Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success / Edition 1

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Overview

Dubai has a remarkable success story. Since its origins as a small fishing and pearling community, the emirate has steadily grown in strength to become the premier trading center of the Persian Gulf. It is also the locus of an exciting and innovative architectural revolution. Despite its lack of democratization and a genuine civil society, Dubai is now a booming metropolis of more than two million people, most of whom are expatriates benefiting from the city's increasingly diversified economy.

Following a detailed history, Christopher M. Davidson presents an in-depth study of Dubai's post-oil development strategies and their implementation during a period of near-complete political stability. Davidson addresses the probability of future problems as the need for sustained foreign direct investment encourages far-reaching socioeconomic reforms, many of which may affect the ideological, religious, and cultural legitimacy of the traditional monarchy. He also analyzes Dubai's awkward relationship with its federal partners in the United Arab Emirates and highlights some of the pitfalls of being the region's most successful free port-its attractiveness to international criminal fraternities, the economy of the global black market, and terrorist networks.

About the Author:
Christopher M. Davidson is a fellow of the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University. He is a former assistant professor of political science at Sheikh Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the author of The United Arab Emirates: A Study in Survival

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
Davidson traces Dubai's rise from sleepy Gulf port to player on the world scene.

— Christopher Hawthorne

New York Times
Mr. Davidson nicely lays out this flashy emirate's astonishing ascent from tiny fishing and pearling village to global hub.

— Stephen Kotkin

Foreign Affairs

Davidson offers a detailed historical and topical study of the Dubai phenomenon.

Choice

Davidson gives an excellent overview of Dubai, the UAE in general, and its path to economic development... Recommended.

Foreign Policy

Perhaps the best look at this desert mirage is this prescient book published in 2008. Well before the real estate debacle, Davidson raised questions about how long Dubai could remain immune from regional conflict, organized crime, and terrorism, all of which would swiftly affect its allure as a haven for investment and luxury travel.

Financial Times

It is no surprise a book that analyses Dubai's weaknesses, as well as its virtues, provoked nervousness in the emirate and was under threat of being banned.... Davidson's book should be seen in Dubai as an important contribution. The city-state has been running fast and wild for years. Taking a pause to consider the impact of its rapid growth is a healthy exercise.

Journal of Regional Science
A noteworthy reference for future studies on the country and related topics.

— Mei Zhang

Arab Studies Journal
Comprehensive and detailed.

— Arang Keshavarzian

Historian
This monograph is a first-rate piece of scholarship, and provides a wealth of information and analysis about Dubai.

— Erik Eliav Freas

From the Publisher

"Nicely lays out this flashy emirate's astonishing ascent from tiny fishing and pearling village to global hub."--TheNew York Times

"Traces Dubai's rise from sleepy Gulf port to player on the world scene."--Los Angeles Times

"The definitive book on Dubai and is likely to become a classic in Gulf studies."--Ray Hinnebush, St Andrews University

Faisal Devji

This is the best study of Dubai that I have read and an important contribution to the still meager literature on the extraordinary formation that is the United Arab Emirates. Especially interesting is the book's discussion of the emirates' founding under British rule and the continuing influence of this imperial history on its politics and society; the imported character of its 'Arab' identity; and the regional context that informs everything from security concerns to demography.

Los Angeles Times - Christopher Hawthorne

Davidson traces Dubai's rise from sleepy Gulf port to player on the world scene.

New York Times - Stephen Kotkin

Mr. Davidson nicely lays out this flashy emirate's astonishing ascent from tiny fishing and pearling village to global hub.

Journal of Regional Science - Mei Zhang

A noteworthy reference for future studies on the country and related topics.

Arab Studies Journal - Arang Keshavarzian

Comprehensive and detailed.

Historian - Erik Eliav Freas

This monograph is a first-rate piece of scholarship, and provides a wealth of information and analysis about Dubai.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231700344
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/23/2008
  • Series: Columbia/Hurst Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Davidson is a fellow of the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durgaham University. He is a former assistant professor of political science at Sheikh Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the author of Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond and The United Arab Emirates: A Study in Survival.

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Table of Contents

1 The birth of a sheikhdom 9

2 From Arab nationalism to collective security 39

3 The foundations of a free port 67

4 The diversification of the economy 99

5 Political stability and the ruling bargain 137

6 The Dubai paradox 177

7 The stability of the federation 219

8 Security, crime, and terror 263

Notes 299

Bibliography 353

Index 365

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