Friday, June 21, 2024
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Dubai Inc: The Monopoly on Extravagance and Efficiency

Dubai. The land where logic takes a vacation and ambition goes on a shopping spree. Let’s talk about the two mega-conglomerates that are the real stars of this desert show. First, take a peek at the top three most expensive penthouses sold in 2022, perched in swanky, man-made locations like Bulgari, Marsa Al Arab, and the Atlantis Royal. What’s the common denominator here? Well, surprise, surprise, they’re all owned and developed by the Dubai government, or “Dubai Inc,” as we affectionately call them. Honestly, they operate more like a corporate giant with a flair for luxury than a traditional government.

After a bit of digital sleuthing, it turns out these penthouses are just tiny jewels in a crown of sprawling hotel and resort developments. Zoom out a bit, and it’s clear: Dubai Inc owns the fanciest hotels and resorts in the emirate. Fun fact: they own more hotel keys than any other government entity in the world, right behind private behemoths like Blackstone. Even after selling off some of Emaar’s hotel portfolio to another sovereign fund, they still hold the record. How’s that for a government’s side hustle?

This grand tale began with Sheikh Mohammed’s vision during an Arab convention. Instead of politics, he wanted ministers to focus on tourism and transform Dubai into a global tourist hub. Ridiculed at the time as he expressed in his book “My Vision,” he took it upon himself to implement the “build it, and they will come” philosophy. And come they did, in droves, transforming Dubai Inc into the largest government-owned hotelier on the planet. Only in Dubai can a government entity set such high standards and rake in rave reviews for its hospitality prowess.

Now, let’s shift gears to another jewel in the Dubai Inc crown: Emirates Airlines. The irony is palpable. Back in 1985, Gulf Air tried to bully Dubai into revoking its open sky policy, threatening to stop flights to the city. Fast forward to 2023, and Gulf Air is gleefully code-sharing with Emirates. The very airline they tried to ground now soars above all, breaking records left and right. Emirates is not just the world’s biggest airline; every company it touches becomes enormous by default. Dnata? The largest airport ground handling company in the world. Emirates Catering? The biggest food and catering entity globally. And let’s not forget the Dubai Duty Free and DXB Airport, each a record-holder in their own right.

To top it all off, Emirates reported a jaw-dropping profit of $3.4 billion for the fiscal year ending in 2024. But why stop there? At the recent Dubai Airshow, they decided to make history by placing the biggest airplane order ever: a cool $52 billion for 50 Boeing 777Xs and 50 Airbus A350s. Because why not?

So, what’s the moral of this story? Two major events that could have been setbacks were instead launchpads. Sheikh Mohammed shrugged off the naysayers and created a government that operates more efficiently than many private sectors. Accountability, righteousness, fairness, and proactivity became the pillars of Dubai Inc. With a courageous and ambitious leader, it’s no wonder Dubai leads in every industry it touches. No sector is safe from being conquered by the Dubai Inc juggernaut.

I wonder what other gems we’d uncover if we kept digging through the news somewhere else? Probably a few more world records and a lot more irony.

About Author
Hamzah Abu Zannad

Hamzah Abu Zannad, co-founder and managing director of Axiom Prime Real Estate Development, brings over two decades of rich experience to Dubai’s bustling real estate market. His visionary approach has significantly influenced urban living in the city, emphasizing innovative, community-centric projects. At Axiom Prime, Hamzah has infused a touch of Dutch-inspired coziness into Dubai’s luxury landscape, creating spaces that are both elegant and inviting.


Under his guidance, Axiom Prime Real Estate Development has launched a number of groundbreaking projects in Jumeirah Village Triangle and Jumeirah Garden City, demonstrating his commitment to blending sustainability with advanced technology. Hamzah’s leadership is driving the firm toward establishing high-quality, sustainable living environments that foster a sense of community and belonging. His dedicated efforts have elevated Axiom Prime to a prominent position within Dubai’s real estate sector.

For additional information, please visit Axiom Prime Real Estate Development.
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