Dubai: Past and Future

In 1973, Robin Moore wrote a book called “Dubai,” which is now out of print and even banned in that country.  At the time, Dubai looked something like this:

  

(The pic is actually from 1990 but it’s close enough)

In 2007 Ben Mezrich wrote a book called Rigged, where the main character travels to Dubai.  Dubai looks like this now:

Surprisingly, only 6% of their GDP comes from oil wealth.  The rest comes from Trade, Real Estate, and Tourism.  Questions:

1.) Is it sustainable?

2.) Will the real estate boom continue?

3.) How will Peak Oil affect them? (most of their current trade has to do with that commodity)

4.) If you don’t believe in Peak Oil, how will alternate energy sources affect them?

5.) Should they build a solar cell farm in the desert?

6.) How will climate change affect them?

7.) How will US actions affect them – whether we pull out of Iraq or invade Iran?

8.) Seems to me it is in their interest to encourage moderate Arabs – developing the Arab nations will increase trade opportunities that have nothing to do with Oil.

Dubai is indeed an economic miracle and very tolerant of westerners.  But it seems to me that they have some hard questions and choices to face over the next ten years if they want to sustain their success.

Scott

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