Riyadh and Jeddah had a stellar 2010-2011, clocking the second and third highest growth rates in the world according to The Brookings Institution’s 2011 Global MetroMonitor.

Their performance was only bettered by the Chinese economic engine Shanghai, which saw its income rise nearly 10% during the 2010-11 period.

Riyadh posted a 7.8% rise in income and 6.3% growth in employment to emerge as the second fastest growing metropolitan in the world.

Jeddah fared extremely well too, registering a 7% rise in income and 5.5% in employment to claim a distinguished third place.

The performance of the two Middle East cities is even more commendable given the unrest in the region last year. Of course, both cities were buoyed by high oil prices and the economic stimulus announced by the Saudi Government as a direct response to the Arab Spring revolution exploding across the region.

Riyadh, which previously ranked 17th in the survey, saw a great jump partially because of growth in local markets, business and finance and manufacturing according to The Brooking Institution’s data, which tracks 200 of the largest cities across the world.

“This 2011 Global MetroMonitor identifies large metropolitan areas that led or lagged on economic growth from 2010 to 2011, the latest year of a still-volatile period for the global economy,” said the report. “It further explains how and why metropolitan performance shifted in 2011 versus previous years, and identifies metro areas that have fully recovered from the great recession, those still in recovery mode, and those that continued to lose ground last year.”

source: Zawya