United Arab Emirates
Where do we start? About 990 feet up is as good a place as any. We get there by express elevator, from ground level to the 74th floor of the Etihad Towers in 60 seconds. With our ears popping, we step out onto the polished marble floor and find Abu Dhabi spread before us like an architect’s scale model.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
A city-state built on myth-sized dreams, Dubai grew from a backwater, desert-edged village on the Persian Gulf best known for its pearl divers and fishermen. Today this vibrant, immense, young, heterogeneous and lavish city on the sea continues to reinvent itself. Exploding from village status with the discovery of oil in 1966, the emirate has grown bolder and richer despite recent setbacks in the world economy, falling oil prices and general global uncertainty. No matter, Dubai had already begun a visionary campaign to reposture itself as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Though general business slowed, the Emirates NBD Dubai Economy Tracker Index continues to score high, indicating expansion, due in great part to travel and touristic pursuits. With an eye on the prize, government leaders continue to support healthy output in the construction sector. And the city zestfully flourishes — always with the future in mind. Though known for the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa; Earth’s most immense manmade island, Palm Jumeirah; the most Goliath-sized mall, Dubai Mall; and countless other biggest and best monikers, today’s Dubai aims for quality over quantity. The sheer abundance of fine architecture, celebrity chefs, shopping venues, museums, universities, recreational outposts, 5-star hotels and traffic-filled avenues boggles the mind.