Saturday, June 26, 2010

First 'official' gurdwara in Dubai

Coming up at a cost of $20 million, the Guru Nanak Darbar at Jebel Ali, Dubai, will be the first official Sikh gurdwara in the entire Gulf, catering to religious needs of a 50,000-strong Sikh community. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, vice-president and prime minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai, who granted permission for building the gurdwara, has given 25,400 sq ft land free.

Whats left, a synagogue?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Movie of the Week: The Joneses

Interesting movie and a new idea. It is about a working unit pretending to be a family to indirectly sell the products they have. Unlike other movies I posted, this isn't the premium release here in the UAE. Three weeks have passed; however; I don't think I liked any of the other movies they are showing this week. A good movie over all. I'd give it 6 out of 10.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Highlights On The UAE Citizenship And Passport Law

This is my poor attempt to translate what is called "UAE Citizenship And Passport Law (1972/17)" with the help of Google translator. I couldn't find any English translation of the law online. I translated the meanings of the articles (or what I understood as the meaning) so it might not be accurate 100%. I didn't post all the articles and some of them are not complete. The complete Arabic version of the law is here. There are no emendation or modification of the law that am aware of.

There are three ways or types of citizenship, they are either a) by law in cases mentioned in Article 1, b) extension by marriage, c) naturalization in cases mentioned in the remaining articles. It is interesting how in most of the cases that are eligible to acquire the citizenship the article say "may be granted" so there is no such thing as right and its solely up to the related authorities and the fact that they are not entitled to be part of elections, nominations or ministerial positions, which is good in a way from my point of view. Am not sure if they apply that or they simply forgot it now. From what I see, the cases in Articles 1, 2, 3 and 4 are applied indiscriminately. Cases in Articles 5,6,7,8 are applied randomly and rarely. It is pathetic the fact that Article 9 is currently used to naturalize worthless singers and soccer players who added nothing to the country.

I think the law needs to be modernized urgently to tackle the current situation at least. I don't see the point of having an outdated law that isn't even applied in most of the cases. It has a good substance though and should be used as a benchmark for any new citizenship law. Things I'd rather see staying is banning naturalized citizens from nominations and elections for a certain period, like 20 years for example. I don't mind the favorable status for the citizens of Oman, Qatar and Bahrain even though I don't see that coming and I encourage prioritizing Arabs in general. The law should give women the ability to inherit their citizenship to their children with the exception of Emirati women who got the citizenship by extension. Finally, Article 9 is vague so it should state clearly what yeoman services are.

Article 1
Acquiring citizenship by law, extension or by naturalization in accordance with the provisions of the following articles:

Article 2
Is a citizen by virtue of the law:
A- An Arab who maintained his residence in one of the Emirates since 1925 or before.
B- The born in the country or abroad of an Emirati by virtue father.
C- The born in the country or abroad of an Emirati by virtue mother who is not attributed legally to a father.
D- The born in the country of unknown parents

Article 3
The marriage of a foreign woman to an Emirati doesn't entitle her to the citizenship unless announced otherwise by the ministry of interior and was married for three years from declaring the wish to get the citizenship and required to give up her original citizenship.

Article 4
The wife who acquired the citizenship by extension may keep the UAE citizenship if her husband died except the following cases:
A- Married a foreign national.
B- Returning back to her original citizenship or acquiring a new citizenship.

Article 5
May be granted the citizenship of the following categories:
A- Arab of Oman, Qatar or Bahrain if stayed continuously and legally for no less than three years and have a legitimate way of living, have a good character and not convicted of a crime involving honesty and morality.
B- Members of Arab tribes who migrated from neighboring countries to the country and lived in the county legally and continuously for at least three years.

Article 6
May be granted the citizenship any Arab if they resided continuously and legally in the United Arab Emirates for no less than seven years and have a legitimate way of living, have a good character and not convicted of a crime involving honesty and morality.

Article 7
May be granted the citizenship any person if they resided continuously and legally in the United Arab Emirates since 1940 or earlier and maintained his residency there and have a legitimate way of living, have a good character, not convicted of a crime involving honesty and morality and good in Arabic.

Article 8
May be granted the citizenship any person other than those mentioned in Articles 5 and 6 if they resided continuously and legally in the United Arab Emirates for no less than thirty years, twenty of them after issuing this law and have a legitimate way of living, have a good character, not convicted of a crime involving honesty and morality and good in Arabic.

Article 9
May be granted the citizenship anyone who has done yeoman services for the country without adhering to the number of years stated in the previous articles.

Article 13
Not be those who gain the citizenship by naturalization in accordance with Articles 5,6,7,8,9 and 10 the right of nomination, election or appointment in any representative bodies or ministerial positions and excluded from the provisions of this article citizens of Oman, Qatar or Bahrain after seven years of acquiring the citizenship.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Abu Dhabi to deport hundreds of Palestinian teachers

"Alquds Al Arabi have learned that Abu Dhabi government terminated the contracts of most of the Palestinian teachers, 132 from Abu Dhabi, 78 from the western region and 100 from Al Ain. Those sources have said that they have been terminated because of their Islamic sympathetic cause and collecting donation for the Islamci Resistance Movement 'Hamas'. Many of those have been living in the UAE before the independence in 1971." [AlQuds Al Arabi]

Here is what the directer general of Abu Dhabi Education Council Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili have said about the termination.

"The teachers were terminated for four basic reasons. 1) Reaching 60 yo which is the legal age for retirement. 2) Resignation, 3) ending the contract and 4) Emiratization" [Albayan]

He didn't refer to the Palestinians in anyway though. Albayan titled the article as "Commenting on the termination of the services of 300 teachers. I personally would believe what AlQuds Alarabi news paper have said. There have been a systematic cleansing in the education sector for so long. And since when was turning 60 years old an excuse to terminate the contracts? I've seen workers reaching the age of 70 and they still get an extension for their so called "holy" job and what is holier than teaching? And what did he mean by "ending the contract". As far as I know all contracts for non Emiratis end after a certain number of years so eventually all of the workers will have their contracts ended when they are due so this isn't a termination reason. They simply do not want them.

There is a gap between what the government is trying to show us and what they are doing in reality. What do they really want and what do they fear?

As for Emiratization, give me a break. They don't want Emirati male teachers in the sector for the same reasons that made them kick those Palestinian. There are barely 500 Emirati male teachers comparing to 6,000 Emirati female teachers in Abu Dhabi. Their number is probably way less in other Emirates because most of the Emirati males go to work specifically in Abu Dhabi because they earn like 8k more than teachers from other Emirates.

Here is a video of a peaceful march of 84 Emiratis teachers near the ministry of education building about two years ago who were either kicked off to other ministries or forced to retire from the ministry of Education.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Movie of the week: The Karate Kid

Several guys asked to write reviews about the movies I suggest. Am not good in reviews so all I can say about this movie is that it's teenagers heaven. Fun to watch but didn't need two whole hours and it was kinda silly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Naser Nabulsi: Before and After

For those who keep whining since ever about granting the citizenship to expatriates. This is a prime example where I don't mind but actually encourage such procedure. The first picture is him in 2003 when he was appointed as the CEO of DIFC.

Naser, age 42, worked from 1989 until 2000 with Merrill Lynch International as a top performer internationally, holding the position of First Vice President at age 27, and managing relationships for institutions and high net worth families in the region. He led the team which created the first structured commodity-linked transaction in the Middle East with Dubai Aluminium in 1994, securing a 5 year, USD 250 million syndicated loan which received Deal of the Year accolades from Euromoney and Institutional Investor magazines for its creativity and vision.

From 2000 until early 2003 he served as Senior Investment Officer and Head of the Asset Management Group for The Executive Office, based in Dubai. Naser oversaw the formation and launch of two successful joint venture funds, one with Deutsche Bank (Estithmaar Ventures) and the second with Citigroup (Estithmaar Islamic Real Estate Fund).

In 2003, he was requested to take on the role of initial Chief Executive Officer of the newly-announced Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Naser transformed DIFC from an idea into a recognized and respected brand in regional and global financial circles. Under his leadership, DIFC laid the groundwork for its future success by establishing the legal, regulatory and physical presence for the world's next significant financial hub.

In 2005 he founded Al Mal Capital, set to become one of the largest UAE-based investment company. [Almalcapital]

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dubai is Part of a World Conspiracy?

A series done by some one called noreagaaa, don't ask me who he is, I didn't do my homework in that.

"This Series Explores the Revelations in World Religions Regarding the Arrivals of the Antichrist Dajjal, Imam Al-Mahdi, and The Second Coming of The Christ. A Work Inspired by Hashemsfilms and of Course the Words of the Noble Qoran, The Holy Bible, and The Torah, The Arrivals is a Joint Production by truthseekers Noreagaaa and Achernahr."

It is interesting and an eye opener, it makes you see the world from a different perspective.Some of the stuff he mentioned make sense and no one can argue with their truthfulness. It has like 51 parts and 10 minutes each so like 510 minutes = 8 hours and half.

It has its share of bullshit though. This is the part where he mentions Dubai. He says that there are energy regions to draw in either good or evil energy and Dubai is one of them. When you go further in the series you will understand that, according to them, the "bad guys" are trying to draw evil energy in so that they can open a star gate to bring their God anti-Christ.

DON'T laugh okay :P

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dubai Denies Al Fayed Claims

Google translation

Sources denied the allegations of Mohamed Al Fayed about his relationship with former Dubai ruler Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and saying that he built the port of Dubai and Dubai Trade Center, and that he brought 6 billions of investments to the city at the end of the seventies. The sources pointed out that Al-Fayed visited Dubai in that period and deal with some of its constituents, but he left the field for reasons not to disclose them.

He says that thanx to him Rashid Port was built and oil was dug. He also says that he owns 20% of Dubai Trade Center. Elaph writer didn't provide any info about this source who denied what Al Fayed have said.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stowaway survives flight from Austria to London on Sheikh's jet

Sources said that the Boeing 747 is understood to belong to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates.

The aircraft, operated by Dubai Air Wing, the private fleet used by the Dubai royal family, had been sitting, on the apron for three days after flying in from Geneva by the time it took off just after 6.30pm local time on Sunday bound for London.

Dubai Air Wing operates a small number of 747s which until recently include a dedicated aircraft for transporting racehorses around the world, fitted with its own stables

Movie of the Week

Monday, June 7, 2010

The provincial lawyer who is helping plot an emirate coup

Peter Cathcart works for ousted prince of Ras al-Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates to co-ordinate a plot to return him to power

A bloodless coup to take control of an Arab Gulf state is being plotted by an unlikely alliance that includes a powerful firm of US lobbyists and a provincial English high-street solicitor Peter Cathcart, a 59-year-old lawyer from Farnham, has been hired by the ousted crown prince of Ras al-Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates to co-ordinate the plot aimed at returning him to power after seven years in exile. [The Guardian]

And here is an interesting reply in the Facebook of the ex Crown Prince of RAK from " U.S. Communications Team for His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates". Its too long so read it urselves. [Facebook]

The army confronting the supporters of Sheikh Khalid Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the former Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, to prevents breaking into his father's palace after his dismissal and the installation of his brother Saud in his place in the summer of 2003. [BBC]

He has several videos in his facebook and statements about his view about the stuff happening in RAK. It is some how interesting. I was expecting at least statements of how he support his people and how they support him, not how Iran is a threat to the region and how Ras Al Khaimah is helping in that.

Iran using Dubai to smuggle nuclear components

Iran is using the Gulf port of Dubai to smuggle sophisticated electronic and computer equipment for its controversial uranium enrichment programme that are banned under United Nations sanctions.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Israeli's Diamonds Are Dubai's Best Friend as Profit Trumps Emirate Policy

I loved how [LocalnewsUAE] titled the arabic version of this article to "To Dhahi Khalfan, with a salute: Israeli Leviev shops to expand in Dubai" especially after his remark of not allowing Israelis from entering the country even if they had a dual nationality.

Some highlights about the article. For more read [bloomberg]

The name of the store’s owner appears only on catalogues and gift bags: Israeli billionaire diamond investor lev leviev, who has four other outlets in the emirate under the Levant name.

He is expanding just as Dubai vows to crack down on links with Israel after the January murder of a senior Hamas official that local police blamed on Israeli agents. Separately, companies in the emirate import high-value polished diamonds from Tel Aviv for sale to Gulf neighbors in defiance of a boycott of Israeli goods by Arab nations, including the United Arab Emirates to which Dubai belongs.

he diamond trade is too self-contained to allow Dubai to boycott Israel, said Yitzhak Gal, chief executive officer of Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel-based Gulf Links, which aids Israeli companies operating in the Gulf. “If you are a large player, you can’t be left out.”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why not hate the US?

In 2001, shortly after the unfortunate events of September the 11th , Harris Interactive conducted a poll on the reasons why people hate the US:

When asked to pick one "main reason why those who attacked us and their supporters hate the United States," the reasons given most often were "our democracy and freedom" (26%) and "our support for Israel" (22%). However, almost as many believe the main reason is "our values and way of life" (20%), and "our influence on the economy and lives of Middle Eastern countries" (17%). Only 11% believe our economic and military power is the main reason.

So over 50% of them live in lala land apparently.

So the United States of America blew it up now. I mean come on, after all their efforts trying to come closer to the Arab and Islamic world since Obama was elected they came back to square one.

The United States is deeply disturbed by the recent violence and regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered among those involved in the incident last night aboard the Gaza-bound ships. We are working to ascertain the facts. We expect a credible and transparent investigation and strongly urge the Israeli government to investigate the incident fully.

So they decided to 1)block condemning Israel and 2) stopped an independent investigation by the UN. [Aljazeera]


Wonder how extreme would they be if we are still under the Bush era. So my final remark, congratulations for their stupidity, they did it again .... hurray ...