Abu Dhabi is the most resilient city in the Middle East for investors, with real estate research firm Savills saying the UAE capital topped its Resilient Cities Index, which ranks cities that can withstand or embrace technological, demographic, and leadership disruption facing the real estate sector around the world.
Savills said New York, London, and Los Angeles would be among the world's top four resilient cities by 2028, and the company's head of global markets, Simon Hope, said disruption "is on the menu" around the world as cities grow and evolve in line with future needs.
Investors looking for long-term returns would find growth in Middle Eastern, Indian, and tier-two Chinese cities, Savills explained, as their markets are “likely to grow in the face of global disruption” in the coming decade, but remain relatively untapped at present.
Named 'Challenger Cities', the regions are predicted to make big leaps up the ranking in the next decade, with the list also featuring Saudi Arabia's Riyadh and Jeddah.
Commenting on the findings, Savills's world research director, Sophie Chick, said: “What our eight 'Challenger Cities' have in common is that they are all likely to see substantial increases in their GDP and growth in household incomes, while their dependency ratios – the proportion of people of a non-working age to those of a working age – will either fall or increase at a lower rate than other major cities between now and 2028.
"This indicates that they are set to be young, prosperous, and able to adapt to changes in the way the world operates at a faster pace than some better known locations.”
Hope added: “Our eight ‘Challenger Cities’ may offer alternative investment destinations.
"While not without risk, these cities are set to accelerate up the ranks as they demonstrate their resilience to the challenges ahead and investors should start investigating how to secure a footing in these markets if they’re willing to sit tight and take a long-term view.”