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In Dubai's posh Jumeirah Beach Residence district, luxury apartment rents are down about 15 percent from a year ago – a sign, some fear, that the wealthy emirate's recipe for economic success is getting stale. For over two decades, Dubai prospered as one of the world's most international cities, attracting people and capital from across the globe.Now, however, Dubai is hitting another rough patch.Dubai issued 4,722 new business licenses in the second quarter of 2018, down 26 percent from the same period in 2016, the year when new licenses peaked.Goods that were once shipped to Qatar via Dubai now move via other countries, such as Oman or India; multinational firms use their European or U.S. offices, not their Dubai ones, to handle business with Qatar.Dubai is trying to shore up its competitive position."Free zones" in Dubai already permit 100 percent foreign ownership; they could suffer if they no longer have that right exclusively.
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