Transport Infrastructure and Logistics in the Making of Dubai Inc.


This article interrogates the political economy of Dubai’s Jebel Ali Port, ranked among the top ten container ports internationally by traffic, and its operating conglomerate, Dubai Ports World (DP World). The article aims to situate trade infrastructure in the production of Dubai’s economic geography as a sea–air multimodal trading hub. Three interrelated arguments are put forward: that port infrastructure plays an essential role in linking diverse moments of capital accumulation in Dubai; that Dubai’s state-owned conglomerates have overseen a substantial internationalization of Dubai’s capital through maritime port public–private partnership arrangements; and that the particularities of Dubai’s repressive labour regime underpin its role in the logistics industry internationally.