Dubai

Dubai is set to become the centre of the world by 2100, a position that is currently held by London, according to an expert at the Government Summit in Dubai.

Population booms in Asia and Africa will be the main driver of this shift in Dubai’s importance, said Hans Rosling, co-founder of Gapminder said during a session at the summit.

“By year 2100, America would have less than 10 per cent of the world’s population while 80 per cent of the population would be in Africa and Asia. The surge in population growth in Africa and Asia would make Dubai the centre of the world by 2100,” he predicted.

Out of the current seven billion people in the world today, one billion live in the Americas, one billion in Africa, one billion in Europe and four billion in Asia, Rosling said.

He added that Europe’s population might be severely affected by 2050, due to the dwindling birth rate.

Meanwhile, other regions such as Asia and Africa will see 25 per cent and 100 per cent population growth respectively.

The UAE too is expected to witness steady population growth over the next few years as it aims to become a regional hub in the Middle East.

According to the World Urbanisation Prospects report released by the UN in 2013, the UAE’s urban population is expected to amount to 7.9 million by 2020, growing at an average annual rate of 2.3 per cent between 2010 and 2020.

City dwellers in the UAE are forecast to account for 86.7 per cent of the country’s population by 2020, up 84 per cent from 2010, the report said.

Rosling also pointed out that healthier children are being born in the world, compared to earlier years.

“While in the 1800s, a couple had on the average eight children of which only four survived as a result of harsh living conditions, by 1900s out of six children four survived. However, the new balance in 2012 shows every couple having only two children with both the children surviving.”

Two-child families have also become the norm globally, Rosling noted.

“Families and governments are today keen on supporting the young population with education and better facilities.

“The emerging market of the world is the young couple in any country with their ambitions and dreams. These young couples are the driving force behind the changes in the world.”