Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success

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( 52 ratings by Goodreads )
9780231700351: Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success
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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.

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About the Author:

Christopher 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 Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond and The United Arab Emirates: A Study in Survival.


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.

(Faisal Devji, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, and author of Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity)

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

(Christopher Hawthorne Los Angeles Times)

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

(Stephen Kotkin New York Times)

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

(Foreign Affairs)

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


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.

(Foreign Policy)

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.

(Financial Times)

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

(Mei Zhang Journal of Regional Science 1900-01-00)

Comprehensive and detailed.

(Arang Keshavarzian Arab Studies Journal 1900-01-00)

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

(Erik Eliav Freas Historian)

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Christopher M. Davidson
Published by Columbia University Press (2009)
ISBN 10: 0231700350 ISBN 13: 9780231700351
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1

Book Description Columbia University Press, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0231700350

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