Saudi scholar, Sheikh Mohamed al-Najimi has expressed his opinion that under Islamic law the use of ethanol could be considered a sin, as it is a form of alcohol: This opinion is based on a statement by "the prophet that prohibited all kinds of dealings with alcohol including buying, selling, carrying, serving, drinking, and manufacturing."
If you go by that rule, then you might need a driver to drive you somewhere as long as you didn't have to pay. Jurisprudence eh? What do the people of Masdar have to say about this?
Driving or Riding in an Ethanol-Powered Vehicle Could Be Sin: Islamic Scholar Opines
Islamic Scholar Suggests Using Ethanol-Powered Vehicles May Be a Sin
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:42 AM
The United Arab Emirates has blocked an Israeli cartoon on the video sharing website YouTube due to content that mocks Muslims and insults the UAE, the country's two internet service providers announced on Wednesday.
The controversial cartoon, called Ahmed and Salim, is a set of satirical skits that center on the title characters who are more interested in Western pop culture than their father's aspirations of having them die as martyrs by carrying out terrorist attacks on "filthy Jews or Americans," which the boys continue to fail at.
Of course we are NOT going to link to the cartoon!
Full story here at Al Arabiya
Posted by grapeshisha at 11:04 PM
So while there is significant value in what Dubai has created, it's not as if Dubai can sell itself to reap the returns. It could... if it were desperate - but selling DPW for example is like selling your soul or your essence:
On the other side of Dubai’s ledger, the government claims to have $90 billion in assets on top of the $260 billion held by its corporations. But it has not revealed the composition or liquidity of its holdings. The very fact that it had to turn to its neighbour for help suggests that its own family silver is not that easy to sell.
The big question that the Economist asks is: Abu Dhabi bails out its neighbour. What will it ask in return?
Dubai will now have to be more accommodating of its neighbour’s wishes, he says. It will, for example, have to forgo its independent foreign policy, which had seen it become Iran’s outlet to the world, even as Abu Dhabi kept a careful distance.
Dubai will also have to “lose its ambitions to become the Monaco of the Gulf,” Mr Davidson says. Abu Dhabi will insist on greater prudence and Dubai’s go-getting rulers may also now feel defeated. Their economic ambitions were driven partly by their political insecurities. “A lot of the urgency we saw in the last ten years was fuelled exactly by Dubai’s need to keep its autonomy,” Mr Davidson says.
Expect a little less gusto from Dubai in the years to come. That's no bad thing - it's like a teenager having to grow up a little earlier after having learnt its lesson. And Dubai will be a wiser adult for it.
The outstretched palm
Labels: dubai bailout
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:53 PM
Abu Dhabi has signed a multi-million dollar deal with Israel's ImageSat International, which is co-owned by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and several private investors, that own and operate two EROS satellites, Their services will now be open to the Gulf state as well.
A few years ago, one would have thought that it would be the other way around. Abu Dhabi seems to be making all the right moves at the moment, and the world is watching and taking note.
Abu Dhabi Recognizes It's All About Image(Sat)
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:36 PM
MILAN, Italy (AP) — AC Milan has denied a report that the Abu Dhabi United group will purchase 40 percent of the club.
Milan and club president Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest holding company issued a joint statement saying that "the news has no basis."
Italy's leading newspaper, Corriere della Sera, reported Tuesday that after failing to purchase Milan playmaker Kaka, Abu Dhabi United had switched its focus to buying part of Milan. The paper did not cite any sources, but said the offer would be $640 million.
Last month, Kaka rejected a reported $145 million-plus transfer offer from Manchester City, which is controlled by Abu Dhabi United.
"Fininvest Spa, which controls AC Milan, denies in the most categorical manner press speculation concerning possible changes to the football club's assets," the company said. "This is a journalistic hypothesis without any basis."
No smoke without fire....
AC Milan denies Abu Dhabi report of purchase
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:32 PM
All together now. Dubai’s $10bn cash injection from the United Arab Emirates’ central bank has eased concerns about the struggling emirate’s ability to make good on $13bn in debt payments due by the end of this year. Just as important as the deal’s dollar figure, however, is the political message it sends. After weeks of uncertainty, Abu Dhabi, the Emirates’ oil-rich sugar daddy, has demonstrated its willingness to stand behind its poorer relation.
Strictly speaking, the UAE central bank’s purchase of $10bn of five-year Dubai bonds – part of $20bn in new bonds priced at 4 per cent interest – was agreed at the federal level by all seven emirates. But at its core, the move amounts to a bail-out by proxy of Dubai by its bigger, wealthier neighbour, Abu Dhabi, which is the biggest contributor to the UAE’s federal budget thanks to a quirk of geography that left it holding 8 per cent of the world’s oil reserves.
And Lex finishes with:
But, by making its implicit backing explicit, Abu Dhabi has given its neighbour valuable breathing room.
Breathe in now.....
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:16 AM
The foreman tapped on the dump truck's window and broke the news: The project was slowing and fewer workers were needed. Muhammad Munir Bahadar's next paycheck would be his last.
Read the full AP article
Labels: econonomic downturn
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:12 AM
If you ask the pessimist what this was they would say that it was an exercise in image saviour. Dubai is on the ropes at the moment and needs to come fighting back. It hasn't lost the bottle, but now appears to have a fighting to chance to recover.
Dubai to take up $10bn UAE loan
U.A.E. Central Bank Steps In to Support Dubai Debt
UAE federal govt throws Dubai financial lifeline
UAE to Help Dubai Ease Debt Load
Labels: dubai bailout
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:49 AM
Could nearly 4000 oil rigs soon to be decommissioned in the Gulf of Mexico be retrofitted into an American Dubai of offshore luxury hotels?
There are approximately 4,000 oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico varying in size, depth and mobility that will be decommissioned within the next century. If a deck on one of these rigs is about 20,000 square feet, then there is potentially 80 million square feet of programmable space just off the coast of the United States. The current method for rig removal is explosion, which costs millions of dollars and destroys massive amounts of aquatic life. What if these rigs were recommissioned as exclusive resort islands? Could the Gulf be America’s “Dubai” and the rig the artificial island on which to build it? This project examines the possibilities of creating a self-sufficient, eco-friendly high-end resort experience in our own backyard – the Gulf of Mexico.
If this ever did happen in the US, there would be something ironic about this full circle reversal of bling.
Hotelier at Sea
Posted by grapeshisha at 4:42 AM
Pulling on odd bits of "information", sites like smashing telly are having a field day:
Dubai threatens to become an instant ruin, an emblematic hybrid of the worst of both the West and the Middle-East and a dangerous totem for those who would mistakenly interpret this as the de facto product of a secular driven culture.
It feels like a super rant to me. Be prepared to feel the full force of random ranting.
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:10 PM
"A period of general economic decline; specifically, a decline in GDP for two or more consecutive quarters."
Standard chartered have stated that they predict the UAE economy’s growth rate could contract by as much as one percent in the first half of 2009.
If that is consecutive quarters, that's a recession. That's a decline - and the UAE are close to it. Any more downturn, there is more chance of a recession. It may not be deep, but technically it will be a recession. And the proviso for getting out of this situation is clear:
“With the right policy response - sorting out monetary policy and increasing fiscal spending - it should allow us to see the recovery in the second half and mainly last quarter of the year that will allow us to recover from the first half and see positive growth,” he said.
3 years ago, this situation was unthinkable. Now we are very much on the brink.
UAE economy predicted to contract by 1% in H1
Posted by grapeshisha at 10:22 PM
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:29 AM
"We are deeply disappointed by the decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) denying Shahar Peer a visa that would permit her to enter the country to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships," said Larry Scott, chairman and chief executive of the tour.
"Ms. Peer has earned the right to play in the tournament and it is regrettable that the UAE is denying her this right.
"Following various consultations, the Tour has decided to allow the tournament to continue to be played this week, pending further review by the Tour's Board of Directors.
This could be bad for Dubai. Not a good move.
UAE denies visa to Israeli tennis player
Labels: Shahar Peer
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:23 AM
Abu Dhabi's leadership is all the more necessary at a moment when once vibrant green businesses are flagging, thanks in part to the plummeting price of oil. In the U.S. and Europe, new wind- and solar-power installations are slowing, energy start-ups are starving for funds and some green companies are laying off workers. But it's still full speed ahead in Abu Dhabi, where last month's World Future Energy Summit (WFES) attracted more than 16,000 visitors and companies that ranged from General Motors to modest Chinese solar manufacturers.
Abu Dhabi is leading at a difficult time. Eco will be the future. It may not seem important now with all the issues of the world. But Abu Dhabi has stuck to its guns, and if there is one way of getting the world to talk - this seems to be working.
Abu Dhabi: An Oil Giant Dreams Green
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:19 AM
Yet if the old standbys are reeling, it now seems that the new guys are not as ready for prime time as was widely believed. The price of crude oil tumbled from $147/barrel in July 2008 to $32/barrel in December and the global economy was rocked. The loss of revenue had differing impacts worldwide.
But who will lead us through these years - who will lead us this century. Is this the end of the west and the beginning of the east - or is this time of the world to join together?
Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai : Destiny or Hype?
Labels: dubai mumbai shanghai goodbye
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:02 AM
So people want to look understated?
Yes, I don't think anyone is going to want to look overly flashy, overly glitzy, too Dubai, whatever you want to call it. I just don't think that's the moment. But I do feel an emphasis on quality and longevity and things that really last.
From an interview with Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue.
Just Asking: Anna Wintour
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:25 AM
"Drink your last cocktail and get out of here," said Sasha Reynolds, a 33-year-old airhostess. "My boyfriend is an engineer and work has dried up. He's been offered work in Qatar but who wants to go there? People are still making money here but the parties aren't quite the same. I'm lucky ‑ I didn't buy."
Again the call is on Abu Dhabi to save the day....if possible.
The LA times talks of the lack of spending at DSF.
"The mood in Dubai has certainly changed," Trevor Lloyd-Jones, managing editor of Business Intelligence Middle East, said in a telephone interview. "Everybody is more cautious in their spending. People are saving for a rainy day. We are in a wait-and-see period."
If you weren't in Dubai and just read the press, you would think that Dubai has no hope.
Dubai's six-year building boom grinds to halt as financial crisis takes hold
Even Dubai Shopping Festival is feeling effects of economic slump
Posted by grapeshisha at 12:54 AM
Some highlights from the article:
Debtor's Prison or Abandon your Car:
“I’m really scared of what could happen, because I bought property here,” said Sofia, who asked that her last name be withheld because she is still hunting for a new job. “If I can’t pay it off, I was told I could end up in debtors’ prison.”
Davidson chips in: (can't wait for his new book on Abu Dhabi, btw)
“Why is Abu Dhabi allowing its neighbor to have its international reputation trashed, when it could bail out Dubai’s banks and restore confidence?” said Christopher M. Davidson, who predicted the current crisis in “Dubai: The Vulnerability of Success,” a book published last year. “Perhaps the plan is to centralize the U.A.E.” under Abu Dhabi’s control, he mused, in a move that would sharply curtail Dubai’s independence and perhaps change its signature freewheeling style.
Hamza Thiab, a 27-year-old Iraqi who moved here from Baghdad in 2005, lost his job with an engineering firm six weeks ago. He has until the end of February to find a job, or he must leave. “I’ve been looking for a new job for three months, and I’ve only had two interviews,” he said. “Before, you used to open up the papers here and see dozens of jobs. The minimum for a civil engineer with four years’ experience used to be 15,000 dirhams a month. Now, the maximum you’ll get is 8,000,” or about $2,000.
And my favourite last paragraph:
We are all just sleeping, smoking, drinking coffee and having headaches because of the situation.” - it sounds like a druggies haven.
Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down
Labels: Dubai abandoned cars
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:30 PM
What is the web about in 2009? Elegant organisation. This is it - it has a good base to build on - and it ain't no jumeira scarer.
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:35 PM
Perhaps this is the radiator that they will use in the rotating building...in case it gets cold.
Labels: twisting radiator
Posted by grapeshisha at 1:40 PM
What has been struggling over the past few months? Construction and property.
What will be perceived as the biggest failure if it collapses? Construction and property
And so, this makes sense:
The UAE could be preparing to bail out real estate companies in the country and might restrict new supply amid a downturn in property prices, EFG-Hermes said.
"It is interesting that the government has yet to announce any bailout plans for the real estate sector, though we are inclined to believe that a federal plan is in the pipeline," the Egyptian investment bank said in a research note released on Monday.
While EFG-Hermes' own real estate index showed advertised prices in Dubai had fallen around 8 per cent in the last few months, anecdotal evidence suggested that transacted prices have fallen by as much as 35-50 per cent in areas such as Dubai Marina, Downtown Burj Dubai and Palm Jumeirah, the note said.
With all the projects that have been put on hold, this makes more sense for supply, phasing to keep firms in business. In Abu Dhabi, the impetus is slightly different. They need property and they need it now....unless people leave...
UAE may bail out real estate sector: report
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:04 PM
The health authority in the capital of the United Arab Emirates said the government-backed insurance firm, Daman, has included circumcision operations in existing insurance policies for new Muslims. Converts will have to present a certificate, issued by an Abu Dhabi court, attesting to their conversion.
Aside, there comes a point where red tape is just unnecessary. A certificate for circumcision? Surely, there are other ways to check for the snip. No grown man would go through that pain for any other reason other than religion.
Abu Dhabi to pay circumcision for Muslim converts
Posted by grapeshisha at 4:17 AM
Moody's negative outlook on UAE banks
Abu Dhabi injects money to prop up banks
Concern that Abu Dhabi hasn't propped up Dubai
So what's next? Is this the move that signifies Abu Dhabi's power? Or is this a timing game? Whatever happens, the oil is the power - and Abu Dhabi holds that. The smart move would be to arraneg a front to the world that the UAE is united - and that is no doubt what will happen. After all, if either Dubai or Abu Dhabi fails, the UAE fails.
Focus on Dubai as Abu Dhabi looks to its own
Posted by grapeshisha at 8:41 PM
Customs officers in Australia have caught a man who was trying to smuggle two pigeons into the country ... in his trousers.
The 23-year-old man - who had just got off a 10 hour flight from Dubai to Sydney - was initially quizzed when officers found he was carrying a container of eggs.
But when they took him to a private interview room they noticed he was walking funny and on examination they found he was wearing tights with a live pigeon concealed in each leg.
We couldn't get identification for the individual and only know that he likes birds and has hairy legs. He now faces a maximum penalty for wildlife smuggling offenses of 10 years imprisonment and/or a $110,000 fine.
Man tried to smuggle pigeons in trousers
Labels: pigeon smuggling
Posted by grapeshisha at 9:49 PM
Everyone is envious.
Labels: hummer h2 convertible
Posted by grapeshisha at 4:56 PM
If the list is accurate, then approximately $72.563 billion worth of projects are on hold, and $3.275 billion have been cancelled.
Kipp called a number of the developers on the list to confirm the rumors, and received mixed results. According to the list, Falcon City of Wonders, which it claims is being built by ETA Star, has been cancelled. However, the development is being built by Salem Al Moosa Enterprise.
Yet, Damac Property’s projects that are listed as “on hold,” such as Water’s Edge in Business Bay, and Business Bay: Burjside Boulevard are “experiencing delays,” explained the customer service operator.
So, here is the issue, not much looks to be cancelled - more so things are on hold. This is probably due to needing financing - and so what is happening is that things are being phased, rather than being cancelled. No doubt, if you research some of the list, you will find that some have stalled. But you might find that these will come back to life at a later point in time. Indeed when we get through this lull and we go back over this list, you will find that most of them will be reskinned to bring them to fruition. Or what we will find is that those companies in the UAE who have ready access to cash will be taking these projects on.
The worrying thing that we need to be aware of is that a hold or a phasing can lead to developers going bust, and whilst that may not lead to projects being cancelled in the end - it may lead to investors losing their money....
List of losers
Projects worth $75bn on hold or cancelled, says HSBC
Posted by grapeshisha at 2:32 PM
In Masdar, where the streets will be entirely free of automobiles, a network of these compact electric taxis will provide clean and quiet transportation to the city’s residents, as well as commuters. The first PRT cars are set to begin running later this year.
It certainly is a far cry from the white and gold cabs
Read the detail at Treehugger
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:40 AM
But as with all things these days, there will be some green:
Apart from offering a secluded retreat in the very lap of nature, the Sphere will also promote an eco-friendly lifestyle. With moist beach air flowing across the structure, the Sphere will make use of natural air conditioning. While the hotel will exploit the natural light coming through the glass panels to light the rooms during the daytime, on the other, the thermal glass facade will generate adequate solar power to fulfill all energy requirements.
It falls into the "not sure how crazy you're going to get next" category, I believe.
Sphere Hotel Concept is Stunning
Labels: sphere hotel dubai
Posted by grapeshisha at 3:21 AM
If you are listening correctly, 8% reduction in population, means something - less jobs...in some industries.
Posted by grapeshisha at 4:51 AM
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- Is $10bn enough to save Dubai?
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- The Unemployment issue of Dubai and the UAE spread...
- The scapegoat
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- Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai or Goodbye
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- The Media on Dubai
- Something needs to happen soon
- New Jumeirah Website
- Radiator spawned from Rotating Building
- Real Estate Bail Out
- Abu Dhabi will pay for the snip
- Gossip and a time for unity
- Pigeon Smuggling from Dubai
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