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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Dubai ranked among the world's top 10 destinations for its 'over-the-top architecture and alluring heritage'

The Best Cities index rated 100 cities around the world. Abu Dhabi was ranked in 40th place.

Dubai was recognised for its shopping and dazzling architecture but also its celebration of local culture. Getty Images
Dubai was recognised for its shopping and dazzling architecture but also its celebration of local culture. Getty Images

Dubai has been named among the top 10 destinations to visit in a ranking of 100 cities.

The Best Cities index rates cities on six key areas - place, people, product, prosperity, programming and promotion, which considers factors such as attractions, the economy, entertainment and quality of recommendations on sites such as TripAdvisor.

London topped the ranking, followed by Paris, New York, Tokyo and Barcelona.

Dubai, the top city in the Middle East, was ranked in ninth place.

“An alluring blend of over-the-top architecture and Arab heritage, Bedouin culture, traditional souqs and luxury shopping, Dubai rises from the golden sands like a mirage,” reads the Dubai entry for the Best Cities index, which was compiled by Canadian branding and marketing expert Resonance Consultancy.

The index also highlights the emirate’s religiously tolerant, socially liberal and future-forward “brand”.

“The emirate comes in at number two in the world in our Place category, for which we look at influential factors like Crime Rate, Neighborhoods and Landmarks, Weather, and Parks & Outdoor Activities,” said the description.

The emirate welcomed 15.8 million international overnight visitors in 2017, up 6.5 per cent on the previous year.

The other cities in the top 10 were Moscow, Chicago, Singapore and San Francisco.

Abu Dhabi was ranked in 40th place, above cities such as Orlando, Venice and Athens.

“The UAE’s second city passes on the ostentatious and pursues the culturally significant,” says the Best Cities’ description for Abu Dhabi.

“While Dubai has massive shopping malls and the world’s biggest, tallest and most expensive everythings, Abu Dhabi is positioning itself as a leading global arts and culture hub, with the world’s largest mosque, and museums designed by just about every starchitect you can think of.”

It says the capital is currently ranked number 183 for museums, that is about to change with the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum.

“In the meantime, Abu Dhabi continues to promote heritage and nurture a rich cultural environment,” says the Best Cities ranking.

“Last year, leading contemporary Arab and western classical musicians from around the world performed in the emirate during a new, eight-month-long Music Programme, featuring concerts, performances and renditions taking place in prestigious venues across the emirate.”

A record 4.88 million people stayed in Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments last year, according to official figures, which represents a 9.8 per cent year-on-year increase in overnight stays.

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This month, the UAE was named the second safest country to visit, beating countries including Singapore, the US and popular European destinations.

The Which? Travel index ranked the world’s top 20 holiday destinations using data collated by the World Economic Fund, the World Risk Report, NHS Fit for Travel website and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s terrorism assessment risk to assess their overall safety.

Iceland topped the index, followed by the UAE, Singapore, Spain and Australia.