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We’ll meet again next year

Dubai is busily preparing to host the annual IMF/World Bank meetings in 2003 which it hopes will showcase the city’s credentials as an international financial centre.

FROM HIS OFFICE high above Dubai Creek, Ibrahim Belsalah exudes an air of confidence that everything will be ready on time for the IMF/World Bank meetings in September 2003 when 14,000 politicians, bankers and journalists will descend on the emirate.

Belsalah, the general coordinator of Dubai 2003, faces a daunting logistical challenge in preparing the city state, which 30 years ago was little more than a village at the southern end of the Gulf.

For Dubai will not just be hosting a meeting in September 2003 but presenting its political and economic philosophy to the outside world. Visitors to the next IMF/World Bank meetings will find a state that has not only been physically transformed into a modern city but is also intellectually committed to the values of western capitalism.

Hosting the meetings is seen as an opportunity for the government to present and promote Dubai, one of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as a well-regulated international financial centre that will appeal to the world's leading banks and investors.

Government officials are confident that those attending the meetings will be able to see the foundations of the most ambitious project to date, which is to set up the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a combination of capital, insurance and money markets.

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