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Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success Paperback – April 22, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


This is the best study of Dubai that I have read and an important contribution to the still meager literature on the extraordinary formation that is the United Arab Emirates. Especially interesting is the book's discussion of the emirates' founding under British rule and the continuing influence of this imperial history on its politics and society; the imported character of its 'Arab' identity; and the regional context that informs everything from security concerns to demography.

(Faisal Devji, St. Antony's College, University of Oxford, and author of Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity)

Davidson traces Dubai's rise from sleepy Gulf port to player on the world scene.

(Christopher Hawthorne Los Angeles Times)

Mr. Davidson nicely lays out this flashy emirate's astonishing ascent from tiny fishing and pearling village to global hub.

(Stephen Kotkin New York Times)

Davidson offers a detailed historical and topical study of the Dubai phenomenon.

(Foreign Affairs)

Davidson gives an excellent overview of Dubai, the UAE in general, and its path to economic development... Recommended.


Perhaps the best look at this desert mirage is this prescient book published in 2008. Well before the real estate debacle, Davidson raised questions about how long Dubai could remain immune from regional conflict, organized crime, and terrorism, all of which would swiftly affect its allure as a haven for investment and luxury travel.

(Foreign Policy)

It is no surprise a book that analyses Dubai's weaknesses, as well as its virtues, provoked nervousness in the emirate and was under threat of being banned.... Davidson's book should be seen in Dubai as an important contribution. The city-state has been running fast and wild for years. Taking a pause to consider the impact of its rapid growth is a healthy exercise.

(Financial Times)

A noteworthy reference for future studies on the country and related topics.

(Mei Zhang Journal of Regional Science 1900-01-00)

Comprehensive and detailed.

(Arang Keshavarzian Arab Studies Journal 1900-01-00)

This monograph is a first-rate piece of scholarship, and provides a wealth of information and analysis about Dubai.

(Erik Eliav Freas Historian)

About the Author

Christopher Davidson is a fellow of the Institute for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Durham University. He is a former assistant professor of political science at Sheikh Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the author of Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond and The United Arab Emirates: A Study in Survival.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Columbia University Press (April 22, 2009)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 390 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0231700350
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0231700351
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

About the author

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Christopher teaches at a university in England and is the author of several acclaimed books on the Middle East, including:

Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success

After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies

(and most recently) Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East

His articles and essays have appeared in several scholarly journals as well as the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the Guardian.

Born in England, he has lived and worked in the UAE, Lebanon, and Japan.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
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