chapter  Chapter 5
Building the Global, Sustainable Arab Capital City (2004–2016)
WithAlamira Reem Bani Hashim
Pages 74

Sheikh Khalifa and his brother Sheikh Mohamed, the Crown Prince, established their own vision for Abu Dhabi, steering the city towards the top echelons of the global economy. As culture and natural heritage are central to Abu Dhabi’s tourism strategy and its positioning as a unique Arabian destination, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage was established. Abu Dhabi was going to become an ‘entrepreneurial city’ that nurtures the private sector and adopts capitalist modes of production and neoliberal economic policies. Just as the Abu Dhabi Government was looking to establish benchmarks for best governance, so the Executive Affairs Authority hoped to set standards for liveability and sustainability. Abu Dhabi’s elites are pioneering a system that Christopher Davidson calls ‘tribal capitalism’, in which tribal groups exist with modern-day capitalism. Abu Dhabi’s government institutions have grown and developed amid a rapidly changing social, economic, and administrative environment.