Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"Land and property has become the safe harbour for a lot of Arab capital that flow from Western capital markets following the latest development. Dubai has attracted large number of individual and corporate investors from overseas with attractive return on investment. In fact many small national and AGCC investors seem to have joined hands to buy lands and properties in last the few years sending the market rates high," added Al Ali.

Is this article from the Khaleej Times overoptimistic? Perhaps. Yet at least Dubai (in the United Arab Emirates) is trying. Most of the big post world war two success stories of liberalization which ultimately produced stable democracies, such as South Korea and Taiwan, started with serious government efforts to modernize and join the global economy. There may well be more cause to hope for the birth of a liberalizing example in the middle east here than in Iraq.

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