Globalization and Islamic Cities of the Middle East

Document Type : Original Article


1 -Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 -PhD Student of Geography and Urban Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran



Throughout the history, cities, from city states of the ancient Greece to the Islamic cities and the cities of the middle ages have been related to each other and have always been the origin of the changes of human societies. The main instances of communications and transformations can be witnessed in Islamic cities, such as Mecca, Baghdad, Basra, Isfahan, Cordova, and Cairo during the eighth to tenth centuries A.D. when they were involved in major, and mostly, global processes. The Middle East, after a long period of decline, is now the arena of globalization, and its cities are entering into the process of globalization and are increasingly connecting to the network of global cities.The aim of the present study is to explain the range of globalization in the Middle Eastern mega cities, and the position of such cities in the network of global cities. This study was conducted through descriptive-analytical method. The findings indicate that although Islamic cities have been, for a long time, the main actors at global level, they were unable to play a significant role in the process of globalization due to lack of civil institutions, colonization and the rentier nature of most regional governments. However, today, some of these cities, due to their geographical position, and friendly approach to world economy and capital have been able to gain a good position in the network of global cities.