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  • Thursday, August 31, 2006

    The Future was Foretold

    This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein's grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In the article, King Abdullah disputes the mistaken view that Arab opposition to Zionism (and later the state of Israel ) is because of longstanding religious or ethnic hatred. He notes that Jews and Muslims enjoyed a long history of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, and that Jews have historically suffered far more at the hands of Christian Europe. Pointing to the tragedy of the holocaust that Jews suffered during World War II, the monarch asks why America and Europe are refusing to accept more than a token handful of Jewish immigrants and refugees. It is unfair, he argues, to make Palestine, which is innocent of anti-Semitism, pay for the crimes of Europe. King Abdullah also asks how Jews can claim a historic right to Palestine, when Arabs have been the overwhelming majority there for nearly 1300 uninterrupted years? The essay ends on an ominous note, warning of dire consequences if a peaceful solution cannot be found to protect the rights of the indigenous Arabs of Palestine.
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    "As the Arabs see the Jews"
    His Majesty King Abdullah,
    The American Magazine*
    November, 1947

    I am especially delighted to address an American audience, for the tragic problem of Palestine will never be solved without American understanding, American sympathy, American support.

    So many billions of words have been written about Palestine-perhaps more than on any other subject in history-that I hesitate to add to them. Yet I am compelled to do so, for I am reluctantly convinced that the world in general, and America in particular, knows almost nothing of the true case for the Arabs.

    We Arabs follow, perhaps far more than you think, the press of America. We are frankly disturbed to find that for every word printed on the Arab side, a thousand are printed on the Zionist side.

    There are many reasons for this. You have many millions of Jewish citizens interested in this question. They are highly vocal and wise in the ways of publicity. There are few Arab citizens in America, and we are as yet unskilled in the technique of modern propaganda.

    The results have been alarming for us. In your press we see a horrible caricature and are told it is our true portrait. In all justice, we cannot let this pass by default.

    Our case is quite simple: For nearly 2,000 years Palestine has been almost 100 per cent Arab. It is still preponderantly Arab today, in spite of enormous Jewish immigration. But if this immigration continues we shall soon be outnumbered-a minority in our home.

    Palestine is a small and very poor country, about the size of your state of Vermont. Its Arab population is only about 1,200,000. Already we have had forced on us, against our will, some 600,000 Zionist Jews. We are threatened with many hundreds of thousands more.

    Our position is so simple and natural that we are amazed it should even be questioned. It is exactly the same position you in America take in regard to the unhappy European Jews. You are sorry for them, but you do not want them in your country.

    We do not want them in ours, either. Not because they are Jews, but because they are foreigners. We would not want hundreds of thousands of foreigners in our country, be they Englishmen or Norwegians or Brazilians or whatever.

    Think for a moment: In the last 25 years we have had one third of our entire population forced upon us. In America that would be the equivalent of 45,000,000 complete strangers admitted to your country, over your violent protest, since 1921. How would you have reacted to that?

    Because of our perfectly natural dislike of being overwhelmed in our own homeland, we are called blind nationalists and heartless anti-Semites. This charge would be ludicrous were it not so dangerous.

    No people on earth have been less "anti-Semitic" than the Arabs. The persecution of the Jews has been confined almost entirely to the Christian nations of the West. Jews, themselves, will admit that never since the Great Dispersion did Jews develop so freely and reach such importance as in Spain when it was an Arab possession. With very minor exceptions, Jews have lived for many centuries in the Middle East, in complete peace and friendliness with their Arab neighbours.

    Damascus, Baghdad , Beirut and other Arab centres have always contained large and prosperous Jewish colonies. Until the Zionist invasion of Palestine began, these Jews received the most generous treatment-far, far better than in Christian Europe. Now, unhappily, for the first time in history, these Jews are beginning to feel the effects of Arab resistance to the Zionist assault. Most of them are as anxious as Arabs to stop it. Most of these Jews who have found happy homes among us resent, as we do, the coming of these strangers.

    I was puzzled for a long time about the odd belief which apparently persists in America that Palestine has somehow "always been a Jewish land." Recently an American I talked to cleared up this mystery. He pointed out that the only things most Americans know about Palestine are what they read in the Bible. It was a Jewish land in those days, they reason, and they assume it has always remained so.

    Nothing could be farther from the truth. It is absurd to reach so far back into the mists of history to argue about who should have Palestine today, and I apologise for it. Yet the Jews do this, and I must reply to their "historic claim." I wonder if the world has ever seen a stranger sight than a group of people seriously pretending to claim a land because their ancestors lived there some 2,000 years ago!

    If you suggest that I am biased, I invite you to read any sound history of the period and verify the facts.

    Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most-but not all-of the inhabitants of Palestine.

    It is significant that the Philistines-not the Jews-gave their name to the country: "Palestine" is merely the Greek form of "Philistia."

    Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly-but not all-the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.

    In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.

    This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!

    Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, "homeland" of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway , where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.

    Many Mexicans might claim Spain, "homeland" of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the "homeland" of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!

    I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid-or just as fantastic-as the Jewish "historic connection" with Palestine. Most are more valid.

    In any event, the great Moslem expansion about 650 AD finally settled things. It dominated Palestine completely. >From that day on, Palestine was solidly Arabic in population, language, and religion. When British armies entered the country during the last war, they found 500,000 Arabs and only 65,000 Jews.

    If solid, uninterrupted Arab occupation for nearly 1,300 years does not make a country "Arab", what does?

    The Jews say, and rightly, that Palestine is the home of their religion.
    It is likewise the birthplace of Christianity, but would any Christian nation claim it on that account? In passing, let me say that the Christian Arabs-and there are many hundreds of thousands of them in the Arab World-are in absolute agreement with all other Arabs in opposing the Zionist invasion of Palestine.

    May I also point out that Jerusalem is, after Mecca and Medina, the holiest place in Islam. In fact, in the early days of our religion, Moslems prayed toward Jerusalem instead of Mecca.

    The Jewish "religious claim" to Palestine is as absurd as the "historic claim." The Holy Places, sacred to three great religions, must be open to all, the monopoly of none. Let us not confuse religion and politics.

    We are told that we are inhumane and heartless because do not accept with open arms the perhaps 200,000 Jews in Europe who suffered so frightfully under Nazi cruelty, and who even now-almost three years after war's end-still languish in cold, depressing camps.

    Let me underline several facts. The unimaginable persecution of the Jews was not done by the Arabs: it was done by a Christian nation in the West. The war which ruined Europe and made it almost impossible for these Jews to rehabilitate themselves was fought by the Christian nations of the West. The rich and empty portions of the earth belong, not to the Arabs, but to the Christian nations of the West.

    And yet, to ease their consciences, these Christian nations of the West are asking Palestine -a poor and tiny Moslem country of the East-to accept the entire burden. "We have hurt these people terribly," cries the West to the East. "Won't you please take care of them for us?"

    We find neither logic nor justice in this. Are we therefore "cruel and heartless nationalists"?

    We are a generous people: we are proud that "Arab hospitality" is a phrase famous throughout the world. We are a humane people: no one was shocked more than we by the Hitlerite terror. No one pities the present plight of the desperate European Jews more than we.

    But we say that Palestine has already sheltered 600,000 refugees. We believe that is enough to expect of us-even too much. We believe it is now the turn of the rest of the world to accept some of them.

    I will be entirely frank with you. There is one thing the Arab world simply cannot understand. Of all the nations of the earth, America is most insistent that something be done for these suffering Jews of Europe. This feeling does credit to the humanity for which America is famous, and to that glorious inscription on your Statue of Liberty.

    And yet this same America-the richest, greatest, most powerful nation the world has ever known-refuses to accept more than a token handful of these same Jews herself!

    I hope you will not think I am being bitter about this. I have tried hard to understand that mysterious paradox, and I confess I cannot. Nor can any other Arab.

    Perhaps you have been informed that "the Jews in Europe want to go to no other place except Palestine."

    This myth is one of the greatest propaganda triumphs of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the organisation which promotes with fanatic zeal the emigration to Palestine. It is a subtle half-truth, thus doubly dangerous.

    The astounding truth is that nobody on earth really knows where these unfortunate Jews really want to go!

    You would think that in so grave a problem, the American, British, and other authorities responsible for the European Jews would have made a very careful survey, probably by vote, to find out where each Jew actually wants to go. Amazingly enough this has never been done! The Jewish Agency has prevented it.

    Some time ago the American Military Governor in Germany was asked at a press conference how he was so certain that all Jews there wanted to go to Palestine . His answer was simple: "My Jewish advisors tell me so." He admitted no poll had ever been made. Preparations were indeed begun for one, but the Jewish Agency stepped in to stop it.

    The truth is that the Jews in German camps are now subjected to a Zionist pressure campaign which learned much from the Nazi terror. It is dangerous for a Jew to say that he would rather go to some other country, not Palestine . Such dissenters have been severely beaten, and worse.

    Not long ago, in Palestine, nearly 1,000 Austrian Jews informed the international refugee organisation that they would like to go back to Austria, and plans were made to repatriate them.

    The Jewish Agency heard of this, and exerted enough political pressure to stop it. It would be bad propaganda for Zionism if Jews began leaving Palestine. The nearly 1,000 Austrian are still there, against their will.

    The fact is that most of the European Jews are Western in culture and outlook, entirely urban in experience and habits. They cannot really have their hearts set on becoming pioneers in the barren, arid, cramped land which is Palestine.

    One thing, however, is undoubtedly true. As matters stand now, most refugee Jews in Europe would, indeed, vote for Palestine, simply because they know no other country will have them.

    If you or I were given a choice between a near-prison camp for the rest of our lives-or Palestine-we would both choose Palestine, too.

    But open up any other alternative to them-give them any other choice, and see what happens!

    No poll, however, will be worth anything unless the nations of the earth are willing to open their doors-just a little-to the Jews. In other words, if in such a poll a Jew says he wants to go to Sweden, Sweden must be willing to accept him. If he votes for America, you must let him come in.

    Any other kind of poll would be a farce. For the desperate Jew, this is no idle testing of opinion: this is a grave matter of life or death.
    Unless he is absolutely sure that his vote means something, he will always vote for Palestine, so as not to risk his bird in the hand for one in the bush.

    In any event, Palestine can accept no more. The 65,000 Jews in Palestine in 1918 have jumped to 600,000 today. We Arabs have increased, too, but not by immigration. The Jews were then a mere 11 per cent of our population. Today they are one third of it.

    The rate of increase has been terrifying. In a few more years-unless stopped now-it will overwhelm us, and we shall be an important minority in our own home.

    Surely the rest of the wide world is rich enough and generous enough to find a place for 200,000 Jews-about one third the number that tiny, poor Palestine has already sheltered. For the rest of the world, it is hardly a drop in the bucket. For us it means national suicide.

    We are sometimes told that since the Jews came to Palestine, the Arab standard of living has improved. This is a most complicated question. But let us even assume, for the argument, that it is true. We would rather be a bit poorer, and masters of our own home. Is this unnatural?

    The sorry story of the so-called "Balfour Declaration," which started Zionist immigration into Palestine, is too complicated to repeat here in detail. It is grounded in broken promises to the Arabs-promises made in cold print which admit no denying.

    We utterly deny its validity. We utterly deny the right of Great Britain to give away Arab land for a "national home" for an entirely foreign people.

    Even the League of Nations sanction does not alter this. At the time, not a single Arab state was a member of the League. We were not allowed to say a word in our own defense.

    I must point out, again in friendly frankness, that America was nearly as responsible as Britain for this Balfour Declaration. President Wilson approved it before it was issued, and the American Congress adopted it word for word in a joint resolution on 30^th June, 1922.

    In the 1920s, Arabs were annoyed and insulted by Zionist immigration, but not alarmed by it. It was steady, but fairly small, as even the Zionist founders thought it would remain. Indeed for some years, more Jews left Palestine than entered it-in 1927 almost twice as many.

    But two new factors, entirely unforeseen by Britain or the League or America or the most fervent Zionist, arose in the early thirties to raise the immigration to undreamed heights. One was the World Depression; the second the rise of Hitler.

    In 1932, the year before Hitler came to power, only 9,500 Jews came to Palestine. We did not welcome them, but we were not afraid that, at that rate, our solid Arab majority would ever be in danger.

    But the next year-the year of Hitler-it jumped to 30,000! In 1934 it was 42,000! In 1935 it reached 61,000!

    It was no longer the orderly arrival of idealist Zionists. Rather, all Europe was pouring its frightened Jews upon us. Then, at last, we, too, became frightened. We knew that unless this enormous influx stopped, we were, as Arabs, doomed in our Palestine homeland. And we have not changed our minds.

    I have the impression that many Americans believe the trouble in Palestine is very remote from them, that America had little to do with it, and that your only interest now is that of a humane bystander.

    I believe that you do not realise how directly you are, as a nation, responsible in general for the whole Zionist move and specifically for the present terrorism. I call this to your attention because I am certain that if you realise your responsibility you will act fairly to admit it and assume it.

    Quite aside from official American support for the "National Home" of the Balfour Declaration, the Zionist settlements in Palestine would have been almost impossible, on anything like the current scale, without American money. This was contributed by American Jewry in an idealistic effort to help their fellows.

    The motive was worthy: the result were disastrous. The contributions were by private individuals, but they were almost entirely Americans, and, as a nation, only America can answer for it.

    The present catastrophe may be laid almost entirely at your door. Your government, almost alone in the world, is insisting on the immediate admission of 100,000 more Jews into Palestine-to be followed by countless additional ones. This will have the most frightful consequences in bloody chaos beyond anything ever hinted at in Palestine before.

    It is your press and political leadership, almost alone in the world, who press this demand. It is almost entirely American money which hires or buys the "refugee ships" that steam illegally toward Palestine: American money which pays their crews. The illegal immigration from Europe is arranged by the Jewish Agency, supported almost entirely by American funds. It is American dollars which support the terrorists, which buy the bullets and pistols that kill British soldiers-your
    allies-and Arab citizens-your friends.

    We in the Arab world were stunned to hear that you permit open advertisements in newspapers asking for money to finance these terrorists, to arm them openly and deliberately for murder. We could not believe this could really happen in the modern world. Now we must believe it: we have seen the advertisements with our own eyes.

    I point out these things because nothing less than complete frankness will be of use. The crisis is too stark for mere polite vagueness which means nothing.

    I have the most complete confidence in the fair-mindedness and generosity of the American public. We Arabs ask no favours. We ask only that you know the full truth, not half of it. We ask only that when you judge the Palestine question, you put yourselves in our place.

    What would your answer be if some outside agency told you that you must accept in America many millions of utter strangers in your midst-enough to dominate your country-merely because they insisted on going to America, and because their forefathers had once lived there some 2,000 years ago?

    Our answer is the same.

    And what would be your action if, in spite of your refusal, this outside agency began forcing them on you?

    Ours will be the same.

    Posted by at 3 comments :

    Wednesday, August 30, 2006

    Blue Collar Skewing

    On reading the article on face value, you might just think that on a daily basis, you would see 3 men for every one woman. Take out the workers from the population statistics, and you would have a very different ratio, although I don't doubt the overall number of males being more than females.

    Dubai's male population exceeds females three-fold

    Posted by at No comments :

    Dubarcelona

    According to Emirates Today, Dubai is being twinned with Barcelona. I have never really understood the concept of twinning cities, but apparently, it is something to do with exchanging expertise. For some silly reason, I thought that perhaps parts of the cities would look similar, which wouldn't be wholly unbelievable in the case of Dubai, with its duplication of various elements of the world. Even more amusing is that Dubai, according to the article, is twinned with another 13 cities, including Detroit and Dundee.

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Dubai - the contradiction of the postmodern Middle East.

    One of the most comprehensive tourist overview articles about Dubai, from the September 2006 issue of Travel+Leisure magazine.


    It's like another world—not the Arab world and not the Western world. The sheer amount of material, money, and labor that is gathered here is both menacing and exciting. It's the first place I've heard the word architecting used like lawyering, a noun becoming a verb. The scale and volume of construction dwarfs humanity—looking up at the rising skyline from any given intersection, you feel a rush of sci-fi vertigo.


    More like this at the site.

    Aside, for non thought provoking articles like this, that I have to read, I'm using spreeder to wizz through them. It could just change my life.

    Posted by at 4 comments :

    Friday, August 25, 2006

    The 9/11 Report (a Graphical Adaptation)

    If you haven't seen it, it is worth checking out the "The 9/11 Report- A graphic adaptation" by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón. Slate are excerpting a chapter a day until September 7th. You can start from the beginning to catch up.



    Launch it here.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    Sign the petition

    Will it work? Will it get noticed? You never know. Stranger things have happened. I think it is in the hands of both the TRA and Etisalat.

    If you want skype access, and want to add some weight to the cause, sign the petition:

    Petitiononline: Internet Calling in Dubai, UAE

    ...and spread the word...

    Posted by at 3 comments :

    Muslim Racial Profiling

    The world is getting profiliphilic in relation to growing islamaphobia. The worry with Racial Profiling is that is too general, and more people get treated as criminals, than are actually caught. The generalism of such targeting gives you a label. And that is the problem. If you are Muslim, you have a problem. Male - a bigger problem. Not married - and that's it, you are on a watchlist, even though other those out of those categories are also part of the spectrum.

    The US have a rigorous protocol:

    In addition to matching names, birthdates, and addresses against terror watch lists, agents have been combing through credit-card accounts, phone numbers, e-mails, and even rental car reservations looking for suspicious links -- for example, unrelated passengers who bought their flights with the same credit card, shared a hotel room or traded e-mail messages.

    And now they want to get the EU on the action. But more often than not, if you look the profile, you'll get picked out of the queue, or if your name sounds a little suspect, you'll be highlighted on the manifest. And now, because everyone is afraid, people just associate skin colour with terrorism.

    I'm all for some sort of profiling, but not for on a whim pidgeonholing.

    Dubai related cases:
    1. UAE student falls victim to profiling
    2. London Plot Revives Profiling Debate

    I'll leave you with something from that second CBS piece:

    The Iberahim family claims they were recently detained and questioned for six hours with no explanation after returning to JFK Airport in New York on a flight from Dubai.

    "We were constantly being yelled at, we were threatened with arrest, and our requests to speak to supervisors were denied," Sumia Iberahim tells Orr.

    U.S. officials deny that any passenger is being targeted because of race. But they're unapologetic in their push for access for the kind of personal information they believe could stop the next terror attack.

    Posted by at 3 comments :

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    Do you know your Middle East?

    Do you know all the countries in the Middle East & North Africa, and where they are located?

    PROVE IT!

    Posted by at 6 comments :

    Tuesday, August 22, 2006

    Qatar Steps Out From the Shadows

    DOHA, Qatar Long overshadowed by its more glamorous or more oil-rich Gulf neighbors, Qatar is stepping into the real estate limelight, the result of some ambitious plans, valuable resources and enormous overseas investments.

    Good overview of what is going on nearby. From the NYT/IHT

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Carousel Fraud

    You learn something new everyday, although I don't think I'll be actioning my new knowledge. Carousel fraud:

    lets a company pocket the VAT after resale. One form of the scam also has a second party re-exporting the goods and reclaiming their VAT costs from the HM Revenue and Customs, even though the original tax wasn't paid. Goods are then often exported to the UK for another round of fraud.

    This all came to light when the trade figures between Dubai and the UK were released.

    In Dubai, an entire criminal industry has grown up to service carousel fraud in Britain. Underground factories, mostly operated by Pakistani businessmen, have been equipped to change the serial numbers of mobile telephones, allowing them to be counted as new products each time they enter Britain. The growth of the racket has produced some startling statistics. This year, Dubai, which has a population of barely 900,000, officially became Britain's 10th-biggest trading partner. Suspicions were raised, however, when, in June last year, our exports to the kingdom soared to £529 million from just £204 million in the previous month. A spokesman for the Office for National Statistics admitted: "Something is wrong. This is organised crime."

    This is crime, whereby someone has fiddles the lax tax system in the UK. The fraudsters are making a lot of cash through this. Stricter cash monitoring, even though the US is eagle eyed on all of this, for terrorist funding issues.

    Check the Telegraph article

    Posted by at No comments :

    The Dubai Life starts blogging

    Another new blog from my compadre at The Dubai Life. Check it out.

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Dallas speaks

    First word from Dallas Austin was that "it was blown out of proportion".
    1. He had cocaine on him
    2. He admitted he had cocaine on him (but by mistake)
    3. The penalty for this is life imprisonment.

    I don't think that is blown out of proportion. It's just that he had enough wasta to get out of it!

    Classic end comment:

    “I wasn’t in prison, it was nothing like that,” he clarifies, adding that the facility where he was kept had plasma TVs and other creature comforts. “Knowing that I was gonna leave this place, I had one of the best experiences I could ever have.”

    If you ever need a place to stay for a while, you know what to do, assuming you have real wasta.

    Posted by at No comments :

    The Future of Dubai

    It's always good to view skyscrapercity's videos once in a while. Check out the latest Dubai megaprojects video (2), below. It's an hour and a bit long, but if you really want to get a feel for what Dubai will be like. And apparently will be the centre for inspirtional music. (:>) Love the ambient build up to: "what I have achieved for Dubai is only 10% of my vision for it". That phrase will go down in history, I'm telling you.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Maafi Arabi

    Don't speak Arabic anywhere where it is not the main language:

    London Eye bosses have apologised to a family from Dubai who were initially stopped from boarding, apparently after being overheard speaking in Arabic.

    From the BBC

    ...and this was before the terrorist threat to blow up the planes!

    Posted by at No comments :

    If there was a title.

    If there was a title for the best name for a UAE blog, it would go to this youngster from Abu Dhabi. Check out the new blog.

    Posted by at 3 comments :

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Dubai Waterfront & Arabian Canal

    Of course I knew about Dubai Waterfront, but Im not too familiar with Arabian Canal, that is mentioned about 5 minutes into this promo video.

    Posted by at No comments :

    What if?

    Specualtion from NYT - What If 9/11 Never Happened?


    Without 9/11, would the London plot have been foiled? Without 9/11, would there have been an Iraq war? Without the Iraq war, would there have been a London plot?

    Posted by at No comments :

    The Real 'New Middle East'

    The Washington Post reports that while the world's eyes has been on the conflict between the Israelis and Hezbollah, the real new middle east is being built, spearheaded by none other than Emaar.

    The company, Emaar Properties, the most widely traded stock in the United Arab Emirates, also happens to be the richest real estate development firm in the world, with a market capitalization near $25 billion. It's also one of the most ambitious. On Aug. 1, as war raged, the company bought a major British real estate firm. The next day it announced an expansion into Algeria. It's building nearly 100 shopping malls in India, and retail and residential properties from Casablanca to Cairo to Karachi. Oh, and it's also constructing what will be the tallest tower in the world, known as the Burj Dubai.

    Yes, Emaar's succes is crucial to both the UAE and the region. The company appears to be well run, and is well ahead of the pack. Stock tip: Emaar, I believe is undervalued right now, based on its market cap. Unless it is heavily in debt or has further significant investments, I would expect the price substantially in the medium term (but this is more D@R's territory than mine).

    Posted by at No comments :

    Prices & Earnings

    Those interested in price and earings comparisons that compare like for like migth want to check out UBS' Wealth Management section which contains a report (pdf). The data looks comprehensive, with understanding Dubai cost of living in the current climate an important issue. The data is good for comparing like for like and you will see some interesting comparisons both on the price and earnings side. However, you must put the data into context, and look at the "like for like" across the various components.

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Counting and customer service

    Lies I have heard this week: "It will be done in 2 hours", "Come back in 3 days. It will be ready", "it will take 5 days to check" and "you will only need these 3 documents". More often than not, they just don't have clue, the efficiency is poor, or they just don't know how to count. For me, the customer service in these departments in the UAE is poor.

    For these people, I present "pinball" from Sesame Street. Some of you might be old enough to remember this from the 70's.



    Oh the good old days.

    Posted by at 4 comments :

    Dubai Rotating City

    So, it has been just under a week since the rotating city was announced. And the rotating tower, will be housed within. But, to be honest, I was a little sceptical about it. It comes almost in the same league as the Bubble City spoof. However, all seems to be on course for this crazy place. The weird and wonderful in Dubai. It will be the place of dreams and nighmares! Some of the projects just sound as if they have come out of fantasy land, and until they come to fruition and are maintained, they will be just that.

    Proposals for further projects:

    Mobileland: Where you can only talk to people on your mobile phone. Good for first dates.
    Food Tower: Hansel and Gretal style, rebuilt monthly
    Oxygen City: For those with medical conditions to recuperate quicker.
    Sand Land: Live in a tent. Freehold allowed.
    Dubai Mosque Central: More mosques per square foot than anywhere in the world
    Shisha City: Where each tower will be be scented with smell of a specific flavour. (Shotgun on the grape penthouse)
    Emoticon Island: Similar concept to the World, but with a smiley face.
    Singleton Avenue: one side male, one female. Rental for 1 year to find a match. Penalty if not married by the period.
    Pay per sleep: One bed units, Japan style, charged by the hour. No showers, just a bed. Single occupancy.
    Chatroom Castle: A castle with specific rooms, associated to certain topics. Can remain anonymous by wearing a mask.
    BumperCarLand: On entry, swap your car for a bumper car, to limit wreckless driving.
    Prisonland: bunk bed units designed cell-like. Sounds familiar....


    Any further proposals?

    Posted by at 3 comments :

    Popularity

    Popular V Unpopular

    hint: Americans, Nasrallah, Bush, Egyptians.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Do we feel fine?

    There have been a number of blogs citing Sala's websites as graphs recently amongst the UAE bloggers. Sala was the same person who coined the one thousand painting idea which seems to have netted him some cash.

    What I found today was a great idea called We feel fine showing "An exploration of human emotion, in six movements" on the web, predominantly bloggers.



    Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any UAE data, althoguh it is listed as an area they will collect from, but I found the whole thing riveting. Check it out!

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    Gulf News

    Gulf News are finally offering RSS feeds, I have just noticed, for all you aggregator freaks out there. If you don't know what RSS is all about, read the BBC Guide. Basically, you pull the news that you want to read from one area, essentially creating your own newspaper, with news and information from wherever, including blogs, podcasts, and anywhere else that provide feeds. If you are an information freak like me and you don't aggregate, now is the time to start. There are many different services out there, that you can access from your browser, the web, or through your operating system. I'd recommend Bloglines, Feeddemon or Newsgator, although there are many others out there. I currently subscribe to about 200 feeds most of which are free, although, I don't read em all - I'm getting especially good at skimming!

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    DIC and Travellers Lodge

    The big news of the day is Dubai International Capital taking over Travelodge for $1.3bn. If you are unfamiliar with Travelodge, it is a UK based hotel chain, pitched at the budget traveller. DIC are smart to take up Travelodge, as the budget market lifts off, and with tourism always big in the UK, this is sure thing. Even more so, 2012 will be the Olympic year, and they can guarantee occupancy int he run up and as London is rejuvenated fr tourism. The other thing about the deal is brand. Travelodge has a reputation for quality at an affordable price. If you want a clean place to stay, without the bells and whistles, at an affordable price, Travelodge is the place. It's what you would pitch as an Ibis or a 'real' 3star. If DIC were smart they would look at rolling it out in the UAE, to compete with the current 3 star which falls well below par, and is associated with the underworld. There is huge potential with this, and DIC are well placed to develop this both in the UK, in the Middle East and overseas. Not everyone can afford the high end. In fact, not many can, and this is why this deal could give big returns.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Friday, August 18, 2006

    DPW Numbers

    Dubai Ports World in the news:

    1. DPW seeking US Bids - Worth: $700m
    2. DPW to set up terminal in Pakistan - Worth: $211m
    3. DPW to set up Britain's Biggest Business Park - Worth $2.85bn

    The last deal is huge in numbers, but also amazing as far as deal breakers go.

    Posted by at No comments :

    How fast?

    How fast must a 4X4 be driving to throw a woman from her car (and kill her), if she was wearing a seat belt? When will these ignorant drivers ever learn? Another waste of life.

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    Dolphin City

    In Abu Dhabi, the short term issues are being ignored for the long term goals. While the Dolphin City project will provide much needed resedential capability, the need now is for the mid range. The situation in Abu Dhabi is much like that of Dubai three to five years ago, where appartments were hard to find. This situation will deteriorate at a faster pace, simply because room space is not coming onto the market. The already steep hike in rents in Abu Dhabi will match and surpass those in Dubai, simply due to the lack of housing. And there is no need for the situation. Abu Dhabi is massive. All that needs to be considered is the commuter belt. Create areas, along the lines of Khalifa City, from where people can commute in, and the main problem will be solved. However, the focus seems to be on the coastal landmarks. Dolphin City will no doubt be a great area, but between now and then, there will be inflationary issues that will skyrocket and the quaintness for which Abu Dhabi is known will be lost.

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    The YouTube block in the UAE

    The constant blocking of websites that are groundbreaking in the realm of Web 2.0 are a constant issue in the UAE. As the Internet advances, sites that, in the norm, meet the requirements of the moral, social, religious guidelines imposed by the authorities here, can be singled out due to small minority of content. Here's the official line:

    “The decision to block websites is clearly based on whether they follow the guidelines based upon norms laid down by local authorities,” Al Shamsi added. “If a website’s content violates these norms, then it will not be unblocked. However, if the offending content can be singled out and blocked without impinging on the value of the rest of the content found on the site then the website could well be unblocked.”

    Here's the thing. While pornography is a big business on the Internet, it is not something that YouTube want to be associated with, and while they do put some restrictions on non kid friendly material, it would be ridiculous if they tried to meet the restricion imposed by the UAE. With a population of over 4m, and an internet penetration rate of 35% or so, YouTube are hardly gong to bend over backwards to meet the requirements. To them it is small fry, and they will continue their growth in major markets. In such cases, it should be up to the authorities here to find a work around to the problem. Today youtube. Tomorrow, google.

    The whole premise of the Internet is freedom of information, and looking at the long term strategy, with advances in modern net technology, the UAE will be held back by restricions put on information which, coupled with other factors, will make it a country that is construed as living in a conflict of forward versus backwards.

    Full ITP article

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    Thursday, August 17, 2006

    Single Brown Male

    Racial profiling has taken another sordid turn. You know what they're calling it now - terror profiling. September 11th caused issues worldwide. The shift saw the serious risk issue move from Black to Brown and the lyrics from Big Bill Brooonzy to bootleg Beatles. A "brother" will only cause issues if he has links with a Muslim country. But now, if you're sikh, you're linked in. No turbans allowed, my friend. The French don't like the headscarf. Goodness knows what they will do in Lebanon. If you're a single brown male, you're in trouble, especially if you're a britmuz, generally from the Middle East, come from the "stans", especially from Pakistan. Hell, if you're from Russia, you must have something to do with those Muslim terrorists in Bezlan. If you're white, you're pretty much alright, if you're of the yellow, you're more risk of being a people smuggler, or of counterfeit goods, but I pity the Single Brown Male. Please remove your shoes, Sir. Why did you go to Dubai, Sir? Please step aside one moment, Sir. Based on your profile, you're disenfranchised.

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    That UAE Cinema Feeling

    Posted by at No comments :

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    The CyberSheikh?

    Is our beloved Sheikh Mohamed really known as the Cybershiekh? The BBC seems to think so:

    Thousands of workers, mainly from Asia, work relentlessly day and night to fulfil Sheikh Muhammad's ambitious vision of his city as world capital by 2010. The cybersheikh, as he is known, is well aware that his oil resources are limited.


    I thought the cybershake was an internet dance. Ahem.

    Posted by at 3 comments :

    Shariah Compliant Indexing

    With the prominence of Islamic Finance, it was only matter of time before it happened. The stocks focus on Kuwait and Qatari Stocks:

    Both indices cover stocks that are open to all investors, whether domestic, GCC or international. The constituents in these indices are screened by a panel of Shariah scholars. This screening is undertaken by Yasaar Research.

    I think the next move has to be cross nation industry specific index, for example, the shariah finance index, covering banking related companies. And then, the Super Shariah Index, for those stocks that have proven records, are high value and regularly traded. Only then will it be possible to compare Islamic Finance versus traditional and determine whether shared risk type products lead to overall better returns in the long run. As it is, these indices only provide small snapshots in what really are small markets.

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Monday, August 14, 2006

    Potemkin City

    Potemkin City (part I, part II) from Transcity shows the billboards in place, where Bawadi will feature:



    For now, billboards made of scaffolding and plywood are in place, but the destination hotel that they are advertising will still have a hard time outdoing them. They are on the road to Bab Al Shams, in the middle of the desert.
    Potemkin villages were, purportedly, fake settlements on canvases erected at the direction of Russian minister Grigori Potemkin to fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to Crimea in 1787. This was to impress the monarch and her travel party with the value of her new conquests, thus enhancing his standing in the empress’s eyes.

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Top of the Shops

    With the UAE playing the tourism game, highlighting shopping as a major attraction and pastime, and with all the malls in place, it comes as no surprise that the UAE shoppers ranked second in global ACNielsen survey on recreational shopping

    According to the ACNielsen Online Consumer Confidence Survey conducted in 42 markets, 30 per cent of consumers in the UAE go shopping ‘at least once a week’. This figure was only second to Hong Kong which stands at 36 per cent. To further emphasize the UAE’S love of shopping for entertainment, the combined UAE percentage of respondents who shop for ‘something to do’ either ‘twice a week or more’, ‘once a week’, ‘once a month’, or ‘less than once a month’ was recorded among the top 10 worldwide, at 84 per cent.

    I won't be surprised if the UAE jumps past Hong Kong to number 1 next year.

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Songs, Associations, and Sting

    My memories of the desert are in a 4X4 listening to Desert Rose by Sting, and I will always associate it to dusk dune bashing whenever I hear that song. And while I associate a diverse selection of both Arabic and English tracks to my time in the UAE, my most played CD of my time in the UAE is Sacred Love by Sting.



    It would seem fitting, therefore, that as I leave, a new record is announced. Songs from the Labyrinth will be released in October of this year. I'll be one of the first to download it from iTunes!

    In a tribute, here are the lyrics to Desert Rose:

    I dream of rain
    I dream of gardens in the desert sand
    I wake in vain
    I dream of love as time runs through my hand

    I dream of fire
    Those dreams that tie two hearts that will never die
    And near the flames
    The shadows play in the shape of the mans desire

    This desert rose
    Whose shadow bears the secret promise
    This desert flower
    No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this

    And now she turns
    This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
    This fire burns
    I realize that nothings as it seems

    I dream of rain
    I dream of gardens in the desert sand
    I wake in vain
    I dream of love as time runs through my hand

    I dream of rain
    I lift my gaze to empty skies above
    I close my eyes
    The rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love

    I dream of rain
    I dream of gardens in the desert sand
    I wake in vain
    I dream of love as time runs through my hand

    Sweet desert rose
    Whose shadow bears the secret promise
    This desert flower
    No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this

    Sweet desert rose
    This memory of hidden hearts and souls
    This desert flower
    This rare perfurme is the sweet intoxication of love

    Memories of the 2001 s-type Jaguar advert, anyone?

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Another Massive Project

    But this time it is not Dubai. The City of Silk by Kuwait, looks pretty damn large, Dubai style. But most of the investment will have to come through internal investment and bonds. I think that the external investor has tired of such projects.

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Emiratisation Overview

    Succint overview by Gulf News of the current state of nationalisation and policy within the UAE. There is mention of self criticsim of the quota system, but apparent belief that functional emiratisation of positions will work, although the deferral decision highlights the problematic nature of a swift curtain. Personally, I am more in favour of the former rather than the latter. There is also a breakdown of the cost implication of employing a national versus an expatriate, which is a significant issue:
    National

    Pension: Employer pays 12.5 per cent of full salary (employee pays 5 per cent, government pays 2.5 per cent)

    Minimum wages for UAE nationals

    * Below secondary: Dh3,000
    * Secondary: Dh4,000
    * Post secondary: Dh5,000

    Expatriate

    * Work permit application - Dh210
    * Work permits approval - Dh1,000-3,000
    * Medical check up - Dh500
    * To stamp residence visa - Dh310

    Medical check up and residence visa stamps are not the responsibility of the employer if the employee is a woman on her father or husband's visa.

    Total: Dh1,220 - 4,020
    (Does not include optional costs of travel and food if hiring from abroad.)

    Additional costs

    Labour card renewal: Dh500 - 2,500 every 3 years

    Gratuity based on seniority and salary

    Why should National's be forced into fields that they wouldn't necessarily consider? More focus should begin at ground roots level. The set up of Awtad only deals with trying to solve the problem set up by the decision, inthe first place. If this is the way that the leaders wish to go, perhaps they should consider partial, but significant percentages of certain sectors, including police, army, nursing, education at, say, 50%. The HR/secretary policy is short termist. At some point these positions will be filled, and that doesn't cater for the years to come. Perhaps those children should be plotted on course of action to all recieve some sort of expertise from abroad, experience or education, and that way they could bring significant weight to companies here. Certainly, the Nationals I know who are successful, without the wasta, have studied to post grad level, studied overseas, or have overseas experience. That is valued, as is the value that educated expatriates bring. The question is, what are the crucial skills that the expatriates bring to the table that the Nationals don't have. Once you have figured that out, set up a long term plan to train Nationals in the same way, and the issue of emiratisation will go away, over the long term, of course. And it is about the long term, not the short term.

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Friday, August 11, 2006
    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    George speaks out

    That would be George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green in the UK.
    Worth watching.

    Sky News Video

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    Britmuz

    Britmuz (pr. brit'muz)

    n. sl.

    1. Term used to describe 1st and 2nd generation British born Muslims.
    2. Singled out by the media and police as general terrorist targets in the war on terror.


    Today was a day that was could have been a whole lot worse, thank to the surveillance of police officers. Horribly, it appears that the culprits of the attempted attack were British Muslims. All of these types of incidents are drawing a bigger divide between Islamand the West, and what is being portrayed is that Muslims and West conflict, in many senses. But that is simply not true. It is just for a few rotten apples, that maketh the tree appear unfit for consumption. Before 9/11 and 7/7, British Muslims has carte blanche to travel the world without suspicion. Now, the Britmuz is profiled as the highest possible threat, on a par with the Bin Ladens of this world, and even thought of as "risky" by those in the Middle East. Watch racial profiling go crazy from today.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Mo V Roman V Octopus

    It can only be Yaught Wars

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    Dubai Metroid




    Martians beware!

    From Press the Buttons

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    The Palm Hype

    The more I read these articles, the more I want to see the Palm in its finished form, to see whether it will meet the hype.



    The first paragraph sums it up for me:

    Those looking for tranquil, unspoilt beaches, rustic charm and authentic maritime culture will probably choose to look elsewhere. But for the world's permatanned classes with bling to display and money to burn this extraordinary construction project in the Persian Gulf is an irresistible draw.

    from the Daily Mail - Good overview wth nothing new, apart from playing with my hype expectation.

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    2007, oil, war and the effect on the US

    4 scenarios from Business Week

    1. Conflict contained
    2. Iran shuts its taps
    3. The Gulf goes dry
    4. The U.S. gets cut off

    2007 doesn't look too good for the US. The war is affecting oil prices which is affecting general economies. Let's hope that Ahmadinejad's threats are just that, threats.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    What's next after property?

    Just as the property market starts to slow, the ugly head of timeshare Dubai looms. It's more affordable for the overseas investor and it's a mugs game. I have memories of slimey salesmen trying to sell to my parents in the early 80s on holiday in Spain and Portugal. My dad's words: " Don't talk to them, just look down".

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    "World's Biggest" e-statistics Project

    I am sure that the gathering of data on Dubai will be an arduous task, but to call it the world's biggest is pushing it a little. Perhaps, it's because the term e-statistics is not used so much.

    The Government of Dubai is planning to launch the world's biggest e-statistics project, in an effort to centralise the flow of information in the Dubai economy, reported a local daily on Monday.

    "Following its launch, the project will provide comprehensive, unified and precise data at Dubai level," said Al Muheiri, director of the Data Center in Dubai municipality. "Subscribers will have access to this system through the internet." The number of parties who have joined the Central Data System's statistics in Dubai has increased to 20, following the addition of six new parties, which are concerned with issuing data for the economic sector in Dubai.


    Certainly doesn't sound that big to me. Grapeshisha gives the world's biggest eyebrow raise in astonishment. No doubt there are lies told about their tools are as well. Remind's me of the "Goodness Gracious Me" skit about the mothers discussing their sons' "dundas".

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    The UAE Job Market (the other side)

    It's prime time for the UAE agencies wanting to get a piece of the action. If recent activity is anything to go by, the job market in the UAE is going to grow as companies search for the cream of the crop. Three prime examples:

    1. Monstergulf.com from monster.com launched this week
    2. Imprint says buys UAE recruitment firm Ingram for up to GBP 5m (finally!)
    3. Naukrigulf.com launches Resume Database Access

    All these are significant stories in their own right: Monster entering the market through its sheer power of brand recogntion; Imprint buying into Dubai, and gbp5m is not small cheese; and Naukri has stepped up its Mena game. All three of these companies can't be wrong. There is a big search for talent, and it begins right now.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    A UK-Dubai relationship (not Abu Dhabi)

    UK to UAE (Dubai takes 84%)
    UAE to UK (Dubai sends 65%)

    No doubt the increased focus on the UAE as a key market for the UK will focus on Abu Dhabi.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Easyjet V Air Arabia

    Maybe in a few years. Many stumblng points, but there's a chance. Come on Stelios!

    Posted by at No comments :

    Information restriction affects perception of the World

    An obvious point, but one worth emphasizing.

    "I suspected the people would be as I see them on TV - aggressive, angry," Atoom Al-Khatiry said. Instead, "The people were really friendly, very helpful and 360 degrees from the concept people have. It was amazing."

    Posted by at No comments :

    Dubai Ski Dome

    With all the buzz about ski dubai, I forgot about the Ski Dome which is being built in DubaiLand



    In February this year, the groundwork officially started for the new Snowdome at Dubailand. It will be the first comprehensive snow resort in Dubai on a par with the leading international ski resorts — but better.

    The ski resort in Dubai will boast real live penguins.

    The Snowdome consists of hotels and lodging, a leisure winter wonderland with all the adventure attractions of a snow and ice leisure park a skating arena, toboggan run and much more. The 32Group hopes the project will be completed by the end of 2008. It is hoped this will attract visitors who would normally travel overseas during the summer to escape the Middle Eastern heat.


    Penguins - now Dubai is getting ridiculous!

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Crane Collisons

    There is always the chance of air collisons, and that's why you have an air traffic control system. It works most of the time. And then on the roads, you have traffic systems with traffic lights, rules etc. Many people in the UAE ignore them. That's why there are so many accidents. And now, with so many cranes in existence in Dubai, a Cranes anti-collision system has been installed at the building site of the Dubai Mall. I never knew such things existed. I assume there is some sort of crane traffic tower, most probably located at the highest point of the Burj, at any one time. The thought of two cranes crashing feels like something out of the Terminator.

    Posted by at No comments :

    November 30th

    The date is set, but the critics are already sticking their knives in. Palm Jumeirah will hand over 4,000 villas, but this is what the Associated Press is saying right now:

    - The island's construction has not all been smooth, and most buyers were supposed to get keys to their island homes a year ago.

    - Some of the new land sank and Nakheel needed an extra year to add more and pack it with vibrating land compactors.

    - Reports from those who have wandered through the island's giant homes describe them as cheaply finished and set uncomfortably close to one another.

    - Nakheel rejected an Associated Press request to visit the island.

    - Overburdened roads in Dubai's Jumeirah Beach neighborhood are expected to clog further as people begin moving onto the island, accessible, for now, by a single bridge. Mainlanders have already put up with years of road works and innumerable trucks hauling boulders to the island.

    - Those moving onto the Palm Jumeirah this year will have to live with construction for another three years, and then an influx of tourists.

    - The World's sales trouble stems from simple economics: Nakheel is selling empty islands for tens of millions of dollars only to builders promising low-density luxury.

    - Also nearing completion are 2,650 apartments in 20 high-rises that have sprung up on the island's trunk. The hulking complexes are visible from shore, where the sprawling island, with its dredges, highway overpasses and construction cranes has become a major eyesore for resort hotels on Dubai's once idyllic natural beaches.


    We are reaching a crucial date. The World [sic] will either love it or hate it, and much of the fortunes of the Dubai's property market will depend on what the perception of it is. No doubt it will bring in the tourists, but will the people living there take to being in the goldfish bowl? And while most of the Palm Jumeirah residences won't really affect the the demand/supply conundrum, simply due to price, it could result in the later chain buyers losing out on a bit of cash. Let's see how this unfolds.

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    Foreigners able to trade on ADSM

    Foreigners could be active players in ADSM with 35 out of the 59 listed companies allowing foreigners to trade in their shares soon.....According to ADSM statistics, UAE nationals accounted for 60.3 per cent of total investors at ADSM, followed by GCC nationals (34.4 per cent), Arab nationals (3.5 per cent) and foreigners (1.9 per cent).

    Abu Dhabi bourse to allow foreigners to trade

    Posted by at No comments :

    Crane Conference

    The Middle East Crane Conference will be attended by the thousands of cranes currently residing in Dubai. Topics to be discussed include, working hours, overcrowding, worry over height increases and posing for the paparazzi. The event will be chaired by Burj Crane.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Monster Competition for Dubai Recruitment Agencies

    It was only a matter of time before the big guns joined the market. Monster.com has joined the region with a Gulf offering, called monstergulf.com. I am sure now that the recrutiment market will stat to hot up. Essentially they are competing head on with bayt.com, but with its huge brand value, I am sure that it will leverage its credentials across the whole market. It will be interesting how Monster is able to tailor its options to the varying makets within the region and, indeed, how it hopes to gain recognition amongst the Arabic market. It's still in beta, but surely this is the beginning of the end for people being fooled by jobsindubai.com.

    Posted by at 1 comment :

    Friday, August 04, 2006

    7th August 2006 is 786

    I have blogged about this before.
    Monday is going to be special.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Smart strategies

    Emaar of Hampton Intl. (Emaar is all over everything right now)
    Dubai Financial of the Thomas Cook Brand Licence. (Smart move in a market with a no real brand leader)

    Posted by at No comments :

    Oil and Gas City

    When you need some extra deep fry for those hot wings, followed by resultant bowel problems, come to Oil and Gas City in Abu Dhabi. All joking aside, this is good idea, but when reviewing what it actually is, it forms part of the new freezones for the capital emirate. So what is the real reason behind settng something like this up, to create awareness? Branding. Many peole I hae spoken to don't know of the freezones set up in AD. Mention HCSEZ, and it looks like a Russian Mexican. No matter, much of the industrial work that will go to the freezones, will be oil related.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Trends Reshaping and Threats to the World Economy

    The five major trends reshaping the world economy
    1 the rising cost of Energy
    2 the Experimental monetary system
    3 where are we in the Economic cycle?
    4 the Exodus of money from West to East
    5 the decline of the American Empire

    What is the biggest threat to the global economy?
    1 rising price of oil
    2 escalating geopolitical tensions
    3 interest rate hikes
    4 the end may be In sight

    Posted by at 2 comments :

    Happy Arab Emirates

    Despite all the complaining, all the gripes, The UAE is happy. The UAE ranked 22nd in the world for happiness.



    Check out the full results from the University of Leicester

    Posted by at No comments :

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    The inflation shift

    The inflation issue has primarily been based upon the simple demand surge not meeting the supply of housing units. That's a simple analogy, but much is based on it. The official rate of inflation for 2005 was 6%, but NBD estimated it at between 15 and 22%. Back in June, John Chilton summarised the basic issue of data discrepancy with the estimates that exist. We now have Standard Chartered estimating that the rate in Dubai this year would be roughly 9.4% dropping from 13% last year, but will fall to 3.4% next year as the completion of a number of housing projects comes to fruition. But then the inflation shift a few miles south to the capital:

    "As regards to Abu Dhabi's property market, we are expecting rents and prices to increase further, as there is a supply shortage there, and the gap between supply and the rising demand is not expected to be bridged soon. Accordingly, the overall inflation rate is not expected to change as the developments in Dubai are expected to be offset by these in Abu Dhabi."

    Abu Dhabi is already feeling the pinch, and that will get to Dubai Standards next year, as the capital struggles to provide the quick win projects but continues to bask in the super projects of a few years to come.

    Posted by at No comments :

    Patience

    Dubai traffic requires oodles of patience. So does making something like this:

    Posted by at 2 comments :

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