That is a question that I am asked quite frequently by people and I also often ask myself. It usually ignites a long heated debated that rarely comes up with a clear answer. Then again, such a question cannot be answered in a simple sentence. Or can it?
I still clearly remember how on family holidays in Europe most people had no idea where Dubai or the UAE was. We would usually resort to mentioning its more famous neighbouring countries when questioned on its geographical location (mind you, mentioning countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia doesn’t always give people in Europe a good first impression). This is referring to the mid 90s and not a bygone era! Having witnessed its transformation from a small town into a major metropolitan city I have come up with multiple, complimentary factors that have catapulted Dubai into the international limelight. However, I personally believe that two factors stand out from the rest.
The UAE has stayed out of the international tit-for-tat bickering that have consumed most of the Arab world’s resources. Their efforts are introverted and focused on economic expansion and development. They are not infatuated with petty international political rhetoric typical of most Arab governments. They mind their own business and are more worried about the things going on in their backyard rather than being preoccupied with what’s going on over the fence.
Even more crucial than this is its miniscule local population that have lessened the social issues that have overwhelmed all other Arab countries. After all, looking after two children is a lot easier than taking care of twenty ?