STAYING AFLOAT goes to Casablanca, Morocco

8 May 2013 During my trip to Morocco last week, I was especially awed by the majestic Hassan II Mosque – a must-see when visiting Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco at a congested 3.2 million residents. The mosque is the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th largest in the world, depending on which …

18th biggest dollar volume trading country in the world is …. The envelope please.

There are approximately 195 countries in the world, although different numbers may pop up depending on the political agenda of the source. Surprisingly, the 42-year old United Arab Emirates, a country the size of the State of Maine in the US, was the 18th largest dollar volume trading country in the world in 2012. The …

Huge desalinized water requirements in the Arabian Gulf countries

The eight water-scarce Arabian Gulf countries – the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran – are among the largest water consumers per capita in the world. Saudi rates 91% higher than the global individual average. Qatar and the UAE are close behind at 83% of the international average per capita. These eight …

Peace carries varied interpretations in the greater Middle East – many incompatible

Editorial: The geo-political bonds that hold many of the greater Middle Eastern countries together today are fragile, as observed as an expat while working in Abu Dhabi for three years. Granted, some of the region’s countries are currently considered politically stable, such as the country in which I lived– the United Arab Emirates. Others are …

World’s tallest skyscraper is under construction

When most Guinness Book of World Records followers believed that the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, would be the tallest man-made structure on the planet for the foreseeable future at 820m (2,717 feet), along comes the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Engineers have begun laying …

Staying Afloat made its way to Qatar last month

Doha looks today like Dubai and Abu Dhabi looked back in 2006-2009. Revenue from Qatar’s natural gas reserves is propelling the country’s phenomenal growth. Qatar recently eclipsed the emirate of Abu Dhabi as the world’s wealthiest per capita thanks to its benevolent Emir and his parliamentarian government. The author stands on Doha’s Corniche marveling at …

Dubai’s renowned spice souk

The Middle East has been a central player in the trade of spices, often transported by camel caravans across the deserts, since at least 2000 BC. Spices have been, and presently are, an integral ingredient in the preparation of Middle Eastern food, much of which has Indian influence. Author’s daughter, Stephanie, is enchanted by the …

Abu Dhabi knows how to promote one of its investments with a splash!

Although this low fly-by by an Etihad wide-body Airbus 340 took place back in November 2009, the day of Abu Dhabi's inaugural Formula One race, the day will always be remembered by the 41,000 F-1 race fans, including myself, who packed the grandstands. Pride filled their hearts as Abu Dhabi’s national airline displayed its noble …

Staying Afloat again made its way back to Abu Dhabi from California last November

The author stands in front of Aldar’s iconic, coin-shaped, futuristic office building that was completed in its Al Raha Beach waterfront mega-development in 2010. This first-ever circular design of its kind in the Middle East was, of no surprise, an architectural award-winner. View more photos on http://www.panoramio.com/photo/55100769  

Etihad, Emirates and Qatar airlines consistently rank on the Top Ten List of World’s Best Airlines

Abu Dhabi takes personal service to the next level. So does Dubai and neighboring Qatar. Abu Dhabi’s national airline – Etihad Airways, and Dubai’s airline – Emirates, and Qatar’s national airline – Qatar Airways – consistently rank on Skytrax’s list of Top Ten Best Airlines in the World. Skytrax is a premier UK-based aviation research …

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