Qatar, it was reported this week, believes it can challenge Dubai's position as the premier financial hub in the Arabian Gulf.
Expert opinion is still divided on whether Doha can overtake Dubai's lead. Some believe the advantages the emirate already has are too significant to allow Qatar to catch up, let alone overhaul Dubai.
Others believe Dubai, through a mixture of natural disadvantages such as the lack of serious energy revenue, coupled with misjudgements on the part of policymakers, is in danger of letting its lead slip.
The argument for Dubai is well rehearsed. It has an established infrastructure in a business-friendly environment and a historic commercial centre, augmented by the most modern and sophisticated financial hub, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
It looks like a no-brainer for any international financier or business executive: Dubai should win hands down over sleepy Doha as a location for Gulf business.
But there are good reasons why global decision-makers are weighing their options in the region. The bad news is that Dubai is beginning to look a little less attractive; the good news is that it is within the emirate's own power to rectify that situation.
The most recent threat to Dubai's position was the new regulations regarding onshore fund management from the UAE's federal regulator, the Securities and Commodities Authority. These, the critics argue, mean that the DIFC is no longer the gateway to the UAE it was intended to be.
Burdened by the new regulatory regime, fund managers would either retreat back into the DIFC, cutting the centre off from the wider economies of Dubai and the UAE; or would go somewhere else (such as Doha), where the onshore/offshore barrier is not so high.
However, there is plenty of scope for the new regulations to be fine-tuned and finessed in the UAE so as to remove those areas most burdensome to fund managers. What is needed is the will to accommodate the critics' objections, and it is here that the policymakers face a sterner test. Put bluntly, the regulatory position in the UAE is at best confusing, and at worst obstructive, to the interests of the financial community.
For years, the critics have pointed to the dislocated nature of financial markets in the UAE as the big problem; for years that issue has not been tackled.
The UAE remains the only market in the region, and one of the few in any emerging market, to have three stock exchanges (two in Dubai, one in Abu Dhabi) and three regulators (two in Abu Dhabi including the UAE Central Bank, one in Dubai, the Dubai Financial Services Authority) overseeing them.
Consolidation is the solution.
Plans to merge the three centres have been proposed many times. Now perhaps is the time for push to come to shove.
Perhaps a new long-term strategy for the UAE financial industry is required. The country got through the worst of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, but other Gulf states (for example, Qatar) have arguably emerged with a healthier financial sector.
Some analysts believe the UAE banking system has been slow to tackle the legacy of the global crisis, especially in Dubai, where problem loan levels are high, exposure to large, stressed, government-related companies is significant, and corporate impairments, mainly related to property, remain problematic.
There is much talk in Dubai financial circles of the need for a fresh round of restructurings, even before the last series, sparked by the Dubai World crisis in 2009, is completed.
In Dubai, policymakers should decide just how central the financial industry is to the emirate's long-term economic strategy. The recovery of the "Three Ts" - trade, transport and tourism - has led to a new-found self-confidence about the commercial hub, but does this mean the financial industry has been downgraded within the overall master plan?
If so, it would be a reversal of a key plank of policy that served Dubai well in the boom years. Policymakers must decide exactly where finance lies on their list of priorities, or risk seeing the lead Dubai has established, over Doha and others, eroded and eventually overtaken.