UAE Current Affairs

Six Arab Nations Cut Diplomatic Ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and UAE have suspended their diplomatic ties with Qatar. All the six countries have announced that they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar and eject Qatar’s diplomats from their territories. They have also planned to cut air and sea traffic.

Reasons

Saudi Arabia has accused Qatar for embracing various terrorist and sectarian groups that are aimed at destabilizing the region such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al—Qaida, the Islamic State group and other groups supported by Iran.

Egypt has accused Qatar for supporting terrorist groups and taking an antagonist approach towards Egypt.

Bahrain has accused Qatar of media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups for its decision.

The decision has been taken after Qatar alleged that hackers took over state—run news agency’s website and published fake comments from its ruling emir about Iran and Israel. It had angered the Gulf Arab countries who responded by blocking Qatari—based media including Al—Jazeera.

Qatar has long been accused by its Arab neighbours over its support of Islamists. Qatar’s support for the Sunni Islamist political group Muslim Brotherhood which has been outlawed by both Saudi Arabia and the UAE made Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2014 to recall their ambassadors from Qatar. Only after eight months, the ties were normalised after Qatar forced some Brotherhood members to leave the country.

On May 27, Qatar’s emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had called Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to congratulate him on his re-election. This has also angered the Sunni Saudi Arabia which also sees Iran as its No. 1 enemy and a threat to regional stability.

Qatar also remains as a key financial patron of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. It has allowed the stay of exiled Hamas official Khaled Mashaal in its territories since 2012.

Implications

Oil prices have seen a jump after the six countries announced suspension of diplomatic ties with Qatar as it affected some of the world’s biggest oil and gas exporters. Qatar, a gas rich nation is also the biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a major seller of condensate (a low-density liquid fuel) and refining product derived from natural gas.

Qatar will be host to 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Saudi Arabia has announced that it would seal its land border with Qatar cutting off the country from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

Qatar is home to a major US military base, a sprawling al-Udeid Air Base, which is home to the US military’s Central Command hosting 10,000 troops. How this decision would affect American military operations is yet to be seen.

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Dubai becomes First City in World to gets its Own Microsoft Font

Dubai has become the first city in the world to have its own Microsoft-designed font. The font will have typeface both in Latin and Arabic script. It will be made available in 23 languages– Afrikaans, Arabic, Basque, Britannic, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Farsi, Portuguese, Sami, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish and Urdu.

The font was launched by the Crown Prince of Dubai Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The font will be used by UAE’s government bodies and also by 100 million Office 365 users around the world.

Rationale

UAE has launched the ‘Dubai Font’ in line with its vision of becoming a regional and global leader in innovation. The country views the launch as a part of its continuous efforts to be ranked first in the digital world. The country expects the new font and its unique specifications to become popular online and in smart technologies across the world. The launch of new font is expected to boost the emirate’s competitiveness in smart technology.

Dubai

Dubai is the largest city in UAE. It has the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa. Dubai has been taking a series of initiatives to broaden its appeal by investing in technology and culture. Dubai will play host to the six-month Expo 2020 under the themes of sustainability and mobility.

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