UAE Says to Resume Visas for Tourists Vaccinated against Covid

A visitor walks past a Dubai billboard at the Arabian Travel market exhibition in the Gulf emirate, on May 17, 2021. (AFP)
A visitor walks past a Dubai billboard at the Arabian Travel market exhibition in the Gulf emirate, on May 17, 2021. (AFP)
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UAE Says to Resume Visas for Tourists Vaccinated against Covid

A visitor walks past a Dubai billboard at the Arabian Travel market exhibition in the Gulf emirate, on May 17, 2021. (AFP)
A visitor walks past a Dubai billboard at the Arabian Travel market exhibition in the Gulf emirate, on May 17, 2021. (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates announced it will resume issuing visas to all tourists fully vaccinated against Covid from Monday, a month before Dubai hosts the delayed Expo 2020 trade fair.

The move comes amid a drop in coronavirus infections in the Gulf country, after it reported less than 1,000 cases per day last week for the first time in months.

The UAE’s decision to reopen its doors to tourists from all countries was taken in order “to achieve sustainable recovery and economic growth”, the official WAM news agency reported on Saturday.

Those eligible would have to be fully inoculated with one of the Covid-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, which include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

“The decision applies to citizens of all countries, including those arriving from previously banned countries,” WAM said.

“Passengers arriving on tourist visas must take a mandatory PCR test at the airport,” it added.

While life in the UAE has largely returned to normal amid the Covid pandemic, it continues to enforce strict rules on wearing masks and social distancing.

Dubai was last year counting on the six-month Dubai Expo 2020 -- delayed a year by the health crisis and now set to open in October -- to attract millions of visitors and boost the economy.

Heavily reliant on tourism, the emirate was one of the first destinations to open its doors to travelers, accepting tourists in July last year, just a few months after the pandemic took hold.

Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, has been more cautious, opening up to some visitors only in December.

The UAE as so far recorded more than 715,000 cases of Covid-19 infection, including 2,036 deaths.



Kuwait Court Drops Case Against Notorious Pentagon Hacker

Palace of Justice in Kuwait
Palace of Justice in Kuwait
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Kuwait Court Drops Case Against Notorious Pentagon Hacker

Palace of Justice in Kuwait
Palace of Justice in Kuwait

The Kuwaiti Court of Cassation upheld on Sunday the dismissal of criminal charges against a notorious Kuwaiti hacker who had infiltrated hundreds of websites around the world, including the US Department of Defense’s (Pentagon) website.
The Court of Cassation, the highest judicial authority, affirmed a previous ruling by the Court of Appeals that the 28-year-old defendant could not be prosecuted for the allegations in this case, which occurred 10 years ago.
The accused faced criminal charges related to his hacking of the US Department of Defense website, accessing sensitive weapon sites, and infiltrating 200 American websites, with the information being published in 2011.
On October 9, 2023, the Criminal Court dropped the criminal case against the hacker accused of breaking into global websites, including the Pentagon’s website.
The court’s decision to drop the charges against the hacker was based on the principle that the accused could not be tried for accusations committed over 10 years ago, as the acts were carried out from 2010 to 2012.
The charge of endangering Kuwait’s potential to sever relations by hacking the US Department of Defense website was also dismissed.
The prosecution had accused the defendant of hacking more than 200 sites, some of which contained confidential information belonging to the US.
The hacker was also accused of deceitfully appropriating money through fraud by marketing his website post-hack to attract victims to subscribe and browse the website.