(CNN) — Think of the Arab souk — the fabled marketplaces of the Middle East — and it immediately conjures up images straight from the Arabian Nights: mountains of yellow turmeric, shafts of light through lattices and the air thick with incense smoke.
These powerful associations have not been lost on the team from the United Arab Emirates that last month won the bid to host the World Expo 2020; exhibitors making the journey to Dubai in seven years will be setting up their pavilions in the biggest souk in history.
According to Afshin Molavi, a global geo-economics specialist and senior advisor at Oxford Analytica, Chinese businesses use Dubai as a hub for Africa, Indian traders use the city to access markets across the world and Western multinationals see Dubai as a hub for the Middle East.
“Dubai sits at the intersection of one of the most transformative moments in geo-economic history in more than a century: the gradual but inexorable shift of the economic center of gravity from the West to emerging markets and the rise of the so-called “South-South” trade,” Molavi said.
Continue reading this article here