Wishlist for 2009

Dear all,

Happy new year to all, I wish 2009 will bring you good health, prosperity and success. In these times, many would hope for economical stability, so we should add that to this also.

2008 was a good year, we launched places.ae, and were approached by some very interesting companies for partnerships, and have a few possibilities to get funding. It’s rowing for sure, but I will explain this on the places blog itself in eight days from now when places.ae celebrates it’s first year of operation.

Twitter was the tool in 2008, and sub 400 dollar laptops, became normal. My sister is currently cruising in Australia with her Asus EEE PC “netbook” and it will only grow to be this way. I believe many websites will rather become web services consumed on “portals” (igoogle, yahoo, live.com), or in widgets on your favorite phone or netbook. Bigger laptops are good, but I less usable. I have a 17inch Macbook pro, which I hardly use because of it’s size. (Plus, my other laptop runs ubuntu and I like it far more than OSX).

Anyhow, As a resident of Dubai currently, I would like to see the following being built, or rather announced;

A UAE wide train infrastructure: Toll gates are being built to “reduce traffic”, but there are very poor alternative means for this. What is wrong with putting a train infrastructure, between different emirates. Sure, some day the Dubai Metro will be finished, and this will connect both ends of Dubai. But a trainway between Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, and reaching popular cities in Oman would help a lot.

Transparency: as explained in my previous post, more transparency on different levels (corporate, government, federal government) would increase investors’ trust, and would give the relevant party insight on it’s reception by “the people”.

Better taxi service; Dubai itself is a collection of smaller “cities”, or areas within itself. If you don’t have a care, Taxis could take you if the distance is far enough, else they simply don’t take you. (Hence why the customer satisfaction is pretty low).

Pathways for bicycles: Dubai is a very car oriented city. But for 4, or even 6 months out of a year, many could go with a bike, if the roads would allow. If you really want to be “green”, act green.

Job title mentality: Every person and his uncle in Dubai is a manager. If they’re not, they will nag their boss to get a job title that says manager. Get real people. It’s pathetic how you meet a company with 4 people, their CEO, CFO, CTO and an executive secretary / HR Manager.

Only announce realisitc things: So far we had a underwater hotel, a rotating tower and a few other things which were announced, consumed obscene amounts of marketing budget and get cancelled delayed.

This list could go on, but this are just my little 2 cents. Overall, I was talking to a friend yesterday that even though I can be very cynical on things; I like Dubai and (most of) it’s people.

Have a smashing 2009,
Michael

3 Comments

  • January 2, 2009 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and an extra point, TRA, please unblock flickr. Block the age verification page as you do on Youtube, but unblock flickr.

    Please.

  • January 4, 2009 - 1:55 am | Permalink

    Happy 2009 to u too 🙂

  • Constantine
    January 8, 2009 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Michael,

    I think you are spot on about Dubai and UAE in general.
    We’d like to here more about the Ruby/Rails community in the Middle East and what are they up to.

    All the best for the New Year.

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