For about the last ten years I have been a big fan of Pterry Pratchett's Discworld books. Feel free to skip this post if it means nowt to you - you either lurve or hate or have never heard of or are just plain not interested in these books.
If you're still with me, I've just finished reading his latest book, 'Thud'. And jolly splendid it is too. It amuses me to draw comparisons between the Discworld books and Dubai. The principal location in most Discworld books is a place called Ankh-Morpork. It's a city-state. Not unlike Deira-Bur Dubai. Ankh-Morpork is ruled by an enlightened despot, the Patrician Lord Vetinari. Again, not unlike Dubai.
The city is swamped with immigrants, like Dubai. Ankh-Morpork's original human population now finds itself in a non-melting-pot of dwarfs, trolls, gnomes, vampires, gargoyles, imps, gnolls and golems. And no, I don't plan to link those to the various nationalities in Dubai, although it might be fun.
The model of government is similar to Dubai's, and the general trading approach is exactly the same - 'feel free to come here and give us most of your money'. Hehehe.