Is the Island of Socotra going to be hired by the UAE for 99 years?


Well, this almost slipped through without being noticed. I am really intrigued by this news story, which seems to have very few sources online. If it’s true, it’s strange that it has not garnered enough attention.

Cihan, a news agency from Turkey, allegedly claims that: “Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is making arrangements to hire the island Socotra, located in the south, said a Lebanon based TV channel. Reportedly, the island will be hired out to Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 99 years.

According to Al-Mayadeen TV channel’s news, the island was offered for UAE to get its support for the civil war in Yemen, no further information about the negotiation was provided yet. Reportedly, the island may also be under the governance of US. It was also mentioned in the news that the island will be hired for the investments of touristic, economic and navigation fields.” [SOURCE]

Not sure if this is unjust propaganda or not and hopefully more clear sources show up soon. For those who don’t know, Socotra Island is a wonder of nature. A third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. I am not only curious about this very new form of, what looks like, colonial takeover, but (if true) what will be done to ensure the wellbeing of its very unique ecosystem. I’d hate to see its distinct flora (and, probably, fauna) be plowed down by Sheratons and Hiltons. Learn more. 
Also, its population is estimated roughly at 44,000 people. I wonder if their consent has been taken into consideration in this alleged turning point in its rich history.
However, at this point this is all alleged.
If anyone has any news with regards to this, I would appreciate your referrals.

Kuwaitis can travel to Albania without visa!



To tell you the truth, it’s about time this happened. ” Kuwaitis can now visit Albania without a visa, according to the Albanian embassy in Kuwait. The decision follows the visit of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to Kuwait last November. The no visa policy for Kuwaitis will be implemented shortly to woo more tourism and investors from Kuwait. “If you are citizens of Kuwait or the United Arab Emirates you are free to go Albania just by showing identification documents and passport. No visa is needed. This order will be implemented starting Wednesday or two days after the publication of this announcement,” said Kujtim Morina, Albanian Ambassador to Kuwait during a press conference yesterday at the Albanian embassy in Al-Zarah, South Surra. “Kuwaitis can stay up to 90 days within a period of six months.

That is the new immigration procedure which takes effect shortly; we want to convey this message to all Kuwaitis,” he said. Morina admitted there few Kuwaitis visit Albania, although it increased last year when they implemented a no-visa policy for Kuwaiti during summer vacation. “The new no visa policy will help, because this will be whole year round, not only in summer. The free movement of citizens helps increase trade exchanges and visits from citizens of both countries,” he asserted.

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Abu Dhabi launches new mobile app


“Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has rolled out its full mobile strategy with ‘native’ mobile applications of its destination portal now available for iPhone, Android & Windows Phone, giving users instant access to all that’s new in the emirate, with content going straight to mobile devices.

This roll out coincides with a major upgrade of the authority’s destination portal to ‘responsive’ technology enabling its content to fit all mobile screens regardless of brand, technology or screen size.

“We had pent up demand for mobile solutions with VisitAbuDhabi receiving 1.3 million visits via mobile devices, including tablets, last year alone and our new mobility suite addresses this,” explained Mouza Al Shamsi, acting executive director of marketing and communications, TCA Abu Dhabi.

Visit Abu Dhabi mobile apps provide content and a series of services in nine languages assisting visitors in every step of their visit in the emirate. Continue reading

Uniform GCC visa expected in mid 2014!

kuwaiti passport

A unified visa for the six member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) could become a reality in mid-2014, security sources have said.


“The plan to have a GCC tourism visa, similar to the Schengen visa in Europe, is about to be implemented after obstacles have been cleared,” the sources told Kuwaiti daily Al Rai on Sunday.


Under the visa, Arab and foreign tourists could visit the GCC countries. The single-entry visa should be valid for one month, but multiple-entry visas could be issued for one year, the sources said.


Check-In: Shangri-La Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Regionally speaking, there are very few places that fuse traditional luxury with modern facilites well. Shangri-La Abu Dhabi in the capital of the United Arab Emirates is one of them. Sitting on the side of a marine water creek, the location of the palace-like hotel is ideal for both tourists and businesspeople. With numerous pools, splendid stretches of beach and almost year-round warm weather it’s almost impossible not to engage in water sports.

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Exclusive: Review of Sade’s concert in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi!


By Sara Al Ibrahim, for

Walking into the Flash Yas Arena I expected the standard pre-concert activities. Walking around trying to find friends, stocking up on food and drinks before the concessions stand gets too crowded, and the general standing and waiting for the star of the night to make their appearance. I was very pleasantly surprised by the pre-show entertainment, which consisted of games where concertgoers could win fun prizes, and a photo booth fully stocked with wacky accessories to make for some photos you’re sure to remember years later. The opening act of the night was Abri, who I must say set the mood for what was to come. His smooth vocals warmed up the crowd and seemed to bring people together in their excitement.

We weren’t kept waiting for long, as we could soon hear music that caused a mass rush towards the stage from all sides of the venue. Dramatic drums served as an intro to “Soldier of Love” where the sexy dark silhouette of Sade appeared center-stage ready to seduce our senses. We were taken on an emotional rollercoaster with her selection of 21 songs off her 10 studio albums, spanned over her 20+ year career, ranging from the happy upbeat “Color of Love,” the slow sad lullaby that is “Jezebel,” to what are arguably two of her biggest hits “Smooth Operator” and “Sweetest Taboo.”

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