Making of a global port-city in the middle east: The dubai model

Mina Akhavan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


The abundance of literature on port geography is mainly concerned about the Western developed world and some limited cases of the Asian and African ports. The available theories and models, as well as empirical studies are therefore based on these two poles, leaving some important parts of the world yet to be explored; namely the Middle East (or the West Asia) with its rich and complex history of urbanization. This region is known for its oil and gas resources; also for its fast-developing oil-stimulated-cities of the Arab world thanks to the natural wealth: Dubai port-city with its mega ports and advanced logistics infrastructure, and being the most important global city in the region, provides the perfect example to study the port geography and its changing port and city relationship throughout time, in four main stages since the early twenty-first century. In this chapter, Dubai is studied as one of the Arab oil-cities of the Persian Gulf, which is not burdened to history in order to attract investment, business, tourists, etc., yet has made its own model of development triggered by the trade-based infrastructures. Here, the argument is based on a reciprocal relationship between the port and the city, since the advent of a free port. Historically the port has been the backbone for socio-economic development through increasing the level of international trade; followed by Creek dredging, modern port developments integrated with the free trade zones, which are the key elements in diversifying the economy and logistics hub-city making.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in Applied Sciences and Technology
ISSN (Print)2191-530X
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5318


  • Dubai model
  • Entrepôt
  • Freeport
  • Logistics hub
  • Transshipment hub port city


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