Dubai: A Model for Economic Success

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Dubai: A Model for Economic Success

It’s the kind of transformation one could have only dreamed about a century ago. Dubai turned itself from what was essentially a desert village, reliant on the productivity of its pearl fishers and local merchants and the demand placed by Persia on their goods, into the preeminent economic center of the middle-east. The transition saw Dubai morph from a state of almost meaninglessness in the Gulf region to a state of financial dominance and significant influence on the economies of not only its middle-eastern neighbors but the world as well. This paper will investigate Dubai’s economic development from a historical perspective and how it succeeded, both by way of its own devices and the actions and policies of other nations which assisted in its growth, and look at the current state of the emirate’s economy and abundance of wealth.

Dubai makes no reservations about showing off how wealthy it is. Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai, and also the world’s only 7-star hotel, the Burj Al-Arab, glaring symbols of the wealth present in the emirate. Other examples of Dubai’s wealth include world’s largest mall and a police force largely made up of expensive supercars. Dubai’s mall is by far the most extravagant shopping center in history: it is 12.1 million square feet in size, holds 1,200 retail outlets, and hosts 75 million visitors each year, 40% of which are tourists. Tourism is on the rise in Dubai as well. Dubai’s airport has seen passenger traffic grow by 15% each year since 2002, full of European tourists looking for sun and tax-free shopping as well as the growing Indian middle-class. Dubai also plans to build the world’s largest entertainment complex, call...

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...y characterized by the developmental investments made by the city’s rulers to create a sustainable economy, including two new major ports and the Dry Docks. The globalized era shows that Dubai is consistently taking advantage of the opportunities of globalization, attracting Foreign Direct Investments via the DIFC and real estate. These processes have created a financially stable Dubai with a high GDP and average personal income, and a very low unemployment rate. Critical junctures in Dubai’s history and the decisions made amid them, influenced by the key parameters of the city’s developmental model, have resulted in a Dubai that has established itself as financially dominant in the Gulf region, a center for economic success and opportunity. It’s the dreams and vision of the rulers of Dubai, begun a century ago, that endure today and continue to shape its success.
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