‘East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet’ ………..famous lines from Rudyard Kipling’s Ballad of East and West have been proved incorrect within decades of the writer’s passing away by the emergence of Dubai, the confluence of geographies, naturally endowed to become the world’s melting pot.
While it is true that Dubai is the product of insightful strategic thinking, a vision and the drive to achieve it, no one can deny that it’s central position and geographical advantage as a meeting point of East and West have naturally endowed the emirate the position it has achieved.
Trading is part of the culture and heritage of Dubai. The ‘creek’, an inlet from the Arabian Sea has served as a lifeline to traders and inhabitants of the emirate since the 19th century. The 1960s and 70s saw much development to further improve traffic and encourage business. With the building of Jebel Ali Port in 1979, Dubai’s global capability skyrocketed and there’s no looking back since.
Today, Dubai has systematically built infrastructure to enhance it’s God given advantage of location at the centre of trading between east and west. It started with the basics – reliable power and water utilities and went on to build the haven sought by enterprising individuals and companies around the world.
World-leading aviation infrastructure, an airline that is the envy of first world carriers, a sophisticated financial and service sector, industry-leading exhibition and conference venues, high-quality office and residential accommodation, first-class hotels, hospitals, schools, shops, parks and recreation facilities. All adding up to a superior quality of life to attract enterprising, ambitious, entrepreneurs from all over the world.
Dubai’s businesses harness its location and infrastructure to serve markets around the world. Undoubtedly the capital of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region, Dubai offers easy access to Europe and all of Africa as well so market size for the enterprising businessman keeps increasing and the world literally is his/her oyster.
A Dubai start-up into 3D printing for healthcare boasts of expanding its operations to seven countries within 2 years of operation with one of the bigger markets being South Africa. The Dubai business delivers clients in South Africa the world-class product it was purchasing from Europe at the same quality, a competitive price and delivery within 3 days compared to the 2 weeks lead time they had to accept before. It is one of several. Dubai continues to see an influx of SMMEs (Small Medium and Micro Enterprises) leveraging its conducive ecosystem to set-up, scale and service a wide range of markets.
And 56% of the world’s Fortune 500 companies call Dubai home for their operations across the Middle East & Africa. The ‘Business First’ mindset works well. The city also delivers a compelling network of angels, accelerators and venture capitalists offering a range of support mechanisms, accounting for one-third of all MENA investors and 19 venture capitalists – the highest in the region. Providing unrivalled access to the world’s highest potential economies, Dubai as a hyper-connected, pro-business hub between the East & the West has turned its God given geographical advantage into a blessing for many who flock to it to invest in being part of the global ecosystem.