Dubai's Political and Economic Development: Essay

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DUBAI'S POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: AN OASIS TN THE DESERT?

by CHRISTOPHER DeNICOLA

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science

WILLIAMS COLLEGE Williamstown, Massachusetts

MAY 10,2005

Table of Contents

I

Persian Gulf Development Literature Oil Curse Literature Arab and Islamic Factors Regional Ovemiew and Historical Background Dubai's Development History

I1

PI1

Explaining Dubai9sDevelopment Outcome Why Not Other Gulf States? Dubai versus the Development Literature

IV

Dubai in a Cornparatbe Corntext Saudi Arabia Qatar Brunei

Conclusion

Appendix

Bibliography

Introduction
Dubai, a tiny,
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2 Ashfaq Ahmed, "UAE Nationals in Private Sector Miniscule - Study," GulfNews (June 7,2004). Harrison; Nick Meo, "How Dubai, the Playground of Businessmen and Warlords, Is Built by Asian Wage Slaves," The Independent (March 1,2005). Ahmed. 5 Meo. 6 Personal Interviews January 2005.

ceilings, marble bathrooms outfitted with Jacuzzis, and personal butlers.' In addition to serving as a popular tourist attraction, this hotel has given the city its own unique icon. The image of the Burj Al Arab is ubiquitous in Dubai and can be found everywhere from souvenir key-chains to license plates. Dubai s other projects are perhaps even more audacious. The Palm Island real
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estate developments consist of two man-made islands shaped like palm trees.8 When finished, both palms will contain about 3,000 homes and 40 luxury hotels, as well as amusement parks and other tourist

attraction^.^

In addition, construction has begun on

"The World," a series of 300 islets laid out to resemble a map of the world. These manmade islands will also offer tourists beach real estate and extensive opportunities for leisure.1° Finally, the emirate has begun work on a structure that is set to become the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai. The exact height of this edifice is a closelyguarded secret.'' Another facet of Dubai that visitors quickly take note of is the city's shoppingoriented culture. The city contains numerous malls, many of which offer stand-alone outlets for upscale
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