Tuesday, October 17, 2017

GULF NOTES, the week ending 21 November 2009

November 25 2009

At last, somebody is telling them ‘enough’. The West has been attacking Dubai for so long for no reason. They have their own financial problems – let them mind their own business.
— Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai

Reaction to Sheikh Mohammed’s address on Dubai’s status from an anonymous “western executive”: “He’s saying we cannot raise any legitimate doubts about Dubai or its economy.” Upon the departure of several leading Dubai officials, seen by commentators as a gesture of breaking with the past, Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, the new governor of Dubai International Finance Center: “We are always soldiers to this country, to serve our country.”

The Institute of International Finance predicted that a rise in oil prices will generate a “full recovery” in 2010 for Gulf oil-producing countries. The Economist Intelligence Unit predicted the UAE economy would “rebound” by 4% in 2010. Ernst & Young estimated the world’s sovereign wealth funds would climb in value to $8 trillion by 2015, as they overall have not suffered as badly as private equity and hedge funds. A recent UAE survey of the drops in prices for core and shell construction: residential, 71%; office buildings, 54%; hotels, 45%; malls, 60%; labor accommodations, 60%. UBS forecasted Dubai house prices would fall another 20-30%.

Nakheel reported it had cancelled none of its thirty hotels planned for Palm Jumeirah and stood ready to open five of them by 2011. Dubai-based developer Damac Properties said it would award new contracts “for further developments” by the end of this year. The President of the UAE donated $270 million to the Emirate of Sharjah to upgrade its faltering electricity, water and road infrastructure systems. In his address at a World Economic Forum summit, Dubai’s crown prince described the UAE economy as “humming.” Oprah Winfrey’s production agency apologized for misrepresenting Dubai as rich from oil sales and providing free electricity and water to its residents.

Through such measures as creating transit links between small towns and improving public facilities, Abu Dhabi officials said they would look to prevent the emptying of small towns into the larger cities of Abu Dhabi. Larry Beasley, Special Adviser to the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council: “We don’t want the Eastern region to fall behind, but we have to remember we don’t want to trade off our spirit and soul, which has happened too much in the Western world.” Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund Mubadala signed agreements with Airbus to result in manufacturing projects in Al Ain and elsewhere in Abu Dhabi.

The biggest deal at the Dubai Airshow was Ethiopian Airlines’ $3 billion in purchases, as total sales of $8.3 billion signaled grave disappointment since 2007’s $155 billion in sales. The Middle East remained the hub of growth in the world’s private jets industry.

Qatar announced $9.8 billion in petrochemical projects in Asia by 2015. Dubai-based Majid al-Futtaim Group announced plans for $4 billion worth of new malls in Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. The EU released that the UAE was the union’s second greatest source of illegal goods, after China.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Saudi Arabia for the third time in less than two years. Some topics: increased scholarships for Saudis in French universities, a museum project in Riyadh, conservation in Jeddah, and French-consulted archaeological projects in Saudi Arabia and an exhibition at the Louvre. Deutsche Bank expressed concern that 90% of King Abdullah Economic City remains in drawings and that the $4 billion needed to complete the project seems unlikely to be realized from private investors. The kingdom’s education ministry announced $5.3 billion in new schools to be built by a Chinese construction company for the accommodation of 1.7 million students.

The International Energy Agency found Saudi Arabia’s 16% increase in oil demand this August compared to the same month last year “astonishing.” The kingdom announced an $80 billion investment in electricity generation to cover domestic demand over the next ten years and a $1 billion solar plant in Jubail. The UAE’s demand for electricity was estimated to double by 2020. Kuwait released plans to increase electricity production by 50% in the coming four years.

Canada-based Fraser Institute ranked Bahrain the most “economically free” country in the Arab world. Workers for a Bahraini contractor called off a strike after being promised wages would be paid. A “database of laborers” is being created to facilitate the moving of laborers living in the Muharraq section of Bahrain to Labor City in January.

The UAE neared the launch of a national tourism board. Al Mutahida (“The United”) initiative was launched to support the principles of the UAE federation. Members of the Federal National Council expressed concerns about the Emirati youth losing their national identity. One member: “With the stunning development in the UAE, the various nationalities living here and the internet, how can we protect our national identity? … We don’t want to be imitators.”

The UAE Federal National Council urged universities to accept more students who do not speak English and to offer more courses in Arabic. Reaction from the minister overseeing the universities: “Without English, I don’t think anything in Dubai would have happened, honestly.” Saudi scholarships for students wanting to study in the UK have been stopped because students are learning an “unsatisfactory level of English.” According to a new Economist Intelligence Unit report, the GCC population will have a youth population higher than anywhere outside Africa: “The large size of the young population, which has increasing access to education, the international media and new technologies, suggests that social attitudes and norms may change fast.”

The National November 21, 2009 / Business 24/7 November 15, 2009 / Business 24/7 November 19, 2009 / Arabian Business November 18, 2009 / Emirates Business 24/7 November 15, 2009 / Khaleej Times November 19, 2009 / Business 24/7 November 16, 2009 / Business 24/7 November 17, 2009 / The National November 18, 2009 / The National November 21, 2009 / The National November 18, 2009 / The National November 18, 2009 / Gulf News November 16, 2009 / The National November 16, 2009; Financial Times, November 17, 2009 / New York Times, November 17, 2009 / Arabian Business November 18, 2009 / Business Intelligence Middle East November 15, 2009 / The National November 21, 2009 / The National November 16, 2009 / Arab News November 16, 2009 / Arab News November 15, 2009 / Arab News November 15, 2009 / The National November 17, 2009 / Arab News November 15, 2009; Arab News November 18, 2009 / Business 24/7 November 17, 2009 / Kuwait Times November 16, 2009 / Maktoob Business November 16, 2009 / Construction Week November 18, 2009 / Khaleej Times November 16, 2009 / The National November 16, 2009 / Khaleej Times November 19, 2009 / The National November 17, 2009 / The National November 18, 2009 / The National November 19, 2009 / Arab News November 15, 2009 / Gulf Daily News November 16, 2009.

Filed under Uncategorized



(required)



(required) (Won't be displayed)


Your Comment:




How the Gulf cities are reexamining their methods and their relationships with the rest of the world.
› More info
› Order


The authoritative resource for understanding the scope of urban development along the Gulf coast.
› More info
› Order
Al Manakh is published as special edition of Volume

  • No bookmarks avaliable.
Follow the almanakh newsfeed on Delicious



UAE photos. View full size
Saudi Arabia photos. View full size
Qatar photos. View full size
Iran photos. View full size
Kuwait photos. View full size
Bahrain photos. View full size
Abu Dhabi tower, December, 2009. Photo: Sander van Horssen
Abu Dhabi tower, December, 2009. Photo: Sander van HorssenYas Island, Abu Dhabi, December, 2009. Photo: Sander van Horssen
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, December, 2009. Photo: Sander van HorssenGas station, outside Jeddah, Saudia Arabia.  October, 2009
Gas station, outside Jeddah, Saudia Arabia. October, 2009Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.IMG_Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.
IMG_Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.
Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, October 2009.Demolition for Dohaland, Doha, October 2009.
Demolition for Dohaland, Doha, October 2009.Souq Waqif, Doha, October 2009.
Souq Waqif, Doha, October 2009.