Bestselling author and global strategist Parag Khanna (left) with Dr Hanif Hassan at the latter’s private majlis. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Connectivity will be key to the growth of all future megacities and is the reason for Dubai’s rise as one of six truly global cities in the world, said bestselling author and global strategist Parag Khanna.

Speaking to a group of people at the private majlis of Dr Hanif Hassan, Khanna, who is the author of Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilisation, said Dubai’s role as a global transit hub and the connectivity it offers has helped it join the exclusive list of global cities which include London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

“This the region that has historically not had such a high quality [of] infrastructure as the city of Dubai does today. The story of a country’s or city’s rise in a value chain, its significance in the world, its visibility, its reputation, is the story of the increasing quality and the degree of its connectivity, which the leaders of Dubai have understood,” said Khanna, who is in town to take part in the ninth Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

He said infrastructure is key to establishing greater connectivity and that is one of the reason’s why Dubai and the UAE have achieved so much success in such a short period of time.

“There is a very strong correlation between the degree of stability in a country, its economic growth and all of the positive metrics by which we can measure the quality of life, with the quality and volume of the infrastructure in the society. Infrastructure exists to connect us,” he added.

He added: “Today, the difference between an important country and an unimportant country is not necessarily the size of its military, or the size of its population but its degree of connectivity to the world and that is something Dubai has done.”

He added that the cities in region need to draw lessons from Dubai’s example and its approach to success.

“This is something most people don’t understand even today, this new measurement, this new approach to understanding the causes of real growth,” he said.

He said that Dubai’s free zones, which attracted world’s leading firms to set up bases here, its aviation infrastructure that works as a transit hub, its port that is the centre of global supply chain and its road networks have been instrumental in its success.

However, he added that the real challenge is to maintain this lead, which will require policies that will continue to attract world’s best talents as well as foreign investment.