Archive for May, 2006

Dubai info

The Dubai Garden Store has some interesting information about Dubai gardening. The most interesting info there, however, is a price list (in Emirati Dirham AED: $1=AED3.67 AED1=$0.27 convert) which describes prices for residential excavation, turf installation, trees and shrubs, and irrigation costs.

The Dubai landscaping market is booming, according to AME Info:

Projects such as Dubai Land will require vast amounts of landscaping, as will of course the Palm Islands and the World Projects. Add to this new Golf Courses and Park facilities and it is not surprising that it is currently estimated that over Dirhams 60 Billion is expected to be spent on gardens and landscaping over the next 5 years.

By 2010 forecasts for Dubai suggest:

New homes, apartments, hotels and clubs will see as many as 5,000 new swimming pools being built

The number of new houses currently being built will require over 5 Million square metres of lawns to be laid.

Cycads are extremely rare and some, including endangered Living Fossil Plants, are relatively slow growing and are extremely hardy and low maintenance (there are Cycads in Kew Gardens in Great Britain that have been in pots for almost 500 years). These plants are drought hardy when established, needing very little water to grow and thrive. They grow in shade, part shade and full sun. Living Fossil Cycads have been known to live for over 1 thousand years.

Some great pictures of Dubai can be found at the TrekEarth site.
Particularly good are :
the Dubai Municipal Bldg
Old Dubai

Dubai in the morning, fog rolling in

A backyard barbecue


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If this was me, I think we’d be looking at an omelete and some fried duck breast, instead of a construction delay.

Las Vegas SUN: Duck Makes Nest at Pa. Construction Site

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NASA – Solar Eclipse Page

This is a cool resource – world maps of total and annular eclipses going back several hundred years, and forward several hundred, as well.

See you in Uluru, July 13 2037!

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Free Excel Spreadsheets

Just in case you’re in desperate need of free Excel spreadsheets.

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Looking for a few links to the UAE?

From the US Department of State fact book:United Arab Emirates (02/06)

Important facts: Oman, Qatar, Yemen, and Bahrain are separate and distinct from the UAE.

The UAE was formed December 2, 1971 as the union of seven sheikhdoms. Its first president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, died in 2004. His eldest son Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan succeeded him upon election by the UAE Supreme Council of Rulers.

In January 2006, Sheikh Maktum bin Rashid Al Maktum, U.A.E. Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, passed away and was replaced by his brother, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defense. On February 9, 2006, the U.A.E. announced a cabinet reshuffle.

Except in the free trade zone, the U.A.E. requires at least 51% local citizen ownership in all businesses operating in the country as part of its attempt to place Emiratis into leadership positions.

More on Sheikh Zayed from Wikipedia

Sheikh Zayed was considered one of the wealthiest men in the world. A Forbes magazine estimate put his fortune at around USD $20 billion. The source of this wealth could be almost exclusively attributed to the immense oil wealth of Abu Dhabi and the Emirates, which sit on a pool of a tenth of the world’s proven oil reserves. Nevertheless he chose to live a relatively modest and traditional lifestyle, riding and hunting with falcons, though he gave up hunting with firearms, a sport at which he excelled, to set an example for wildlife conservation in his fragile desert homeland. He was personally popular, and was regarded to be considerably pious in his religious observances.

He is also remembered as “the man who turned the desert green,” because he invested oil revenues into projects to improve the harsh desert environment. A major vehicle for his ideas and activities is the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-Up.

On irrigation and agriculture, the UAE is serious about food security.
This has led to massive efforts to “green” the desert, install agriculture, and move to food independence.

For current events, see UAE Interact, the official news and information site about the UAE.

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