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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04ABUDHABI1016 2004-04-06 11:56:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abu Dhabi
Cable title:  

UAE: TALK ABOUT TOWN

Tags:   EAIR ECON EPET PGOV PREL SOCI TC 
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Diana T Fritz  03/15/2007 02:59:07 PM  From  DB/Inbox:  Search Results

Cable 
Text:                                                                      
                                                                           
      
CONFIDENTIAL

SIPDIS
TELEGRAM                                           April 06, 2004


To:       No Action Addressee                                    

Action:   Unknown                                                

From:     AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI (ABU DHABI 1016 - ROUTINE)         

TAGS:     EAIR, ECON, EPET, PGOV, PREL, SOCI                     

Captions: None                                                   

Subject:  UAE: TALK ABOUT TOWN                                   

Ref:      None                                                   
_________________________________________________________________
C O N F I D E N T I A L        ABU DHABI 01016

SIPDIS
CXABU:
    ACTION: ECON 
    INFO:   AMB DCM POL P/M 
Laser1:
    INFO:   FCS 

DISSEMINATION: ECON
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: DCM: RALBRIGHT
DRAFTED: ECON:CCRUMPLER; POL/
CLEARED: ECON: OJOHN; POL:SRADDANT; CGD: JDAVIS

VZCZCADI562
RR RUEHC RUEHZM RUCPDOC RHEBAAA RUEAIIA RHEFDIA
RUCJACC
DE RUEHAD #1016/01 0971156
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 061156Z APR 04
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3843
INFO RUEHZM/GCC COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUCJACC/USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 001016 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/RA, NEA/ARP, INR/EC, EB/IEP, EB/CBA
USDOE FOR INT'L AFFAIRS - COBURN, ALSO CALIENDO
USDOC FOR 1000/OC/
USDOC FOR 4520/ITA/IEP/ONE
USDOC FOR 4530/ITA/MAC/ONE/DGUGLIELMI
4500/ITA/MAC/DAS/WILLIAMSON
3131/CS/OIO/ANESA

E.O. 12958: DECL 04/06/09
TAGS: EAIR ECON EPET PGOV PREL SOCI TC
SUBJECT: UAE: TALK ABOUT TOWN

REF: ABU DHABI 5076



1. (U) Classified by Deputy Chief of Mission Richard A.
Albright, for reasons 1.5 (B) and (D).



2. (U) The "Talk About Town" series by the U.S. Mission in
the UAE -- Embassy Abu Dhabi and Consulate General Dubai --
is provided on a periodic basis, and intended to report on
local business atmospherics and commercial developments in
the UAE. Although uncorroborated by UAE officialdom and
anecdotal in nature, the cables provide Washington
audiences with the information we hear frequently in the
majlises and living rooms throughout the UAE.



--------------------------


Shaykhly Shenanigans


--------------------------





3. (C) The General Manager (please protect) of the UAEG-
owned power plant at Shweihat told Econoff that he expects
brownouts throughout the UAE this summer. He says that the
Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Authority (ADWEA) is
pressuring his company, U.S.-based CMS Energy, to finish
construction of the plant in spite of ADWEA's
acknowledgment that it solely is to blame for the delay
(see ref for details). Despite the acute shortage of
electricity in the UAE, the CMS executive understands that
Shaykh Sultan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan reportedly has ordered
the destruction of the 192 MW Mirfa power plant -- a
facility commissioned in 1995 about 170 kilometers outside
of Abu Dhabi city -- because it blocks the view of the sea
from his nearby palace.



--------------------------


Mayhem In The Souk


--------------------------





4. (U) A recent squabble in the Abu Dhabi Old Souk turned
into a full-blown mob fight that raged for more than half
an hour before police intervened. According to press
reports, a customer bought a bottle of perfume from a souk
dealer. Another souk dealer selling a similar product
questioned the customer about the price and quality of the
perfume. The two merchants began arguing when the second
merchant told the customer she should return the perfume
and demand a refund of her money. The fight turned into a
mob scene as other traders joined in; one participant was
taken to the hospital with a broken arm. Another combatant
bumped into a jewelry store window, which triggered an
alarm and notified the police. The Ministry of Economy WTO
Office Director subsequently told Econoff that, ironically,
the perfume that started the fight was a cheap imitation of
a famous name brand; both merchants subsequently were
arrested on IPR violations and the perfume destroyed.



--------------------------


Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto


--------------------------





5. (U) The UAE English-language newspapers gave front-page
coverage to the Qatari Government's decision to use robots
as camel jockeys in some of last week's races. The UAEG
has worked in recent years to ban underage camel jockeys
and implement regulations cracking down on the smuggling of
children to the UAE to be used as jockeys. When Poloff
mentioned the article to the MFA Americas Desk Officer, she
jokingly posited that the UAEG probably would receive
complaints from animal rights activists if the local camel
races begin using robo-jockeys. On a more serious note,
the UAEG official commented that the idea was an
interesting mix of the "old and new" -- an old tradition,
updated with new technology.



--------------------------


Dubai Bankers Compare Notes


--------------------------





6. (C) For the last several months, a group of seven or
eight compliance officers from Dubai's major banks has been
meeting informally (and presumably without the knowledge of
the UAE Central Bank) to discuss compliance issues. This
group discusses "pan-bank" compliance issues and shares
information and experience, such as comparing notes on
suspicious transaction reports (STRs) they have filed with
the Central Bank. This group includes a representative
from each of Dubai's largest banks -- except for National
Bank of Dubai and HSBC, possibly because of concerns about
the group being outside of the Central Bank's purview.
Deputy Chairman of HSBC David Hodgkinson, however, told
Dubai PolEconoff that he has "no objection" to HSBC's
sending someone to these informal meetings from now on, and
had recently told his compliance officer just that.

Wahba