"Oh Manchester, so much to answer for," crooned Morrissey, the miserabilist frontman of the 1980s pop group The Smiths.
Many employees of the BBC are now saying something similar, as the UK media giant undertakes a mass staff relocation to Greater Manchester from London.
But what do they know? While the northern city may not have a glamorous reputation, it is nonetheless a bustling economic hub, having benefited from decades of regeneration. But some Londoners are reluctant to admit this.
Manchester was the engine behind the industrial revolution, as home to a thriving cotton industry during the Victorian era. Admittedly, this earned it a reputation for being somewhat grim, a situation not helped by the city's two nicknames: "rainy city" and "warehouse city".
But in the past two decades, Manchester has undergone a transformation, and many now consider it the country's unofficial "second city", ahead of the more populous Birmingham. It was a bomb attack by Irish republicans in 1996, in which no one was killed, that prompted a period of massive regeneration in the city. The Arndale shopping centre, damaged in the blast, was rebuilt. New projects include Beetham Tower, completed in 2006, which at 47 storeys is one of the tallest buildings in the UK. There is even a branch of Harvey Nicks.
Manchester is the 12th best city for conducting business in all of Europe, according to Cushman & Wakefield, a property consultancy. It is home to the banking giant Co-operative Group, and is one of the richest football destinations in the world, given its two Premier League teams. And its ties to Abu Dhabi are strengthening: Etihad Airways earlier this month bought the naming rights to the Manchester City football ground, while the Abu Dhabi Festival sponsors a cultural event in the MediaCityUK development, the new home of the BBC.