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Middle East misconception

It is interesting to note the reactions from the Devon rural community on Dubai's new arch bridge, as aired by Mr Dudley Swain in his letter (NCE 20 March).

However he shows an alarming lack of information about Dubai and the UAE.

Dubai, in fact is oil-poor and the UAE as a whole has been relying more on tourism and services rather than oil to sustain itself.

In fact, Dubai's non-oil GDP grew by 21% in 2006 (www.zawya.com) and oil is expected to account for only 30% of the UAE's GDP by 2010 (www.uaeinteract.com).

Dubai has an acute transport problem, and bridges are a necessity to solve this - that is why Dubai is also building a metro, with numerous "forgotten" bridges as well.

I see no reason why new bridges can't be made to look good - and break world records. I also see no correlation between high oil prices and that new bridge in Dubai.

Mohamad Al-Dah, Mohamad.al-dah@arup.com

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