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      source Human Rights Watch www.hrw.org (Beirut) - The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges of "humiliating" top officials relate solely to the defendants' peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE governmen […]
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Archive for August 11th, 2008

Gulfnews: Suzan Tamim murder ‘took 12 minutes’

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 11, 2008


“Suzan Tamim murder ‘took 12 minutes’ Suzan Tamim murder ‘took 12 minutes'”

By Maysam Ali, Staff ReporterPublished: August 10, 2008, 23:49
Dubai: Five hours after Dubai Police were informed of Lebanese singer Suzan Tamim’s death, the suspected killer, a 39-year-old Arab national, was identified, said a senior police official.
“It took 12 minutes for the murderer to enter the building, kill the victim and leave,” Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Acting Chief of Dubai Police told a press conference on Sunday in Dubai.
“The murder was premeditated and the planning was cunning and highly professional,” Al Mazeina said.
He said the suspect was arrested in an Arab country three days after the crime took place. He hinted the motive might have been revenge as there was no evidence in the apartment to indicate otherwise.

The singer was murdered in her apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residence on July 28. The police found her body later that evening, several hours after the incident was reported.
Al Mazeina said: “Tamim had a driving test scheduled the morning when she was killed. She had ordered a taxi to meet her under her building at 9am in order to take her to the driving institute. The taxi driver called her several times but she neither answered nor did she meet him.

“This suggests she was killed before 9am.”

The singer was found fully dressed and ready to leave the house. The murderer had managed to pass through the building’s security without being asked for identification.

In order to convince Tamim to let him into her apartment, he showed her, through the building’s video intercom, an envelope showing the logo of the real estate company which had recently sold her the apartment she was residing in. Police said in all probability this was the reason that made her open the door for him.

One and half hours after the crime was committed, the suspect left the UAE and headed to another Arab county, which Mazeina refused to name.
However, some reports suggested the accused was Egyptian. A police source contacted by Gulf News in Cairo said two Egyptians were arrested in connection with the murder.

“The fact is the Prosecutor General has ordered a ban on writing about the case and that the investigations are making progress,” said the police official.

The assassin had walked in wearing two layers of clothes, executed the crime, and then got rid of the clothes in the building. The police found his clothes and used them as evidence.

The morning Tamim was killed, her relatives had been calling her but she did not answer. One of her relatives went to her apartment and found her body lying next to the entrance; the door was open. Her throat was slit with a knife.

There were several feuds between the late singer and people outside the UAE, and this will help identify who it was who wanted Tamim killed, according to police.

Tamim had moved to the UAE in July and bought the apartment 10 days before the crime was committed, police said. Al Mazeina refuted reports that pictures on the building’s security camera led to the suspect’s arrest.

“We had enough and more important evidence in the apartment that led to the identification of the suspect,” he said. The way she was killed further helped narrow down investigations, he added.
Meanwhile, three journalists from a newspaper in Cairo have been referred for questions for violating a ban on publishing a report about investigations with suspects arrested on charges of murdering Tamim. Al Dustour carried a report that two hotel security men from Cairo had confessed to killing her on behalf of an Egyptian client. One said they received $2 million for the job.

Sunday’s edition of the paper disappeared from the market, officials said. The main story on the newspaper’s website has the headline “Is a major Egyptian personality involved in the murder of the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim?”

Justice: Father’s relief
Abdul Sattar Tamim, Tamim’s father, told Gulf News that he was relieved that the suspect has been arrested. He expressed his gratitude to Dubai Police and said that he was thankful that justice had started to prevail.

“I thank God for the way things are developing. I trust that the result will be positive God willing. I thank Dubai Police for their efficiency,” he told Gulf News.
He refused to comment further as he is currently in a period of grieving and is still receiving mourners.

With additional inputs from Ramdan Abdulkaddar and Bassam Zaza, Senior Reporter

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on Gulfnews: Suzan Tamim murder ‘took 12 minutes’

Dubai Property Prices – the truth – Real Estate – ArabianBusiness.com

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 11, 2008


According to Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book quite often we have discovered the truth of a situation long before we are aware or able to communicate it.

In Blink Gladwell uses a game to demonstrate this. In one example, his test subjects are shown four packs of cards, face down. Two are red and two are blue. Participants must choose the correct combination of cards to make money.

After an average of 50 tries, participants realize that blue cards are the means to greater wealth over time. Red cards are much riskier, and the down side is much bigger than any up.”

The point of the game is not to find out how quickly participants can rationalise the game, but how quickly they subconsciously understand its dynamics.Participants were wired up to see the effect of the game on their heart rates. After ten cards or less, red cards induced palpitations.
Blue cards produced no results at all.In other words the test subjects subconsciously understood the game very quickly, but it took their brain another thirty to forty rounds to be able to explain it – and their actions.George Soros, the $9bn man who made a large chunk of his fortune betting the UK would crash out of the ERM used to suffer back aches – which was his body’s way of telling him he need to change his market holding positions. This is a quote from his son, Robert speaking to Soros’ biographer, Michael Kaufman: “My father will sit down and give you theories to explain why he does this or that. But I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking, Jesus Christ, at least half of this is bullshit. I mean, you know the reason he changes his position on the market or whatever is because his back starts killing him. It has nothing to do with reason. He literally goes into a spasm, and it’s his early warning system…

“He is… living in a constant state of not exactly denial, but the rationalisation of his emotional state.”Last week I wrote a column on Dubai property prices. It sparked a lot of debate, with many of you giving infinitely superior rationalisations of why I was wrong – and in far fewer cases right – regarding Dubai’s housing market. My argument was simple: a lack of decent places to live and work in a booming Middle East give Dubai scarcity value – and that means there was more room for property prices to rise.Most of you disagreed.What we are all doing is trying to justify a gut reaction as to where we are on the above chart of what a bubble looks like over time. Some of you may argue we are not on it at all.I have borrowed this chart from Soros’ latest book, The New Paradigm of Financial Markets. To fully explain the curve I would need to go into Soros’ philosophy regarding reflexivity – which would be worthwhile, but not within this column.

Instead, I will explain what the stages look like. The graph or market takes off at point 2.
This is when a trend is recognised (house prices are rising), and is reinforced by a bias (the belief that prices are undervalued and will continue to rise). In a bubble this results in valuations considerably higher than ‘equilibrium’ – the normal balance of supply and demand.Normally the checks and balances of a market will mean at some point ‘testing’ will occur (houses on the Palm fell briefly in 2006 as premiums sky rocketed, and the market wobbled in realisation that many units would not be completed for several years – stage 2). In most cases the set back will return a market to equilibrium.

In a bubble, however, the testing is shrugged off and both the trend and the bias continue (3), normal rules of the market are jettisoned and prices take off (4). It’s at this point, investors are said to be irrationally exuberant, and believe things really can be different this time.According to Soros, there is always a moment of truth, however – stage 5 – when “reality can no longer sustain the exaggerated expectations”.

In period 6 people continue to play the game but no longer believe in it.

Point 7 is reached when the trend turns downwards (house prices fall) and the bias inverses (property prices are over valued), leading to a “catastrophic” downward acceleration (8), also known as a crash.

According to this model the boom-bust cycle starts slowly (prices rise gently), accelerate gradually and then fall steeper than they have risen.Given Malcolm Gladwell’s argument that subconsciously we understand a situation before we can provide a full justification of what is happening, I would like to conduct a little experiment.

What I would like to do is use the Internet to draw your collective subconscious together to pinpoint where as a group ArabianBusiness.com readers think we are on this chart.

I will publish the median score, and if enough of you take part, your best arguments to justify each position.Those of you who argue that we are at stage 1 are arguing we are not in a bubble at all, but that prices are rising to a genuine equilibrium.

Those of you who argue we are in stage 2 are arguing prices have only just begun their journey, and the market will at some point test and correct itself.Those of you who say we are on points 3-5 are arguing that we are in a bubble, but we have not reached the peak yet.

Those of you who say we are at poing 6 are arguing we no longer believe in the valuations – and that a crash is imminent.Very few of us are blessed with a back pain that helps us predict the future.

However, what we have that Soros does not is the Internet, and the ability to draw together the gut instincts of thousands. Comment on this article and we will together form an overview of how much leg room property prices have to run. Make sure you detail whether you are talking about Dubai in particular, or the region as a whole.

Comments : http://www.arabianbusiness.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=527200:dubai-property-prices—the-truth

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on Dubai Property Prices – the truth – Real Estate – ArabianBusiness.com

Flip mentality Dubai Property Market – Dubai Property Prices – the truth

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 11, 2008


Dubai Property Prices – the truth – Real Estate – ArabianBusiness.com

Well written article – thoroughly enjoyed it!

My own thoughts are that that we are probably at stage 4, but sometimes I even have disbelief of my own beliefs, (i.e. don’t buy in an upmarket). This because of the sheer numbers of people flocking to Dubai (The Gold Rush Syndrome ?).

But on the back of that I see huge numbers leaving and even more colleagues disenchanted because they cannot even afford the standard of accommodation they took for granted back home and now they wonder what it’s all about.

They came here to have a change in lifestyle, make some money and make a difference, but that fairytale is changing.

The only people to truly benefit truly either the people who bought 3 years ago (lucky them for having had both the money and the foresight), and/or the people who are worried about the future of their own unsettled countries and are setting themselves up “just in case” . They are the lucky ones (or maybe not).

The main question I ask myself constantly is, when did the world become so concerned with property, wealth, and greed. Suddenly (and I do mean suddenly), we seem to be on a world stage where the world has gone quite mad about property.

When did it change from being a roof over our heads with maybe another small investment on the side(i.e. holiday cottage), to this monster making enormous capital gains for speculators.

The question has to be asked, is it driven like oil by speculation. I think the answer quite simply yes. Will it last? I don’t think so. When will it end? Certainly not until the appetites are satisfied.

Is it wrong to speculate on property, probably not. Our forefathers never had the chance to “get rich quick without any effort”, so why not get it if you can I hear everyone say.

The real problem arises however with the “Flip” mentality here in the middle east, and that is something which may catch a lot of people out because they will get in at stage 5 and fall victim to the failings in the system.

Check out the wealthy VIP’s invited to these “salubrious property launches”, they put down deposits on say 10 units, hand over their cheque, go down to the hall where the masses wait clutching passports and cheque books (there will never be another building built in Dubai you would think !). He onsells on first come first serve to these poor suckers, who eagerly pay him a 10% premium just to get the right to jump the queue and buy this rare commodity. He then pops back to the seller, gives them ten cheques and takes back his own!

It’s a joke. I have seen it happen, and its wrong, but can we ever stop it, and who cares, certainly not the flippers.

But that’s Dubai, and it is that greed that just might kill the goose in the end, but when will that be, and where are we on the hraph. Well maybe number 4 or 5, but then again maybe it’s number 2. It is going to be a very interesting scenario as it plays out.

One thing for sure however, the rich get richer and the poor struggle to survive and that will never change, only the degrees of wealth changes at the upper end.

Posted in Dubai | Comments Off on Flip mentality Dubai Property Market – Dubai Property Prices – the truth

 
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