Record-high oil prices have primed the economies of the Middle East to outperform the rest of the world for the eighth year in a row, amid forecasts that the best is yet to come. In a symbol of the region's upward reach, the Burj Dubai officially became the world's tallest tower on Feb 5, 2008, with 159 stories completed and construction continuing. They have only seen the tip of the iceberg for growth in the region, says Omar Bin Sulaiman, governor of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). Home to 550 companies, the DIFC is a hive of activity these days. During the current cycle of rising oil prices, a larger portion of the oil wealth is being invested in the region, and it is being supplemented by growing foreign direct investment, Sulaiman says. Saudi Arabia's inflation rate reached 7% in January, its highest level in 27 years.
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