Abu Dhabi ranked No4 in the world's top cities
Abu Dhabi is the world's fourth favourite city, ranked behind only New York, London and Paris.
It is also the best city after New York to do business in, beating Hong Kong, Tokyo and London, a new survey suggests.
"Abu Dhabi does incredibly well when one considers its size compared to New York or London, and it's relative newness compared to Paris," said Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori, who polled 18,147 people aged 16-64 in 24 countries in February this year.
"It is punching above its weight against super-brand cities."
People who took part in the survey were asked to rate 48 world cities in five categories: favourite city, best city to live in, Europe's top city, best city to do business and best city to visit.
Dubai was not among the options and UAE residents were not polled.
The survey found that the world's least popular city was Karachi in Pakistan.
The countries polled were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.
The best cities to live in were Zurich, Sydney, London, Paris and New York. Europe's top cities were London, Zurich, Paris, Berlin and Rome. The best cities to visit were Paris, New York, Rome, London and Sydney.
Saudi Arabians were Abu Dhabi's biggest supporter - ranking it first place to visit, do business and live in.
Elsewhere, the Japanese public viewed Tokyo favourably, placing it top in all categories. The same happened in Turkey, where Istanbul came out on top.
The German public see Berlin as number two for business and the best place to live, but they look further afield when they think about where they want to visit. The capital did not feature in the German top 10.
"All countries are chauvinistic, but some are more chauvinistic than others," said Mr Page.
"This unique survey gives us an on-the-ground view - not just of what people around the world think of the world's great cities, but also what they think of their own."
Meanwhile the UAE's rise to 19th from 25th last year in the World Economic Forum's annual Global Competitiveness Report was welcomed yesterday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
"The UAE's overall competitiveness surpassed that of important players like France, Ireland and Australia," Sheikh Mohammed said.
He noted that the UAE came second globally in foreign investment and technology transfer, first in roads quality and absence of organised crime, and fifth for infrastructure in general.
"Our only objective is to make our people happy. Maybe that's why we came third for citizens' trust in their leadership," he said.
He said the UAE was continuously following up on reports "as retreat was not an option'.
"Thanks to the federal and local teams who are jointly working in line with a vision the term of which extends to the year 2021, as well as with agendas and plans that are continuously being revised and assessed as per our growing ambitions in all sectors, the UAE has been able to visibly stand out among the countries of the world," Sheikh Mohammed said.
"Our economy is continuously developing, and the indices for security and stability are the best globally. The welfare of our citizens is at the top of our priorities."
The report states that "higher oil prices have buoyed the budget surplus and allowed the country to reduce public debt and raise the savings rate". It noted that the UAE was "aggressive" in adopting technology, but there was room for improvement in the health and education sectors, where the UAE ranked low.
Mohamed bin Zayed receives U.S. Congress members
His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces yesterday received a delegation of U.S. Congress members led by Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman of the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
In the meeting, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and the visiting U.S. Congress members discussed the outstanding bilateral relations between the UAE and the U.S., as well as the interest of the leaderships of both countries in reinforcing and promoting them in the service of mutual interests.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed made note of the importance of exchanging visits at all levels that would enhance the avenues of cooperation and joint action by the two countries.
Briefing the congress delegation on the vision of the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for overall development, he affirmed that UAE has big ambitions and continue to make more national achievements in different spheres.
In Wednesday's meeting, His Highness the Crown Prince and the U.S. Congress members exchanged views on the latest regional and international developments. The two sides reviewed the international efforts and initiatives to achieve stability and peace in the region, as well as cooperation between the two countries in enhancing the opportunities for peace and stability and driving development in the region.
For his part, Congressman Rohrabacher affirmed the keen interest of the U.S. in extending bridges for friendship and cooperation with the UAE. He noted the importance of continuing visits which allow getting a first-hand knowledge of the levels of development, prosperity and progress in the UAE.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of State, Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, the Undersecretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi and Michael Corbin, the U.S. Ambassador to the UAE.
Mohammed bin Rashid: UAE under the leadership of Khalifa making steady progress
Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has affirmed that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is making steady progress in terms of all development indices.
He added, "The UAE government is continually following up these indices issued by prestigious international corporations, because retreat is not an option in our government." Sheikh Mohammed was commenting on the results of the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum (Davos) for 2013-2014, in which the UAE advanced five positions in the total competitiveness of its economy in one year, from 25th last year to the rank of 19th this year, thereby coming ahead of such countries as France, Ireland and Australia.
"Thanks to the federal and local teams who are jointly working in line with a vision the term of which extends to the year 2021, as well as with agendas and plans that are continuously being revised and assessed as per our growing ambitions in all sectors, the UAE has been able to visibly stand out among the countries of the world," His Highness Sheikh Mohammed added.
"Our economy is continuously developing, and the indices for security and stability are the best globally. The welfare of our citizens is at the top of our priorities," he said.
The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 is the World Economic Forum (WEF)'s latest annual survey of the most efficient and dynamic economies, the UAE moved up in the rankings to take second place in the region at 19th.
"Higher oil prices have buoyed the budget surplus and allowed the country to reduce public debt and raise the savings rate. The country has also been aggressive at adopting technologies and in particular using ICTs, which contributes to enhancing the country's productivity," the report says.
Overall, the UAE's competitiveness reflects the high quality of its infrastructure, where it ranks a solid 5th, as well as its highly efficient goods markets (4th). Strong macroeconomic stability (7th) and some positive aspects of the country's institutions such as strong public trust in politicians (3rd) and high government efficiency (9th) round up the list of competitive advantages of the UAE, according to the report.
The report noted that going forward, putting the UAE on a more stable development path will require further investment to boost health and educational outcomes (49th on the health and primary education pillar).
"Raising the bar with respect to education will require not only measures to improve the quality of teaching and the relevance of curricula, but also measures to provide incentives for the population to attend schools at the primary and secondary levels," the report says.
"The United Arab Emirates emerges as somewhat socially sustainable, although its environmental performance shows some weaknesses. Low youth unemployment and wide access to basic necessities (sanitation and drinking water) drive these fairly positive results." Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State and Chairwoman of Emirates Competitiveness Council, described the Global Competitiveness Report a testimonial by the international community on the UAE's leadership and global stature among the most advanced and creative states.
"This achievement is the result of the wisdom of the leadership who aspire for fulfilling the UAE Vision 2021 which is aimed at taking the UAE to a position among the world's best countries by 2021. I hail the federal and local department for joining hands to produce this outstanding improvement in the past years," she said.
"Despite this progress and advancing positions (in the WEF report), we still have a lot of work ahead, and we, as individuals and institutions, will join hands and spare no effort to continuously advance the UAE to even higher positions," Minister Al Hashemi added.