July 9, 2011

Geography Lessons and US-UAE Relations

When I agreed to come to Dubai, UAE, it sounded really cool. DUBAI..place of the man-made islands, indoor ski (surrounded by desert), tallest building, only 7-star hotel, etc. I hadn't really studied the geography of Dubai's neighboring countries. When you think about it, it is in the center of the hotbed of the middle east and all that has been going on in the last 6-12 months. Side note: I forgot to mention I flew over Baghdad on my way here. I thought that was so crazy and wouldn't have happened about 6-7 years ago.

UAE shares borders with Oman and Saudi Arabia. Oman seems to be a nice place from what I gather. My neighbor in Houston was from Oman and lots of the fruits and veggies in the store yesterday seem to be from Oman. I hope to go there and check it out.

Saudi Arabia is very strict. Women can't drive. That tells me a lot there. So that is our other neighbor.

I have heard and I can believe it, after 9/11 in the US, many Middle Easterners quit going to the US for tourism and shopping and have diverted their attention and money to Dubai and UAE.

For example, you know how some expats or foreigners travel to shop? Living in San Antonio, we were used to the very wealthy Mexicans coming to North Star Mall (now they go to the newer ones) to shop. When my aunt lived in Venezuela for years, they would always plan shopping trips in Miami, Florida. It is the same for the local countries near UAE to come to Dubai. They have huge malls and lots of stores. Dubai wanted to create another industry besides oil to be diversified when the oil ran out.

Prices: I see the baby items and clothes are more expensive here. The electronics are more expensive here as well. The good thing is that there is no sales tax or else it is included in the price.

But back to the geography..I had a consultation with a Emirati from Dubai when I was in Houston in the last two months. When talking about the country, he said he was concerned about what Iran would do. I haven't talked to any locals about their concerns but I think that is a legitimate concern for most people around the world.

One thing that made me feel more secure about Dubai was the US-UAE relationship.
I found this link - US - UAE Reltations - from both countries' point of view. Here is some of what it says:

Long Term Economic Partners

With one of the most open and innovative economies in the world, the UAE is a dependable and substantial economic partner with the United States.

  • The UAE is the United States’ largest export market in the Arab World, purchasing $11.64 billion in US goods in 2010.
  • US companies have played major roles in the development of UAE energy resources, which represent about 10 percent of global oil reserves.
  • The UAE is the only oil producer in the Gulf to maintain private-sector participation in the oil industry.
  • More than 750 US firms have a presence in the UAE, from Bechtel and ExxonMobil to Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery.
  • UAE investment has been a dependable and long-term engine of growth for the US economy, injecting capital, expanding market access, creating jobs and contributing to mutual prosperity.

So..I will register my family with the US Consulate and hope for the best.


Zuhair Khan said...

UAE is trying to create good relations with other countries by inviting the foreign delegates of the other countries so often as recently Malaysian Ambassador to UAE, Ahmed Anwar Bin Adnan also visited UAE. UAE is leaving no stone unturned to boost bilateral relations with major countries and deep-rooted brotherly relations with Islamic countries.

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