Archive for category Gulf Land of Atmariar

US approves sale of $2 billion in missiles to UAE: Pentagon

Washington (AFP)

May 11, 2017

The US State Department has approved the possible sale of 160 missiles to the United Arab Emirates for an estimated $2.0 billion, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The UAE government has requested the possible sale of 60 Patriot missiles with canisters and 100 Patriot guidance enhanced missiles, among other military equipment, according to a Department of Defense statement.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of an important ally which has been, and continues to be, a force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East,” it said.

Source: Space War.

Link: http://www.spacewar.com/reports/US_approves_sale_of_2_billion_in_missiles_to_UAE_Pentagon_999.html.

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Taliban say they didn’t plant bomb wounding UAE diplomats

January 11, 2017

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban say they did not plant the bomb in southern Afghanistan that wounded the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador and other diplomats the day before. They issued a short statement on Wednesday, blaming an “internal local rivalry” for the attack at the Kandahar governor’s guesthouse that killed five people and wounded 12.

The Taliban claimed attacks earlier on Tuesday in Kabul that killed at least 38 people and wounded dozens. The Taliban have denied some attacks in the past — attacks that diplomats and security forces later attributed to the group.

Tuesday’s Kandahar assault wounded Gov. Homayun Azizia, as well as UAE Ambassador Juma Mohammed Abdullah al-Kaabi and what Emirati officials described as “a number of Emirati diplomats.” Emirati officials did not respond to a request for comment.

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Dubai tests hover-taxi for July release

2017-02-13

DUBAI – Dubai has tested a Chinese prototype of a self-driving hover-taxi, its transport authority said on Monday, with the aim of introducing the aerial vehicle in the emirate by July.

The test of the one-man electric vehicle comes as the city state in the United Arab Emirates seeks to ensure a quarter of its means of transport are self-driving by 2030.

The EHang 184 can travel on a programmed course at 100 kilometers an hour (60 mph) at an altitude of 300 meters (1,000 feet), the authority said in a statement.

A passenger simply needs to select a destination for the autonomous taxi to take off, fly the route and touch down in the chosen spot monitored by a ground control center, it said.

The vehicle, made by Chinese drone manufacturer EHang, can recharge in two hours and make trips of up to 30 minutes.

“The autonomous aerial vehicle exhibited at the World Government Summit is not just a model,” authority head Mattar al-Tayer said on Monday.

“We have already experimented (with) the vehicle in a flight in (the) Dubai sky,” he said in English.

The authority was “making every effort to start the operation of the autonomous aerial vehicle in July 2017” to help reduce traffic congestion, Tayer said.

The quadcopter is powered by eight propellers, the authority said.

It has highly accurate sensors and can resist extreme temperatures, it said. The emirate is known for its scorching summers.

In November, Dubai agreed a deal with US startup Hyperloop One to study the construction of a near-supersonic transport link to the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi.

Home to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, Dubai is a leading tourist destination in the Gulf, attracting a record 14.9 million visitors in 2016.

Source: Middle East Online.

Link: http://middle-east-online.com/english/?id=81424.

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UAE mourns 5 diplomats killed in mysterious Afghan bombing

January 11, 2017

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — The killing of five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates in a bombing in southern Afghanistan marks the deadliest attack ever for the young nation’s diplomatic corps, though it’s too soon to tell who was behind it or if the Gulf envoys were even the targets.

The federation of seven sheikhdoms, founded in 1971 on the Arabian Peninsula, said it would fly the nation’s flag at half-staff for three days in honor of the dead from the attack Tuesday in Kandahar.

The Taliban denied planting the bomb, even as the insurgents claimed other blasts Tuesday that killed at least 45 people. No other group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Kandahar, a province in Afghanistan’s Taliban heartland.

The bomb targeted a guesthouse of Kandahar Gov. Homayun Azizi, who was wounded in the assault along with UAE Ambassador Juma Mohammed Abdullah al-Kaabi. The attack killed 11 people and wounded 18, said Gen. Abdul Razeq, Kandahar’s police chief, who was praying nearby at the time of the blast.

Razeq said investigators believe someone hid the bomb inside a sofa at the guesthouse. He said an ongoing construction project there may have allowed militants to plant the bomb. “Right now we cannot say anything about who is behind this attack,” he told The Associated Press, while adding that several suspects had been arrested.

On Wednesday, broken glass from the powerful blast still littered the blood-stained ground outside of the guesthouse, with thick black soot still visible on the building. Some furniture sat outside, apparently moved as part of the construction.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the UAE prime minister and vice president, offered condolences for the families of the dead and condemned the attack. “There is no human, moral or religious justification for the bombing and killing of people trying to help” others, he wrote on Twitter.

On the Afghan side, authorities said the dead included two lawmakers, a deputy governor from Kandahar and an Afghan diplomat stationed at its embassy in Washington. The attack inside the heavily guarded compound represents a major breach of security, even in Afghanistan, a country long torn by war. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday condemned the attack and ordered an investigation.

The Taliban is usually quick to take credit for attacks, particularly those targeting the government or security forces. They claimed attacks earlier on Tuesday in Kabul at a compound of government and legislative offices that killed at least 38 people and wounded dozens. Another Taliban-claimed suicide bombing on Tuesday killed seven people in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

But on Wednesday, the Taliban issued a short statement blaming an “internal local rivalry” for the Kandahar attack. The Taliban have denied some attacks in the past that diplomats and security forces later attributed to the group. Other insurgent groups, including an Islamic State affiliate, also operate Afghanistan.

A Taliban attack targeting Emirati officials would be surprising. The UAE was one of only three countries, along with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, to recognize the Taliban government during its five-year rule of Afghanistan.

Emirati combat troops deployed to Afghanistan after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaida before and after the Sept. 11 attacks. The UAE had troops there for years as part of the NATO-led mission, training members of the Afghan armed forces and often winning the support of locals by praying with them in community mosques and respecting their traditions as fellow Muslims.

Multiple daily commercial flights link the countries, with Dubai serving as an important commercial hub for Afghan businessmen. Over the years, Taliban and Afghan officials also have met in Dubai to try to start peace talks.

Although the UAE is only 45 years old, Emirati diplomats have come under attack in the past, some felled by assassins’ bullets. Saif Ghubash, the UAE’s first minister of state for foreign affairs, died after being shot in an October 1977 attack at Abu Dhabi International Airport, an attack that apparently targeted Syrian Foreign Minister Abdul-Halim Khaddam. Khaddam later blamed the attack on Iraq.

In 1984, the UAE’s ambassador to France was assassinated outside his Paris home by a gunman. A diplomatic club was named in honor of the slain envoy, Khalifa al-Mubarak, in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, in 2015.

Another Emirati diplomat was wounded in a shooting in Rome in 1984. Reports at the time linked those two attacks to the Arab Revolutionary Brigades, a Palestinian militant group. Abu Dhabi’s powerful crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said Tuesday’s attack wouldn’t stop the UAE’s humanitarian efforts abroad.

He wrote on Twitter: “We will not be discouraged by despicable terrorist acts carried out by the forces of evil and darkness.”

Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Rahim Faiez and Amir Shah in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Adam Schreck in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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Dubai studies super-speedy transport system

By Lynne al-Nahhas

Dubai (AFP)

Nov 8, 2016

Dubai agreed a deal Tuesday with a US startup to “evaluate” the construction of a near-supersonic transport link that could slash travel times to Emirati capital Abu Dhabi to minutes.

The cash-flush city state, which has recently hosted other hi-tech transport pilots, said it would conduct a “feasibility study” with Hyperloop One to sound out the scheme.

The California-based firm hailed Tuesday’s “historic” agreement.

“We begin to evaluate the delivery of the world’s first hyperloop system across the country,” CEO Rob Lloyd told reporters.

“We will initially focus on the value that Hyperloop One will deliver in Dubai and across the (United Arab) Emirates.”

The deal will see both parties explore a route for a vacuum-sealed pod transportation system, which could potentially slash travel times between Dubai and Abu Dhabi — 150 kilometers (90 miles) apart — to around 12 minutes.

The system could later be expanded to link the UAE with neighboring Gulf countries so that a trip between Dubai and Saudi capital Riyadh — currently two hours by plane — could be completed in under 50 minutes.

Lloyd said his company has also been in talks with transport authorities in Abu Dhabi to discuss the proposal.

While no costs or time-scales were revealed, Lloyd said in a statement that “from a technological point of view, we could have a Hyperloop One system built in the UAE in the next five years.”

Mattar al-Tayer, Dubai Road Transport Authority’s director general, told reporters that the cost of building the system will be “an important factor when making such a strategic decision on whether or not we can have hyperloop” in addition to questions over safety and demand.

– 1,200-kph journey –

Hyperloop is a futuristic passenger and freight transport system that promoters say offers the promise of near-supersonic speeds.

Earlier this year, Hyperloop One held a first public test in the desert outside Las Vegas, trying out engine components designed to rocket pods through reduced-pressure tubes at speeds of 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) per hour.

The company says the system offers better safety than passenger jets, lower build and maintenance costs than high-speed trains, and energy usage, per person, that is similar to a bicycle.

Last month, port colossus DP World Group of Dubai announced it was investing in the concept, joining backers including French national rail company SNCF, US industrial conglomerate General Electric and Russian state fund RDIF.

Home to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower where Tuesday’s conference took place, Dubai is a leading tourist destination in the Gulf, attracting 14.2 million visitors in 2015.

In September, it unveiled its first driverless bus service, launching a month-long trial period for the electric vehicle with a view to expanding it across the city state.

Hyperloop One, which has so far raised more than $160 million (145 million euros), was set on an idea laid out three years ago by billionaire Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind electric car company Tesla and private space exploration endeavor SpaceX.

Source: Space Daily.

Link: http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Dubai_studies_super-speedy_transport_system_999.html.

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Serbs protest demolitions for UAE-investment project

June 11, 2016

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Thousands of people took part Saturday in the latest in a series of protests in Belgrade triggered by shady demolitions in a popular city area marked for a United Arab Emirates-financed real estate project.

More than 5,000 people demanded that the Belgrade mayor Sinisa Mali resign and that those behind the nighttime destruction in April of a block of houses by a group of masked men be punished. The citizens’ protests sparked by the demolitions have become a challenge to Prime Minister-designate Aleksandar Vucic, who faces accusations of hardline rule despite promising to take Serbia toward integration with the European Union.

Some protesters at Saturday’s rally wore balaclavas to mock the demolitions, while many blew horns and whistles. The protest banners read “Masks have fallen, when will the government?” or “Belgrade Is Our City.”

“Resignations are only the first step,” said Luka Knezevic Strika, from the “Don’t Drown Belgrade” group behind the protest. “We will force them to acknowledge responsibility of all who participated (in the incident.)”

Vucic’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party dismissed the gathering as a “circus” organized by the opposition parties. Under pressure, Vucic — who is a former nationalist-turned pro-EU reformer — recently has admitted that Belgrade city authorities were behind the demolitions but he didn’t name any city officials.

The Belgrade mayor, Mali, is a close ally who played an important role in the agreement with UAE investors to build a Dubai-style business and residential complex in the run-down urban area by the Sava River.

Some of Belgrade’s prominent architects and citizens’ groups have sharply criticized the Belgrade waterfront plan as unsuitable for the Serbian capital and allege corruption.

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Jordanians to replace UAE forces in war on Yemen: Report

Thu Apr 14, 2016

Jordanian military forces and advisers will be replacing UAE troops fighting in the Saudi war on Yemen, following reports of serious disputes among the few “coalition” members, a report says.

Yemen’s Khabar news agency, citing informed sources, reported on Thursday that the decision had been made following a recent visit by Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud to Jordan.

Prince Mohammad, who is the Saudi defense minister, met King Abdullah in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba and signed a package of agreements, including on development of military cooperation.

The report said the deployment of Jordanian forces will now be coming after the United Arab Emirates withdrew the bulk of its military force from Yemen’s Ma’rib following a series of military setbacks.

The Saudi crown prince also traveled to the UAE in an effort to mend fences after reports of significant frictions between the two allies over the war on Yemen.

Emirati authorities are reportedly angry with a Saudi decision to dismiss a former general with close ties to the UAE.

In February, the Saudi kingdom sacked Khaled Bahah and appointed Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar to lead the fight against Yemen’s Houthis.

Ahmar has been based in Saudi Arabia since the Houthis took over Sana’a in 2014.

Jordanian military forces reportedly took part in the Saudi operation in Aden last July following the flight of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Early on Thursday, Saudi military aircraft carried out a fresh round of aerial assaults against the Nihm district of Sana’a Province, though there were no immediate reports of possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.

The development came only hours after Saudi-backed militiamen fired a barrage of artillery rounds at Dhubab, Harir and al-Jumhuri districts in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz and Ghorab and al-Madaniyah neighborhoods in the provincial capital city of Ta’izz.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to bring Hadi — who is a staunch ally of Riyadh — back to power and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured since the onset of the aggression.

The Saudi strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

Source: PressTV.

Link: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/04/14/460698/Yemen-Jordan-UAE-forces/.

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