Dubaiís GDP rocketed to £29 billion last year, and 6 million people visited the emirate

Why should you wait for the future to come to you?
Dubaiís economic prowess and eye-catching constructions are turning heads

Whether it is the indoor ski slope, the world’s tallest skyscraper, or man-made resort island developments, the Emirate of Dubai has captured the attention of the world. While construction cranes continue to build trademark architectural projects that defy the imagination, UAE Prime Minister and Vice President – and Ruler of Dubai – Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is enacting a long-term strategy to transform the emirate into a global commercial and trade hub.

Sheikh Mohammed has helped transform Dubai’s economic makeup. Last year, he unveiled the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, designed to treble the economy from 2005 levels to £59 billion by sustaining double-digit growth in knowledge-based industries, tourism, and trade. In eight years time, per capita GDP is expected to balloon to £24,000.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
UAE Prime Minister and Vice President, and Ruler of Dubai

Already, services represent three-quarters of Dubai’s GNP, the key driver to sustain stable growth rates. Since 2000, Dubai has registered buoyant economic growth, expanding to a record £29 billion last year. The emirate is now one of the region’s largest tourist destinations, attracting six million visitors per annum. Last year, over 34 million passengers travelled through Dubai International Airport, the regional passenger and cargo hub. “It is our guide and our reference while we work to consolidate Dubai as a pioneering global city, bursting with vibrancy and creativity, and attracting the best minds and the most successful businesses to an environment where living and working is a pleasure,” reflects Sheikh Mohammed.

Financial services – according to the strategy’s goals – will represent over £8 billion of GDP by 2015, spurred by such initiatives as the Dubai International Financial Centre, which opened four years ago. Firms such as flagship air carrier Emirates and container port operator DP World have made serious inroads into the global market. “We believe that the role of the government should be restricted to legislation and regulation, in addition to the continuous development of infrastructure, thus making the private sector the engine of the development process,” says the Sheikh.

As Dubai integrates into the global economy, its leadership is fine-tuning performance by focusing on efforts to make government more efficient and enacting sturdier laws and regulations. While much attention is focused on Dubai’s seven-star hotels and new financial infrastructure, nurturing human capital through education and healthcare is a long-term strategy to enhance economic advantages.

“We are proud of our past and our present, and we face the future with unflagging determination. We have to make history and approach the future with steady steps, not wait for the future to come to us.”


Project Director: Helena Alvarez-Vieitez
Editorial Director: Adam Jones and Luca Bessero
Project Assistant: Leigh-Anne Hazard