UAE / by Alistair Galloway

The US has banned passengers from carrying certain portable electronic devices in cabins on specific flights from the UAE. The UAE will cooperate with this policy. The Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation for Legal Affairs summoned the Swiss Ambassador to the UAE in light of a Swiss statement criticising Bahrain. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum unveiled the UAE Centennial 2017 Plan, which aims to make the UAE the “best” country in the world. It was announced at a press conference for the Year of Giving that 1,400 charity initiatives are to be launched across the seven emirates. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has announced the formation of the World Happiness Council. Human Rights Watch, as well as a number of UN human rights experts, have called for authorities in the UAE to release human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor. Nasser bin Ghaith, an economist and lecturer, was jailed for 10 years because he allegedly criticised Egypt. Jordanian journalist Tayseer al-Najjar was convicted under Article 29 of the UAE’s Cybercrime Law, sentencing him to three years in prison and fining him 500,000 UAE Dirhams. Ukrainian national Iryna Nohai and her South African financé Emlyn Culverwell, who were accused of “unlawful sex”, have been released and charges against them have been dropped. The UAE has pledged €50 million to the Interpol Foundation for a Safer World. SAP announced on 14 March its five-year strategy to invest $200 million in the UAE. This declaration came as the German firm introduced its new MENA regional headquarters in Dubai Internet City. The Cabinet of the UAE approved the establishment of the UAE Council for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.