres Index in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

He said finance and insurance were outstanding in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) due to the business environment that Abu Dhabi enjoys, supported by advanced infrastructure and stable economic policies.

The total amount of FDI in the financial and insurance sectors in Abu Dhabi stood at Dh14.672 billion in 2016, compared to Dh12.731 billion in 2014.

— F.R.

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