New York voted best city to do business in

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New York is the best city to do business in and the world's favorite city, according to a global survey.

The Big Apple beat off stiff competition from some of the best commercial centers in the world to top the list of top cities compiled by Ipsos MORI.

Abu Dhabi trailed in second, Hong Kong stood in third, Tokyo landed the fourth spot and London held steady at five. New York also topped the list of "world's favourite city" in the study beating the likes of Paris and Sydney.

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The prominence of Wall Street and an appealing entertainment industry in the U.S makes New York an attractive city, Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos MORI told CNBC.

"It's this iconic almost dream-like place for people all over the world. Not only is it the key business city in the largest economy in the world, it is also in a country that has the largest entertainment industry in the world," said Page.

"The myth of New York has a bigger appeal than any other city on earth."

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The survey covered 18,000 people across 24 countries. Participants were given a list of 48 major cities and asked which ones were the best to do business in, which were best to live in and which people most wanted to visit.

London featured prominently in the study, being voted as Europe's top city, the world's second favorite city, and the third best place to live in.

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"Together with positive signs for the UK economy and London generally, and after a brilliant Olympics in 2012, this survey reaffirms London as not only the most important city in Europe, but also affirms Britain continuing to punch above its weight globally," Page said.

Zurich topped the list of best cities to live in while Paris was deemed the best place to visit.

—By CNBC's Arjun Kharpal: Follow him on Twitter @ArjunKharpal and @CNBCWorld