Transnational Repression Against Exiled Women Activists

In Spring 2011, as the uprising against Bashar Al-Assad erupted in Syria, Sana, the daughter of Syrian exiles living in Canada, began engaging in online activism. Her support for the revolution rapidly gained traction among fellow Syrians and a widening global...

Illicit Flows to the UAE Take the Shine off African Gold

Following Mali’s artisanal gold to the markets of Dubai.

Illicit Flows to the UAE Take the Shine off African Gold

Bruce Whitehouse 01.18.2023

What we can learn from Mali’s artisanal gold trade.

Masdar City 2020

In February 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 lockdowns, I visited Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I had not been there in five years.

The Battle for South Yemen

Despite the recent agreement brokered by Saudi Arabia, it may also be the case that the fight for the future of the country has begun between forces that want militarily either to occupy or liberate South Yemen.

Regional Uprisings Confront Gulf-Backed Counterrevolution

Wealthy, ambitious and emboldened by US acquiescence, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have emerged as key protagonists in thwarting popular movements.

The Secret Lives of UAE Shell Companies

The UAE’s growing number of free zones are providing secretive havens for offshore companies to avoid taxes, regulation and accountability at home. Shell companies and money laundering abound. But it is still possible for determined researchers to discover who controls and ultimately benefits from this expanding system.

Scholars, Spies and the Gulf Military Industrial Complex

Shana Marshall 09.4.2019

A military-industrial complex is growing in the Gulf states. In May 2018, a British researcher Matt Hedges was arrested in the UAE and charged with espionage for researching this industry as a spy, not a scholar. His colleague Shana Marshall explains why.

The UAE and the Infrastructure of Intervention

Rafeef Ziadah investigates the rise of humanitarian logistics hubs such as Dubai International Humanitarian City, which, although ostensibly humanitarian, have become a key mechanism of intervention and increasingly a central element in the projection of power for the Gulf regimes such as the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE’s Space Race

At a 2007 Harvard workshop focusing on sustainable architecture in the Persian Gulf, the assembled academics and practitioners quizzed a public relations official from a large Abu Dhabi real estate developer. The workshop participants, among them experts in the field of sustainable development, were curious to know how the developer could claim its projects—large enclaves of high-end retail, entertainment and tourism—were “sustainable.”

Dubai in a Jagged World

Surprisingly, what first strikes one upon landing in Dubai is not the skyscrapers going up at a dizzying pace. It is the sheer bustle of humanity.

Reel Casbah

To live the East as film is to be in Dubai in mid-December, perched front-row in the outdoor cafés that dot the Madinat Jumeira Oriental theme park. An integrated hotel, shopping and entertainment “experience” sprawled on the city’s booming beachfront rim, the Madina and its whimsy of stucco battlements mass an Arabian fort effect plucked straight from an Indiana Jones set, and as such, the red carpets and film banners that have also come to adorn it in wintertime key a double sense of enframement. From December 11-17, 2005, the Madina hosted the second annual installment of the Dubai International Film Festival, a production whose rumored budget of $10 million has quickly distinguished it as the richest Middle Eastern event of its kind.


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