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Bahrain v Togo…sort of 14, September 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Bahrain.
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Bahrain played Togo at football (soccer) on the 7th September and won 3-0. The only problem is that Togo never actually sent a football team to Bahrain. Curious. Investigations are underway.

Solar Islands off RAK 14, September 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Emirates.
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Another day another spectacular project planned in the Emirates. This time Ras Al Khaimah is planning to launch a series of solar islands off its coast. In conjunction with a Swiss research centre a prototype has already been made. The National reports that the islands could be anywhere from 500m-5km in diameter hovering up to 20m off the ground.

Such a plan would contribute to lessening the Emirate’s power shortages. This plan, however, as with so many in the past, seems rather overly grandiose. Such projects often seem to have two goals. Firstly, the stated ‘literal’ goal of the project. Secondly, and no less important, such publicity-grabbing ideas are to boost the image of the state as a modern, advanced etc etc state. This goal often pushes project planners to ever greater lengths to grab attention in an environment ever more inured to spectacular projects.

Global Competitiveness Index: the Gulf 14, September 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, The Gulf.
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Country 2010 GCI ranking 2010 GCI score 2009 GCI ranking Change from 2009 to 2010
Qatar 17 5.1 22 5
Saudi Arabia 21 4.95 28 7
United Arab Emirates 25 4.89 23 -2
Oman 34 4.61 41 7
Kuwait 35 4.59 39 4
Bahrain 37 4.54 38 1

Qatar again leads the Gulf in the latest World Bank Competitiveness Index. Indeed, they improved their standing significantly rising from 22nd to 17th in the world and are the highest place Muslim country. Saudi Arabia, who improved too, are now 21st in the world. But, according to various people cognisant of these things this raking is – how to tactful put this? –  a joke. The UAE fell two places to 25th while Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain rose.