Millions of Indians reside in the Middle East. They constitute the largest portion of the populations within the Arab Gulf – upwards of 50% in some country states. Spread across the economic divide, the Gulf is the cherished destination for a first time expat from India – a softer landing internationally & importantly cultural affinity which could be traced back to time.
It’s the Chinese though who are stepping in with a concerted investment strategy within the Middle East. Will leave the investments within the Oil & Gas industry to be a foregone conclusion and focus on the supposedly USD 300+ million investment by the Chinese government within Dubai, UAE for setting up the largest Chinese exhibition centre for goods manufactured within China in a country outside the Mainland.
Dragon Mart as is named is a 1.2 km long complex designed in the shape of a dragon. With over 4000 Chinese manufacturers representing the concept though still at it’s nascent stage after 2 years in operation is to ‘Fly to Dubai, place your order at the Dragon Mart & have them shipped out of China to your country.’
The exhibition centre is quite a shopping mall in itself & although supposedly not to facilitate retail transactions you can seek quite a bargain if you do visit the place. The infrastructure in/around is comparative to malls in Dubai.
Surrounding it is, as ‘supposedly being dubbed by the local Taxis’ China Town (the first in the Arabian Persian Gulf) – where you have a number of Chinese residents coming to live into & you can find the flavor of China rising…..
Interesting though and part of the large landscape around the Dragon mart is the plans to construct a 240,000 sq meter replica of the iconic Forbidden City!
Now would you imagine the Indian government participating in a venture wherein a concerted investment is made to enhance the potentials of your trade and also to bring about a cultural exposure in a country with limited diaspora. For me – I cannot see them do it in Dubai wherein Indians do constitute to be the majority of the population spread across the economic divide from the humble construction worker to amongst the most affluent in town.
The strategy on the part of the Indians is to leave it to the citizens & industry to slug it out in the market…..whilst the Chinese seem to be providing a launch pad.