Thursday, 3 November 2016

When I Think Of The Middle East,

I immediately think of sand dunes,

and films such as Lawrence of Arabia, then the huge cites that are there like Dubai, towering into the sky, what I had not thought about was where the sand comes from for building the buildings, well they have deserts of the stuff out there, but it is the wrong sand, the trouble is that wind-blasted desert sand, such as that found in the Gulf, is too fine to be used in construction, so companies have to import sand to the middle East, tons of the stuff, the United Arab Emirates imported $456m worth of sand, stone and gravel in 2014, according to the UN, also in 2014, 196 million tons of sand and its bigger counterpart gravel were mined around the world, according to the US Geological Survey, the overall sand and gravel market was valued at $8.3bn in the US last year and £1.7bn ($2.5bn) in the UK in 2013, according to the USGS and the UK’s Mineral Products Association, sand is such a big business that there is even a sand mafia! so next time you hear a slightly-racist expression, such as ‘He could sell sand to the Arabs!’ you had better believe it, because you can!

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