Dubai or Not Dubai

The Economist has published an interesting report on the growing pains, opportunities and stories of an emerging global city – Dubai. It raises an interesting point about freedoms in the City-State.

Even Skype, the free internet-phone service, is banned in order to protect the local telecoms provider. It remains to be seen whether such restrictions will continue as the UAE inches toward democracy

Such restrictions are a key barometer of the future successes of such a city. If the Government believes that press and communications freedoms should be restricted for the “greater good”, then they are promoting a genuine false economy. They should take a leaf out of Hong Kong’s book, where particularly under Sir John Cowperthwaite they might not have had a legislative freedom but they had truly the greatest economic and social freedoms in the world – and how they prospered.