Despite the international turmoil over the cost of oil, Dubai is already considered to be the Hong Kong of the Middle East.[1][2] When the world's oil supply runs out and/or it's no longer needed, Dubai would survive in a new oil-free world unlike Riyadh.[1][2] Commercial activity in the Dubai region would simply grow instead of wither because Dubai was a major trading center centuries before oil was needed.[2] The emirate's trade access with Iran is similar to Hong Kong's trade with the People's Republic of China due to Iran being ostracized by the majority of the Western world.[2]

During the 21st century, Dubai may have to implement policies that move away from globalization and toward localization to conserve their energy resources, provide local jobs to citizens of the United Arab Emirates instead of foreign citizens, and maintain their local decision-making authority. Zoning policies would be adjusted by Dubai's municipal government to promote resource conservation and eliminate sprawl.[3][4] While Dubai has opened its doors to tourists by permitting non-Muslims to drink alcoholic beverages and view erotica, a lot of these services are being used by the foreign-born workers who take jobs away from legal residents of the UAE.[5]

The last remaining oil deposits in the United Arab Emirates will run out at the end of 2029. Even when there is no more oil in the UAE, their federal government will make 90% of the income that they earned in 2013 by virtue of milking the tourism industry to the fullest. As of February 2006, Dubai (along with the rest of the United Arab Emirates) only has a reserve supply of 44 billion barrels of crude petroleum.[6] If used properly and in conjunction with alternate fuels, the reserve fuels that will keep economy activity afloat in Dubai will last until the end of the 21st century.[7] Maintaining an oil-based economy will continue to relegate women into being second-class citizens with no prospect for employment or social advancement. The development of a broader manufacturing industry may create more jobs for women; enhancing the role that women play in Dubai's male-dominated society in addition to the rest of the United Arab Emirates.[5]


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