Category Archives: Freak Out

NorthWest Airlines Bomber

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombing attempt on Christmas Day by the Nigerian national who was educated in London and Dubai.

Kind of feels weird knowing he was a Masters student in Dubai at the same time I was.  If he was at the same uni I didn’t meet him.

I wonder if he was at Knowledge Village or Academic City?

I notice CNN has an article on their front page titled, ‘Yemem a safe haven for Al Qaeda’.  Can’t help but think sarcastically to myself, ‘It’s desperately poor, has THE lowest population education levels in the world, and it’s right next to Somalia. Who would have guessed it was so vulnerable?

Sometimes CNN seems genuinely surprised at things that don’t seem a huge stretch to me.’

Rain and Cold in Dubai

I went swimming today. I blithely dived in and nearly died of shock.  The water has dropped over 5 degrees Celsius in just over 3 days!

It is now a definitely bracing 26.5! ( It was 32.) I had to put in a couple of laps of fast freestyle just to combat the cold! I’m so used to it being like a luke-warm bath.

It was positively UNCIVILISED!

I wonder if he had Dubya’s ducking skills?

Shoe-thrower gets a taste of own medicine

His attacker was an exiled pro-US Iraqi journalist

  • Reuters
  • Published:  December 3, 2009 by Gulf News

Paris: An Iraqi reporter imprisoned for throwing his shoes at US President George W. Bush found himself on the receiving end of a similar footwear attack in Paris on Tuesday.

Muntadar Al Zaidi, whose flare-up against Bush last December turned into a symbol of Iraqi anger, was speaking at a news conference to promote his campaign for victims of the war in Iraq when a man in the audience hurled a shoe at him.

It hit the wall next to his head and a scuffle ensued in the audience, television footage showed.

French media said the attacker was an exiled Iraqi journalist who spoke in defence of US policy, accusing Al Zaidi of siding with a dictatorship, before throwing his shoe. Al Zaidi’s own outburst summed up the feelings of many Iraqis about the US military invasion of Iraq and the ensuing bloodshed and sectarian killing.

Millions of people around the world saw images of him shouting “this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog,” during a news conference by the former US leader, before throwing his shoes at him.

Al Zaidi, a television reporter, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for assaulting a head of state. This was later reduced to one year and he was released in September.

END

When I Googled ‘dubya’ I found this

Dubai Cool

Mobile phone towers dressed up as palm trees.  So James Bond.  How can you not love it?

Mobile Phone Tower (Image Source: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com)

These things are scattered around Dubai. Each time we see one we yell out, ‘James Bond Palm Tree!’

If you are as fascinated by these things as I am you can get yourself one.  They are made in China by Yongzhou Haihong Art & Craft Company. I’m not sure how much they cost but can you really put a price on genius?

You’ll have to rig it yourself though.

Yes please, I must have one immediately!

Happy UAE National Day!!!

Mozzwatch

Of course I am worrying myself sick about Mozz’s upcoming flight out of Dubai, although I know he will be okay under my arm the whole way.

He’s such an old bugger. He sleeps a lot now but he still has serious attitude.

He looks very cute in this photo… he loves his Dad!

Mozzle & Richard (two old grey bastards)

 

 

 

Dear Uncle Abu Dhabi, can I borrow a *bit* more cash? Pls thx, Dubai.

Abu Dhabi has already injected 10 billion US dollars several months ago, and bought significant entities such as Emirates Airlines amongst others.

My guess is Dubai has been trying to get more assistance from Abu Dhabi unsuccessfully, and has made this move in a final attempt to get AD to cough up.

But will it cough up enough to manage the debt of between 80 and 150 billion US dollars (depending on who you ask that is Dubai’s total debt)?

Here are a few articles from CNN today on the breaking news.  Will be *interesting* to see what happens to the Dubai Stock Market when it reopens on Sunday.

Has debt freeze exposed Dubai mirage?

November 26, 2009 — Updated 1537 GMT (2337 HKT)

Dubai: Local moves, global implications

November 26, 2009 — Posted: 1352 GMT

Dubai shocks investors amid debt fears

By Simeon Kerr and Jennifer Hughes, FT.com
November 26, 2009 — Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)

Investor confidence in Dubai, exemplified by its stunning architecture, has been shaken.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

     

  • The size of Dubai World’s $22bn debt problem has been apparent for a year
  • Bond markets reacted sharply to the news, investors demanded higher premiums
  • BNP analyst: “Investors view this as shockingly bad news”
  • Moody’s cut ratings on some government-related entities to junk status

(Financial Times) — Dubai has shocked investors by asking for a debt standstill at Dubai World, the government’s flagship holding company that has developed some of the world’s most extravagant real estate projects.

The move raised the spectre of default in the Middle East’s trading hub just as early signs of economic recovery have emerged. During the boom, Dubai rode the wave of easy credit generating phenomenal economic growth but was badly hit by the global credit crisis.

Dubai’s surprise move angered some investors who had been reassured by local officials for months that the city would meet all obligations on its $80bn (£48bn) of gross debt in spite of recession and a real estate crash.

“Investors view this as shockingly bad news,” said Rob Whichello of BNP Paribas. Two hours after announcing it had raised $5bn from two Abu Dhabi banks, the department of finance asked for a standstill until May 30 on all financing to the heavily indebted Dubai World and its troubled property unit Nakheel, which is due to pay back $4bn on an Islamic bond on December 14.

This will destroy confidence in Dubai,
the whole process has been so opaque and unfair to investors.

–Eckart Woertz

Dubai also launched a restructuring of the government holding company, which oversees ports operator DP World, the UK-based P&O Ferries and troubled investment company Istithmar. Nakheel, the developer behind the city’s Palm Islands that boast celebrity owners such as David Beckham, has had to shed thousands of staff and left contractors out of pocket as local property prices halved and credit dried up.

A symbol of Dubai’s pre-crunch excess, the government company has had to cancel plans for the world’s tallest tower and a constellation of reclaimed islands, as collapsing cash flow left the developer on the brink.

The government’s announcement came after the local stock market had shut and on the eve of the Eid holidays, during which most offices will be shut until December 6.

“This will destroy confidence in Dubai, the whole process has been so opaque and unfair to investors,” said Eckart Woertz, economist with Dubai’s Gulf Research Centre.

A spokeswoman for the department of finance said the government intended to ask all bondholders to extend until May. But the government said no decision had yet been made on how to deal with investors insisting on repayment in December.

The gaping size of Dubai World’s $22bn debt problem has been apparent for a year. But the government’s level of support has been clouded by politics and a lack of clarity on how much it could raise from international markets and the oil-rich capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi.

Bond markets reacted sharply to the news with investors demanding higher premiums to hold debt from the region. In London trade it cost about $460,000 annually over five years to insure $10m worth of Dubai government debt against default, compared with $360,000 on Tuesday. Prices rose for its neighbours with Abu Dhabi protection $100,000 more than on Tuesday.

Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service immediately downgraded the ratings of all six government-related issuers in Dubai following news of the repayment delay and left them on review for possible further downgrade.

Moody’s cut ratings on some government-related entities to junk status, while S&P cut ratings on some entities to one level above junk.

S&P said the restructuring “may be considered a default under our default criteria, and represents the failure of the Dubai government (not rated) to provide timely financial support to a core government-related entity.”

Swine Flu

This is the first time I’ve caught a disease that was in the media.  Pretty Cool I know!

First couple of days were okay… cold/light flu kind of feeling.

Third day was pretty crap.  Full on flu that day.  And a wicked cough.

Fourth day is when the secondary infection started to set into my chesticles.  Meh!! Took a trip to the doc again and had an x-ray that says I am pneumonia-free.  Yay!

Got me lots of antibiotics and other tablets of various persuasions (no, I’m not sharing).