Startups as Stimulus for Dubai

These empty buildings need dotcoms, stat! (Pic by Jeff Topping / The National)

Today in

, Mishaal al Gergawi - who,

, has emerged as Dubai's most prominent critical thinker -


<i><br/>Section off a large government-owned development and offer its offices and shops, in shell and core state, to entrepreneurs and artists for a minimal all-in Dh5,000 licence fee, effectively deregulating entrepreneurship.</i><br/>

, and furthers a line of thinking on the future of Dubai that has been quietly emerging over the last year.

It was best articulated by


, who looked at the idea of startups as stimulus


<i>The time is right to create value at the sme level, create an ecosystem that incubates startups, make Dubai a globally-attractive place for top minds to start their new technology businesses, and create new momentum for Dubai outside the declining property boom and alongside the draw of tourism.<br/> </i>

Another prominent Dubai figure who is calling for a new entrepreneurial economy to push the city out of crisis is Nabil Alyousuf, a former right hand man of Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid. He was plugged into top-level Dubai thinking during the boom and


I could go on (

) but it seems pretty clear that this is an idea whose time has come - the most powerful force on Earth,

. But will it be embraced? And will it actually happen? I have my doubts for a whole bunch of reasons, but it is certainly


economic story of Dubai for 2010.

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