Common theme amongst the middle east countries/kingdoms – ‘Modernize but not Westernize’. While I am fine with the ‘not westernize’ bit, a lot of these countries are putting up a farce! Modernize but have laws that restrict freedom of press??
Well Dubai recently has been pushing laws that ‘discourage’ the media from publishing information damaging the economy. Have something to hide? As per public knowledge, Dubai’s foreign currency debt was between $90B – $120B in 2008. Empty skyscrapers, stopped construction cranes and an estimated 50% – 60% drop in real estate prices question the sustainability of the ambitious development plans.
In other reading this weekend, I learnt a few things about Saudi Arabia:
- Saudi Aramco has a valuation of $781B – the largest in the world!
- 15 of the 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001 were Saudi born ( I was aware of this)
- 73% of the population of 24M is under the age of 29
A lot of reading for Energy day on Wednesday.
No picture today.