Thursday, April 17, 2008

Malaysia Can Learn From Dubai, Good or Bad


I had a conference today on "Lessons Learned" for management of Dubai World group.

It was a once a year event to learn from other subsidiaries or divisions of Dubai World on past year experiences in managing projects, especially not to repeat the same mistakes and to share as well as combine efforts for best practices.

Mind you, Dubai World today is among world's biggest group of companies operating in over 40 countries. Dubai World's investment spans four strategic growth areas of 21st Century commerce namely, Transport & Logistics, Drydocks & Maritime, Urban Development and Investment & Financial Services.

I am honoured to be part of this ever growing conglomerate and was the pioneer staff for its subsidiary, Nakheel, which is now one of the world's leading urban development companies with current portfolios more than USD60 billion.

Growing pains are part and parcel of any organisations. There are a lot of bad decisions, calls and jugdments in the process of getting right solutions. Nobody is perfect and we learn through these experiences to mould or create better developments or other undertakings for human kinds.
Dubai's fast paced developments since year 2000 had attracted world wide attention.
The whole emirate is a big construction site but there are more than that. Dubai's comprehensive planning to be the next world's city is not without faults but they take the risks to change its future. Therefore, we can learn from their endeavours and challenges as most have produced outstanding results. Dubai's success story is phenomenal.
Under HH Sheikh Mohamed, the playing fields are now spanning the whole planet in so many directions, sizes, brands and causes. From financial investments, business takeovers/ acquisitions, new urban developments, ports managements, aviation expansions to humanitarian works.
Dubai turns to Singapore for aspirations and inspirations. Both countries lack natural resources and invest in human capital. And we are still lagging behind Singapore in most areas, except corruptions, mismanagement and crimes.
Then again, good or bad experiences, Malaysia can always look to Dubai and benefit from its 'Lessons Learned'. Dubai dares to take risks and is re-writing some unconventional economic theories along the way.
As the calls for Pak Lah's resignation are louder by the day, well, never too late to learn from Dubai!