Raissa's Feed
Nov 8, 2009

Saudis claim gains from Yemen rebels

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said it had regained control of territory seized by Yemeni rebels in an incursion last week, but the rebels denied the claim and said Yemeni villages were being bombed heavily.

Saudi Arabia launched air strikes on rebels in northern Yemen last week after Shi’ite Muslim insurgents crossed the border and said they had seized an area called Jabal Dukhan.

Nov 8, 2009

Saudis claim gains from Yemen rebels, rebels deny it

DUBAI, Nov 8 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said it had regained control of territory seized by Yemeni rebels in an incursion last week, but the rebels denied the claim and said Yemeni villages were being bombed heavily.

Saudi Arabia launched air strikes on rebels in northern Yemen last week after Shi’ite Muslim insurgents crossed the border and said they had seized an area called Jabal Dukhan.

The rebels on Sunday denied they had lost control of Jabal Dukhan and said the kingdom’s offensive was continuing, with Yemeni villages the target of heavy bombing.

The world’s top oil exporter has become increasingly anxious about instability in Yemen, which is facing a Shi’ite insurgency in the north, separatist sentiment in the south and a growing threat from resurgent al Qaeda fighters.

"The situation is calm … especially in Jabal Dukhan, of which full control has been regained," Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz, assistant minister for defence and aviation, said on Saturday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Prince Khaled said three members of the Saudi security forces were killed and 15 wounded in fighting on the Saudi-Yemeni border.

Four Saudi soldiers were missing, Prince Khaled said, but he denied they had been taken prisoner. He said Saudi security forces had arrested several rebels.

Instructions from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah specified that any rebel caught on the Saudi side of the border would be arrested, Prince Khaled said, and the kingdom "has not, and will not interfere inside Yemeni borders".

The rebels, referred to as Houthis after the clan of their leader Abdel-Malik al-Houthi, said on Friday they had captured some Saudi soldiers.

"What is being said about Saudi Arabia seizing Jabal Dukhan is entirely false," a rebel spokesman was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the Houthis’ website, adding that the Saudis had not taken control of the area.

Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television on Sunday reported that Saudi military operations near the Saudi-Yemeni border were still in progress.

According to David Bender of the Eurasia Group consultancy, disorder in Yemen was the most serious regional threat to the stability of Saudi Arabia, but the kingdom was wary of becoming too deeply involved in the conflict.

"A large Saudi ground invasion is unlikely; it would be extremely messy and Riyadh’s objective is to support the Yemeni government, not crush the Houthis," Bender wrote in a research note published on Thursday.


In Sanaa, the Yemeni government said one of its fighter planes crashed in a rebel stronghold in the north of the country on Sunday because of a technical fault.

However, the rebels said they shot it down in Saada, a mountainous province where most recent fighting has taken place.

In the past few weeks the Houthis have accused Saudi Arabia of allowing Yemeni forces to use its territory as a base to launch attacks against them and threatened to respond.

Houthi rebels first took up arms against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government in 2004, citing political, economic and religious marginalisation by the Saudi- and Western-backed administration.

The conflict intensified in August when Yemen’s army launched Operation Scorched Earth.

Aid groups, which have been given limited access to the northern provinces, say up to 150,000 people have fled their homes since 2004. (Additional reporting by Mohamed Sudam in Sanaa; editing by Andrew Roche)

Oct 29, 2009

Gulf stocks dive, taking cue from global declines

DUBAI, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Gulf Arab markets tumbled on
Thursday as investors reacted to weak earnings and a decline in
global stocks, with United Arab Emirates property shares among
the hardest hit.

Both Dubai’s main index <.DMFGI> and the Abu Dhabi benchmark
<.ADI> posted their largest one-day declines since mid-August,
falling 3.9 percent and 2.4 percent respectively. Qatar <.QSI>
also posted its biggest one-day reverse since July.

Oct 28, 2009

Arab states face education crisis, risk instability

DUBAI (Reuters) – Arab states could face political and social instability if they underinvest in the education of their young, expanding populations, a regional education report said on Wednesday.

A lack of political will rather than insufficient resources are at the root of the region’s inadequate education systems, with governments spending on security rather than education in a bid to control their people.

Oct 27, 2009

Dubai is super enough, thanks

Dubai has sufficient superlatives – record-setting landmarks unique in their size, cost or concept — to last it for the next decade – so enough already, says Deyaar CEO Markus Giebel.

“I endorse having the tallest building in the world, the first seven-star hotel in the world, the palm,” he says. “What I don’t endorse are attempts to now outdo these superlatives…they are going to last us the next 10 to 15 years.”

Oct 27, 2009

DP World sees tough Q4; CFO to join parent firm

DUBAI, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Port operator DP World <DPW.DI>
reported a 6-percent fall in third-quarter container volumes on
Tuesday and said its 2009 results would be in line with market
expectations despite a challenging fourth quarter ahead.

The firm also said its chief financial officer would step
down at its December board meeting and join state-linked parent
company Dubai World as group CFO, adding that no replacement had
yet been found. [ID:nLR395474]

Oct 20, 2009
via MacroScope

Traffic back on Dubai roads


Dubai’s traffic – the bane of pre-financial crisis life in the city — is back. At rush hour, queues of cars snake along the Gulf Arab boomtown’s highways. But this time, nobody is complaining. At least not yet.For many, the relief felt at the sight of such signs of economic recovery still largely outweighs the annoyance at having to once again spend a good part of their day behind the steering wheel.Dubai taxi drivers can’t believe their luck.Only six months ago, these drivers – most of them men from Pakistan and India – saw the amount of money they were able to send home each month plummet as the global financial crisis drained Dubai’s streets of their usual clients, mostly tourists and business people. Now, while not back to the levels before the slowdown, they say they are earning a decent wage again.Signs that things are picking up are not only to be found on the city’s roads. Dubai’s luxurious malls – home to the world’s largest indoor ski slope and shark-filled aquariums – were often glaringly empty over the past months, but are slowly filling up with shoppers again.Parents say that schools have not seen a slump in enrollments anticipated by those who thought the emirate was going to witness a mass exodus at the end of the school year as expats who had lost their jobs left the country. Remittances to countries such as Lebanon and Jordan have not been as badly hit as many predicted, so the number of redundancies in Dubai may not have been so large.So as Dubai begins to resemble its old, bold and bustling self again, it may be a while yet before its inhabitants, humbled by the sight of their city being reduced almost to a ghost town, feel brave enough to moan about congestion as they did before.