Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Most people couldn't find the richest city in the world on a map

"We move fast," Khaldoon says, his crisp, white headscarf whipping in the wind. "Think about it: How many places in the world can you say, 'I'm going to establish an airline,' and boom, two years later you have 21 planes and 37 destinations? How many places in the world can you say, 'I need 15,000 hotel rooms,' and boom, you have 100 new hotels in the works? How many places can you say, 'I want world-class hospitals, universities, and museums,' and boom, the Sorbonne, Cleveland Clinic, Guggenheim, and Louvre are on the way?"

Welcome to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the richest city in the world. The emirate's 420,000 citizens, who sit on one-tenth of the planet's oil and have almost $1 trillion invested abroad, are worth about $17 million apiece. (A million foreign workers don't share in the wealth.) Yet most people couldn't find Abu Dhabi on a map. Khaldoon's job is to change that. Tall, handsome, and politically savvy, he wants to make his hometown mentioned in the same breath as Singapore, Tokyo - and yes, Dubai.

But does the UAE, a federation of seven emirates strung out along the Persian Gulf, need another Dubai just a two-hour drive away? Does it need another long-haul airline, another financial center, another tourism destination, another billion-dollar hotel? "The short answer," says Khaldoon, "is yes. But I don't like to use comparisons with Dubai. We're not trying to be Dubai. What they've done is phenomenal, and we're very proud of it. But here we have a unique opportunity to get it right."
Read it all. Thanks to A Year in Exile for the link.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

No But If People think that Billy Gates or some fool American is the richest Man on Earth or whatever the Money Hounds think or care about, try 3-4 Trillion Dollars or more! And I hear Cheney is making his way to the Middle East soon, I wonder where he will spend his time enjoying the fruits of his labour??

8:20 PM  
Blogger rosh said...

Personally, I find this "Super Rich City" PR spin, quite silly. If you've got the money, keep it, invest it - crowing it to the world, comes across as immature wannabees - well that is that I think!

UAE is more than that and petro dollars.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Dubai Entrepreneur said...


No, that is all it is. A petro-dollar rich country. It's a poor country that won the lottery. Nothing more. Let's not kid ourselves by being politically correct about it.

8:45 AM  
Blogger rosh said...

DE - am speaking of the real UAE. The one we grew up back in the 70's & 80's. Most folks shall say, the place and it's people, was quite real with a soul and we've developed a lifetime attachment that won't let go - no matter what part of the globe most of us are strewn across these days. It's unfortunate, most folks moving into the UAE these days, may never know of that aspect.

4:50 AM  

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