Entries in United Arab Emirates (8)


Taj Mahal Replica to Be Built in Dubai

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- Dubai will soon be adding another ostentatious building to its skyline as developers announced they plan to build an exact replica of India’s famed Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The project, called “Taj Arabia,” will include a 300-room five star hotel, apartments, restaurants and shops, according to the development company Link Global.  The price tag for the development is more than $350 million, according to the company’s website.

The original was built over 22 years in the 17th century in Agra, India.  It was built by Shah Jahan for his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal.  Both are buried in the complex’s tomb.

The developers are hoping, among other things, that Taj Arabia will also become a symbol of love and a destination for weddings.

“Imagine if this immaculate tribute to love could be the setting for the milestone event in the life of a man and woman,” says the voice greeting visitors to the project’s website. “This dream will soon become reality.”

Taj Arabia would join copies of the Eiffel Tower, Egyptian Pyramids and Great Wall of China in Dubai’s Falcon City of Wonders.

Dubai is known for its massive and flashy developments.  Others include the world’s tallest tower the Burj Khalifa, the iconic sail-shaped Burj al Arab hotel, one of the biggest malls in the world and an artificial archipelago of islands in the shape of a palm tree.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Navy Fires on Ship in Persian Gulf, One Dead

John M. Hageman, U.S. Navy(WASHINGTON) -- An American Navy ship fired on a boat in the Persian Gulf today, killing one person and injuring three others aboard the craft, a U.S. naval official told ABC News.

A spokesperson for the Navy's 5th Fleet, which is based in nearby Bahrain, said that a security team aboard the oil supply ship U.S.N.S. Rappahannock fired a .50 caliber machine gun at a "small motor vessel after it disregarded warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. ship" off the coast of Jebel Ali, a city approximately 30 miles from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The Navy is investigating the incident as details continue to emerge. A Navy official said the offending vessel was a white pleasure craft, but a UAE official told ABC News it was a fishing boat with four Indians and two Emirates on board. There doesn't appear to be any indication the incident was terror-related, the UAE official said.

The Navy official said it's not uncommon for Iranian speed craft to harass U.S. ships in the region, but in this case the boat wasn't Iranian.

"I can't emphasize enough that this has nothing to do with Iran," the official said.

American sailors are trained to take special caution of any vessels that appear to be approaching their warships. In 2000, the destroyer U.S.S. Cole was attacked off the coast of Yemen by al Qaeda terrorists who used a small private craft armed with explosives to attack the ship, killing 17 American sailors.

Word of the shooting comes on the same day that the Pentagon confirmed that it had agreed to a recent request from U.S. Central Command to maintain a two carrier presence in the Middle East.

The carrier U.S.S. John C. Stennis has been ordered to head to the region four months ahead of schedule in September to replace the outgoing U.S.S. Enterprise. A Pentagon spokesman said the Stennis is being sent so that there is no gap in between two carrier assignments to the region.

On Sunday, the U.S.S. Eisenhower replaced the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in the region. By replacing the Enterprise, the U.S. will now be able to avoid having just one carrier in the region.

The U.S. Navy usually rotates one of its two carriers into the Persian Gulf while the other operates in the Arabian Sea providing air support for the war in Afghanistan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Egyptian Couple Arrested for Smuggling Baby in Luggage

Thomas Northcut/Thinkstock(SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates) -- An Egyptian couple’s attempt to sneak their infant son past airport security and into the United Arab Emirates ended in their arrest after the baby was discovered stuffed inside their carry-on bag.

The couple, who have not been named, were told Saturday by customs officials at the Sharjah International Airport that they could not enter the UAE yet because they did not have a visa for their son, according to a report on

The parents, said to be in their mid-30s, then zipped the boy, described in reports as between 5 months and 1 years old, inside a carry-on bag and got in a line for security anyhow.  Carry-on luggage is typically scanned at airports in the UAE on arrival.

Their plan was halted by a shocked security official who spotted the baby in the bag as it went through the X-ray scanner.

“When customs officials saw the baby inside the bag at the X-ray scanner, they were stunned,” a police official told Gulf News.  “This machine is very dangerous for anyone, let alone a baby in a bag to pass through.”

The couple was arrested at the scene and charged with endangering the life of the child and infiltration, according to Sun News.  The couple admitted to the act under police interrogation, saying they attempted to sneak their son through inside a bag because they “wanted to have him with them in the UAE,” a Sharjah police spokesperson told the paper.

The couple, according to Al Arabiya, had traveled to Egypt so their son could be born there, but then wanted to return to the UAE, where they had previously resided illegally.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


U.S. Sells Stash of Missiles to United Arab Emirates

Thinkstock/Comstock(TEHRAN) -- Within Iran still thumbing its nose at the West over its nuclear program and threatening to blockade oil shipments from the Persian Gulf, the United States is taking steps to build stronger defenses in that region.  

The latest involves a deal to deliver missiles to the United Arab Emirites. The deal includes 96 missiles and related technology and is worth almost 3.5 billion dollars.  The U.S. is selling those weapons to the U.A.E. as part of a massive build up of defensive systems among Mid-east allies, especially those within striking distance of Iran.

The Pentagon had already announced a 1.7 billion dollar agreement to upgrade Saudi Arabia's Patriot missiles and the sale of those same kind missiles to Kuwait.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dubai Woman Wants $12M from Husband Who Denied Her Sex

Comstock/Thinkstock(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- An unidentified woman in the United Arab Emirates is suing her husband for the equivalent of $12 million because he withheld sex from her.

According to the Gulf News, the Dubai woman claimed in court her husband's rebuffing -- later found to have been caused in part by erectile dysfunction -- caused her mental anguish.

The woman eventually divorced her husband, who has reportedly been married more than 12 times, claiming he also made her resign from her job and "stripped her"

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


French 'Spiderman' Scales World's Tallest Building in Dubai

Davis McCardle/Getty Images(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- Alain Robert, the French climber who calls himself "Spiderman," scaled the world's tallest building in Dubai Monday, with the blessing of government officials.

The only thing officials asked of Robert was that he use a rope and harness, which the daredevil agreed to do before his ascent of the Burj Khalifa, a 2,717-foot-high tower.

Despite windy conditions, Robert made the climb as an ambulance with a stretcher waited at the base of the half-mile-high building. 

Beforehand, the Frenchman, who has climbed more than 70 buildings including the Empire State Building and Chicago's Willis Tower, declared, "To live we don't need much, just a roof over our heads some food and drink and that's it... everything else is superficial.  I climb because I need to find something I enjoy in life and I enjoy climbing buildings."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Four Americans Killed in Plane Crash in the United Arab Emirates

Photo Courtesy - U.S. State Department(ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates) -- Four Americans were killed Sunday night when a plane crashed in the United Arab Emirates.

The Americans, the only people aboard the turboprop plane, were heading to Saudi Arabia from Al Ain International Airport in what would have been the first leg of their trip back home to the U.S. But moments after taking off, the plane went down, killing all four on board.

The victims have not yet been identified, and the cause of the crash is under investigation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


World's Highest Restaurant Opens in Dubai

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Emaar Hospitality Group(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- What are you doing for dinner tonight? Chances are your plans don’t include drinks at a quarter-mile above the earth’s surface.

In Dubai, patrons began sitting down to dinner Sunday at the world’s highest restaurant, just opened on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.

The luxury lounge and grill – appropriately named At.mosphere – is surrounded by glass walls, offering diners a spectacular panoramic view of the city and surrounding areas.

The picture-perfect scenery doesn’t come cheap; a reservation will run you at least $122 a head. A private dining area is available for $176.90 per guest. And if you’re just feeling parched, afternoon tea is a mere $100.

Located just over 1,300 feet in the air, At.mosphere sits more than 300 feet higher than the world’s second-highest restaurant located inside Toronto’s CN Tower.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio