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Dubai emerges ME's most 'innovative city'

Dubai, May 20, 2008

Dubai, which has an extensive range of inspirational projects and developments taking place, has the potential to be the Middle East’s leader in innovation, according to industry expert. 

The extensive range of inspirational projects and pioneering developments that are taking place in the Emirate, from the world’s tallest tower to the world’s largest airport, highlight Dubai’s bold, forward-thinking attitude towards innovation, setting it as the region’s most innovative city, they said.

Dubai has set the pace of innovation in the Middle East, observed Malek Inja, the group chief marketing officer at Dubai Holding.

“Based on a bold vision and devotion to encourage the growth of the innovation culture, Dubai is definitely emerging as a regional leader in innovation and creativity,” Inja added.

“What drives innovation in Dubai is the introduction of a number of government policies which allow and facilitate innovative ideas to fuel the growth of the economy,” he pointed out.

“Innovation is all about taking risks, trying different models of innovation, exploring avenues and breaking down barriers. Dubai has been part of all of this. I can see that the mindset of Dubai now is one that is open to innovation, agile and adaptable,” says Matt Kingdon, chairman of ?What If! The Innovation Company.

“Of course the visionary leadership of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al- Maktoum, has a lot to do with the emirate’s readiness to lead the region’s innovation future,” he added.

He said the leaders need to act as role models and streamline behaviors within their societies towards innovation by ‘walking the talk.’

“To promote innovation, what leaders should hold is a passion to unremittingly communicate the vision and live the values,” he observed.

Clive Grinyer, the European director of customer experience at Cisco, agreed that leadership was the key to innovation.

“To be able to lead, Dubai has to create a culture that places people at the centre of innovation, a culture that rewards creativity and gives the space to think, research and experiment. Dubai is a very exciting place that attracts talent and could be a hot bed for new ideas, services and innovation.”

Although Kindgon, Grinyer and many others see Dubai as an innovative city, others claim that Dubai in fact ‘buys’ innovation – but that’s not necessarily a negative.

Rowan Gibson, co-author of Innovation to the Core, (written in close collaboration with Gary Hamel) states that 'Whether you come up with a new idea yourself, or you pay someone else to do that, or you simply import an existing idea from another place, the important thing is that you are inventing ways to create value, and thereby wealth.'

'Dubai is already taking the lead in the Middle East when it comes to innovation, and I am very excited about what we are likely to see over the next decade,' he observed.

John Ford, the CEO of The One Centre, a world branding agency operating out of Sydney, argues that what sets Dubai apart from other countries in the region is its ability to use its wealth to do something of itself.

“Dubai has succeeded in creating attractions and progressive projects and developments that are mostly unique in terms of their context. That is innovative. The decision to do what it has done is innovative. The rest is history.”

Adrian Hayes, Dubai-based British corporate coach who recently became the 15th person in the world, and the fastest person in history to walk to the North & South Poles and summit Mt Everest, emphasises that the reason why Dubai has a great deal of innovation is because the city has a ‘can do’ attitude built into its whole fabric of society.

'It’s true that money plays an enormous part in encouraging and prompting innovation. Dubai, however, has spurred innovation beyond its monetary foundations into an ‘anything is possible’ m


Tags: Dubai | Projects | innovative | leader |

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