Sunday, 30 May 2010

Family of murdered singer drop lawsuit against Egyptian tycoon

Oh, what a surprise.
Source: Reuters

The family of a murdered Lebanese singer has dropped a civil lawsuit against an Egyptian tycoon accused of planning her killing, a source close to the family said on Saturday, but a criminal trial in Cairo will continue.
Hesham Talaat Moustafa, a member of parliament in Egypt's ruling party, was sentenced last year to hang along with Muhsen El Sukkari, the security man whom the tycoon is charged with paying to stab Suzanne Tamim to death in Dubai.
Moustafa, former chairman of Talaat Moustafa Group, was granted a retrial in March on grounds of legal errors and the new trial began on April 26.Tamim's family had been pursuing a separate civil lawsuit seeking monetary compensation, the Lebanese source said.
"They dropped the civil case because they are convinced that it wasn't Hesham (behind the murder). Evidence has appeared that shows another person is involved," the source said, adding the family had not received any money.
In Cairo, Moustafa's top lawyer Farid el-Dib said: "The waiver of the civil case does not affect the criminal case and the judicial process is still running."
The legal notices, signed by Tamim's father, mother and brother and printed in Ad Diyar newspaper on Friday, stated that the family's accusation against Moustafa "has no truth or basis of fact to it".
"We have completely amended our false assumption ... we each confirm that we waive our civil suit in this case."
The media have described the murder as an act of revenge after Tamim ended an extramarital affair with Moustafa.
If found guilty in the Cairo trial, Moustafa and Sukkari will be allowed to appeal the new ruling and could face a third and final trial if that appeal is accepted. They were arrested just months after Tamim's murder in July 2008.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Dubai sees surge in number of converts to Islam

From The National, 27 May 2010
The number of converts to Islam in the emirate has increased rapidly in the past three years as Islamic authorities step up efforts to promote the religion.
Almost 60 per cent of all conversions to Islam tracked by Dubai’s Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities occurred in the last three years, according to statistics obtained by The National.
The majority of the emirate’s new Muslims convert to Islam at the department, while a small number do so at Dubai’s courts.
There has been a steady rise in converts since the body began tracking them in 1996, when it recorded 169 conversions.
In 2006, just over 800 people converted to Islam, and the figure doubled in 2007 to 1,617.
Last year alone, there were 3,043 converts. Huda al Kaabi, the head of the New Muslim section in the department, said: “The numbers are increasing year after year.”
Most conversions were during Islamic seasons like the Haj pilgrimage or when Muslims fast in Ramadan. They also spike when visitors converge on Dubai, primarily during the emirate’s shopping festival.
Government officials attribute the rise to efforts to promote a moderate version of Islam to visitors as well as special programmes that counsel prisoners.
“Dubai is a moderate city where we have a mix of religions and cultures, and visitors see that in the way Muslims treat others in the street,” Ms al Kaabi said.“When foreign visitors come during the Dubai Shopping Festival for example, we intensify our efforts.”
These efforts to draw non-Muslims include distributing brochures and holding lectures and workshops that introduce tourists to Islam and its pillars.
The Government also sends its preachers to visit prisons, where Ms al Kaabi said many are introduced to the teachings of Islam.
Enver Zekaj, senior adviser for education and religious guidance at the department, said: “In Islam, for people who are guilty, the door to repentance is open."
Preachers tell inmates that they still have the opportunity to repent from any sins they committed, Mr Zekaj said, and this helps blunt any desire for revenge within them.
Dubai and Sharjah began sending preachers to prisons in 2002. But the practice raises concerns over how appropriate it is to preach Islam to non-Muslims and whether it detracts from society’s acceptance of other religions.
Ms al Kaabi insists the decision on whether to convert is up to the individual. “Religion is a choice, this is an introduction only,” she said.
Mr Zekaj said: “We invite people to discover Islam, we do not focus that they should convert because guidance is from Allah.”
Jihad Hashim Brown, the director of research at the Tabah Foundation, who delivers the Friday sermon at the Maryam bint Sultan Mosque in Abu Dhabi and is a columnist for The National, said it was not a concern since there is little active proselytising for Islam.
“I’m not aware of any significant proselytisation in Dubai and definitely not Abu Dhabi,” he said.
Mr Brown said that chaplains of different religions provide spiritual and moral counselling to prisoners and combat troops in the West. “I wouldn’t say sending chaplains to the jail is anything out of the ordinary,” he said.
Islam enjoys a moderate image in the UAE because its practice “is not driven by secondary objectives like political or sectarian motivations”, he said. “Islam in the UAE is ideology-free.”
Mr Brown said part of the reason for a rise in converts is that non-Muslims will scrutinise Islam when it is exposed to bad publicity, such as terrorist attacks by Muslims.
“Every time international attention is directed towards Islam, even bad publicity, people are going to want to find out what Islam is all about,” he said.
He said there were spikes in conversions to Islam after the September 11 attacks, and more people converted to Sunni Islam after the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Most of Dubai’s converts are labourers and maids, but Ms al Kaabi said the group is diverse, including managers and priests.
To embrace Islam, a non-Muslim who visits the department sits through an explanation of the religion’s five pillars: testimony, prayer, fasting, alms, and pilgrimage to Mecca.
Government clerics then answer questions the convert has, such as ones comparing Islamic beliefs to those of other religions. The clerics’ languages include Arabic, English, Tagalog, Urdu, Tamil and Russian. The individual then fills out a certificate, formally embracing Islam.
Many choose to enrol in post-conversion courses detailing the different aspects of Islam.
Dubai does not track the number of Muslims converting to other religions, which, technically, is not allowed in Islam. It is also not allowed to proselytise other religions.

Bellydancer fears her art is dying

From The National, 30th June 2008 
Despite the date its a very interesting read and the situation hasn't changed.
At about 2.30am on a Saturday, Dina, Egypt’s most famous belly dancer, slinks on to the stage of Haroun el Rashid Night Club wearing a revealing pink outfit, accompanied by the sound of her trademark music.
Without an introduction she eases into her routine, gyrating her hips and rolling her stomach in slow, sensual motions, gradually raising the tempo with ever more daring and titillating movements of her thighs and torso.
The audience, made up of upper class Egyptians, Gulf businessmen and tourists as well as a smattering of westerners, is enthralled.
Dina is practising an art that dates back to the Pharaohs, but belly dancing, or raqs sharqi, is these days more often condemned as immoral than celebrated as a national pastime, as religious conservatism grows in Egypt.
In May, Dina caused an uproar after giving a brief performance at a high school party. Apart from the storm that ensued in the media, 17 Islamist and independent lawmakers filed an urgent inquiry with the education minister, and Nabih al Wahsh, a well-known lawyer, filed a lawsuit against her for “seducing students”.
Ali Laban, a legislator and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, called for talks with the culture, education and interior ministers, while Sherif Omar, who heads the education committee in parliament and is a member of the ruling National Democratic Party, referred to the incident as a “catastrophe”.
Dina, in her forties and who goes only by her first name, was taken aback by the reaction, though it is far from the first time her dancing has raised the ire of conservatives.
“When I heard that my dancing for five minutes while wearing a jeans and T-shirt in the prom party [caused such offence], I was shocked,” she said, sipping a cappuccino and smoking a cigarette in the cafe of the Semiramis InterContinental Hotel in Cairo, where she performs three times a week.
“Sometimes I feel I get used to these things, but I don’t, because they never cease to amaze me,” she said.
In Oct 2006, Dina was widely blamed – by officials, the media and the public – after scores of young men chased women through downtown Cairo groping them and pulling off their clothes – even those wearing Islamic headscarves and face veils.
She had been dancing with a popular singer in front of a downtown cinema to advertise a movie that was playing during Eid, and allegedly aroused the men, causing them to run riot.
“This accusation made me laugh,” Dina said. “I couldn’t believe I could be responsible for unleashing a sexual uprising by hundreds of men. It’s just unbelievable.”
Famed for her green eyes, long black hair, and voluptuous figure, sculpted by more than 20 years of dancing, Dina is now one of the only well-known belly dancers in Egypt.
“I see no hope or future for belly dancing in Egypt,” she said. “Ten years ago we were so many. Each one had her own style and audience, whether first-class belly dancers, or second and third class. Now I look around and see nobody.”
According to the Egyptian Arts Authority, 5,000 professional belly dancers were registered in the 1950s, compared with less than 100 today.
While belly dancing is legal, dancers cannot perform on state-owned television in Egypt. And in an attempt to reduce the number of dancers, authorities are giving fewer licences to foreigners and making it difficult for them to renew existing ones.
Police also monitor nightclubs to ensure that dancers’ costumes are sufficiently modest, with slitted skirts that must start below the knee. The navel is always supposed to be covered, if only by transparent material.
According to Dina, who holds an master of arts in philosophy from Cairo University, the belly dancing outfits are the main cause of controversy in Egypt, rather than the dance itself.
“I think the problem some have with belly dancing here is the dancing costume; but it has always been seductive like this, we [our generation] didn’t invent it. Like ballet – can the ballerina dance with a different outfit? We too can’t dance with our bodies covered,” she said.
Wearing a beige tank top and tightfitting pants, and a golden necklace studded with blue charms, Dina said it was becoming increasingly difficult to be accepted as a belly dancer in Egypt, where 90 per cent of Muslim women wear the veil and the trend towards conservative Islam is growing.
“If I had a daughter, I would advise her not to become a belly dancer,” said Dina, who is a widow and the mother of an eight-year-old boy named Ali.
“It’s very tough being a belly dancer in Egypt.
“I surround myself with people who love dancing, and who are very understanding, so I don’t get the feeling that I’m doing something wrong at all,” she said. “But when these problems happen from time to time, it’s a reminder that many people look down on dancing, and that it’s [seen as] shameful.”
Yet demand for belly dancing in Egypt is still high among those who approve of it, especially among the rich who can afford to pay the LE12,000 per hour (Dh8,250) rate that Dina and her band charge to perform at private functions.
“I still dance at many weddings,” Dina said. “Most of the brides are veiled but they don’t stop dancing with me and their groom all night long. For Egyptians who can afford it, a wedding means a belly dancer.”
Suha Abdel Wahab, 30, is one such Egyptian. “Of course I would never imagine myself being a belly dancer,” Mrs Wahab said. “But I had Dina at my wedding, that was a dream come true.”
Still, people like Mrs Wahab seem to be the exception.
“At my wedding, I slaughtered sheep and distributed to the poor, by the same amount of money that I would have paid to a belly dancer,” said Rasha Moustafa, 29, who wears the veil.
“I think God would bless a marriage that begins by feeding the poor not wasting money on belly dancers.”
Nonetheless, in the face of growing disdain for her profession, Dina sees herself as “the guardian of belly dancing”, and vows to continue doing what she loves.
“Belly dancing is in our blood, it’s deeply rooted in our soil,” she said. “I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
“When I get old, and can’t dance anymore, I will train belly dancers. I just hope there will be ones to train.”

Monday, 24 May 2010

The braindead are arrested

Source: Monday, 24 May 2010
Dubai Police have impounded the two vehicles at the centre of last week’s ‘stunt’ driving controversy on Sheikh Zayed Road, and arrested the cars’ owners.
Police were able to track the vehicles by identifying their number plates, an official told Arabian Business. Bader Dakash, a media coordinator with Dubai Police, said that a full statement would be released shortly.
Viewers from around the world watched as two large vehicles – a Nissan Patrol and a Toyota pickup truck – executed a series of tricks including driving on two wheels and performing do-nut manoeuvres, where a car circles around with smoke coming from all four tyres.The video, which was posted on internet site YouTube and reported on, sparked a wave of criticism from driving experts as well as regular users of the 12-lane highway.
Peter Richardson, the general manager in charge of technical operations at the Emirates Driving Institute, said: “Those drivers, whoever they are, should be identified and should be punished for that behaviour."
The posting of the video came just a day after Robert Marks, a senior official of International Safety Council, said that Middle East roads were among the world's most dangerous with 18 of every 100,000 people losing their lives in crashes.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Internet 'down' in Dubai

The internet was 'down' in Dubai for 20 minutes this morning, no YouTube, no blogs, no newspapers, no Facebook, no explanation.  Every website except, interestingly, Bank of America and Citibank seemed to be blocked.  When a site is banned in the UAE the screen on the left appears.  Its Um Saloom from the UAE cartoon series 'Freej' telling you that the site you want is very naughty and that you ain't goin' nowhere.  The lurid pink background is quite a surprise initially but that passes.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The braindead strut their stuff on Sheikh Zayed Road

Ever thought I was exaggerating about the lousy standard of driving in Dubai?  This video, was filmed on Sheikh Zayed Road the busiest road in Dubai, though fortunately not at peak hour.  Apparently it was all ok because it was part of a 'victory parade' for a local football team that'd had won the Gulf Cup.  Keep an eye out for the 2 Landcruisers and the FJ that are blocking the rest of the traffic.
And only yesterday there was an article in the media about roads in the Middle East being the second most dangerous in the world.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Sun, sand, sex - why Dubai's strict code is a sham

Source: New Zealand Herald, 17 May 2010.  Written by 'William Butler' a pseudonym for a writer who lived in Dubai for four years. 
The article, unlike so many others, is the viewpoint of someone who's lived here, not just flown in for 3 days and immediately become an expert.   While some quotes in the article are just too convenient, he appears to know what goes on here, and he knows (possibly too much) about the topic he discusses.
Its also the first time I've seen anyone write about the Dubai phenomenon of the "Summer Bachelor";  the married man left on his own in Dubai while his wife and family returns to the home country for the Northern Hemisphere school holidays.  Ye Gods, another summer looms here and no woman, even an old one, will be safe.  Scene last summer: empty Costas, me at table reading WWE wrestling magazine and drinking my coffee.  A bloke with coffee in hand approaches, "Can I sit here?" as he indicates the seat next to me.  I look around at the otherwise deserted coffee bar, think "*%^$!" but smile, "Sure" I say.  As he plonks his middle aged backside on the seat I pick up my bag, coffee and wrestling mag and move to a table on the other side of the room.  Maaaaate!  Anyway here's the article:
The bosomy blonde in a tight, low-cut evening dress slid on to a barstool next to me and began the chat: Where are you from? How long are you here? Where are you staying?"
I asked her what she did for a living. "You know what I do," she replied. "I'm a whore."
As I looked around the designer bar on the second floor of the glitzy five-star hotel, it was obvious that every woman in the place was a prostitute. And the men were all potential punters, or at least window-shoppers.
While we talked, Jenny, from Minsk in Belarus, offered me "everything, what you like, all night" for the equivalent of about $1000.
I turned down the offer.
This was not Amsterdam's red-light district. This was in the city centre of Dubai, the Gulf emirate where Western women get a month in prison for a peck on the cheek; the Islamic city on Muhammad's peninsula where the muezzin's call rings out five times a day drawing believers to prayer; where public consumption of alcohol prompts immediate arrest; where adultery is an imprisonable offence; and where mall shoppers are advised against "overt displays of affection", such as kissing.
Ayman Najafi and Charlotte Adams, the couple recently banged up in Al Awir desert prison for a brief public kiss, must have been very unlucky indeed, because in reality Dubai is a heaving maelstrom of sexual activity. It is known by some residents as "Sodom-sur-Mer".
Beach life, cafe society, glamorous lifestyles, fast cars and deep tans are all things associated with "romance" in the fog-chilled minds of Europeans and North Americans.
And there is a fair amount of legitimate "romance" in Dubai. Western girls fall for handsome, flash Lebanese men; male visitors go for the dusky charms of women from virtually anywhere. Office and beach affairs are common. But most of the "romance" in Dubai is paid-for sex, accepted by expatriates as the norm, and to which a blind eye is turned - at the very least - by the authorities.
The bar where "Jenny" approached me was top-of-the-range, where expensively dressed and coiffured girls can demand top dollar from wealthy businessmen or tourists. Virtually every five-star hotel has a bar where "working girls" are tolerated, even encouraged, to help pull in men with cash to blow. But it goes downhill from there.
At sports and music bars, Filipinas vie with the Russians and women from the former Soviet republics for custom at lower prices. In the older parts of the city, Deira and Bur Dubai, Chinese women undercut them all in the lobbies of three-star hotels.
It is impossible to estimate accurately the prostitute population of Dubai. But what makes Dubai prostitution different is the level of acceptance it has by the clients and, apparently, the city's Islamic authorities. Although strictly illegal under United Arab Emirates' and Islamic law, it is virtually a national pastime.
I have seen a 15cm-high stack of application forms in the offices of a visa agent, each piece of paper representing a hopeful "tourist" from Russia, Armenia or Uzbekistan. The photographs are all of women in their 20s seeking one-month visas for a holiday in the emirate.
Maybe young Aida from Tashkent will find a few days' paid work as a maid or shop assistant while she's in Dubai. But most nights she will be selling herself in the bars and hotels and the immigration authorities know that. So must the visa agent, who gets his cut out of each £300 visa fee.
All UAE nationals are entitled to a number of residence visas, which they routinely use to hire imported domestics, drivers or gardeners. But they will sell the surplus to middlemen who trade them on to women who want to go full-time and permanent in the city. The higher the social and financial status of the Emirati, the more visas he has to "farm".
Thousands of women buy entitlement to full-time residence, and lucrative employment, in this way. Three years in Dubai - the normal duration of a residence visa - can be the difference between lifelong destitution and survival in Yerevan, Omsk or Bishkek.
It also ensures a convenient supply of sex for Emiratis. The other big category of punters is Europeans and Americans, and it is remarkable how quickly it all seems normal.
A few drinks with the lads on a Thursday night, maybe a curry, some semi-intoxicated ribaldry, and then off to a bar where you know "that" kind of girl will be waiting. In the West, peer group morality might frown on such leisure activities, but in Dubai it's as normal as watching the late-night movie.
In the long, hot summer, wives and families escape the heat by going to Europe or the US, and the change that comes over the male expat population is astounding. Middle-aged men in responsible jobs - accountants, marketeers, bankers - who for 10 months of the year are devoted husbands, transform in July and August into priapic stallions. Tales are swapped over a few beers the next night, positions described, prices compared, nationalities ranked according to performance. It could be the Champions League we are discussing, not paid-for sex.
In my experience, many men will be unfaithful if they have the opportunity and an expectation that they will not be found out. For expats in Dubai, the summer months provide virtual laboratory conditions for infidelity.
There is the Indonesian maid who makes it apparent that she has no objection to extending her duties, for a price; the central Asian shop assistant who writes her mobile number on the back of your credit card receipt "in case you need anything else"; the Filipina manicurist at the hairdresser's who suggests you might also want a pedicure in the private room.
Sodom-sur-Mer is flourishing. But would-be snoggers beware - your decadent behaviour will not be tolerated.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Mice in a Maze

So we all thought we had 'Dubai Decency' figured: kissing is illegal, public displays of affection (known here as "PDAs") are illegal and can result in jail and deportation, hand holding is frowned upon but "tolerated" if the couple are married etc etc.  But now the Gulf News reports on a couple who've been acquitted of public indecency and they weren't just holding hands or wearing shorts in public, they were having %& in their car in a suburban street.  The trusty '7 Days' had a field day describing the 'frisky couple' as being caught 'romping' in, wait for it, their Honda Accord. Two door or four door? Thank goodness the couple is young and apparently flexible, anyone else would need a hip replacement after 'romping' in a little Accord.  Aside from having a good lawyer (1)Their car had tinted windows, (2) They'd put an umbrella across the windscreen and most important (3) The 'rompers' were married to each other.
Now if this happened in Auckland, the couple would have been arrested after first being beaten up by other drivers for hogging the parking place. 
As a poster on another board said, the decency laws are so hard to understand that Dubai residents are like "mice in a maze".
Source: Gulf News

Photo: Rubberball Photos

A court has acquitted a married couple of public indecency after their lawyer argued that their tinted car, in which a policeman caught them making love, was a private place.
The Dubai Appeals Court recently acquitted the Pakistani assistant manager and his wife of committing an indecent act in public.
The Appeals Court overturned the primary judgment of one month's jail followed by deportation after the couple's lawyer Dr Riyadh Al Kabban argued that the policeman could not see them committing an indecent act in public since they were inside their car when he sneaked up on them at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).
According to the chargesheet, prosecutors had charged the husband, 28, and his wife, 24, of public indecency, by having sexual intercourse in their car at JBR's public parking.
"The policeman breached my clients' rights and privacy and he didn't have the right [as a law enforcement officer] to peep inside the car without obtaining a permission from Dubai Public Prosecution. He testified before the Dubai Misdemeanors Court that he could not see the indecent public act because the car was fully tinted and had an umbrella at the windshield… he also claimed that he failed two times to see what was happening inside the car due to the tinting. When he failed to see the car's inside, he knocked at the window and saw the husband naked when the latter opened the window partly," argued Dr Al Kabban.
Charge dropped
Prosecutors dropped the charge of having consensual sex against the couple after they produced their marriage contract. They were only charged with public indecency.
The policeman testified during prosecution questioning that he was standing nine cars away from the defendants' fully-tinted vehicle when he noticed something suspicious inside the vehicle at around 9:00pm. He told prosecutors that he had to peep into the car because the tint and a windshield shade prevented him from seeing inside.
"That behaviour by itself is a breach of human rights and a clear violation of my clients' privacy… it's as if he walked into the couple's bedroom and caught them making love. Law enforcement procedures were carried out unlawfully against my clients. They were illegitimately arrested and without a warrant. According to article 53 of the Criminal Procedures Law, a private car is deemed private property, hence the policeman should have obtained a prosecutors' warrant to search and look into the car… what he did is considered a clear violation of my clients' privacy and rights," argued the advocate.
The lawyer asked the appeals court to cancel the deportation order and acquit the couple of the charges.
The Appeals Court judgment remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within three weeks.
Defence argument
According to the primary judgment sheet, the Misdemeanors Court considered that the couple was caught red-handed committing an indecent act in public. Dr Al Kabban countered that argument before the Appeals Court and based his defence on the fact that the car's full tint and the windshield shade made it a private and not a public place.
"The policeman should have obtained a written prosecutor's warrant to search the car… otherwise this will allow any law enforcement officer to walk into private places without a warrant," argued the lawyer.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Internet ban for tourists

Sigh...why doesn't someone think these things through before making a public announcement?  The latest idea reported in Emarat al-Youm a UAE Arabic language newspaper, is to restrict use of 'public internet' to holders of UAE National ID cards only.  Public internet would include hotels, coffee shops, the airport or internet cafes.  And who uses these places for net access?  And who doesn't have an ID card? Why, every tourist who comes to Dubai.  Can you imagine a visiting businessman coming to Dubai and finding he is banned from using the internet?  The people this ban seeks to target aren't sitting in internet cafes surrounded by tourists writing emails to Mum or playing "Halo".  They're in their own homes in a room with the door shut.
Tourists expect access to the net while they travel, business people expect internet access so they can do business.  All this ban will do if it comes into effect, and surely someone will see sense before then, is to make selling Dubai to tourists/businesses even harder.
Source: ArabianBusiness
People will be barred from accessing the internet publicly in the UAE without a national identity card under an initiative by the Interior Ministry to crack down on cyber crime and child sex abuse, UAE daily Emarat al-Youm reported on Wednesday.
The initiative will allow authorities to monitor everyone who accesses the internet from public locations such as internet cafes, coffee shops and malls, the Arabic newspaper said.
Emarat al-Youm said the Interior Ministry is working with the Emirates Identity Authority to introduce the internet restrictions.
The newspaper said the restrictions would be come into force “soon”, without being more specific.
The UAE aims to issue mandatory national ID cards its citizens and expatriates by the end of 2010 under an ambitious population registration programme.
The single card is expected to later replace other forms of identification in the UAE such as labor permit, health card and driving license.
Emarat al-Youm said the technology would also be made available to parents to monitor their children’s internet use.
Major General Nasser Lakhraibani-Naimi, Interior Ministry secretary-general, said the initiative would “develop levels of awareness and protection of children against the potential risks from the use of the internet”.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Etisalat says UAE internet service fully restored

Source: ArabianBusiness 29 April 2010
Originally Etisalat said on Tuesday that it expected the work to be completed by Friday April 30.(supplied)Repair work on a damaged Mediterranean Sea cable, which had caused internet problems in the UAE, has been completed and internet services in the UAE have returned to normal, according to telecoms company Etisalat.
“Etisalat announced today that the cable repairs on the submarine cable (SE-ME-WE-4) have been completed and the Internet services have been fully restored. Etisalat has re-routed the internet traffic to the submarine cable (SE-ME-WE-4) that has now been completely restored,” the company said in a statement issued Thursday.
“Etisalat customers did not face major slowdowns in Internet browsing owing to its robust network with multiple redundant links to major global Internet hubs in Asia, Europe, and USA,” it continued.
“Etisalat’s network has been so designed to avoid disruption of Internet traffic during such an eventuality. Etisalat has invested heavily in building a robust network with multiple redundant links to major global Internet hubs in Asia, Europe, and USA, so that the traffic can be re-routed to ensure that Internet services can remain operational at reasonable speeds in the UAE.”
Graham Nonweiler, group managing director of global telecoms specialists Nonweiler Associates, which monitors global internet cable connectivity around the world, confirmed that the SMW4 cable lit up early on Thursday morning and began operating again.
Originally Etisalat said on Tuesday that it expected the work to be completed by Friday April 30.