Aberdeen and Dundee are both bidding to be named the UK City of Culture for 2017.
Aberdeen City Council said it is lodging its registration documents to the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport while a spokesman for Dundee City Council confirmed that it too will bid for the status.
Rita Stephen, Aberdeen's bid manager, said: "Aberdeen wouldn't have entered the competition unless we thought we had a good chance of winning. We have the infrastructure in this city capable of putting on an incredible year. We have amazing artists, writers, musicians, actors, film-makers, craftsmen and craftswomen in this city who all want to be involved. And we know how to use UK City of Culture to make Aberdeen a more creative and inspiring place."
The city's Lord Provost, councillor George Adam, said: "Aberdeen City Council took the decision to bid for UK City of Culture because, quite simply, the arts are worth investing in. There is an economic argument that shows even a little money generates massive returns. But more importantly for us, this is about making the city a better place.
"This is about making sure that people who live and work in Aberdeen have the opportunity to be challenged, stimulated and stirred. It's about inspiring the next Michael Clark (dancer) or the next Emeli Sande (singer), as well as encouraging a performer to get up on stage at an open mic night. It's about being a creative city. That's what we want Aberdeen to be."
Dundee City Council announced in November that it is setting up a group for its bid.
Ken Guild, council leader, said at the time: "Cultural facilities have been an important component in the city's transformation in recent years. This would be a people's bid, where the population of Dundee would play a major role in events that could take place.
"We enjoy a strength and depth of outreach programmes and local participation that already shows the enthusiasm of Dundee people for cultural activity. Dundee's cultural facilities also act as a magnet for visitors and we are excited by the predictions that are being made for the V&A at Dundee."
The deadline for cities and areas to register their interest is February 28 and the shortlist should be announced in June.
Leicester, York, Plymouth and Hull are also reportedly bidding.