Doing Part of Dubai with Hertzberg and Kaiser


Henrik Hertzberg Steve Clemons Charles Kaiser 500.jpg
(Hendrik Hertzberg, Steve Clemons and Charles Kaiser in Dubai)
This morning I am out to see more of Dubai — along with two terrific social and political commentators, the New Yorker‘s Hendrick Hertzberg, who has his own blog at the magazine and Charles Kaiser, publisher of Full Court Press and author of the The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America.
I had a great conversation this morning with some visitors from Abu Dhabi this morning — who said that the jeering at the Government of Dubai for its economic woes is “both off-putting and ill-placed.” My impromptu breakfast friends highlight that everyone suffered during the global economic crisis, and nations and states — and governments like Dubai — are developing work-out strategies. To throw blame at Dubai for engaging in behaviors that paled in comparison to the house of cards and financial corruption that the US unleashed — in their view — is really disrespectful.
Secondly, they pointed out to me that lots of financial and business entitites in Dubai are thriving, particularly Emaar — whose Burj Dubai opens tonight.
I will be at the opening of this tower this evening, along with Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed and 5,999 of his other special guests — and I can attest to the building’s massive size and beauty as I am looking at it this very moment. It’s hard to believe that 90% of its space has been sold or fully leased and that its developer, Emaar, is already in the black on the project — but that is what numerous sources confirm.
The next “largest tower in the world” project is set for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — and the Dubai-based Emaar is involved with that as well.
More later, after Hertzberg, Kaiser, and Clemons see some more of Dubai.
— Steve Clemons


6 comments on “Doing Part of Dubai with Hertzberg and Kaiser

  1. David says:

    Hanging out with Hertzberg? We are known by the company we keep, and you keep some pretty first-rate company. His commentary on health care reform in the current New Yorker Online deserves a read.


  2. Carroll says:
    What the Financial Times has to say above.
    Not good.
    I found this amusing in Steve’s post…
    “To throw blame at Dubai for engaging in behaviors that paled in comparison to the house of cards and financial corruption that the US unleashed — in their view — is really disrespectful”
    Not that it isn’t true, but it goes to show that the ..”but Johnny does it too Mommy!”…is a universal disease and excuse for everything.


  3. Carroll says:

    Heard on the news this am that Dubia was seeking a huge loan from one of their neighbors that had financed their ventures before..don’t remember which neighboring country is was.
    Interesting article Angus. It’s probably more accurate than the “tour” Steve is getting…I doubt they are taking him to any labor camps.
    Must remember to ask him if he went swimming in the ocean at that big hotel.


  4. Angus says:

    Here’s an alternative view of Dubai from Johann Hari, a commentator worth reading:


  5. JohnH says:

    Apparently the Great Game in Central Asia is just about over. And the winner is….China.
    Of course, the game is not over until it’s over. There are skirmishes yet to come. But it looks like China will be getting a major portion of its natural gas by pipeline, not by marine routes under the benevolent watch of American naval “protection” services.
    Logically, this means that the US effort in Afghanistan has lost another reason for its being–controlling the pipeline route from Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean. Nonetheless, that will not deter the merchants of death, who have too invested there to give up yet.
    Control of Iran’s vast energy resources now becomes more critical, though the prospects of a non-Pyrrhic military solution are not great.
    In its frustration, the US may also look to stoke tensions in China’s Uighur regions. But two can play that game–the West also has long, unprotected pipelines that run through turbulent territory.
    In the best case, unlikely to happen, the West would fundamentally rethink its approach. Less is more. The path to prosperity is having fewer needs. Conservation and efficient transportation. loathed by Dick Cheney, would be the obvious places to start.


  6. Sean Brooks says:

    I completely agree that people should not take
    delight in Dubai’s woes. I wrote recently that the
    UAE’s success – in a region where violence,
    repression, and destruction dominate the daily
    realities of so many, the success stories coming out
    of the Gulf states – was quite unique over the last
    few decades. Likewise, such success has been overall
    positive for the region. Here is the piece: “Dubai:
    So that a remarkable vision could be realized”


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