'Far and away the best book on modern Dubai, packed with fascinating insights and offering a sympathetic but balanced account of the city's huge successes - and occasional failures. Krane systematically tackles pretty much every important aspect of Dubai's past and present, with absorbing accounts of the city's history and the personalities and achievements of its charismatic rulers through to vexed contemporary issues such as human-rights abuses and environmental concerns, condensing a vast amount of detail into a compellingly readable roller coaster of a narrative.'
--Rough Guide to Dubai
From the Author
Why a book on Dubai?
Jim arrived in Dubai in January 2005, where he found a city erupting onto the earth. Thousands of new residents streamed in each day. The entire city was a construction site, with more than 10 percent of the world's building cranes at work. Neighborhoods spread across the desert like kudzu. In the course of its six-year boom, Dubai swelled from a modest city to a bloated megalopolis the size of Houston - doubling in population and quadrupling in area. Most incredibly, this wild growth was taking place within a short distance of the carnage in Iraq, and was receiving little notice in the West.
Dubai, it turned out, was the antithesis of Baghdad. As fast as Iraq was being destroyed, Dubai was accomplishing the opposite. There are few, if any, places on earth where the span of modernization is so compressed, where extreme capitalist excess is just a generation removed from Third World poverty. Here, men born in palm shacks became billionaires. Shrewd professors, holders of PhDs from American universities, had been raised by illiterate parents.
The fact that such a success story has risen in the Arab world is of great importance, both inside the region and out. With little notice, Dubai's undemocratic capitalism has become the development model for the rest of the Middle East. Like it or not, the Dubai effect has already touched your life.
But all is not well with this brash city-state. Dubai accomplished its feats on the backs of a vast labor force of mistreated men who have never received their due. The city's success has destroyed far more lives than was necessary. And its wild growth upset the demographic balance, leaving the city 95 percent foreign and nearly 80 percent male. Dubai's pampered natives are such a tiny minority that retaining their sovereignty has become a major worry. Meanwhile, prostitution has become a necessity, spawning the tragic industry of human trafficking.
And, in the months since the onset of global recession, Dubai has emerged as the poster child of the previous era's gluttonous excess. Dubai's once soaring real estate values have collapsed further than anywhere on earth, and unemployed expatriates have fled for the exits. Krane's book examines the viability of Dubai's economic model, going forward.
In short, Dubai is a fascinating topic.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.