There were two separate reports this week which confirm that two of the things people say about Dubai are true. One, that Dubai is all about working, about doing business. Two, that Dubai is expanding at a furious pace.
The first report from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry gave the astonishing fact that the emirate, with a population of 1.3 million, has over 100,000 registered companies.
That’s a registered company for every 13 people, man, woman & child, an amazing statistic.
But it really does just confirm what those of us living here have always realised. The reason for Dubai’s very existence was trade, doing business. It wasn’t a fertile area so the inhabitants relied on the sea – fishing, pearling and trading. The Creek, Al Khoor, an inlet from the Gulf around which Dubai was established gave shelter to the dhows trading with Iran, the sub-continent and East Africa.
So from the earliest times Dubai has relied on trade for its existence. It’s a vital part of the culture.
The second report was on the exploding population.
Doomsayers have been questioning the growth – ‘thousands of new buildings but who will live in them’ is a regular question from the doubters. ‘White elephants. They’ll be empty’.
Well, figures just released show that 292,000 new residents a year are coming to Dubai. That’s 800 new people a day. Eight hundred new people every day! A few people leave every year of course, but the figures show that the population will double in four years.