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Posts Tagged ‘UAE’

Vietnamese in UAE and Libya assist flood victims

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 5:30 am

Ruler of strategic UAE emirate dies, sparking power struggle

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2010 at 9:10 am

An undated reproduction made available by the Emirates News Agency (WAM), shows the aged ruler of the tiny but strategic emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi who died on October 27, 2010. AFP

DUBAI, Oct 27, 2010 (AFP) – The ruler of the tiny but strategic emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi, died on Wednesday at the age of 92, immediately sparking a war of succession between his sons.

“Sheikh Saqr died at dawn on Wednesday in Ras al-Khaima,” WAM, the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates, reported.

Sheikh Saqr, who in past years has suffered from failing health, has since 1948 ruled the emirate located on the strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which some 40 percent of the world’s oil is shipped.

WAM said that Sheikh Saqr’s son, Crown Prince Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qassimi, whom it described as the “ruler of Ras al-Khaima,” had announced 40 days of mourning in the emirate.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Saud’s elder brother, Sheikh Khaled bin Saqr al-Qassimi, proclaimed himself ruler of the emirate in a video message posted on his website soon after his father’s death.

The struggle for power first erupted between the two brothers in 2003 when their father demoted Sheikh Khaled and appointed his younger brother Sheikh Saud as crown prince.

No reasons for the change were ever made public.

“On (my father’s) passing away I should assume his duties and obligations as the ruler of Ras al-Khaima in accordance with the law and constitution of the United Arab Emirates,” Sheikh Khaled said in the video.

“In the coming days and weeks I will be meeting with my family and friends, members of the supreme council, and rulers of the UAE outlining my agenda for the hundred days of my lawful leadership,” he added.

“I have watched with growing concern as Ras al-Khaima has recently strayed from my father’s lifelong mission of always putting the people first,” he said, criticising his brother’s rule.

Ras al-Khaimah is one of the seven emirates making up the United Arab Emirates. The others are Abu Dhabi, which also serves as the capital, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Umm al-Qaiwain.

Source: SGGP

UAE ban on BlackBerry data a security badge of honor

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2010 at 7:20 am

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 3, 2010 (AFP) – Security experts said Tuesday that banning BlackBerry data service in the United Arab Emirates smacks of political backlash and could be a testament to how hard it is to snoop on that network.

“The BlackBerry security model is very different from other phones,” said Kevin Mahaffey of Lookout mobile security firm.

“It is end-to-end and the encryption is so strong nobody knows how to monitor it.”

A user tries out the new Blackberry Torch 9800 smartphone after it was unveiled at a news conference August 3, 2010 in New York City. AFP

Canada-based Research In Motion built its own platform for business customers that encrypts BlackBerry email messages and routes them in a way that keeps the data off limits from even telecom firms that carry the transmissions.

“They have such good security that I think some countries are uncomfortable with the fact that they can’t intercept it,” said Lookout chief executive John Hering.

While iPhones have been all the rage with smartphones users thrilled by games, social networking, video watching and other casual uses, BlackBerry has remained a favorite for business people craving secure wireless communications.

BlackBerry smartphones can be hard targets for countries that do electronic snooping in the name of national security.

RIM on Tuesday denied allegations it had offered some governments access to customers’ data and not others, as it faced a ban in two Gulf States and India.

The UAE has said that BlackBerry services including messenger, web browsing and email will be suspended because they “allow individuals to commit violations” that the country cannot monitor.

People who use BlackBerry handsets as personal smartphones don’t enjoy the same protections as companies that contract with RIM to deploy the devices to employees.

BlackBerry security is designed to let business users “transmit information wirelessly while also providing them with the necessary confidence that no one, including RIM, could access their data,” according to RIM.

RIM uses a special layer of coding to shield email as it is routed to the company’s servers and then on to intended recipients, according to Mahaffey.

BlackBerry also uses encrypted validation to identify handsets connecting to the network, according to Peter Beardmore of Russia-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

“BlackBerry is a more highly secured device,” Beardmore said.

“There are a wide variety of services available through the BlackBerry network that you are going to be hard pressed to find in other services.”

Typical smartphones route email through telecom service providers, which can intercept data for governments.

Text messages, voice calls, and Internet browsing activity are up for grabs on all smartphones because telecom service providers can see that activity, said Nicholas Percoco, vice president of SpiderLabs at Trustwave Information Security firm.

Online purchases, banking and other financial dealings should be protected by encryption that is standard practice for such transactions.

Percoco wondered whether the move against BlackBerry in the UAE was political backlash.

Two years ago, RIM charged that an update issued by UAE’s largest telecom service provider, Etisalat, was actually spyware, and that it enabled unauthorized access to information stored on users’ smartphones.

Microsoft makes ActiveSync software for businesses that can encrypt email sent with iPhone, Android, or Windows smartphones, Percoco noted.

Secure, encrypted connections can be made wirelessly from laptops with the help of VPN software from Cisco. Good Technology sells software to protect messages on mobile phones.

“This whole thing may not be security charged, it may be politically charged,” Percoco said.

“From a security standpoint, it doesn’t really jibe,” he continued. “It looks like basically RIM wouldn’t let them put a bugging device in the phone.”

Source: SGGP

UAE to boost tourism cooperation with Vietnam

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2010 at 7:19 pm

UAE to boost tourism cooperation with Vietnam

QĐND – Saturday, July 31, 2010, 21:22 (GMT+7)

Many travel agents from the United Arabia Emirates (UAE) have visited Vietnam to seek out business opportunities in the field of tourism.

More than 20 major travel agents from the UAE attended a seminar jointly held by the Vietnamese Embassy in the UAE, Vietnam Airlines, the Sharaf Travel Agency and Etihad Airways in the capital Abu Dhabi on July 29 to introduce Vietnam’s tourism potential.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Quang Khai highlighted the achievements Vietnam’s tourism sector has made in recent years.

He stated that, despite a drop in numbers caused by the global economic crisis, Vietnam’s tourism sector still welcomed 2.6 million foreign tourists in the first six months of this year. In the second half of the year, the country is expecting to receive 6.2-6.5 million international arrivals as it is celebrating many significant events, such as the 65th anniversary of National Day and the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.

If this goal is achieved, the sector will earn US$4.5-5 billion, accounting for 20 percent of the nation’s GDP. Vietnam is striving to become one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the region by 2015 and among the top ten destinations in the world.

Mr Khai said that the Vietnamese Embassy will create the best possible conditions to help UAE businesses invest more in Vietnam.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Britain, Germany, UAE airports ‘refuse fuel to Iran jets’

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Airports in Britain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates have refused to refuel Iranian passenger planes since Washington imposed unilateral sanctions on Tehran last week, ISNA news agency said Monday.

An Iran Air plane at Paris-Orly airport. Airports in Britain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates have refused to offer fuel to Iranian passenger jets after unilateral sanctions imposed by Washington, ISNA news agency said

IRNA, the official state news agency, said in a separate report that Kuwaiti airports have also turned down fuel for Iranian passenger planes.

“Since last week, after the passing of the unilateral law by America and the sanctions against Iran, airports in England, Germany, the UAE have refused to give fuel to Iranian planes,” ISNA quoted Mehdi Aliyari, secretary of Iranian Airlines Union, as saying.

The decision by the airports in these countries comes at a time when a large number of expatriate Iranians, especially those in Europe, travel to and from Iran for summer holidays.

Aliyari said their refusal has so far impacted Iran Air, the national carrier, and a leading private airline, Mahan Air, as both operate several flights to Europe.

Pervez Sorouri, a lawmaker and member of Iranian parliament’s committee on foreign policy and national security, warned of a retaliatory action by Tehran, especially towards the United Arab Emirates.

He said Iran was an important trade partner of the UAE which is emerging from a financial crisis and “this (UAE’s refusal) can have some reaction from Iran,” ISNA reported.

Last Thursday, US President Barack Obama signed into law the toughest ever US sanctions on Iran, which he said would strike at Tehran’s capacity to finance its nuclear programme and deepen its isolation.

The measures, on top of new United Nations and European sanctions, aim to choke off Iran’s access to imports of refined petroleum products like gasoline and jet fuel, and to curb its access to the international banking system.

“With these sanctions — along with others — we are striking at the heart of the Iranian government’s ability to fund and develop its nuclear programmes,” Obama said before signing the sanctions into law.

“There should be no doubt: the United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

World powers led by Washington suspect Tehran is making nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian atomic programme. Iran says its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

On June 9, the UN Security Council imposed a fourth set of sanctions against Iran, which was followed by unilateral punitive measures by the European Union and later by the United States.

Iran could lodge a complaint to the United Nations and the International Civil Aviation Organisation over the action of these airports, lawmaker Kazem Jalali was quoted as saying by the English-language Iran News.

“A special committee has been set up in the Iranian majlis (parliament) to study the US sanctions on jet fuel,” Jalali said. “The US president has done his best to isolate the Islamic republic of Iran but to no avail.”

On Monday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again dismissed the sanctions imposed on Iran.

“The sanctions that they have imposed do not strike a blow at Iran … They have imposed these sanctions to defend themselves and they know they cannot do anything,” the hardliner said in the northwestern city of Bonab.

All the four set of UN sanctions have been imposed on Iran under the presidency of Ahmadinejad who has defiantly pursued Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Source: SGGP

UAE, Vietnam strengthen ties

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

UAE, Vietnam strengthen ties

QĐND – Monday, May 10, 2010, 22:19 (GMT+7)

A delegation from the Vietnam National Assembly visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from May 3-8 at the invitation of the UAE Federal National Council (FNC).

On May 6, the delegation, led by Nguyen Minh Thuyet, Vice Head of the Committee for Culture, Education and Children, met with a FNC delegation, headed by Sultan Saqer al Suwaidi, who is President of the Committee for Education, Youth, Information and Culture.

Both sides briefed each other on their respective country’s situation and discussed ways of stepping up cooperation in this field.

During their stay in the UAE, the Vietnamese delegates visited various economic and cultural establishments in the capital city of Abu Dhabi and the city of Dubai, including the country’s largest university – Sharjah.

At Sharjah, they were warmly welcomed by the lecturers and students from the Faculty of Technology. They met with some female students who had come to Vietnam to help build houses for poor people in My Tho in 2009.

Both the lecturers and students at the university said they would like to set up links with Vietnamese colleges and universities.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

UAE acts to shore up banking system and calm markets

In World on November 30, 2009 at 4:10 am

The United Arab Emirates central bank on Sunday pumped more liquidity into its banking sector amid fears that local stock markets may plunge after debt-laden Dubai asked to suspend debt payments.

The intervention is seen as a step to soothe investors and bank depositors after the shock announcement that state-controlled Dubai World wants to halt payments to creditors until at least May next year.

“This is a step aimed to calm investors… Markets should be calmer (than feared) tomorrow,” said Emirati financial analyst Nasser bin Gaith.

“This means that banks will be on the safe side,” a UAE official who requested anonymity told AFP.

The central bank‘s move came just before the the stock markets in Dubai and neighbouring emirate Abu Dhabi have their first chance on Monday to react to the disclosure of the debt difficulties, which were unveiled just before the start of a four-day holiday for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

A foreign labourer pictured at the construction site of Dubai’s Business Bay on November 27

The central bank said in a statement, unusually issued during a holiday, that it was providing banks with extra liquidity, stressing its support to the banking sector.

But bin Gaith expects the decision to have no real immediate impact on Dubai’s debt problem, pointing out that Dubai World is largely indebted to foreign banks.

“On practical level,there is no direct impact… Local banks have limited exposure to Dubai World, unlike foreign banks,” he said.

British banks reportedly have a total exposure of 30 billion dollars to Dubai World.

And until the UAE stock exchanges reopen on Monday it is uncertain to what extent investors will be reassured by the central bank’s statement.

“I expect to see a drop in Dubai’s market when it opens Monday… a minimum of two-three percent,” Saudi financial analyst Ali Daqaq told AFP. Dubai stock market rules limit the index to a change of 10 percent in one day.

“The banking sector will be the hardest hit, due to exposure to loans, and the danger of default on this debt,” he said, speaking before the central bank pledged support for banks.

The central bank said the UAE banking sector stands stronger and more liquid than a year ago and that it enjoys a “strong base of stable deposits.”

Other Gulf stock markets have also been on holiday since Thursday for Eid al-Adha, sparing them an immediate impact from Dubai’s announcement.

However, the news sent jitters throughout Asian and European stock markets on Thursday and the US market on Friday as investors feared a possible default by Dubai and its state-owned businesses, which together owe 80 billion dollars.

Some economists say the delay in the reaction by Gulf markets because of Eid might reduce the severe impact on those bourses.

“Market fundamentals say that the local market should be negatively affected by the announcement, especially banks and real estate stocks,” bin Ghaith told AFP before the central bank announcement.

“The reaction by the global markets was psychological, and came strongly. I expect the reaction here to be less hard because the first shock was absorbed by the global markets,” he said.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi will be the only Gulf stock markets to open on Monday, while Kuwait follows on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia’s financial market, the largest Arab bourse in capitalisation, will remain on holiday until Saturday.

The markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi will have only two days of trading before they go again on holiday until Sunday December 6, for the national day.

Gulf investors outside the UAE are worried about contagion from Dubai’s problems.

“Even here in Saudi Arabia people are talking about withdrawing from the market when it opens (next) Saturday in fear of the impact of the banks’ exposure to Dubai’s debt,” Daqaq said.

Saudi economist Abdulwahab Abu-Dahesh expects a crash in the region’s markets. “I expect Gulf bourses to dive like the September crash last year,” following Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, he said.

Dubai does not have big oil reserves, unlike Abu Dhabi which sits on around 95 percent of the UAE’s crude deposits.

But doubts have been growing about Abu Dhabi’s commitment to buoy Dubai, despite a full subscription by two Abu Dhabi-controlled banks to Dubai bonds worth five billion dollars, announced a few hours before Dubai hinted at debt default.

The once-rapidly-booming economy of Dubai came to a screeching halt — most noticeably in its real estate sector, after being hit by financing shortage due to the global financial crisis.

Property prices in the once-booming desert city have slumped by 50 percent.

The latest edition of Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper was barred from news-stands in Dubai because of a graphic showing the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum sinking in a sea of debt.

“The Sunday Times was not distributed today,” an official from the UAE national media council told AFP, requesting anonymity.

“We cannot accept a personal insult. It is against our traditions,” he said.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share