How many Gulfs?

24 05 2009

That is an assumption of course. Since the Europeans created the Euro, the Gulfians should create the Gulf; and maybe have its symbol to be a stylized  G (okay, maybe not a G with a strikethrough!)

But still, what would it be named?* What would it look like? What would it show? Colors? Size? There are obvious problems. The GCC has 6 member countries and 6 local currencies. These are the:

Bahrini Dinar

Kuwaiti Dinar

Kuwaiti Dinar

Omani Rial

Omani Rial

Qatari rial

Qatari Rial

Saudi rial

Saudi Rial

UAE Dirham

UAE Dirham

So there are 5+7=12 heads of states that could look for space on the note; the color ranges could be from a soothing blue to a neutral gray to a rich red; the denominations could be as low as .005 of the base unit upto 500 of the same etc etc.

I’ve often thought, who decides such things? The Omani note, forex. Gray! Steel Gray with white! White on a currency note? Anyone expected it to remain white? And the dimensions? Following international standards, I think. But still!

As for the other issues, there are many toothsayers saying all sorts of things. GCC common curreny doomed. UAE plays its card. UAE move shows underlying differences. Currency on brink of failure. & the UAE itself is leaving options open.

I think its not as decisive as it should’ve been could be. The UAE obviously wants all matters pertaining to incoming funds within its jurisdiction at the moment. And the current crunch, if nothing else, tells them the imprtance of having cash-in-hand. On the other side, SA can use its behemothical size to roll this way or that and make the currency happen with or without UAE.

Oman, otoh, I think, has once again shown something that is much better, much deeper and much more decisive than all the other member states. I again do not know who makes these policies (the originators, the one fiscal expert who thought this up, “Let’s not join”), but this basically shows off a “good move” on the part of the country. After all, no one is going to tax Oman or levy any ‘late fees’ if we join later, right? The country has a good, solid 25-year plan going in full swing. The targets decided upon are very much on track, the proper assets are in the proper places to start all engines, but there is essentially no pressing need. Yeah, it would be swell to have tonnes of money and assets floating around, but we have a bit more than we want currently. So no rush. The UK was reviled and pointed at and accused of missing out on something ‘wow’ but they stood their ground and kept the Pound and still joined the EU. Years on, while they are not on top of the world, but they are not hurting either.

But I still think we should move away from the USD peg.


*A little birdie told me they’re planning to call it the ‘Khaleeji’. Expect all South/East Asians to call it a “Kahleeji” (with a ‘K’ intead of the throaty ‘Kh’)

Proposed Symbol

Proposed Symbol

The Arabic word ‘khaleeji’ (خليجي ) stands for ‘of the gulf’ thus the ‘G’ symbol with the by now customary central bar . And just as the ‘$’ symbol once so aptly stood for ‘ unit of silver ‘ letthe Khaleeji be understood as a ‘unit of gold’? The most convincing argument for such an interpretation is that having a gold/silver backed currency is considered the final leg to remove Riba (ربا ‘interest’ or ‘usury’) from the financial system, which is forbidden arcording to Islamic economic jurisprudence . Or, we can just use the Arabian affinity for gold.


The Right Omanization

24 05 2009

Much better. Instead of forcing young Omanis to be drivers, shopkeepers, security guards and gas-sellers, Omanization in the proper vein is much better, much preferred and actually utilizes the unemployed to fill vacant spots, as opposed to kicking out people already working to create jobs.

14 Omanis have recently completed their pilot training with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia. A very good programme where they were hired by Oman Air, trained and now shall return to rule the skies (and get all the girls) and generally set a good precedent and this shall generate all the proper news articles in the proper papers for the proper viewership.

MUSCAT — Fourteen young Omanis have successfully completed their pilot training with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia. They received their ‘flight wings’ at a ceremony at the institute attended by several high-ranking officials from the Sultanate, Oman Air, their employer, and Australian dignitaries.

Fancy a company-sponsored trip to the land down under? I hear it’s nice a cool there nowadays! 🙂

Speaking on the occasion, RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said this was the first group of Omanis to undertake their commercial pilot training with the institute. “I congratulate the cadets and thank Oman Air. We are delighted to deliver practical training engaging directly with a strong and growing airline and national carrier,” she added.

Of course.. You’re being paid… heavily!

Captain Mohammed Al Ajmi, Fleet Captain Boeing 737, Oman Air Flight Operations, said that the company was “indeed happy and proud to welcome the pilot cadets after their successful training in RMIT. We are sure that these cadets will contribute to the growth of the airline which is on an expansion track.”

Captain Ajmi said he had always placed a “firm and committed stand” on training and seeking tie-ups with the best institutes around the world.

Meanwhile, Oman Air reiterated its commitment to the development and recruitment of Omani nationals. The cadet pilot programme they said requires total dedication and hard work.

Something amiss in the grammar and/or punctuation on the last sentence??

Nevertheless, good! And even better is that this is a recurring programme. Nice.