The Dubai Show has performed its latest act. The Dubai Police Department announced on Twitter that high-speed chases will have a clear winner, thanks to a 700-horsepower, $550,000 Lamborghini Aventador patrol car.
Yet wining car races is unlikely to be the motive behind Dubai’s latest purchase.
Dubai is one of the six states that comprise the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a tax haven that investors have been flocking to during the past decade and one of the world's fastest growing tourist and business destinations. A competition for the one city that embodies luxury and ostentatious lifestyles would result in Dubai coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Emiratis, the name given to Dubai citizens, embrace this luxurious lifestyle.
Piers Morgan's Dubai Special Report says in this "hedonistic playground" the common theme is "in Dubai, biggest is best." They built the tallest skyscraper in the world, the most luxurious hotel, Palm Jumeirah and The World, the biggest theme park in the world … you name it.
This is why a Lamborghini police car in Dubai fails to surprise me. It should be made out of gold, if anything. Even Italy had one before.
What is astonishing is Dubai's masterful marketing campaign that has caught the eyes of investors and people all around the world with the idea that in this city only the biggest ideas come to life — and the crazier they are the more likely they are to find investment.
Soaring oil production has fueled rapid economic growth, but it is estimated that known oil reserves could be gone within a decade. Dubai is racing to find how it will propel future growth. Becoming a city of innovation and big ideas could be the start. In more practical terms, being a tax haven for the growing Asian and African economies and providing cutting-edge business and tourist environments will be part and parcel towards maintaining Dubai's economic growth.
Dubai raises many interesting questions. The sustainability and, most importantly, the desirability of this model of growth are uncertain. Sometimes biggest is not best, it is shortsighted. Dubai is trying to prove me wrong over the long term. That's a bet I would like to lose.