Wednesday, September 26, 2012

26-Sep-12: Dubai, Dubai, Dubai

Happy, busy, rich Dubai
The connection to terrorism (which is the underlying theme of our blog) is not direct, and perhaps does not exist at all. And we are certainly fans of Qantas, one of the most pleasant of the world's major airlines.

But to us there is something disturbing about the reports emerging from, and about, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai is one of those emirates) in light of the extraordinary story of Prof. Cyril Karabus, the distinguished South African medical specialist. We report briefly on it below.

We have not yet seen any of the mainstream media put the quite shocking treatment of 77 year-old Prof. Karabus into a meaningful context. So we offer the following blog post as a contribution to the search for a better understanding of recent events.

From a quick survey of the web, it appears the authorities in Dubai are happy for it to be known [source] as "the shopping capital of the Middle East". But in truth, it has several other characteristics that make it unusual and noteworthy, starting with the fact that its population of 1,771,000 (2009) is made up of 1,370,000 males... and 401,000 females. By the way, only 17% of the population are UAE nationals. Embattled Syrian tyrant and president Bashar al-Assad's only sister, Bushra, whose husband was killed in a July bombing, was reported a few weeks ago to be now living in Dubai with her children according to AFP... but why trouble ourselves with messy Middle East politics? Let the reports speak for themselves.

From the Qantas/Emirates link-up announcement [Image Source]
Global Outrage at Arrest of Prof in Abu Dhabi     
September 24 2012 at 03:23pm | Independent Online, South Africa
By Nontando Mposo
Medical professionals and organisations from around the world have expressed outrage at the arrest of Cape Town’s Professor Cyril Karabus. Karabus, 77, of Claremont, is imprisoned in Abu Dhabi on charges of manslaughter. He was arrested on August 18, while in transit in Dubai to South Africa, from his son’s wedding in Canada. A former professor of paediatrics at UCT, Karabus is an internationally “well-respected medical figure” who specialises in paediatrics and medical oncology. He also headed the oncology and haematology unit at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
While working as a locum 12 years ago at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, he operated on a three-year-old cancer patient who later died of leukaemia. In his absence he was tried and found guilty of manslaughter. His lawyer, Michael Bagraim, said no attempt was made to contact Karabus.
A family member said yesterday letters and e-mails expressing “outrage and support for Karabus’s integrity and reputation” had been received from organisations such as the World Medical Association, the SA Haemophilia Federation, the SA Medical Association, the Western Province blood transfusion service and the School of Child and Adolescent Health at UCT.
Qantas, Emirates seal 'extensive' alliance
Sydney Morning Herald | September 6, 2012
Matt O'Sullivan - Business Reporter
Qantas has inked an alliance agreement with Middle Eastern rival Emirates aimed at stemming the Australian airline's losses on the highly competitive route between Australia and Europe.
After months of negotiations and endless speculation, Qantas today unveiled the terms of a 10-year alliance with Emirates on routes to Europe via Dubai, due to begin next April.
The two carriers plan "a new global aviation partnership", promising customers "a seamless international and Australian network, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and world‐class travel experiences."
"This is the most significant partnership the Qantas Group has ever formed with another airline...
Qantas to call Dubai second home   
By ABC online business reporter Michael Janda
Updated Thu Sep 6, 2012 8:19pm AEST
Qantas and Emirates have confirmed a deal that will see the Australian airline fly to London via Dubai. The 10-year deal will see Qantas shift its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai, including the 'Kangaroo Route', with Qantas to operate daily Airbus A380 flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London via Dubai. Qantas flights will also link up in Dubai with Emirates connections to more than 70 other cities in Europe.
Emirates-Qantas deal: warning over tough justice in stopover city
Sydney Morning Herald | September 20, 2012
More Australians could face tough justice in the United Arab Emirates after a new agreement between Qantas and Dubai-based Emirates airline, a Liberal MP warns. Senator Helen Kroger says the British charity group Detained in Dubai [website] has reported a number of arbitrary arrests in Dubai airport. They include an Australian man detained for a number of months and two Canadians who were locked up for a month after they were found in possession of the arthritis drug Celebrex. "It is because of these random events that I ... express concern about possible dangers for Qantas passengers transiting through Dubai, but unfortunately they do not stop at the airport," she told the Senate yesterday... 
FCO London Travel Advisory: United Arab Emirates
Still current at: 24 September 2012
Updated: 13 September 2012
UAE laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK. You are therefore strongly advised to familiarise yourself with, and respect local laws and customs... There is a high threat from terrorism. We believe terrorists may be planning to carry out attacks in the UAE. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could happen at any time, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. You should maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places...

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