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Mo’ money, (no) mo’ problems
Are the latest investments in the Northern Emirates mere distraction tactics, or do they really address the issues frustrating people in the area?
March 13, 2011 4:25 by Precious de Leon
These announcements come after President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan’s own visit to Ras al-Khaimah last month. RAK’s gross domestic product accounts for just 1.5 percent of the UAE’s economy. If there was any potential for unrest in the country, it would most likely come from the five emirates where nationals have benefited less from the Abu Dhabi’s oil wealth or Dubai’s economic boom.
RAK has already witnessed a near-crisis when its ruler, Sheikh Saqr al-Qasimi, passed away in October 2010. The succession row between the two heirs resulted in what Kipp heard as minor disruptions from pockets of supporters from both parties. While these were quickly dissipated by federal security forces, there’s no hiding that tensions in these other emirates can run high under the right circumstances.
During some research, Kipp found this “United Arab Emirates 25/03/2011 revolution” Facebook page with more than 2,800 members. In its info, it says the page is for “a revolution against the era of the Senate… against oppression and suppression of freedoms in the United Arab Emirates…[and] against the wealth looted from the people of the UAE.” There are no indicated Administrators in the group, however. And the last post was on February 22.
Kipp highly doubts anything will actually happen in the UAE on March 25; this seems to be an idea that has not found popular support. And these kinds of big investments in the north will surely make any threat of protest even less likely.
But pre-emptive of frustrated residents or not, these major investments and improvements of infrastructure should be welcomed. It is right that the whole of the UAE should share in the wealth and opportunity enjoyed by Abu Dhabi and Dubai – after all we are the United Arab Emirates.
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