Dubai: The Political Project of a New Metropolis
2015 (English)In: Gulf Cities as Interfaces / [ed] George Katodrytis and Sharmeen Syed, Cambridge: Gulf Research Center Cambridge , 2015Chapter in book (Refereed)
We commonly think of Dubai as a city built from scratch. This general assumption, though, is not completely accurate, as often happens when a city is described with a simple and generic statement at first glance. This idea tends to overlook all the non-material forces that are at the very origin of any urban settlement. By focusing on a particular formal structure, we tend to forget the cultural and political substrata embodied in a particular physical reality, as well as the visions and ambitions that drove its construction. When we look at urban patterns, we are usually fascinated by their formal qualities; we see them as fabrics, as systems, as shapes and images, as landscapes and skylines. But the visual analysis runs the risk of overlooking deeper roots. The new global city of Dubai is no exception; it is the result of a political vision driven by the ruling family, the Maktouns, that has turned into a massive economic and financial operation. The city has become the interface in which the global economy has landed in the city and, through a relation of mutual benefit, has created the city we know today. Thus, Dubai’s political and economic system over the last few decades has run in parallel with the urban image envisioned by its rulers, in a process that has merged urban planning, investment opportunities and real estate speculation with the creation of a new city imagery. The New Dubai has been based mainly on three strategies: the planning and construction of a huge infrastructural network; the creation of Free Zones; and the accumulation of marks of distinction and symbolic power.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Gulf Research Center Cambridge , 2015.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109419OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-109419DiVA: diva2:857121