Bond Heads to Dubai in New Novel

British super spy James Bond will head to the glitzy Gulf emirate of Dubai, itself no stranger to real-life espionage and assassination, in a new book titled "Carte Blanche," its author said Tuesday.

"This place is... so culturally vibrant, so picturesque, so full of fascinating, multicultural individuals," Jeffery Deaver said during a talk in Dubai. "This is an exotic city that is worthy of James Bond."

While in Dubai about a year ago, "I became enamored of the city. I walked around, I took notes, I took a lot of pictures, and I said, some day, I'm going to set something here," Deaver said.

After agreeing to write the next Bond novel, "I knew at that point, at last, I had found a story to set in Dubai," he said.

Deaver was reticent about plot details, but he did say that in "Carte Blanche," Bond is "a young agent for the British government. He was born, roughly, in the late 1970s, and the book takes place in the present day."

In the course of the book, Bond "flies here and gets involved in a lot of intrigue, very fast-paced action, races through the streets."

"He does meet some local folks who are extremely helpful to him, and by and large has some wonderful food, wonderful drink as I have done here, and then I have to say he does jet out," Deaver said.

He did not mention plans for a film version of the novel, but The National newspaper said Tuesday that the possibility of a movie adaptation "has already been raised."

Parts of the latest "Mission: Impossible" film, another spy thriller series, were filmed in Dubai.

Deaver said Sean Connery, one of the first actors to play 007 in the hit films inspired by the books, and Daniel Craig, the latest to do so, are his favorites, but that his image of Bond came from creator Ian Fleming's novels.

Deaver is the latest in a series of authors who have kept writing the Bond books since Fleming died in 1964. "Carte Blanche" is due out in May.

Dubai, best known for its man-made islands, indoor ski slope and hyper-modern skyscrapers, including the world's tallest building, has seen its share of real-life cloak and dagger intrigue.

In January last year, Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a founder of the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, was found dead in his Al-Bustan Rotana hotel room. He was wanted in Israel for the alleged murder of two Israelis.

Dubai police Chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan accused Israeli spy agency Mossad of being behind the killing.

The emirate's police released footage of his alleged assassins filmed by hotel closed-circuit security cameras and said that 26 passports that in many cases appeared either to have been faked or obtained illegally had been used by the 26 people believed linked to the murder.

Less than a year before the Mabhuh killing, Chechen leader Sulim Yamadayev, a bitter foe of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was gunned down in a car parking outside his flat at Dubai's Jumeirah Beach Residence complex.

Yamadayev left Russia and moved to Dubai in 2009, fearing for his life after a brother was assassinated in September 2008, according to Russian media.

Khalfan accused Chechen vice Prime Minister Adam Delimkhanov of ordering Yamadayev's assassination.

Source: Agence France Presse

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