Keynote in Abu Dhabi: The future of the Gulf region


Next Monday I do the closing keynote at the MegaTrends conference in Abu Dhabi. The opening keynote will be by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, while I will close speaking on ‘Profiting from Accelerating Change in a Downturn’.

While I will be speaking from a global perspective, I will also be addressing some of the specific issues of the Gulf region and particularly United Arab Emirates

These issues include:

* Reinvesting oil wealth with a limited lifetime into the long-term growth sectors

* A very strong construction component in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi economies among a global real-estate and credit downturn

* Strong divergence in the last six months between the Dubai economy which has slumped dramatically and the Abu Dhabi economy which is still strong

* A highly polarized labor force, with a large very low-cost employment sector populated from the region, and also many global professionals

* Taking advantage of the location between Europe and Asia

Yesterday’s Dubai Chronicle did an article titled GCC Economy could reflect strong over-performance in next economic boom, based on a pre-conference interview with me, as below.

A globally recognized leading expert on the future of business – Ross Dawson – is to give one of the keynote speeches at a major conference at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on May 25th.

Held under the patronage of His Highness, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ‘MegaTrends, Essential Strategic Insights’ is the first forum of its kind and aims to balance international experience with local insights to strengthen the UAE’s financial markets.

Dawson, a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and best-selling author with titles such as Living Networks and the award-winning Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships to his credit, has published over 100 articles and white papers, and is the chairman of the Future Exploration Network, which assists major organisations across the world to develop strategies that create competitive advantage.

His speech, which is called Profiting from Accelerating Change in a Downturn, will offer detailed insights into the overwhelming forces of global and regional change, how these will transform careers, industries and nations, and what one can do to create success in the years ahead. It will also consider the technologies that will drive growth and examine the opportunities presented by social and generational change across the planet.

Dawson warns that economic cycles are notoriously difficult to predict and believes that strong global growth will resume at a rapid pace rather than be drawn out, though probably not until mid-2010. “The GCC economy,” he says, “while very diverse may lag in the global recovery, partly due to the recent significant role of construction and hospitality to the country’s GDP. However with appropriate investment and repositioning over the next one or two years, the flexibility of these economies could result in a strong over-performance in the next boom.”

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