Title: Government policy, clusters and the 'Dubai model'

Authors: Sumit Mitra, Michael Thorpe

Addresses: University of Wollongong in Dubai, Block 15, Dubai Knowledge Village, P.O. Box 20183, Dubai, UAE. ' Faculty of Finance and Accounting, University of Wollongong in Dubai, Block 15, Dubai Knowledge Village, P.O. Box 20183, Dubai, UAE

Abstract: This paper looks at how clusters can help to create competitive advantage for firms. The differences between clusters in terms of their structure and internal dynamics are discussed, with reference to a number of typologies. The life cycle dimension of cluster development is also considered. This paper then addresses issues related to public policy in terms of initiating clusters and ensuring their longer-term sustainability. This is considered in the context of clusters as an integral and growing feature of regional policy formulation by governments. The |Dubai model| of regional development is then introduced, highlighting how the establishment of free zones (nascent clusters) constitute the basis of industry planning in the United Arab Emirates. Some insights are provided from the experiences of two particular zones: Dubai Media City and Dubai Logistics City. Some observations are made as to the efficacy of the |Dubai model|.

Keywords: government policy; regional development; industry clusters; free zones; Dubai model; cluster development; regional policy; United Arab Emirates; UAE.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2010.035332

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2010 Vol.4 No.1, pp.73 - 91

Available online: 21 Sep 2010 *

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