Sunday, November 29, 2009


drawing by marguerita

E arly this month, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum told its critics to “shut up” and also asked them to “do their homework”, while addressing an investment conference organised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the Prime Minister and Vice-President of the UAE, while stressing the close ties between Dubai and Abu Dhabi —
Dubai drew a $10 billion emergency loan from the UAE central bank recently — said “I just want to tell these people who nag about Dubai and Abu Dhabi to shut up.” Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE, which includes seven emirates, including Dubai. However, it was a well known fact that the oil-rich Abu Dhabi would never tolerate a phenomenon that any other Emirates growing politically or financially powerful than it.“
This came as a big shock,” said Fahd Iqbal, an analyst at EFG-Hermes, an investment bank focused on the Middle East. Although Mr. Iqbal said he held to the view that Dubai in the end would avoid default, he acknowledged that the measure had severely rattled confidence in Dubai. “One of the main issues now is of credibility and the potential impact on future fund-raising, which could have knock-on effects on building and infrastructure plans for Dubai and the United Arab Emirates,” he said.

Dubai in Arabic means young Desert Locust!! Why is it called that way? Well this area was full of Locust as recent as 50+ years ago. Actually Dubai area was known for Grass hopper to an extent that there is a very old Arabic Proverb (may be pre-Islamic era or early Islamic period), when some body wants to describe something as plentiful he would say "like the Locust of Dubai”.

The Stem Deb/Dub in Semitic languges has lots of connections to insects and animals, it also means to crawl or walk and It is interesting for you to know that Debroha, the Biblical name, which means a bee in Ancient Caananite language (Dabbor in Arabic is also a type of bee)

Ok I will digress but you might be interested to know that in Arabic language lots of Animal names come from this stem ( db ) for example

Daabah: Animals in general
Dubb : Bear
Dhabb: Lizard
Dhaby (like in Abo Dhaby, UAE capitol): Gazelle
Dabbor :bee
Thobab: Fly (insect)
Theeb : Wolf
Dhaba' : Hayena

Dubai - Desert Locust
Desert Locust
The pesky insects not only disappeared from Dubai but almost from the entire Arabian Peninsula. The insects used to invade the area from Africa across the Red Sea! Why aren't they around any more! I don't know. You might be surprised to know that people used to eat em!! I asked my grand father how it tasted like. Well his answer was (No not chicken) but shrimps. I have to admit that 30 years ago during a fluke, aberrant, mini Locust invasion of the surrounding area I saw a plate full of Locust? How was it prepared? Well it was boiled and NO I did NOT eat any of it. Any way I guess in the early 20th Century and time prior to that those Locust ate nothing but clean desert vegetation and where probably a source of healthy proteins.

I suppose I am not sure- that people in the deserts of Africa do still eat these Locust, Please feel free to correct me if you think that I am wrong.

If you want to know more about Locust read

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