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Inspirational Trips for Innovation In The Middle East

By Josh Hill

Posted: 9th February 2015 14:32

Popular culture often leads us astray, providing stereotypes of Middle Eastern countries which conjure up connotations of deserts, veils and belly dancers, but what is often overlooked is the outstanding rate at which many of these countries are developing.  When thinking about innovation many tend to automatically relate it back to Western countries or massive technological hubs like Tokyo.  In recent years, the Middle East has taken giant leaps in the innovation field with everything from air conditioned sports stadiums and giant malls to the world’s tallest building and man-made islands. 

Dubai

This fast growing Arabian hub has been described as a gateway between the west and the east and has recently been a setting for some of the world’s most ambitious development.  There is no better place to nurture your innovative side than at the feet of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which is just one of the many skyscrapers which contribute to the city’s majestic skyline.  The most iconic building perhaps, is the Burj Al Arab, a seven star deluxe and architecturally unique property designed to symbolise Dubai’s urban transformation. 

Rather than settling for the existing land space, Dubai has taken a daring and original leap and built its own islands.  The Palm Islands are shaped as palm trees and have added 520 kilometres of non-public beach to the area of Dubai.  As well as this there are uncountable luxury facilities and even more malls to add to an already brimming shopping trolley.  With over 70 shopping centres, Dubai is the retail capital of the Middle East and is in fact home to the world’s largest shopping mall, The Dubai Mall. 

Qatar

Qatar, with its high income economy has invested billions into its infrastructure in order to promote tourism in the area.  In 2006, Qatar became the first Arab country to host the Asian Games and following that, in 2022 it will become the first Arab country to hold the FIFA World Cup.  With the World Cup comes exciting new development in Qatar.  12 new stadiums which boast state of the art, innovative designs are to be erected in preparation for the event which threatened to move to the winter season due to the soaring temperatures.  However, instead of interrupting the usual course of events, Qatar has been attempting to develop stadium-wide air conditioning to keep the players and the fans cool in the arid heat.  If they are successful, this technology could be used to provide comfortable conditions for footballers in the hottest of countries throughout the world. 

It is not just in the sporting world where Qatar plans to excel however.  By 2030 Qatar aims to develop economically, environmentally and socially; and to develop its people so that the country will be home to an advanced society able to sustain a high standard of living. 

Jordan

Jordan has recently declared its current sound economic position, with the Prime Minister stressing that the Kingdom is no longer in a financial danger zone.  The country plans to invest $292 million on the construction of their first wind power plant which is predicted to generate about 400 gigawatt hours of electricity per year; an amount sufficient to supply power to 150,000 Jordanians.  The project, which entails transporting 38 wind turbines to the site, will create 150 jobs. 

In the past years, Jordan has witnessed an uprising of developments in the tourism sector, especially in Aqaba and the Dead Sea.  The region is promoting itself in terms of health, adventure, educational and religious tourism and has plenty of luxury hotels waiting for those who choose to visit.  The tourism minister in Jordan also hopes that the Pope’s upcoming visit will prove the Kingdom to be land of peace and an “open oasis” of historic treasures, and will therefore paint show Jordan as a unique and fulfilling destination.  For anyone wanting to bear witness to a changing and developing nation, Jordan has the experience for you.