âThe past, he thought, is linked to the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing from one anotherâ¦â, writes Chekhov.
Nothing could sum up the feelings better than watching Dubai through the astonishing year that has unfolded, as the spirit of the times has shifted from cautious optimism amidst a sea of ââdespair at the start of the season. he year of strength, exuberance and triumph as the sun sets on 2021. The âunique future of past generations,â to quote Reinhart Koselleck.
The city’s urban landscape is teeming with palimpsests and repentance, but it is also a self-confident entity, confidently striving into the future brimming with confidence and poise.
How did it happen? What forces have shaped its uniqueness and identity? Liming the soul of his city, his genius loci, has been a revitalization of the multivalent energy that has kept the city running in a state of flux. Its fulcrum has always been the fact that it has been a field of dreams for all who reside and travel there – a tabular rasa onto which all kinds of metropolitan fantasies could be projected, while back -plan, legal, immigration, financial and health reforms meant that its borders remained open.
Building your way home
This meant that even as the world reacted to the events of the pandemic, Dubai continued to move forward announcing an astonishing array of projects (all envisioned in a jaw-dropping 2040 urban plan). It helped that asset prices were trading well below replacement value at the start of the year, allowing a torrent of money to pour in as family offices, institutions and startups all headed for the ribs.
In this sense, the pandemic caused another inflection point for the city, as the newcomers who arrived were fiercely ambitious, but also very aware of their new status and that of the city in the emerging culture. There have been similar inflection points in the past. But it was these events that fused Dubai’s strange alchemy of ambition and self-reflection and the reason it produced more raw talent and the ability to aestheticize than any other city in the region.
Reforms push the boundaries
It is for this reason that luxury offers were the most discussed during the year. Even more astonishing was what was not visible to the naked eye; the judicial reforms which allowed the multitudes to disembark and call this city their home. The year 2021 served as both an excavation and an invitation to see Dubai again, only to discover that its remotest corners and most family-friendly places have been repainted with a vision to move forward, no matter what predicts. the clouds.
The Expo flagship event has already recalibrated the city’s growth trajectory to a higher level. And as luxury has remained a common theme for 2021, it is inevitable that other market segments are now catching up. Despite the downturns along the way (both those that have happened and those to come), the city is poised to enter and cross new frontiers in startup training and financial innovation, serving as a hub for new talent.
Rediscover in oneself
Even as the Expo event meant Dubai has reached the peak of its arc, its moment of maximum power, we are already seeing that everything has changed again as its people anxiously await to plant new markers. The city’s repeated ability to consolidate and reposition itself has been Dubai’s genetic code. Its effects have been mind-boggling to see, but even though Dubai has become a global brand like no other, it cannot be understood without looking at its past and its determination to overcome adversity, regardless of the obstacles.
2021 marks a year where this has been proven once again. To quote Chekhov again: âIt seemed to him that he had just seen the two ends of the chain, the past and the present; and that when it touched one end, the other quivered â.
Dubai proves time and time again that its true history is symbiotically linked to its future. It will remain for his children and grandchildren to find a way to rediscover the extraordinary place that their ancestors left behind.