How Did They Make The Dream Called Dubai A Reality
By Pankaj Mohan
Dubai's late emir Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum once famously said, "My granddad used to ride a camel, my father did the same, I have been driving a Mercedes and my son uses a Land Rover. Perhaps his son will also do the same, but there is no guarantee down the lane somebody will not be start riding the camels again." He was reflecting his concerns on how Dubai's oil reserves might dry up one day, and the riches bestowed upon his masses will have evaporated. The statement obviously hinted his foresightedness, and also suggested what governing policies he might be thinking about to make the economy be free and non-oil-centric.
Much of the initial thrust to any such policy maneuvering though was given by the discovery of oil itself. Dubai had a phase of rapid urban growth once the oil production began in the late 60s. Investment started to flow in and major multinationals began toying with the idea of getting a foothold there. A free-trade center situated closely to the mainland became an instrument for much of the initial trade and commerce. This was followed by a series of infrastructural developments and the arrival of a huge number of expatriates, many of whom were highly skilled professionals.
Dubai's own twin port across the Dubai creek, Deira had become an equally important destination for the Western manufacturers in those days. Much of the banking and financial activities had been located in the same areas, which made the significance of these two ports fairly large. Construction activities began taking place thereafter on a massive scale, hence pushing Dubai's urbanization in a fast lane. The city carries now several trade-zones, each having a unique role in the overall economy. Service industries such as IT and finance are the latest additions to the increasing trade in Dubai. Air travel has also been one of the big-time gainers with the state-owned Emirate Airline itself carrying over 12 million passengers in the fiscal year 2005.
Dubai government's decision of packaging tourism with the service sector was a crucial one, which helped the economy break away free from its own oil revenues. Not only did it bring in moolah for the trade and commerce, but also brought to the fore tremendous real estate possibilities. Construction has been taking place on a rapid scale since the initiation of those significant policy changes. Projects like Dubai Marina, the Burj Dubai Complex, Business Bay and Dubailand are some of those names that will eventually make Dubai one of the most sought after urban centers in the entire world.
Hotel industry is another key area where Dubai's planners have always had tremendous interest. A recent announcement by the authorities says a mammoth $ 27 billion investment is being awaited in the hotel sector. It will double the current number of hotel rooms, estimated to be around 29,000, by the year 2016. This is a significant development, keeping in mind the rising number of visitors Dubai has been experiencing since the last several years. Projects like Burj Al Arab, the only existing seven star hotel on earth, are just a reminder of where Dubai's hotel industry and the infrastructure as a whole are headed to.
Sheikh Rashid had a dream and the required vision to transform it into reality. He happened to achieve through his sheer belief, what many thought was impossible to carry out. Dubai's ongoing clout in the area of trade and commerce has to be thankful to all such visionaries and the lineage within.
About the Author
Pankaj Mohan is a freelance writer who often writes on matters related with Dubai, on behalf of MyDubaiHotels.com. Kindly visit this site to learn more about Dubai hotels. Also get information on what these hotels in Dubai normally have in offer for you.
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