The Other Side of the Gulf Crisis: A Brand War Between Qatar and the UAE

Children play in the surf at Kite Beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 8, 2016 (AP photo by Jon Gambrell).
Children play in the surf at Kite Beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 8, 2016 (AP photo by Jon Gambrell).
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Tucked just below the surface of the ongoing Saudi- and Emirati-led blockade of Qatar lies a seemingly banal rationale for the dramatic standoff: the future of tourism in the Gulf. When vacationers think of sun, luxury or both, which futuristic city will they think of: Doha or Dubai? As part of their post-oil economic strategies, Gulf states have doubled down on tourism, none more so than the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The skylines of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha all glitter with ever newer, ever more luxurious high-rise hotels, as Emirati and Qatari development plans pin their hopes on […]

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