DUBAI A ROLE MODEL FOR DEVELOPMENT:
Former US President Bill Clinton
praised Dubai's achievements and the leadership of General Shaikh Mohammad Bin
Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister.
"Dubai is a role model of what
could be achieved despite the other negative developments in the region,"
Clinton told delegates at the Leaders in Dubai conference through a live webcast
from Sri Lanka.
"Look at Dubai, which has achieved
enormous growth in such a short period of time. Less than 6 per cent of Dubai's
income comes from oil. It's no longer an oil economy.
"Dubai's Crown Prince Shaikh
Mohammad and fellow leaders like Mohammad Al Gergawi at the Young Arab Leaders (YAL)
have done a remarkable job in building Dubai, which to me is a role model for
development for others."
Clinton shared one incident on how the
emirate merged Western and modern Islamic principles that appealed to him.
"When I went to Dubai for the
first time, I was taken to a technology facility where I hooked up to a bank
kiosk and found that one can use a conventional banking service, while at the
same time opt for an Islamic Sharia compliant service, which I thought was
wonderful," he said.
"This is a very good example how
cultures and values could be merged and offered to the rest. I was amazed and I
have a lot of admiration for Shaikh Mohammad for what he's doing in Dubai. He
said Dubai's leaders and members of YAL can share their ideas and lend their
expertise to other developing economies and show them the way how to change the
lives of the people for the better.
"I think much can be done by just
telling others about your own achievements," They can share their
experience and ideas with others and help them develop their economies as Dubai
has done. YAL can leverage their experience to enlighten others."
"Look at Dubai, which has achieved
enormous growth in such a short period of time. Less than 6 per cent of Dubai's
income comes from oil. It's no longer an oil economy."
POETRY ANTHOLOGY: WOMEN INVITED TO
Women of all nationalities are invited
to submit their original creative writing for inclusion in an upcoming anthology
of poetry, essays, and short fiction.
The book, tentatively entitled:
"Where Prayer Measures Time: The Women of Saudi Arabia Speak," is the
latest project of poet Nimah Ismail Nawwab. Her best-selling collection of
poetry, "The Unfurling," was published in 2004 to worldwide acclaim.
"The goal of this
collection," Nimah said, "is to provide a true representation of the
variety of women living within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by accepting
submissions from both established and emerging writers. Women throughout the
world are contributing to society in important ways. Saudi Arabia is no
The book will be published in English
but work translated from Arabic is welcome. Any woman who has lived in Saudi
Arabia is encouraged to submit.
Nimah sees literature as a way of
building bridges between cultures.
By creating a venue for women within
the country, to express their views on current issues she hopes to generate an
opportunity for readers to gain insight and understanding of a part of Arab
society which has often remained silent.
She conceived the idea for the
anthology after noticing many false impressions about the lives of women in
Saudi Arabia. "Misconception often leads to misunderstanding and
intolerance," she explained. "While giving poetry readings and
presentations abroad I noticed a hunger for information about life in the
Kingdom. It fit well with a long-held dream of mine to bring together writers in
Saudi Arabia to work on a common project."
Last summer she began assembling a
group of professionals to serve as editors, readers, and translators. The team
has members living abroad and in both the Eastern and Western Provinces of the
"I am a firm believer in the need
for diversity," said Nimah. "One of the most intriguing and exciting
aspects of the anthology is that it embodies diversity on all levels. Our team,
which consists of writers, academics, and poets living in Saudi Arabia and
beyond, was chosen because each woman brought specific skills to the project.
These skills, when combined, create a very strong body of knowledge. Our goal is
for the anthology to serve as a mirror that accurately reflects the range of
skill and experience of women within the Kingdom."
Pit Menousek Pinegar, who will serve as
the book's poetry editor, commented, "An anthology of women's voices -
poems, stories, and essays - from Saudi Arabia can only deepen understanding in
a world fraught with misunderstanding. Literature is international language. I
don't think it's an exaggeration to say that such a body of work has the
potential to heal rifts between East and West."
Pinegar lived in Saudi Arabia from
1982-1986. Her latest collection of poems, "The Physics of
Transmigration," was published in April 2005 and is nominated for a 2006
Recent events underscore the need for
understanding between vastly different cultures. Nimah has been called "the
voice of Arab women" by media outlets such as Newsweek and The Washington
Post. But it's a title she seems uncomfortable accepting.
"I'm flattered that reviewers have
found merit in my work but it's wrong to think that one poet can represent or
reflect the voices of an entire population," she says. "I hope women
throughout the Kingdom will be excited about the anthology project and support
it by sending us their writing."
She says many other well-known Saudi
writers plan to submit work for inclusion in the anthology. "It's important
to have both established and emerging writers," she explained. "Young
people look up to pioneers willing to serve as mentors to a new generation of
talent. I hope to continue the literary tradition of nurturing free _expression
and creativity." She believes readers will be impressed by the literary
merit of the collection. "Our country is filled with bright, capable women.
Many have been writing for years. I look forward to this anthology providing a
home for their work."
Submissions for the anthology are being
accepted via Nimah's website: www.theunfurling.com. Submissions should be copied
and pasted into the form provided on the site. Poems should be single spaced,
one poem per page, with the author's name and contact number on each page. Limit
three poems per writer. Essays and fiction should be double spaced and formatted
with one-inch margins. The author's name and contact information should appear
on the first page in the top left corner. Essays and stories of up to 3,000
words are accepted. Limit one prose submission per writer.
Submissions must be received no later
than March 30, 2006.
DUBAI GOLD BOURSE
The key Dubai gold futures contract hit
a high of $496 an ounce last week as trading began on a new exchange which the
Gulf emirate hopes will consolidate its position as a global hub for the
The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange
(DGCX) opened for business at 10am local time (9am Doha) and saw 17 trades on
the key February as well as the June contracts.
February debuted at $495 an ounce, and
hit a low of $494.80, still above international spot prices.
Traders welcomed the launch of the DGCX
and said it would provide ample arbitrage opportunities as it fills in the time
gap between Tokyo and London.
"I can see arbitrage opportunities
between other futures markets and the DGCX," said Jeff Rhodes, general
manager of Standard Bank's Dubai representative office.
"There could also be currency
arbitrage opportunities between other regional exchanges," he said. What
sets the DGCX apart is that buyers are more likely to take advantage of Dubai's
"City of Gold" and actually take delivery of the underlying physical
A seven-day trading week, due to start
next year, as well as investor-friendly rules has set the bar high for the
exchange, traders said.
The Indian gold futures market is
restricted to local individuals and domestic corporate sector. Non-resident
Indians, banks and foreign institutions are not allowed to take part.
Dubai is renowned as a centre for the
physical gold industry in the Middle East and India. Its strategic location
between Asia and Europe also make it an ideal trading hub.
Like other governments in the world's
biggest oil-producing region, the rulers of Dubai, the UAE's commercial hub, are
trying to develop financial services and markets as part of a drive to diversify
Traders said the DGCX would boost
physical gold volumes streaming through Dubai because hedging opportunities
would make it easier to do business. In 2004, Dubai imported 503.5 tons of gold
and is expected to import 525-540 tons by year end.
Jewelers buy wholesale gold but often
face a delay of several weeks before selling it to the public.
"It could assist gold traders to
protect and hedge their positions in this volatile market," said Firoz
Merchant, chairman of Pure Gold, one of Dubai's leading jewelers.
"Most major Indian gold and
jewelery traders are represented at the DGCX," said a trader at the city's
biggest bullion dealer "There are more arbitrage options open to the people
The exchange will initially be open
Monday to Friday, from 10am until 11pm local time (9am to 10pm Doha) with a 1kg
gold futures contract. Seven-day trading will start in the first quarter of
The electronic exchange will operate on
a T+1 settlement basis with a subsidiary, the Dubai Commodities Clearing
Corporation, acting as the clearing house.
Contracts are identical in format to
those on the London Metals Exchange and Nymex, traders said.
The DGCX has also signed a technical
agreement with the Chicago Board of Trade, which launched its own gold futures
contract just over a year ago.
ONLINE SHARES TRADING
Emirates International Brokerage, a
top-three UAE brokerage, has said it will begin offering an online service that
will allow its clients to buy and sell shares over the internet. Hamood Abdullah
Al Yasi, general manager at Emirates International, said the service will be
free, and was aimed at both retail and institutional investors and will help
reduce workload at the brokerage.
The conventional process of trading is
often time-consuming as it involves placing orders over the phone, following up
on the status and the retrieving of reports. Abdullah believes that
institutional investors from outside the UAE also to use the service.
Emirates International Brokerage, a
unit of Emirates Bank, UAE's third biggest bank by assets, said it was the
second brokerage in Dubai and the first in Abu Dhabi to introduce an online
Dubai has 48 brokerages and Abu Dhabi,
33. The two markets together list nearly 80 stocks. The brokerage said it had
invested $2 million in the introduction of the service. The service will open to
its existing clients today and to others in January. The service will help
reduce administrative costs at the stock exchange, said Hassan Al Serkal,
compliance manager at the Dubai Financial Market.
SHARJAH EXPO CENTRE
The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (SCCI) will spend Dh200 million to expand the Sharjah Expo Centre. The
expansion will include extension of the exhibition facilities by 50,000 square
meters and the building of a 300-room hotel that will give exhibitors and
foreign delegates easy access to the venue.
The Expo Centre, which is managed by
SCCI, currently comprises four large exhibition halls spread across 20,000
square meters. In recent years, the venue has experienced strong business
activities that have forced its management to expand it.
"We are currently evaluating the
expansion project and the extent of it. However, nothing has been finalized
yet," said Ahmad Mohammad Al Midfa, Chairman of SCCI. "The total land
site of the Expo is of 128,000 square meters, most of which has not been
utilized. We are looking at expanding the facilities to the beach."
The facility, however, drew flak from
the participants of the Sharjah Ramadan Festival, who complained of lack of
publicity and attendance. Farashat Ali Khan, director-general of the Sharjah
Expo Centre has said recently that some of the exhibitions are restricted in
size due to lack of space, necessitating the expansion.
"We have received strong interest
from different countries to hold single-country fairs and in the coming years
the Expo Centre will remain busy," he said. Although Dubai currently enjoys
the spotlight as being the region's exhibition hub, Sharjah is benefiting from
the spill-over effect." We are not competing with Dubai, but complementing
it," Midfa said.
Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (SCCI) are also negotiating with foreign diplomatic missions and
commercial officials to set up permanent exhibition centre at the Expo Centre.
Ahmad Mohammad Al Midfa observed "We encourage all countries to come
forward and take advantage of the facilities. We offer long-term leases for the
permanent facilities." China set up a large commodities display centre in
the Expo complex. Midfa said discussions are going on with Pakistan and Iran for
IRAN-EU NUCLEAR NEGOTIATIONS
Supreme National Security Council
Secretary Ali Larijani has said that nuclear negotiations between Iran and the
European Union which will start in two-week time will focus on "production
of nuclear fuel."
"The subject of talks is nuclear
technology and production of (nuclear) fuel," Larijani told reporters on
the sidelines of a meeting with Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi.
Larijani said the date of the talks
will soon be coordinated between the negotiators. He said the European sides
have expressed willingness for resumption of talks.
He called reports on enriching uranium
outside Iran in future negotiations as a media speculation.
IRAQ RESOLVES TO ESTABLISH DEMOCRATIC
In a separate meeting with visiting
Iraqi vice president, the Majlis speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said the massive
turnout of Iraqi people in the referendum on Constitution indicated the Iraqi
nation's resolve to leave behind current period of stalemate.
Haddad-Adel said that there is no doubt
that the terrorists would not have committed such heinous crimes against
innocent people; if they were sure they had the backing of Iraqi people.
Haddad-Adel said that Iraqi people
deserve the right to administer their own country adding that massive
participation of Iraqi men and women in the referendum proved political maturity
of the nation. "This is national resolve Iraqi nation showed to determine
their fate their selves. It has nothing to do with what the U.S. expects from
Iraqis. They have learned it from Islam," Iranian Majlis speaker said.
He said that exchange of visits of
senior officials of Iran and Iraq as token of deep and longstanding amity
between the two nations. Haddad-Adel said that Iranian people are willing to pay
pilgrimage to holy shrines in Iraq and Iran respects theological schools of
Najaf and Karbala.
He said that Iranian Majlis is ready to
formulate legislation to accelerate economic cooperation with Iraq. Abdul Mahdi
said that the Majlis has been one of the major achievements of the Islamic
Revolution in Iran and Iraqi government is aware of the services of parliament
to establish democratic government.
He briefed Haddad-Adel on latest
developments in Iraq and called for practical steps to implement the accords
signed by Iranian and Iraqi officials. Several members of Iraqi National
Assembly are accompanying Abdul Mahdi.
IRAN GAS PIPELINE
Pakistan has raised its requirement of
natural gas from Iran to block for itself the gas volume in the proposed over
7-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline.
During the first meeting of the Joint
Working Group, Pakistan had indicated its demand at 10-12 million standard cubic
meters per day in 2010-11 with built up to more than 50 mmscmd in 2015. Later it
raised its initial demand to 30 mmscmd in 2010 and ramped up the final
requirement to 60 mmscmd in 2013-14. At the second JWG meeting on September 8-9,
Pakistan maintained its demand at 30 mmscmd to start with in 2010, but raised
the terminal volume to 60-70 mmscmd by 2015, government officials said.
Since the pipeline capacity would be
limited to a maximum of 140 mmscmd, increases in Pakistan numbers would reduce
its availability for India, and make the pipeline insufficient for collective
peak demand both countries.
New Delhi had put its initial
requirement of gas through pipeline at 90 mmscmd, which could go up to 120
mmscmd. The official said India insisted on a single pipeline as it was more
economical and sought review of demand figures and signing of firm take-or-pay
India and Pakistan have agreed to
insist on third party certification of gas reserves in Iran and identification
of alternate/back up gas reserves. The Indian side indicated Barmer and
Jaiselmer in Rajasthan as possible entry points of the pipeline in the country.
"It was agreed that the project
would have inbuilt internationally acceptable pipeline safety design features
which would ensure a safe and secure world class project. In this regard it was
agreed that the project would have arrangements based on international best
practices in all aspects of the project: technical, financial, commercial and
legal," he said.
IRAN'S OIL REVENUES EXCEED $29.5BN
Director of international affairs of
the National Iranian Oil Company announced that Iran's oil revenues have
exceeded 29.5 billion dollars by the end of the past Iranian month (November
Hojjatollah Ghanimifard said on the
sidelines of a workshop dubbed 'Iran's oil in the world market' that Iran should
have imported 26 million liters of gasoline per day, but actual figure for the
first half of the year stood at 21 million liters per day. Asked about the
average price of imported gasoline, he said, "Prices are a little more
reasonable now and caretaker of Ministry of Petroleum is facing no problems in
The official stated that part of Iran's
$29.5 billion earning has been used for repayment on some buyback deals, adding
that price of every barrel of crude is estimated at over 50 dollars.
Referring to situation of oil swap
project, he said the amount of swapped oil has increased to 85,000 barrels per
day and the figure is expected to 120,000 barrels per day.
He said Iran is pumping more oil than
OPEC's quota, adding, "Iran's production quota at OPEC amounts to 4.11
million barrels, but the country's production capacity stands at 4.2 million
barrels per day. Ghanimifard added that depending on market situation, Iran's
oil exports may hit over 2 million barrels in some months and reach about 2.4
million barrels End