Dubai offered a short-term shot in the arm

As a liberal outpost in a tough region, Dubai has historically prospered from its neighbours’ misfortunes.

At the turn of the 20th century, the emirate drew in heavily taxed Persian traders; in the 1980s, the Iran-Iraq war turned the city’s port into a haven for tankers and ship repair; and, in the aftermath of the 2001 September 11 attacks, money flows to the Gulf found a welcome home in a booming property sector.

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