Tuesday, November 4, 2008

1st Interview: sweeping through Middle East history

1st order: The first interview took part with the regional general manager of a German transnational corporation, who used to be in Dubai for 20 years now. It was heavily loaded with information: a sweeping look at the Middle East’s economic history of the last forty years.
Gate to the Middle East
According to him Beirut in Lebanon used to be the gate to the Middle East in the 70’s and 80’s. This changed for several reasons and at the beginning of the 90’s Dubai started to take over as gate to the region and hub for economic exchange between the continents Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. It was systematically built up by several international and national stakeholders. The secret of its success lies in its infrastructure and logistic capabilities. The pace further increased around the year 2000.
On Dubai-Indian bonds
As I mentioned earlier around 50 percent of Dubai’s population are Indians. I had the impression that Indians are basically providing the economy with human capital for low income jobs. But in the interview I’ve been told that the bonds are much closer and go through all walks of life. In fact to understand the bonds between India and Dubai one has to go back to history of British-India. To shorten it up, on top level Indians are not considered to be foreigners like Westerners or Easterners. There are close ties over generations between upper class Indians and the Royal family of Dubai as well as within the local economical elite in Dubai.
Western Experts and Consultants
While at the beginning of Dubai’s (and UAE) upraising Western experts were consulted for bringing in ideas and concepts this changed over the last years, I’ve been told. In our days the concepts are made by the decision-makers themselves. Western experts are consulted for evaluating the large scaling possibilities and risks of these concepts.
Tradesman intelligence
How do Emiraties deal with cross-culturality? They are very much informed about the idiosyncrasies of the cultures they are dealing and doing business with. Most of them are educated abroad not just in the West but also in the East. Some of their staff members for sure lived in the respective cultures for a time. They possess this tradesman’s intelligence knowing how to deal with the diverging cultural backgrounds, while their opponents most of the time don’t have the same knowledge, which provides them a comparative advantage.
To understand the coherences of Dubai’s development one has to take a geopolitical and geostrategical perspective, he told me. Geographically Dubai is centered between Europe and Asia, functioning as a hub between the established economical powers’ EU and Japan, as well as Europe’s connection to aspiring China and India. It is China’s gate for resource exploitations in Africa as well as organizing platform for Japan’s efforts guaranteeing the deliverable of natural resources. And one shouldn’t miss that Moscow is almost placed on the same longitude.

1 comment:


    Dubai Harbour is 7th largest in the World in 2007 (according to Bundesstatistikamt) gaing ranks contiunously every year.

    Dubai Airport is on rank 13 (2007)concerning cargo traffic, as the only top airport with continuously double digit increase. (in 2002 rank 21)
    In terms of internatioanl passenger traffic its the world's 8th largest (gaining 19,9% in comparison to 2006).
    source: Airport Council International