Thursday, February 07, 2008

Gulf News reports: His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, arrived here on Wednesday on a two-day visit to Germany.

Sheikh Mohammad
[seen at the left visiting Brandenburger Tor in Berlin with his entourage] thanked the mayor for the reception and said: "This is not my first visit to Germany; I used to visit the country when I was a student at Cambridge University in London. I have a special appreciation for Germany and look forward with great interest to our strong mutual ties," Shaikh Mohammad said.

I wonder if he'll visit southern Germany. Not a kilometre distant from the offices of the company I am doing work for is the huge compound of EADS Defense and Security. Now they're the people building Eurofighters and the new double-decker Airbus. Isn't Dubai one of the stakeholders?

Interesting that one of Germany's leading news magazines makes Dubai its cover story this week. The headline is pretty clever: 'Das Morgenland' means 'the Orient'. But the reader will immediately note that '√úbermorgen' means 'the day after tomorrow' - or even more simply, 'the future'.

Be that as it may, Der Spiegel's fifteen-page dossier (not a free download unfortunately) is well balanced and amazingly comprehensive when it talks of what Dubai is today and intends to be in the future. And they even seem to understand the differences between Dubai and Abu Dhabi!

Der Spiegel:
For decades Muslims have made their pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia, to Iraq and Iran, bringing back with them fanatical ideologies and black garments for their womenfolk. "Today their pilgrimages are to the Gulf," says the Egyption writer Jussuf Ibrahim, "and what do they bring back from here? Jeans and tank-tops for their women, and ideas about a business deal."

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