One big source of buyers in the Dubai real estate boom is wealthy people fearful of the future of their own country. There is also solid evidence to support the low-crime status of Dubai. But the rising accident toll on the Dubai roads, which are among the most dangerous in the world, is only now being seriously tackled.
At the 14th International Police Executive Symposium held in Dubai this week, the Chief of Dubai Police, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamin rolled out some interesting statistics about crime levels in Dubai.
He pointed out that the incidence of serious crime was between 0.5 and one per 100,000 people compared with the international average of four to six per 100,000 people.
Personal safety is increasingly an issue in many cities around the world, with 24-hour security often a factor swaying home buyers, so too are burglary levels. But the Dubai Police Chief also highlighted another telling statistic, and that is the appallingly high level of road deaths in Dubai at 22 per 100,000 people in 2006.
Only last week the Dubai Police announced a new campaign to tackle traffic accidents but with such a diverse population base from many cultural backgrounds this is challenging.
However, many citizens wonder how difficult it is for the police to photograph the number plates of the guys who weave between cars at high speed, and then apprehend them later. This is not something that would be tolerated in Western Europe or the US and in the interests of public safety a similar approach would seem appropriate in Dubai. Just catch them and take their cars away.
That said, Dubai does offer a safe haven environment to those fleeing the unstable politics of the region. And sadly this list is growing and not receding with the deteriorating internal situations in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.
But for a city like Dubai with a booming real estate sector this is additional demand for new accommodation. Of course, would be new residents need to have a job or visa sponsor first, so there is no question of a wave of impoverished immigrants, only the well-heeled and well educated are welcome as residents.
Immigrants work hard
The impact of such new immigrants on economies is widely appreciated in academic studies. It was the Chinese who fled the communist revolution in 1949 that provided Hong Kong with its entrepreneurial dynamism, for example.
Insecure and displaced people tend to work harder than those born to more comfortable circumstances. They also establish businesses and buy real estate.
In the Middle East Dubai is the place where anyone can come to live if they have the right qualifications. And it is the city most likely to offer the chance to earn a living and to live safe from the chaos of the surrounding region.
Let us hope that the Dubai Police are now serious about reducing the death toll on the roads to improve the safety record of the city still further.