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James Bond now 'Sheikh'en, not stirred!

You read right, the British super spy James Bond will now head to the glitzy gulf emirate of Dubai, which is no stranger to real-life espionage and assassination, in a new book titled "Carte Blanche.

books Updated: Jan 19, 2011 13:15 IST

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, local papers said Tuesday.

"When I thought about the setting for the new book, I thought immediately about Dubai," the book's author, Jeffery Deaver, told reporters in Dubai on Monday, according to The National newspaper.

"Not only is it an incredibly fun, wonderful and exhilarating place, but it retains at its heart an exotic core," said Deaver. "I travel a great deal ... There are not as many exotic locations as there used to be," Gulf News, quoted Deaver as saying. Neither newspaper described details of the novel's plot, but a Dubai government press release said Bond would head to the emirate in pursuit of a criminal.

Deaver said Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum "had expressed a great interest in the book," according to The National. Plans for a film version of the novel "have already been raised," the newspaper said. Parts of the latest Mission: Impossible film, another spy thriller series, were filmed in Dubai.

Deaver is the latest in a series of authors who have continued the Bond books, which were turned into a series of hit films, since Bond creator Ian 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. In April 2009, Khalfan accused Chechen Vice Prime Minister Adam Delimkhanov of ordering Yamadayev's assassination.