Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The half complete draft of "Dubai: Between Vision and Execution"

I wrote this in December 2005 but never got around to finishing it.

There comes a time when one must stop and evaluate the incline ahead. What Dubai has achieved is, beyond any doubt, a case study miracle that will be studied in business schools and think tanks along with prior – Singapore and Malaysia – and subsequent – Qatar – success stories of redeploying capital into efficient avenues all yielding to a diverse and prosperous economy.

The value proposition, as we have come accustomed to refer to it is the one stop service hub that will flourish and the region; the concept is fault proof. There is large demand for a command center to steer development in Middle East, and Dubai fits perfectly here because it is the paradigm that can be taught and understood by all neighbors in the region. The same paradigm has been identified as a launch pad for reform policies in the region without the need to clash with anti-western reform sentiment. It is an in house restructuring task force and to a certain extent there is no tangible consultancy fee in the near horizon.

Also, Dubai's various projects and initiatives serve a complimentary benefit. From real estate to hospitality, from banking to healthcare, and from education to recreation, these are all services that any tourist and resident would find indispensable. Not to mention their role as secondary service providers to neighboring state residents. Dubai is increasingly becoming a winter home and a get away, this attributed to its low tax and safety.

But beyond all this comes another question. How well is the execution? I believe we have a problem that may or may not self correct. Either way, this should not be the attitude. Dubai is enjoying an economic expansion which in addition to the value proposition is due to the post 9/11 capital flight into the region, as well as oil prices at historic highs. This has lead to a period of relative self assurance as to the performance of the economy as a whole. This self assurance in turn may have inclined developmental initiatives to increase in volume and audacity but not necessarily in quality, this in turn has prolonged the suspension of much needed measures of priority.

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