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Singapore and Dubai - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Many believe that the most prominent of struggles in the world of globalization are currently between the United States of America and China, or the European Market and India. What is currently happening in Asia simply proves that there is fierce battle between the two models of Singapore and Dubai.

The declared struggle, which is mainly focused on the Bianda Company that specializes in administering ports, is not actually the first example of competition between the two sides. In June 2005, a telecommunications company from the Emirates was successful in its bid for the PTCL Company for landlines, defeating the bid from Singapore’s Singtel Company. There is a continuous battle between the two countries and this is evident from the airway carriers of each country, Emirates and Singapore Airlines. Furthermore, there is competition between the airports to attract as many passengers as possible who would use the Europe-Asia-Australia line. In light of their struggle to become the busiest port operating company in the world, the greatest fear that Singapore has of Dubai is represented through competition in logistic services, especially Dubai Ports (DP) that is the sixth largest port operator in the world. Singapore now realizes that Dubai is following its example in all fields, however it excels in the model that it presents, given also that the most important executive leaders of Dubai nowadays had previously gained their basic and primary training in Singapore. This unprecedented competition in the course of development of countries reflects that the road is open for those with a vision, awareness and the correct idea about investment of financial resources, regardless of variation in economic capacities and the strength of competitors.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Singapore had reached 116 Billion US Dollars in comparison to 37 Billion US Dollars for Dubai. I wonder could the Singapore experience repeat itself in Arab countries. The answer is that it is possible, as Singapore was able to eliminate a number of traditional industrial countries in Asia and Europe from economic leadership and various industrial specializations. Within a short time span, Singapore was able to become a leading example of success.

What happened, and continues to take place between Singapore and Dubai, could be a lesson for Arab countries and eventually the reason behind redesigning economic plans and changing assumptions that had always categorized nations according to concepts from the colonial era. Such concepts are no longer in accordance to the new rules of economics, which has totally changed the face of economics globally, consequently changing opportunities, expectations and results.

With the emergence of India, China and the traditional Asian tigers, in addition to other success stories from all over the world such as Ireland, Chile, Ghana, South Africa and Dubai, we can simply assert that economic prosperity is not impossible. It is no longer a monopolized field for the most industrialized groups, as long as there are prevailing opportunities, a strong strategy and great potential to achieve.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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