Friday, March 10, 2006

DP World: Discretion Is The Better Part Of Valour

Dubai Ports World has graciously conceded 'defeat' in the US arm of the P & O takeover fiasco. The US ports are only a small, and by no means critical part of the P & O empire, and the only part of the deal that has caused any controversy. DP World's takeover of P & O works with or without the US ports. The deal still makes DP World the global number three ports operator.

DP World management have, probably wisely, decided that it is not worth the hassle of following through on the US ports part of the deal. No doubt they will sell it to Halliburton or somesuch, and everyone will then be happy.

As a longtime resident and total fan of Dubai, I have been absolutely appalled by the American reaction to this issue. I have had emails from one American (who knew damn well that his posts would have been deleted had they been made to the comments section) that were bursting with misinformed, vitriolic hatred of anything connected with the Middle East / Islam. I have seen and read utterances from other folks and politicians who really, really, should know better. Hillary Clinton has gone down in my estimation to much less than zero.

And I know that a lot of the political reaction has been because this is an election year in the US (no more Dubya, yayy!), and politicians are what they are.

But a good thing to have emerged from this debacle is that Americans in America have now actually heard of this place called Dubai, and have possibly begun to get an inkling of what it's about.

The management government of Dubai and the UAE have now seen, in no uncertain terms, what America thinks of them. This is a good thing because if you do not have this information then you cannot address it. So now these issues have been thrown on the table, and the powers-that-be can fix the ones that are actually true, and make absolutely sure that the entire planet knows about it.

And as the old saying goes: 'he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day'. There are no limits to the ambitions of Dubai and the UAE, and in future they will make sure that mere politics do not impede the march of commercial world domination! Watch out Microsoft.