Pitch: Sustainable Floating Free Zones in Dubai

What’s the greatest business opportunity in the world?

What’s more valuable than oil?

How can spectacular economic growth be sustained?

Leaders in Dubai sponsored my trip to answer these questions.


Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA) and Vice President and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), asked Dark Matter Laboratories and the Dubai-based d’impact to organize “The Big Conversation,” which “gathers elite international experts & thinkers to explore innovation in public services with Founding Partners UAE., under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA).”

DAFZA sponsored my trip so I could explain why Floating Free Trade Zones could be a greater source of wealth than oil.

Yes, I’m serious.  I cite evidence from the World Bank to demonstrate there’s a resource much more valuable than anything we can touch.

Here’s a hint:  Dubai hosts over 30 Free Trade Zones, special areas where foreign businesses are offered 100% self-ownership, 100% exemption from personal or corporate taxes, and 100% freedom to reinvest capital and profits in their home countries. Free Zones are governed by their own framework of regulations, with the exception of UAE criminal law.

Meanwhile, Rotterdam hosts the sustainable Floating Pavilion, built by our engineers DeltaSync to adapt organically to sea level change.

I proposed we combine Dubai’s governance innovation with Dutch engineering innovation. I explain why this is “the greatest business opportunity in the world.”

Of course I pitched my book with Patri, too.  Let me know what you think.