but it was a means of airing ideas and dissipating
primitive fears. The Political dugent welcomed this and
said he had got the merchants together - without the Ruler -
and over dinner they had discussed problems. He welcomed
Mr. Mackaskili's suggestion and it was agreed that to be of
real use the Ruler should be there.
18. The only contractors operating in debu Dhabi at present were
reported to be Cono T. Company, Fullbrook (Gulf Construction
Co. Ltd.) and Khan Sahib Hussain. Costains had withdrawn
to Sharjah. Wimpey's were on Das Island.
19. There was a short discussion of the sort of building boom,
both public and private which was likely to start once the
embargo on building was lifted. The Political gent outlined
the present ideas regarding town planning and design control.
20. The Economic Secretary outlined the value and nature of the
building projects scheduled in the development plan and
mentioned PDTC's oil terminal project. He asked whether
existing contractors, mentioned above, stood a reasonable
chance of securing some of the projects. It was agreed that
there would be a great influx of labour - skilled and unskilled --
into Abu Dhabi. The local labour force was totally inadequate.
The Ruler was not always pleased to see foreign labour being
brought in, but failed to appreciate that this was necessary in
the absence of an adequate, indigenous labour force. Those
attending the meeting said they were doing what they could to
train up ibu Dhabi nationals - it was a slow process.
Mr. Mackaskill reminded the meeting that Dubai had faced a
similar but smaller development problem in 1958/59 and, because
of the Ruler's enlightened policy, labour had flowed in to meet
the demand. It was pointed out that Abu Dhabi nationals did
not like ordinary labouring. In any case as Mr. Clarł pointed
out a town of 4,000 could not produce more than about 400
Discussion of this item showed that the Ruler's former levy
of 20 to 25% of a merchant's profits as a tax, was giving way
to a lump sum payment by new firms of anything from Rs.15,000
to Rs.20,000. There was no general policy.
22. In addition, there are certain municipal' taxes, e.g. a
sanitation rate of Rs.50 per month in return for which no
services seem to be provided.