When Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum outlined his ‘Vision of Dubai,’ an integral part of the process was to reduce the reliance of Dubai on its traditional oil revenues, and to turn it into one of the world’s primary business and financial centres. Dubai’s strategic location, between the global superpowers of the west and the east, offered Dubai an opportunity to become a true global business and commercial hub. Unhindered by an ageing infrastructure the Vision of Dubai outlined an ambitious plan to build a new city, which would in time become one of the world’s largest business and financial centres. At the very heart of that plan was the new development in Business Bay, and the plan to turn it into the main business centre of the modern day Middle East.
The master plan for the development saw it as a ‘city within a city.’ A financial centre of the Middle East, to sit alongside the trading centres of Manhattan, Ginza and the Square Mile in New York, Tokyo and London. Business Bay was to become a regional home for some of the world’s largest corporations. The very scale of the Business Bay plan is indeed inspiring, a development which saw the Dubai Creek dredged for an extra 11 kilometres towards the coast to create the new Business Bay area. When it is completed in 2010, Business Bay will be home to over 230 towers and will cover over 64 million square feet, housing some of the world’s largest companies.
Central to the commercial appeal is its free trade zone status, ensuring highly favourable trading conditions for all companies and employees who reside there. Previous free trade zone developments in Dubai including Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City have proven highly successful in previous years at attracting major corporations to the emirate. This free zone status, coupled with the high tech nature of the developments and the strategic location has resulted in a large number of companies already purchasing office space in Business Bay.
In the ancient past, the prosperity of Dubai relied heavily on the waters of the Dubai Creek, and traders from all over the world would come here to trade in a variety of different produce. Given the impending global emergence of Business Bay, it seems that this will once more become the case, as international companies from all over the world base themselves in the Middle East’s most important commercial centre.