United Arab Emirates. According to
Countryaah, sixty-eight Islamists were
sentenced July 12 to lengthy prison sentences for conspiracy
against the government. 26 others who had been prosecuted in
the same case, among them 13 women, were released. Most of
the 94 suspects, who had been detained for about a year,
were accused of belonging to the Islamist group al-Islah.
Human rights organizations Amnesty International and Human
Rights Watch reported during the trial that the accused were
likely to be tortured. There was no way to appeal the
In January, the government announced plans for
investments worth $ 90 billion in housing, schools,
infrastructure and a new airport. Assessors believed that
the efforts were an attempt by the Emirates to prevent
discontentment of the kind that was becoming more common in
other Arab countries.
Fall in oil prices in 2001 led to a slowdown in economic
growth. The country is making its economy less dependent on
oil, and new sectors such as aluminum, tourism,
telecommunications and aviation accounted for two-thirds of
GDP and 30% of exports this year.
As part of its «beautification policy», the emirate Ras
al-Khaimah decided to impose fines of US $ 135 on companies
whose advertising signs contain orthographic errors. The
fine is doubled on repeat, and repeated the error a third
time, the company closes.
After an Iraqi smuggling oil ship crashed in the Gulf in
April 2002, the Emirates decided to ban sailing in its
territorial waters for ships of 10 nations that are on the
International Maritime Organization's black list.
In June 2003, the Red Crescent in the Arab Emirates
announced a $ 110,000 donation to build new houses for flood
victims in Bangladesh, as well as another $ 52,700 for
social assistance programs in Asia and the Pacific.
In August, the World Bank adopted support for
technological development in the Emirates. The government
wanted to continue its plans for diversifying the economy,
and technology development fit nicely within the scope of
The government's economists were able to announce in
February 2004 that the balance of payments continued to
develop positively. Profit rose from $ 10.7 billion US $ to
12.2 in 2003.
In March, the United States Embassy in the United Arab
Emirates, Abu Dhabi, and the Consulate General in Dubai were
temporarily closed. a specific threat ». The United States
warned of strong threats of attacks against North American
interests in the Middle East and North Africa following
Israel's liquidation of Hamas spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin
in Gaza shortly before. The embassy and Consulate General
were therefore evacuated for a few days for security
On November 2, the Emirates Head of State Sheikh Zaid ibn
Sultan Al Nahayan died. Vice President and Prime Minister
Sheikh Maktum ibn Rashid Al Maktum temporarily assumed the
post of President, to Sheikh Khalifa ibn Zaid Al Nahayan
only succeed his father as Emir of Abu Dhabi. At a
government transformation at the end of the month, a woman
was admitted for the first time: Shaikha Lubna al-Qasimi was
appointed Minister of Economy.
On January 5, 2006, Sheikh Muhammad ibn Rashid Al Maktum
assumed the post of Prime Minister. In 2010, he was believed
to have a fortune of $ 18 billion. US $.
A soldier in a troop contingent from the Emirates who was
in Afghanistan to build rural health clinics, schools and
mosques was abducted by the Taliban in June 2007. Abu Dhabi
asked for the soldier's release, recalling that the Emirates
was one of only 3 countries to recognize the new government
in Kabul after the Taliban's takeover of power in 1996.
Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, Dubai
has evolved into a modern focal point in the Arab world,
taking over part of the role Beirut had until 1970. Although
Dubai's development was originally funded by oil revenues,
its main revenue today tourism, real estate and financial
transactions. The city is also a traffic hub in the Middle
East, and a hub for traffic between the Far East and Europe.
However, it was hit by the global financial crisis that
erupted in 2008. It hit the city's real estate market hard
and led to a sharp slowdown in construction.