In a report titled SUSTAINABLE CITIES INDEX 2016 :  Putting people at the heart of city sustainability, Arcadis, a global design and consultancy firm released this report on the most sustainable cities in the world.  The PDF formatted report of Arcadis said it ranked 100 global cities across three sectors of sustainability — “People, planet and profit.”

In the same report however, Doha, Qatar is found as ‘not’ or the least environmentally sustainable form amongst the GCC countries.  In effect, Doha came in at 72nd out of 100 cities in this year’s Sustainable Cities Index, compiled for Arcadis by UK-based economic consultancy Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).  Last year, the country’s capital ranked 41st out of 50 cities in the same index.

Generally, the Middle East did not fare well on the global sustainability scale, and of the eight cities in the Middle East included in this year’s study, Doha fared the worst in the region because of its ‘green factors’ while ranking in the middle in terms of regional sustainability.

Dubai took the top spot and came in 52nd position globally, followed by its Emirati neighbour Abu Dhabi.  Refer to the table below for the Middle East cities ranking in Arcadis’s report.

City and country Middle East ranking Global ranking
Dubai, UAE



Abu Dhabi, UAE



Kuwait City, Kuwait



Doha, Qatar



Muscat, Oman



Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



Jeddah, Saudi Arabia



Amman, Jordan



Source: Arcadis

Worldwide, European cities walked away with taking up 13 of the top 15 placements. The Swiss city of Zurich came in first place and Stockholm third, though Singapore came in second.

In the ‘planet’ category, cities were judged across seven factors such as Environmental risks, Energy, Green space, Air pollution, Greenhouse gas emissions, Waste management, Drinking water and sanitation.

But as put in Business Insider UK Arcadis in their report’s “profit sub-index”, ranked all the cities in the world in order of wealth and economic sustainability.  “The 19 most wealthy and economically healthy cities in the world” have amongst them Dubai at the 4th position.