Abu Dhabi: Rising Power

To track Barack Obama's path through the Middle East in recent days was to stick a pin in the region's bloodiest spots: Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories. But another Middle East was also on show this past week, and it is a place — a new world, actually — that is overflowing with wealth, confidence and ambition.

On July 22, General Electric announced a string of deals with the Mubadala Development Company, a government-controlled investment fund in the tiny Persian Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi. Among other things, GE and Mubadala pledged to invest $8 billion in...

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