2 min read

What Makes Dubai the City of the Future?

I landed in Dubai earlier today and will be here for the next week. It’s often lauded as The City of the Future for its astonishing growth.

They’ve successfully dazzled the world with their megaprojects and future-looking architecture. After all, who hasn’t seen one of Dubai’s many Instagrammable attractions? There’s also no sign of them slowing down on several other megaprojects.

But their “build it and they will come” mindset is now shifting to “adapt so they will stay.”

In my limited research, it’s clear that they are becoming an innovation hub and doing everything in its power to pioneer city design. Below are some of the futuristic developments that stood out to me during my first bit of research:

  • The Dubai to Abu Dhabi Hyperloop in construction (link)
  • Massive desalination plants supply over 80% of the region’s water (link)
  • The creation of Masdar City, which is a model for eco-cities that depend wholly on renewable energy (link)
  • They are leading the world’s ranking for current infrastructure spending, with projects totaling infrastructure projects worth $611.2 billion in development (link)
  • Dubai has announced a metaverse strategy that will create 40,000 virtual jobs (link)
  • DAMAC Group – one of the biggest developers in Dubai – is investing $100m into metaverse development. Specifically, they’re planning to build a virtual city replica of Dubai to showcase what it has to offer and bring more residents to the region (link)

My first impression of the city is one of constant shock and awe. As I walked through their mall to get my 10,000 steps in, I continuously saw things we thought to be out of reach in bountiful supply here. Things like Playstation 5s and foldable phones by Huawei and Xioami that I’ve never seen before (and put Samsung’s foldable phone to shame).

The pandemic put a lot of us in a state of waiting for the future to come. And this greatly diminished our risk-taking. But Dubai hasn’t stopped taking risks. They recently signed a letter of intent to get flying taxis in the skies by 2026.

It’s evident that they are constantly asking themselves what risk they can take for the future and then putting their people and dollars (of which they have a lot) to use.

Over the coming week, I plan to share my notes on Dubai in real-time and truly answer the question, “Is Dubai the city of the future that everyone is claiming it to be?”