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For a change, Dubai doesn’t top the list

For a change, Dubai doesn’t top the list

While Chatham House’s new study says that Dubai is gaining significance as a financial hub in the region, it is still a long way to the top.

August 14, 2008 11:07 by

“The new Chatham House study establishes the emirate (Dubai) as the financial centre in the world most likely to ‘become significantly more important over the next two to three years’. That is one big prize for any city,” says a report.

“Most likely to become significantly more important?” That sounds like the praise bestowed upon a school student who went up from 50th rank to 48th: The word “important,” preceded by several encouraging words. And with Dubai’s obsession – it’s more than a mere ambition – with becoming the best, it doesn’t seem like the city will appreciate such a prize too much.

The London-based research body’s report, “The Gulf as a Global Financial Centre: Growing Opportunities and International Influence,” has generated a lot of media buzz, with some reports fawning over the greatness of the upcoming “financial hub” of the world.

The study does note that Dubai is gaining prominence in the financial world; in the City of London’s Global Financial Centres Index for March 2008, the city ranked 24th, ahead of Shanghai, Stockholm, Mumbai and Madrid. And the Chatham House report also says that the entire GCC’s growing importance as a financial centre is fueled by Dubai’s rapid rise.

But to conclude from the report that “there will not be enough space to house every company that wants to come to Dubai in the future” does seem a little far-fetched.

24th to No.1 is a big leap.

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  1. Tory on August 14, 2008 2:49 pm

    What a sad and cynical review of such a credible and optimistic report! God forbid you should actually believe that a middle eastern city can achieve world-class standards and success! This type of cynicism is usually paired with those who also harbour the belief – consciously or otherwise – that Arabs are supportive, complicit or actually involved in terrorism. I expect better from you, Kipp, really I do. Check out for a more balanced view of the Chatham House report and maybe, just maybe, you might see that the glass is actually half full.

  2. fidel ami on August 18, 2008 4:11 pm

    Whatever you say, whatever you do, Dubai is the best, the best, the best. Buy your tickets to the show of the century or you will be left with only your eyes to cry as the train of oportunity passes you by and you see others live the quaint, cultured, organised, peaceful, affordable life that only Dubai and no other place in the universe can offer. May you and all other Luddites roast in the desert’s midday sun…


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