Dubai in Istanbul: the impact of Gulf investments beyond the Gulf

Zeynep Aygen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In the last decade Istanbul became subject to a rapid investment boom in high-rise buildings with an increase in the number of global investors as a consequence of legislative changes determining urban policies. The Turkish media emphasizes that most of these global investors are of Gulf or Middle East origin, who should benefit from the now more flexible approach of local authorities. According to a comment in the newspaper ‘Radikal', the Greater Istanbul Municipality asked the Government in 2005 to include additional clauses to the amended version of a legislation to be discussed and approved in the Planning and Budget Commission of the Turkish Parliament. According to the newspaper these special clauses have been added with the intention to help to prospective Dubai investors. On the other hand beginning from the 1980s Istanbul began to be compared to Beirut including the slightly conspiring theory if Istanbul was designed to replace the war-torn Beirut and become the new Paris of the Middle East. Meanwhile Beirut was developing its own urban policies after each conflict period, which differs from each other on the base of three different master plans in consecutive three decades. These master plans raised debates in the Lebanese media and academic circles similar to the discourse in Istanbul. The paper aims to discus the current debate in Istanbul related to the Gulf investments by assessing it within the frame of a retrospective outlook to the political developments, urban debates, investment stakeholders and master plans affecting this huge metropolis. This discussion is followed by a conclusion to suggest the threshold criteria of the next metropolitan master plan.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInstant cities: emergent trends in architecture and urbanism in the Arab world
EditorsA. Moustafa, J. Al-Qawasmi, K. Mitchell
Place of PublicationAmman, Jordan
PublisherCSAAR Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9789957860219
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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