Sanierungsexpertin Dr. Nicole Essiger-Munk, Politikwissenschaftlerin
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Capital Hub of the Future - Dubai becomes Big Player in International Finance

Banking Metropolis Dubai

Station en route to an
(Arabian) Oil Currency? 



Airline Hub in the Middle East

Air traffic is increasingly being directed via the Middle East. With the expansion of the airports of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha the Middle East has become a huge airline hub.

The Dubai International Airport is the most modern airport of today. For millions of transit passengers it has become the gateway to Asia and other world wide destinations. 


Since 1980 the number of airline passengers has grown by 200% to 21.7 million in 2004. In 2005 this figure is expected to reach 25 million and a total of 107 carriers will land passengers from 160 destinations in Dubai.
As early as 2010 this figure might reach 60 million and in 2020 between 120 and 130 million passengers are expected to reach this hub.


Today the Dubai International Airport has reached its capacity limit. The airport is currently being expanded and will, in the not too distant future, become home for 51 Super Airbus A 380 aircraft. Upon completion of the extension the airport will offer 23 dedicated gates as well as the worldwide largest care and maintenance center for the A 380.


Superlatives everywhere you look

Rolling along over the six-lane city boulevard from the Dubai International Airport towards the East of town a powerful and bustling economic miracle becomes apparent.


The Sheikh Zayed Road is the main drag and at the same time the link between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. All kinds of high-rise buildings alternating with well maintained park areas present a unique combination of architectural stiles.


The name of the road is a tribute to Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who has ruled the United Arab Emirates for over 30 years.



Extraordinary construction and tourism projects such as the palm shaped islands off the coast and the world largest high-rise, the “Burj Dubai” are only a few of the highlights in a huge construction site which stretches all along the coast of the Emirates.


The world highest building, a “skyscraper” in the true sense of the word is presently under construction. This 800 meter high tower will form the center of the Burj Dubai district in the new downtown of Dubai.

Completion is planned for 2008 and with it the United Emirates are attempting to break all high-rise records of this world.

Historical Trade Hub with new Free Trade Zone

Tax Exemption as powerful tool for Prosperity

The citizens of Dubai have become wealthy in the last 30 years. This is mainly the consequence of good  governance and management by the ruling family Maktoum. Intelligent customs and trade regulations have promoted trade and have resulted in a revenue thereof that is above that of crude oil and tourism.

The Sheikh Zayed Road 1990



The Ruler Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum today is able to finance the national budget without fiscal instruments such as taxes or other levies.

    The “Burj Al Arab” is not only the tallest hotel in the world, but it is also Dubai’s trade mark. The first true 7 star hotel in the world offers a magnificent panoramic view of Dubai, the Arabian Gulf and “Palm Island” from its sky view bar on the 27th floor. The UAE and particularly the Emirate of Dubai have strongly gained economic stature in the last few years. Many corporations today use Dubai as their center of  activity and entry point for their Middle East operations as well as a jumping board towards markets such as India or even China.

The fact that the opening of markets and liberation of trade can be afforded is based on the fact that the UAE have the 3rd largest crude oil reserves in the world and thereof arises the necessity for a diversified investment of revenues.






The Palm Deira



Capital Hub of the Future

Dubai becomes Big Player in International Finance

The Dubai Exchange, the “Wall Street” of the Middle East is being set up in record time. Located between Frankfurt and Singapore the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) including the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) together with their respective regulatory bodies have been created in only 18 months and are expected to become major players in international finance.

    The Dubai International Finance Center(DIFC) is to be a center of a modern business district located on a vast lot which is under development along the Sheikh Zayed Road. The Dubai Financial Exchange (DIFX) will be located within this center.


Dubai’s new stock exchange opening is on September 26,2005

Capital flow to directed to Dubai

Where there are only construction sites today, on September 26, 2005 on Dubai’ new exchange the first shares will be traded. However, even before its formal the DIFX will take a leap forward by totally skipping the generation of floor trading. On Dubai’ exchange share trading will start off directly with electronic trade platforms. Large redirections of capital flows and high transaction volumes are expected. This will require the best technologies, and know-how available.

The imposing portal to this financial hub almost resembles the Arc de Triomph in Paris. It was designed by the American architect Gensler and follows a vision of Sheikh Mohammad. 



Centralization of Capital as Instrument of Power

Even in the early days trade was the Emirates’ source of their “economic miracle” and the Sheiks like their profits. In the not too distant future finance places like Frankfurt, London, New York and Tokyo are expected to face serious competition. With the advent of capital centralization at the DIFC the former capital markets may feel a certain loss of importance.

    The Arabian Market Districts (Souks) enchant all visitors. The Bur Dubai Souk and Deira Souk offer a wide range of products in their narrow and winding passages and are an epitome of value for money shopping.

The Gold Souk with about 300 jewellers is in Deira. Nowhere is Gold cheaper than in Dubai. Quality and quantity on offer meet the highest standards



“Wall Street” in the Middle Easst will fill the gap in the worldwide chain of exchanges and replace the local exchanges at Dubai and AbuDhabi

    His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Price of Dubai and Minister of Defense says in one of his better know quotes: ”We will write history and take our future in our hands. We will not wait until future catches up with us.”

His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Dubai is a driving force. Since many years he has been continuously investing in Economic- and Free Trade Zones for Media, Biotechnology and Research. The plans for Dubai’s financial center also bear his handwriting and eventually will shine brighter than all his other achievements. It is his vision that has placed the Emirate of Dubai always amongst the top performers on ambitious projects in this World.


The Educational Center “Knowledge Village” is part of the free-trade Zone “Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone (TECOM”)”. “Dubai Internet City” and “Dubai Media City” are also located there.


Opportunities for foreign investors

Until now wealthy UAE citizens have been investing their profits from oil production and trade in foreign countries. It is the intent of the stock exchange to keep the larger portion of the estimated 1.000 Billion liquid capital in the region.

    Dubai intends to become the Sport Capital of the Middle East. To pursue this goal 4 sports stadiums for the Dubai Sports City are under construction, these are for Cricket, Rugby, Soccer; Athletics and Hockey arenas are being erected next to another arena on a lot of approx. 4.6 million square meters.


Also for foreigners there will be opportunities, especially in the quickly growing areas of Tourism and Media, as well as in industrial values or the “Oil Story”. Large infrastructure  projects and the sale of shares of formerly owned government holdings in the region
should spur the interest for investments. In the six Gulf Cooperation States – Kuwait, Bahrein, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman alone, initial public offerings of at least US$ 10 Billion are expected for the last quarter 2005.

The covered arena will seat 10.000 spectators and can host concerts and other prestigious events along with regular sports events.
The UAE are applying to host the 17th ASIAN GAMES in 2014.


Tie-ins with growing Markets

The framework of the new trading platform in Dubai has been established along the lines of the Anglo-Saxon model; i.e. the Dubai exchange independently will have to appeal to German investors as well as to other market participants such as China, India, Russia


German know how participates significantly

To complete the electronic trade platform the German national Mr. Steffen Schubert was hired. The former head of the Munich Stock Exchange and the European Growth Exchange EASDAQ is leading a team of experts from 16 countries.

In Dubai a specially founded Academy in cooperation with the German Exchange in Frankfurt is familiarizing exchange officials, traders and investment bankers with the rules and regulations of the DIFC and the DIFX

An International Exchange and a new Capital Hub arise

The DIFX will set itself up as a truly international exchange. The plan is to have less than 10% of the listed companies come from the Emirates. Dubai aspires to be the leading hub for Arabian and International capital flows.

In view of the world wide, presently existing networks the Emirates have at this time, this appears to be a logical consequence, especially since share holdings of DAX and other large corporations such as Daimler Chrysler are to be found in the investment portifolios of the Sheikhs at this time. These, as is well known, leave nothing to chance and always have long term strategies.


Currency based on the Euro  Zone Model?

Vision: Will the Greenback no longer be the basis of the crude oil trade?

Is there a tendency amongst the strategists of the Emirates to ditch the US$ as trade currency for all oil related commerce and close the circle of revenues?

    A majority vote on the introduction of an Arab single currency by OPEC could just be a question of time.
Such decision would force all oil consuming countries to maintain reserves of this new currency.
Since the UAE have a leading vote in OPEC the Sheikhs could become the driving force towards such currency.

Sheikh Raschid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum – “The Father of Dubai” – has ruled Dubai from 1958 –1990. He was aware of the advantags of uniting the Emirates to one Nation.
In 1972 the Emirates Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah together formed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a sovereign state covering 83600 square kilometers


Is the new Dubai exchange just the first step on the road to a further centralizing of capital in the Middle East? Can one pass up this profitable opportunity with the new oil currency?

A strategist and power broker like Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum could very well be the man to let such vision become reality!

Read more on the earlier study and research activities of Dr. Nicole Essiger-Munk in the United Arab Emirates.


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