Author Archives: Paul Cochrane

In need of a tune-up

In need of a tune-up

Reading Time: 3 minutes The effects of the July 2006 war are still being felt by the country’s industries, and by export orientated businesses in particular. Nizar Raad, managing director of Universal Metal Products (UMP) — a leading manufacturer of collapsible aluminum tubes for pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies that exports 85 percent of its products — said his major

McLaren – Ian Gorsuch (Q&A)

Reading Time: 5 minutes Since 1963, McLaren has been renowned for its race cars and is the only racing team to have won Formula 1, Indianapolis 500, Can-Am and Le Mans championships. McLaren Automotive was established in 1989 and eventually manufactured the iconic McLaren F1 which, when it launched in 1992, was the world’s fastest production road car with

The bubble’s jagged edge

Reading Time: 4 minutes For business journalists, writing about the Gulf from 2004 to 2008 was often a repetitive process. Regardless of the sector being covered, the opening paragraph would invariably have a growth figure in the double digits, and the projection for the next year would also be a very healthy one. Every year was a record year,

Street smart in Gemmayze

Reading Time: 3 minutes Lebanon’s tourism advertising campaign presents the country as a paradise of pristine mountain landscapes, beautiful shorelines and night time cavorting. What the ads don’t show are the effects of the apparent lack of interest by Lebanon’s public institutions to regulate waste management, protect the environment or deal with the perpetual gridlock on the country’s streets.

Slavery to emancipation

Reading Time: 3 minutes Expatriate labor rights and living conditions in the Gulf have become hot, contentious topics once again. The BBC was the latest media player to throw mud at the Gulf’s glitzy image when a reporter snuck into a labor camp in Dubai and secretly filmed living conditions, exposing the gritty, sewage swamped underbelly. Dubai took badly

Dubai abandons reality

Reading Time: 3 minutes Dubai has been getting a lot of negative coverage in the media lately. One story stands out in particular, i.e. the frequently spouted ‘3,000 cars abandoned at Dubai airport,’ which has been used to suggest the emirate’s economy is sinking into the sand. It’s a story I’ve had recounted to me from barbers to businessmen,

Demise of the dailies

Reading Time: 3 minutes Arecent trip to London and Rome brought home how precarious the future of newspapers is in Europe, particularly in the capitals where commuters are inundated with free tabloids. Glancing around at fellow passengers on the London underground, few were reading ‘normal’ newspapers, but every other person was flicking through freebie Metro — found in most

Flying beyond reach

Reading Time: 3 minutes Fifty years ago, airplane travel was a luxury only the wealthy could afford. Indeed, my father recalls trips to the Belfast airport when he was a lad in the late 1950s, not to meet relatives or friends flying in, but to watch the planes come and go — it was an enjoyable family day out.

The Horn of too many bulls

Reading Time: 3 minutes One word sums up the Horn of Africa’s regional importance: geostrategic. Over the last two months, several developments have highlighted how intricately linked the Middle East is, and wants to be, with the countries on the other side of the Red Sea. There are the usual three suspects: business, politics and the “war on terror,”

Teeing off in Kashmir

Reading Time: 3 minutes Teeing off at the Royal Springs Golf Club in Srinagar, Kashmir, it was not hard to see what would attract Arab golf enthusiasts looking for a slightly more adventurous destination. The mountainous backdrop, the trees in autumnal reds and oranges, Dal Lake behind, and a course designed by golf architect great Robert Trent Jones, all