Advertisement

Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 305–317 | Cite as

Crystallising the Dubai model of cluster-based development

  • Yasser Al-Saleh
Case Study
  • 52 Downloads

Abstract

Since the mid-1980s, Dubai has embarked on creating clusters—in the form of special economic zones—that provide both business-friendly policies and world-class infrastructure. These clusters have helped Dubai by luring foreign investment and have been a fundamental basis for economic development and diversification. Drawing on empirical evidence, this article sheds light on the Dubai experience by articulating an explorative model for cluster-based economic development. Data collected through in-depth interviews, literature reviews and scrutiny of media and policy planning documents were analysed using grounded theory to identify the main features of a particular model for Dubai, which was ultimately labelled the ‘ABS model’—where ‘A’ stands for Attraction, ‘B’ for Branding and ‘S’ for State-led development. Just as the ‘Anti-lock Braking System’ prevents a car from skidding on a wet road, the Dubai ABS model will protect the Emirate in times of economic crisis by preventing its development legacy from stalling and ultimately enhancing its economic resilience. The proposed model together with the research findings and recommendations contribute to the ongoing debate surrounding cluster-based economic development.

Keywords

Dubai Clusters Economic diversification Economic resilience 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to express his gratitude to the anonymous reviewers, Dr Kai Chan and Dr Allen Gomes, for their much-appreciated feedback on an earlier version of this paper. The usual disclaimer applies.

References

  1. Albeshr, H., and S. Ahmed. 2015. Service innovation by Dubai International Airport: The battle to remain competitive. Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies 5 (1): 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alkaabi, K., K. Debbage, and A. Bin Touq. 2013. The promise of the Aerotropolis model in the United Arab Emirates: The role of spatial proximity and global connectivity. The Arab World Geographer 16 (3): 289–312.Google Scholar
  3. Almezaini, K. 2013. Private sector actors in the UAE and their role in the process of economic and political reform. In Business Politics in the Middle East, ed. S. Hertog, G. Luciani, and M. Valeri. London: Hurst & Company.Google Scholar
  4. Al-Sayegh, F. 1998. Merchants’ role in a changing society: The case of Dubai, 1900-90. Middle Eastern Studies 34 (1): 87–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anttiroiko, A. 2014. International city branding: attraction imperative, specialization and new urban brand analytics. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual International Conference of ASBBS, ed. Wali I. Mondal, 12–25. San Diego, CA: American Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences (ASBBS).Google Scholar
  6. Ashai, Z., M. El Dahshan, J. Kubba, H. Talati, and P. Youssefi. 2007. The transport and logistics cluster in the United Arab Emirates [WWW]. Harvard Business School Website. http://www.isc.hbs.edu/resources/courses/moc-course-at-harvard/Documents/pdf/student-projects/UAE_TransportLogisticsCluster_2007.pdf.
  7. Auty, R.M. 1993. Sustaining development in mineral economies: The resource curse thesis. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Balakrishnan, M. 2008. Dubai—a star in the east: A case study in strategic destination branding. Journal of Place Management and Development 1 (1): 62–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Baptisa, R., and P. Swann. 1998. Do firms in clusters innovate more? Research Policy 27: 525–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barrett, R. 2010. Dubai dreams: Inside the Kingdom of Bling. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.Google Scholar
  11. Bhatti, S., J. Fung, J. Gavage, and J. Yoo. 2006. Dubai financial services cluster: Oasis or mirage? Microeconomics of Competitiveness (Spring), pp. 1–30.Google Scholar
  12. Blaikie, N. 2000. Designing social research: The logic of anticipation. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  13. Bloch, R. 2010. Dubai’s long goodbye. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 34 (4): 943–951.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bogner, A., and W. Menz. 2009. The theory-generating expert interview: Epistemological interest, forms of knowledge, interaction. In Interviewing experts, ed. A. Bogner, B. Littig, and W. Menz. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Breschi, S., and F. Malerba. 2001. The geography of innovation and economic clustering: Some introductory notes. Industrial and Corporate Change 10 (4): 817–833.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Briguglio, L., and E. Kisanga. 2004. Economic vulnerability and resilience of small states. London: Islands and Small States Institute and Commonwealth Secretariat.Google Scholar
  17. Buamim, H. 2016. Global economic, outlook, impact on KSA and the role of private sector. In Jeddah Economic Forum. Jeddah, 2–3 March 2016.Google Scholar
  18. Callen, T., R. Cherif, F. Hasanov, A. Hegazy, and P. Khandelwal. 2014. Economic diversification in the GCC: The past, the present and the future. Washington DC: International Monetary Fund.Google Scholar
  19. Chorin, E. 2010. Articulating a ‘Dubai Model’ of development: The case of Djibouti. Dubai: Dubai School of Government.Google Scholar
  20. Connell, J., A. Kriz, and M. Thorpe. 2014. Industry clusters: An antidote for knowledge sharing and collaborative innovation. Journal of Knowledge Management 18 (1): 137–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Connell, J., and M. Thorpe. 2009. Clusters, knowledge sharing and the individual firm: Focus on Dubai. In IIRA World Congress, Sydney, 24–27 August 2009.Google Scholar
  22. Coombe, W., and J. Melki. 2012. Global media and brand Dubai. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 8 (1): 58–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Creswell, J.W. 2003. Research design: Quantitative and qualitative approaches, 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  24. De Langen, P. 2004. The performance of seaport clusters. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Erasmus University Rotterdam.Google Scholar
  25. DeNicola, C. 2005. Dubai’s political and economic development: An oasis in the desert? Unpublished BA Dissertation, Williams College.Google Scholar
  26. Denzin, N.K., and Y.S. Lincoln. 2003. Strategies of qualitative inquiry, 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  27. Dubai Customs. 2016. Dubai trade statistics. http://www.dubaicustoms.gov.ae/en/TradeStatistics/Pages/default.aspx.
  28. Dunning, J., N. Kumar, R. Lipsey, J. Agrawal, and S. Urata. 1998. Globalisation, foreign direct investment and technology transfers: Impacts on and prospects for developing countries. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. European Commission. 2002. Final report of the expert group on enterprise clusters and networks. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  30. Florida, R. 2005. Cities and the creative class. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Florida, R., C. Mellander, and K. King. 2015. The global creativity index 2015. Toronto: Martin Prosperity Institute.Google Scholar
  32. France Soir. 2012. Tourisme médical: Le nombre de patients opérés à l’étranger explose. http://www.francesoir.fr/actualite/sante/tourisme-medical-le-nombre-de-patients-operes-a-l-etranger-explose-218283.html.
  33. Frasca, A. 2011. Dubai, debt and dependency: The political and economic implications of the bailout of Dubai. Unpublished MA Thesis, University of Texas at Austin.Google Scholar
  34. Fromhold-Esiebith, M., and G. Eisebith. 2005. How to institutionalize innovative clusters? Comparing top-down and implicit bottom-up approaches. Research Policy 34 (8): 1250–1268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gelb, A. 1988. Windfall gains: Blessing or curse?. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Gertner, D., and P. Kotler. 2004. How can a place correct a negative image? Place Branding 1 (1): 50–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Glaser, B.G. 1987. Theoretical sensitivity: Advances in the methodology of grounded theory. Mill Valley: The Sociology Press.Google Scholar
  38. Government of Dubai. 2016. Dubai economy. http://www.dubai.ae/en/aboutdubai/Pages/DubaiEconomy.aspx.
  39. Gugler, P., and S. Brunner. 2007. FDI effects on national competitiveness: A cluster approach. International Advances in Economic Research 13 (3): 268–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gulf News. 2015. Expansion of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central will be completed by the first quarter of 2022. Gulf News. http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/expansion-of-al-maktoum-international-at-dubai-world-central-will-be-completed-by-the-first-quarter-of-2022-1.1550145. Accessed 26 March 2017.
  41. Gylfason, T., T. Herbertsson, and G. Zoega. 1999. A mixed blessing: Natural resources and economic growth. Macroeconomic Dynamics 3 (2): 204–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Hafeez, K., P. Foroudi, D. Keith, B. Nguyen, and S. Parahoo. 2016. The role of place branding and image in the development of sectoral clusters: The case of Dubai. Journal of Brand Management 23: 383–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Haggard, S. 1990. Pathways from periphery: The politics of growth in newly industrializing countries. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Hassan, I., and N. Abu Talib. 2015. State-led cluster development initiatives: A brief anecdote of multimedia super corridor. Journal of Management Development 34 (5): 524–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Hedrick-Wong, Y., and D. Choong. 2015. MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index: Tracking Growth 2009-2015. https://newsroom.mastercard.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/MasterCard-GDCI-2015-Final-Report1.pdf.
  46. Hoover, E., and F. Giarratani. 1971. An introduction of regional economics. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  47. Huff, W. 1995. What is the Singapore model of economic development? Cambridge Journal of Economics 19 (6): 735–759.Google Scholar
  48. Huff, W. 1999. Singapore’s economic development: Four lessons and some doubts. Oxford Development Studies 27 (1): 33–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hvidt, M. 2009. The Dubai model: An outline of key development-forces elements in Dubai. International Journal of Middle East Studies 41: 397–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kasarda, J., and G. Lindsay. 2011. Aerotropolis: The way we’ll live next. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  51. Khodr, H., and D. Reiche. 2012. The specialized cities of the Gulf Cooperation Council: A case study of a distinct type of policy innovation and diffusion. Digest of Middle East Studies 21 (1): 149–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Klingmann, A. 2007. Brandscapes: Architecture in the experience economy. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  53. Lagendijk, A. 1998. New forms of regional industrial policy in Europe: How do policy makers understand competitiveness and clusters. In European Regional Science Association Conference, Vienna, 28 August–1 September 1998.Google Scholar
  54. Lee, K.Y. 2000. From third world to first: The Singapore story, 1965-2000. Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings.Google Scholar
  55. Lee, H., and D. Jain. 2009. Dubai’s brand assessment success and failure in brand management—Part 1. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 5 (3): 234–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Locke, K. 2000. Grounded theory in management research. London: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  57. Lucas, R. 1990. Why doesn’t capital flow from rich to poor countries? The American Economic Review 80 (2): 92–96.Google Scholar
  58. Madani, D. 1999. A review of the role and impact of export processing zones. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper no. 2238, August 1999.Google Scholar
  59. Mahroum, S., and Y. Al-Saleh. 2016. The surrogate model of cluster creation: The case of Mubadala in Abu Dhabi. In Edward elgar volume on cluster policies from a cluster life cycle perspective, ed. R. Hassink, D. Fornahl, and M.-P. Menzel. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  60. Mahroum, S., and Y. Al-Saleh (eds.). 2017. Economic diversification policies in natural resource-rich economies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Malmberg, A., and P. Maskell. 2006. Localised learning revisited. Growth and Change 37 (1): 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Martin, R., and P. Sunley. 2003. Deconstructing clusters: Chaotic concept or policy panacea? Journal of Economic Geography 3 (1): 5–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Matsen, E., and R. Torvik. 2005. Optimal Dutch disease. Journal of Development Economics 78 (2): 494–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Insight, M.E.E.D. 2015. A comprehensive overview of the project opportunities in Dubai in the run-up to the 2020 Expo. Dubai: MEED.Google Scholar
  65. Menzel, M.-P., and D. Fornahl. 2010. Cluster life cycles: dimensions and rationales of cluster evolution. Industrial and Corporate Change 19 (1): 205–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. McNabb, D.E. 2004. Research methods for political science. New York: M.E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
  67. Mukherjee, A., P. Pal, S. Deb, S. Ray, and T. Goyal. 2016. Special economic zones in India: Status, issues and potential. New Delhi: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Muratovski, G. 2012. The role of architecture and integrated design in city branding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 8 (3): 195–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Nowicki, L. (2007). Investment and entrepreneurship in Arab and Muslim-majority countries: The case of free zones. International Trade and Finance Association Working Paper no. 5.Google Scholar
  70. Nyarko, Y. (2010). The United Arab Emirates: Some lessons in economic development. United Nations University—World Institute for Development Economics Research Working Paper no. 2010/11, February 2010.Google Scholar
  71. Okoth, S. 2014. Public policy making process in the United Arab Emirates. In Public Administration and Policy in the Middle East, ed. A. Dawoody. London: Springer.Google Scholar
  72. Ortega, A. 2009. Dubai: The case for modern tribalism. Stanford Journal of International Relations 9 (2): 1–12.Google Scholar
  73. Papadopoulos, N. 2004. Place branding: evolution, meaning and implications. Place Branding 1 (1): 36–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. PKF. 2015. Free zones in the UAE. Dubai: PKF United Arab Emirates.Google Scholar
  75. Porter, M. 1998. Clusters and the new economics of competition. Harvard Business Review 76: 77–90.Google Scholar
  76. Porter, M. 2003. Building a competitive UAE economy: The new learning. Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, Dubai, 7 May 2003.Google Scholar
  77. Rasagam, G., and D. Zeng. 2014. Free trade zones: Learning from global experience. In Asia-Pacific Finance and Development Centre’s FTZ Seminar, Shanghai, June 2014.Google Scholar
  78. Rehman, S., and K. Dairabayeva. 2008. Is the ‘Dubai Model’ a new paradigm for growth and investment strategies for oil-based economies? Case Study Eurasia. ACES Working Paper no. 8.Google Scholar
  79. Sampler, J., and S. Eigner. 2003. Sand to silicon: Achieving rapid growth lessons from Dubai. London: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  80. Sampler, J., and S. Eigner. 2008. Sand to silicon: Going global. Dubai: Motivate Publishing.Google Scholar
  81. San Francisco Gate. 2014. Dubai raises profile as Mideast plastic surgery hub. http://www.sfgate.com/world/article/Dubai-raises-profile-as-Mideast-plastic-surgery-5843519.php.
  82. Shayah, M. 2015. Economic diversification by boosting non-oil exports: Case of UAE. Journal of Economics, Business and Management 3 (7): 735–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Shayah, M., and Y. Qifeng. 2015. Development of free zones in United Arab Emirates. International Review of Research in Emerging Markets and the Global Economy 1 (2): 286–294.Google Scholar
  84. Siegel, P., T. Johnson, and J. Alwang. 1995. Regional economic diversity and diversification. Growth and Change 26: 261–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Solvell, O., G. Lindqvist, and C. Ketels. 2003. The cluster initiative greenbook. Stockholm: Ivory Tower.Google Scholar
  86. Sonobe, T., and K. Otsuka. 2006. Cluster-based industrial development: An East Asian model. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Soto, R., and I. Haouas. 2012. Has the UAE escaped the oil curse? Economic Research Forum Working Paper no. 728, November 2012.Google Scholar
  88. Storper, M. 1999. The regional world: territorial development in a global economy. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  89. Strategy&. 2008. Economic diversification: The road to sustainable development. http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/media/file/Economic_Diversification_The_Road_to_Sustainable_Development_FINAL.pdf.
  90. Strauss, A.L., and J. Corbin. 1990. Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. London: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  91. Struxness, A. 2013. The impact of authoritarian rule on the success of global branding efforts: Dubai, Singapore and Mumbai. Unpublished BA Dissertation, University of Puget Sound.Google Scholar
  92. Tengri News. 2012. Medical tourism set pulses racing. https://en.tengrinews.kz/health/Medical-tourism-sets-pulses-racing–9776/.
  93. Thompson, P. 2003. An analysis of Dubai’s socio-economic development strategies and performance between 1998-2008. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of South Africa.Google Scholar
  94. Thorpe, M., and J. Connell. 2013. Industry clusters, Dubai and the GCC: The antidote for growth and innovation after the GFC? In Resources and competitive advantage in Clusters, ed. K. Brown, J. Burgess, M. Festing, and S. Royer. Munich: Rainer Hampp Verlag.Google Scholar
  95. Thorpe, M., and S. Mitra. 2011. The evolution of transport and logistics sector in Dubai. Global Business and Economics Anthology II (2): 342–353.Google Scholar
  96. Vandenbosch, B., A. Saatcioglu, and S. Fay. 2006. Idea management: A systemic view. Journal of Management Studies 43 (2): 259–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Van Dijk, M., and A. Sverrisson. 2003. Enterprise clusters in developing countries: Mechanisms of transition and stagnation. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 15: 183–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Vidican, G., L. McElvaney, D. Samulewicz, and Y. Al-Saleh. 2012. An empirical examination of the development of a solar innovation system in the UAE. Energy for Sustainable Development 16 (2): 179–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Vorley, T. 2008. The geographic cluster: A historical review. Geography Compass 2 (3): 790–813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Wilson, G. 1999. Father of Dubai: Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum. Dubai: Media Prima.Google Scholar
  101. Wolfe, D., and M. Gertler. 2003. Lessons from the ISRN study of cluster development. In Clusters old and new: The transition to a knowledge economy, ed. D. Wolfe. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s Press.Google Scholar
  102. Zhang, K., and J. Markusen. 1999. Vertical multinationals and host-country characteristics. Journal of Development Economics 59 (2): 233–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Zumbach, K. (2010). The role of cluster theory for economic development: Does Porter’s competitive diamond fail to explain Dubai’s financial cluster? Unpublished MA Thesis, Bowling Green State University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mohammed Bin Rashid School of GovernmentDubaiUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations