The economic success of Dubai is a shining example to China and the rest of the Arab world, according to top industry experts at the Boao Forum for Asia Financial Cooperation Conference which took place recently in Dubai.
What the world can learn from Dubai
The comments come at a good time for the UAE. Like China, its economy has recorded double-digit growth over an unprecedentedly short period of time.
This growth brings with it challenges as well as. A common misconception that I sometimes hear is that the economies of the UAE and Qatar are built solely on their vast natural resources.
Whilst undoubtedly, these two nations’ economies have benefited greatly from gas and oil, this isn’t the full picture.
The truth is, without good governance and a solid strategy to diversify the economy and attract more wealth and investment, Dubai would not be the city that it is today.
In the words of journalist Mohamed Fayad al-Harthi: “The UAE’s success has been based on decentralisation into a federal-type governance structure.”
Good governance and a sound economic footing
Dubai’s transformation in a just a few decades from a small fishing village to a booming world city is less an economic miracle than the product focused efforts of the UAE to create the foundations for an open, diverse and prosperous society.
Other oil and gas rich nations such as Libya which have relatively small populations and are regarded by some as ‘failed states’ prove that natural resources, whilst important, can’t alone make a nation an economic success story.
It’s been reported this month that by the end of this year, Dubai could overtake Heathrow to become the world’s busiest airport, with the total number of passengers exceeding 71 million.
The number of flights in and out of Dubai is only one measure of it being a truly global city.
I recently blogged about the staging of major sporting events in the region – this speaks volumes about the global ambitions of both Qatar and the UAE.
The recent news that a fight between top boxers Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather has been touted to take place in Dubai in 2015 came as little surprise to many.However, even the idea that such high profile sporting events would occur in such a small country would have been unthinkable only several years ago.
It’s little wonder then that the Boao Forum was so commending of the city.
James Swallow is Commercial Director of Middle East based PRO Partner Group. PRO Partner Group specialises in providing foreign investors with a seamless and financially efficient means to setting up a profitable corporate presence in the UAE, Qatar and Oman.