The issue of competitiveness often determines the wealth of nations. Initially studied at country level, the research field has expanded to include regions, firms, and, recently cities. Urban areas are of major concern to policy makers as they contribute heavily to the GDP of the country, as Dubai does. Regarding the specificities of the city and the ambitious objectives of the Emirates’ authorities, it is a heavily discussed topic that merits further investigation. Identifying the right determinants and measuring the level of competitiveness are still key concerns in both the managerial and academic literature. While a complex topic, several determinants within various development models have been identified, applied through rankings, and empirically tested, but the models lack an integrated or holistic perspective. Moreover, the perspective of the city residents is rarely considered, particularly when evaluating city competitiveness and its consequences in terms of performance. This research aims to fill these gaps.
Thus, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the performance of the city of Dubai using a people-centered approach. In other words, to consider how well the city is performing on a wide range of key competitiveness attributes identified in academic literature, in consulting reports and various indices, in terms of a causal chain of resident-environment fit variables.