Khaleej Times: UAE coronavirus updates available on new website. “The website is the result of a collaboration between three authorities: the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA). It provides the latest coronavirus news and statistics such as total tests, cases, deaths and recoveries.”
Gulf Business: UAE to begin Covid-19 vaccine trials with 15,000 volunteers. “The UAE government has confirmed that it is set to begin Covid-19 vaccine trials in 15,000 volunteers imminently. The trials have been approved by the Ethics Committee Scientific research in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said on Monday. Al Owais said that this Phase III stage includes testing two possible vaccines and added that the best scientific standards will be adopted when conducting the trials.”
Gulf News: UAE health ministry launches virtual information centre for COVID-19. “A national awareness platform disseminating information on COVID-19 has been launched by the Ministry of Health and Prevention. The platform will seek to curb myths and provide authentic information on the pandemic in five languages with a ‘Virtual Doctor’ service to help assess the health condition of those who might have symptoms. Divided into six main sections providing scientific and health information, the virtual information centre provides the latest information about the virus, ways to prevent it, as well as updated statistics on the number of infected cases in the [United Arab Emirates].
Albawaba Business: UAE Inaugurates Academy For Social Media Influencers. “UAE social media influencers have welcomed the launch of New Media Academy stressing that it will help build a new generation of professionals equipped with digital media skills and content creation capabilities.”
Khaleej Times: Coronavirus: UAE reports 603 new Covid-19 cases, 1,277 recoveries. “The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday reported 603 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,277 new recoveries. The total number of cases in the country has now reached 40,507 and the total recoveries has reached 24,017.”
Esquire Middle East: New tool lets you track coronavirus data in the UAE. “The new tool – that is updated daily – provides users with real-time data on the number of confirmed cases, critical cases, deaths and the number of people who have recovered. The website also provides more information on the coronavirus, as well as a self-assessment page for those worried they may have contracted the virus.”
The Verge: Google lets alleged spying app ToTok back into Play Store. “Google has made the popular chat app ToTok available again for download after the service was banned from the Play Store for reportedly functioning as an espionage tool of the United Arab Emirates.”
CNET: Popular messaging app ToTok reportedly an Emirati spy tool. “A popular messaging app billed as a secure way to chat with friends and family is actually a spying tool used by the United Arab Emirates to track the activities of those who download it, The New York Times reported Sunday. The app, which debuted only a few months ago, has been downloaded millions of times around the world.” Please note that ToTok is not TikTok.
Bloomberg: Facebook Asked by Al Jazeera to End Accounts Tied to U.A.E.. “The Al Jazeera Media Network is asking Facebook Inc. to remove accounts it says are part of a foreign-influence campaign run by by the United Arab Emirates. The accounts on Facebook and Instagram, using the handle ‘QatariLeaks,’ frequently attack Qatar-based Al Jazeera and its journalists.”
Reuters: Google blocks websites certified by DarkMatter, after Reuters reports. “Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google has blacklisted websites approved by a United Arab Emirates-based security company after Reuters reports tied the firm to a state hacking operation.”
The National: Nearly two thousand people granted social media influencer licences in UAE. “More than a thousand people have been granted licences to operate as social media influencers in the UAE since new laws regulating the industry were brought into force last year. Influencers must apply for a trade licence and an e-media licence at a cost of Dh15,000 to post content promoting brands on social media, under rules introduced by the National Media Council in March last year.”
Gulf News: Treasure trove of UAE: Free Gulf Archives now online. “When people think of the UAE, the images that frequently come to mind are the nation’s impressive feats of modern architecture, rapid modernisation and technological development. The Arabian Gulf Digital Archive — a major new digitisation project between the UAE and the UK — provides a fascinating insight into the early stages of this transformation. It provides details of specific projects undertaken, of the political interests that lay behind many of these plans, and of local reactions to the changes that were taking place.”
The National: Inside the secret cemetery where Abu Dhabi’s earliest expats rest. “The now-closed Sas Al Nakhl graveyard is also the final resting place for hundreds of Abu Dhabi residents including military commanders, Chinese labourers and Indian workers. Some of those buried there died in air accidents, others in industrial incidents. Old age, drowning, sickness and suicide claimed others. Mystery surrounds some…. To mark the Year of Tolerance, a team from Khalifa University is now trying to find out more. Led by Dr Athol Yates, an assistant professor, volunteers including Emirati students are aiming to create an online map where people can click on a grave and view details about that person.”
The National: Treasure trove of priceless UAE archives now online. I mentioned the initiative for this archive back in 2017. “The online portal contains 250,000 priceless archives. The majority are text documents and come from British foreign office files about the Gulf but photographs and video footage from the UAE are also included…. Work on digitising the documents began two years ago and the collection that has gone online is vast. Letters, treaties, maps and telegrams chart 200 years of intrigue, political strife, war, independence and progress. It would take researchers months to go through them all but some catch the eye immediately.”
France24: Gulf, Egypt jail activists amid social media crackdown. “Courts in the Gulf and Egypt have upheld jail terms against leading activists in a crackdown on protesting through social media, marking a somber end to 2018 for rights campaigners. In both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, prominent campaigners lost their appeals on Monday against lengthy prison terms over their online posts.”