Dubai's meteoric rise
I must commend SouthAsia for printing highly informative articles on the UAE as part of its cover story. The way some UAE states have progressed in a short span of time still surprises development experts around the world. Until a few decades ago, Dubai, for one, used to be a largely desert land. If one sees the old pictures of Dubai, they wouldn’t recognize the city which has completely changed over the years.
Today, some of the most remarkable buildings in Dubai – the Deira Twin Towers, Dubai Creek Tower, Sheraton Dubai Creek, the National Bank, and the Chamber of Commerce – are located along the sides of the Dubai Creek. The situation was completely different in the 1950s when the same port, from where much of Dubai’s trade took place, housed only a few brick buildings. The emirate didn’t have any traffic lights till the 1960s. It is said that the first traffic lights were installed in the late 1960s. Dubai’s is surely a success story that continues to amaze people around the world. While its rise can be mainly attributed to petrodollars, it would be unjustified not to give credit to its rulers who introduced business-friendly policies and liberalized the economy to encourage foreign investment. However, there is one thing which was freely available for everyone in the Dubai of yore but has now been restricted to those who hold specific licenses: alcohol!
Kandy, Sri Lanka