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26 March 2014
Leading Economist Martin Hvidt Speaks on Dubai’s Economic and Development Models

The Public Management Program at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government today hosted Prof Martin Hvidt as part of its ongoing Distinguished Speaker Series.
Speaking on ‘The Dubai Economic and Developmental Models: Implications of the Expo 2020 on Dubai’s Growth’, Prof Hvidt’s lecture traced the origins of Dubai’s economic model and outlined its success in facilitating the economic boom from 1998-2008. A faculty of Zayed University, Prof Hvidt also discussed Dubai’s resilience in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and its sustainability in light of the upcoming Expo 2020.
“Today, Dubai is a city–state of 1.4 million people expanding its global outreach and undertaking a range of high-profile investments and acquisitions,” said Prof Hvidt. “It competes with the biggest players in businesses such as tourism, logistics, port operations, financial services, and construction and pursues development with a ready strategy. It seems to have made a deliberate choice to position itself at the high-quality end of the market, whether in the tourist sector, services, or manufacturing.” 
He added: “Dubai’s success was made possible because of the leadership and initiative of the government. A centralised government, fast decision making, fast track development and a flexible labour force have all contributed to the emirate’s meteoric rise. As we approach Expo 2020, Dubai’s impressive record of resilience and ability to rectify myriad problems as they arise is indicative of the city’s potential to enjoy further successes and accommodate the projected rise in population in the coming years.”
For the past decade, Prof Hvidt has conducted extensive research on the economic development of Gulf countries and has authored thought pieces on the Gulf. Educated as a geographer and economist, he teaches courses in political economy and development economics related to the Middle East and the Gulf in particular.
Speaking at the event, Mhamed Biygautane, researcher in the Public Management Program  and moderator of this event, said: “It is important to stimulate dialogue and shed light on studies related to the “Dubai Model”, to share the unique developmental paradigm of Dubai with the rest of Gulf Cooperation Council states and the Arab World at large. Dubai’s success story and its sustainable economic growth and resilience in the face of one of the worst financial crises in history, make it a timely subject for study.”
“Exploring issues such as the implication of Expo 2020 on Dubai’s growth is of great interest to us. We were honoured to welcome Prof Hvidt to present his thorough research on the subject and look forward to further cooperation with Zayed University to share knowledge and expertise in the future." 
The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government provides a platform for public dialogue and knowledge exchange by convening conferences, lectures, seminars and policy forums. The Distinguished Speakers Series has featured prominent academics and public figures including Lee Kuan Yew, Klaus Schwab, Lawrence Summers, John Chambers, David Ellwood, Joseph Nye, Francis Fukuyama, Suad Joseph, Kishore Mahbubani and Bob Graham.
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