City Focus: Düsseldorf

- Leadership - May 02, 2019

As the capital of Germany’s most populous state, Düsseldorf offers architecture, industry, a leading business school and much more.

Düsseldorf is the capital of Germany’s most populous federal state, North Rhine-Westphalia. Known for its art, architecture and fashion, the city is one of Germany’s wealthiest. The manufacturing industry is a large contributor to the economy, along with commerce, communications and banking. “A total of 155 million people (31% of the total population) live within a radius of 500 kilometres,” states the city’s tourism website. “This represents half the buying power of the EU: a vast market for businesses. Around 100,000 companies are based in the economic area of Düsseldorf.”


District 1 covers the city’s centre and is made up of six stadtteile (or districts) – Altstadt, Carlstadt, Stadtmitte, Pempelfort, Derendorf, Golzheim. The city’s Medieval old town, known as Altstadt, claims to have the ‘longest bar in the world’ with more than 260 pubs located in the area. The square kilometre is home to buildings from the 13th century such as the Sankt Lambertus Basilika. The iconic Schlossturm (Castle Tower) and Burgplatz can also be found in the area.

“The district will also provide intellectual stimulation because this is where most of the state capital’s art and cultural venues are to be found,” notes the city’s tourism site. The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen art gallery, home to works from Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, can be found in the historic quarter, along with the NRW-Forum, Museum Kunstpalast and the Filmmuseum.


Referred to as the “project of the century” and “the heart of the city”, the Kö-Bogen complex in Altstadt won the prestigious MIPIM award for Best Urban Regeneration Project in 2014. “With the completion of the Kö-Bogen in the winter of 2013, the city of Düsseldorf has received a new city centre,” the space’s website reveals. “Architecture and the design of inner-city spaces take on a vital function: urban repair. This innovative and historically unique collaboration of city planning, architecture and top tenants turn Kö-Bogen into a very attractive piece of real estate.” The project was designed by Daniel Libeskind. The architect’s portfolio includes the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Denver Art Museum, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “All buildings stand for Germany’s sustainability in the future, conceptual strength and forward-thinking city planning,” the website continues. The area, which features shopping and restaurants, was awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.


Not far from the Altstadt district, the Rheinturm can be found in the southern district. Located on the Rhine river – the 1,233km stretch that runs along The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland – the tower stands at 240.5m tall. The concrete structure serves as a telecommunications tower, which features the world’s largest digital clock. Construction began on the tower in the city in 1979, with the structure inaugurated in 1981. The architect H. Deilmann designed Rheinturm, which can offer views as far as Cologne Cathedral, depending on the weather conditions.

Düsseldorf Business School

The Düsseldorf Business School is located at the Heinrich-Heine University. The school was established 14 years ago through a partnership between the Business and Economic Science Department of the Heinrich Heine University. “The Düsseldorf Business School is clothed in the legal structure of a GmbH.  Its shareholders are the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, notable businesses in the region of Düsseldorf, and private persons,” the school claims. “This model of ‘Public-Private Partnership’ combines the university’s reputation and quality assurance with the flexibility and the entrepreneurial knowledge of private business.” The university, which is located in District 3, also offers courses within Medicine, Arts and Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and Law.


With the city’s manufacturing industry being a large contributor to business, the wholesale company Makro has located its headquarters in Düsseldorf. The firm is jointly owned by METRO AG, the global group founded in 1964 and also based within the city. “METRO is a partner of many small and mid-sized independent companies. Their success is our focus,” the firm states. “We have made it our goal to lift the food and hospitality sector to a new level and to take advantage of the unique opportunity that the comprehensive digitisation of the industry presents – both for our customers, who can transform their business for long-term prosperity, and for us.”

Vodafone Germany

The German subsidiary of Vodafone Group, Vodafone Germany, is also based in Düsseldorf. The firm’s offices are located in District 4, the only district west of the Rhine, along with the headquarters for Kamps, Teekanne, and Rheinische. In 2016, Vodafone GmbH had 41.89mn mobile customers across the nation, ranking it as the second largest provider after Telefónica Germany. In 2000, Vodafone Group acquired Germany’s Mannesmann GmbH, an engineering firm, which led to the establishment of the subsidiary.

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