Return to homeTravel Docs: http://www.traveldocs.com/ae/index.htm
USLC: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/aetoc.html Seven city states (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah,
Ras al Khaimah, Umm al Qaiwain, Ajman and Fujairah) comprise the
UAR. Ajman is the smallest.
(SFC, 6/19/00, p.A5)
Dubai is about the size of Rhode Island.
(SSFC, 7/24/05, p.C3) 2200 BC In what is now
Bahrain settlements and temples of the city state of Dilmun, known
as the city of the gods in ancient Sumerian literature, were found
by Danish archaeologists in the 1950s. A culture contemporary with
the city state of Dilmun (now Bahrain) was found in 1959 on the
island of Umm-an-Nar off of Abu Dhabi.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.48)
632-661 The Rashidun Caliphate, also known as the
Rightly Guided Caliphate, comprising the first four caliphs in
Islam's history, was founded after Muhammad's death. At its height,
the Caliphate extended from the Arabian Peninsula, to the Levant,
Caucasus and North Africa in the west, to the Iranian highlands and
Central Asia in the east. It was the one of the largest empires in
history up until that time.
1400 From about this time Dubai
became a major crossing point on int’l. trading routes in silk,
pearls, spices and gold.
(WSJ, 6/20/06, p.C12)
1846 Many Rashaida migrated
from the Hejaz in present-day Saudi Arabia into what is now Sudan,
Kuwait, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al-Quwain, United Arab Emirates after
tribal warfare had broken out in their homeland.
1916 May 9, The
Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret understanding between the
governments of Britain and France, defined their respective spheres
of post-World War I influence and control in the Middle East. It was
signed on 16 May 1916. Italian claims were added in 1917. Britain
and France carved up the Levant into an assortment of monarchies,
mandates and emirates. The agreement enshrined Anglo-French
imperialist ambitions at the end of WW II. Syria and Lebanon were
put into the French orbit, while Britain claimed Jordan, Iraq, the
Gulf states and the Palestinian Mandate. Sir Mark Sykes (d.1919 at
age 39) and Francois Picot made the deal. As of 2016 the boundaries
of the agreement remained in much of the common border between Syria
2/27/00, p.A17)(Econ, 5/14/16, SR p.5)
1947 Jul 17, Sheik Saqr bin
Mohammed Al Qasimi (1918-2010) became the Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah
(UAE) when he overthrew his uncle and father-in-law Shaykh Sultan
Bin Salem (or Salim) al-Qassimi in a bloodless coup d'etat. Shaykh
Saqr exiled the Sultan to Sharjah. Ras al-Khaimah joined the United
Arab Emirates in 1972.
1962 Abu Dhabi began exporting
the oil it just discovered off its shores.
1965 Arab states signed the
Charter of Arab Honor, an Arab league ordnance designed to curb an
aggressive Lebanese press and to discourage mutually hostile regimes
from attacking each other.
(SFC, 6/19/00, p.A5)
1966 Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al
Nahyan (d.2004) became the ruler of Abu Dhabi. In 1971 he founded
the United Arab Emirates.
1966 Oil discovered in Dubai
(UAE) provided cash for modernization projects such as the world’s
largest man-made harbor at Jebel Ali.
(Econ, 5/29/04, p.61)
1970 Iran dropped its
territorial claims on Bahrain.
(Econ, 9/11/10, p.58)
1971 Dec 2, The British pulled
out of the Trucial States (7 coastal Arab sheikhdoms that included
Sharjah) in the Persian Gulf and these states formed the United Arab
Emirates (UAE). Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, Umm al
Qaiwain, Ajman and Fujairah merged to form the new federation.
(NG, 5/88, p.662)(HFA, '96, p.20)(SFC, 12/16/97,
p.B1)(WSJ, 5/7/98, p.B16)
1971 The Shah of Iran seized
the tiny island of Abu Musa as Britain abandoned its former
possession in the Persian Gulf and the United Arab Emirates was
being set up. The UAE later contested Iran’s claims to the island
and two barely inhabited chunks of rock nearby.
(Econ, 5/5/12, p.46)
1972 The UAE formed the Federal
National Council (FNC). It had no legislative powers and was set up
merely as an advisory board to the Federal Supreme Council, the
country's highest governing body, made up of the emirates' rulers.
Elections for half of the FNC members began in 2006.
1973 Nov 25, Three Palestinians
hijacked a KLM B747 enroute to New Delhi to Abu Dhabi.
1973 Abu Dhabi had a massive
surge in revenue following an oil-price surge.
(WSJ, 10/21/05, p.A10)
1976 Sheik Zayed of Abu Dhabi
set up the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), which invested
heavily in real estate abroad. At the same time the government
tightened control of property at home. By 2006 the fund had accrued
an estimated $200-500 billion.
(WSJ, 10/21/05, p.A10)(Econ, 6/10/06, p.45)
1980 The Bank of England
licensed the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. BCCI
imploded in 1991 under the weight of fraud.
(Econ, 7/10/04, p.64)
1981 May 25, Sheik Zayed bin
Sultan Al Nahyan (1918-2004), United Arab Emirates President, urged
in 5 other Arab monarchies (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi
Arabia) to form the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The unified
economic agreement between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation
Council was signed on 11 November 1981 in Riyadh.
1984 Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) members (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, UAE)
agreed on the creation of a two-brigade (10,000 troops) Peninsula
Shield Force, based in Saudi Arabia near the Kuwaiti and Iraqi
1985 Gulf Air, a joint venture
between Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, decided to cut back its
services to Dubai. This prompted Dubai to launch its own airline.
The Emirates Airline began in the UAE with 2 rented planes and a $10
million investment from Dubai’s ruling family under the direction of
Maurice Flanagan. In 2005 the state-owned operation planned to
double its 73-plane fleet. Sir Tim Clark helped set up the airline
and by 2015 it was the world’s biggest carrier as measured by int’l.
(WSJ, 1/11/05, p.A1)(Econ, 6/5/10, p.75)(Econ,
1988 Jul 3, The US Navy USS
Vincennes shot down an Iranian Airbus A-300 in the Persian Gulf from
the cruiser ship Vincennes shortly after it took off from Bandar
Abbas for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. All 290 people aboard
were killed after the crew of the Vincennes misidentified the plane
as an Iranian F-14 fighter. In 1996 the US paid $131.8 million in
compensation of which half would go directly to the families of the
people killed. Iran filed suit in World Court in 1989 and settled
out of court in Feb, 1996.
(WSJ, 2/23/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 4/26/96, p.A-14)(AP
1991 Mar 4, The Bank of Credit
& Commerce International divested itself of 1st American Bank.
BCCI was majority owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
(SC, 3/4/02)(WSJ, 10/21/05, p.A10)
1991 Jul 5, A worldwide
financial scandal erupted as regulators in eight countries shut down
the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, charging it with
fraud, drug money laundering and illegal infiltration into the U.S.
banking system. BCCI, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates, failed. It was chartered in Luxembourg and the Cayman
Islands and had offices in 70 countries. The ruling family of Abu
Dhabi was the major investor and faced huge liability claims from
depositors around the world. In 1997 a British court convicted
Pakistani shipping tycoon, Abbas Gokal -chairman of the defunct Gulf
Group, of a 1.2 billion fraud that led to the collapse. Larry Gurwin
later co-authored “False Profits: The Inside Story of BCCI, The
World’s Most Corrupt empire."
(WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A9B)(WSJ, 4/4/97, p.A1)(AP,
7/5/97)(SFEC, 10/11/98, p.A2)(WSJ, 5/1/02, p.AD7)
1991 Dec 19, The failed Bank of
Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) agreed to settle federal
racketeering charges by forfeiting all its U.S. assets.
1994 13 former BCCI officials
were tried and 12 were convicted and sentenced to jail and terms
with civil damages to $9 billion.
(WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A9B)
1995 Dec, A Lebanese Christian
man was flogged and imprisoned for marrying a Muslim citizen
studying in the US. The couple married in Lebanon.
(SFEC, 12/1/96, p.T9)
1996 The United Arab Emirates,
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan recognized the Taliban after they seized
the Afghan capital Kabul. All three countries cut ties with the
Taliban after it sheltered al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden following
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US.
1996 The court acquitted 2
officials in the BCCI scandal but upheld sentences against 8 and
said they must pay $8.3 million in addition to the original $9
billion in civil damages.
(WSJ, 6/11/96, p.A9B)
1997 Dec 15, A Russian Tu-154
charter flight from Tajikistan crashed 9 miles from Sharjah and 85
people were killed.
(SFC, 12/16/97, p.B1)
1998 Jan 11, A large oil spill
resulted when an oil barge ran aground. Some 4,000 tons spilled on
beaches and threatened marine and bird life.
(SFC, 1/12/98, p.A12)
1998 May 12, The UAE announced
that it would buy 80 F-16s from the US for about $7 billion.
(SFC, 5/13/98, p.A13)
1998 Sep, In Dubai the
construction of a new multi-million prison was set to begin. Crown
Prince Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum conceived of the
facility as a prison for 2,000 “guests" of white-collar crimes. The
prison will have a gym, theater, conference center, and be equipped
with internet access.
(SFC, 7/31/98, p.D8)
2000 Feb 26, It was reported
that hunters killed the last known Arabian mountain goat, known as
tahr, to restore their sexual potency. The last known Arabian wold
was also killed in the mountains of Ras al-Khaimah by shepherds who
feared for their flocks.
(SFC, 2/26/00, p.A8)
2000 Mar, The UAE signed a $6.4
billion contract to buy 80 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets.
(WSJ, 3/13/00, p.A16)
2000 Oct 16, Israel announced
the kidnapping by Hizbullah of Elchanan Tannenbaum (b.1946), a
colonel in Israel’s reserves. He was kidnapped in Dubai and taken to
Lebanon. Tannenbaum was released in January 2004 as part of a
prisoner swap with Hezbollah. The swap exchanged 435 prisoners held
by Israel in return for Tannenbaum's release and the return of the
bodies of 3 soldiers killed during an ambush along the
2000 Dec 31, Six Persian Gulf
nations (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates) signed a regional defense pact.
(SFC, 1/1/01, p.A10)
2001 Jul 28, Jamal Beghal (36),
a French-Algerian, was arrested in Dubai with a false French
passport while traveling to Europe from Afghanistan. He was
extradited to France in Sep 30. He told police of a plans to bomb
the US Embassy in Paris on orders from Abu Zubaydah, a top bin Laden
(WSJ, 10/3/01, p.A18)(SFC, 10/23/01, p.A5)
2001 Sep 9, In the UAE Mustafa
Ahmed al Hissawi, an associate of Osama bin Laden, retrieved about
$5,000 sent by Marwan al Shehhi, a UAE citizen believed to be the
Sep 11 pilot of US Flight 175.
(WSJ, 11/2/01, p.A13)
2001 Sep 11, The UAE emirate of
Ras al Khaimah was drawn into the international fallout as the
birthplace of hijacker Marwan al-Shehhi, who flew United flight 175
into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
2001 Sep 22, The United Arab
Emirates (UAE) cut relations with Afghanistan’s Taliban government.
(SSFC, 9/23/01, p.A14)
2001 Sep 23, The 6-member
Persian "Gulf Cooperation Council" (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, UAE) met in Jidda and pledged support for an int’l.
coalition against terrorism.
(SFC, 9/24/01, p.A7)
2002 Aug 25, In the UAE the
roof of a Dubai warehouse that was under construction collapsed,
killing seven people and injuring 19.
2002 Nov 18, It was reported
that Dubai was constructing the $5.5 billion Palm Island resort
project, scheduled for completion in 2006. The $4.9 billion
Dubailand tourist city included 45 theme parks, sports centers and
(WSJ, 11/18/02, p.A1)(Econ, 12/6/03, p.42)
2002 Nov 21, Al-Qaida leader
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the network's chief of operations in the
Persian Gulf, was reported to have been captured earlier in the
month. The Saudi of Yemeni descent was captured in Dubai and flown
to a CIA prison in Afghanistan and then onto Thailand where he was
waterboarded and interrogated. He had allegedly planned the Oct 12,
2000, attack on the US Navy destroyer Cole.
(AP, 11/21/02)(SFC, 9/29/11, p.A2)
2002 Dubai began creating a
world-class financial centre as part of its diversification into
service industries before running out of oil and gas.
(Econ, 7/10/04, p.64)
2002 Geo News, a Dubai-based
Pakistani TV news channel, got its broadcasting license. It began
broadcasting in November 2005 and soon became the darling of the
army and religious right.
(Econ, 5/24/14, p.36)
2003 Mar 1, The United Arab
Emirates called for Saddam Hussein to step down, the first Arab
country to do so publicly.
2003 Mar 2, The United
Arab Emirates won support from Kuwait and Bahrain in its call for
Saddam Hussein to quit power to avert a war.
2003 Aug, In Switzerland Sheikh
Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the brother of the president
of the United Arab Emirates, hit an Italian-American, Silvano Orsi,
with the buckle of his belt in a hotel. in a trial in June, 2008, he
was ordered to pay 540,000 Swiss francs (337,000 euros, 532,000
dollars) by the court, suspended for three years. The sheikh was
also sentenced to pay legal costs of nearly 3,000 Swiss francs. In
2009 he was acquitted on appeal against the imposed fines.
2003 Sep 20, The annual
meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund began in
2003 Sep 22, It was reported
that Sol Kirzner, Sun King, had struck a deal to build a $650
million Arabian-inspired resort in Dubai.
(WSJ, 9/22/03, p.A1)
2003 Oct, Air Arabia, a Sharjah
government-owned airline, launched services from Dubai. It billed
itself as the Middle East's first budget airline.
2003 In the UAE Saqr bin
Mohammed Al Qasimi dumped his eldest son, Sheik Khalid bin Saqr Al
Qasimi, as the crown prince in favor of Sheik Saud to succeed him as
leader of Ras al Khaimah. The emirate's name means "top of the tent"
in Arabic in reference to the shape of the peninsula shared by the
UAE and Oman.
2003 The Saudi-owned news
channel al-Arabiya was launched from Dubai.
(Econ, 2/26/05, p.25)
2003 Abu Dhabi launched its
Etihad airline by royal decree. In 2004 it made an $8 billion order
for new airplanes.
(Econ, 6/5/10, p.76)
2004 Feb 10, An Iranian
Fokker-50 plane carrying mostly foreign workers crashed as it
approached Sharjah airport in the United Arab Emirates, killing 43
people aboard. 3 survived.
2004 Feb 22, Giorgio Armani
signed a $1 billion hotel venture with Dubai’s Emaar Properties.
(Econ, 2/28/04, p.61)
2004 Sep 27, In Dubai a wall
collapsed at an airport construction site, killing more than eight
workers and injuring many more.
2004 Nov 2, Sheik Zayed bin
Sultan Al Nahyan (86), United Arab Emirates President, died. Sheik
Zayed became the ruler of Abu Dhabi, the largest and wealthiest
emirate, in 1966, four years after the emirate first began exporting
the oil it just discovered off its shores. He left behind 19 sons
including 4 brothers known as the Bani Fatima, whose mother was a
favorite wife of Zayed. Eldest son Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed (b.1947)
succeeded his father.
(AP, 11/3/04)(Econ, 11/20/04, p.90)(Econ,
2004 Nov 4, The UAE appointed
Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the eldest son of Sheik Zayed bin
Sultan Al Nahyan, as its president. Sheik Khalifa, crown prince of
Abu Dhabi since 1969, automatically became ruler of Abu Dhabi
following his father's death.
2004 Nov 15, The Bush
administration announced that it intended to negotiate trade
agreements with Oman and the UAE.
(Econ, 11/20/04, p.78)
2004 Dec 6, The Dubai Int’l.
Film Festival (DIFF) opened its first season.
2004 Dec 7, DragonMart, a 1.2km
dragon-shaped mall in Dubai featuring Chinese products, opened its
doors to the public as the biggest Chinese shopping mall outside of
2004 The Dubai International
Financial Center (DIFC) was set up in the city center as a 110-acre
"free zone" to boost Dubai as both a financial waystation and
(Econ., 8/22/20, p.59)
2004 DP World, a ports operator
owned by the government of Dubai (UAE), purchased the port
operations of CSX, a US railroad company, for $1.15 billion formerly
run by John Snow, US treasury secretary.
(Econ, 2/25/06, p.33)
2004 Dubai reported 34
site-related deaths of construction workers this year. Human Rights
Watch counted 880 bodies sent home by foreign embassies.
(Econ, 12/16/06, p.71)
2004 Sheik Issa bin Zayed Al
Nahyan (40), a half brother of the Emirati president, beat a man
said to be the Afghan worker in an empty stretch of the Abu
Dhabi desert. The beating was filmed by Texas
businessman Bassam Nabulsi. The victim, identified as Afghani grain
dealer Mohammed Shapoor, survived the beatings. In 2009 Nahyan went
on trial on torture charges.
2005 Mar 23, It was reported
that Dubai Holding, controlled by the ruler of Dubai, had reached a
deal to buy 21,000 rental apartments in the US Sunbelt for $1
(WSJ, 3/23/05, p.B6)
2005 Mar, Sheik Khalifa, ruler
of Abu Dhabi, issued a decree granting citizens the right to buy and
(WSJ, 10/21/05, p.A10)
2005 Jul 5, The United Arab
Emirates (UAE), under international pressure to stop child abuse in
a traditional desert sport, banned the use of underage riders in
2005 Jul 23, In Umm Al-Quwain,
UAE, a $3.3 billion deal for the Khor al-Beidah lagoon complex was
signed. A few days later developers announced Umm Al-Quwain's desert
interior would be the site for a new city that could eventually
house as many as 500,000 people.
2005 Aug 11, Thirty-five
Bangladeshi children who worked as camel jockeys in the United Arab
Emirates arrived home to an uncertain future as part of a United
Nations-sponsored program. The UAE now plans to use robots to race
camels rather than children.
2005 Aug, Sheik Khalifa, ruler
of Abu Dhabi, signed Law No. 19, which formally abandoned the old
property regime and permitted the sale of freehold rights by
citizens and in certain areas 99-year leases by foreigners.
(WSJ, 10/21/05, p.A10)
2005 Oct 2, A Dubai-based
newspaper said it stands by a story in which it quoted Iran's
president as saying he might curtail oil sales if his nation is
referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions over its
2005 Oct 4, The UAE Labor
Ministry announced that company executives will find their names on
a sheet of shame published by the government if they don't start
paying wages to their laborers.
2005 Oct, Workers in Dubai
broke ground on a $3.8 billion, 42-mile, light rail system to be
completed in late 2009.
(SSFC, 12/18/05, p.A23)
2005 Nov 16, Former President
Clinton in Dubai, UAE, told Arab students that the US made a "big
mistake" when it invaded Iraq, stoking the partisan debate back home
over the war.
2005 Nov 25, Newspapers in
Dubai reported that police had raided a hotel chalet in Ghantout and
arrested 26 men as they celebrated a wedding ceremony. 22 of the 26
arrested were from the Emirates.
(SSFC, 11/27/05, p.A23)
2005 Dec 1, The United Arab
Emirates announced it will hold a limited form of voting to pick
members of a consultative council, a small step toward widening
political participation in a country that has never held elections.
2005 Dec 14, In the UAE Abu
Dhabi overhauled business ownership laws allowing foreigners to own
100% of businesses in special economic zones.
(WSJ, 12/15/05, p.A16)
2005 Megaprojects under
construction in Dubai included The World, an artificial archipelago;
Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building; Hydropolis, an underwater
luxury hotel; the Restless Planet theme park, a domed ski resort;
and the Mall of Arabia.
(SSFC, 7/24/05, p.C3)
2005 Dubai put a 15% cap on
rental increases as other living expenses rose by double digits.
(WSJ, 6/20/06, p.C12)
2005 Dubai’s population
numbered about 1.5 million.
(SSFC, 7/24/05, p.C3)
2006 Jan 4, Sheik Maktoum bin
Rashid Al Maktoum (62), the emir of Dubai and prominent owner and
breeder of thoroughbred horses, died during a visit to Australia.
2006 Jan 27, British port
operator Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. switched
prospective suitors for the second time after Dubai Ports World
raised its offer for the company to almost $7 billion, trumping an
offer from Singapore's PSA International Ltd.
2006 Feb 11, Dubai Ports World,
a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates, won approval
from a secretive US panel for a $6.8 billion deal to take over
operations at six American ports.
2006 Feb 13, DP World, a ports
operator owned by the government of Dubai (UAE), paid $6.8 billion
to acquire P&O, a British firm which runs a global network of
maritime terminals including 6 American ports.
(Econ, 2/25/06, p.33)
2006 Feb 17, US-based Space
Adventures announced it plans to build a $265 million spaceport in
the United Arab Emirates.
2006 Feb 21, Pres. Bush said he
would veto any legislation blocking a deal for a state-owned company
in Dubai to manage port terminals in US cities. Bush was not aware
of the pending sale of the port operations until after aides
approved the deal.
(SFC, 2/22/06, p.A1)(WSJ, 2/23/06, p.A1)
2006 Feb 23, A United Arab
Emirates company volunteered to postpone its takeover of significant
operations at six major US seaports, giving the White House more
time to convince skeptical lawmakers the deal posed no increased
risks from terrorism.
2006 Feb 26, The Bush
administration said it has accepted a proposal from Dubai Ports
World for a 45-day review of national security implications of its
plans to take control of operations at 6 US ports.
(SFC, 2/27/06, p.A3)
2006 Mar 9, Dubai Ports World
bowed to pressure from the US Congress and announced that it will
sell off its US operations to a US owner.
(SFC, 3/10/06, p.A18)
2006 Mar 30, In the UAE hours
after a human rights group blasted the United Arab Emirates for what
it called wanton abuses of Asian workers, the country's labor
minister said a law in the works will give laborers the right to
form trade unions and bargain collectively.
2006 Mar, Persian Gulf stock
markets suffered their 1st serious correction after years of 6-7%
annual gains. Stock market reversals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the
UAE, along with Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia triggered outrage
among local small investors.
(WSJ, 3/27/06, p.C1)
2006 Apr 26, About 2,500
foreign construction workers rioted over wages and working
conditions at a building site in Dubai, smashing equipment and
vehicles in the second violent protest by construction workers in a
month in the fast-growing city. "We get 450 dirhams ($123) a month,"
one worker said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he
feared retribution. "It's not enough. We can't save any money."
2006 Apr 28, President George
W. Bush approved Dubai's $1.24 billion takeover of Doncasters, a
British engineering company with US plants that supply the Pentagon.
2006 May 13, The United Arab
Emirates and South Korea signed a series of accords, including a
memorandum of understanding on stockpiling Emirati oil in South
Korea, on the second day of a visit by the South Korean president.
2006 May 16, In Iraq gunmen
kidnapped UAE diplomat Naji Rashid al-Nuaimi (28) as he left the
home of the United Arab Emirates' cultural affairs attache in
Baghdad's Mansour district. On May 30 it was reported that Al-Nuaimi
(AP, 5/17/06)(AP, 5/31/06)
2006 May 24, Dubai hosted the
Middle East's first major international art auction.
2006 May 30, Emirati
authorities said Naji Nuaimi, an Emirati diplomat held hostage in
Iraq since May 16, has been released without ransom.
2006 Jun 14, India's largest
film festival kicked off in Dubai, as a number of Bollywood stars
descended on this booming Gulf city state where Indians make up the
2006 Jul 6, A UAE freighter
sank in strong winds in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa,
killing seven crew members. The ship was owned by al-Hufuf Maritime
Co., based in the United Arab Emirates, but it sailed under the flag
2006 Jul 8, The Guggenheim
Foundation announced it had commissioned American architect Frank
Gehry to build a new branch of the Guggenheim modern and
contemporary art museum in Abu Dhabi. The $400 million structure was
planned as a showpiece for Saadiyat Island’s Culture District.
(AP, 7/8/06)(Econ, 2/10/07, p.46)
2006 Jul, Oman and the UAE
completed the delineation of their 1,000-km (625-mile) shared
borders, in line with a June 2002 accord.
2006 Oct 18, In Dubai Etisalat,
a state-controlled phone company, was reported to have soaring
profits. The Emirates' chief telecom and Internet provider, began to
block Skype and other Internet phone providers during the summer,
arguing they had no license to sell phone service. Calls for 2 cents
a minute went dead and customers were forced to pay 75 cents per
minute to phone Britain and 60 cents to call the United States
during peak hours.
2006 Oct 30, South African
miner Gold Fields announced it was listing on the Dubai
International Financial Exchange (DIFX), becoming the first African
company to list shares on the fledgling Gulf market.
2006 Dec 3, A Dubai-based
developer announced that it plans to build a new Russian city on
44,000 acres near Moscow.
2006 Dec 10, The oil-rich Arab
states on the Persian Gulf said that they will consider starting a
joint nuclear program for peaceful purposes. The six-nation Gulf
Cooperation Council included Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab
Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
2006 Dec 16, Some 6,000
hand-picked voters chose members of a government advisory panel in
the UAE’s first election, the Arab world's latest tentative step
toward democracy. This was the first of a three-day vote for 20 open
seats on the Federal National Council.
(AP, 12/16/06)(AP, 9/24/11)
2006 Dec 20, In the UAE
hand-selected voters cast the third and final round of votes to
choose members of a government advisory panel in this oil-rich
country's first-ever elections.
2006 Abu Dhabi’s government
Authority for Culture and Heritage launched The Million's Poet to
2006 In Abu Dhabi a diabetes
center was opened by the Imperial College of London. In 2008 almost
a fifth of the UAE’s native population suffered from diabetes.
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.37)
2006 Abu Dhabi initiated the
development of Masdar, a new smart city built on a raised platform
and expected to house 40,000 people.
(Econ, 11/6/10, SR
2006 Abu Dhabi, with a
population of about 250,000, sat on a tenth of the world’s oil.
(Econ, 6/10/06, p.45)
2006 Oil revenues in Dubai
dropped to 7% of GDP as economic development expanded to transport,
tourism and business. Dubai, ruled by the wealthy al-Maktoum family,
planned to become the main financial center between Europe and Asia.
(Econ, 3/4/06, p.56)(Econ, 12/16/06, p.13)
2006 The Saudi offshoot of
Emaar, one of Dubai’s big-three developers, raised 2.55 billion
riyals ($680 million) to build a metropolis on the Red Sea coast.
The King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) was due for completion in
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.38)
2007 Jan 18, In Dubai a
high-rise apartment building under construction caught fire,
injuring up to 25 workers and trapping others in thick smoke as
rescue crews scrambled to reach them.
2007 Mar 6, France and the
United Arab Emirates signed an agreement to open a branch of the
Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi, despite criticism that the French
government is peddling the country's artistic treasures.
2007 Mar 11, Halliburton CEO
Dave Lesar announced that his oil services company will soon shift
its corporate headquarters from Houston to the Mideast financial
powerhouse of Dubai.
2007 Apr 29, Japan and the
resources-rich United Arab Emirates agreed to launch a high-level
dialogue aimed at boosting economic ties and to speed up talks on a
free trade pact. Officials of the governmental Japan Bank for
International Cooperation decided to extend massive loans to Abu
Dhabi National Oil Co. in exchange for securing a stable oil supply
2007 Apr, The International
Prize for Arabic Fiction was officially launched in Abu Dhabi,
capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2008 the Philanthropy
in Abu Dhabi awarded the 1st annual Int’l. Prize for Arabic Fiction
to Bahaa Taher for “Sunset Oasis."
2007 May 10, US VP Cheney
arrived at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to a red carpet
welcome. The vice president is on a weeklong tour of the Middle East
that will also take him to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.
2007 May 19, Sheikh Mohammed
Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, launched a $10 billion
foundation to provide scholarships and promote research in the
Middle East, saying the region has neglected education despite its
oil wealth (www.mbrfoundation.ae).
(AP, 5/20/07)(WSJ, 5/31/07, p.A16)
2007 Jun 1, CNBC Africa was
launched from new headquarters in South Africa. Dubai investors put
in some $22.5 million for the 24-hour African business channel
broadcasting to 14 African countries.
(Econ, 6/9/07, p.75)
2007 Jun 12, It was reported
that the Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania, numbering fewer than 1,500,
faced a hastening extinction following a government deal to lease
2,500 square miles of tribal hunting land to members of the Abu
Dhabi royal family. Schools, roads and other projects were offered
(SFC, 6/12/07, p.A20)
2007 Jun 18, The Gulf emirate
of Dubai announced it had bought the Queen Elizabeth 2, one of the
world's most majestic cruise liners, and planned to turn it into a
luxury floating hotel.
2007 Jun 19, In Dubai a
Canadian UN official, who advised the Afghan government on
eradicating opium poppy crops, was sentenced to four years in prison
for smuggling and drug possession. Bert Tatham (35) of Vancouver,
British Columbia, was arrested April 23 during a one-hour stopover
at the Dubai International Airport, after being caught with a half a
gram of hashish, and two poppy bulbs.
2007 Jul 14, Alexandre Robert
(15), a French-Swiss youth, was raped by 3 UAE nationals in Dubai.
The case went to court in November. On Dec 12 a panel of judges
sentenced two Emirati men to 15 years in prison each in connection
with a kidnapping and sexual attack on the French-Swiss boy.
(Reuters, 11/7/07)(AP, 12/12/07)
2007 Jul 21, Developers of the
Burj Dubai, a 1,680-foot skyscraper still under construction in
oil-rich Dubai, claimed that it has become the world's tallest
building, surpassing Taiwan's Taipei 101 which has dominated the
global skyline at 1,667 feet since 2004.
2007 Jul 27, Pakistan’s Pres.
Musharraf held secret talks in Abu Dhabi with former PM Benazir
Bhutto. In Islamabad hundreds of students clashed with security
forces and a nearby bombing killed 13 people during the reopening of
the Red Mosque for the first time since a bloody army raid to oust
Islamic militants from the complex. In Quetta gunmen opened fire on
the vehicle of Raziq Bugti, the official spokesman for a provincial
government in Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan, killing him.
(AP, 7/27/07)(AP, 7/28/07)(SSFC, 7/29/07, p.A14)
2007 Aug 8, It was reported
that Dubai’s power and water demands are rising by an average of 20%
and 15% respectively each year and that the state-owned utilities
were having difficulty providing for the increasing demand.
(WSJ, 8/7/07, p.B4)
2007 Aug 17, Borse Dubai made a
$3.95 billion takeover bid for OMX AB, challenging US-based NASDAQ
Stock Market Inc. for ownership of the Stockholm-based Nordic stock
2007 Aug 21, The board of MGM
Mirage approved a deal with Dubai World in which the holding company
for the Persian Gulf state will eventually acquire a 9.5% stake and
50% ownership in the Las Vegas CityCenter project.
(WSJ, 8/22/07, p.A3)
2007 Sep 14, Developers in
Dubai said the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest building since July,
has also become the tallest free-standing structure on earth,
reaching 1,822 feet. The over 700-meter (2,313 feet) Burj Dubai
tower complex, a part of the Dubai Mall, was expected to be
completed this year. The design was by Skidmore, Owings &
Merrill of Chicago.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.57)(SFC, 3/31/05, p.A2)(AP,
2007 Sep 20, Borse Dubai and
NASDAQ, rivals to take over Nordic market operator OMX, said they
had joined forces to acquire it together in a deal that gives Borse
Dubai 19.99 percent of US-based NASDAQ and 28 percent of the London
2007 Oct 28, In Dubai thousands
of South Asian construction workers went on strike over harsh
working conditions in the latest threat to a spectacular building
boom already endangered by a falling currency and labor shortage.
2007 Oct 31, In Dubai more than
4,000 south Asian workers who had been jailed since a weekend labor
strike were released, in an incident that has highlighted labor
tensions in this booming city.
2007 Nov 3, Abu Dhabi began
work on building the world's first Ferrari theme park, another step
in the Gulf emirate's ambition to become a global centre for
leisure, sport and culture.
2007 Nov 8, A bridge under
construction in a new development in Dubai collapsed, killing seven
workers and injuring 15.
2007 Nov 16, Mubadala
Development, an investment arm of Abu Dhabi, announced that it would
pay $622 million for 8.1% of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
(Econ, 11/24/07, p.70)
2007 Nov 18, MTV Arabia, an
Arab version of the pop-culture channel, began broadcasting from
2007 Nov 26, Citigroup
announced that the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government will
take a 4.9% stake and provide a $7.5 billion capital infusion.
(WSJ, 11/27/07, p.A3)
2007 Dec 1, Dubai police
conducted a series of simultaneous raids on suspected brothels,
landing 247 suspects in jail in the emirate's biggest
anti-prostitution sweep to date. Human was trafficking rampant in
this wealthy Gulf city.
2007 Dec 17, Dubai ruling
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum pardoned 377 inmates of Dubai
prisons this week on the eve of Eid al-Adha, an important Islamic
holiday. The pardon included Bert Tatham, a Canadian UN official who
advised the Afghan government on eradicating opium poppy crops.
Tatham (35) was granted amnesty, six months after being sentenced to
four years in prison on a drug smuggling conviction. Tatham was
arrested April 23 during a one-hour stopover at the Dubai
International Airport, after being caught with a half a gram of
hashish, and two poppy bulbs.
2007 Dec 17, Japan and the
United Arab Emirates signed an accord to strengthen economic ties,
including a deal for Japanese banks to extend a multibillion-dollar
loan to a state-owned Abu Dhabi oil firm.
2008 Jan 13, In Abu Dhabi, UAE,
President Bush said that Iran is threatening the security of the
world, and that the United States and Arab allies must join together
to confront the danger "before it's too late."
2008 Jan 13, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed plans to sign a nuclear cooperation
agreement with the United Arab Emirates amid reports French firms
could construct up to two nuclear reactors there.
2008 Jan 15, The French
government announced during a visit by Pres. Sarkozy that it will
set up a permanent military base of up to 500 troops in the United
2008 Feb, In Abu Dhabi ground
was broken on the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the
1st step in an initiative to foster renewable energy and
environmental technologies. The Masdar Initiative was initially
unveiled in 2006.
(Econ, 4/26/08, p.40)(Econ, 12/6/08, TQ p.29)
2008 Mar 15, Officials said the
main telecom operator in the United Arab Emirates, Etisalat, has
launched mobile services in Nigeria, becoming the fifth operator
2008 Mar 18, In the UAE South
Asian workers, striking over pay in the Emirate of Sharjah, torched
offices and vehicles.
2008 Mar 26, In Dubai a massive
explosion at a fireworks factory left two people dead and two
injured. Subsequent fires rapidly spread, sending thick clouds of
black smoke into the sky.
2008 Mar, Kholoud Ahmad Jua'an
Al Daheri was appointed the UAE’s first female judge.
2008 Apr 8, Dubai’s crown
prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum bought 16
camels for $4.5 million, including one female camel for $2.7
(SFC, 4/9/08, p.A4)
2008 May 17, Somali pirates
hijacked a Jordanian-flagged ship, called the Victoria, in the
latest in a string of attacks off the lawless coast of Somalia.
Islamic insurgents in Somalia seized a major agricultural center
overnight in Jilib. 2 militia fighters were killed. The UAE-owned
ship was released on May 23.
(AP, 5/17/08)(AP, 5/18/08)(AP, 5/23/08)
2008 Jun 16, It was reported
that Texas businessman Bassam Nabulsi had a federal lawsuit against
Sheik Issa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a son of the late UAE president and
brother of Abu Dhabi's crown prince. Nabulsi said he safeguarded the
sheik's most important documents: financial records, investment
documents, and videotapes showing the sheik torturing people with a
cattle prod and a spiked plank.
2008 Jun 24, In NYC David
Fisher, an Italian architect, said he is poised to start
construction on a new skyscraper in Dubai that will be "the world's
first building in motion," an 80-story tower with revolving floors
that give it an ever-shifting shape.
2008 Jul 6, The United Arab
Emirates canceled all its Iraqi debt and moved to restore a full
diplomatic mission in Baghdad by naming a new ambassador.
2008 Jul 9, It was announced
that the Abu Dhabi Investment Council had purchased a 90% stake in
NYC’s Chrysler Building for $800 million.
(WSJ, 7/10/08, p.C3)
2008 Jul 28, Lebanese singer
Suzanne Tamim (30) was found stabbed and her throat slashed in
Dubai. On August 8 Egypt banned news coverage of the brutal slaying
following media reports in other papers that said a wealthy Egyptian
businessman ordered 3 men to carry out the killing. On Sep 2 Hisham
Talaat Moustafa, an Egyptian lawmaker and business tycoon, was
arrested in the death Tamim. He was accused of paying a former
police officer $2 million to kill her. On May 21, 2009, Moustafa was
sentenced to death for ordering Tamim’s death. Former officer,
Mohsen el-Sukkary, was also convicted and sentenced to death. In
2010 Moustafa was spared the death penalty after a retrial changed
his original death sentence to 15 years in prison.
9/2/08)(AP, 5/21/09)(AP, 9/28/10)
2008 Jul, Mubadala Development,
an investment arm of Abu Dhabi, announced that it intended to become
a major shareholder in GE.
(Econ, 9/20/08, SR p.24)
2008 Aug 7, It was reported
that the Dubai-based Al Yousuf Group has invested $10 million in
Zap, a Santa Rosa, Ca., firm that makes electric cars.
(SFC, 8/7/08, p.C1)
2008 Aug 7, It was reported
that two subsidiaries of government-owned Dubai World have acquired
a 20% stake in Canada’s circus operator Cirque du Soleil. In May the
circus had agreed to perform on Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island,
for 15 years starting in 2011.
(SFC, 8/7/08, p.C2)
2008 Aug 21, Forbes magazine
reported that Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej (80) is the world's
richest royal sovereign with a fortune estimated at 35 billion
dollars, and oil-rich Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (60) of Abu
Dhabi is far back at No. 2 with 23 billion.
2008 Aug 26, In Dubai a
fire in a building packed with foreign laborers killed 11 people. 10
of the victims were Indian.
2008 Sep 3, A helicopter
carrying foreign contractors crashed into an oil platform off the
coast of Dubai, killing all seven people on board and halting
production in one of the emirate's four offshore oil fields.
2008 Oct 5, Abu Dhabi’s
Mubadala Development Co. and Texas-based ConocoPhillips said they
have signed a deal with Kazakhstan’s national oil company to drill
in a potentially lucrative region in the Caspian Sea.
(SFC, 10/6/08, p.D1)
2008 Oct 7, Advanced Micro
Devices (AMD) and Advanced Technology Investment, a recently formed
investment firm owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, said they will
become joint owners of a new company that will take over AMD’s
factories in Germany.
(WSJ, 10/8/08, p.B3)
2008 Oct 12, The United Arab
Emirates said it would guarantee domestic bank deposits and with
Saudi Arabia promised fresh financial support to domestic banks.
(WSJ, 10/13/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct 16, In Dubai a British
couple was sentenced to three months in jail in a case that has
caused controversy because the two were charged in July with having
sex on the beach. The Dubai Court of Appeals upheld the guilty
verdict but dropped the prison sentences for Michelle Palmer and
Vince Acors, though it ruled the couple must still be deported from
the United Arab Emirates and pay a fine of about $272 each.
(AP, 10/15/08)(AP, 11/25/08)
2008 Oct 31, Middle East
investors will own up to one third of Barclays Plc after Abu Dhabi
and Qatar provided most of 7.3 billion pounds ($12.1 billion) raised
by the bank to repair damage from the global financial crisis and
avoid taking UK government rescue funds.
2008 Nov 2, Dubai Port World
(DP World) said it has agreed on a deal to run the cargo terminal in
the Algerian port Djendjen. The port, which opened in 1993, is the
most commercially important in Algeria.
2008 Nov 20, Dubai held a
launch party for its Atlantis Hotel.
(Econ, 12/20/08, p.115)
2008 Nov, Dubai’s government
and state-owned enterprises debt amounted to $80 billion, equivalent
to 148% of GDP.
(Econ, 11/29/08, p.53)
2008 Nov, A US diplomatic cable
said donors in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are sending
an estimated $100 million annually to radical Islamic schools in
Pakistan that back militancy. The cable was leaked to the public on
May 22, 2011.
2008 Dubai handled an estimated
60% of Iran’s merchandise trade, hosted nearly 10,000 Iranian-owned
firms and was linked to Iran by over 250 flights a week.
(Econ, 11/8/08, p.65)
2008 Jack Shahin, an American
businessman, was detained in Dubai as part of a probe into alleged
embezzlement by executives at Deyaar Development, one of several
Dubai-based property developers that rose to prominence during the
emirate's building boom last decade. He spent the next four years
behind bars without trial.
2009 Jan 14, The developer of a
Dubai skyscraper set to soar two-thirds of a mile said it's halting
work on the project for a year as the boomtown grapples with the
2009 Jan 12, In Dubai Kabir
Mulchandani, chairman of the Dynasty Zarooni development company,
was arrested on charges of fraud and embezzlement. He was accused of
defrauding investors of more than $100 million. He has been under
investigation in India for the past 10 years by the excise
department, directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI), enforcement
directorate (ED), and income tax authority.
(WSJ, 1/24/09, p.C3)(http://tinyurl.com/amevml)
2009 Jan 18, Dubai said it has
reached a deal with Nigeria to invest in the African nation's
conflict-ravaged oil industry and other sectors of the economy.
2009 Jan 19, The United Arab
Emirates central bank cut its benchmark lending rate a half point to
(WSJ, 1/20/09, p.A11)
2009 Jan, In Sharjah, UAE, a
mob of up to 50 people beat Masri Khan, a Pakistani man, to death
with metal bars in a fight over control of an illegal liquor
business. In March, 2010, 17 Indians were sentenced to death for the
beating. In 2011 the victim’s family accepted over $900,000 in
"blood money," allowing the men to return to their families. In
September, 2011, an Emirati court commuted the death sentences to
two years in prison, paving the way for their return home.
(AFP, 3/30/10)(AP, 7/21/11)(AFP, 9/12/11)
2009 Feb 10, A tanker burst
into flames after colliding with a container ship in a shipping
channel off the coast of Dubai. The Maltese-flagged tanker, Kashmir,
was carrying about 30,000 tons of oil condensate.
2009 Feb 22, The United Arab
Emirates said it will spend $10 billion to bail out Dubai, whose
huge construction and financial sector expansion plans slowed under
the world wide downturn.
(WSJ, 2/23/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 24, The United Arab
Emirates' official news agency said US firms Boeing Co. and Lockheed
Martin Corp. have been awarded almost $3 billion in contracts to
supply transport aircraft for the country's military.
2009 Mar 9, Dubai’s public
prosecution indicted 7 suspects on bribery and fraud charges
alleging losses to the Dubai Islamic Bank of over $501 million in
fake deals from 2004 to 2007. Two of the men had left the country.
(WSJ, 3/10/09, p.A7)
2009 Mar 16, The government of
Dubai resigned to prevent the questioning in Parliament of the
country’s prime minister, the nephew of Kuwait’s emir, regarding a
number of issues including alleged mismanagement and land-use
(WSJ, 3/18/09, p.A8)
2009 Mar 28, In Dubai Sulim
Yamadayev, a former Chechen rebel and brother of Ruslan Yamadaev
(d.2008), was shot in a brazen attack and died on March 30. He had
switched sides to the government during Chechnya's long-running
conflict with Moscow. On April 5 Dubai authorities said they had
arrested two suspects in the slaying. They said Adam Delimkhanov, a
Chechen member of Russia’s lower house and the Chechen president's
right-hand man, had masterminded the killing. On April 12, 2010,
Mahdi Tagi Dhurnia of Iran and Tajik national Mahsoudjan Asmanov
were sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty of
aiding and abetting the assassination of Yamadayev.
(AP, 3/31/09)(SFC, 3/31/09, p.A5)(AP,
4/5/09)(SFC, 4/6/09, p.A3)(AP, 4/12/10)(AP, 12/22/10)(Econ.,
2009 Apr 8, Dubai’s public
prosecution indicted Mohammed Khalfan Bin Kharbash, a former
minister of state, along with several former company executives for
(WSJ, 4/9/09, p.C2)
2009 Apr 17, Mohammed Zuhair
Siddiq, purported Syrian intelligence officer and one of the
suspects in the 2005 assassination of a former Lebanese prime
minister, was arrested in Dubai. He was arrested in France in
October 2005 as a suspect in the murder, but disappeared from house
arrest in France in March, 2008.
2009 Apr 23, Dubai's deputy
police chief denied a report that pirates have laundered ransom
money through banks in the Gulf city-state, according to a local
2009 May 5, H.H Sheikh Sultan
Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
(ADTA), announced the official launch of Al Ain Wildlife Park and
Resort at the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Sudan had
recently signed a leasing agreement with an Al Ain National Wildlife
for some 6,180 square miles of southeastern wilderness to be
developed as a safari site with semi-permanent tented camps
and top-class hotels.
2009 May 6, Bangladesh Home
Minister Sahara Khatun said the UAE has given the government nearly
$1.44 million to distribute among 879 Bangladeshi children who
worked as jockeys at camel races after it was banned in 1993. The
law was openly flouted until authorities reached an agreement in
2005 with UNICEF to help repatriate and rehabilitate child jockeys,
who were mostly taken from poorer Muslim nations such as Bangladesh,
Pakistan and Sudan.
2009 May 26, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy opened his nation's first military base in the Gulf
outside Abu Dhabi, boosting the naval presence along strategic oil
routes and in pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast.
2009 Jul 13, German automobile
group Daimler said it sold 40 percent of its stake in US electric
car maker Tesla Motors to United Arab Emirate's Aabar Investments
group to boost development of low-emission vehicles.
2009 Jul 21, The general
manager of Dubai's Al Nassma said the world's first brand of
chocolate made with camels' milk plans to expand into new Arab
markets, Europe, Japan and the United States.
2009 Jul 28, At the EAA
AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Aabar Investments, an Abu
Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund, and Virgin Galactic signed a
strategic partnership in which Aabar would take a 32% stake in
Virgin Galactic for $280 million. To date Virgin Galactic has been
wholly owned and funded by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
(Econ, 9/12/09, p.87)(http://tinyurl.com/y8gtjad)
2009 Aug 28, The United Arab
Emirates confirmed that it has seized a cargo ship earlier this
month bound for Iran with a cache of banned arms from North Korea.
Diplomats identified the vessel as a Bahamas-flagged cargo vessel,
the ANL Australia, carrying rocket-propelled grenades and other
2009 Sep 9, Dubai’s Sheikh
Mohammed al-Maktoum opened the Arabian Peninsula's first metro
system, the $7.6 billion project, hoping to capture the world's
spotlight on the catchy date of 9/9/09, whether the sleek system is
fully ready to go or not.
(AP, 9/9/09)(Econ, 9/12/09, p.52)
2009 Sep 30, The 24 members of
UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee of Intangible Heritage granted
the tango dance and its music protected cultural status at its
meeting in Abu Dhabi. The designation may make Argentina and
Uruguay, which both claim to be tango's birthplace, eligible to
receive financial assistance from a specialized fund for
safeguarding cultural traditions.
2009 Oct 1, A Lebanese
businessman, Hassan Alayan, alleged that he and several hundred
other Lebanese were expelled from the United Arab Emirates country
because they refused to spy on the Shiite militant group Hezbollah
and other fellow citizens.
2009 Oct 4, The UAE’s official
news agency said Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of
the United Arab Emirates, has signed a law regulating the
development of a civilian nuclear program, clearing the way for
construction of a nuclear power plant with help from the United
2009 Oct 5, Dubai's annual
property fair, the Cityscape expo, opened as a toned down event.
2009 Oct 12, The United Arab
Emirates' highest court convicted an American citizen on
terrorism-related charges amid claims that torture was used to
extract a confession. The court sentenced Naji Hamdan (43) to 18
months in prison, but he should be freed soon because the sentence
counts time served and he was detained last year. Hamdan was
arrested in the UAE in August 2008 and charged in June 2009 with
supporting terrorism, working with terrorist organizations and being
a member of a terrorist group.
2009 Oct 21, A Sudanese cargo
plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Sharjah International
Airport north of Dubai, killing the 6-member crew but causing no
other casualties on the ground.
2009 Oct 31, US Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas and aides in the Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi before flying to
Israel, where she is expected to meet senior Israeli officials in a
push to restart peace negotiations. A senior Palestinian official
said the Palestinians are unlikely to resume negotiations if Israel
does not halt Jewish settlement building. After the talks Clinton
called for an unconditional resumption of peace talks and welcomed
Israel's offer for a slowdown in settlement activity.
(AP, 10/31/09)(AP, 11/1/09)
2009 Nov 15, India's Essar
Group, and energy-to-steel conglomerate, said it has agreed to buy a
majority stake in Dhabi Group's telecommunication businesses in
African nations Uganda and Congo.
2009 Nov 25, Dubai, whose
extravagant building projects have been largely put on hold since
the start of the global financial crisis, said it would ask
creditors at its flagship firms Dubai World and property developer
Nakheel to delay repayment on billions of dollars of debt until May
30, 2010 at the earliest.
(Reuters, 11/26/09)(Econ, 11/28/09, p.83)
2009 Nov 25, Iran stopped the
yacht, “Kingdom of Bahrain," owned by Sail Bahrain as it sailed from
Bahrain to the Gulf city of Dubai. It had been due to join the
360-mile (580km) Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race, which was to
begin Nov. 26. Five British sailors were detained.
2009 Nov 26, European banks
were hit by concern about potential exposure to debt problems in
Dubai, while companies where Middle Eastern investors own big stakes
also came under pressure.
2009 Nov 29, The United Arab
Emirates' central bank said it would offer additional liquidity to
banks, signaling a push by the federal government to reassure
investors worried about the country's banking sector and its
exposure to Dubai's crushing debt.
2009 Dec 1, UAE stock markets
plunged for a second day after the Dubai government said it is not
guaranteeing debt-ridden Dubai World, which unveiled a major
2009 Dec 14, The Dubai
government said it will pay 4.1 billion dollars to cover maturing
Islamic bonds issued by its Nakheel property developer after
receiving a 10-billion-dollar handout from oil-rich Abu Dhabi.
2009 Dec 15, In Kuwait Gulf
Arab nations put into force a monetary pact, moving a step closer
toward the elusive goal of a single regional currency and greater
integration between the mainly oil-rich states. The announcement was
made by Kuwait's finance minister came as leaders from the
six-member Gulf Cooperation Council nations were wrapping up a
two-day summit in which they launched a regional electricity
project. The GCC groups Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab
Emirates, Oman and Bahrain.
2009 Dec 16, The 8-day Dubai
Int’l. Film Festival (DIFF) closed.
2009 Dec 27, A South Korean
consortium, led by Korea Electric Power (KEPCO), won a $20 billion
contract to build 4 nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates.
(Econ, 1/2/10, p.47)
2009 UAE love guru Widad Lootah
published the much-debated Muslim sex guide "Top Secret: Sexual
Guidance for Married Couples."
2009 Footage emerged of an
Emirati sheikh torturing an Afghan grain merchant, pouring sand into
his mouth and eyes and setting him alight before repeatedly running
him over. The sheikh was absolved in court, following short-lived
expressions of horror from Western policymakers.
(Econ, 3/25/17, p.75)
2010 Jan 1, In Dubai a British
woman (23) told police she had been raped the previous evening by a
waiter at a 5-star hotel. Police arrested her after she revealed
during questioning that she had drunk alcohol and had sex with her
fiance, with whom she was on holiday.
(Econ, 1/16/10, p.48)
2010 Jan 4, Dubai inaugurated
the world's tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, hoping to shift
international attention away from the Gulf emirate's deep financial
crisis and rekindle the optimism that fueled its turbocharged
growth. The name was secretly switched from Burj Dubai and unveiled
to the public as the Burj Khalifa, after the emir of Abu Dhabi and
UAE president Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The observation
deck was the only part of the tower that opened. It was closed in
February following an elevator malfunction that left visitors
trapped. The deck reopened on April 4. Work continued on the rest of
the building's interior.
(AP, 1/4/10)(AFP, 1/5/10)(AP, 1/6/10)(AP, 4/4/10)
2010 Jan 10, Abu Dhabi Sheik
Issa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of the United Arab Emirates
ruling family being tried in connection with the videotaped beating
of an Afghan man, was cleared of all charges. The video showed the
prince beating the man with stick, pouring salt on his wounds and
driving over him in a car. The victim, identified as Afghani grain
dealer Mohammed Shapoor, survived the beatings.
(AP, 1/10/10)(Econ, 1/16/10, p.48)
2010 Jan 20, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
(b.1960), one of the founders of Hamas' military wing, was poisoned
and electrocuted overnight in his hotel room in Dubai. Al-Mabhouh
was involved in the kidnapping and killing of two Israeli soldiers
in 1989. On Jan 29 Hamas accused Israeli agents of assassinating the
veteran operative. In 2013 it was reported that Ben Zygier took part
in the killing by a Mossad hit-team of Hamas operative Mahmoud
(AP, 1/29/10)(Reuters, 2/14/13)
2010 Feb 4, Dubai's government,
under pressure to repay billions of dollars in debt, said it has
discovered a new offshore oil field, the first such find by the
city-state in decades.
2010 Feb 15, Dubai police held
a stunning news conference and blamed the Jan 19 slaying of Mahmoud
al-Mabhouh on a team of 10 men and one woman carrying passports from
Britain, Ireland, France and Germany.
2010 Feb 16, Dubai police
appealed for an international manhunt after releasing names and
photos of an alleged 11-member European hit squad accused of
stalking and killing a Hamas commander on Jan 19 in a plot that
mixed cold precision with spy caper disguises such as fake beards
2010 Feb 18, Dubai police
directly accused Israel's Mossad spy agency of orchestrating the Jan
19 hit squad slaying of a Hamas commander as the number of suspects
rose to 18.
2010 Feb 22, The United Arab
Emirates said it has picked former International Atomic Energy
Agency chief Hans Blix to head an advisory board for its nuclear
power program. Blix was director general of the IAEA, the UN's
nuclear watchdog, from 1981 to 1997. He led the UN search for
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq until June 2003.
2010 Feb 24, Dubai police
linked at least 15 more suspects carrying foreign passports to the
Jan 19 hit squad slaying of a Hamas commander that the police chief
claimed was likely carried out by Israel's Mossad secret service.
2010 Feb 28, Dubai police said
forensic tests show a Hamas operative, who was killed on Jan 19 in
his hotel room by an alleged Israeli hit squad, was drugged with a
fast-acting muscle relaxant and then suffocated with a pillow.
2010 Mar 17, In Abu Dhabi Hissa
Hilal, only her eyes visible through her black veil, delivered a
blistering poem against Muslim preachers "who sit in the position of
power" but are "frightening" people with their fatwas, or religious
edicts, and "preying like a wolf" on those seeking peace. She
presented her 15-verse poem on the live TV “The Million's Poet"
2010 Mar 22, Dubai Media
reported that authorities planned to step up enforcement of a 2003
law prohibiting restaurants from using booze in food preparation.
2010 Mar 25, Dubai said it
would inject 9.5 billion dollars into Dubai World, which announced
it was asking creditors to wait for up to eight years to be repaid
2010 Mar 26, The head of Abu
Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, went missing
after his glider crashed in Morocco. Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's
glider went down in a lake in Morocco. The pilot of the aircraft was
rescued in good condition. The body of al-Nahayan was found on March
(AP, 3/27/10)(AFP, 3/30/10)
2010 Apr 4, A Dubai appeals
court upheld a one-month prison sentence for a British couple
convicted of kissing in a restaurant. They were arrested in November
and convicted of inappropriate behavior and illegal drinking. Ayman
Najafi and Charlotte Adams, both in their 20s, were arrested after
an Emirati woman claimed they exchanged a passionate kiss in a
restaurant where she and her daughter were having dinner.
2010 Apr 25, A hot air balloon
carrying 14 people crashed in the desert south of Dubai, killing at
2010 May 7, A Dubai newspaper
reported that local police have identified five new suspects in the
January slaying of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a Hamas operative in the Gulf
2010 May 12, In Dubai James
Ibori, former governor of Nigeria's oil-rich Delta state
(1999-2007), was arrested on a UK warrant. Nigerian anti-graft
agency chief Farida Waziri said Ibori was wanted on charges of
stealing 44 billion naira ($292 million) in state funds while he was
in office. In July Ibori was scheduled for extradition to Britain.
(AP, 5/14/10)(AFP, 7/26/10)
2010 Jun 21, A United
Arab Emirates reported that the UAE has closed down 40 international
and local firms as part of a crackdown on companies that violate UN
sanctions on Iran.
2010 Aug 1, The United Arab
Emirates said it plans to block some messaging and Web services on
BlackBerry smart phones, days after it warned the device could pose
a potential threat to national security and social values.
2010 Sep 3, A UPS Boeing
747-400 cargo plane with two crew members on board crashed shortly
after takeoff outside Dubai. The 2 crew members, Captain Doug Lampe
(48) of Louisville, Kentucky, and First Officer Matthew Bell (38) of
Sanford, Florida. were killed. On Nov 5 al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing
claimed responsibility for the crash, even though the United Arab
Emirates' civil aviation authority said that there was no evidence
of an explosive device aboard the jet.
(AP, 9/4/10)(AP, 9/5/10)(Reuters, 11/5/10)
2010 Sep 30, The
Arabic-language Al-Ittihad daily quoted Dubai police chief Dahi
Khalfan as saying he had "received two death threats based on the
case of Hamas militant" Mahmud al-Mabhuh's assassination in a Dubai
hotel on January 20.
2010 Oct 11, Dubai media
reported that a key suspect in the killing of a Hamas operative in
Dubai on Jan 19 has been arrested abroad but details of the capture
are secret. The arrest took place in a Western country about two
2010 Oct 11, Officials said
Canadian troops are being forced to pull out of a military base in
the United Arab Emirates that supports their mission in Afghanistan
amid an ongoing dispute over airline landing rights.
2010 Oct 17, A Nigerian
government spokesman said a Dubai court found cause to honor an
extradition request for former Delta state Gov. James Ibori, a
prominent politician in the ruling People's Democratic Party.
Authorities have said Ibori faces charges over stealing $292 million
in state funds while in office.
2010 Oct 18, Abu Dhabi-based
newspaper The National reported that the UAE's highest judicial body
has ruled that a man can beat his wife and young children as long as
the beating leaves no physical marks.
2010 Oct 27, UAE Sheik Saqr bin
Mohammed Al Qasimi (b.1918), a ruler of Ras the al Khaimah emirate
and one of the world's longest-reigning monarchs, died.
2010 Oct 29, Authorities on 3
continents thwarted attacks when they seized explosives on cargo
planes in the United Arab Emirates and England. The plot sent
tremors throughout the US, where after a frenzied day searching
planes and parcel trucks for other explosives, officials temporarily
banned all new cargo from Yemen. The next day police in Dubai said
that the bomb discovered there contained the powerful explosive PETN
and bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida. One of the two powerful bombs
mailed from Yemen to Chicago-area synagogues traveled on two
passenger planes within the Middle East. A tip of the plot came from
Jabir al-Fayfi, a Saudi who was held for years at the US military
prison at Guantanamo Bay. On Nov 5 al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing
claimed responsibility for the explosive parcels.
(AP, 10/30/10)(AP, 10/31/10)(AP,
2010 Nov 9, The United Arab
Emirates said it will force Canadians to get a visa to travel to the
Persian Gulf federation as of Jan 2, as ties soured between the
once-close countries. Emirati officials have ratcheted up the
pressure on Ottawa after failing to secure additional landing rights
for their growing government-backed airlines.
2010 Nov 22, UAE state media
said a military Hawk training jet has crashed in Ras al-Khaimah,
killing the pilot. The single-engine Hawk is made by British defense
company BAE Systems.
2010 Nov 24, Emirati (UAE)
leaders prepared a lavish welcome for Britain's Queen Elizabeth II,
who is making her first state visit in more than 30 years to a
country with deep British ties.
2010 Nov 29, British pay-TV
giant BSkyB and Abu Dhabi Media Investment Corp. said they will
launch a free-to-air Arabic language news channel under a joint
2010 Dec 7, Leaders of six
US-allied Gulf Arab nations, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),
said they were monitoring with "utmost concern" developments in
Iran's disputed nuclear program and issued a thinly veiled warning
to their Persian neighbor not to meddle in their internal affairs.
The 2-day gathering of leaders from the Emirates, Saudi Arabia,
Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman followed the publication of leaked
US diplomatic memos that revealed deeper concern among Gulf Arab
leaders over Tehran's nuclear program than had previously been
2010 Dec 19, A Dubai court
sentenced Mark Arnold (42), a Briton, charged with killing Kelly
Winter, his South African ex-lover, to life in prison. Winter (36)
disappeared in August 2008 following a quarrel with Arnold.
Prosecutors charged him with clubbing her to death with a baseball
bat and dumping her body with weights in the sea. Her body was never
found. Life in prison equals 25 years in the United Arab Emirates.
2010 Dec 22, A Dubai court
slashed the prison terms for two men convicted in the 2009 slaying
of a former Chechen warlord from life to just three years in a
surprise ruling that highlighted the international intrigue
surrounding the case. The family of the slain Chechen strongman,
Sulim Yamadayev, had submitted a letter disavowing any desire for
further punishments in connection with the killing.
2010 Dec 29, The UAE embassy in
Ottawa said on its website that Canadians would be charged $250 for
a 30-day single entry visa while a six-month multiple entry visa
would cost $1000, with a maximum stay of 14 days during each visit.
Tensions have risen between the two countries since Canada denied
expanded landing rights for UAE airlines flying to Canada. That
triggered a UAE government decision to end access to a military base
used by the Canadian military to support troops in Afghanistan.
2010 In Abu Dhabi German
entrepreneur Thomas Geissler, creator of the "Gold to Go" brand and
chief executive of Ex Oriente Lux, installed a money machine at the
Emirates Palace hotel that dispenses pure gold. The cash-for-gold
machines were first tested in Germany in 2009.
2011 Jan 9, UAE media reports
said Dubai’s Court of Cassation, the last stop in the appeal
process, confirmed that the United Arab Emirates' strict indecency
codes cover hand gestures and the deportation sentence would stand
and upheld the deportation of a Pakistani man for a case of road
rage that included a raised middle finger.
2011 Jan 12, A Dubai court gave
a three-year jail sentence to a self-professed African wizard, a
blacksmith from Chad, who claimed he could make millions of dollars
rain from the sky in exchange for a modest payment to genies.
2011 Jan 20, Dubai media
reported that undercover agents have wrapped up a real sting
operation, finding devices that delivered electric shocks to camels
to make them run faster in races. Small vibrating robot "jockeys"
were being used atop camels for racing in the United Arab Emirates.
2011 Jan 30, Oman said it has
dismantled an Emirati spy ring that was targeting the government and
the military in the Gulf sultanate. An official the cell was
uncovered five months ago, before it was watched and dismantled by
Omani security services.
2011 Feb 10, In Dubai convicted
killer Rashid Rabee al-Rashidi, a 30-year-old boat captain, was put
to death by a firing squad in the first execution in the United Arab
Emirates in three years. The execution followed his conviction for
raping and killing a boy (4) in a mosque bathroom in November 2009.
2011 Feb 27, In the United Arab
Emirates 4 Americans aboard a turboprop plane were killed when their
aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff in Abu Dhabi.
2011 Mar 4, Oman said it has
reconciled with the United Arab Emirates after Kuwaiti mediation
succeeded in resolving tensions over an alleged spy ring.
2011 Mar 9, A group of citizens
in the United Arab Emirates petitioned the rulers to allow the
people to elect parliament. The petition was addressed to the
Emirates' president and the ruler of the oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi,
Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
2011 Mar 21, Abdul Rahman bin
Hamad al-Attiyah, secretary general of the six-nation Gulf
Cooperation Council, underscored the commitment of Qatar and the UAE
to the international military coalition striking Libya but stressed
the mission seeks only to protect civilians.
2011 Mar 24, Dubai police said
the Gulf emirate has seized thousands of small arms being smuggled
in a sea cargo shipment bound for Yemen. The weapons were discovered
in a Dubai warehouse about two weeks ago. The shipment originated in
2011 Mar 28, In Dubai Alain
Robert, a French skyscraper climber, scaled the Burj Khalifa in just
over 6 hours.
(SFC, 3/29/11, p.A2)
2011 Apr 1, The UAE-owned MV
Arrilah-1 came under attack in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman
while sailing from Australia to Dubai. Emirati special forces, with
support from the US Navy's 5th Fleet, launched a mission to rescue
the vessel while 21 crew members kept safe by locking themselves in
a secure room during the hijacking. 10 pirates were captured and
handed over to Abu Dhabi.
(AFP, 4/2/11)(AP, 4/6/11)
2011 Apr 2, In the UAE Iftikhar
Ahmed Khan was shot five times in the head in Ajman, an emirate east
of Dubai where he was operating a construction company. Khan, a
former mayor of Haripur town in northwestern Pakistan, was held in
the 2008 slaying of a provincial official in the region. He was
granted bail and left for the UAE.
2011 Apr 7, UAE blogger and a
human rights activist Ahmed Mansour said authorities have launched
an "unprecedented campaign of outrages insults and threats" against
him since he signed a petition calling for political reform.
2011 Apr 9, In the UAE
activist, Fahad Salem al-Shehhy was detained in Ajman, a federation
emirate north of Dubai.
2011 Apr 10, In the UAE Nasser
bin Ghaith, a financial analyst and an economics professor at the
Abu Dhabi branch of Paris' Sorbonne university was detained in
2011 Apr 25, Abu Dhabi state
news agency said five activists, including a blogger and an
academic, were detained for "opposing the government" in the
oil-rich Gulf country.
2011 May 9, Abu Dhabi donated
US$32 million dollars to Queensland to help protect the Australian
state from cyclones in the wake of a monster storm that hit in
2011 May 10, The Gulf
Co-operation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia,
UAE) said it welcomed Jordan’s request to join the 6-member group.
Jordan had first applied for membership in the mid-1980s. The GCC
said it would encourage Morocco to also join.
2011 May 15, The New York Times
reported that the crown prince of Abu Dhabi has hired Erik Prince,
the founder of private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, to set up
an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the United Arab
2011 Jul 19, A United Arab
Emirates fighter plane crashed during a training mission, killing
2011 Aug 7, In Dubai water
pipes ruptured during maintenance at the seven-building Oceana
complex on one of the iconic palm islands, forcing residents to bath
in the sea and head to the malls to use the restroom.
2011 Sep 24, In the UAE voters
chosen by the rulers of the United Arab Emirates began casting their
ballots in only the second-ever polls to elect half of the members
of the powerless Federal National Council. Some 129,000 Emirati
citizens were eligible to elect 20 representatives out of 450
candidates, including some 85 women, in 13 voting centers across the
Gulf state whose leadership has promised gradual political
2011 Oct 7, Dubai's flagship
Emirates airline said it will sponsor Britain's first urban cable
car spanning London's river Thames, saying it hoped the new addition
to the city's skyline would be ready for next year's Olympics. The
10-year-deal was valued at 36 million pounds.
2011 Oct 25, The UAE said a
ship carrying 450 tons of diesel fuel sank off the coast of Umm
(SFC, 10/26/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 11, Ahmad Rezaei, the
son of prominent Iranian conservative Mohsen Rezaei, died in Dubai's
Gloria Hotel in an apparent suicide. Prior to his return to Iran in
2005, Ahmad Rezaei had lived in the United States and openly
criticized Tehran's rulers. His father had run against President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.
2011 Nov 13, Emirates Airlines
launched the Dubai Airshow with a record $18-billion order for 50
Boeing 777s, giving the US company a flying start on its European
rival Airbus at the prestigious event.
2011 Nov 14, Kuwait-based
leasing company ALAFCO signed an agreement with Airbus to buy 50
A320neo aircraft, valued at $4.6 billion at list price, the two
sides announced at Dubai Airshow.
2011 Nov 27, A United Arab
Emirates state security court sentenced five activists, who have
campaigned for political freedoms, to prison terms of up to three
years. The top court handed blogger Ahmed Mansoor a three-year
prison sentence, while four others received two years each. Within
24 hours a presidential pardon was issued to release them.
(AP, 11/27/11)(AFP, 11/28/11)
2011 Nov 30, The United Arab
Emirates announced that children of Emirati women married to
foreigners could apply for citizenship once they turned 18, moving
closer to giving women the same nationality rights as men.
2011 Dec 19, The Air Berlin
group, Germany's 2nd-largest airline, said United Arab Emirates
airline, Etihad, is to pay 72.9 million euros ($95 million) to
become its biggest shareholder.
2011 Dec 25, The United States
reached a deal to sell $3.48 billion worth of missiles and related
technology to the United Arab Emirates, as part of a massive buildup
of defense technology among friendly Mideast nations near Iran. The
deal was made public on Dec 30.
2011 UAE citizens accounted for
less than a fifth of the resident population which numbered about
(Econ, 7/2/11, p.39)
2012 Jan 10, Activists said
Syrian security forces have shot dead at least 10 people in the
eastern city of in Deir el-Zour despite the presence of an Arab
observer mission in the area. The UAE's foreign minister accused the
Syrian regime of not facilitating the job of Arab League observers,
(AP, 1/10/12)(AFP, 1/10/12)
2012 Feb 10, Nearly 2,000
Syrians took part in a demonstration outside the Syrian consulate in
2012 Feb 26, Syrian activists
said Emirati authorities have cancelled the residencies of dozens of
Syrians for taking part in a Feb 10 protest against their regime
outside the consulate in Dubai.
2012 Mar 24, Chechnya's first
lady, Medni Kadyrova, displayed her Islamic fashion collection to a
captivated audience in Dubai, faithful to the politics of her
husband who has sought to impose Islamic dress codes in the Caucasus
2012 Mar, Careem, a
ride-hailing service, was founded in Dubai and began operations in
July as a website-based service for corporate car bookings. It soon
evolved to become a transportation network company with car hire for
2012 Apr 29, In the northern
United Arab Emirates security agents in the emirate of Ras
al-Khaimah detained Saleh al-Dhufairi, a rights activist, as part of
an apparent widening crackdown on perceived opposition figures.
2012 May 6, Sky News Arabia, a
joint venture between an Abu Dhabi royal and the British broadcaster
BSkyB, launched a 24-hour Arabic-language news channel with a pledge
to be impartial in a region where government influence over media is
2012 May 20, UAE state news
agency WAM reported that the president of the Gulf federation is
ordering the settlement of personal debts of up to 5 million dirhams
($1.4 million) for citizens in default. Emirati leaders periodically
cancel debts of citizens. A similar debt forgiveness order in
January covered thousands of Emiratis owing up to 1 million dirhams
2012 May 22, In the UAE a
federal court convicted 10 Somali pirates captured during a raid to
retake MV Arrilah-1 on April 1, 2011, and sentenced them to life
2012 May 22, Sri Lankan
authorities seized 1.5 tons of African ivory marked as plastic waste
and addressed to a buyer in Dubai. They informed the authorities in
the United Arab Emirates and Kenya to take action against the
shipper and the consignee.
2012 May 31, Nearly 300 stores
in the Gulf emirate of Dubai banned the sale of cigarettes for 24
hours to mark the World No Tobacco Day.
2012 Jun 25, In Abu Dhabi two
unnamed men, a Briton (21) and a Syrian (19), were convicted on
charges of selling 20 grams (nearly three quarters of an ounce) of
marijuana and sentenced by the criminal court to death.
2012 Jun 28, In Dubai Somali
President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and his counterpart Ahmed Mohamed
Silanyo of Somaliland agreed to boost cooperation between their
different factions. The two men signed the "Dubai Charter" in the
presence of the leaders of Puntland and Galmudug, two
self-proclaimed autonomous regions in Somalia.
2012 Jul 4, The Swiss
government temporarily blocked all arms shipments to the United Arab
Emirates after a newspaper published a photograph indicating that a
Swiss-made hand grenade was found in Syria. The hand grenade
appearing in a photograph published July 1 by Zurich weekly
Sonntagszeitung came from a shipment of 225,162 hand grenades by
Swiss-based RUAG Holding AG to the United Arab Emirates in 2003.
2012 Jul 5, A Dubai court
ordered the release on bail of Ohio-raised Zack Shahin (52), who was
in jail on fraud charges and has been on a hunger strike since May
14. Shahin, at the time managing director of property developer
Deyaar, was arrested in 2008 and charged the following year with
embezzling more than 98 million dirhams (then $27 million). Shahin
was released on July 12, but was soon caught fleeing the country.
(AFP, 7/6/12)(AP, 7/13/12)(AP, 9/6/12)
2012 Jul 15, Officials in the
United Arab Emirates inaugurated a key overland oil pipeline
bypassing the Strait of Hormuz, giving the OPEC member insurance
against Iranian threats to block the strategic waterway.
2012 Jul 16, The United Arab
Emirates deported an online activist to Thailand after stripping him
of citizenship, part of a widening crackdown on alleged anti-state
challenges since the Arab Spring uprisings. Ahmed Abdul Khaleq was
deported on a Comoros Islands passport arranged by UAE authorities
in the first such banishment by the country. He is among a group of
activists whose citizenship has been revoked by UAE officials after
they campaigned for reforms.
2012 Jul 16, US Navy gunners
aboard the USNS Rappahannock, a refueling ship, opened fire on a
small boat racing toward them in broad daylight near the Gulf city
of Dubai. One Indian was killed in the incident, and three of his
countrymen were seriously wounded. An Indian fisherman aboard the
boat told officials the crew received no warning before being fired
upon. In 2013 a Navy investigation said the sailors acted within
rules of engagement.
(AP, 7/17/12)(AP, 4/8/13)
2012 Jul, In Dubai British
tourists Suneet Jeerh, Grant Cameron and Karl Williams were arrested
for what police said was the synthetic drug known as Spice found in
their rented car.
(AP, 4/29/13)(Reuters, 7/20/13)
2012 Aug 1, The United Arab
Emirates said it has signed and Australia have signed a pact with
Australia to work together on the peaceful use of nuclear energy,
laying the groundwork for potential shipments of uranium to the Gulf
2012 Aug 15, The United Arab
Emirates said it has awarded six fuel contracts valued at $3 billion
for its first nuclear power plant, expected to start up by 2017. The
contracts were awarded to US ConverDyn; Canadian Uranium One, Inc.;
the UK-based firm URENCO; Anglo-Australian giant Rio Tinto; Russia's
firm TENEX and France's Areva.
2012 Aug 15, Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates and Qatar all ordered their citizens to leave
2012 Oct 15, Malala Yousufzai
(14), the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by Taliban gunmen for advocating
education for girls, was flown in an air ambulance, provided by the
United Arab Emirates, to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.
2012 Nov 4, Iran's powerful
Revolutionary Guards inaugurated a new naval base to reinforce
Tehran's authority over three Persian Gulf islands also claimed by
the neighboring United Arab Emirates. Iran took control of the
Persian Gulf islands in 1971, after British forces left the region.
Since 1992 the UAE has repeatedly claimed the islands. Last month at
the UN General Assembly it said Iran's "occupation" violates
2012 Nov 13, The United Arab
Emirates (UAE) set stricter Internet monitoring and enforcement
codes giving authorities wider leeway to crack down on Web activists
for offenses such as mocking the country’s rules or calling for
(SFC, 11/14/12, p.A3)
2012 Nov, Dubai unveiled plans
for Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) City.
The city within a city will feature more than 100 hotels.
(Econ, 1/5/13, p.57)
2012 Dec 14, Envoys in Dubai
from nearly 90 nations signed the first new UN telecommunications
treaty since the Internet age, but the US and other Western nations
refused to join after claiming it endorses greater government
control over cyberspace. The Int’l. Telecommunications Union (ITU)
has no technical powers to change how the Internet operates or force
countries to follow its nonbinding accords.
2012 Dec 20, A statement from
RAND spokesman Jeffrey Hiday says the group shut its Abu Dhabi
office at the "request" of officials. The office conducted research
into areas such as education and environment.
2012 Abu Dhabi’s IPIC sovereign
wealth fund offered to guarantee loans that Malaysia’s state
investment firm 1MDB needed to acquire two power firms. In 2016 IPIC
said it never received collateral and other monies supposedly due to
it under the deal. 1MDB appears to have wired payments to an
unrelated shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands.
Investigators at America’s Justice Dept. said former officials from
IPIC and 1MDB benefited and that more than $200 million of missing
money went to an account controlled by Riza Aziz, the stepson of
Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, and that $30 million went to
Najib himself. Both men denied wrongdoing.
(Econ, 4/29/17, p.30)
2012 The population of Abu
Dhabi was about 2 million. Income due to oil wealth was about
$90,000 per person, 2nd only to Qatar.
(Econ, 11/24/12, p.58)
2013 Jan 15, French Pres.
Francois Hollande opened talks with top leaders in Abu Dhabi in
hopes of pushing ahead efforts to sell up to 60 Rafale fighter jets
to the United Arab Emirates and strengthen French ties in Gulf
energy and defense industries.
2013 Feb 26, In Dubai the
72-storey Marriott Marquis Dubai hotel officially opened setting a
world record of tallest hotel at 1,009 feet.
(SFC, 2/28/13, p.A2)
2013 Mar 25, A Dubai court
convicted American businessman Zack Shahin for fraud and sentenced
him to 15 years' imprisonment after a nearly five-year legal battle
that included a hunger strike and a failed attempt to flee.
2013 Apr 5, Activists say
Tanzania's government is preparing to kick Maasai tribesmen off
their land near to allow a company from the United Arab Emirates to
use the land for hunting. Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources
and Tourism announced last week it is shrinking the size of the
Loliondo Game Controlled Areas.
2013 Apr 18, The United Arab
Emirates said that authorities have arrested seven suspected members
of terrorist cell linked to al-Qaida that allegedly planned to carry
out operations in the country and the region.
2013 Apr 23, It was reported
that the authrities in Ras al-Khaimah, the northernmost emirate in
the UAE, have posted signs on public beaches warning of possible
fines for revealing swimwear.
(SFC, 4/23/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 29, A Dubai court
sentenced three British tourists to four years in prison on drug
charges in a case that drew international scrutiny over claims of
abuses in custody. Suneet Jeerh, Grant Cameron and Karl Williams,
were arrested last July with what police said was the synthetic drug
known as Spice.
2013 Apr 30, UAE state news
agency WAM said that Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) would own
60% of the Bab joint venture's equity and Royal Dutch Shell would
hold the rest.
2013 May 5, In Tanzania a bomb
thrown from a motorcycle on a Catholic church in Arusha left 2
people dead. 4 Saudi Arabian citizens were initially identified as
among the 6 people arrested. The UAE later said 3 of those arrested
were from the UAE.
(AP, 5/6/13)(AP, 5/8/13)
2013 May 20, United Arab
Emirates-based construction company Arabtec said it's working to
resolve a rare strike by laborers seeking higher wages. Arabtec said
an undisclosed number of workers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have stayed
in camps for a second day.
2013 Jun 5, It was reported
that a Dubai real estate company has started construction on a new
Hyatt resort on St. Kitts. Investors putting up $400,000 in the
project would be eligible for island citizenship.
(SFC, 6/5/13, p.A2)
2013 Jun 19, A state security
prosecutor in the United Arab Emirates said 30 Egyptian and UAE
suspects have been charged with plotting a coup linked to a network
of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, in a case likely to further strain
relations with Cairo.
2013 Jun 20, Iran's state TV
said the country's navy has detained 13 fishermen from two United
Arab Emirates vessels after they trespassed into what the report
said were Iranian territorial waters.
2013 Jul 2, In the United Arab
Emirates 61 convicted coup plotters received jail terms of up to 10
years after a trial that targeted Islamists and drew criticism from
human rights groups.
2013 Jul 9, Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirate promised $8 billion in grants, loans and
badly needed gas and oil to Egypt.
2013 Jul 12, It was reported
that hundreds of Shiites have been quietly expelled from the United
Arab Emirates on suspicion of being supporters of Hezbollah.
(SFC, 7/12/13, p.A2)
2013 Jul 17, In Dubai Marte
Deborah Dalelv (24), a Norwegian woman, was sentenced to 16 months
in jail for having sex outside marriage after she reported an
alleged rape. On July 19 she decided to speak out in hopes of
drawing attention to the risks of outsiders misunderstanding the
Islamic-influenced legal codes in this cosmopolitan city. Norwegian
diplomats secured her release and she has been allowed to remain at
the Norwegian Seamen's Center in central Dubai. She said her alleged
attacker received a 13-month sentence for out-of-wedlock sex and
alcohol consumption. On July 22 Dubai pardoned Dalelv.
(AP, 7/19/13)(Reuters, 7/22/13)
2013 Jul 19, Health authorities
in the United Arab Emirates said they have identified four new cases
of a respiratory virus related to SARS whose main concentration has
been in neighboring Saudi Arabia.
2013 Jul 20, In Dubai 3 Britons
jailed for more than a year on drugs charges were reported freed as
part of an amnesty for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
2013 Aug 1, Abu
Dhabi-based Etihad Airways said it plans to acquire a 49%
stake in Serbia's JAT Airways in a wide-ranging deal that will bring
a new name and expanded routes for the struggling Belgrade-based
2013 Sep 5, An activist said 18
jailed United Arab Emirates nationals are on hunger strike in
protest at what they say is ill-treatment following their conviction
of plotting to overthrow the government.
2013 Sep 25, The United Arab
Emirates announced $100 million to Morocco in "financial support" to
build solar and wind power farms.
2013 Sep 26, Dubai said that it
has signed a memorandum of understanding with China Sonangol to
build a crude oil refinery aimed at meeting rising domestic demand.
2013 Oct 13, In Dubai 3 workers
were killed when a crane collapsed at a construction site near the
Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.
2013 Oct 22, Finland-based
Nokia showed off its first tablet in Abu Dhabi, the Lumia 2520, at
its last launch party as much of the company faced acquisition by
(Econ, 10/26/13, p.73)
2013 Oct 27, Dubai opened
passenger operations at its second airport, Al-Maktoum
International, touted to be the world's largest once it is
2013 Nov 5, In Abu Dhabi 30
Emiratis and Egyptians went on trial accused of setting up an
illegal branch of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in the United Arab
2013 Nov 17, The Dubai Airshow
took off with huge aircraft orders and commitments worth around $100
billion for Boeing and $40 billion for Airbus from Gulf carriers.
(AFP, 11/17/13)(SFC, 11/18/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 18, Twitter users in
Kuwait and the UAE received prison terms, in the latest sign of
widening crackdowns in the region on social media for posts
considered offensive or against state security.
2013 Nov 25, Guinea’s
government said Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala and Dubai
Aluminium (DUBAL) have signed a five-billion-dollar deal with Guinea
that should secure resources for UAE aluminium makers.
2013 Nov 29, Abu Dhabi
authorities said two new cases of the potentially deadly MERS
respiratory virus, including a heavily pregnant woman, have been
reported in the United Arab Emirates.
2013 Dec 23, In Dubai Shezanne
Cassim (29), a US citizen man detained for months, and seven
co-defendants were fined and sentenced to jail after being convicted
in connection to a satirical video about youth culture. Officials
charged that the film spoofing would-be Dubai "gangstas" ran afoul
of a 2012 cybercrimes law.
2013 Dec 23, Dubai media
reported that police have made a record drug seizure of some 4.6
million Captagon pills, an amphetamine-like stimulant, worth more
than $31 million (23 million euros).
2014 Jan 1, Guinness World
Records said Dubai shattered the world record for the largest ever
pyrotechnic display on New Year's Eve with a show involving more
than half a million fireworks.
2014 Jan 19, The UAE cabinet
approved a draft law making it compulsory for Emirati men to serve
in the military for up to two years.
2014 Jan 21, In Abu Dhabi a
court jailed a group of 10 Emiratis and 20 Egyptians to terms
ranging from three months to five years for forming a Muslim
2014 Jan 23, Human Rights Watch
hit out at the United Arab Emirates for preventing it from holding a
news conference to release a report criticizing rights violations in
the Gulf state.
2014 Jan 24, UAE President
Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (65) suffered a stroke. His
condition after surgery was reported as stable.
2014 Feb 22, Afghan President
Karzai's High Peace Council said it has held meetings with a
breakaway faction of senior Taliban leaders in Dubai. The Taliban
has denied links to the faction, organized by former Taliban finance
minister Aga Jan Mohtism.
2014 Feb 27, The United Arab
Emirates' state news agency said two crew members have been killed
in the crash of a military training aircraft.
2014 Mar 3, The United Arab
Emirates' top court in Abu Dhabi convicted Qatari Dr. Mahmoud
al-Jaidah and sentenced him to seven years behind bars on charges
linked to cooperating with an illegal clandestine organization that
aimed to overthrow the government.
2014 Mar 5, Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from
Qatar on Wednesday in an unprecedented public split between Gulf
Arab allies who have fallen out over the role of Islamists in a
region in turmoil.
2014 Apr 6, In London three
women from the United Arab Emirates were in hospital after being
savagely attacked in their room at the four-star Cumberland Hotel by
a man wielding a hammer.
2014 Apr 11, The United Arab
Emirates announced that one of six Filipino paramedics in Abu Dhabi,
who have been infected by the MERS coronavirus, has died from the
respiratory disease. The WHO said that it had been told of 212
laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS infection worldwide, of which 88
have proved fatal.
2014 Apr 13, The United Arab
Emirates finance minister said that officials are finalizing a new
law to boost entrepreneurship with broad incentives, part of a wider
push to create jobs for a burgeoning young population. Pres. Sheikh
Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan signed into law a measure to promote
(AP, 4/13/14)(Econ, 4/19/14, p.61)
2014 Apr 15, Dubai ruler Sheik
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad
Javad Zarif discussed bilateral relations and regional developments.
Zarif also met the Gulf federation's foreign minister, Sheik
Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi.
2014 Apr 17, Afghan officials
said a leading Taliban peace negotiator has been placed under house
arrest in the UAE, dealing a blow to President Hamid Karzai's
efforts to jump-start a nascent Afghan peace process before leaving
office. Agha Jan Mutassim, a finance minister during Taliban rule
from 1996 to 2001, had been missing for over a week.
2014 Apr 29, The UAE convicted
American drummer James Kottak of insulting Islam and being under the
influence of alcohol while in transit at Dubai airport and sentenced
him to one month in jail.
(SFC, 4/30/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 29, The US targeted
companies from China and Dubai for allegedly helping Iran evade
weapons and oil sanctions, a signal Washington will keep pressure on
Tehran over its nuclear program.
2014 May 10, In Dubai 15
migrant workers were killed in a bus crash. At least nine of the
dead were from India and four were Bangladeshi.
2014 May 14, United Arab
Emirates telecommunications firm Etisalat said it has completed a
deal to buy French entertainment company Vivendi's majority stake in
Morocco's Maroc Telecom.
2014 Jun 1, The crown prince of
Abu Dhabi and other international donors said they are committing a
combined $80 million to fund the conservation of lions, tigers and
other wild cats.
2014 Jun 4, The UAE said the
MERS coronavirus has killed 10 people and infected 68 in the United
Arab Emirates since March 2013.
2014 Jun 7, The United Arab
Emirates announced a new law requiring compulsory military service
for adult males, formalizing a proposal outlined earlier in the year
to bolster the ranks of the US-allied Gulf federation's armed
2014 Jun 23, The United Arab
Emirates jailed seven men for belonging to an al Qaeda network and
aiding its affiliate in Syria. Six were jailed for seven years, one
was given life. They were arrested last year on suspicion of
planning attacks on the UAE.
2014 Jun 25, Abu Dhabi-based
airline Etihad Airways said it had reached a deal in principle to
buy a 49 percent stake in struggling Italian carrier Alitalia. In
return Alitalia agreed to cut 20% of its work force.
(AP, 6/25/14)(Econ, 6/28/14, p.58)
2014 Jun 27, The United Arab
Emirates arrested two Qatar citizens, Hamad Ali al-Hamadi and Yousef
Abdelsamad al-Mulla, at the Ghweifat border crossing between Saudi
Arabia and the UAE. Both were described as "spies" by Emirati media.
2014 Jul 5, Sheikh Mohammed bin
Rashid al-Maktoum said Dubai is launching a project to build an
entertainment and hotel district that will include the world's
largest shopping mall.
2014 Jul 9, The US Treasury
Department sanctioned three companies suspected of aiding the Syrian
government: Pangates International Corp., a petroleum company based
in the United Arab Emirates, Expert Partners and Megatrade, two
2014 Jul 16, The United Arab
Emirates announced it will create a space agency with the aim of
sending the first Arab unmanned probe to Mars by 2021.
2014 Aug 8, Etihad, the flag
carrier of the United Arab Emirates, agreed to inject a further $750
million into Alitalia in return for a 49% stake.
(Econ, 8/16/14, p.55)
2014 Aug 25, American officials
confirmed that jets of the United Arab Emirates launched two attacks
in seven days on the Islamists in Tripoli using bases in Egypt.
2014 Aug 18, In Libya
unidentified warplanes bombed militia positions in Tripoli. They
were later identified as aircraft based in Egypt and flown by pilots
from the UAE.
(Reuters, 8/18/14)(Reuters, 8/19/14)(Econ,
2014 Aug 23, In Libya
unidentified war planes attacked positions of an armed faction in
Tripoli. They were later identified as aircraft based in Egypt and
flown by pilots from the UAE. 15 fighters were reported killed and
dozens wounded. Islamist fighters in the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn)
coalition said they have captured Tripoli's battered international
airport. Fighting erupted between renegade general Khalifa Haftar’s
troops and allied army special forces with Islamists in two Benghazi
suburbs, killing 8 soldiers and wounding 35. Egypt denied any air
operations in Libya.
(AP, 8/23/14)(AFP, 8/24/14)(Reuters,
8/24/14)(SFC, 8/25/14, p.A2)(Econ, 8/30/14, p.44)
2014 Aug, The United Arab
Emirates detained Libyan Americans Kamal Eldarat (59) and his son
Mohammed (34) on charges they illegally raised funds for a foreign
entity and took hostile actions against a foreign country. They were
not formally charged until almost 18 months after their arrest. On
May 30, 2016 both men were acquitted along with two other
co-defendants, Canadian dual-national Sami Alaradi and Libyan
national Issa Almanna.
2014 Sep 23, The United States
and its Arab allies bombed Syria for the first time. Bahrain,
Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
participated in or supported the strikes against Islamic State
targets. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 70
Islamic State fighters were killed in strikes that hit at least 50
targets in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor and Hasakah provinces. It also said
at least 50 fighters and 8 civilians were killed in strikes
targeting al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, in northern
Aleppo and Idlib provinces.
2014 Sep 27, Air strikes hit
Islamic State and other Islamist groups in eastern Syria. US strikes
hit the besieged area around Kobani and forces from Saudi Arabia,
Jordan and the UAE contributed to strikes around the country.
(Reuters, 9/27/14)(SSFC, 9/28/14, p.A8)
2014 Oct 5, Human Rights Watch
accused the United Arab Emirates of secretly arresting 10 Libyan
citizens and six Emiratis in August and September and called on
authorities in Abu Dhabi to reveal their whereabouts.
2014 Oct 12, In Cairo, Egypt,
US Sec. of State John Kerry presided over a conference on peace in
the Middle East and announced an additional $212 million in US aid
to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Qatar said it would provide $1
billion in reconstruction assistance for Gaza, while fellow Gulf
Arab states Kuwait and United Arab Emirates promised $200 million
each. Germany also announced it would contribute 50 million euros
($63 million) to reconstruction efforts in Gaza.
2014 Oct 12, The US Central
Command said warplanes from the United States, Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates conducted four airstrikes in Syria over the
weekend, including three in Kobani that destroyed an Islamic State
fighting position and staging area.
2014 Oct 21, In Abu Dhabi
Robert Alan Black (70), an American man who came to the United Arab
Emirates to speak at a conference on creative thinking, was arrested
for taking a photograph of a subject deemed off-limits by
2014 Nov 12, South Korea's
Hyundai Heavy Industries said it had signed a $1.94 billion deal to
build offshore oil and gas processing platforms in the United Arab
2014 Nov 15, The United Arab
Emirates issued a list of 83 terrorist organizations, including the
(SSFC, 11/16/14, p.A6)
2014 Nov 16, Gulf states agreed
to welcome Qatar back to the fold following a row over its support
for Islamists. Last March Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE
announced the withdrawal of their envoys from Qatar in protest at
its "interference" in their internal affairs by supporting
2014 Nov 25, In the United Arab
Emirates Osama al-Najjar, the son of a jailed activist, was himself
sentenced to prison and fined after being convicted over messages
sent on social media and of joining an illegal group. His father,
Hussain al-Najjar, was one of 69 people convicted last year of
plotting to overthrow the government.
2014 Dec 1, In Abu Dhabi
American school teacher Ebolya Ryan (37) was stabbed to death in a
public restroom at a mall by a suspect wearing the traditional black
robe, full-face veil and gloves. On Dec 4 the UAE interior minister
said that police have arrested a female suspect in the stabbing
death and revealed that the attacker also planted a bomb outside the
home of another American. On June 29, 2015, Alaa Bader Abdullah was
sentenced to death for the murder of Ryan. She was executed in July.
In December her husband, identified by Emirati media by his initials
M.A.H., was charged with planning attacks on tourist buses and an
American military base. On May 9, 2016, he was jailed for life.
(AP, 12/3/14)(AP, 12/4/14)(Econ, 12/13/14,
2014 Dec 9, The six-member Gulf
Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
UAE) agreed to create a joint naval force based out of Bahrain and
announced a police force based in Abu Dhabi.
(SSFC, 12/14/14, p.A22)
2014 Dec 9, London's New
Scotland Yard, the world's most famous police headquarters, was
reported sold to the Abu Dhabi Financial Group for 370 million
pounds ($580 million), 120 million pounds over the asking price. The
Gulf investors plan to develop luxury apartments. The Metropolitan
Police was moving to a smaller headquarters as it tries to cut more
than 500 million pounds ($800 million) in spending.
2014 Dec 10, The United Arab
Emirates reported that four Emiratis tried in absentia received life
sentences after they were found guilty of trying to set up an
al-Qaida affiliate in the Gulf nation and aiding rebels fighting in
Syria. Seven other men, including citizens of the Emirates, Syria
and the Comoros Islands, received between three and 15 years
imprisonment. Four other defendants were acquitted.
2014 Dec, The United Arab
Emirates dropped out of the group of countries conducting airstrikes
against IS targets in Syria.
2014 Dubai airport overtook
Heathrow in London this year to become the world’s busiest int’l.
airport with 68.9 million annual passengers.
(Econ, 1/10/15, p.44)
2015 Jan 15, Dubai launched a
project to build a solar plant to produce 200 megawatt of
electricity, as part of plans to generate five percent of the
emirate's power from renewables by 2030.
2015 Feb 4, In Bosnia the mayor
of Trnovo said a Dubai-based construction company plans to build a
luxury resort worth 2.3 billion euro ($2.6 billion) on a mountain
near Sarajevo, a ski resort where three decades ago the Winter
Olympics were held.
2015 Feb 7, The United Arab
Emirates said it has ordered a squadron of F-16 fighters to Jordan,
which would participate in airstrikes on the Islamic State group
after the UAE earlier suspended its involvement.
2015 Feb 7, An alleged
audiotape aired on a Brotherhood-allied TV station in which
Egypt’s Pres. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and a top aide purportedly
banter about how rich Persian Gulf Arabs are and add up the billions
they intend to seek. Financial help, estimated at some $32 billion,
has helped keep Egypt afloat after years of instability. On Feb 9
el-Sissi called leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE,
praising their wisdom and saying relations won’t be undermined by
“nefarious attempts" to do so.
(http://tinyurl.com/lyprfja)(SFC, 2/11/15, p.A2)
2015 Feb 10, The United Arab
Emirates launched airstrikes against the Islamic State group from an
air base in Jordan.
2015 Feb 12, Air strikes by the
United Arab Emirates against the Islamic State group hit oil
refineries run by the jihadists.
2015 Feb 15, A Jordanian court
sentenced Zaki Bani Rsheid (57), a senior leader of the Muslim
Brotherhood, to 18 months in prison for criticizing a decision by
the United Arab Emirates to blacklist his organization.
2015 Feb 20, In Abu Dhabi a
fire gutted a building on the outskirts of the Emirati capital,
killing 10 laborers who had been illegally living in a storage area
2015 Feb 24, Ukraine's Pres.
Petro Poroshenko said his country has signed an agreement to
cooperate with the United Arab Emirates on military and technical
issues as he kicked off a visit to the Western-allied Gulf nation.
2015 Feb 27, The United Arab
Emirates said it will reopen its Yemeni embassy in the southern port
city of Aden, where Pres. Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has set up a seat
of power since being driven from the capital.
2015 Mar 8, United Arab
Emirates airlines Emirates, flydubai and Etihad Airways said they
have suspended flights to Erbil, citing security concerns as Islamic
State razes ancient cities in Iraq's north.
2015 Mar 9, The Solar Impulse 2
aircraft set off from Abu Dhabi on a bid to make the first
round-the-world tour. Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg (63) will trade
flying the Si2 with Bertrand Piccard. The epic journey was scheduled
to spread over five months, with a total flight time of around 25
(AFP, 3/9/15)(SFC, 3/9/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 10, In Dubai several
hundred South Asian migrant workers held a rare protest in the heart
of downtown, temporarily blocking traffic and demanding higher
wages. The Dubai police said that they resolved the issue in less
than an hour after talking with the workers.
2015 Mar 13, Egypt opened an
int’l. conference to promote an ambitious recovery plan. Kuwait, the
UAE and Saudi Arabia all promised investments and aid of $4 billion
(SFC, 3/14/15, p.A2)
2015 Apr 2, Dubai-based port
operator DP World said it has reached a deal to acquire the Fairview
container terminal in Canada from Deutsche Bank for 580 million
Canadian dollars, or about $457 million.
2015 Apr 2, A major sandstorm
whipped through the Mideast's commercial hub of Dubai and other Gulf
cities, reducing visibility, diverting flights and making breathing
outside a challenge.
2015 Apr 6, In Dubai
twenty-eight men and women were reported fined or jailed for
attending an alcohol-fuelled sex party on a yacht.
2015 Apr 26, Serbia sealed an
agreement with an Abu Dhabi investor for a multi-billion-dollar,
Dubai-style riverside development that has drawn fire from some
Belgraders worried about the scale and cost of the project.
2015 Apr 29, The United Arab
Emirates pulverized a mound of confiscated elephant tusks and ivory
carvings to send a message against poaching and ivory trafficking.
(SFC, 4/30/15, p.A2)
2015 May 14, Iranian
Revolutionary Guards fired warning shots at the Alpine Eternity, a
Singapore-flagged commercial ship in the Gulf, which had collided on
March 22 with an Iranian oil rig. The Iranian boats then departed
the area after UAE authorities deployed coast guard boats in
response to calls for help.
2015 May 25, The United Arab
Emirates laid out a strategic framework for a newly created space
agency that aims to integrate various arms of the Gulf federation's
burgeoning space industry.
2015 Jun 8, In Poland Emirati
PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the emir of
Dubai, met with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski as the two
countries sought greater cooperation in the areas of tourism,
agriculture, higher education and scientific research.
2015 Jun 29, A man in the
United Arab Emirates was sentenced to three years in jail for
Twitter posts allegedly insulting the Gulf country's Supreme Court.
Nasser al-Faresi (27) allegedly called the proceedings of a 2012
sedition trial a "judicial farce" and insulted the UAE's president
and Abu Dhabi's crown prince.
2015 Jul 7, Abdulaziz
al-Ghurair, the son of wealthy Emirati businessman Abdullah
al-Ghurair, said his father is giving away a third of his assets, or
more than a billion dollars, to educate Arab youth.
2015 Jul 8, The United Arab
Emirates and the US launched the Sawab Center in Abu Dhabi. The new
digital communications effort focused on using social media to
counter the Islamic State group’s propaganda efforts.
(SFC, 7/9/15, p.A4)
2015 Jul 13, The United Arab
Emirates put to death by firing squad Bader al-Hashemi (30), an
Emirati woman convicted of the jihadist-inspired murder of a US
school teacher. Hashemi was sentenced to death last month for
stabbing to death mother of three Ibolya Ryan (47) in a toilet of an
Abu Dhabi shopping mall on December 1, 2014.
2015 Jul 20, The United Arab
Emirates announced new legislation aimed at combatting intolerance
that outlaws actions which stoke religious hatred and discriminate
based on religious or ethnic background.
2015 Jul 22, The United Arab
Emirates said it is ending gas price subsidies effective Aug 1.
Current prices were about $1.78 per gallon.
(SSFC, 7/26/15, p.A4)
2015 Aug 2, The United Arab
Emirates' top prosecutor referred 41 people to trial on charges of
planning to carry out terrorist acts with the aim of overthrowing
the government and establishing an extremist state.
2015 Aug 8, UAE state news
agency WAM said 3 soldiers from the United Arab Emirates have been
killed while taking part in a Saudi-led military campaign against
Yemen's dominant Houthi group.
2015 Aug 23, The United Arab
Emirates said that its military freed British hostage Robert Douglas
Semple (64) who was kidnapped 18 months ago by al-Qaida in Yemen.
The UAE has military forces in Aden and is part of a Saudi-led
coalition of mostly Arab countries that has been bombing the Houthis
and their allies since late March.
2015 Sep 4, In Yemen
Iranian-allied Houthis attacked a weapons storage facility in Marib
killing 45 soldiers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 5
Bahrainis, 10 Saudis and 4 Yemenis.
(Reuters, 9/4/15)(AFP, 9/5/15)(Reuters, 9/6/15)
2015 Sep 25, At the UN
international leaders approved an ambitious 15-year plan to tackle
the world's biggest problems, from eradicating poverty to preserving
the planet to reducing inequality.
2015 Sep 26, In NYC Chinese
President Xi Jinping, speaking at a sustainable development summit
of world leaders at the UN, announced that Beijing will establish an
assistance fund with an initial pledge of $2 billion to help
developing countries implement a global sustainable development
agenda over the next 15 years.
2015 Sep 29, The United Arab
Emirates announced labor reforms to be enforced from Jan. 1 aimed at
curbing abuse and protecting the rights of millions of foreign
2015 Oct 3, Citizens of the
United Arab Emirates went to polls to fill the elected seats on a
government advisory body. Despite a broadening of the franchise some
citizens were still denied the vote.
2015 Oct 4, Dubai ruler Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched a new foundation to
consolidate a range of existing charitable and human development
initiatives that aims to support more than $270 million in projects
2015 Oct 11, Russian President
Vladimir Putin met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed
al-Nahyan to discuss security in the Middle East and the conflict in
2015 Oct 16, In Yemen an
Emirati officer was killed in a drive-by shooting in the southern
port city of Aden, the sixth assassination of pro-government troop
leaders and officials in recent weeks.
2015 Nov 9, The United Arab
Emirates Air Force announced a $1.27-billion deal with Swedish
defense giant Saab to purchase two surveillance planes and upgrade
2015 Nov 10, At the Dubai
Airshow Airbus and Vietnamese air carrier Vietjet announced a deal
for 30 new aircraft easily worth over $3 billion at list prices.
2015 Nov 15, The US Pentagon
said five men who have been held for more than 13 years at the
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been released and sent to the United Arab
Emirates. Their release brings the Guantanamo prison population to
2015 Nov 26, It was reported
that the United Arab Emirates has secretly dispatched hundreds of
Colombian mercenaries to the conflict in Yemen. 450 Latin American
troops also included Panamanian, Salvadoran and Chilean soldiers.
(SFC, 11/26/15, p.A8)
2015 In the UAE Dubailand, a
tourism and entertainment complex, hoped to attract 15 million
tourists annually by this time. This amounted to about 40,000
visitors per day.
(Econ, 5/17/08, p.85)
2016 Jan 21, Dubai-based port
operator DP World and the Russian Direct Investment Fund said they
are launching a joint venture to develop ports, transportation and
logistics infrastructure in Russia.
2016 Feb 7, A top official in
the United Arab Emirates said that his country is prepared to send
ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State militants as part of
an international coalition.
2016 Feb 8, At a conference in
Dubai world leaders called on governments to be responsive to and
inclusive of their citizens.
2016 Feb 18, The United Arab
Emirates threw its support behind a plan by major oil producers to
freeze output levels in an attempt to halt a slide in crude prices.
2016 Mar 6, In Dubai a yellow,
two-seat Ferrari 458 Spider jumped a curb and slammed into a pole,
splitting the sports car in half near the Jumeirah Lake Towers
neighborhood. Those killed were identified as Boston bombing
survivor Victoria McGrath, Northeastern University student Priscilla
Perez Torres, Canadian boxer Cody Nixon and James Portuondo. High
speed and alcohol were involved.
2016 Mar 10, Oman media
reported that torrential rain in northern Oman and the United Arab
Emirates has killed six people this week.
2016 Mar 13, In Dubai
Palestinian teacher Hanan Al-Hroub was awarded the $1 million Global
Teacher award for her innovative approach of using play to counter
violent behavior. The foundation said her approach, detailed in her
book "We Play and Learn," has led to a decline in violent behavior
in schools where this is usually a frequent occurrence.
2016 Mar 14, In Yemen 2 Emirati
pilots were killed when their fighter jet crashed into a mountain
2016 Mar 19, In Russia all 62
people aboard a passenger jet flying from Dubai to southern Russia
were killed when their plane crashed on its second attempt to land
at Rostov-on-Don airport. There was strong wind at the airport with
a speed of 43 km per hour, with gusts up to 69 km.
2016 Mar 22, The ruler of Dubai
pledged $1.3 billion in assets to a new endowment agency that will
focus on a variety of causes. The Mohammed bin Rashid Global Center
for Endowment Consultancy would focus on issues like autism and
2016 Mar 27, The top security
court in the United Arab Emirates sentenced 38 people to prison in
connection to a cell accused of plotting terrorist attacks and
seeking to overthrow the government to create an Islamic state.
2016 Mar 28, Dubai-based Dodsal
Group said it has discovered 2.7 trillion cubic feet of gas deposits
in Tanzania's Ruvu Basin Coast Region valued at around $8 billion.
2016 Apr 18, A
government-backed investment fund in the United Arab Emirates said
that heavily indebted Malaysian investment fund 1MDB and the
southeast Asian country's finance ministry have defaulted on more
than $1.1 billion they owe.
2016 Apr 20, The Abdulla
al-Ghurair Foundation for Education from the United Arab Emirates
launched the Arab world's largest education fund, setting aside
$1.14 billion (4.2 billion dirhams) in grants for underserved youth
from the region.
2016 Apr 22, The United Arab
Emirates' official news agency reported that Sheikh Khalifa bin
Zayed Al Nahyan has ordered two billion dollars of investment in
Egypt, and will deposit two billion dollars in the Egyptian central
bank to increase its foreign reserves.
2016 Apr 26, Palestinian
novelist Rabai al-Madhoun received the $50,000 award, known as the
"Arabic Booker," for "Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and
Nakba" in Abu Dhabi, which sponsors the competition.
2016 May 4, In Dubai a man was
shot seven times in the head in the marina neighborhood of luxury
high-rise buildings and beachfront property. Authorities believed
the man also was allegedly involved in the killing of someone's
daughter in Turkey.
2016 May 4, In Qatar French
Pres. Francois Hollande attended a ceremony to mark the sale of 24
Rafale combat jets plus missiles to the United Arab Emirates.
(Econ, 5/14/16, p.55)
2016 May 24, Officials in Dubai
announced a new, $270-million project to build homes and shops along
part of the under-construction Dubai canal.
2016 May 29, A Dubai court
sentenced American businessman Zack Shahin to 15 years in prison
after convicting him on theft and fraud charges. He was sentenced at
the Dubai Criminal Court over a 2007 Texas land deal. Three other
Americans received similar sentences in absentia. The defendants
were also fined 56 million dirhams ($15.3 million).
2016 May 31, Dubai issued
notice informing hotels that alcohol slaes during Ramadan would be
governed by normal rules, as opposed to limiting their hours.
(SFC, 6/23/16, p.A3)
2016 Jun 12, A United Arab
Emirates military helicopter crashed into the sea, killing two crew
2016 Jun 15, The United Arab
Emirates said war is over for its troops in Yemen after a nearly
15-month intervention as part of a Saudi-led coalition in which
around 80 lost their lives.
2016 Jun 29, Dubai's transport
authority announced it had awarded a French-led consortium a $2.88
billion contract to extend its metro network to the site of the Expo
2020 world trade fair.
2016 Jul 11, It was announced
that Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta have sold their Ultimate Fighting
Championship (UFC) to a group led by WME-IMG, an American talent
agency for $4 billion and retained a minority interest. The
Fertittas had purchased the UFC for $2 million in 2001. The Abu
Dhabi government continued to own 10%.
(http://tinyurl.com/jv6sasd)(Econ, 7/23/16, p.51)
2016 Jul 13, Human Rights Watch
said foreigners employed as maids in Oman can face physicdal and
verbal abuse while entrapped in conditions that near slavery. Its
report alleged that the United Arab Emirates acts as a gateway for
maids trafficked into the sultanate.
(SFC, 7/14/16, p.A2)
2016 Jul 14, In Abu Dhabi a new
decree allowed people as young as 12 to apply for a temporary work
permit. Current law prohibited work until the age of 15.
(SSFC, 7/17/16, p.A9)
2016 Jul 26, In Abu Dhabi Solar
Impulse 2 made history as the first airplane to circle the globe
powered only by the sun, opening up new possibilities for the future
of renewable energy.
2016 Aug 3, In the United Arab
Emirates a Boeing crash landed in Dubai. All 300 passengers and crew
were safely evacuated from the plane, though one firefighter was
killed on the ground as the plane erupted in flames.
2016 Aug 15, The Pentagon
announced that fifteen prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention
center have been sent to the United Arab Emirates in the single
largest release of detainees during the Obama administration. They
included 12 Yemeni nationals and three Afghans. 61 detainees
remained at Guantanamo.
2016 Nov 8, Dubai agreed a deal
with California-based startup Hyperloop One to "evaluate" the
construction of a near-supersonic transport link that could slash
travel times to Emirati capital Abu Dhabi to minutes.
2016 Dec 3, In Abu Dhabi
representatives of around 40 countries approved plans to establish a
fund to protect heritage sites in war zones and a network of safe
havens for endangered artworks. The meeting, co-sponsored by France
and the United Arab Emirates, was spurred by the systematic
destruction and looting of archaeological treasures in Iraq and
Syria by the Islamic State group. France committed $30 million
toward protecting cultural heritage sites during wartime.
(AFP, 12/3/16)(AP, 12/3/16)
2016 Dec 4, In Dubai a bus
carrying 20 migrant workers hit a truck, killing four people at the
scene. A fifth person died after being rushed to the hospital.
2016 Dec 5, German airline Air
Berlin said it is selling its stake in Austrian carrier NIKI to Abu
Dhabi-based Etihad for 300 million euros ($319 million).
2016 Dec 16, The Dubai Parks
& Resorts project after it formally opened. The park includes a
Legoland, a Bollywood-themed park, a movie-themed Motiongate park, a
hotel and a shopping district, a project estimated to be worth over
2016 Dec 16, German airline
Lufthansa said it is launching a code-sharing agreement with Abu
Dhabi-based Etihad, a key financial backer of troubled rival Air
Berlin, from which Lufthansa will lease 38 aircraft for two of its
2016 Dec 17, BP PLC signed a
$2.22-billion deal restoring its share of an onshore oil block in
Abu Dhabi by agreeing to give the emirate stock in the company worth
2 percent of the oil giant's overall value.
2016 The UAE emirate of Dubai
was expected to run out of oil about this time.
(Econ, 3/4/06, p.56)
2017 Jan 9, UAE media reported
that the United Arab Emirates has ordered the removal from a
textbook of the term "Persian Gulf" for the waterway that is the
subject of a bitter naming dispute with Iran.
2017 Jan 10, The United Arab
Emirates announced plans to invest 600 billion dirhams ($163
billion) in projects to generate almost half the country's power
needs from renewables.
2017 Jan 10, In Afghanistan two
large bombings near government offices in Kabul killed at least 38
people, including civilians and military personnel. Earlier in the
day, a suicide bomber on foot struck in the southern Helmand
province, killing at least seven people. In Kandahar province five
UAE officials were among 12 people killed when explosives hidden in
a sofa detonated inside the governor's compound. The spate of
attacks killed a total of 57 people.
(AP, 1/10/17)(AFP, 1/11/17)(AFP, 2/15/17)
2017 Jan 23, In Yemen forces
allied with the internationally-recognized government seized control
of Mokha, a strategic Red Sea port after waging an assault against
Shiite rebels. Emirati-led troops marched into Mokha port and set
their sights on Hodeidah.
(AP, 1/23/17)(Econ, 4/8/17, p.42)
2017 Jan 26, In Libya Yousuf
Mubarak Welayti, an Emirati national detained since 2015 on spying
charges, was found dead after militiamen stormed the detention
center where he was being held and killed him.
2017 Jan 28, UAE state news
agency WAM reported that the air force of the United Arab Emirates
has shot down an Iranian-made drone in Yemen.
2017 Feb 12, Somaliland said
the United Arab Emirates can establish a military base in its
territory. The UAE government in January submitted a formal
application seeking permission from the Somaliland government to
open a military base in the port town of Berbera. Ethiopia and
Djibouti opposed the plan.
2017 Feb 15, UAE state media
said Juma Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi, its ambassador to Afghanistan,
has died of wounds sustained in a January 10 bombing in Kandahar
that also killed five other UAE officials.
2017 Feb 15, In Serbia several
thousand people joined renewed protests in Belgrade over the shady
demolition last year in an area marked for a United Arab
Emirates-financed real estate project.
2017 Feb 19, The United Arab
Emirates (UAE) awarded 4.5 billion dirhams ($1.2 billion) in
military procurement deals, part of a total of 20 billion dirhams
worth of purchases it expects to make at an arms fair this week.
2017 Feb 19, In Abu Dhabi
Australia's Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Sheikh
Mohammed, who is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed
Forces, met on the sidelines of the biennial International Defence
Exhibition and Conference (IDEX). The two agreed to consider a
10-year defense plan that could include more than 1 billion
Australian dollars ($767 million) in sales to the UAE.
2017 Feb 19, The United Arab
Emirates' main state oil company said it has signed a deal giving
China National Petroleum Company an 8 percent stake in a major
onshore oil project. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company said CNPC
will pay an initial $1.77 billion for the concession operated by the
Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations, also known as
2017 Feb 26, In Pakistan the
show, "Pakistan First with President Musharraf", debuted on Bol TV,
a channel that recently ran afoul of government regulators when one
of its hosts was accused of hate speech. Musharraf now lived in
Dubai and faced several criminal cases at home.
2017 Feb, In Yemen Saudi and
Emirati-backed forces fought each other over control of Aden’s
(Econ, 4/8/17, p.42)
2017 Mar 1, In Somaliland DP
World, a Dubai-based port operator, began working from Berbera’s
beachside hotel. Three weeks later the UAE revealed plans for
25-year lease of air and naval bases alongside.
(Econ, 4/8/17, p.42)
2017 Mar 16, The United Arab
Emirates said one of its soldiers has been killed while serving in
the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
2017 Mar 19, Canadian teacher
Maggie MacDonell was awarded the annual Global Teacher Prize during
a ceremony in Dubai.
(SFC, 3/20/17, p.A2)
2017 Mar 28, Tech giant Amazon
expanded its global reach with the announcement of a deal to buy
Dubai-based Souq.com, the Middle East's largest online retailer.
2017 Apr 3, Dubai media
reported that local police have arrested African hackers who
targeted five senior White House officials in a blackmail email
scam. Those arrested were between 24 and 26 years of age and had a
list of "5 million bank accounts," as well as hacking software and
millions of dollars in assets.
2017 Apr 19, The Dubai
government-owned Emirates airline slashed its flights to the United
States by 20%, blaming a drop in demand on tougher US security
measures a Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from some
Muslim majority nations.
(SFC, 4/20/17, p.C3)
2017 Apr 24, Abu Dhabi and
Malaysian officials said they reached a deal to resolve a legal
dispute over the indebted and troubled Malaysian investment fund
1MDB, with the Abu Dhabi set to receive $1.2 billion over this year.
(AP, 4/24/17)(Econ, 4/29/17, p.30)
2017 May 1, Germany’s
Chancellor Angela Merkel offered diplomatic help to try to end the
war in Yemen, as she ended a two-nation Gulf tour taking in the Arab
world's largest economies with a stop in the United Arab Emirates.
2017 May 2, PM Fayez Serraj of
Libya's UN-backed government and powerful rival Field Marshal
Khalifa Hifter met in the United Arab Emirates in the latest effort
to resolve the country's long-running conflict.
2017 May 16, The Pentagon said
the United States and the United Arab Emirates have signed a new,
updated defense cooperation agreement that dictated "the magnitude
and conditions" of the US military presence inside the Emirates.
2017 May 23, In Dubai seven
people killed and 35 injured when a bus crashed into a truck on one
of the sheikhdom's main highways.
2017 May 24, Abu Dhabi's
government-owned power utility said it has closed a 3.2 billion
dirham ($872 million) financing package for what will be the world's
largest solar power plant.
2017 May 24, A court in the
United Arab Emirates sentenced businessman Khater Massaad to 15
years in prison over one alleged scam. He was accused of stealing
$1.5 billion while working for one of its sheikhdoms. Massaad
maintained his innocence and said from Saudi Arabia that the charges
were part of a long-running vendetta against him by the government
of Ras al-Khaimah.
2017 May 24, A court in the
United Arab Emirates sentenced businessman Khater Massaad to 15
years in prison over one alleged scam. He was accused of stealing
$1.5 billion while working for one of its sheikhdoms. Massaad was
arrested in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, in September and still remains
there. He maintained his innocence and said that the charges were
part of a long-running vendetta against him by the government of Ras
2017 May 31, Yemeni security
officials said that forces backed by the United Arab Emirates have
taken over the airport in the southern city of Aden, further fueling
tension between internationally recognized Pres. Abed Rabbo Mansour
Hadi and the UAE, which had some 5,000 soldiers in Yemen.
(AP, 5/31/17)(Econ 6/10/17, p.49)
2017 Jun 5, Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, the Maldives and Egypt cut
ties with Qatar, the world's top seller of liquefied natural gas
(LNG), stoking concern over any supply disruptions to neighboring
countries spilling over into global gas markets. They accused Qatar
of supporting extremism.
2017 Jun 5, Qatar asked
citizens to leave the United Arab Emirates within 14 days to comply
with a decision by Abu Dhabi to sever ties with Doha.
2017 Jun 11, Qatar moved to
avoid an escalation of its feud with Gulf neighbors by telling their
citizens they are welcome to stay, while boasting of "business as
usual" for vital gas exports. The dispute saw Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates and Bahrain order all Qatari citizens out of
their countries within 14 days.
2017 Jun 22, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirate issued an ultimatum to
Qatar. The 13-point list included closing Al Jazeera television,
curbing ties with Iran and shutting a Turkish base and pay
reparations, demands so far reaching it would appear to be hard for
Doha to comply.
2017 Jun 23, In Belgium eight
Emirati princesses were convicted of human trafficking by a and were
given suspended jail terms and fines in a case stemming from their
treatment of servants at a Brussels luxury hotel nearly 10 years
ago. The defendants were acquitted of the more serious charge of
inhuman treatment but also ordered to pay a fine of 165,000 euros
($184,000), with half the sum suspended.
2017 Jun 24, Yemen's
internationally-recognized government ordered the creation of a
committee to investigate allegations of human rights violations,
following reports that US military interrogators worked with forces
from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees
2017 Jul 2, Abu Dhabi, the
capital of the United Arab Emirates, became the first city to be
exempt from a US ban on laptop computers being in airplane cabins.
2017 Jul 5, Turkish and
Emirates Airlines said the United States has lifted the in-cabin ban
on laptops and other large electronic devices on US-bound flights
from Dubai and Istanbul.
2017 Jul 8, Libyan strongman
Khalifa Haftar met with UAE leaders for talks on military
cooperation, days after announcing the retaking of second city
Benghazi from jihadists.
2017 Jul 12, American Airlines
notified Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi's Etihad of its decision to no
longer share flights with them over what it described as "illegal
2017 Jul 17, Qatar said it
believed a media report citing US officials had revealed the
responsibility of the United Arab Emirates in an alleged hack on its
state news agency in late May which helped spark a diplomatic rift
between Doha and its neighbors. UAE officials denied their country’s
2017 Jul 30, Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain met to discuss the
diplomatic crisis with Qatar. They said the bloc will continue to
keep current measures against Qatar in place, but are open to
dialogue with the Gulf state if it shows a willingness to change
course and complies with their demands.
2017 Jul, Drilling by the
Deepsea Metro I ship was suspended in Vietnam's Block 136/3 after
pressure from China, which said the concession operated by Spain's
Repsol overlaps the vast majority of the waterway that it claims as
its own. Co-owners of the block included Vietnam's state oil firm
and Mubadala Development Co of the UAE.
2017 Aug 1, The emirate’s
sovereign wealth fund said Malaysia's scandal-hit state investment
fund 1MDB has missed a payment to Abu Dhabi of over $600 million
that it was supposed to make by the end of July to settle debts.
2017 Aug 3, In Yemen al Qaeda
militants withdrew to the mountains without a fight as armored
vehicles from the government army and a new force known as the Elite
Shabwa Forces rolled into the provincial capital Ataq, and other
towns and cities. The advance was backed by the United States and
the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
2017 Aug 15, Germany's second
largest airline, Air Berlin, filed for bankruptcy protection after
its main shareholder, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, said it would make no
more financing available following years of unsuccessful turnaround
2017 Aug 17, A Palestinian
politician said the United Arab Emirates will provide $15 million a
month to Gaza, as Hamas moves closer to a UAE-based rival to
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
2017 Aug 21, The United Arab
Emirates approved a new law that imposes taxes on tobacco products,
energy drinks and soft drinks to boost revenue and help offset the
impact of lower oil prices. Tobacco and energy drinks will be taxed
at 100 percent and soft drinks at 50 percent.
2017 Aug 22, Dubai’s
state-owned Al-Bayan newspaper said a man has been charged with
trying to smuggle 5.7 million amphetamine pills into the sheikdom
hidden inside sheep intestines.
(SFC, 8/23/17, p.A2)
2017 Aug 27, In Abu Dhabi a
Singaporean man and his transgender friend facing jail for dressing
in a "feminine" way had their sentences reduced to a fine and
deportation. Singaporean fashion photographer Muhammad Fadli bin
Abdul Rahman and his transgender friend Noor Vitriya Kistina Ibrahim
were arrested earlier this month at an Abu Dhabi shopping mall.
2017 Sep 11, UAE authorities
said an Emirati pilot taking part in the Saudi-led war in Yemen has
been killed in a crash. State-run WAM news agency said another
soldier died of wounds he earlier suffered in the conflict. Over 100
Emirati troops have been killed in the war.
2017 Sep 16, The Gulf desert
emirate of Dubai announced the award of a $3.8-billion contract for
the final phase of a solar park aimed at generating 5,000 megawatts
of electricity by 2030. The contract went to Chinese conglomerate
Shanghai Electric and ACWA Power of Saudi Arabia.
2017 Oct 12, The United Arab
Emirates said it was ending the mission of North Korea's
non-resident ambassador and terminating its own envoy's services in
Pyongyang. The UAE will also stop issuing new visas or company
licenses to North Korean citizens.
2017 Nov 1, Dubai hosted
African officials, including four heads of state, and int’l CEOs at
the opening of "Next Generation Africa", Dubai's fourth Global
Business Forum on Africa.
2017 Nov 7, A company working
in Central African Republic on a UN contract said it has fired a
driver who took bribes to transport Muslim civilians to safer parts
of the country amid rising sectarian violence. Dubai-based ECOLOG
International said that it has terminated the employee implicated in
2017 Nov 8, French President
Emmanuel Macron joined Arab leaders to inaugurate the new Louvre Abu
2017 Nov 9, President Emmanuel
Macron said France has sold two Gowind-class corvettes of
state-owned shipbuilder Naval Group to the United Arab Emirates.
2017 Nov 11, The Louvre Abu
Dhabi opened to the public for the first time, ending a decade-long
wait for a project plagued by questions over laborers' conditions.
2017 Nov 12, Long-haul carrier
Emirates purchased 40 American-made Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners at the
start of the biennial Dubai Air Show, a $15.1 billion deal.
2017 Nov 13, A senior Yemeni
security official said a group of 133 detainees was transferred to
the newly-renovated Central Prison in Mukalla from the Riyan
airport. The airport was one of 18 secret prisons that an Associated
Press investigation revealed as run by the United Arab Emirates or
2017 Nov 15, At the Dubai Air
Show Airbus signed a $49.5 billion deal to sell 430 airplanes to the
Phoenix-based private equity firm that owns Frontier Airlines.
Boeing reached an agreement with low-cost carrier FlyDubai to sell
225 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft — a deal valued at $27 billion.
2017 Nov 21, Human Rights Watch
urged Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to reveal the whereabouts
of an Egyptian prisoner who has disappeared, apparently after
serving his prison sentence in the Emirati capital. Abdel Aziz was
arrested in 2014 in Abu Dhabi and sentenced to three years on
charges of joining the Islah Party and the Muslim Brotherhood. He
was to be released on Oct. 20 but, his family was told he was
deported to Egypt.
2017 Dec 2, Former Egyptian
prime minister Ahmed Shafik, who last week announced his intention
of running for the presidency in 2018, was taken from his home in
the United Arab Emirates and deported to Egypt.
2017 Dec 3, The UAE celebrated
its 46th National Day with public sector holiday that began Nov. 30
with a commemoration of the country's fallen soldiers.
2017 Dec 3, Yemeni Shiite
rebels, known as Houthis, said they fired a missile at an
under-construction nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi. The United Arab
Emirates' state-run news agency denied the claim.
2017 Dec 5, The United Arab
Emirates announced a new partnership with Saudi Arabia, separate
from the Gulf Cooperation Council. announcement came just hours
ahead of a GCC meeting in Kuwait, to which only Kuwait and Qatar
sent their heads of state. The planned GCC summit in Kuwait fell
apart within hours over the ongoing boycott of Qatar.
(AP, 12/5/17)(SFC, 12/6/17, p.A3)
2017 Dec 5, The European Union
put 17 non-EU countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of
unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. They Included: American
Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau,
Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia,
Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Over
40 more were put on a "grey list" to be monitored until they are
fully committed to reforms.
2017 Dec 13, French President
Emmanuel Macron hosted a summit for the leaders of the G5 Sahel
(composed of the armies of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and
Chad) plus Germany and Italy as well as the Saudi and Emirati
ministers. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates committed 130
million euros ($152.75 million) to tackle Islamist militants in the
2017 Dec 24, Tunisia suspended
all flights by Emirates to and from Tunis after the Dubai-based
airline barred Tunisian women from boarding its flights last week.
UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash soon
replied on Twitter that the ban was temporary and due to security
(Reuters, 12/25/17)(AP, 12/25/17)
2017 In the UAE Dubai’s new
airport at Jebel Ali was scheduled to come into full operation with
a capacity to handle 120 million passengers a year.
(Econ, 5/17/08, p.85)
2018 Jan 3, Norway said it has
suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates
as a "precautionary line," based on its assessment of the situation
in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition including the UAE has been
fighting Shiite rebels for nearly three years.
2018 Jan 18, The Dubai-based
Emirates said it struck a deal with Airbus to buy 20 of its A380
double-decker jets, with the option to buy 16 more, in a deal worth
2018 Jan 22, In the United Arab
Emirates a house fire killed seven children near the eastern city of
2018 Jan 23, European Union
finance ministers agreed to remove eight jurisdictions from the
bloc's blacklist of tax havens, one month after the list was set up.
Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia and the
United Arab Emirates joined Panama as jurisdictions delisted
following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU
2018 Feb 10, Speaking in Dubai
IMF chief Christine Lagarde urged Arab countries to slash public
wages and subsidies in order to rein in spending, achieve
sustainable growth and create jobs.
2018 Feb 11, In Abu Dhabi
Indian PM Narendra Modi started the second day of his visit to the
United Arab Emirates by unveiling a model of the first Hindu temple
that will be built in the UAE capital.
2018 Feb 11, Gulf metropolis
Dubai announced the opening of the "world's new tallest hotel,"
pipping another towering landmark in the city for the title. The
gleaming gold 75-storey Gevora Hotel stands 356 meters, or nearly a
quarter of a mile, tall.
2018 Feb 11, In Dubai Sheikh
Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Emirates chairman and CEO of
Emirates, and Mikhail Houari, president of Airbus Middle East signed
a $16 billion purchase of the Airbus A380 superjumbo commercial
2018 Feb 11, At Dubai's World
Government Summit Hollywood star Robert De Niro took aim at the
Trump administration's stance on climate change, telling a packed
audience in the Middle East that he was visiting from a "backward"
country suffering from "temporary insanity".
2018 Feb 11, France's PM
Edouard Philippe promised lower taxes and a business-friendly France
at a global summit in Dubai, seeking investment from the oil-rich
2018 Feb 24, Sridevi (54),
Bollywood's leading lady of the 1980s and '90s, died in Dubai. She
had redefined stardom for actresses in India. Her famous roles
included "Mr. India," in which she played a reporter, and "Lamhe,"
or "Moments," a 1991 film in which she played dual roles of mother
and teenage daughter.
2018 Mar 2, The Arab world's
largest private broadcaster stopped showing Turkish television
programs, as tensions rose between Ankara and some Arab states.
Dubai-based MBC Group is which is controlled by Saudi businessman
Walid al-Ibrahim and other Saudi investors.
2018 Mar 10, In Yemen hundreds
of detainees suffered sexual abuse by Emirati officers at Beir Ahmed
prison in the southern city of Aden following series of hunger
strikes among prisoners. At least five prisons were later identified
where security forces used sexual torture to brutalize and break
2018 Mar 13, Qatar and the
United Arab Emirates each extended a concession to an offshore oil
field they share to a Japanese consortium despite a diplomatic
crisis between the two of them tearing at the region.
2018 Mar 18, Abu Dhabi state
energy company ADNOC said it had awarded French oil giant Total
stakes in two offshore oil concessions. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.
said it has signed a deal worth $1.45 billion with French oil giant
Total SA granting it stakes in offshore fields.
(AFP, 3/18/18)(AP, 3/18/18)
2018 Mar 21, The state-owned
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said it has signed a deal with China's
state-run national petroleum company worth $1.18 billion for stakes
in two oil and natural gas concessions in the United Arab Emirates'
capital of Abu Dhabi.
2018 Mar 25, A Dubai court
sentenced British journalist Francis Matthew (61) to 10 years in
jail followed by deportation for bludgeoning to death his wife with
a hammer last summer.
2018 Mar 26, The United Arab
Emirates said that one of four nuclear reactors at its debut plant
has been completed as it moves closer to becoming the first Arab
nation to produce atomic power. Visiting South Korean President Moon
Jae-in and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed toured the
$20-billion Barakah plant constructed by a consortium led by the
Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
2018 Apr 3, In Switzerland the
United Nations raised more than $2 billion to help civilians in
Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates drew praise for
offering hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Yemen, where
their air campaign against Houthi rebels has killed thousands of
civilians and their crippling blockade has hindered aid delivery.
(AFP, 4/3/18)(AP, 4/3/18)
2018 Apr 6, It was reported
that a spate of deadly drive-by shootings has targeted Muslim
clerics and preachers in Yemen's southern port city of Aden. Many of
the slain clerics belonged to the Islah party, a branch of the
Muslim Brotherhood and a top ally of Pres. Mansour Hadi, self-exiled
in Saudi Arabia. UAE-trained militiamen have engaged in deadly
clashes with Hadi's forces.
(SFC, 4/6/18, p.A2)
2018 Apr 8, Somali security
staff took about $9.6 million in cash from a civilian plane that
landed in Mogadishu from the UAE. The UAE said it was sending the
money to the Somali army to support its operations against Islamist
militants. The plane was allowed to depart several hours later.
2018 Apr 11, Somalia said it
has disbanded a United Arab Emirates program to train some of its
troops in a fresh sign that a dispute in the Gulf involving Qatar is
spilling into the volatile country in the Horn of Africa.
2018 Apr 15, The United Arab
Emirates said it will end its military training mission to Somalia
after an incident that saw its soldiers assaulted and $9.6 million
seized at an airport in Mogadishu.
2018 Apr 29, Austria's OMV
signed a deal worth $1.5 billion for a 20 percent stake in two
offshore concessions in the United Arab Emirates' capital, Abu
2018 May 5, British academic
Matthew Hedges (31) was arrested Dubai International Airport after a
two-week visit conducting field research for his thesis. Five months
later he was still being held in solitary confinement in Abu Dhabi
without charge. In October he was accused of spying for the
British government and soon released on bail.
(AP, 10/11/18)(AP, 10/30/18)
2018 May 5, A senior Yemeni
official said the UAE over the last few days has deployed some 300
soldiers, along with tanks and artillery, to the island of Socotra,
recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, heightening tensions
between the two allies.
2018 May 9, In Dubai the sixth
edition of Arab Fashion Week opened with fallen angels, Rococo
corsets, cupcake headbands and nary a kaftan in sight.
2018 May 26, Qatar said it was
banning products originating from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi
Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, almost a year after those states imposed
an embargo on Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
2018 May 28, Dubai-based port
operator DP World said it has completed a roughly $316 million deal
to acquire a Peruvian container and logistics firm and a stake in
one of the largest container terminals in the South American
2018 May 30, UAE media reported
that prominent Emirati activist Ahmed Mansoor has been sentenced to
10 years in jail and fined 1 million AED ($272,000) on charges of
criticizing the United Arab Emirates government on social media.
2018 Jun 8, Security officials
said Afghanistan has accepted an offer from the United Arab Emirates
to boost its presence in training Afghan forces fighting Islamist
insurgents, as Kabul seeks to improve ties with majority-Muslim
2018 Jun 11, Qatar said it has
filed a case against the United Arab Emirates at the United Nations'
highest court, accusing Abu Dhabi of "discrimination against Qatar
and Qatari citizens" amid a yearlong boycott of Doha by four Arab
nations. An Emirati minister dismissed the filing as a stunt.
2018 Jun 12, A new report by
the Washington-based Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS)
said war profiteers, terror financiers and drug traffickers
sanctioned by the US in recent years have used Dubai's real-estate
market as a haven for their assets.
2018 Jun 24, Officials
acknowledged that Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will loan pilots to
competing Dubai-based carrier Emirates under a new program, marking
a rare cooperation between the two state-owned carriers who operate
only 115 km (70 miles) apart.
2018 Jul 2, Yemeni government
forces backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates bombarded
rebel positions outside Hodeida over the last 24 hours after pausing
their push into the strategic Red Sea port city. 11 civilians and 43
rebel fighters were reported killed over the last two days.
2018 Jul 3, The United Arab
Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority ordered firms to
identify and freeze the accounts and assets of nine Iranian
individuals and entities the UAE has placed on its terrorism list.
2018 Jul 7, The United Arab
Emirates extended compulsory military service for Emirati men from
12 to 16 months, amid a three-year involvement in Yemen's war.
2018 Jul 15, A United Arab
Emirates court dismissed a criminal case against the head of
embattled Abraaj private equity group over bounced cheques for
millions of dollars.
2018 Jul 19, The Abu Dhabi
National Oil Company said it has awarded contracts worth AED 5.88
billion ($1.6 billion) to China's largest state-owned oil company to
conduct what is says is the world's largest continuous 3D offshore
and onshore seismic survey.
2018 Jul 20, In Abu Dhabi
Chinese President Xi Jinping, his Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and
other Chinese officials held morning meetings with powerful crown
prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, the crown prince of
Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktuom, and others at the
presidential palace as China and the UAE seek to deepen economic
2018 Jul 21, The United Arab
Emirates said it agreed to set up a "comprehensive strategic
partnership" with China as President Xi Jinping wrapped up a
three-day visit to the Gulf country.
2018 Jul 23, The UN Int'l Court
of Justice (ICJ) ordered the United Arab Emirates to immediately
allow Qatari families affected by a dispute between the countries to
reunite, imposing the measure before it hears the full case filed by
Qatar at a later date.
2018 Jul 24, The UAE
hosted the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea, lauding their "bold and
historic" rapprochement as enhancing prospects for peace and
2018 Jul 26, Yemen's
Iranian-aligned Houthi movement said it had attacked Abu Dhabi
airport in the United Arab Emirates with a drone, though it was not
immediately clear if there was any damage or casualties.
2018 Aug 28, Three experts
working for the UN's top human rights body said the governments of
Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia may have been
responsible for war crimes including rape, torture, disappearances
and "deprivation of the right to life" during 3½ years of battling
2018 Sep 3, The ruler of Dubai
announced the names of two astronauts from the United Arab Emirates
who will be heading to the International Space Station next year, a
first for the Gulf nation.
2018 Sep 5, A plane was
quarantined at New York's Kennedy Airport when about 10 passengers
became ill aboard a flight from Dubai. The double-decker Emirates
aircraft held 520 passengers.
(AP, 9/5/18)(SFC, 9/6/18, p.A4)
2018 Sep 10, Djibouti escalated
a dispute with the Dubai-based global port operator DP World by
nationalizing the majority shares in the Doraleh Container Terminal.
2018 Sep 11, Dubai's global
port operator DP World said it will pursue all "legal means" to
defend its claim to a Djibouti terminal after the African nation
nationalized the facility.
2018 Sep 18, Delaware signed a
final 50-year agreement with a private Emirati port operator to
privatize the Port of Wilmington. The state will receive yearly
concession payments of around $10 million.
2018 Oct 2, In Abu Dhabi eight
members of one Emirati family were killed in a house fire in the
2018 Oct 2, It was reported
that a court in Dubai has sentenced an Egyptian taxi driver (34)to
six months in prison and deportation after convicting him of
sexually assaulting a US Navy officer (22) in March 2017.
2018 Oct 7, The Dubai Court of
Appeals' ruling added another five years onto the prison sentence of
former British Gulf News editor Francis Matthew, who initially was
found guilty in March of bludgeoning his wife to death at their home
and received a 10-year sentence.
2018 Oct 8, Baker-Hughes, a
subsidiary of General Electric Co., said it has agreed to purchase a
5-percent stake in the drilling arm of Abu Dhabi's state oil company
for $550 million. This marks the first time Abu Dhabi has sold a
stake in its businesses to a foreign interest.
2018 Oct 28, In Abu Dhabi
Israel's national anthem was played at a judo tournament after one
of its athletes won gold in what was thought to be a first in the
2018 Oct, Serbia sold
agricultural company Poljoprivredna Korporacija Beograd (PKB) to
United Arab Emirates-based Al Dahra Agricultural Company for 105.05
million euros ($118.98 million).
2018 Nov 14, In Yemen
pro-government forces were "ordered" to stop their assault against
the Iran-linked Huthi rebels until further notice, as the United
Arab Emirates, a key member of the pro-government coalition, threw
its weight behind "early" UN peace talks in Sweden.
2018 Nov 18, Police chiefs from
around the world gathered in Dubai for Interpol's general assembly
to select a new president after the agency's former official in the
post was detained in China.
2018 Nov 20, Interpol's general
assembly, meeting in Dubai, voted against allowing Kosovo to join
the international police agency. The bids of Pacific island nations
Kiribati and Vanuatu were approved by delegates, but Kosovo did not
secure the required two-thirds majority.
2018 Nov 21, A United Arab
Emirates court sentenced British student Matthew Hedges (31) to life
in jail on spying charges, prompting a "shocked" Britain to warn of
repercussions for relations with its longstanding Gulf ally. Hedges
had been researching the UAE's foreign and internal security
policies after the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011.
2018 Nov 21, The International
Alliance for the Defence of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL) filed a
lawsuit against Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan
during his visit to France, accusing him of war crimes, complicity
in torture and inhumane treatment in Yemen.
2018 Nov 26, The United Arab
Emirates pardoned and released British academic Matthew Hedges (31),
jailed for life on spying charges, granting a request for clemency
after showing a video of him purportedly confessing to membership of
the UK's MI6 intelligence service. The UAE president issued the
pardon as part of a mass clemency of more than 700 prisoners to mark
the country's National Day.
2018 Dec 6, UAE-based global
port operator DP World says it has acquired Danish logistics firm
Unifeeder for $748 million, about 660 million euros, helping the
Dubai-owned company expand its foothold through the largest feeder
and shortsea network in Europe.
2018 Dec 14, A Berlin court
said the insolvency administrator for bankrupt airline Air Berlin
has sued its former largest shareholder, UAE-based airline Etihad,
for 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion) in damages.
2018 Dec 17, The Taliban held
"another" meeting with US officials, this time in the United Arab
Emirates and also involving Saudi, Pakistani and Emirati
representatives in the latest attempt to bring a negotiated end to
Afghanistan's 17-year war.
2018 Dec 21, The UAE government
via its state-run news agency said the government-owned Abu Dhabi
Fund for Development will deposit the $3 billion in State Bank of
Pakistan in the coming days.
2018 Dec 24, The United Arab
Emirates said Princess Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, the
daughter of Dubai’s ruler, was at home and living with her family.
The UAE foreign ministry said that on 15th December 2018, Mary
Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
and former President of Ireland, had met with Her Highness Sheikha
Latifa in Dubai.
2018 Dec 27, The United Arab
Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus, the latest sign of
efforts to bring the Syrian government back into the Arab fold.
2018 Dec 31, The UAE's Federal
Supreme Court upheld a 10-year sentence for human rights activist
Ahmed Mansoor (49).
2018 Dec 31, Dubai's stock
market ended 2018 with a 25-percent annual loss, the worst year
since the global financial crisis a decade ago, as the real estate
and tourism sectors struggled.
2018 Dec, British businessman
Christian Michel (57) was extradited to India from the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) where he was working over his role in a £500 million
helicopter deal. Michel was extradited after India handed over
Sheikha Latifa, a runaway Dubai princess, to the UAE following her
capture by Indian coastguards when they boarded her yacht. Michel
later alleged that he was tortured after refusing to sign a fake
confession that he bribed Indian officials in order to secure the
(The Telegraph, 1/30/21)
2019 Jan 6, In Pakistan
government talks with the United Arab Emirates on setting up an oil
refinery in Pakistan "reached their final stage" during the visit of
the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
2019 Jan 10, Saudi Arabia
awarded a contract to build a $500 million wind farm, a first for
the world's top oil exporter as it pushes to diversify its energy
sector. A consortium led by France's EDF and Abu Dhabi's Masdar won
the bid for the 400-megawatt Dumat al-Jandal wind project in the
northern Al Jouf province.
2019 Jan 13, Dubai-based port
operator DP World said it will pay $502 million for a 71.3 percent
stake in Chile's Puertos y Logistica SA, a port services firm.
2019 Jan 21, An investment firm
in Abu Dhabi bought some 3 tons of gold from Venezuela amid that
country's political turmoil. Noor Capital later said it will refrain
from any further transactions.
2019 Jan 23, Sudan's Oil
Minister Azhari Abdel Qader said his country has received economic
assistance from the United Arab Emirates and accepted offers of
support from Russia and Turkey. Pres. Omar al-Bashir met with
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha during his
first trip abroad since the protests began.
2019 Jan 27, The state-owned
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. said it has signed agreements worth $5.8
billion with Italy's Eni and Austria's OMV for a share in the firm's
refining unit and for the creation of a new trading venture.
2019 Feb 3, Pope Francis headed
to the UAE for the first ever papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula,
birthplace of Islam, where he will hold an open-air mass for tens of
thousands of Catholics.
2019 Feb 4, In the UAE Sheikh
Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar mosque and
university, called on Muslims in the Middle East to "embrace" local
Christian communities during a ceremony in Abu Dhabi also attended
by Pope Francis. The Vatican and Egypt's Al-Azhar mosque and
university signed a document on fighting extremism. Pope Francis
called for an end to wars in the Middle East.
(Reuters, 2/4/19)(AFP, 2/4/19)
2019 Feb 5, Pope Francis
concluded his historic visit to the Arabian Peninsula with the
first-ever papal Mass in the birthplace of Islam. Authorities in the
United Arab Emirates said some 180,000 people attended the Mass.
2019 Feb 10, At the World
Government Summit in Dubai Pakistan's PM Imran Khan said his nation
needed "painful" economic reforms to cut back on its massive debt,
just after meeting the head of the International Monetary Fund.
2019 Feb 10, Speaking in Dubai
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned governments to gear
up for a possible economic storm as growth undershoots expectations.
2019 Feb 11, Activists said an
Emirati woman (42), who says she was threatened by her family for
wanting a divorce, is stuck in a Macedonia migrant center after the
Balkan state rejected her asylum request.
2019 Feb 17, The United Arab
Emirates (UAE) said it had signed military deals worth 3.87 billion
UAE dirhams ($1.1 billion) with international companies.
2019 Feb 17, Saudi Arabia
signed a preliminary agreement with France's Naval Group to build
warships in the kingdom, as part of its efforts to develop domestic
manufacturing capabilities. Saudi Arabian Military Industries
(SAMI), the kingdom’s state defense company, made the announcement
at the IDEX military exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
2019 Feb 18, The United Arab
Emirates announced that it had signed deals worth more than $1.6
billion for the purchase of Patriot missile launchers from US arms
2019 Feb 19, The United Arab
Emirates' armed forces signed 514.8 million dirham ($140.17 million)
defense contracts with international firms at the IDEX military
exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
2019 Feb 20, Dubai budget
carrier flydubai said it chalked up a loss of $43.5 million in 2018,
as airlines across the Gulf struggle with mounting costs and
2019 Mar 2, In Abu Dhabi the
57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world's
largest body of Muslim-majority nations, reaffirmed its unwavering
support for the Kashmiri people in their just cause.
2019 Mar 10, Laleh Shahravesh,
a UK citizen, was arrested at Dubai Airport as she arrived for her
ex-husband's funeral. Authorities there had received a complaint
about Facebook posts that she allegedly made in 2016 calling her
ex's new wife a "horse".
2019 Mar 12, European Union
governments adopted a broadened blacklist of tax havens, adding the
United Arab Emirates and British and Dutch overseas territories in a
revamp that tripled the number of listed jurisdictions. The new list
added Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, Barbados, Belize, the British
overseas territory of Bermuda, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, the
United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu and Dominica. The EU blacklist
originally comprised 17 jurisdictions, including the UAE, but shrank
to five after most listed states committed to change their tax
2019 Mar 19, The UAE said 11
Arab states including Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Morocco have signed
on to the first regional team to cooperate on a space program at the
Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi.
2019 Mar 26, SF-based
ride-hailing service Uber announced that it has acquired Dubai-based
competitor Careem for $3.1 billion.
(SFC, 3/27/19, p.D1)
2019 Mar 27, A $436 million
superyacht belonging to Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, at the
center of one of the world's costliest divorce battles, was released
by a Dubai court after being impounded last year. Forbes has
estimated Akhmedov's net worth is $1.4 billion. The US Treasury
Department has put him on a list of sanctioned Russian state-owned
2019 Apr 3, Dubai's Emirates
NBD bank revised its acquisition price of Turkey's Denizbank
following a slide in the Turkish lira, saying it has now agreed to
pay 15.48 billion lira ($2.8 billion).
2019 Apr 4, Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
member Egypt said they will boycott an Inter-Parliamentary Union
(IPU) annual meeting in Doha April from 6-10 because Qatar "has not
responded to the just demands of the four countries and has
continued its supportive policy for extremism, terrorism and
interference in the affairs of the countries of the region".
2019 Apr 5, In Britain Arif
Naqvi, the chief executive of the collapsed Dubai private equity
firm Abraaj Capital Ltd, was arrested on US charges for defrauding
investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood was arrested at a New York
hotel on April 11.
2019 Apr 8, The UAE said it and
Saudi Arabia, which head an Arab coalition fighting Iran-aligned
Houthi forces in Yemen, will provide $200 million in aid to Yemen
for use during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The aid is part of
a $500 million joint food aid program announced last November.
2019 Apr 10, Amnesty
International said Ahmed Mansoor, a prominent activist in the United
Arab Emirates, has been on hunger strike for over three weeks to
protest his prison conditions and 10-year conviction. Mansoor was
the recipient of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human
Rights Defenders in 2015.
2019 Apr 15, A leaked
intelligence report published by investigative website Disclose
showed that French arms including tanks and laser-guided missile
systems sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are being
used in the Yemeni war against civilians. The report was written by
France's DRM military intelligence agency.
2019 Apr 15, Turkish
authorities detained two people on suspicion of spying for the
United Arab Emirates. The two reportedly confessed during their
interrogation that they had been spying on Arab dissidents based in
Turkey on behalf of the UAE. One of the two men arrived in Turkey in
October 2018, days after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was
murdered inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.
(AP, 4/19/19)(Reuters, 4/19/19)
2019 Apr 18, Officials said
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have sent 95 tons of humanitarian aid to
their rival Iran as it reels from deadly floods, after Tehran
complained US sanctions were obstructing relief.
2019 Apr 21, Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirates announced three billion dollars (2.7
billion euros) in financial support for Sudan following the
overthrow of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir.
2019 Apr 23, The UAE city of
Sharjah took up the mantle as UNESCO's World Book Capital for 2019
late today, launching a series of cultural programs aimed at both
locals and expatriates.
2019 Apr 28, In Turkey Zaki Y.
M. Hasan, a man held on suspicion of spying for the United Arab
Emirates, was found hanging from the bathroom door in his one-person
cell in Silivri prison. Hasan and another man were detained on April
15 and had reportedly confessed to spying on Arab nationals.
2019 Apr 30, Dubai announced a
series of futuristic urban projects, including a 15-km (nine mile)
cable car system above the emirate's main road.
2019 May 5, Human Rights Watch
said Alia Abdul Noor, a woman with terminal cancer who was serving a
10-year prison sentence in the United Arab Emirates, has died in
jail, two months after the United Nations called for her release on
2019 May 12, The UAE said that
four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of
the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of
Hormuz, but did not describe the nature of the attack or say who was
behind it. Two Saudi oil tankers were targeted in the attack.
2019 May 16, The crash of the
Diamond DA62 at Dubai International Airport saw the aircraft roll
upside-down in air and smash into a park near the airport at high
speed, killing the three Britons and one South African on board.
Investigations later said it had followed other larger aircraft
landing there too closely as air traffic controllers offered
inconsistent warnings about the hazard.
2019 May 18, Saudi Arabia
called for urgent meetings of the regional Gulf Cooperation Council
and the Arab League to discuss escalating tensions in the region.
Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began "enhanced
security patrols" in the international waters of the Arabian Gulf
(AFP, 5/19/19)(Reuters, 5/19/19)
2019 May 24, US Pres. Donald
Trump, declaring a national emergency because of tensions with Iran,
swept aside objections from Congress to complete the sale of $8.1
billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates
and Jordan, citing a threat from Iran, infuriating lawmakers who
fear the weapons could kill civilians in Yemen.
(AFP, 5/24/19)(Reuters, 5/25/19)
2019 Jun 6, In the UAE a bus
from Oman smashed into a warning sign coming off a major highway in
Dubai, killing 17 people late today, including at least 12 Indians.
In 2021 an appeals court reduced the Omani bus driver's seven-year
sentence followed by deportation to just one year without
(AP, 6/7/19)(AP, 2/25/21)
2019 Jun 10, The Intercept
website reported that Rashid al-Malik, a United Arab Emirates
businessman linked to a probe of illegal donations to Donald Trump's
political campaign, was paid by his country's intelligence agency in
2017 to spy on the US president's administration.
2019 Jun 14, The highest UN
court rejected a request by the United Arab Emirates for interim
measures to be imposed on Qatar in a racial discrimination dispute.
Judges at the International Court of Justice rejected by a 15-1
majority a UAE application to compel Qatar to unblock a website that
enables family reunifications and to prevent state-run media from
aggravating the dispute. They also rejected a request for Doha to
drop a similar case at a UN anti-discrimination committee.
2019 Jun 22, State media
reported that Iran summoned the United Arab Emirates' top envoy to
Tehran to protest the neighboring Arab nation's decision to allow
the US to use a base there to launch a drone that Iran says entered
its airspace. The US said its RQ-4A Global Hawk was shot down June
20 over international waters in the Strait of Hormuz, not inside
2019 Jun 28, Western diplomatic
sources said the United Arab Emirates, a key member of the Saudi-led
coalition fighting in Yemen, is scaling back its military presence
there as worsening US-Iran tensions threaten security closer to
2019 Jun 28, The New York Times
reported that forces loyal to Libya's unity government had
discovered four Javelin missiles at a base used by men under the
command of Khalifa Haftar, who has waged a months-long offensive to
take Tripoli. The newspaper said that markings on the US-made
missiles indicated they had been sold to the United Arab Emirates in
2019 Jul 8, The United Arab
Emirates said it was redeploying and reducing troops across war-torn
Yemen and moving from a "military-first" strategy to a "peace-first"
2019 Jul 13, The Riah, a
58-meter (190-foot) oil tanker from the United Arab Emirates
traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, entered Iranian waters and
turned off its tracker. Foreign Ministry spokesman later said the
Islamic Republic helped an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz amid
US concern that Tehran seized one there. On July 18 Iranian
Revolutionary Guards said they had seized a foreign oil tanker in
the Strait of Hormuz. Its 12 crew members were arrested.
(AP, 7/16/19)(The Telegraph, 7/18/19)
2019 Jul 21, It was reported
that thousands of tons of camel dung are being used to fuel cement
production in the northern United Arab Emirates, cutting emissions
and keeping animal waste out of landfill.
2019 Jul 22, UAE state news
agency WAM reported that Dubai's largest listed developer Emaar
Properties has signed an agreement to help deliver an $11 billion
project at the site of Beijing's new mega airport.
2019 Jul 24, Pres. Donald Trump
vetoed three congressional resolutions to block the billion-dollar
sales of weapons to key allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
(The Independent, 7/25/19)
2019 Jul 29, The US Senate
failed in a bid to override a trio of vetoes issued by President
Donald Trump, allowing the administration to move forward with plans
to sell billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the
United Arab Emirates.
2019 Jul 30, Officials from the
United Arab Emirates and Iran met to discuss maritime security for
the first time in six years amid a spike in tensions in the Persian
2019 Aug 7, Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirates state media said their countries are
providing Sudan 540,000 tons of wheat to support the country whose
president was ousted earlier this year.
2019 Aug 8, The United Arab
Emirates released Osama al-Najjar, Badr al-Bahri and Othman
al-Shehhi after appearing in a nearly two-minute video shared on
social media sites by the state-aligned UAE Forsan in which they
denounced the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideas. The three had been
detained on national security charges for their ties to al-Islah, an
Islamist group that is outlawed in the UAE.
2019 Aug 15, A joint
Saudi-Emirati military delegation travelled to Aden to discuss
demands for a pullout of UAE-backed southern separatists from
positions they captured in Yemen's interim capital.
2019 Aug 24, Indian PM Narendra
Modi received the Order of Zayed, the United Arab Emirates' highest
civilian honor, during a visit to the oil-rich Gulf nation,
reinforcing ties between the countries even as he pursues stripping
statehood from the disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.
2019 Aug 26, Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirates pledged to keep their floundering coalition
war against Yemen's Houthi rebels together after an Emirati troop
pullout and the rise of the southern separatists they supported.
2019 Aug 29, in Yemen
airstrikes killed at least 30 government forces. The internationally
recognized government accused the Emirati air force of attacking its
troops as they were heading to the key southern port city of Aden to
fight separatists backed by the UAE.
2019 Aug 31, Southern Yemeni
separatists said they have arrested dozens of government loyalists
in Aden after President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's forces withdrew
from the port city following air strikes by the United Arab
2019 Sep 2, Dubai's ruler
issued a directive to curb the pace of new real estate construction
projects amid falling demand and property prices.
2019 Sep 4, Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirates sent their top diplomats to Pakistan to
help Islamabad defuse tensions with India over the disputed Kashmir
2019 Sep 4, A Yemeni official
said government officials have begun indirect talks with United Arab
Emirates-backed southern separatists in the Saudi Red Sea city of
Jeddah to end fighting in Aden and other southern provinces.
2019 Sep 8, Saudi Arabia and
the United Arab Emirates called for an end to fighting in southern
Yemen between forces loyal to the internationally recognized
government and UAE-backed separatists.
2019 Sep 13, Six UAE troops
were reported killed in a "collision" in southern Yemen.
2019 Sep 20, The Pentagon
announced it will deploy additional US troops and missile defense
equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as Pres.
Donald Trump has at least for now put off any immediate military
strike on Iran in response to the attack on the Saudi oil industry.
2019 Sep 25, In Kazakhstan a
Russian Soyuz rocket blasted off carrying an American, a Russian and
the first space traveler from the United Arab Emirates to the Int'l.
(SFC, 9/26/19, p.A2)
2019 Oct 15, Russian President
Vladimir Putin visited the United Arab Emirates, as part of a
Mideast tour aimed at strengthening ties between Moscow and this
longtime US ally amid tensions in the wider Persian Gulf. Putin
sought to attract over $1.3 billion worth of investments in Russia's
(AP, 10/15/19)(AFP, 10/15/19)
2019 Oct 24, It was reported
that Dubai has loosened its liquor laws to allow tourists to
purchase alcohol in state-controlled stores, previously only
accessible to license-holding residents, as the United Arab Emirates
saw the first drop in alcohol sales by volume in a decade.
2019 Nov 11, A report by UN
experts said Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have
repeatedly violated an arms embargo on Libya and it is "highly
probable" that a foreign attack aircraft is responsible for a deadly
strike on a migrant detention center. The report also accused Sudan
and the head of Sudan's Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Mohamed Hamdan
Dagalo, known by his nickname Hemeti, of violating UN sanctions by
deploying 1,000 Sudanese troops to Libya.
2019 Nov 19, In Abu Dhabi donor
governments and philanthropists pledged $2.6 billion to help fund a
worldwide polio eradication plan that has taken decades to reach
what global health specialists say is now the "last mile." The
funding included $1.08 billion from the Gates Foundation, around
$514 million from Britain, $215 million from the United States, $160
million from Pakistan and $150 million from the charity Rotary
2019 Nov 24, State-owned Abu
Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic said they would
operate Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, one of the UAE's largest
hospitals for patients with serious or complex medical conditions.
2019 Nov 27, In the UAE British
newspaper editor Francis Matthew, convicted of killing his wife with
a hammer, had his sentence reduced by Dubai’s Court of Appeal. The
court ordered that former Gulf News editor must serve a seven-year
sentence for manslaughter in the 2017 killing of his wife, Jane.
2019 Dec 18, Prominent Serbian
investigative news portal KRIK said that Stevan Dojcinovic, its
editor-in-chief, has been detained in Abu Dhabi and deported back to
Serbia without being allowed to take part in a UN anti-corruption
meeting. He not blacklisted by the United Arab Emirates, but that it
was a request from another government.
2020 Jan 6, UAE PM Sheikh
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said tourist visas to the United Arab
Emirates will be valid for five years, part of a campaign to lure
holiday makers to Gulf countries. The visas were previously valid
for 30 to 90 days.
2020 Jan 8, Audio clips
revealed by Malaysian anti-graft officials indicated that former PM
Najib Razak allegedly sought help from the United Arab Emirates'
crown prince to fake evidence to cover up for the 1MDB scandal.
2020 Jan 12, Indonesia and the
United Arab Emirates affirmed deeper economic ties during a visit by
Indonesian President Joko Widodo in which he sought billions of
dollars to finance his country's infrastructure and energy projects.
2020 Jan 16, In Abu Dhabi a bus
and a truck collided on a major road, killing six people and
2020 Jan 19, Participants at a
Berlin summit agreed to respect a much-violated arms embargo in
Libya, halt military support to the warring parties and push them to
reach a full cease-fire. The summit was quickly overshadowed by a
fresh crisis over oil. There were reports of ongoing fighting on the
frontlines south of Tripoli and Western leaders appeared downbeat on
the prospects of putting the ceasefire agreement into force. It was
later revealed that at least five cargo planes filled with weapons
from the UAE and Russia were bound for Libya as global leaders posed
for a group picture.
(AP, 1/20/20)(The Telegraph, 1/20/20)(SFC,
2020 Jan 29, UAE officials said
a family of four Chinese tourists in the United Arab Emirates became
the first cases in the Mideast of the new Chinese coronavirus. The
family from Wuhan, the epicenter of the viral outbreak, entered the
UAE on Jan. 16.
2020 Jan 31, An Indian diplomat
said two Indian sailors were killed and two remain missing after the
Zoya 1 oil tanker caught fire earlier this week off the UAE's
sheikhdom of Sharjah.
2020 Feb 9, The United Arab
Emirates restored mail services to Qatar, frozen for more than two
years amid a diplomatic rift, after a regional meeting attended by
both Gulf states and the United Nations’ postal agency.
2020 Feb 17, The UAE’s
regulatory watchdog gave long-awaited approval to the operator of
the Barakah reactor, nudging the Emirates to the brink of membership
in an elite club of 30 countries that make nuclear power. This is
Arab world’s first commercial nuclear power plant.
2020 Feb 21, The United Arab
Emirates said it had registered two new coronavirus cases, bringing
the total number of people diagnosed with the virus in the Gulf Arab
state to 11.
2020 Feb 25, The United Arab
Emirates became the latest to clamp down on Iran, halting all
passenger and cargo flights to and from the country due to the
coronavirus outbreak, a similar move to other nearby countries
including Armenia, Kuwait, Iraq and Turkey.
2020 Mar 3, UAE major
international airline Emirates said it is asking staff to take
unpaid leave for up to a month at a time due to the rapidly
spreading coronavirus that has led to flight cancellations around
2020 Mar 5, It was reported
that a British judge has ruled that Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid al-Maktoum (70) ordered the abduction of two of his
daughters and orchestrated a campaign of intimidation against
Princess Haya (45), his former wife.
2020 Mar 7, In the UAE The
number of coronavirus cases rose to 45 from 30.
2020 Mar 18, The UAE stopped
Friday sermons to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
(Econ, 3/21/20, p.43)
2020 Mar 19, The US slapped
sanctions on five companies based in the United Arab Emirates for
allegedly shipping oil from Iran in defiance of Pres. Donald Trump's
2020 Mar 22, Dubai's
state-owned Emirates, one of the world's biggest long-haul airlines,
said it would stop nearly all passenger flights this week and cut
staff wages by as much as half because of the coronavirus impact on
2020 Mar 22, Dubai canceled the
Dubai World Cup, the world's richest purse in horse racing, until
2020 Mar 23, The United Arab
Emirates, home to the world's busiest international airport in
Dubai, announced it was suspending all passenger flights and the
transit of airline passengers in the country for two weeks to stymie
the spread of the new coronavirus.
2020 Mar 26, Authorities in the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced an overnight weekend lockdown
and used drones to tell residents to stay home.
2020 Mar 28, The United Arab
Emirates extended to April 5 a de-facto nightly curfew to sterilize
public places. The UAE has reported two deaths from the coronavirus
pandemic and 468 confirmed infections.
2020 Mar 30, United Arab
Emirates carrier flydubai said it will reduce pay for its employees
for three months from April due to the impact of the global
coronavirus crisis on its business.
2020 Apr 9, The UAE has
reported 2,659 cases of the coronavirus with 12 deaths.
2020 Apr 28, UAE reported it
had seen over 11,300 confirmed cases of the virus with 89 deaths.
Recent days have seen numbers rise around 500 daily. Even as
confirmed coronavirus cases spike, the UAE was opening up its
cavernous malls and restaurants in a gamble to stimulate its economy
while still trying to fight off the pandemic.
2020 May 5, Pakistan said it
raised concerns with the United Arab Emirates that workers are
returning home with high infection rates and that crowded living
conditions in the UAE may be helping the virus spread.
2020 May 11, Turkey was
denounced by ministers of five countries for drilling in an offshore
area where Cyprus has exclusive economic rights. Cyprus, Greece,
Egypt, France and the UAE also protested a maritime border
delineation and military cooperation agreement that Turkey signed
last year with Libya's UN-backed government.
(SFC, 5/13/19, p.A3)
2020 May 20, The UAE delivered
14 tons of protective gear, medical items and ventilators to help
curb the spread of the new virus in the Palestinian territories. The
Palestinian Authority later said it was not informed about the aid
2020 May 22, A British court
ruled that Farhad Azima, an Iranian-American aviation magnate and
gunrunner tied to the CIA and the Iran-Contra scandal, must pay Ras
al-Khaimah, a sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates, over $4.1
million over a series of business disputes.
2020 Jun 1, The United Arab
Emirates called on Israel to halt a plan to annex parts of the
occupied West Bank, joining a long list of Arab nations that have
condemned the expected Israeli move.
2020 Jun 4, Danish citizen Amir
Faten Mekky (23), allegedly involved in gang-related crime in
southern Sweden, and killings and explosions in Spain, was arrested
in Dubai. Mekky was also wanted for two contract killings and
several explosions in Spain where he allegedly leads a gang known as
“Los Suecos" — Spanish for the Swedes.
2020 Jun 4, US federal court
documents released early today showed that Alaska man Kenneth Zong,
accused of laundering $1 billion held in South Korea for Iran,
funneled nearly all the money through the United Arab Emirates. Zong
allegedly created fake invoices to help Iran draw cash held by South
Korea in lieu of payment for oil shipments.
2020 Jun 22, The Saudi-led
coalition announced that Emirati-backed southern separatists and the
country’s internationally recognized government have agreed to a
cease-fire after months of infighting. The agreement aims to close
the rift between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, nominal
allies in a war against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
2020 Jun 25, Israel and the
United Arab Emirates said they will cooperate in the fight against
the coronavirus, a possible boost to Israeli efforts to normalize
relations with Gulf Arab countries.
2020 Jul 3, Two Israeli defence
contractors said they will partner with Abu Dhabi-based technology
company Group 42 to develop technologies to help fight the new
2020 Jul 3, US prosecutors said
Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a Nigerian man charged with conspiring to
launder a fortune from email scams, has arrived in Chicago to face
charges. UAE authorities arrested Abbas last month. Abbas, aka
Hushpuppi, had showed off his wealth to 2.4 million Instagram
followers. Hushpuppi, and another cyber-heist suspect Olalekan Jacob
Ponle (aka Mr Woodberry) appeared in a Chicago court. They had been
arrested in Dubai, where they lived, in June. Dubai police said they
had been extradited to the US.
(NBC News, 7/4/20)(BBC, 7/10/20)
2020 Jul 5, The United Arab
Emirates announced a wide-ranging government shakeup aimed at
creating a more flexible and modern bureaucracy to tackle challenges
as the coronavirus and lower oil prices erode what was already
sluggish economic growth.
2020 Jul 7, Dubai allowed
tourists back into the country following a COVID-19 shutdown.
(Econ., 8/1/20, p.37)
2020 Jul 9, Efforts by the
United Arab Emirates to fight the coronavirus have renewed questions
about mass surveillance in this US-allied federation of seven
2020 Jul 14, The UN's top court
(ICJ) backed Qatar in a bitter row with four Middle East nations
that imposed an air blockade against Doha after accusing it of
backing radical Islamists and Iran. The acrimonious standoff erupted
three years ago pitting Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates against Qatar.
2020 Jul 16, The United Arab
Emirates said Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm
has begun Phase III clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine in Abu
Dhabi using up to 15,000 volunteers. The human trial is a
partnership between Sinopharm's China National Biotec Group (CNBG),
Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company
Group 42 (G42) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.
2020 Jul 16, It was reported
that a Middle Eastern subsidiary of UK cigarette filter maker
Essentra has agreed to pay a fine of more than half a million pounds
to US authorities to settle criminal allegations that it breached
sanctions on North Korea. The UAE-based entity, called Essentra FZE,
has been fined $665,000.
2020 Jul 20, A United Arab
Emirates spacecraft began its journey to Mars following blastoff
from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center. The probe, named Amal (Hope),
is expected to reach Mars in February 2021.
(SFC, 7/20/20, p.A2)
2020 Jul 31, The Barakah
nuclear power plant in the UAE's far western desert near the border
with Saudi Arabia reached what scientists called its “first
criticality." That's when the nuclear chain reaction within the
reactor is self-sustaining. This is the first nuclear power plant on
the Arabian Peninsula.
2020 Aug 5, Abu Dhabi state
news said the emirate's defence and security entity Tawazun is to
build a satellite assembly, integration and testing center with
Airbus in the United Arab Emirates' oasis city of Al Ain.
2020 Aug 9, The six-nation Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC), torn apart by internal strife, endorsed
an extension of a UN arms embargo on Iran, just two months before it
is set to expire.
2020 Aug 13, President Donald
Trump, PM Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Sheikh Mohammed Bin
Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the
United Arab Emirates, agreed to the full normalization of relations
between Israel and the UAE. The Abraham accords required Israel to
halt its contentious plan to annex occupied West Bank land sought by
(AP, 8/13/20)(Econ., 10/31/20, p.23)
2020 Aug 16, Israeli PM
Benjamin Netanyahu said that a deal to establish full diplomatic
ties with the UAE proves that Israel doesn't need to retreat from
occupied land sought by the Palestinians in order to achieve peace
and normalization with Arab states. Telephone service between Israel
and the United Arab Emirates began working.
(AP, 8/16/20)(The Week, 8/16/20)
2020 Aug 17, Iran seized a
United Arab Emirates vessel and summoned the UAE envoy after two of
its fishermen were shot dead in an incident in the Gulf.
2020 Aug 18, It was reported
that Dubai again has loosened laws governing alcohol sales and
possession of liquor as the sheikhdom tries to claw its way out of
an economic depression worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.
2020 Aug 19, UAE authorities
said that its Barakah nuclear power plant has been connected to the
country's power grid.
2020 Aug 19, The United Arab
Emirates recorded its highest daily number of COVID-19 infections in
over a month, a day after the health minister warned cases may rise.
The UAE saw 435 infections and one death in the past 24 hours. The
UAE has recorded 65,341 total infections and 367 deaths.
2020 Aug 31, An Israeli
airliner made a historic first flight from Tel Aviv to the United
Arab Emirates, emphasizing new diplomatic ties between the two
(The Telegraph, 8/31/20)
2020 Sep 2, The United Arab
Emirates recorded over 700 new coronavirus infections, its highest
daily increase in more than three months. The UAE has recorded
71,540 infections and 387 deaths from COVID-19.
2020 Sep 2, Saudi Arabia
announced that flights to and from the United Arab Emirates “from
all countries" will now be able to use its airspace — a statement
apparently allowing flyovers by Israel following a deal to normalize
2020 Sep 9, The United Arab
Emirates recorded 883 new coronavirus infections, its highest daily
increase in over three months. The UAE has recorded 75,981
infections and 393 deaths from COVID-19.
2020 Sep 15, Bahrain, Israel
and the United Arab Emirates signed peace agreements in Washington,
heralding a new era of friendship between wealthy Gulf nations and
the Jewish state.
(The Telegraph, 9/15/20)
2020 Sep 17, The Israeli and
Dubai diamond exchanges announced they had struck a deal to boost
2020 Sep 21, The Abu Dhabi Film
Commission, the Israel Film Fund and the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film
and Television School said they have signed a cooperation agreement
for training and production. The agreement includes plans for an
annual regional film festival rotating between Abu Dhabi, the
capital of the United Arab Emirates, and Israel.
2020 Sep 23, The United Arab
Emirates reported its highest daily number of coronavirus infections
since the start of the pandemic at 1,083 new cases. The UAE has
recorded 87,530 infections and 406 deaths from COVID-19 so far.
2020 Sep 30, The United Arab
Emirates recorded its highest daily total of infections for the
second day in a row, with 1,158 new cases.
2020 Oct 12, Russia said human
trials of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine have begun in the United
Arab Emirates. Russia reported 13,592 new coronavirus cases, almost
the most recorded in a single day since the pandemic began, pushing
the national tally to 1,312,310. Officials said 125 people had died
in the previous 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 22,722.
(AP, 10/12/20)(Reuters, 10/12/20)
2020 Oct 20, Ibrahim al-Abed
(78), the founder of the United Arab Emirates' state-run WAM news
agency and a pioneering media figure as the oil-rich nation grew
into a regional power, died. Al-Abed created the WAM news agency in
2020 Oct 23, It was reported
that the Dubai is building a $3.4 billion coal-fired power plant in
an effort to diversify its energy resources.
(SFC, 10/23/20, p.A4)
2020 Oct 29, In Dubai Sindika
Dokolo (48), a Congolese art dealer who married Angolan billionaire
Isabel dos Santos in 2002, died while free diving near Umm al-Hatab
2020 Nov 7, The United Arab
Emirates announced a major overhaul of the country’s Islamic
personal laws, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening
alcohol restrictions and criminalizing so-called “honor killings."
The changes would take immediate effect.
2020 Nov 10, The United States
announced plans to sell F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab
Emirates as an apparent reward for the Gulf state agreeing to
normalize ties with Israel.
2020 Nov 26, Sadiq al-Mahdi
(84), Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and leader
of the country's largest political party, died of COVID-19 in a
hospital in the UAE.
2020 Nov 26, The low-cost
carrier FlyDubai began regular flights to Tel Aviv, the latest sign
of the normalization deal taking hold between the United Arab
Emirates and Israel.
2020 Nov 26, Officials in Kenya
arrested 21 people accused of attempting to use fake "Covid-free
certificates" to travel from Kenya to the United Arab Emirates. This
came after the UAE issued a visa ban on Kenyans, allegedly after
visitors were found using forged certificates.
2020 Nov, The UAE said it had
found 24 billion barrels-worth of oil beneath Abu Dhabi.
(Econ., 12/12/20, p.72)
2020 Dec 9, The United Arab
Emirates approved a Chinese coronavirus vaccine, citing preliminary
data showing that it was 86 percent effective.
(NY Times, 12/9/20)
2020 Dec 20, The United Arab
Emirates’ top diplomat publicly acknowledged a so-far unexplained
ban on visitors from Pakistan, which travel agents say also targets
tourists and laborers from a dozen Muslim-majority countries amid
the pandemic and the UAE's normalization of ties with Israel.
2020 Dec 20, Meraas Holding, a
Dubai government-backed holding company, made a formal bid to buy
out DXB Entertainment, the city's struggling theme park operator.
2020 Dec 23, Dubai-based
international port operator DP World announced a deal to develop a
new deep-water port in Senegal worth over $1 billion, its biggest
ever investment in Africa.
2020 Dec 29, It was reported
that the UAE has emerged as hub for companies helping Venezuela
avoid US oil sanctions.
2020 Dec 31, In Dubai travelers
from countries, otherwise shut down over the coronavirus, partied
without face masks in bars and on yachts. By mid-January the UAE as
a whole began reporting record daily coronavirus case numbers as
lines at Dubai testing facilities grew.
2020 The United Arab
Emirates drastically reduced its funding to the UN agency for
Palestinian refugees in 2020, the year it signed a US-brokered
normalization accord with Israel that was heavily criticized by the
2021 Jan 8, The United Arab
Emirates announced that it would reopen its borders and airspace to
Qatar after boycotting the tiny energy-rich country alongside its
Gulf allies since 2017.
2021 Jan 12, Cyprus and the
United Arab Emirates signed their first military cooperation
agreement as the eastern Mediterranean island nation seeks to
bolster relations with nearby countries in the Middle East.
2021 Jan 16, The United States
called Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates “major security
partners" early today, a previously unheard of designation for the
two countries home to major American military operations.
2021 Jan 16, Dubai unveiled the
signature pavilion for the upcoming Expo 2020, the world's fair that
is scheduled to open later this year even as the global pandemic
that forced its postponement continues to rage.
2021 Jan 21, The United Arab
Emirates registered Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for
domestic use. New daily cases in the Gulf state of about 9 million
people tripled in the past month to about 354 per million this week.
2021 Jan 21, Dubai's tourism
department announced an immediate halt to all live entertainment at
hotels and restaurants as COVID-19 cases increased.
(SFC, 1/22/21, p.A5)
2021 Jan 22, Denmark said it
has halted all flights arriving from the United Arab Emirates for
five days due to potentially unreliable coronavirus tests in Dubai.
2021 Jan 24, Israel said it has
opened its embassy in the United Arab Emirates, following through on
last year’s US-brokered agreement to establish full diplomatic ties
with the Gulf country. The UAE cabinet approved the establishment of
an embassy in Tel Aviv.
2021 Jan 27, The US State
Department said it is pausing some arms sales to the United Arab
Emirates and Saudi Arabia that the Trump administration approved.
Democrats have opposed the sales because of the countries’
involvement in Yemen’s civil war.
(NY Times, 1/27/21)
2021 Jan 28, The United States
called on Russia, Turkey and the UAE to immediately halt their
military interventions in Libya as demanded in a cease-fire
agreement, and accept Libyan sovereignty as it moves to unify its
government, hold elections and end years of fighting.
2021 Jan 29, The United Arab
Emirates called for an urgent renewal of diplomatic efforts to end
the conflict in Libya and said it is ready to work with the new US
administration and all other members of the UN Security Council to
restore peace in the oil-rich north African nation.
2021 Jan 29, Italy said it has
stopped the sale of missiles to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Emirates in an effort to impede their involvement in the war in
Yemen, which has left 80 percent of its people in need of emergency
(The Telegraph, 1/29/21)
2021 Jan 29, The UK instituted
a travel ban barring direct flights to the UAE over the spread of a
South African variant of the coronavirus.
2021 Jan 30, The United Arab
Emirates announced plans to grant some foreigners citizenship to
this oil-rich nation home to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, part of efforts to
stimulate its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
2021 Feb 2, Eight Lebanese
citizens who had been detained in the United Arab Emirates returned
home after mediation efforts by a Lebanese official led to their
2021 Feb 9, A United Arab
Emirates spacecraft entered Mars’s orbit, the first interplanetary
mission by an Arab nation. The unmanned craft, called Amal, Arabic
for Hope, had reached the end of its nearly seven-month,
300-million-mile journey and had begun circling the red planet.
2021 Feb 16, A daughter of
Dubai's powerful ruler who tried to flee the country in 2018 only to
be detained by commandos in a boat off India has re-emerged in new
videos published today, saying she doesn't know if she's “going to
survive this situation." Her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al
Maktoum, also serves as the prime minister and vice president in the
hereditarily ruled UAE.
2021 Feb 17, The United Arab
Emirates, a key international travel hub, announced it has lifted
its ban on Boeing’s 737 Max, allowing the plane to return to its
skies after being grounded for nearly two years following a pair of
2021 Feb 17, The attorney for
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum (35), a daughter of Dubai’s
ruler, urged the Gulf emirate to release the young woman from almost
three years of detention and avoid further international scandal
after a videotaped plea for freedom spurred the UN’s human rights
body to seek information about her status.
2021 Feb 18, Mohammed Dahlan, a
rival to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, announced that the UAE
is sending 20,000 doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine to the
2021 Feb 21, Major arms makers
descended on a convention center in Abu Dhabi, hoping to make deals
with militaries across the Middle East. The UAE unveiled $1.36
billion in local and foreign arms deals to supply its forces.
2021 Feb 21, 20,000 doses of
Russia’s Sputnik V, donated by the United Arab Emirates and
organized by Abbas rival Mohammed Dahlan, entered the Gaza through
its border with Egypt.
2021 Mar 7, The first
independent digital banking platform in the United Arab Emirates was
launched, a neobank hoping to become a leader in the Middle East,
Africa and South Asia. Dubai-based YAP partnered with RAK Bank which
provides international bank account numbers for YAP users and
secures their funds under its own banking license.
2021 Mar 24, It was reported
that Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum (75), the deputy ruler of
Dubai and an internationally renowned horseman, has died.
2021 Apr 3, In Dubai videos and
photographs depicting over a dozen naked women, lined up on a
balcony while being filmed in Dubai’s upscale Marina neighborhood in
broad daylight, splashed across social media. Police soon arrested a
group of people on charges of public debauchery. Police in Dubai
soon arrested 11 Ukrainian women and a Russian man for their
involvement in the nude photo shoot.
(AP, 4/4/21)(AP, 4/6/21)
2021 Apr 8, Syria received a
planeload from the United Arab Emirates with food items and medical
aid to help the war-torn country in its fight against the spread of
2021 Apr 10, The United Arab
Emirates named the next two astronauts in its space program,
including the country's first female astronaut.
2021 Apr 12, Dubai said that US
self-driving car company Cruise will become the first to operate
autonomous taxis and ride-hailing services in the UAE city of more
than three million people.
2021 Apr 14, The UAE-based
Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center said it is partnering with Japan’s
ispace company to send a rover to the moon on an unmanned spacecraft
by 2022, rather than 2024. The “Rashid" rover, named after Dubai’s
ruling family, will deploy to the moon using ispace's lunar lander.
2021 Apr 28, Dubai police said
they arrested 10 suspects in a massive knife fight that killed three
people, a relatively rare outburst of violence in the Gulf Arab
2021 May 2, Dubai's budget
carrier flydubai reported a loss of $194 million in 2020 as revenue
fell by more than 50% in what it described as one of the toughest
years in the aviation industry.
2021 May 2, Prominent German
philosopher Juergen Habermas (91) said he will not accept the
high-priced Sheikh Zayed Book Award from the United Arab Emirates,
reversing an earlier decision.
2021 May 18, The United Arab
Emirates said it will offer booster shots to those who received the
Chinese state-backed Sinopharm vaccine six months after vaccination.
Last month, China’s top disease control official, in a rare
acknowledgement, said current vaccines offer low protection against
2021 May 26, Yemeni officials
demanded answers after an Associated Press report highlighted a
mysterious air base being built on a Yemeni island in one of the
world's crucial maritime chokepoints. The runway on Mayun Island
allows whoever controls it to project power into the strait and
easily launch airstrikes into mainland Yemen. Military officials
said the UAE is building the runway.
2021 Jun 11, South Africa said
it has finalized an extradition treaty with the UAE that would allow
it to bring back members of an Indian family accused of involvement
in high-level state corruption to face trial. Brothers Ajay, Atul
and Rajesh Gupta are believed to be living in Dubai.
2021 Jun 11, The UN elected
five countries to join the powerful 15-member UN Security Council
with no suspense because all were unopposed -- Brazil, the UAE,
Albania, Ghana and Gabon.
2021 Jun 12, Dubai Health
Authority (DHA) said about two-thirds of people eligible for
inoculation against COVID-19 have now received two doses of the
vaccine in Dubai, the tourist and business hub of the United Arab
2021 Jun 16, It was reported
that Germany's finance minister has ordered the purchase of data on
Germans with assets in Dubai as part of efforts to combat tax
evasion, following similar purchases by regional authorities of data
from Switzerland in the past decade.
2021 Jun 22, The Abu Dhabi
health authority's phone application showed updated criteria for
vaccine access, saying visitors to the capital could now get the
COVID-19 shot by presenting their passports. On June 24 Abu Dhabi
announced that it will not allow tourists flying into the emirate to
receive coronavirus vaccines.
(AP, 6/22/21)(AP, 6/24/21)
2021 Jun 22, Dubai’s
state-owned sovereign wealth fund announced a net loss of $5.1
billion over the past year. It marks the first loss in years for the
investment arm of Dubai government.