Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Erik Prince attracted to UAE by business-friendly climate

The Nation has quotes from Erik Prince, former owner of Blackwater, concerning his relocation the UAE last summer:
When Prince moved to the UAE last summer, he said he chose Abu Dhabi because of its "great proximity to potential opportunities across the entire Middle East, and great logistics," adding that it has "a friendly business climate, low to no taxes, free trade and no out of control trial lawyers or labor unions. It's pro-business and opportunity."
Usual gobbledygook talk when you don't want to say anything about your business. He didn't mention that outside the free zones, the UAE requires any business have a local ownership with a claim to 51% of profit. No taxes?

Here's a rich bit from the Nation's report on Prince and the army of mercenaries it is creating on the behalf of Abu Dhabi:
An American who runs another security company in the UAE told The Nation that news of Prince's company is "a fricking PR disaster" for the UAE, adding that it will mean "some of the other Sheikhs will want answers about what a private Christian army was intended for."
As earlier reported, one of the contract provisions insisted upon by Abu Dhabi is that none of the mercenaries by Muslims. They're been recruited from Colombia and South Africa, and have US and European trainers.

The Nation's report on Prince's mercenary army is here.

I traced the quotes of Prince explaining his move to the UAE to this article in The Nation dated September 10, 2010.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let them say what they will about Prince but he's a good businessman. He built Blackwater from relatively modest seed money and personal experience. He turned it into a multimillion dollar industry and when it got too hot, he sold it. Now he's in a market where such services are in increasing demand. Why is any of this surprising? As for it being in any way "Christian" is silly. Whatever his personal feelings are they're moot. He's there to do a job, just like the rest of them. It would be like saying that the UAE is not a Muslim country because it was built by Hindus and managed by Christians.

5:58 PM  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

Sorry, Anonymous, your point about "Christian" doesn't fly. His directive from Abu Dhabi says build an army that does not have Muslims in it. That should raise eyebrows. The recruits are all from Christian countries. That should raise eyebrows. It's not about Prince being Christian or not, it's about what Abu Dhabi asked for.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So everyone from who's not a Muslim and is from a non-Muslim country is a Christian? Ha! How many English people call themselves Christian these days? How many Christians do you know that take their faith as seriously as the Muslims you know?

4:55 PM  

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