Old-fashioned service still works

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March 26th, 2010

On any given day, you might find Mohan Jashanmal outside one of his family’s stores, perhaps the one at Abu Dhabi Mall. Clad in a khandoura and traditional Emirati headscarf, the India native greets passersby, urging them to come in and have a look around. He ignores the chagrined store manager who is beseeching him [...]

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The art of switching on lights

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December 31st, 2009

Brocas Burrows was just another expatriate executive seeking a sun-splashed fortune in Dubai in September 2008. Mr Burrows’s company, Platinum Vision, builds high-end home automation systems, the sort of thing that opens blinds, sets the air-conditioning, lowers the lights to a setting marked “romantic”, all at the touch of a mobile phone. It was a [...]

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Woman in a mine’s world

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June 25th, 2009

Not many people think turning 40 is good news. But for Ines Scotland it was cause for celebration. Hitting the Big Four-O made it easier for her to get permission to enter Saudi Arabia for business. “I immediately applied for my multiple-entry visa,” she says, laughing. “It seems you’re considered ‘no longer desirable’, and I [...]

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Thoughts on the unthinkable

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March 12th, 2009

Perhaps it should not have come as a surprise that Nassim Nicholas Taleb, having agreed to an interview, would then go silent. After all, the core idea in his book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, is expecting the unexpected. “The world we live in,” he says, “is vastly different from the [...]

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