Four things symbolise Dubai's rise - infrastructure, trade, tourism and connectivity. This city has laid the groundwork and has coasted ahead of other global destinations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution when technological prowess takes centrestage. In fact, Dubai has upstaged the rest to become the meeting place of the world. You hop off, make your mark and set off again to make a difference to humanity, towering ambitions in tow. And build it did like no other city in the world from the early 2000s.
This was a city with a wide capacity to excel and that refused to be constrained by geographical and climatic factors. Even today people continue to come to its shores in search of opportunity lured by an inherent sense of optimism, an attitude for success. Often, it is called the playground of the rich, which is only part of the reality. Cityscape, the region's largest real estate event and Gitex, an annual technological delight for the masses and industry, being held simultaneously show that the city is on track for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Development will continue, but technology will drive its progress, is the message the city wants to convey to investors and expats.
This edition of Cityscape and Gitex want to showcase the fact that Dubai still has scope to grow, and grow it will, sustainably, with the right investments. Government plans to ease visa procedures for those considering Dubai as a long-term destination and opening up sectors for expat investments have turned the focus on the city again. Cityscape will see 300 developers, architects and brokers this week. Oil prices are rising and the economy is looking up after a phase of sluggish growth.
The IMF is upbeat on the UAE as a whole. "With oil production and government spending set to rise, overall growth is projected to strengthen to 2.9 per cent this year and 3.7 per cent next year," it said in its latest report. Despite the upsurge in oil prices, the UAE thinking big, but without oil, which shows remarkable foresight by the leadership. What next has been answered and it is undoubtedly sound investments in science, technology, health and education while the building continues. His Highness Shiekh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was prescient when he said years ago: "Build and they will come."
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