The progress of Dubai cannot be measured in terms of its skyscrapers, its superior transport network, its flexible economic system or its cultural openness alone; safety in this Emirate, which is home to the most diverse population in terms of ethnicity in the region, must also be taken into account as over the past few years, Dubai has succeeded in presenting a superior and advanced security model equipped with the latest surveillance systems.
Let us look at the murder of the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim as an example; if this crime had taken place in a city other than Dubai, it would have been extremely difficult to expose the crime so fast. But because it occurred in the advanced Gulf city of Dubai, the mysterious murder took only a matter of hours to be solved, with the finger of accusation being pointed at Mohsen al Sukkari, a former police officer in Egypt. It led to one of the biggest trials of our time and this episode is yet to come to a close.
Recently, another case blew up in Dubai, namely the assassination of Palestinian Hamas leading figure Mahmoud al Mabhouh, who arrived in Dubai under an alias without coordinating with the authorities in Dubai to provide the necessary protection beforehand. Nevertheless, it did not take long to solve the mystery of his murder, and it was not long until the Dubai government’s media office announced that the police had identified the suspects and that most of them held European passports and that they had left the country before al Mabhouh’s body was discovered in one of the city’s hotels. The media office added that there had been contact with the countries to which those suspects belonged for further clarification. In an angry voice, Dubai police chief General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, blamed Hamas in his statement for letting such an important leader, who was also wanted by Mossad, enter Dubai without coordinating with the Dubai authorities first. He said, “Anybody who works behind our backs must watch his back,” stressing that Dubai rejects people who try to enter its territory under aliases.
As it exposes the few crimes that take place there, Dubai is on the verge of saying to the evildoers: yes our city is open but our eyes are not closed, and no crime in Dubai will go unpunished.
*Published in the London-based ASHARQ ALAWSAT on Feb. 8, 2010.