Chinese and MENA cities take top spots in world’s “Top 10 fastest growing metropolitan areas” report

Dubai, the fifth fastest growing economy in the world thanks to an ambitious strategy to diversify its economy.

Turkish cities Izmir, Istanbul, Bursa and Anakara are among the world’s top 10 fastest growing metropolitan areas according to the Global Metro Monitor, a report released by the Brookings Institution.

Izmir ranks second on the list just after Macau with a population of 4 million, 6.6% employment growth and 2% GDP per capita growth between 2013 and 2014. The city was came in tops for employment growth during the of the 2009 to 2014 period.

“Izmir has been a key trade hub since the 17th century, leveraging its easy access to Mediterranean and Aegean Sea shipping routes. The government has leveraged its geographic location through the promotion of industrial zones in and around the Izmir area,” the report commented.

The report tracks the growth of cities between 2013 and 2014. Cities were measured by the Institution’s economic performance index that combines employment and GDP per capita growth.

Dubai takes fifth spot with its 3.3 million population, 4.7% employment growth and 4.5% GDP per capita growth.

As the most populous city in the UAE, Dubai is a global hub for transportation, tourism, trade and professional services. Thanks to an ambitious strategy to diversify its economy Dubai no longer relies on commodities to power its economic growth, and today the service industry accounts for more than 70% of total GDP, according to the report.

Other fast-growing cities are Kunming, Hangzhou, Xiamen and Fuzhou.

The Brookings Institution is a non-profit public policy organisation based in Washington, DC.