04 January, 2008

"Meritocracy is the key to Dubai's limitless ambitions"

There is an interesting article on Dubai's leadership here;

"Sheikh Mohammad's "spies," known as "mystery shoppers," fan out across government offices to observe and grade the efficiency, competence and attentiveness of local officials. Those who receive poor marks are quietly rebuked, while those who impress move into an informal Dubai fast-track, receiving increasingly more challenging tasks, greater responsibility and more scrutiny. If they survive those tests they gradually enter the rarefied air of the Dubai high-flyer executives, the dozen or so movers and shakers who are transforming the Gulf city-state into a major regional and global trade, tourism, transport, technology and financial services hub.

This survival of the fittest produces a top-notch government elite, not one stocked with cronies and family members of the ruler - and might just be the key to Dubai's remarkable rise. While Western capitals search for an Arab "democratic model," Dubai is providing an Arab "meritocratic model" that underpins its successful growth and development."

--more here


Kyle said...

Is there a Think-Tank in Dubai?

Any clues?

Nature Strikes Back said...

Hi this article first appeared in Bitterlemons.org under the heading:

Talent, critical mass drive Dubai forward

(see December 28 post below) :)

As for Think Tank... SD mentioned a think tank in a recent post too called The Institute for International Research. I did a search for it but it calls itself a 'human capital company'!


SevenSummits said...

Define Think Tank pls!!! (Khaleji style or something that fits the real world?) :-)))))

On a serious note:
How can there be a Think Tank in a geographical location, where you are not allowed the freedom of speech or thought? (and will risk or eventually be tortured for it?) So the answer will be "Nope – there isn't one"

There are a few institutions, for instance
GRC or the ECSSR that certainly would hypothetically go into the desired direction, but even those can only supply information that is authorized by the government and the setup has therefore absolutely nothing to do with critical thought.

The good news is that some of those urgently needed Arab intellectuals that have previously been wasted away in these institutions are now working in either well known universities or think tanks in the US and can tell us how they have been mistreated in the UAE. So those that are still working in the UAE can only comment behind closed doors or are sort of enjoying an extended well paid vacation from "intellectual input". (This is a statement and not a judgment!)

One of the articles that Nature Strikes Back was kind enough to share with us (thanks for that) The hidden costs of Dubai's post-oil diversification strategies
has also been circulated and discussed among interested researchers. Personally I find Christopher's article interesting, however strongly oppose when scientists act unethical by engaging in pure journalism (a sphere that should be left to journalists) Without citations and further background information such statements could easily be misunderstood. Take for instance the "loudspeakers on mosques" issue which has already been discussed in countries that have a minuscule amount of foreigners, so where is the correlation? In addition the statement "a number of UAE nationals have participated in al-Qaeda operations" is misleading, because there have also been Germans that participated in al-Qaeda operations. So again, it would need a little more details to provide some acceptable food for thought.
Yet, I sincerely hope that he will survive his next UAE visit in one peace and congratulate him for his courage.

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