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Up-and-coming Global Cities to Keep Your Eyes On!

05 Oct

Every day, people choose to move to large, well-known cities looking for better opportunities. However, whilst big wealthy cities in high-income countries are attractive to live in, they can also be extremely unaffordable due to their desirability. As the cost of living in high-income cities such as London, New York, Paris and Tokyo continues to rise, there has been a growing trend within the business and investment sector; companies have begun to consider moving to cities within low to middle-income countries as an alternative to traditional (more expensive) locales. 

Here are our top picks for the fastest growing up -and-coming cities: 

1. Jakarta 

With a population of over 10 million, Jakarta is Indonesia’s most populous capital city. It is the economic, cultural and political centre of the region. Based on a survey by Brooking Institute, in 2011 economic growth in Jakarta ranked 17th among the world's 200 largest cities, a jump from its 2007 ranking of 171. Jakarta has grown more rapidly than Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, and Bangkok. A report by A.T Kearney cites improvements in security, environmental protection and income equality in Jakarta. 

2. Manila

Because of its small land area and huge population, Manila is regarded as the most densely populated city in the world with 41,515 people per square kilometre, and a total population of 1.78 million. The aforementioned report notes that while Manila is not yet a leading city for global business, sharp improvements in human capital indicators, like improved health care, make the Filipino capital a rising star.

3. São Paulo

With a total population of 11.32 million, São Paulo is the most populous city in Brazil, South America and the Southern Hemisphere, and it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.  It is regarded as an ‘alpha’ city by GaWC - a city generally considered to be an important component in the global economic system. The city has the 10th largest GDP in the world, representing 10.7% of all Brazilian GDP. It is a bustling city looking to grow even bigger in the coming years and becoming a prime spot for investment. 

4. Bogotá

Bogotá ranked 52nd on the Global Cities Index 2014 and is considered a global city type ‘Beta’ by GaWC (moderate economic regions into the world economy). In Latin America, it is rapidly progressing towards being one of the leading cities in terms of human capital, strong stability, security and rapid improvements in healthcare. 

5. Nairobi

In 2011, Nairobi was considered to have around 4 million residents. It is the second fastest growing city in Africa in terms of population, after Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. It is a developing city with a thriving central business district that features many of Nairobi's important buildings and business headquarters. In addition, Nairobi has a large tourist industry and is currently pushing to become Africa’s technology centre with development projects like Konza Technology City, an innovation district that will include space for educational institutions and technology firms, encouraging them to collaborate.  


There are many more cities like these emerging from low and middle-income countries, which is great news for the general economy. Overall, it promotes global business collaboration, integrates cultures and provides us with greater opportunities to explore the world.

If you’re interested in discovering a new part of the world while also gaining an invaluable career opportunity, take a look at all the technical jobs we currently have in the Middle East and get in touch with one of our consultants today!

Tagged In: Technical
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