Plans are underway in Abu Dhabi for the world’s largest permanent sculpture

The word is out. The US$340,000,000 Mastaba will be constructed in Abu Dhabi entirely from - are you ready? - 410,000 multicolored, empty oil barrels. Why? Because. The 150m (492 feet) tall and 225m (738 feet) wide, flat-topped pyramid attraction was designed by Bulgarian-born artist Christo. The colossal sculpture will be taller than St. Peter's …

UAE’s new $4.2 bil crude oil pipeline bypasses Straits of Hormuz

In a move to counter Iran’s geo-political threat to disrupt oil exports through the vulnerable Straits of Hormuz in the event of a military conflict between Iran and the West, the UAE began pumping crude oil for export in July 2012 through a new overland pipeline that bypasses the Straits. The 380 km (236 mi.) …

Expats comprise 84% of the UAE’s population

The British left their protective influence in the UAE in 1968, but its impact and population remains sizeable. As of 2012, 100,000 Brits live, work and study in the UAE.Today, Brits comprise the largest skilled labor force in the country. Approximately 84% of the country’s population are non-Nationals, or expatriates, both skilled and unskilled (based …

The magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

Back in Abu Dhabi, I was excited to again visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest and inspiring. Capable of accommodating 41,000 worshippers, the stunning mosque features 82 domes, 1,000 columns, extensive marble sculptures, the world’s largest hand-knotted Iranian carpet, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers, including one of the world’s largest …

Education is in the forefront of furthering “emiratization.”

The emirate of Abu Dhabi is on a mission to incorporate more Emiratis into the workplace and reduce its reliance on expats to further the advancement of their own people to lead the country into fully-emerged status. Higher education programs for Emirati students are undergoing changes to become more comprehensive in order to accelerate the …

Construction to begin in early 2013 on Louvre Abu Dhabi

On a recent trip back to Abu Dhabi, it was announced that the first Louvre outside of Paris will soon begin construction in the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island, showing that the oil-rich emirate is still ahead of much of the world’s economic woes. The joint venture between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France …

Renewed Enthusiasm for Dubai Property

While visiting the UAE last week, I noticed that Dubai appears to be experiencing renewed growth in its residential property sector. October 18, 2012, San Francisco ~ Although not out of the woods yet, Dubai is showing the first solid signs of a mini-recovery in projects developed by reputable companies. “Safe haven” status, improved liquidity, …

Formula One comes to Yas Marina

I'm pleased to see the marina, whose development I oversaw, once again the focal point of Abu Dhabi's Formula One Grand Prix race. A beautiful photo of the marina can be seen here: http://www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com/en-gb/plan-your-visit/yas-island-new.aspx Read more about the building of this luxury yacht marina in my book.

Paperless classrooms in the UAE

Paperless classrooms are replacing textbooks in the UAE with an already popular systematic mobile product - the iPad. The country's goal is to place a tablet in the hands of every university student within four years. A partnership with Apple in California was formed last April and includes training services for both teachers and students.  …

Abu Dhabi’s Oil Reserves

Abu Dhabi is one of seven emirates that compose the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi makes up 88% of the country's land area, and sits on 95% of the UAE's proven crude oil reserves, a number that represents 92.9 billion barrels. The emirate's oil reserves present in 2012 are forecast to last another 99 years …