Economist article on the amazing rise of the airline industry in the energy-rich-but-tiny Persian Gulf principalities.
Anybody who's been through Dubai (amazing airport) or flown Emirates (unforgettably good) is aware of the capacity, which has been growing at a stunning pace in the last five years.
Emirates, for example, now has only 138 wide-bodies, with 140 on order. It plans to sport a fleet of 400, making it the biggest long-hauler on the planet. Profits last year were $1B--in a tough year!
Competitors allege all manner of unfair gov subsidies, and most of these charges are likely true, but this is a very big good for the region, and the logic is sound: as wealth creation spreads across the Gap, these super-connectors plan to take advantage of the resulting rise in demand for travel.
Twenty years from now, Emirates Airline will be better known than al Qaeda, and far more powerful a force in enabling globalization's spread than than al Qaeda has been in trying to stop it.