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By Daniel Brook February 27, Journalist, author and two-time Forefront contributor Daniel Brook saw the release of his second book, A History of Future Citiesthis month. Focusing on the history and ongoing development of four international cities, Brook examines how St.
The world became become rich in dubai with Dubai only a few years ago. The city that launched a thousand magazine features was presented to Westerners as many things: Rich, strange, tacky, threatening. But most of all, it was presented as become rich in dubai. Dubai was touted as a new phenomenon, but it is actually just the most recent iteration of a far older one.
For years, instant cities modeled on the West have been built in the developing world in audacious attempts to wrench a lagging region into the modern world. While the rise of become rich in dubai global crossroads cities was once checked by the speed of ocean liners and locomotives, today their growth is powered by intercontinental jets that can move a passenger from any major city in the world to any other in a single day.
So while the city of Dubai is new, the idea of Dubai is not. In the s, Mohammed tapped British Airways veteran Maurice Flanagan to launch Emirates airline, which would become an archetype of the Dubai model: A state-owned company managed by Western experts that would thrive in open international competition. In the early years, Emirates just linked Dubai to its surrounding region.
Saudis and Iranians came to shop and enjoy the libertine nightlife banned in their native theocracies. As Emirates grew, it became a kind of octopus, grabbing ever more far-flung parts of the world and drawing them to Dubai. Lured by the prospect of tax-free salaries, some of the international businessmen who visited, stayed. As the UAE has no antidiscrimination law, by company policy, Emirates prefers not to hire male flight attendants.
To achieve liftoff, Dubai just needed a spark. That spark would be the most devastating hijacking of become rich in dubai all: And because Dubai is the financial hub of the Gulf, the money that funded the plot flowed through its banks.
Moreover, in the run-up to the attacks, the Emirati elite had protected al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, if, perhaps, unwittingly. Inthe CIA abandoned an opportunity to execute bin Laden on a hunting trip because they believed Emirati royalty were leading the expedition. Indeed, until President George W. Hardly dyed-in-the-wool jihadis, the Emirati royals likely saw bin Laden as an eccentric buddy — part of their social milieu of Gulf Arab millionaire heirs but with an added frisson of radical chic.
Instead, it was become rich in dubai boon, setting off massive growth that was become rich in dubai halted by the global financial crisis. At the same time, the instability in the Middle East set off by the attacks and the subsequent American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq helped raise the price of oil, which already had been creeping upward in response to increasing demand in developing economies like China and India. As the regional financial center, Dubai was the logical place to invest locally.
Sheikh Mohammed moved quickly to turn the increasing capital flows into a gusher. InMohammed issued a land reform decree allowing foreigners to own real estate in Dubai — a become rich in dubai in any Gulf state.
Before the reforms, Dubai had no real estate market. Land was given out under a quasi-feudal system; all land was held by the sheikhs or by favored Emirati friends upon whom the sheikhs had bestowed parcels. Everyone else — including every foreigner — was a renter. With the reform, anyone could buy a home in Dubai — an opportunity with particular appeal to wealthy families become rich in dubai unstable countries nearby. Loaded Lebanese afraid of another civil war back home, Indian nouveaux riches seeking respite from the poverty at their doorsteps, and Russian become rich in dubai banking assets stripped from operations in their decaying motherland all poured cash into Dubai properties.
What Miami had long been for the elite of Latin America — a place to park wealth too risky to keep back home — Dubai became for the magnates and kleptocrats of the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the former Soviet Union. InDubai experienced as much property development as Shanghai, a city with 13 times its population.
Through a parallel strategy designed to lure multinational companies, Sheikh Mohammed successfully turned Dubai into the global business hub of the Middle East. Free zones in many countries were simply areas where companies were exempt from taxation. But in Dubai, there were no corporate or income taxes to begin with; the government was funded largely with the profits of state-owned enterprises, oil revenues and sin taxes on alcohol.
But inside the new free zone, business could be done much as it was done in the West, according to a specially crafted civil legal code geared specifically toward port businesses. Jebel Ali thrived under the new regime, becoming one of the busiest ports on the planet. Today, it processes over 10 million shipping containers annually.
With the success of Jebel Ali, Sheikh Mohammed began carving other free zones out of the desert, each specifically designed to woo an industry he felt would benefit Dubai. But carving Dubai up into free zones was more than just an economic development strategy. Being a single city governed under multiple legal regimes would come to define Dubai. Global cities have always struggled with how to apply laws to their diverse assemblages of people.
Through its patchwork of free zones, Dubai had come up with a new answer. While in the foreign become rich in dubai of Shanghai, different people were bound by different legal codes based on their nationality, in Dubai the same people would be governed by different legal codes depending on where they were within the city.
In Shanghai, extraterritoriality meant that no matter where you were in the treaty port, you were, in a legal sense, always back home; in Dubai, the free zones made traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood, in a legal sense, like moving from country to country.
As with the architectural blueprints, the intellectual become rich in dubai for the DIFC had been drawn up for the monarch by an American firm — consulting behemoth McKinsey — which advised the Dubai government to create a become rich in dubai district governed by Western-style business regulations. It fell to veteran finance regulator Errol Hoopmann, who was hired away from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission become rich in dubaito write the legal code.
Like a state, the DIFC has its own court system, presided over by an imported Become rich in dubai judge, to enforce its laws. In addition to making Dubai the financial hub of the Middle East, Sheikh Mohammed sought to make it the technology and media capital — pursuing glamorous industries whose viability in an autocracy seemed dubious. Insaltwater-inundated lowlands along Sheikh Zayed Road were drained and set aside to become two contiguous free zones, Internet City and Media City.
Today, the story twin Chrysler Buildings standing next to each other along the expressway mark the development. The SimCity Chryslers are a fitting icon for the Internet and Media City free zones, since the zones themselves mimic America on a deeper level, hoping to approximate the constitutionally protected free inquiry that has helped make the United States a global leader in media and technology. In the twin zones, become rich in dubai government promised, the Internet would be fully searchable except for sites based in Israel, which would remain blocked.
The government of Dubai could be open about the special Internet City become rich in dubai Media City regulations because, unlike other authoritarian countries, notably China, the UAE is completely transparent about its Internet censorship. To kick off the Internet City development, the state-owned real estate company behind the project cut a loss-leader deal with Microsoft: With Microsoft signed up, other companies soon followed.
Hundreds of become rich in dubai companies employing thousands of workers occupy a series of sleek, if less-showy, low-slung office buildings set amid manicured grounds and become rich in dubai lots.
But despite its big corporate names, Dubai has only been able to lure the finance and marketing departments of the tech companies. Assurance of free thought in one designated neighborhood has not been enough to woo the creative research and become rich in dubai and programming departments, which remain clustered in the more liberal nearby nations of India and Israel.
Internet City, for all its successes, is still hamstrung by the lack of intellectual freedom in the wider city-state of Dubai. With similar guarantees of freedom of information, the adjacent Media City development successfully attracted foreign bureaus of leading Western news services, including the BBCCNN and Reuters, as well as the top Arabic stations, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya. To the companies, Dubai offered a quiet location in the become rich in dubai of the Middle Eastern storm.
The city-state was an ideal place from which to cover the American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Journalists could hop on a plane for a short flight into the war zones, do their reporting, and then return to their office in rich, peaceful, stable Dubai. To Sheikh Mohammed, part of the allure of building Media City was free publicity. Bringing major bureaus to the city helped make Dubai a global household become rich in dubai as locally based journalists ended up covering fluffy stories in the city-state that they would never have covered farther afield.
Many Dubai developments seem to have been conceived with just such stories in mind. But as with Internet City, the degree of intellectual freedom in a Gulf autocracy remained an issue for the media companies. Their initial assumption that uncensored reporting by foreign media operating in Dubai would be tolerated as long as it focused on the wider region rather become rich in dubai the become rich in dubai affairs of the UAE has been called into question.
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