Some weeks ago, a close friend asked me about the ties between the private and public sectors in the UAE, especially in Dubai. How are decisions made? What is the influence of the private sector? What are the limits between the two sides?
I spent some days thinking, reading, and asking about this issue, and I think we need to approach these questions using game theory.
We are in the 1930s, and what once was the promising market of pearls in Abu Dhabi and Dubai is now a memory. Japan entered the international market with cultured pearls, and India raised import tariffs on products coming from the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. ‘This the end, beautiful friend’, but no, is not.
In 1971, six emirates, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujaraih, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain formed the United Arab Emirates (UAE). One year later, another emirate, Ras al Khaimah, joined.
An Emir rules each emirate, and they are all part of the Federal Supreme Council, which elects the President and Vice President of the UAE. Since 1971, the country has had three presidents, all of whom were rulers of Abu Dhabi (capital city) when elected. Abu Dhabi is a synonym for oil and political power, while Dubai means diversification and globalization, but we will talk about this in the following post.
During the last six weeks, I have been uploading different stories on my Instagram account about being in Dubai. I talked about my experience trying to get alcohol, going to deserts, seeing jewelry, and visiting the “Museum of the Future,” but I never explained what I am doing here.
In August 2021, I started studying at the Harvard Kennedy School. I am doing a Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID). It lasts two years, so, as you can see, I am in the middle of it. During our summer, we should spend at least eight weeks doing an internship in (if possible) a developing country in any area related to development, such as education, health, poverty, or economic growth. That is why I am here in Dubai.