By K. Raveendran, Special to Gulf News
Critics have made a pastime of belittling Dubai’s penchant for claiming number one in whatever it does: the biggest manmade island, the tallest tower, the biggest shopping mall and the largest fountain, not to speak of a series of new world-beaters already unveiled or are in the pipeline.
Irrespective of attitudes, Dubai has had such influence on the region’s development thinking that what it does today becomes tomorrow’s trend for the entire region. It is a different matter that the results do not quite tally most of the time. This is as much true of the free zones, the development of the transshipment hub, the pursuit of knowledge economy, pioneering of freehold property or the launch of the region’s first metro, as it is in the case of modern concepts or even the adoption of names.
It might sound to be of little consequence, but it was Dubai which first changed the name of Economic Department to Department of Economic Development because that described the role of the department more appropriately and today that is standard throughout the region. It is as if innovation must begin with Dubai as a matter of rule. More info