A relatively new destination for me but an insurance centre I have visited more than most in recent years. The parallels to Singapore are striking, not just in the modernity of Dubai itself, a city-state of similar size, but also in the way that the local market has relentlessly striven to occupy centre stage in the region it is located.
Whilst Dubai is the gateway, Saudi Arabia is the dominant economy in that part of the world. One of my more memorable visits was to Jeddah in 2009, made even more interesting as I had not been back there since I was stationed in Saudi on my very first international assignment way back in 1983.
I have found the brokers, agents and underwriters in Dubai to be both gracious and eager to learn. The one regret is that I was never able to develop a business plan to open a presence over there to provide them a better service.
It has its detractors but I like Dubai. It is not necessarily pretty but it is exciting. The architecture is stunning and the hotels, restaurants and bars are without doubt the best in the world.