Archive for UAE
A fire broke out in a residential building in Dubai’s Bur Dubai area near the British embassy on Thursday afternoon. The operations room of the Dubai Civil Defence received information of the incident around 3.21 pm, after which emergency vehicles were pressed into action. Dozens of residents, many of them women and children, were evacuated, even as firefighters battled to extinguish the fire. The fire started on the first floor of the building and one flat was gutted.
Senior Russian diplomats appear to have resumed their social media war against Nato officials with a new tweet mocking international claims over the Ukraine crisis. A Russian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) account posted out a picture of toy tanks, joking it was “evidence” of troops operating across the Ukraine border. It follows a Twitter spat between Canadian and Russian officials working at Nato; clearly they all have a lot of time of their hands.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Michael Corbin, has been racking up speeding tickets, misusing a government credit card and contributing to low morale among his staff, according to a recently released report by the State Department’s inspector general. A State Department spokesperson told CBS News that it is reviewing the report and will formally respond to the inspector general. CBS News made numerous requests for comment from Corbin but has not received a response. The report says that in the past three years, Corbin received a “large number of speeding fines” during periodic trips to Dubai. Later, the inspector general notes, Corbin asked the UAE to pardon the fines. The inspector general recommended that embassy staff stop asking for “special handling of traffic fines.” The inspector general also recommends that Corbin stop using government credit cards to pay for personal expenditures. According to the report, the ambassador reimbursed the State Department for personal expenditures on his work credit card but he “benefited from the corporate rate and inappropriately used government resources for personal purposes.” The report criticized Corbin’s leadership saying he failed to focus on his staff and the internal workings of the embassy. It says that Corbin’s focus on business development left the rest of the embassy’s mission “adrift.”
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates will open an embassy in Havana. At a cabinet meeting in Dubai, the UAE government decided to open embassies in Cuba, Angola and Mozambique, as well as a general consulate in Toronto. Saudi Arabia and neighboring Qatar have had embassies in Havana since the 1990s; Kuweit opened one in 2010. Oman and Bahrein don’t have embassy-level representation in Cuba.
A German author has been held in Abu Dhabi for two weeks, accused of espionage because he photographed a couple of embassy buildings. “I’m living in a Kafka novel,” said Jörg Albrecht, 32, who said he did not know when he would be allowed to leave. “I am being held here without any information,” he told Die Zeit newspaper. A court in the Arab Emirate suggested he would have to wait at least another week before being freed – and now he is collecting support from other writers in a petition to the Abu Dhabi authorities. Albrecht was a guest at the Abu Dhabi book fair during the first week of May. He said he took photos of two buildings on May 1st, and was shortly afterwards arrested. It was then that he discovered the buildings he had photographed, were the embassies of Iraq and Iran. Although he was only held by the police for three days, his publishing house Wallstein Verlag says he cannot leave the country and is stuck in a hotel. Albrecht told Die Zeit he acknowledged that he had broken the law of the land, but suggested that in such cases where a foreigner was involved, there was usually a fine to pay.
The UAE Embassy in London has made a statement regarding the recent attack on Emirati citizens in London. The UAE Ambassador to the UK, Abdul Rehman Ghanem Al Mutaiwei, in a statement from the Embassy, said, “As part of the attention the wise leadership gives to nationals both in the UAE and overseas, the Embassy has promptly moved to provide all it takes to the family and its members who are in the British capital, to help them and provide a safe residence for them in London until the investigation into the case is over.” Meanwhile, the Court of First Instance in Hammersmith, London, in a summary trial, has ordered the detaining of the suspects in the case of the recent attack on the three UAE sisters in London, and referred them to trial before the criminal court next Thursday. The main suspect in the said case, Philip Spence, a British national, was charged by the court with attempted murder and theft (burglary), while the other suspects were charged with the possession of stolen properties with intent to sell them. A delegation from Abu Dhabi Police attended the summary trial on Saturday.
The UAE Embassy in London provided assistance to three female victims of hotel hammer attack. The embassy gave the victims a minibus and helped them travel around the city, and helped them move from one hotel to another. London police have arrested four people in relation to an attack on three female Emirati tourists at a hotel in the English capital. Three men aged 32, 34 and 56 were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. The three Emirati women were visiting London, along with three children aged between 7-12 years, when they were attacked by a hammer in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Cumberland Hotel. The women suffered serious head injuries. Police said one victim remained in a critical condition. The two other victims remain in hospital, but neither is believed to have life-threatening injuries. Detective Superintendent Carl Mehta of Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC), said Tuesday that it was an exceptionally unusual and rare incident and that police believed the motive for this attack to be theft. The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said it was closely following the circumstances surrounding the attack. Rashid Al Dhahiri, director of citizens affairs at the MoFA, said that authorities were following up the incident in conjunction with the UAE Embassy in London to establish causes of the attack, the WAM news agency said. He added the authorities are also following up the health conditions of three sisters in hospital.