Inside the Middle East
January 4, 2010
Posted: 759 GMT

By Simeon Kerr,

Check out side-by-side comparisons between Burj Dubai and the world's other tallest towers

Dubai (FT) - Dubai will on Monday open the world's largest tower as the city seeks to revitalise its economy after 2009's annus horribilis was capped by a debt crisis and a second $10bn bail-out loan from neighbouring Abu Dhabi.

The government hopes the unveiling of the 160-plus storey structure will pierce the cloud that has lingered over Dubai since it was forced to accept further financial support from the capital of the United Arab Emirates and investors turned their backs on the city, once the darling of international finance.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, after navigating the worst crisis in his four years as ruler of Dubai, will lead a day of celebrations to unveil the residential, hotel and office building, which offers views across the Gulf to Iran.

For a city founded on superlatives, the achievement of delivering Burj Dubai's half-mile high tower in six years is triggering a wave of hyperbole that has not been silenced by last month's crisis of confidence over the city's $100bn debt mountain. The official news agency called it "another unique achievement by Dubai to be added to the pages of humanity's modern history".

Shares in Emaar, the tower's developer, rose almost 8 per cent to Dh4.16 on the optimistic sentiment, helping Dubai's bellwether stock recover to pre-crisis levels after plunging to Dh2.56 a month ago.

About 90 per cent of units have been sold in Burj Dubai, which will welcome inhabitants to the Giorgio Armani-designed residencies from February, while the world's first Armani Hotel will open in March.

Prices in the tower - which were the highest in the Dubai property market when the residences went on sale in 2007 - have held up in spite of the 50 per cent crash across the city, including the surrounding developments of Downtown Burj Dubai.
For Dubai's defenders and critics, Burj Dubai is either an engineering marvel or a stark reminder of the commercial hub's excesses.

Roy Cherry, analyst with Shuaa Capital in Dubai, said the truth lies somewhere between the two. "It is a fantastic building and a great achievement for Emaar, but Dubai's dreams and challenges remain greater than any one building."

Last month's bail-out loan eased default concerns, but Dubai's reputation as a global financial centre remains tarnished after the sloppy restructuring of Dubai World's $22bn distressed debt pile, a process that will dominate much of the outlook for 2010.
Economists say Dubai has fallen into a painful recession after years of 15 per cent growth came to a halt as the real estate bubble burst. The simultaneous rise in capacity, carried over from the city's grandiose boom-time plans, is now squeezing margins and bringing down prices.

That may be painful for investors who bought into the mirage of the city's ever-ascending spiral, but hope can be found in a more affordable Dubai underpinning the city's allure as a services hub for the affluent Gulf region.

As the region's prospects brighten with the rising oil price, Emaar - which has retained 10 per cent of the tower's units for sale in the coming months - is betting that Dubai's infrastructure, epitomised by Burj Dubai and the newly opened Metro network, will allow it to ride a recovery and shake off its debt woes.

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A. Smith, Oregon   January 4th, 2010 7:45 pm ET

Dubai's 100 billion dollar debt. wouldn't even equal the money squeezed out of American taxpayers, federal projects and state services for the War in Iraq for a single year. And American taxpayers have footed the bill entirely for the past 5 years and counting.

If American taxpayers would have poured that 1 Trillion into alternative energy, we could pack up our ideals of planting American democracy's across Middle Eastern countrys, say goodbye to fighting proxy Oil wars for Saudi Arabia and PROSPERED.

Happy days   January 5th, 2010 1:17 am ET

Earlier today, the Daily Telegraph reported that a truck of explosives and weapons managed to slip past a surveillance operation in Sana’a, Yemen.

“The revelations came as western diplomatic missions in Sana’a went into lockdown following threats from al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate, which has taken responsibility for a failed attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day,” the newspaper reported. “The identity of those who smuggled the weapons contingent into Sana’a has not been disclosed, and it is unclear if its disappearance is linked to al-Qaeda’s increasingly powerful Yemeni branch, al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.”

“Diplomats dismissed speculation that the vanishing convoy could presage an imminent attack on Western interests in the city.”

An attack on “Western interests” or an embassy or two would play right into the hands of the U.S. and Britain.

Gordon Brown has said he will convene a summit of world leaders on the Yemen problem at the end of this month.

In the United States the corporate media continues to beat the war drums and spread absurd hysteria about a supposed al-Qaeda faction in Yemen. We are expected to believe a rag-tag gang of terrorists in one of the world’s poorest countries pose a threat to freedom-loving Americans the same way a sanctions-ravaged Iraq posed a threat after Saddam ganged up with Osama and al-Qaeda — one of the more colorful lies spun by the warmongering and Muslim-hating neocons.

Last October authorities in Yemen busted a terrorist cell accused of attacking the U.S. embassy the previous month. According to a reported filed with the state-run Saba news agency, the group had links to Israeli intelligence. “The report, quoting an unnamed source, said investigations and data retrieved from a computer seized from the cell, showed there was correspondence between the Islamic Jihad group’s deputy leader Bassam Abdullah Fadhel Al-Haidari and an Israeli intelligence agency,” the Indo-Asian News Service said.

The Islamic Jihad, reported to have links with the Al Qaeda, had claimed responsibility for the attack on the US embassy in Sana’a Sep 17, which had claimed 18 lives, including that of an Indian woman.

Saba quoted the source as saying that the correspondence between the two sides included a request from the Israeli side to implement terrorist attacks inside Yemen.

“An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said the Yemeni president’s statement was without foundation,” the BBC reported. “To believe that Israel would create Islamist cells in Yemen is really far-fetched. This is yet another victory for the proponents of conspiracy theories,” said Igal Palmor.

In fact, Israel has a long and sordid history of false flag attacks.

In 1950, a series of deadly attacks in Iraq were attributed to Israeli intelligence.

Four years later, Israeli false flag operatives exploded bombs in the British and American cultural centers and libraries in Cairo and blamed it on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Following the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel supported and encouraged Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Hamas in order to counter the influence of a secular PLO. “Israel started Hamas. It was a project of Shin Bet, which had a feeling that they could use it to hem in the PLO,” said Charles Freeman, a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia. A former senior CIA official speaking to UPI described Israel’s support for Hamas as “a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative.”

During the Six Day War, Israel attacked the USS Liberty and attempted to blame it on Egypt.

In the early 1970s, Israel teamed up with Jordan to support Muslim Brotherhood terrorism against Syria.

In the 1980s, Israel conducted a bombing campaign in Europe to counter A. Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation network, which helped Pakistan build a nuclear weapon.

Oded Yinon’s paper, “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties,” published in the winter of 1982 issue of Kivunim, suggested Arab States should be destroyed from within by exploiting their internal religious and ethnic tensions.

In September of 2000, India’s largest news weekly reported that a Mossad attempt to infiltrate al-Qaeda failed when undercover agents were stopped on their way to Bangladesh by Indian customs officials.

A year later, the Army School of Advanced Military Studies in the United States said the following about Israeli intelligence: “Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target US forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act.”

In 2005, US Intelligence officers reported that insurgents in Iraq used Beretta 02 pistols minus serial numbers. “Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as US authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance,” the UPI reported.

In 2002, officials from the Palestinian Authority accused Mossad of setting up a fake al-Qaeda terrorist cell in Gaza. Then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said that Israel had set up the mock cell in order to justify attacks in Palestinian areas, according to the BBC.

“Not one big success of the Mossad has ever been made public,” Ephraim Halevy, head of the Mossad from 1998 to 2002, told 60 Minutes in 2003.

The U.S. also has a record of using and planning false flag attacks, most notably Operation Northwoods.

Andreas von Bülow, former German Minister for Research and Technology and a long-time member of German parliament, said in 2002 the attacks on September 11, 2001, were a false flag attack. “Whoever wants to understand the CIA’s methods, has to deal with its main task of covert operations: Below the level of war, and outside international law, foreign states are to be influenced by inciting insurrections or terrorist attacks, usually combined with drugs and weapons trade, and money laundering,” he told Tagesspiegal.

In addition to its long history of covertly overthrowing governments around the world, the CIA plotted false flag attacks in Europe to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran (according to CIA agent Robert Baer).

CIA operatives and patsies are legendary, as Webster Tarpley documents in his book, 9/11 Synthetic Terrorism: Made in USA. (Tarpley told Russia Today that the failed attack on a US passenger jet traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit was a set-up provocation controlled by US intelligence.)

If an embassy or other Western interests are bombed in the next few days in Yemen, a finger should be pointed at the CIA, Mossad, or both, not the rag-tag supposed al-Qaeda franchise operating in the country.

On January 3, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry declared the threat posed by al-Qaeda is “exaggerated” by the U.S.

Finally, it should be noted that al-Qaeda was established by the CIA in Yemen, as CIA contractor Billy Waugh admitted in his autobiography. “I worked right there with these al-Qaeda operatives,” Waugh wrote in Hunting the Jackal with Tim Keown.

University rector   January 5th, 2010 8:13 am ET

Happy days are here again with a cut-and-paste attack on Jews

What this has to do with the C=Dubai tower escapes me

but the Israel bashers will use any opportunity to spread their venomous hatred against Jews

miriam   January 5th, 2010 10:37 am ET

Happy Days,

So we have another cut and paste conspiracy theorist on this blog.

The list of lies and false accusations could go on for pages and pages.

Just to pick out one of the rediculous comments, Hamas is an organization that was a branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
Its strength in Gaza increased after 1967 when Israel, through its generous policies on freedom of worship for all religions, allowed the construction of new mosques, a right that had been denied to the Gazans during their Egyptian rule. Israel, believing that the movement's religious emphasis and social activities would provide an alternative to the terrorist influence of the PLO, allowed the organization to develop, only to discover , some years later,that they had taken advantage of Israel's good-will and were little more than another terrorist group.

To claim that Israel "started" Hamas is a distortion of the facts and a way of twisting the mistaken good intentions Israel had for helping the Palestinians, suggesting that it was some sinister plan.

Similarly, all the above myths are propagandist attempts to distort reality, bring down the west and encourage and accelerate the global jihad.

Justa Thot   January 5th, 2010 11:44 pm ET

When I saw the fireworks on that big beautiful metallic Christmas tree called the Burj Khalifa. I thought to myself, wow so Dubai is definitely a cut from the rest of the Arab world....they just lit up their own Christmas tree. Trust me it looked like a brilliantly lit Christmas tree. They just need to do it annually and on Christmas Eve. Osama....are you watching. HA!

Carlos   January 6th, 2010 3:32 pm ET

Happy Days,

Is there something in your Cut N Paste dissertaion that is frelated to the subject of the blog??

Please explain!!

CNN moderators should spend some time moderating to determine that the blog postings conform to the CCN Comment Policy -i.e.–conforming to the subbject of the blog !

eddie   January 7th, 2010 12:37 am ET

Happy days, thanks for the interesting article. Carlos and I have read it and we agree with you, but please remeber this is blog is about the worlds tallest tower. And its interesting the worlds tallest tower is in the middle east. But will they also bring down their own tower to start a foriegn war over oil?

Carlos   January 7th, 2010 12:13 pm ET


what a stretch !!!!

And who is this "WE" you speak of, eddie??? Doy you represent more than one person on this blog??? Or have just assigned yourself as the lead spokesperson for others ??

Why would they want to start a war over oil??

Do you believe that all people in the ME are the same???

Do you also believe it is the people of the Emirates who have been leading the terrorist agenda throughout the world?

YOu need to educate yourself if you hope to have a meaningful conversation on the subject.

The radicals in the ME have the perfect reason to start a war already. It's contained in their radical interpretation of the Quran. They only need to continue to do what they currently doing throughout the ME and the western world.

Filipe   January 7th, 2010 1:26 pm ET


Are you of the impression that the citizens of the UAE had something to do with 911??

It's seems as though it's the people who know the least about the citizens and culture of the ME that tends to lump them all into one group.

Try sticking to the subject of blog instead disseminating hatred and racial bigotry.

eddie   January 8th, 2010 6:24 pm ET

Filipe, Carlos you are getting confused. Go back to my first blog entry, read it carefully. Think about it and research some more. That should clear things up.

But Carlos, Filipe and Miriam lets keep on fighting for a free Palestine and an end to middle east oppression perpetrated by Israel.

p.s. what religion do they have in Israel? are they Christian? I'm not sure what the read in church but they surely dont follow god or they would stop attacking Palestinian families immediately.

Carlos   January 11th, 2010 4:02 pm ET


You seem have the market cornered when it comes to confusion. There's no one else that remotely in your league of mass confusion.

Palestine is free!

eddie   January 12th, 2010 10:55 am ET

Thanks Carlos, lets keep fighting for a free Palestine and to end the terror state of Israel. Together we will beat the mass confussion and expose the truth about those radicle Zionists.

Mohit Lodha   January 12th, 2010 8:32 pm ET

Guys check this video out

Dubai, UAE. January, 2010 – The celebrations and excitement surrounding the opening of Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building and the pride of the nation, continue. In a tribute to the momentous occasion, Oreo has created a stunning simulation of the iconic skyscraper standing at 4meters tall. Be a part of the festivities and head over to Lulu’s Al Barsha for a glimpse and captivating photo shoot between 5pm to 10pm of the masterpiece from January 3rd to January 9th.

miriam   January 13th, 2010 12:35 pm ET


Are you aka Ahmadinajad who spews out the same rhetoric and enjoys beating the masses?

Carlos   January 13th, 2010 5:50 pm ET


No fighting required-Palestine is free-you're just confused!

Filipe   January 13th, 2010 8:49 pm ET


What are you talking about- Palestine is free. It's just that the Palestinians aren't free to wander Israel or any sovereign country unless they have the proper ID, Passport, and Visa.

That's no different than you or me. I can't visit the US without a passport and a valid visa.--and you can't come here !!!

So what are you whining about ??

So free what???

John A   January 14th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

Carlos / Filipe you are truly ignorant. Palestine is not free.

Is East Jerusalem controlled by Palestinians, NO it is not.

Does the West Bank have Palestinian sovereignty, NO it does not.

Was Gaza placed under an Israeli siege after the first democratically elected Gaza government was installed, YES it was.

Filipe / Carlos, how would you like Jewish freedom defined by Nazis as being free to walk around concentration camps to prevent them infecting German society? Filipe/ Carlos your ideas of freedom for Palestinians are no better. So I must ask the question again Filipe, are you Hitlers illegitimate child?

Filipe   January 16th, 2010 3:43 pm ET

John A.

Why is it that all you do is whine and complain???

Gaza is free !!!! They can do whatever they want in their own territory !!

They just can wander into Israel or Egypt without a proper ID/visa/passport !! How is that any different than you or I or anyone else on the face of the planet ??

If Israel and Egypt choose to restrict the traffic to and from their country- they have the right to do so as a sovereign nation.

It's no different than the where you live in the US--border traffic is controlled and if the US decided to close it's borders-it has the right to do so.

The West Bank is governed in accordance to the Oslo Accords which the Palestinians agreed to.

East Jerusalem belongs to Israel as a result of the six day war with Jordan. TFB for your luck ! Sorry, but you lost ! You get a "do over" when it comes to war and end results !!

So all your whining and crying will never change the outcome !

Filipe   January 17th, 2010 3:35 pm ET


Maybe you offer the radical Islamofacists a place in your neighborhood- or your home. A place close to your wife, boyfriend and children since you seem to be so concerned for their well being.

They prove daily to the outside world that they should not be free to mix with the general population of other countries.

This certainly is the view and opinion of the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon !!! Otherwise they wouldn't require them to live the refugee camps. And these are their Arab brothers !!!

Go Figure !!!

miriam   January 18th, 2010 9:44 am ET

John A,

Border restrictions were tightened when Hamas forcibly seized control from the PA and refused to uphold the agreements that had been signed between Israel and the PA, Egypt and the PA and the EU.

Carlos   January 18th, 2010 12:19 pm ET

John A,

Palestine is free-– the Palis can do whatever they want as long as they do it in their own territory. They kill each other everyday, how much more free can you get??

Glenda   September 22nd, 2012 4:58 pm ET

Google NSDAP Programme 1920 Note any similarities beeewtn your answers and their platform?No because in 1920 nobody in GERMANY was talking about the American Wall street dufusDamn are you ignorant, you write something asking for predetermined answers and DON'T even fucking READ themSame bashing of corporations, I didn't say corporations son,I said wall street scammers, and the greedy upper echelons who have steered the corps into crashing, ripping off the workers for their greed uber fucking dumb you can't even read the responses before you pull another hemorrhoid response outa yer ass eh fly boy wash outsame enemy in some cases (You do say Zionists instead of Jews .. I am sure some Good Germans said the same thing not all Jews are bad but Zionism is ..')Never said Zionists or Jews YOU DID I said the State of Israel, which is a country with a government NOT a religion idiotOh I almost forgot to ask one other question Do you think your political opponents should be arrested for the good of the country' but youve answered that elsewhereNo, not all of them, . only the ones who either advocate violence or actually practice it.Which is already the law, even if it is not properly enforced.

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