The next New York City

October 22, 2007

by Kristen Miller

It wasn’t too long ago when Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates, Also shown is her sister, Adeline, and Sylvia Rudberg. was in the news for having indoor skiing in the middle of a desert. Now, it made the news again in a “60 Minutes report,” “A visit to Dubai, Inc.”

On its way to becoming a Middle Eastern version of New York City, Dubai is building up and out in quite a hurry.

Dubai Inc., is actually how Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, refers to his government. It is actually run like a business.

Sheikh Mohammed thinks that if the US and Europe can have it, why can’t Dubai? You name it, they’ve got it; and if they don’t have it, it won’t be long before they do.

Soon, Dubai will be home to the world’s largest shopping mall and the world’s tallest building, that, when finished, will be twice the size of the Empire State Building.

Sheikh Mohammed has big visions for Dubai and his city, some might call it ideal. After all, they don’t pay taxes, college tuition, or health care. Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe we should all move to Dubai.

The majority of the city’s wealth comes from oil, and it can only get wealthier with corporations from around the world investing in Dubai.

By attracting corporations with free trade zones, no taxes, fewer regulations, and other incentives, many are flocking to this city of opportunity.

What was desert just seven years ago, is now called the “largest construction site on earth.”

Many might find this extravagant and greedy. Steve Kroft from “60 Minutes” said Sheikh Mohammed has a “little bit of Donald Trump” in him.

Listening and watching this man, I got a sense of a man on a mission – a man with ambition. This could be a turn-around for the Middle East and an example for countries fighting and in poverty.

He also claims no other Middle Eastern city could have done this due to a number of reasons including “lack of vision, heavy bureaucracy, lousy governments, and corruption.”

After all, he would be the one to know.

Sheikh Mohammed wants his people to have a good life now and he is doing whatever he can to make it possible.

I see nothing wrong with this. In fact, isn’t that what we want for the Middle East?

On a blog regarding this story, one person’s conspiracy theory was that Sheikh Mohammed and Iran made a deal to destroy the World Trade Center in order to make Dubai the new financial capital of the world.

Nice try, but I think that’s a bit far-fetched since there is enough wealth in the world to go around. Evidence of this can be seen by not charging taxes or making his people pay for health care and education. He also claims he is a “friend of the US and loves the country and its people.” He does admit, though, not liking our foreign policy.

Sheikh Mohammed’s plan also entails tourism. Many of the skyscrapers include, or will be built to include, hotels such as the first Giorgio Armani Hotel.

Dubai already has the most luxurious hotel in the world, with the cheapest room priced at $2,000 a night.

Sandy beaches, unlimited shopping, exciting night life, and a cultural melting pot. Sounds like a great place to visit, though to me.

It will be interesting to see how it all progresses. This could be the next New York or Paris. Either way, I like Sheikh Mohammed’s vision and what appears to be a love for his city and his people.