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 judges.
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 those plans.
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 reasons.
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.