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.



Anonymous DIL said...

What can you expect when elections are in the offing, every one is looking for something to clobber to take the heat from their own failings, Dubai is in an Arab country and at the moment Arab equates with Militant Islamic Muslims ie. terrorists, the fact that the majority of Muslims are law abiding people, does not make good propaganda therefore this is ignored when you get Redneck Senators trying to whip up votes for themselves.

7:24 pm  
Blogger Brian C said...

I saw Dubai for 7 weeks at the end of 2004. It is an incredibly vibrant and moderate city, to my surprise as a Canadian. This issue arose mostly due to politics from Democrats in the U.S. that played on fears of Islam. To be fair, Dubai needs to be seen to be truly believed. So how is the Burj Dubai coming along?

1:00 am  
Blogger Hot Lemon& Honey said...

:) Keefie well written...and thanks for believing in Dubai.

I thing the way this whole DP thing was handled by "America" only showed their true colours to the world...
I am glad it all happened...

1:29 am  
Blogger nzm said...

My concern is that the issue will die, and that the UAE will not do anything to counteract the negativity that has arisen because of this issue.

I'm actually in the US right now.

The UAE now needs some positive reinforcement in the eyes of America because Hillary Clinton and her ilk have done an incredible amount of damage to the reputation and image of the UAE.

Most of the uneducated population now believes that the UAE harbours terrorists and is pro radical-Islamic.

It's a sad time - and it's now time for the UAE to stand up and get involved in foreign policy decisions and other global affairs, and be a major player.

Bring on Sheikh Abdullah in his foreign affairs role - it's time to take action, sir.

Keefie - like you, I was an admirer of Hillary Clinton. I am no longer part of her fan club. She has shown that she does not possess the morals and ethics, nor the education or common sense, that I once believed did exist in her.

1:46 am  
Blogger sheikha cheryl said...

I'm a bit disappointed in Ms. Clinton as well. It's all politics now, not common sense. What a sell-out.

9:34 am  
Blogger Dubai@Random said...

(no more Dubya, yayy!)

Sorry, only the House of Representatives is up for re-election (and 1/3 of the Senate).

Besides, Dubya (and B. Clinton) were 100% behind the Dubai purchase, only the Congress (bipartisanly, including H. Clinton) were against.

This is the same learned, reasonable group that voted for Smoot-Hawley. They know what they're doing.

[NB. Smoot-Hawley was the legislation that banned all foreign trade by the US and started the Great Depression.]

12:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an Indian-American living in the US with hopes to come to Dubai in the near future, I am utterly dismayed at the sheer lack of understanding displayed by the politicians and the sheep-like American public, who believe whatever their leaders say. Charles Schumer (R-New York) said that the end of the deal was a 'great day for the American public.' I don't see how kicking out a perfectly legitimate company that did no harm and played by the rules is doing any good. And as to the issue that 'American ports should be run by Americans,' I guess we should kick out the other foreign operators who run 1/3 of the ports in the US.

12:18 pm  
Blogger Brian C said...

And here we have 2 Democratic senators vociferously arguing that Dubai World Ports is just a "state-owned company that answers to a foreign government". Anonymous, senior Democratic Yankee senators do not agree with you that this is a legitimate company. It is Hillary who wants legislation that would prevent companies in the Middle East, who have significant ownership from leaders, not to be allowed access to U.S. Ports.

8:56 pm  
Anonymous George said...

Blame Dubya for instilling a culture of fear in the U.S. We're scared of our shadow over here!

7:29 am  
Blogger Tim Newman said...

Whereas I am sure most of the reaction in the US is down to blind ignorance and bigotry, I also think the UAE and Arab world could do a lot more to improve its image. I expand on this in detail here.

2:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

according to one local radio talk show, it appears that the US ports are somewhat just a "bonus" from what DPW acquired from P&O. DPW is more keen on operating the ports in Asia, which was also included in the takeover. in short, there is more money in the the less publicised ports in Asia than in America.

The funny thing is the democrats are using the same strategy of Bush. They are playing the US security card, just to score some points for their reelection.

Muslims/Arabs may look at this as some form of racism, bigotry etc. But the whole port fiasco was just plain POLITICS, which people in the mideast have trouble understanding.

For all we know the operation of the ports was just transfered to 'DPW' disguised as an American company, afterall the deal was between White House and Dubai. Maybe we are just being taken for a ride by both.

10:00 pm  
Blogger Duffy said...

What most people don't know is that another Dubai based company currently operates 8 other ports like Houston and I think, Georgia.

12:01 am  

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