Dubai has only been around since 1971

The discovery of oil and gas in the mid-sixties certainly jump-started the United Arab Emirates, but petroleum isn’t the only explanation for why Dubai has become the world’s fastest-growing city.  It’s the attitude towards business. The free zone concept began back in the seventies, and the lack of taxation and restriction on trade did what none of the protectionist policies of most nascent economies could. It gave investors of all kinds confidence.


So every time I’m tempted to criticize this place for being the Las Vegas or Atlantic City of the Middle East, I have to remember that forty years ago THERE WAS NOTHING HERE! What Dubai lacks in charm it gains in possibility. I’ll be lucky to be around in twenty-five years, but Dubai certainly will, and it will be two or three times the size it is now!



8 thoughts on “Dubai has only been around since 1971

  1. I believe that Dubai is a fascinate city, I have been living here for a month and I love it, Dubai is the fastest growing city in the world. No taxes on income and there are no personal taxes either. In Dubai Emirates Mall you can ski indoors while shopping, measuring 400 meters and using 6000 tons of snow. Burj Dubai will become the world’s tallest building, along with the world’s tallest man-made structure when it is completed. Eighty percent of Dubai residents are foreigners. Welcome to Dubai!!!

  2. Love your U.A.E. info….also please tell us about your job? Working conditions? Students? the people? language barriers?

  3. i’m teaching communications, speech, writing, to graduate students from India. Have a swell office, nice school, can walk across the burning sands to work where it’s air conditioned. Hard to understand English spoken with a Hindi accent, but hopefully my ears will adjust.

  4. You’ll get used to the Hindi accent. Trust me. Especially after you know your students as distinct individuals.

    I read a whole book by an ex-pat about the culture and history of Dubai while she (yes, a woman’s perspective would be different) was living there. I was amazed how young modern Dubai was.

    I seriously wonder though what price Dubai’s locals will pay in its North American style urbanization…

  5. seems more like Las Vegas than it does like Riyadh. I don’t think Westernization is corrupting them. They’re going after the whole Disneyland experience as fast as they can.

  6. Dubai has been a regional trading post since the early 1900s. Despite all the glitz and “glamour” that everyone sees and reports on these days, Dubai’s development is based on growing business and trade. It has been very successful at doing that but less so where property development is concerned.

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