Dubai will run out of oil some time in the future, and I believe they are aware of this fact. Other countries in the region are trying to capitalize as much as possible on the oil market, but Dubai has done something smart. They have essentially switched their economy from one of oil exporting to one of trade and luxury tourism. Currently they offer manmade islands, an indoor ski resort, an underwater hotel, some of the tallest buildings in the world, one of the greatest hubs for trading, and perhaps the most decadent environment that one can experience.
It is important to understand where Dubai is presently in order for me to predict where they will be in five years. No doubt Dubai will continue to rely heavily on tourism and trade. Also, they will still be in the oil business because five years is not too long a time and their oil surely will not run out that quickly. Since the background on what Dubai currently has to offer for their economic stability, it becomes much easier to envision what they will further create to continue the growth of their economy.
The first item to be addressed is the government will continue to increase urban sprawl. Dubai is not a big country, and there is not a lot of space to continuously build. The country will further grow beyond the bounds they currently inhabit and will probably even cross over into the desert regions. This will require some planning on the part of the government in measuring the risk and rewards of building on shaky soil. The government will have to weigh in on whether or not the profits from this sprawl outweigh the production costs.
I assume Dubai will expand as far as they can because the demand for their luxurious services are currently already at a maximum. The decision to expand will not be a problem. The problem will be what type of new creations they will undertake to further attract tourism dollars to their country. They are a center of trade and house one of the largest airports in the world. I believe they will take this a step further for travel and trade. I see Dubai making plans to start building a spaceport that will allow only the super-wealthy a chance to travel in space for a fee.
Dubai has already created unbelievable tourist attractions so a spaceport does not sound inconceivable. Dubai will also look into a new market for tourists, and that market is the promotion of any fantasy a traveler with deep pockets wants to participate in. They will become basically a real-life fantasy island. If a wealthy man wants to explore sunken treasure ships underwater then the Dubai government will assist in building an artificial setting to meet his needs.
If a wealthy traveler wants to hunt on a safari they will bring the safari to him. In a sense Dubai will make it so nobody will want to leave or have reason to leave, and thus the wealth they bring to Dubai will stay in Dubai. A downside to this expansion and innovation is the different classes of people. No doubt property values and consumer goods will begin to rise in an inflated and decadent economy. So, the middle-class and lower-class workers will essentially disappear.
I believe there will be some left, but for the most part they will have to move. Dubais growth in five years will encapsulate extreme expansion, extreme wealth, and extreme decadence. The country will do things that most people thought would be impossible, and their economy will continue to grow well beyond anything conceivable. Works Cited Sherwood, Seth. Dubai, Where Too Much Is Never Enough. The New York Times: Travel. 4 June 2006. New York Times Online. 2 Dec. 2007. http://travel. nytimes. com/2006/06/04/travel/04dubai. html? fta=y.