Dubai’s Amazing Transformation (Dubai before and after story)
The ruling family’s strategy to transform this small emirate into a world-class business and leisure hub by 2018 is impressive. But serious challenges loom.in this article, I will discuss Dubai before and after development.
Desert to great city
Ever since Sheikh Rashid Al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, gave the order in 1959 to modernise the local creek – a trading port since 1830.
– the small desert sheikhdom on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula 120 miles from Iran across the Straits of Hormuz, has been developing at breakneck speed. Its aim is to become one of the world’s biggest commercial hubs.
Dubai struck oil in 1960, but this commodity is no longer its economic mainstay: oil revenues fell from 46% of GDP in 1975 to 23.5% in 2016.
In 1959, Sheikh Rashid borrowed money from Kuwait to help realise his ambitions for the Creek, from which local traders had peddled pearls, gold and, lately, grey goods to markets in India, Pakistan, and Iran.
He took an enormous risk. The cost of modernising the port was several times Dubai’s annual GDP at the time and sceptics didn’t think the project would work. But the newly dredged port increased trade by 20% in the first year, and import taxes helped to repay the Kuwaiti loan early.
Dubai before and after development
In 1960, Dubai International Airport was built with a 1,800-metre runway, two decades later, it was handling 2.8 million passengers, rising to 83.6 million by 2016.
Dubai has changed beyond all recognition (Dubai before and after development). Anyone living there in the 1970s would have seen the empty desert and the beginnings of an expatriate community. So scarce were hotels then that many business visitors had to sleep in the lobby or share rooms in the newly built InterContinental By 2005, Dubai had 300 hotels with 29,834 rooms, 20,000 more rooms are planned by 2010, not counting the 55 hotels envisaged in dollars 12bn investment in Dubailand, a new family resort.Dubai and Abu Dhabi last year, bringing the total stock to more than 100,000 rooms.
The relentless pace of development is part of the ruling family’s strategy to transform Dubai into a world-class hub. The Singapore model, which it most closely resembles, is a reminder that it faces stiff global competition. New upstarts such as Cape Verde are the Dubai model, luring companies with tax privileges in ‘free zones’.
After two decades of brash development, Dubai has become one of the world’s top places for businesses to locate and for tourism. The superlatives abound – from the Burj Dubai, at 800 meters-plus destined to be the tallest building in the world, to the three artificial luxury island resorts, the Palms Jumeirah, Jebel Ali, and Deira. Such projects get Dubai noticed.
Dubai also offers good service facilities to support commerce. It has increased its capacity to handle shipping since 1970. First, Port Rashid was developed and then, a decade later, the Jebel Ali port became the world’s largest man-made harbour. The trade figures reveal how successful these high-risk infrastructure investments have been.
In 2005, the UAE attracted dollars 12 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), making it the biggest recipient in the Middle East and North African region. Much of it went to Dubai. According to Sheikha Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi, the UAE’s minister of the economy, FDI rose to dollars 16 billion last year.
With its luxury beach resorts, indoor ski slope and the world’s biggest shopping malls, it’s easy to see why Dubai has been compared to Las Vegas. …