Boxing clever: infrastructure, innovation and institutions in the distinctive rise of Dubai.

Nuttall, Keith (2020) Boxing clever: infrastructure, innovation and institutions in the distinctive rise of Dubai. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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A small town on a sandy creek half a century ago, Dubai is now the largest trading, commercial, leisure and transport entrepot in the Gulf and wider region. The aim of this thesis is to determine and explain the reasons for the emergence of Dubai and its distinctive development path, highlighting that the Emirate’s focus on containerization in the ports and shipping industry was the cornerstone of its economic trajectory. In a Middle-East Gulf region dominated by fossil-fuel dependent rentier economies, Dubai stands out by having taken a very different approach, focussing on transport and logistics, economic diversification and innovative forward planning backed up by sound institutions.

Archival, empirical, statistical evidence and comparisons with other regional centres have been used to argue that to produce these achievements, in difficult conditions, Dubai has been radically ‘disruptive’, imaginative and innovative. These policies were the antithesis of those of neighbours which were focussed solely on extractive industries. Such has been the impact of these measures, this study shows, that neighbouring states are now emulating them as they belatedly begin to diversify from oil and gas dependence.

There is little research on the influence of infrastructure on the economic evolution of states. This work uses the examples of how expansions of ports and airports in Dubai were used to out-compete regional rivals by creating the biggest and best options for customers. These illustrations show how and why such investments and the subsequent added-value expansions evolving from them, can provide essential conduits for sustained and sustainable development in a competitive globalised world.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2021 12:12
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2021 12:12

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