We here at dubai metblogs have been sitent on the whole issue of DP world taking over P&O, which has created a stir in America because the deal effects Ports in the US, according to the $6.8 Billion buyout of P&O by the dubai based DP World a leader in ship handling and port Operations, control of 22 US port terminals will come under the management of DP World. P&O was the British Empire's giant steam line in its time and now its revenues come not from shipping but from port handling. The irony is that while the british understand that Emire has given way to globalization a lot of people in the US do not.
Lets see what the big deal is.
Critics of the deal in the US say that UAE has links to terrorists prior to 9/11, their main point is that 2 of the 9/11 hijackers were from the UAE, this line of criticism is totally absurd. Richard Reid, the attempted "shoe bomber," was a British citizen, and Jose Padilla, among others, is an American citizen (as was Timothy McVeigh) does that mean America should stop doing business with Britain and suspect every one of its citizens of foul play. The UAE has been a staunch ally in the war on terror, training security forces in Iraq and helping to cut off the flow of money to al Qaeda. The UAE has also provided the Americans with docking facilities for navy ships to refuel and strengthen the supply line for its troops fighting the war on terror. It is among the countries providing Air Force bases to the American Army, what more do the Americans want.
The second main Point is that it would effect security at US ports, DP world is a business, their job is to handle port operations. the responsibility of security is not with P&O neither would it be with DP World but instead with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs. "Nothing changes with respect to security under the contract," said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "The Coast Guard is in charge of security, not the corporation."
Most In the Arab World feel that this deal is not a security issue but rather a racial and religious issue because of the misconceptions that most Americans have with the Arab World. Most Americans do not know much about Dubai & the UAE, but they know it is situated in the Persian Gulf, they know it is an Arab country and thus they feel that it is not safe. I would like to clarify that yes Dubai is in the middle east, it is an arab country, it might have had links to terrorists, but it is one of America's closest ally's on the war against terror. It is a fast developing country with one of the best records in running businesses. Its business undertakings and new projects are unmatched anywhere in the world. It already has billions invested in American businesses. Dubai is westernized Arab country with world class hotels and tourism facilities, Bars and night clubs, an active nightlife, it hosts businesses from all over the world including top companies from the US i.e microsoft, CISCO systems, CNN among the hundreds of others. There are thousands of Americans working in Dubai.
The general public in america has a totally distorted view of what Dubai is, Dubai is not what is being portrayed and we feel hurt at how a business deal is effecting the true sentiments of the people of the UAE.