Looking Back at UAE

By: Nikita Jeswani, Smith School MBA Candidate

It has been several weeks since Smith students left Dubai. We have since settled back into our respective campuses, continuing work on our group projects to propose a new venture suitable for the UAE’s business environment.

Looking back at the international component of the program, PT-DC student Kavanaugh Livingston observes: “What struck me most about the UAE is the sense of optimism around here. Around the world there are many challenges, and not to say dubai is immune from [these], but there is a sense of a strong vision for the future. They are promoting it in a very unique way. I’d be very curious to see how this country moves forward and how they showcase it at Expo 2020 and beyond.”

The astounding growth of the UAE has remained a bit of a mystery to many scholars around the globe. A common question that students have pondered is: when will the bubble burst?

Dell Inc’s Basil Ayass and Shams Hasan shared three possible theories for this seemingly uncapped growth, which they expect to continue into the next decade and beyond:

  1. Visionary leadership: Unlike many of the UAE’s neighbors, the country has a positive track record of defining impressive visions – but more importantly, actually following through and implementing on these visions.
  2. Benevolent monarchy: Sheikh Zayed’s vision set the UAE on a positive trajectory that can be implemented easily with a much simpler consensus across the heads of the seven Emirates, in contrast to the two party system of the U.S. which has often slowed down America’s ability to implement change.
  3. Big fish, small pond: Dubai is competitive in its ease of doing business with many major cities across the globe, including Hong Kong, London, and others; however, it leads on all major aspects of ease of doing business when it comes to the Middle East, beating out its neighbors successfully in every category.

Students are grateful to walk away with a stronger global mindset, each one excited for the prospect of being a part of the international business landscape. This concludes the blog series documenting the Smith UAE 2018 business program. Thank you for your readership, and ma’a as-salaama!

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