Dubai is an oasis of peace and development in the Middle East
Dubai is a mega metropolis located on the edge of the Great Arabian Desert. It abuts the Arabian sea and in colloquial terminology, just a stone's throw from India across the Arabian sea.
Dubai is part of a conglomeration of 9 Arab sheikdoms that form the United Arab Republic with the capital at Abu Dhabi. The state of Dubai boasts the highest per capita income in Asia and is in the top bracket in the world. There is, however, a subtle difference from other nations as the local population is only about 15-20% and the balance almost 80% are expatriates with the majority from the sub-continent.Almost 50% are from India with citizens from Kerala dominating all over.
The Middle East is a volatile country with the entire area in turmoil. Starting from Iraq, Syra, Yemen,Saudi Arabia , Lebanon et all a strife of immense proportion is on. It is basically an internecine conflict or to use a more cogent word an incestuous conflict. A fight among Muslims themselves. There is a Shia-Sunni conflict, a national conflict, a terror conflict, a conflict for territory and one can name anything. The ISIS has a looming presence and the Shia -Sunni conflict is personified by the Iran-Saudi antagonism.
In this volatile atmosphere laced with violence, the UAE stands out as an oasis of peace. One reason is that cleverly the rulers have made the Muslim locals a minority and the majority are expats from the sub- continent and almost 50% are from India, with the majority from Kerala. This large expatriate population is unlikely to stir the cauldron of violence as they are more intent on earning money and getting rich, than fomenting trouble. The ruling elite is thus comparatively safe.
The ruling elite of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are also an enlightened lot. one cannot countenance that just across the border is Saudi Arabia where beheadings are common and this year over 50 beheadings have taken place. In contrast in the UAE though following the Sharia, there are no beheadings and in the last 10 years, only one man has been executed by a firing squad.
The rulers of the UAE are a pragmatic lot and have allowed Sikh gurudwara, Hindu temple, and churches to come up in their country. Recently Abu Dhabi has allotted land for a Hindu temple during the last visit of Narendra Modi. The ties with India are getting close as the crown prince prepares to attend the Republic Day Parade at Delhi as the Chief guest like Obama in 2017.
The rulers of Dubai and UAE are concentrating on economic development. The richness is there for all to see as Dubai is created into a world financial center. It is also the playground for tourists with exotic openings like golf under flood lights, racecourse , bars, and restaurants as well as resorts that compete with the best in the world. There is a veritable flood of tourists and Dubai is the second busiest airport in the world with 61 million visitors second only to New York. That's some achievement that can make people rise up and think.
The state of Dubai also allows expatriates to purchase property on a 99-year lease and as per figures available 60% of the property is bought by the well-heeled from India and the Government of Dubai regularly showcases and holds exhibitions of property sales in Mumbai and Delhi.
Dubai is like a mini India and some of the top owners of the business are Indians from Kerala. In fact, the owner of the Lulu chain of supermarkets all over the UAE is owned by a Kerala expatriate from India.
Dubai also allows offshore investment banking that is tax-free and firms from America and the EU have set up shop there. The growth is so fast that Dubai rivals London as a world business center. The rulers have set up state of art entertainment centers and the Ferrari wheel, Glass garden, vintage auto museum and resorts like the jebel Ali Mercure hotel attract droves of visitors.
Dubai is on a high and the expatriate population mans the entire civic and social services of city states. All credit for this development goes to the two rulers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In particular the ruler of Dubai the Shiekh Maktoum family deserves great credit for making the city of Dubai, safe, investor friendly and a real haven for tourists, not forgetting the by business environment.
With all around turmoil, the UAE is a shining example of what can be achieved and one wonders why others cant follow this recipe.
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