Dubai ‘is most advanced merchant city in the Gulf’

DUBAI — Dubai has turned itself from a merchant city into a global city implemented by technocrats, according to Dr Bernard El Ghoul, General Coordinator, Eurogolfe Network of Researchers, Paris Institute for Political Studies, Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 24 Feb 2005, 9:20 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:35 PM

Dr El Ghoul was one of the speakers of a research seminar organised at the Zayed University Media Centre at the Media City on Tuesday. Titled “Global Flows: The Reshaping of Social and Cultural Space”, the seminar was moderated by Dr Lena Jayyusi, College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University, and Director of Research, Zayed University Media Centre.

Dr El Ghoul commented that Dubai is the most advanced merchant city in the Gulf, as evidenced by noteworthy developments in Jebel Ali port, Dubai International Airport, Dubai Cargo Village, among others. The emirate has focused on IT, finance and tourism, and has been quite successful in implementing the global city concept, he added.

He lauded the success of the Dubai Shopping Festival, and noted the export of expertise by the Dubai Ports Authority, Gitex and the Dubai International Airport, among others.

Rima Sabban, Social Science Research Council (SSRC-New York) Fellow, meanwhile, noted that the visibility of the flow of migrant women to the UAE corresponded to the global trend observed in other places of the world.

The flow, she said, helped reshape the public sphere at educational institutions, large and small businesses and reached almost all households.

Her presentation centred on the flow of migrant women to the UAE, their role in the development of the economy, society, public and private sphere.

Dr Rafael Reyes-Ruiz, Social and Behavioural Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences at Zayed University, traced the cultural flows that bring pan-Latino culture to Japan and to link this process to the dynamics of immigrant social networks and the reception of Latin American culture and immigrants in Japanese society.

‘Perspectives of Globalisation and International Cultural Flow’ was discussed by Dr James Piecowye, College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University. He said that all cultures have become hybrid due to the ever-increasing connectedness of the world by mass media.

Dr Piecowye, however, clarified that the hybridism of global cultures does not necessarily mean agreement or acceptance of other cultures. In fact, the process of hybridism could actually lead to fundamental divisions as opposed to unions of cultures.

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