22 February, 2006

Dubai and Its Ambitions (ala Ports Controversy)

A well-written editorial in Finanvial Times, Paranoia about Dubai ports deal is needless, puts the whole story in perspective. What is interesting is the description it offers of Dubai as a successful, ambitious city-state, worthy of admiration not suspicion:

The bold move was very much in character with the vaulting ambition of Dubai - one of the seven emirates in the UAE federation led by Abu Dhabi - and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, its restless ruler.

Dubai is the most dynamic of the glittering city-states that run down the east of the Arabian peninsula. It long ago decided to invest its (relatively modest) endowment of oil in other ways of making a living. So far, it has done very well...

Those of us in Dubai who, of course, see nothing wrong with the deal--with regard to questions being raised about Dubai's intentions or character--needn't think there's any doubt this deal will remain in place. I think it is a fait accompli which no empty rhetoric can overturn. The hysteria that some in US politics are trying to raise may appear to have merit on the surface, but there seems no way such criticism can stand under scrutiny.


gordo said...

I hate to say it, but empty rhetoric and hysteria can quite often overcome small obstacles like facts and logic.

There's an election coming up, and many Democrats are eager to exploit this opportunity to appear tougher and (sigh) more anti-Arab than the President (in the public mind, all Middle- and Near-Easterners outside Israel are "Arabs").

Fortunately, the President came out strong and early in favor of common sense, so you're probably correct in calling this a fait accompli. Still, the storm that's being kicked up in congress threatens to undermine our relations with everyone in your region.

Anomolous said...

I've been posting this around alot, but I'd like to hear the Emirati reaction to stuff about the royal family we read in the U.S. like...

"Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said."

And more details. Or, for that matter, the U.S. State Department's report The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for US Policy...

"Summary: The United Arab Emirates (UAE), under new leadership upon the November 2, 2004 death of its president, Shaykh Zayid bin Sultan al-Nuhayyan, has undergone a smooth transition, but it remains weak militarily and surrounded by several powerful and ambitious neighbors. Political reform has been minimal, but its relatively open economy and borders, particularly in the emirate of Dubai, have caused problems in proliferation, terrorism, and human trafficking."

Anonymous said...

Whoops, looks like that previous "royal family" link was broken. try this instead.

BD said...

...but its relatively open economy and borders, particularly in the emirate of Dubai, have caused problems in proliferation, terrorism, and human trafficking.

Such a statement seems to link the "problems" referred to to laxness in security proceedures. I would say it does not implicate Dubai's government in any way, although some could twist it that way.

And, of course, that is the problem now. A lot of twisting of the facts is going on.

BD said...

As I listen live to National Public Radio broadcasts from the US, pundits have come up with the latest twists--the UAE was the source of funding and planning for 9/11. The UAE is "...awash with an ideology of Islamofacism." This is an exact quote!

What a twist! Never heard that one before. It's pathetic what racists (in the US) and political opportunists come up with.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can provide perspective on the Zayed Center?


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