When we speak of world issues, the first of all contentious topics is globalization. It could be utilized as a threat or an opportunity. Some say that, it can contribute to high economic growth and development and also that it is irreversible and irresistible. Globalization is a process by which the world is trending towards interconnectedness. It is the connectivity of political, economic, cultural, technological and geographical factors resulting in massively increased commercial, communicative, trade and exchange relations beyond national borders. “It implies that the world is ‘globalizing’, not necessarily that it is fully ‘globalized’, though descriptions such as the ‘global village’ suggest that, in some respects, the process has been completed.” Globalization as a process involves the removal of obstacles between nations, making it a barrier-free world economy. The large enterprises are no longer focusing to trade within their geographical regions, but are now multinational corporations (MNC’S) with their expanding subsidiaries in many countries across the globe.
We are in a reticulated economy globally where one region’s effect can have repercussion on all. We can define globalization as “A complex web of social processes that intensify and expand worldwide economic, cultural, political, and technological exchanges and connections.” (DR. Cairo). The statistics that can be put to use in order to reflect the growth of globalization is the global GDP (Gross Domestic Product). It was around $33.54 Trillion in the year 2000 and is forecasted to expand to $79.3 trillion by 2017 (World bank GDP report last updated on 08th December, 2017). This massive growth has helped to popularize efficiency of resource utilization through competition in the market. Global markets provide exposure towards more diversified markets, lower cost of imports and exports and lower production costs.
Globalization has its own share of positive and negative effects. Politically speaking, globalization plays an important role in the growth of international opportunities i.e. supranational activities, through organizations like United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Trade Organization, by creating linkages between the nations. The growing liberalization of markets; giving diverse multinational access to customers they never thought of, and the manifestation of call centers in developing countries like India, providing support to developed countries like United States and Europe, are some of the areas where globalization has made tremendous changes.
Many believe that change in technology is the main driver of globalization. With the introduction of commuter vehicles, the internet, automated home appliances that make our daily lives easy, we see technology has left its footprint on every move made by mankind. However, information and communication are the main factors that allow world-wide connections by giving ways to information sharing and controlling activities like outsourcing. The reduced costs in transport have made trading of good and services easier. When developed countries become saturated they rely more on the international markets for expansion. This maximizes global efficiency of production and resource usage. Globalization also promotes the global flow of ideas and information like access to information via mobile phones and internet, expression of opinions and helps promote cultural diversity by producing global citizens escaping the “tyranny of place”. (Micklethwaite and Wooldridge, 2015/2000; 15)
“The central issue of contention is not globalization itself but is inequality in the overall balance of institutional arrangements which produces very unequal sharing of the benefits of globalization” (Amartya Sen 2015/2002, p.24). The study of globalization would be incomplete without bringing out the myths that have been built up. One myth that concerns a lot of people is the change in employability. There were many protests held against the impact of globalization as lesser jobs were available due to replacement of human skillsets with technology in the recent years which also lead to the downfall of job-quality in the developing countries. The vast technological development has grown drastically since the mid-20th century. With the new innovations taking place and the world moving towards the use of robots and complex machinery to do daily tasks, dependency on hands on employment has drastically fallen. A study shows that the cost for a typical robot can be about £4 an hour to operate whereas the average European labor costs about £40 an hour or £9 an hour in China. (BBC News, 2017)
Keeping the positive and negative impacts of globalization on economic growth in mind, Dubai has witnessed the entire spectrum of economic transformation. Dubai is the largest and the most popular city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is one of the seven emirates and the capital of Emirate of Dubai. Its economic standpoint has given it the veto power over the nation’s most critical decisions. Within a span of 40 years Dubai has revolutionized itself from a port city to a major global economy and a business hub of the Middle East for the cargo services. Ever since Dubai adapted the concept of globalization, it has also become a major tourist attraction and has gained massive worldwide media exposure.
In 1960s, revenues from trade and few oil exploration concessions contributed to the economic development. The revenue from oil industry helped in Dubai’s early development, but due to limited reserves and low production, depending on such resources was not viable. Solely relying on oil to run the nation was not a sustainable option, which is why the government diversified into various other sectors such as tourism, real estate, hospitality and infrastructure to name a few. Dubai’s biggest economic change took place when they placed a strategy to make it a brand in itself. The true essence of globalization was captured by making it one of the most attractive destinations to live in, visit and to invest in. Surrounded by regions which are politically instable it created a blue ocean for itself by providing a high degree of stability for investors and visitors. In addition, most residents speak English making it a place which has qualified Dubai as a nation that speaks the language of globalization.
By taking the first step towards political stability, many investors brought it huge sums of money to invest in the physical and economic infrastructure. The money came from several sources, namely, EU, USA, Japan and most of all the Islamic world. In addition to such immense developments, Dubai International Airport has become the main hub for travel between many destinations in Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 2006, it handled around 30 million passengers. A second airport being built, the Dubai World Central International Airport will be the largest in the world. Emirates Airlines is a Dubai based company created in 1985, started with only two leased aircrafts and today it has become a $33 billion industry. Large successful initiatives like Emirates Airlines, Khalifa Tower, Palm Jumeirah islands etc. have given massive confidence to investors to pump in more money into an economy that has managed to grow and becoming successful in every endeavor. The true value of globalization comes where an economy is able to create its own blue ocean strategy by identifying what more can be offered to a world where everything is available. Dubai has created its own world by finding such factors and using technological developments and the right kind of skillsets and business acumen to make them extremely successful in a very short span of time.
There have been any areas which this nation expanded its horizons into: They utilized their natural resources, oil being the biggest one of them all, and created the biggest demand and supply chain all across the world. This not only looped in many power houses such as USA, EU etc. but has also pumped in so much cash flow into the economy that the education and technological sectors benefited the most from it. They spent tremendous amount of money to improve the education sector as they believed that when a nation receives the best education and knowledge inculcation, that’s when real growth starts to show. The gold industry which came in as a byproduct in Dubai, today, is one of the best-selling commodities in the country. The export and import of gold has given Dubai strong trade connections to many countries and have also created a new space for export of local dates and spices. Trade and commerce is what makes any economy gain strong political connections and globalization has paved way for Dubai to make its mark strong and permanent. In terms of apparel and automobiles, globalization has created a niche market where the rich have made enough wealth to be able to indulge in the biggest luxury spaces out there. Utilizing its surrounding water bodies, the “luxury cruise” market has also expanded tremendously. Millions of dollars are spent every year to design and manufacture top notch cruises which are purchased by many prominent individuals all across the globe. Many such examples can be brought forth in terms of how every product has been turned into something much bigger in this capital.
All good things come with a few setbacks. A move towards globalization has proven to be controversial for the Emirate capital. There have been cases where public believed the influence of western lifestyle was being inculcated into Dubai’s religious beliefs. The western influence could be seen in everything from serving alcoholic beverages to wearing clothes that were not allowed in the Muslim community. Here such a change was viewed as weakening of traditional religious beliefs in order to mend it into an American dominated culture. While the citizens did have many concerns about their religion taking a different turn the capital city helped every local in the nation find jobs to earn a decent living. The biggest benefactors of this phenomenon were the people as the country had diversified and expanded to a level where every individual had found jobs in any skillset they had at that point. To broadly list out the negatives globalization had had where; unfair treatment of immigrants that do not receive the same advantages and pay scale as the locals do, apart from this the crime rate has touched new heights due to excess exposure to the western world and technology. While globalization has made people question the religious factors of the nation, economically and politically it has benefited Dubai as a whole. From providing employment with an average monthly income of £3700 (according to a new survey by the UAE Ministry of Economy) to offering well suited living spaces, Dubai has left no stone unturned in making the nation as well as every individual benefit from such a world class phenomenon.
As Kofi Annan rightly said “Arguing about globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.” To expand further, globalization was vital for the world as a whole. It interconnects every nation and its economy to one another. This has helped in developing many countries worldwide. The biggest irony for this phenomenon is that while technological developments have replaced many jobs and have made work faster and efficient, the same technology has created many more jobs to manage the new built economy. It is pushing individuals to be more well versed with the changing world and is improving skillsets worldwide. According toThe Economist Intelligence Unit “the real GDP growth in the UAE will rebound in 2018, averaging 2.9% per year between 2018 and 2021”. In conclusion, today the world is globalizing to create sustainability, better lifestyles and economic growth as a whole. We should take advantage of the level of technological and economic developments taking place and work towards enriching lives as that is the best way for us to not just survive but also thrive and succeed.