Title: Clusters, cluster policy and competitiveness: case of Dubai's free zones cluster

Authors: Mona Mostafa El-Sholkamy

Addresses: Academic Department, Executive Master's of Public Administration Program, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG), 72229, UAE

Abstract: A competitive economy - aims to - utilise its factor endowments in the most efficient manner to achieve productivity in a more sustainable and inclusive manner. In Dubai, UAE, a profound drive to achieve economic diversification and create a competitive knowledge-based economy has been evident in the past 30 years. This study looks into the economic competitiveness of the Dubai free zones clusters. SWOT analysis of the business environment and Global Indices were explored to support the argument on the UAE's potential for cluster creation. The Porter's Diamond Model helped assess the competitiveness of the free zones clusters. A cluster map was designed on one of the free zone clusters as a case study to gauge its competitiveness and study value chain components. Based on these analyses; several challenges and policy gaps were identified. Recommendations include, establishing a Federal Free Zone Authority along with enriching private sector partnerships with the public agents to maximise cluster policy benefits.

Keywords: economic policy; cluster policy; clusters; competitiveness; economic diversification; productivity; case study; free zones cluster; the diamond model; global competitiveness index; global innovation index; UAE; United Arab Emirates; Dubai.

DOI: 10.1504/IJC.2022.125751

International Journal of Competitiveness, 2022 Vol.2 No.2, pp.112 - 136

Received: 30 Jul 2021
Accepted: 31 Jul 2021

Published online: 27 Sep 2022 *

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