Monday, May 08, 2006

Wednesday, May 3 - Coming Home

Reza and I leave for the airport at 1:00 a.m. for a 4:00 a.m. flight on Emirates Airlines. We fly through the night to Dubai, where we have a layover before heading for Paris. Reza will go to London before heading home, and I will return to California.

The consulate official has asked us to stop by on our way through. We have a several hour layover and this is possible. To avoid the lengthy security check she meets us in the cafeteria--only one level of security--and we sit at a table for four.

She has had a meeting with a young American academic and administrator at the American University of Sharja in Dubai. He is an economist iand teaches in their MBA program and she thought we might enjoy meeting each other.

Peter is animated and speaks about the Dubai economy as exciting. It is a boomtown under construction--25 percent of the world's construction cranes are in Dubai now. The world's tallest building is under construction. It is the largest transhipment point for cars moving west to east.

Money is everywhere but it is not all oil money. He surprises us by saying that manufacturing is the largest industry here, and that the Dubai economy runs on cheap labor, not oil. Laborers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere make U.S.$200 a month plus food and housing.

The UAE government has been cracking down on labor conditions which have been awful in some instances. Still, the workers come and the economy prospers. Dubai is a magnet for people with a variety of skills, from headhunting and finance to operations management and web design.

Peter says Dubai is a good place to raise his children and the expat community is interesting and diverse. On weekends his family travels widely in the region thanks to low airfares.
He expects to return to the U.S., but for now this is an exciting time to be in Dubai.

He expects that in 15 years Dubai will have established itself as the financial and educational center of the Middle East. He is building a part of the academic infrastructure and having a good time doing it. Always on the lookout for partnerships, he wonders what we might do together.

I wonder if UC Davis MBA students would like to do a study tour of the region.

Our visit with the consular official is cordial and helpful. She gives us some tips. Reza and I leave optimistic.


Blogger netgirl said...

Yes I wanted to leave a comment. I seen the name Reza Abbaszadeh. I wanted to say that at one time my mother was married to a man named Reza Abbaszadeh. Together they had me. I am now 24 years old. My mother married for love but it is apparent that my very own Father married her for a Green Card to gain entry into the USA because once he got his green card soon after he left me and my Mother, while I am proud of what I have become, all due to my Mother. Since my Father Reza Abbaszadeh left when I was just three years old, never to call once time to see how I was doing, never to send any money for child support. This man got off scott free while my Mother did all she could to make my life the best it could be.I'm just taking a guess here and if this is you, Reza Abbaszadeh, then you got a free green card and a free ticket into the USA. But I'm still alive and I'm stronge, I am against you. I will never be for you. I will fight for laws to change the way you entered the country, married my mother, for a green card and left her and me. I will see that no other child ever gets done like you did me. I know our President will write a law that this does not ever happen to another Child and Mother. I personally want to thank you for leaving now but I'm not ok with the fact that you got a free ticket into the USA. But since I do know that God is alive and well then I also, know that your pay day is comming for leaving your child and using a child to get a green card into the USA!

5:51 AM  

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