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On Canada’s military base in Dubai 7, October 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Emirates.
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(A – Camp Mirage in Minhad Air Force Base)

Rumors are afoot suggesting that Canada is being forced to consider pulling some of its troops out of its base near Dubai in the UAE. Apparently, the UAE are using the threat of evicting Canada from their base as a means to force the Canadian government to allow Emirates and Etihad Airlines direct access to Canada. Such competition would be severely detrimental for Canada’s national airlines.

The base was established in 2001 in preparation for Canada’s involvement in operations in Afghanistan. Officially, the location of Canada’s base in the Persian Gulf is a secret, though one that is not kept very well: Camp Mirage is on Minhad Air Force Base south of Dubai.

This base is also used by Australian and New Zealand forces.


Talks have stalled and Canada is no longer allowed access to the camp.

Germany and Qatar 7, October 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
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Deutsche Bhan, Germany’s ├╝ber efficient national rail company, as been contracted to build up to 108 subway stations in and around Doha. Yes, 108 stations. In Qatar. Hmm.

One key motivating factor behind it is the World Cup in 2022: such a promised investment in a shiny new, relatively eco-friendly system is bound to act in Qatar’s favour.

The Qatar Tribune reports that it is expected to be completed in “phases over the next six years”. Only six years to rip up 108 massive chunks of ‘greater’ Doha and build stations? I think not.

Eventually, there will be:

  • Around 354km of rails
  • On which trains will run at speeds of 80 to 160kms per hour
  • Over ground rail which will cover 345km
  • These electric trains will run at 220-350km per hour
  • Qatar’s rail is expected to link up to the mooted GCC rail network by 2017

Also, Qatar and Germany signed a $500 million agreement heralding Qatar’s (curiously late) entrance to the Solar energy market.

Qatar 2022: more stunning stadiums 7, October 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
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While I don’t want to turn this blog into a Qatar 2022 promotion (as much as I’d like to see Qatar host the World Cup) I find it impossible to ignore that fact that Qatar 2022’s stadium plans are just stunning. Rarely can I remember seeing such beautiful designs on any drawing boards for any sporting competitions.

Here’s an earlier article on the pros and cons of Qatar’s bid.

Iconic Lusail Stadium (86,250)

To host the opening and final matches of the tournament

Umm Slal Stadium (45,120 -> 25,500)

Sports City Stadium (47,560)

Qatar University (43,520 -> 23,500)

Doha Port Stadium (44,950)

It is a wholly modular stadium, which is to say that it will be dismantled after the World Cup and shipped to developing countries for their infrastructure.

Education City Stadium (45,350)