From fishing village to futuristic metropolis: Dubai’s remarkable transformation

Dubai 19

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Charlotte Edmond, Formative Content,


At over 1000m tall, the rocket-shaped Dubai Creek Tower will be the world’s tallest building when it’s completed, stealing the crown from one of the city’s other mega structures, the Burj Khalifa, just down the road.

Artist's impression shows how Dubai Creek Tower will look.
An architectural depiction of the Dubai Creek Tower soaring above the skyline.
Image: Emaar

Showy and opulent, this latest addition to the Dubai skyline is typical of the city that a few decades back was little more than a fishing village.

 

Built on the back of an oil and real-estate boom, Dubai is now recognized as the globalized financial capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE); a hub for trade, tourism and banking.

Reaching for the sky, the city-state is teeming with glittering infrastructure. It has become synonymous with colossal projects including man-made islands and the world’s largest natural flower garden, tallest ferris wheel and most luxurious hotel.

Built on oil

Since Dubai started to diversify its economy in the 1970s it has grown more quickly than many of its neighbours. Easily accessible from around the world, the population rocketed in the decades that followed, largely driven by foreign migrants.

The UAE capital – and by far the wealthiest emirate – Abu Dhabi has also seen a population boom in the last 50 years. But there is a marked difference between the UAE’s two most successful emirates – Abu Dhabi still relies on oil for much of its wealth. Today less than 1% of Dubai’s GDP is from oil – at one time it was over half.

By 2050 Dubai aims to get almost half of its energy from renewable sources. That said, Dubai is also building a giant coal power plant – the first in the UAE.

What is the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils?

A giant brainstorm in Dubai, the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils takes place from 3-4 November 2019. It brings together more than 600 members of the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Future Councils – leaders from academia, business, government and civil society.

The discussions will promote innovative thinking to address the biggest challenges we face, as well as emerging or cross-cutting topics related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

A slowing economy

Behind the prosperity on display, Dubai’s economy has not been performing well in recent years. Property prices have been falling, construction projects are on hold, the number of white collar jobs available is faltering and economic growth is slowing.

Despite the diversification of the economy, many of Dubai’s current problems are linked to the 2015 drop in oil prices.

And Dubai is certainly not alone in recognizing the need to avoid over-dependence on oil.

Abu Dhabi and the other emirates are also making efforts to diversify their economies, looking to grow their non-oil knowledge-based sectors.

The $13.6 billion Ghadan 21 reforms include a series of initiatives to attract investment and new business to Abu Dhabi from overseas. The government is offering loans and encouraging investment and ecotourism in some of its underdeveloped regions.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

European Commission: the LED lights of your Audi A6 shall save our planet

How the post-COVID workplace will change business for the better

Advanced economies still have plenty of work to do to reach Sustainable Development Goals

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

How private equity can fund the fight against climate change

Plenary highlights: Commission changes, EU budget and climate law

An economist explains how to go carbon neutral in our lifetime

Here’s how we solve the global crisis of tribalism and democratic decay

Eurozone to enter the winter…

The European giant tourism sector in constant growth

Microplastics have been found in Rocky Mountain rainwater

How biotechnology is evolving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

A machine din

Roaming market review: use of mobile phones abroad has surged since end of EU roaming charges

I’m not feeling lucky: The “Right to Be Forgotten” ruling puts Google inside a box

Energy Union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement

Less than half of EU travellers are aware of EU Passenger Rights

Myanmar doing too little to ensure displaced Rohingya return: UN refugee agency chief

How can entrepreneurship tackle the migration crisis in the EU?

YouTube stars get creative at UN, to promote tolerance

The drive for quality education worldwide, faces ‘mammoth challenges’

The eyes of Brazil and the world turn to the largest rainforest and largest biodiversity reserve on Earth #PrayForAmazonia.

China’s cities are rapidly becoming more competitive. Here’s why

Human trafficking, slavery reports and health of migrants in Libya

“One Belt One Road”: Its relevance to the European Companies

Action needed to tackle stalled social mobility

Everybody against Germany over the expensive euro

Rohingya crisis: EU strengthens humanitarian support with €10 million

How global trade can save lives and livelihoods – and help protect the planet

Africans can fight COVID-19 with stakeholder capitalism

EU to manage external borders against the will of member states; Greece to be the first target

European Youth Forum welcomes the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Union Code on Visas, however it does not go far enough

Vaccination: understanding the challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

An Eastern Wind

Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders

Finding calm in the COVID-19 chaos 

4 ways the US can take the lead in the fight against human trafficking

Two rhythms and a sharpened pencil: how art can help us heal and make sense of the world

China joins list of nations banning the sale of old-style fossil-fuelled vehicles

Why is Grexit again in the news? Who is to pay for Eurozone’s banking problems?

Global leaders and companies pledge to reduce the gender pay gap by 2030

FROM THE FIELD: Urban Mexico moves toward better livelihoods, cleaner cities

30 years of tissue engineering, what has been achieved?

The Banking Union may lead to a Germanic Europe

Draghi repels Trump’s threats, rejects Schauble’s dictums

Food safety: more transparency, better risk prevention

On World Bee day, human activity blamed for falling pollinator numbers

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: sexual violence in conflict, a malaria vaccine trial, updates on Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, Sri Lanka and Mali

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

Here’s how sustainability can make you stand out from the crowd

A new generation of young people is putting the planet first. Here’s everything you need to know

MEPs oppose EU Commission plans to authorise three herbicide-resistant GMOs

Doctors are humans too: the benefits of embracing your mental status

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) on the arrest of Turkish Medical Association leaders

A quarter of Pacific islanders live below ‘basic needs poverty lines’, top UN development forum hears

This is what European business leaders think about the future of autonomous machines

Germany is turning its old mines into tourist hotspots

Some 300,000 Venezuelan children in Colombia need humanitarian assistance; UNICEF looks to boost response funding

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s