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Archive for the tag “Abu Dhabi”

Meet The UAE’s Most Important Ambassador

The first time he spoke in public, Omar Saif Ghobash spent months preparing. As the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Russia, he had needed special permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deliver remarks at the University College London — unheard of at the time as Emirati diplomats rarely spoke to the media. Ghobash walked onto the stage in March 2013, certain, he says, someone would be listening for errors.

Read Here – Ozy

Turning New Page In The Gulf?

Iran is moving to improve relations with Saudi Arabia and end a conflict with the United Arab Emirates over islands in the Persian Gulf after signing an agreement last month to end a deadlock over its nuclear program.

Read Here – Bloomberg

The Ghost Within

Amid the Arab Spring unrest seen among many of its neighbors, the United Arab Emirates has painted itself as a bastion of stability and progress. But the outcome of a trial this week will mark the culmination of the wealthy Gulf state’s little-publicized crackdown on domestic dissent, which critics say has been marked by torture and partiality.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Here Are The Hot Spots…Watch Them Carefully!

While the Middle East has a powerful claim on the world’s attention (or at least Washington’s), the world has no shortage of potentially explosive hotspots. Whether it’s conflicting claims on vital resources, or waterways and borders whose demarcation remains unsettled and contested, the world’s hotspots are simmering. Some are dangerously close to the boiling point; others are heating up gradually.

Read Here – RealClear World

Shrugging Off a Debt Default, Gulf Islamic Financial Markets Show Maturity

Default became a dirty word in the United Arab Emirates after 2009, when Dubai World requested a six-month delay on payments on US$26 billion in debt. So much so that when UAE energy company Dana Gas this month missed repayment on a US$920 million Islamic bond, local press hesitated to label it as a default.

In the midst of the global economic and financial crisis, the country and Dubai in particular took a drubbing from credit rating agencies, investors and the international press, which harshly questioned its economic model. A multibillion-dollar bailout from oil-rich sibling Abu Dhabi averted the worst, but the experience left a sting.

Based in Dubai’s neighboring Emirate of Sharjah, privately owned Dana Gas became the first example of a UAE corporation to miss a debt repayment — others had sought and received restructuring before deadline. It also presented a test for the Islamic financial market, as no sukuk had been restructured or unpaid upon maturity. Yet the Middle East’s largest natural gas firm quickly announced a restructuring deal soon after its troubles became public.

Read Here – Arabic Knowledge@Wharton

The Bright, Shiny Tinderboxes of the Persian Gulf

Touring the luxurious campus of the American University of Sharjah last week, I was yet again struck by what money, especially petrodollars, can buy. Sharjah is an emirate of the United Arab Emirates, located adjacent to Abu Dhabi. Designed by the ruler of Sharjah, Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, one of the more enlightened of the region’s many autocrats, the university’s grand buildings self-consciously invoke the glory days of Islamic architecture.

They are also part of a larger regional trend of patriarchy-supervised modernization. Gulf rulers, from the sober sultan ofOman, Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said, the oldest serving ruler in the Arab world, to Dubai’s flashy Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deploy a range of self-descriptions — philosopher- king, philosopher-poet, chief executive officer — as they present themselves ushering, with cautious gradualism, their wards into the modern world.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Challenges of the Arab World Face U.S. Election Winner

With the latest public opinion polls showing the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney a dead heat, the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election in the United States is anyone’s guess.

What is certain, however, is that main foreign policy challenges facing the next US administration are located within a brief flying time from Abu Dhabi and are of critical concern to the UAE and the other nations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Some 2,000 kilometres to the north-west is Damascus, where Syrian president Bashar Al Assad fights to hold on to power against a formidable rebel challenge backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and to a lesser extent, the United States.

Read Here – The National

UAE Uses Oil To Build Global Influence

The UAE is one of several Gulf nations using its oil wealth to find new ways to build a position of substantial influence in the world. For many years, the ambitions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations were directed internally as they struggled with the mammoth task of building the infrastructure and social systems that new nations required.

The UAE and its GCC partners occasionally took positions on Arab issues, but they were overwhelmingly focused on the vital tasks of building their own nations, like planning an education system, putting in modern infrastructure that businesses needed, and implementing clear laws that allow individuals to have confidence to invest.

Read Here – Gulf News

New Assertiveness In UAE Foreign Policy

Emirates foreign policy has gone through a dynamic change in recent years. The change is apparently broad and indeed fundamental. It encompasses the very content as well as the style in which the UAE deals with external opportunities and challenges. The relatively small but oil-rich UAE is noticeably more assertive and active regionally and globally than it used to be during the first three decades of its establishment as a federal state on December 2, 1971.

This is the principal finding of the 10,000-word, newly-submitted master dissertation with the lofty title Dynamic Process Model: Of Identity and Foreign Policy Production, the Case Study of the United Arab Emirates, written by a young Emirati scholar.

Read Here – Gulf News

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