Learning from Dubai
The United Arab Emirates is a nation created by nomadic people from a millennia of wind and sand released from British colonialism and powered by the discovery of oil. It is both deeply Arab and enthusiastically global, a hub for international trade. Dubai is UAE’s port and, like all ports, has to be open to all if it is to thrive. Commerce overcomes prejudice. As a fifty year old nation UAE has leveraged oil and the need for peace after a history of conflict. Hospitality and progress go hand in hand and today it is one of the wealthiest per capita nations on Earth, millions pass through and a diverse foreign population keeps the whole thing alive.
Oil revenue has been used to desalinate sea water, educate all citizens and invest in a technological future. Expo 2020 held in Dubai was about a sustainable future fueled by technology, demonstrated by architecture and embraced by visiting nations. It makes total sense: from the harshness of the desert comes a powerful lesson in the value of resources and how to invest in a sustainable future.