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Dubai Already Took Over NYC

Forget the ports—what about the wax museum?

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Congressional leaders freaked when the Bush administration okayed Dubai Ports World’s management takeover of key U.S. ports. The 9/11 hijackers passed through Dubai, and its banks have been used by terrorist groups. But though the ports deal has been torpedoed, Dubai still possesses some crucial pieces of America’s patrimony. Dubai Holdings, the state company of Dubai, already owns the Helmsley Building, the Essex House, and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, which boasts American-as-apple-pie wax renditions of eight presidents—and self-appointed national conscience George Clooney. Dubai International Capital is the third-largest investor in DaimlerChrysler, and through investments with the Carlyle Group and JPMorgan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has dollars and dirhams in a wide range of U.S. companies. Each Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee, Baskin-Robbins sundae, Hertz car rental, and Alain Ducasse dinner New Yorkers buy makes the sheikh richer. Don’t tell Congress.


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