Dubai in the Sky?

david_pearl_blog_dubaiIt’s midnight and 28 degrees. I am sitting, sipping mint tea, looking up up up at the vertigo-inducing sight of the Burj Khalifa disappearing into the night sky and musing.

Dubai has its fans and critics.   Audacious and exuberant say some.  Unsustainable and superficial say others.  It all depends on the experience you are looking for.   That’s actually why I am here; sharing what I know about ‘experience engineering’ to help some future-thinkers creatively ponder what’s next for the city.

But as I squint up, after hours, I am not thinking creatively.   I am just asking myself how on earth you transform a patch of scrubby desert into one of the world’s most upwardly mobile, iconic downtown areas in a couple of decades?   Without oil.

Thankfully I have breakfast the following morning with an infrastructure expert who knows the answer.   It seems that the key is a single word:  welcome.   In the absence of natural resources, Dubai simply decided to be welcoming to the outside world.  That means easing business regulations, building great infrastructure,  making it easy to set up a business (8 hours), giving investors the confidence they can repatriate their money whenever they want and allowing a cosmopolitan lifestyle to flourish.

Ironic.  A place that seems to be all about what you have… is actually an expression of what you think.  Mindset precedes money.  In a world obsessed by materialism, Dubai 2014 is actually a testament to imagination.   Let’s see what they can imagine next.



One thought on “Dubai in the Sky?

  1. I’m just back from a similar visit and will blog about it later. It is really all about the “welcome”
    Its also a place where from a busines perspective one comes away refreshed with the can do attitude that is exuded by all its residents.

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