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"The first pillar is the concept of Dubai as a global and multicultural city, one that doesn't discriminate about whom to welcome." Dubai: The Making of a Megapolis by Pranay Gupte Why do we have to add "one" in the appositive clause? Is "The first pillar is the concept of Dubai as a global and multicultural city that doesn't discriminate..." correct English? I have the impression one must add "one" but why? Is the original a relative clause? If yes, shouldn't we have "one which" in an appositional relative clause? Thanks.

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    Both sentences are correct. It's mainly a matter of style. – green_ideas Sep 10 '17 at 23:39
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"one" is needed in the apposition because appositions are, by definition, nominal (i.e. they have to contain a noun head).

As "one" refers to "a global and multicultural city," it can take a relative clause starting with that or which. If "one" were not there, instead of an apposition we'd have a non-restrictive or non-defining relative clause, and only "which" would be allowed.

I agree with Clare's comment that using a relative clause or an apposition containing a relative clause is only a matter of style. What is clear is that, with the relative clause being restrictive or defining in both cases, the meaning seems to be -- according to grammar rules -- that not all global and multicultural cities don't discriminate about whom to welcome -- Dubai is one that does not, but there might be others that do.

However, in practice the meaning is closer to:

  • The first pillar is the concept of Dubai as a city that, being global and multicultural, does not discriminate about whom to welcome.
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