In a talk at the Dubai School of Government in May of this year James Zogby analyzes the business environment in the Arabian Gulf states that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council. He does not mention that governance in the UAE and the other Gulf states he discusses in this video is tribal, anachronistic, corrupt, and autocratic, but these omissions are the least troubling aspect of his talk. Zogby’s discussion is based on interviews with 150 senior executives in “Saudi Arabia”, Qatar, and the UAE which in those countries means 150 spoiled brats that are the sons, nephews, and friends of Zogby’s beloved oil-Sheiks. As usual Zogby is armed with scientific polling data to support his latest assertions about a trivial matter nobody cares about, in this instance to defend the Sheikdom of his favorite Arab Emir, and concludes public opinion in the Gulf firmly believes “The UAE sets the standard for being business friendly” (5:10). Zogby does not tell us if being “business friendly” includes promoting sex tourism, trafficking in women, and exploiting foreign laborers all of which also go unmentioned.
Zogby then goes on to say (5:20) that in the future further probing to determine what “business friendly” actually means would be well advised. We at IKHRAS have taken Jim’s advice and looked into what business friendly practices actually means in the UAE.
To help us answer the question Jim suggested deserves further inquiry, and better understand the business friendly practices of the city-state, we turned to a reliable source, a member of the UAE ruling family, Sheikh (“Shake” as Jim says) Issa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. In the video above the Prince, the brother of the UAE’s crown-Prince, mercilessly tortures a helpless Afghan with whips, electric cattle prods, and wooden planks with protruding nails. The Afghan was beaten to near death as a result of a business dispute.
So now we know what “business friendly” actually means in the UAE. This also helped us shed even more light on the corrosive impact oil-Sheiks have on the cheap and opportunistic members of the “Arab Lobby” in Washington best personified in the despicable James Zogby.