View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dubai Rides the Oil Boom

Here is a sampling from a very comprehensive US News report entitled ‘Dubai Rides the Oil Boom’.

Central Theme:
“With oil prices near record levels, the Gulf is on the receiving end of a historic transfer of wealth from oil consumers that dwarfs previous oil booms, even after adjusting for inflation. Just between 2002 and 2006, Gulf economies doubled. And this time, in contrast to earlier oil booms when most of the profits were reinvested in the West, Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia are investing much more of that windfall at home.”

“More than $1 trillion of construction projects is currently underway in the Persian Gulf states, but the changes aren't just about the vast amounts of concrete, glass, and steel being erected. Indeed, this unprecedented wealth transfer is starting to rewrite the fundamental balance of power in the world economy, says Robert Hutchings, who as the head of the U.S. National Intelligence Council until 2005 led a project looking at what the world might be like in 2020. The rise of the Gulf economies ‘should give us pause about how much we Americans and the countries that created the global financial system 60 years ago still have control of it,’ he says.”

The article offers this scope:
* Examples of ‘the city of superlatives’-Burj Al Arab, Burj Dubai
* The transformation and the Dubai marketing machine
* Building a world-class city in the sand on a par with New York
* Becoming a major global financial centre
* Tourism attractions
* Tourist and cargo traffic—new airports
* UAE as the ‘new America’
* Growing pains—traffic congestion, property rentals up,
* Foreign labour issues
* Security and the threat of terrorist strikes
* Balancing western interests and Muslim sensibilities
* Dress, alcohol, prostitution, drugs
* Political issues

The article comes with a photo gallery and video.

Kevin Whitelaw, Dubai Rides the Oil Boom, US News & World Report, 5 June 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: “Foreign workers from South Asia at a labor camp.” (Photo courtesy US News)