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World's Most Popular Business Cities

A shift in economic growth from the West to emerging markets over the past decade has led to the emergence of new business hubs across the world.

Regions such as Asia, the Middle East and South America have seen rapid economic growth, coupled with improved infrastructure, and in some cases, lighter regulation. Multinational organizations have rushed to capitalize on this, increasing the number of people they hire in these countries and setting up new offices in emerging markets. For example, banks including HSBC and Barclays have said they will increase hiring in Asia, while cutting staff in developed markets. GE, for example, has moved the headquarters of its X-ray business to Beijing from the U.S.

The emergence of these new business centers has sometimes come at the expense of the traditional centers such as New York, Frankfurt and London. But it hasn't always been smooth. Dubai, which experienced huge investments in real estate over the past decade, faced a property bust in 2009.

We decided to look at the top business hubs in the world based on research by global real estate firm CB Richard Ellis, which surveyed 300 of the world's largest companies, including Fortune 500 firms and other non-listed entities, such as law firms. The ranking is based on what percentage of these companies have offices in these cities.

We've matched that with the cost of renting office space in the central business districts (CBDs) of these hubs from real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Office rent cost is measured in square meter per year.

The results might surprise you with some of the largest North American cities absent. So which cities are the world's most popular business hubs? Click ahead to find out.

By: Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani(Posted: August 16, 2011)

Photo: Scott E Barbour | Getty Images