United Arab Emirates – Post #8

Favorite Lecture

I found the lecture with Dr. Ha-Brookshire the most interesting, inspiring, and fulfilling.

Dr. Ha-Brookshire is a professor in my department and I was very interested with what she had to say when she came to our class. Her lecture on the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as the One Belt, One Road Silk Road project in China was very interesting to me. International economies has always spiked great curiosity from me, so to hear of multiple projects involving multiple countries to work together for the sake of improved business ventures was really enjoyable. After her presentations, I even asked her what advice she had for those of us entering fields, like myself, that really intermingled within international markets. Her advice? “Just go for it.” That really stuck with me – she was very interested in these projects and recommended that we just dive head first into them. That was really inspiring for me as most of the time these projects are discussed, it is with great hesitation, critique, and weariness.

After class I even spoke to her and thanked her for her time and asked what advice she gave for someone really pursuing international business and graduate schools amongst other advice. She gave really solid encouragement and I’m very excited to take her classes once I’m in the upper levels of the department. It was great having someone come talk that was positive, experienced, knowledgeable and encouraging.


What I Learned about the UAE

Throughout the semester I had gained a clearer image of a nation that I kind of knew about, but didn’t know specific details. The UAE, despite its rapidly growing skyline, still faces many human rights problems that could cause some serious problems down if not addressed. With a population that is majorily from other countries, and their consolidation of power to natives, the UAE faces critique from human rights watchers around the globe. I learned that despite their influx of foreign direct investment and immigrant population they have not exactly “Westernized” like other countries with similar evolutions. Minorities, foreigners, and women are not seen as equal to native, Emirati men. Additionally, they are in a tough position with the global lowering of oil prices. Their main export is oil, accounting for 85% of their total economic output. Recently, they have moved to becoming a major center of transportation and tourism in the region, importing machinery to build large-scale railroads, an expansive airport, and grand hotels and cultural centers.

My interest in UAE actually plays into why I found the lecture from Dr. Ha-Brookshire so interesting. I had heard of the UAE’s massive influx of money and how they lavishly spend on construction projects fascinates me. They’ve developed at a rate in a time where grand architecture projects are possible and even encouraged. This, in turn, leads to widespread increase in tourism to the region leading to even more luxurious amenities and sights to behold. The downside of all this though is the majority of this development has taken b=placed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, while the rest of the emirates (comparable to states in the US in terms of structure and governance) meagerly reap the rewards of such industrialization.


-Drew Mack


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