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Post-oil Urbanism in the Gulf : New Evolutions in Governance and the Impact on Urban Morphologies

Wiedmann, Florian (2012) Post-oil Urbanism in the Gulf : New Evolutions in Governance and the Impact on Urban Morphologies. Südwestdeutscher Verlag für Hochschulschriften. ISBN 978-3-8381-3365-2

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Abstract

Since the end of the 20th century the governments of various Gulf states have been attempting to diversify their oil-dependent economies. This has resulted in a new type of urbanism, which the author refers to as post-oil urbanism. The first model of post-oil urbanism was the Emirate of Dubai with its pioneering efforts during the 1990s when it initiated its economic transformation into a service hub by introducing open market policies. This liberalisation included the local real-estate market, which opened up for international investment. This new strategy made Dubai a role model in initiating exponential urban growth in the region. Today, establishing consolidated urban structures has become the biggest challenge of urbanism in the Gulf. Thus, urban planning in the Gulf has reached a turning point in which the outdated preparation of local master plans is being replaced by holistic development strategies. The outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008 has put additional pressure on rethinking current post-oil urbanism. This thesis contains analyses about recent urban developments in the Gulf with a focus on the Emirate of Dubai and the Kingdom of Bahrain.