By Kevin Done, Aerospace Correspondent Financial Times
Dubai plans to channel $15bn into aerospace manufacturing and aviation services, aiming to make the Gulf emirate a leading player in the global aerospace sector within a decade.
The emirate's government on Sunday announced the formation of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise as a holding company with six operating subsidiaries.
UAE is a country who obviously sees the benefits of western technology and economic opportunities. And isn't this what we want for the Middle East?
From the UAE Interact, the economy in Dubai is steadily growing. Trade licenses issued jumped over 29% from 2004 to 2005.
29.1% increase in issuance of new trade licenses
posted on 22/02/2006
The Emirate of Sharjah announced yesterday a 29.1% increase in the amount trade licenses issued. The figure rose from 4145 in 2004 to 5351 in 2005.
Additionally, the Department of Economic Development also renewed 31142 licenses for this year, this is compared to 22725 licenses from the previous year, a significant increase of 37%, according to a press release.
These figures come as Sharjah is in the midst of a drive to reinvigorate its position in the UAE as a viable Emirate to conduct business in. In a manner consistent with the other Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, an increase in the growth rate of investment both foreign and domestic has encouraged an optimistic attitude from their respective Governments, on their continued progress for the coming fiscal year.
Speaking on the buoyancy of the Sharjah economy, Sheikh Tariq Al Qasimi, the Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department said "These figures show the level of confidence investors have in the Emirate of Sharjah.
Here we have managed to create a dynamic commercial and business environment that is not only encouraging investors to stay, but also new ones to establish themselves." The boost in the amount of trade licenses issued can also be attributed to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry's license application and approval procedures. The process has been eased for speed and convenience, while additionally, there has been a significant improvement in the level of customer service for investors. The Sharjah Economic Development Department is confident that 2006 and 2007 will continue to witness successful economic growth for the Emirate. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)
This is capitalism and Islam together, and it appears to be working well, as confirmed from the other side of the puddle. John Heffeman of the Daily Post weighs in on the bizarre and tunnel-visioned US attitude towards the ports deal in light of their enthusiam for western business, and a history of good relations with the US Homeland Security. His article appears in CheshireOnline.
Dubai is one of seven countries that form the UAE (United Arab Emirates - formerly known as the Trucial States when they were under British administration).
Dubai's geographic position is among the most sensitive in the world as it is on a strip of land in the Persian Gulf that juts out to form the Strait of Hormuz.
Oman and Muscat are also on this same strip of land (just round the corner on the Indian Ocean side). But a few miles across the sea from them lies Iran, the would-be nuclear power of the region.
The strategic importance of the Strait of Hormuz is that the concentration of oil tankers that has to pass through this narrow strip of sea is greater than in any other area of the world.
For this reason good relations with the Emirates on the southern side are vital as they are the nearest thing to a friend that the United States has in this part of the world. If Iran were to attempt to shut down oil traffic in this area the impact on world oil prices would be devastating.
Dubai could be described as the leader among the Emirates in developing a global approach to its future. It has done so because it is acutely aware that its oil revenues will one day run out.
So it has been embracing modernisation and investing in new ventures with an enthusiasm that some of its neighbours consider shocking.
Another part of the plan is the construction of the world's biggest airport at Jebel Ali, with six parallel runways and capable of handling 120m passengers a year (equal to a combined Heathrow and Gatwick).
It also plans to have on the site an Aerospace University and a Research and Development building.
In this aerospace venture it is building on the reputation already established by the Emirates airline, one of the world's leading long-haul operators and a major customer of Boeing, which must have winced at the fuss now being kicked up by US politicians.
Boeing will also have noted the recent formation of Dubai Aerospace Enterprises which has six operating subsidiaries covering areas such as leasing, training and servicing. It is run by Sheik Ahmed bin Sead al Maktoum. ¦Mediterranean Lines is about to start a weekly service to Canada in conjunction with Maersk and in mid March CMA/CGM in conjunction with China Shipping will launch a four-ship service in which Liverpool will be the last European port outbound for North America serving ports as far south as Charleston.
Take careful note here. The UK will also have ports with DP World after this merger. No complaints from the top US allies in the WOT. Which speaks volumes for how silly are we....
It's a good thing the int'l community already knows the answer to that.