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

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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.
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Kenya wants Kuwaitis, Emiratis, Qataris, Omanis, Bahrainis and Saudis to visit!

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Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Kenya Airways have launched a three-month long marketing campaign dubbed ‘Choose Kenya’ to woo tourists from the GCC countries.

The campaign, which was launched on June 1st, by Kenya‘s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), General Kariuki Mugwe, and targets travel agents and tour operators who are selling Kenya in the region.

The campaign is targeted to the trade with the six highest sellers of destination Kenya being awarded luxury tours to the country ahead of the high season that is set to begin in July. The annual Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara also coincides with the high season and attracts thousands of tourists.

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Kuwaitis can travel to Albania without visa!

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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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Uniform GCC visa expected in mid 2014!

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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.

 

Kuwaiti passport is the best Arab passport for travel!

Some good news coming our way. Apparently, Kuwait’s passposrt is the best visa-free document in the Arab world. Kuwaiti citizens have to most access to countries of all the Arab nationals. It is in the lead at 72 visa-free countries. “Visa restrictions for GCC citizens relaxed in the last 12 months with each of the Gulf states receiving visa-free travel to one more country, according to a new report.

The six Gulf states all moved up one position in the Henley & Partners visa restriction index with Kuwaiti passport holders topping the list of GCC countries with citizens about to travel to 72 countries and territories freely.

Globally, Kuwait ranked joint 62nd alongside Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea, up from 61st the previous year. UAE passport holders are the second freest Gulf state with access to 70 countries followed by Qatar (67), Bahrain (66), Oman (61) and Saudi Arabia (59).

Other Arab countries continue to lag behind with Iraqi passport holders the most restricted with access to just 30 countries, just behind Somalia and Afghanistan.””

[source]

 

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