Eastern Tigers: “Surging Development Through Cross-Boundary Engineering”

The United Arab Emirates and South-Korea: Not a very obvious combination as the destination of one Study Tour at first sight. The two countries are located over 6000 kilometers away from each other, have different cultures and differ in climate as well.

However, both countries share an important similarity: Both South-Korea as well as the United Arab Emirates experienced a big (economic) development in a short period. South-Korea is one of the ‘Four Asian Tigers’, with a rapid industrialization between the 1960s and 1990s. The United Arab Emirates experienced this development in the past 20 years, especially due to the ‘Gulf Tiger’ Dubai. As a result, the standard of living grew substantially in both countries. These two Eastern Tigers thus certainly have a connection.

The rapid growth of both countries is mainly due to the transition from a mainly agricultural-oriented society to an industrialized nation. In this transition, the emphasis was on export and collaboration with other countries. This links with the theme of the Study Tour ‘Surging Development Through Cross-Boundary Engineering”.

Looking through the eyes of a civil engineer, the rapid growth of the United Arab Emirates and South-Korea can be observed by the large harbors, advanced infrastructure networks and extensive building projects. However, current developments lead to new Civil Engineering related challenges. How do these countries deal with climate change, increasing scarcity of resources and the challenges relating to the high urbanization rate? Will smart building technologies and proper water and traffic management lead to a continuation of this surging development? We hope to find out at the Study Tour!