Friday, July 07, 2006

Deciphering Dubai

I was having a discussion with my father and his brother the other day about cities, and one asked how Dubai had managed to do so well considering it hardly had any seed money of oil, something quite similiar to Singapore. My uncle said something quite interesting, Dubai's success was thanks to Nehru and Shastri. That got me reading up a bit.

So here's how it worked. Nehru in his often stated brilliance imposed severe restrictions on the trade and price of Gold in India. The sheik of Dubai had free trade in Gold, and was well, a smuggler's paradise. Combine the two and you have possibly the largest movement of illegal gold trade in the 20th century, between India and Dubai. Figures, sadly, aren't exactly freely available for the sheer amount of trade that took place since it was all kind of illegal. But figure it out for yourself. Dubai has about 1/20th the Oil reserves of Abu Dhabi and was pretty much a creek with a palace 30 years back. They started building some serious infrastructure post that, and the city now speaks for itself.

It's kinda ironic when you think about it, though. Everyone curses the brain drain, and how the best talent goes towards developing the states. Even more criminal (quite literally so actually) is that we also seem to have funded the development of a very successful city state buy buying copious quantities of Gold in black money from there.

The world never ceases to amuse me.


Anonymous said...

You should give the Dubaians more credit than the stereotypical "gold smuggling". You should come here and see for yourself the keen business sense, discipline and commercial acumen to appreciate the growth and progress this place has made. Mumbai and Dubai (doosra mumbai) are sister cities and maybe share a common it's not fair to blame the Dubaians alone.
This place is an established port like Hong Kong or Mumbai and thus is definitely as prosperous as these cities.

- an Indian who lives here

Anonymous said...

Following the mumbai blasts, one of the first intelligence leads being followed by police was calls made to dubai at and around the time of the blast. There is no doubt in my mind that dubai has grown at mumbai's cost, and is covertly supporting anti-india groups. The diff in the underworld in dubai and mumbai is, they are chased in mumbai but honoured in dubai. ETA group led by Abdul Rehman is a known crook from south,the shetty brothers of mumbai-west of which one (sharad ) was popped down by rival gangs in dubai, are well known hoteliers in dubai, so is Iqbal mirchi, etc not mention 'D' and co. I had a friend who worked for Emirates and he claimed to have seen his own indian collegues – marathis, concealing gold on the aircrafts flying to mumbai. I had been there recently on a holiday, that place is still the same.
Most of the money coming there is laundered, the US lobby allows it as long as their interests are protected. America has a large contingent of covert operators snopping on Iran, in this country and Emirates has been a big customer of Boeing, one of its largest orders was placed immediately after 9/11, obviously to deflect uncle sams anger at allowing the 9/11 funds to be routed through dubai. However, how is americas gain now turning into India's loss, these very aircrafts are being deployed all over india to lift traffic at the cost of india based airlines. P Patel in no different from Nehru and shastri on this count as his restriction on the pvt airlines from india flying to ME is dirrectly benefitting dubai through EK. It sucks to see indians bending over backwards in dubai to scrape a living and the local sheikhs and caucasian expats having a ball, at the same time these sheikhs use their profits made from trade with india to fund or buy protection from these terror groups. These funds end up with anti-india forces. Dxb is no hkg or Singapore it is dubious city state. It is still heavily dependent on India and Indian labour for its survival its high time the media in India start exposing this place. The feared job loss to Indians is misplaced as the demise of dubai will be india’s gain.
Its high time a boycott of these anti-india forces is started.\07\12\story_12-7-2006_pg1_6

Anuraag Sanghi said...

My theory is that the Western powers did us in. Consider ...

1. India is already the largest gold reserve in the world ( The west was using paper currency to dominate the world. India has been reputed to be sink of precious metals in the world for 2000 years.

2. Nehru distrusted (due to a 1930's run-in) Indian industrialists and businessmen. Hence, any anti-industry suggestion made (even by the west) was welcome.

3. Thus for 50 years Indian consumption for gold was controlled - which has given the west and the Chinese a major advantage. (

But never mind .. Indian brains will get over it ... more important is the safety aspect ... (