( Ah, the joys of Dubai, the lure of the money, the glory of making it rich in a country that allows Shariah Laws and is filled with crooks.) comments by Allyson Rowen Taylor

  • Reuters
By John Irish
DUBAI, Aug 19 (Reuters) – A series of financial scandals at major Dubai firms threaten to derail the Gulf Arab emirate’s ambitions to become an international business hub unless the government tackles corruption head on.
Propelled into the global limelight by glitzy projects such as the world’s tallest tower, Dubai has long sought to transform itself into a global player, partly by assuring investors that it offers a world class legal system as well as zero tax.
But at least four police investigations launched this year into executives at major government-linked real estate and financial firms have raised fears that a lack of regulation and transparency could hamper investor confidence.
“There is a recognition that on these business dealings, negative headlines can have damaging consequences,” said Christian Koch, director of international studies at the Gulf Research Center. “Confidence in the economy, its future plans, transparency and fighting corruption is all tied together.”
The vice-chairman of government investment fund Istithmar World, who in June was ringing the Nasdaq’s opening bell in New York, is under investigation for alleged financial wrongdoing in his previous post at Islamic mortgage firm Tamweel.

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