Dubai tops list of construction mega cities

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - The city continued to dominate the global rankings with a project value that is almost double that of London.

Dubai has retained its position as the top city in the world for the construction of mega cities, with total projects valued at $611.2 billion, new research by GlobalData has found.

The city continued to dominate the global rankings with a project value that is almost double that of London, that took second place with a total project value of $342.9 billion. New York came in third on GlobalData's 2019 Construction Mega Cities list, with a total project value of $285.2 billion.

GlobalData tracks large-scale construction projects in all sectors, and following a recent assessment of project pipelines in major cities worldwide, it has compiled a listing of 50 'Construction Mega Cities' for 2019, each having a pipeline of projects with an investment value above $30 billion. The combined value of the project pipelines in these cities stands at $5.3 trillion, and includes over 8,200 projects at various stages of development, from announced to execution. From 2007 to 2025, GlobalData expects the cities' combined gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by more than $8 trillion to $20.4 trillion. They will be home to an estimated 527 million inhabitants, many being in China and other emerging markets that are witnessing a fast pace of urbanization. GlobalData projects that average per capita GDP in these cities will rise from $1,791 in 2007 to $2,263 in 2025, in real terms.

"Of the 50 construction mega cities, 29 are considered to be in emerging markets. The rapid growth of cities in the emerging regions reflects both above-average population and per-capita GDP growth. The population of those 29 emerging-region cities will reach an estimated 327 million by 2025, at an annual increase of 1.8 per cent from 237 million in 2007. At the same time, GlobalData projects that the real GDP per capita (measured in real terms) in these emerging urban centers will increase by 2.4 per cent from $520,854 to $820,311 between 2007 and 2025," said Yasmine Ghozzi, economist at GlobalData.

Seven new cities have made it to the 2019 list, namely Istanbul, Tokyo, Fuzhou, Zurich, Atlanta, Zhengzhou, and Las Vegas. The combined value of the project pipelines for those new entrants stand at $379.75 billion, and includes 505 projects at various stages of development. The Asia-Pacific region dominates the list, accounting for 25 of the 50 cities, and has a combined projects pipeline valued at $2.1 trillion.

"Some major cities in the Middle Eastern Gulf states, namely Dubai, Doha, and Kuwait City, along with Cairo, secured their spots in the top ten in terms of spending on mega projects relative to the size of their economies. The construction sectors in these cities are expected to be key drivers of economic growth in years to come. However, Dubai's economy is expected to grow by 1.3 per cent in real terms in 2019 reflecting the completion of many infrastructure projects related to Expo 2020 Dubai," added Ghozzi.

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Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Al Khaleej Today. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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