Wednesday, March 15, 2006

$260 billion down and I am not stressing
















Away from Lebanon, I am actually a very productive person. I do not talk politics, I do not think politics, I work hard, I do not stress until I see a picture of “them” early in the morning or late at night on TV and in local papers laughing, eating, meeting while everyone else in Lebanon is worrying.
Here, in Dubai, it is me that is laughing, eating and meeting, even though financial markets in the Gulf lost more than $260 billion dollars in value since the beginning of the year.
My head is full of projects, I am busy meeting interesting people from all walks of life, nationalities and religions. We all have a common interest: our savings account.

Just yesterday I was talking about biotechnology projects in the region. Not feasible I thought, but Dubai has a way of surprising everyone.
Indeed biotech needs PhDs and great universities and high tech labs and scientists and forward looking entrepreneurs and lots of money.
Dubai has lots of money and the iron will of its ruler, Mohammed Bin Rashed. But that is not enough, say experts in the field.
But they forget that Dubai has become a global metropolis on well invested money and pure will power. The biotech park and the region’s liquidity will attract the best and brightest from the Arab world, the Indian subcontinent, Iran, south-east Asia and even Eastern Europe. Look at what Russian scientists did in Israel.

There are developments in finance, telecommunications, industry and media. Project after project, day after day, Dubai is a city that never sleeps on a business deal.

Although yesterday was “black Tuesday” in Dubai, (the Dubai Financial Market lost more than 10 percent of its value on that day), everyone I met was smiling. The correction was bound to occur after a 200 percent rise over the last year and a half.

In my Lebanon, a bunch of politicians met to solve their ego problems. “They” met and decided to meet again. ”They” met and agreed on a bunch of points that have absolutely no impact on my meagre bank account. “They” met and closed the heart of the city and made the local shopkeepers and restaurant owners poorer.

I’ll exchange our leaders for a good stock market crash like the one in Dubai at any time.
Is there anyone out there that is willing to take them? Maybe for a little biotech experiment…leaders, leaders…Lebanese leaders…take them and we will pay.

3 Comments:

Blogger Charles Malik said...

Despite the market losses, Dubai is losing nothing in the long term.

It's quite easy to point to forces of instability that could dramatically harm Dubai. But when one looks to every other country in the region, the UAE is the best put together.

Not only has Dubai attracted all the major firms from around the world, but there really isn't any other location in the region that can take the city on (besides, perhaps, Abu Dhabi). Qatar and Kuwait still have a long way to go.

The biotech race is on now that Singapore has allocated $2b to a biotech park. All Dubai needs to do is spend money to attract scientists. Biotech will provide for long-term production that will help stabilize an unhinged economy.

16 March, 2006 12:33  
Blogger gabrielf said...

yep...should take aoun,geagea and all the other old ones...

16 March, 2006 17:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

screw your artificial city for all its hightech bullshit productivity you can't even walk on the fucking street...

18 March, 2006 03:08  

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