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  • Thursday, January 26, 2012

    The UAE7

    It sounds like a new brand of underground superhero, and they may be to some - but this issue is one of much debate:

    From the FT

    A group of Emirati Islamists stripped of their nationality for unspecified security concerns are launching legal action to overturn the government’s decision, criticised by a human rights group as “part of an unprecedented crackdown on peaceful dissent” in the Gulf state. Ali al-Hammadi, one of the seven, who are members of the Islamist Al-Islah group, said his lawyer had this week filed a case to a federal court in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, claiming the move was “illegal”.

    This, on the day after Human Rights Watch provided much criticism of the UAE, particularly regarding the UAE5, the 5 bloggers who rose up a year ago as the voice of the UAE Arab Spring. They were quashed. And that didn't happen.

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    Massage in Dubai

    As if you needed someone to tell you that this could get you into trouble

    The lawyer was responding to a query by XPRESS following the arrest of a 53-year-old Pakistani man charged for inciting women to commit sin by going with three women to their apartment after they promised him a "nice, relaxing massage".
    The man, who met the Ethiopian women at a Deira pub, said things went bad when he saw the two of them stealing his belongings while the other took off his clothes to get him ready for the promised treatment.
    The man reported the matter to police - but he, too, was arrested.
    Prosecutors charged the women with prostitution.

    The law says this:
    • Article (360) - Whoever is found, in public, inciting passers-by of libertinism (promiscuity) with words or signs shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not less than six months.

    Lets spell it out clear - you can get a massage in a hotel if they are allowed to give one - or a legal massage parlour, but women on the street offering a nice relaxing massage - well, that's only going to lead to trouble.

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    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Late Louvre, Abu Dhabi Overdue

    The very bullish expectations of creating a new Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island have come back to reality. This from AP:

    The state developer of an ambitious cultural district in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday outlined a new timetable for the stalled project, with its first attraction — a branch of the Louvre — slated now to open in 2015.
    A division of the Guggenheim will follow in 2017, which like the outpost of the French art institution will make its debut in the Emirati capital years later than originally planned.
    The landmark projects on the emirate's Saadiyat Island have been hit by a series of delays since being unveiled five years ago, including an announcement last year that the government-backed developer was temporarily dropping plans to award a major construction contract.
    The museums had been scheduled to start opening this year, but officials had already said that was no longer possible.
    What does this mean for Abu Dhabi? Not much - just a delay in the upturn growth of tourism industry. With time on their side - and this being a long term play, there's no need to worry - unless something else goes wrong..... But these are high profile projects and since they continue to be greenlit after a government spending review, don't expect Saadiyat to be delayed much further. Abu Dhabi will be a great little spot to visit pre or post the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, no doubt.

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    Friday, January 20, 2012

    The Evolution of the Abaya

    Misunderstood the world over, the abaya has a heritage and history that has changed over time. Interesting report from brownbook and persilabayaworld.

    Traditional Clothes


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    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    From War to Cyber War

    Peace in the Middle East took a back seat last year as the Arab Spring sprung into action. But nothing rests and now we have an overlay of a new type of conflict - cyberwar. And this is not to do with governments it's to do with inhabitants and criminals who exist within those countries - which ultimately affect those governments. We're in a new world with new boundaries that move into a virtual cloud.

    But there is confusion at all ends. From venturebeat:

    One member of IDF-Team took to pastebin to post about the motivations behind the attack and to deliver a warning to Arab hackers:
    Because lame hackers from Saudi Arabia decided to launch an attack against Israeli sites such as the airport site “EL-AL” and sites of Israeli banks, today, 01/17/12, Official stock exchange site of Saudi Arabia at the following address http://www.adx.ae not be available online and is only the beginning, in addition there may be disruption to the government’s stock exchange site at the following: http://www.sama.gov.sa/ If the lame attacks from Saudi Arabia will continue, we will move to the next level which will disable these sites longer term may come to weeks or even months. You have been warned.

    The thing about the internet is unless you are caught, you can deny all knowledge. Apparently the Israelis his back (at Abu Dhabi strangely) based on what the Saudis did. but the Saudis are denying knowledge.

    And strangely - all the listed sites seem to be up and running. Maybe it's propaganda. Either way - this one has yet to play out. In the meantime, make sure your firewall's secure.

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    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Free download of the Abu Dhabi Travel Guide

    For 24 hours we are offering our ebook - The Abu Dhabi Travel Guide - for FREE. No catch - you just need a kindle or a kindle app/amazon account. 

    More information on the Abu Dhabi Travel Guide here

    From Amazon or Amazon UK

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    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Construction Failure

    The UAE and the whole of Gulf Arabia has had a reputation for large construction projects - some of the best projects that have ever taken place - and some of the leading edge. While there has been a slowdown of sorts, places like Qatar and Abu Dhabi continue with some great buildings. Even Saudi Arabia has some amazing buildings in play.

    However, when it comes to putting together an IKEA cupboard, which was meant for 2 or 3 people to do, then I am afraid this is an example of failure. Enjoy!

    Cabinet Construction Goes Wrong - Watch More Funny Videos
    Cabinet Construction Goes Wrong - Watch MoreFunny Videos

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