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The invasion of Dubai - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Thousands flocked to the city of Dubai from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Persian Gulf. They formed long queues in front of its banks, hoping for a chance to invest in the newly inaugurated Dana gas company and others attended in their droves a technology fair elsewhere in the city. This flurry of activity points to the birth of a new spirit and signals a break with the past when only entertainment attracted spectators.

Individuals are increasingly taking matters into their own hands and looking for opportunities to better themselves and improve their lives. This is what motivated hundreds to drive to Dubai and spend the night in their cars, after finding out hotels in the city were already booked by those attending the Gitex IT fair, another positive example of this drive to succeed.

The New World was built on a relentless search for success regardless of how unreachable it may seem and despite any personal and financial risks. Armed with this go-getting spirit, modern societies prospered and accumulated the riches we admire today.

A record number of individuals visited Gitex 2005, the Middle East’s largest information technology fair, crowding Dubai’s airport and hotels, on the lookout for the latest developments in the fast-moving field of information technology. Once inside, amidst all the technology on display, the Arab world seems a very different place, still dependent on carts pulled by donkeys and land plowed by bulls.

It makes one wonder if a miracle will ever happen enabling the Arab world to leap forward a 100 years and join the developed world.

While I do not know the answer to the above question, as long as I can see around me individuals who are willing to do the impossible in search for a better life, as has occurred in Dubai in recent years, I will remain hopeful.

The thousands who flocked to Gitex did not let the unavailability of flights or the shortage of hotel rooms or even the long queues stop from attending the fair. Arab business developers and investors did not let obstacles stand in the way of their participation; after all, everyone came to the fair in search of success.

The rush to invest in spite of the pitfalls of the market is evidence of a new positive attitude and an indication that many individuals are not as lazy as previously thought. When people are given the chance to better their lives, they will seize it. A growing number of investors have even taken extreme measures and borrowed large sums of money in order to try their luck

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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