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U.A.E. ’Optimistic’ on Reaching Deal on BlackBerry

The BlackBerry Torch. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
The BlackBerry Torch. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The United Arab Emirates is “very optimistic” about reaching a deal with Research in Motion Ltd. to solve a dispute about BlackBerry services in the country, the secretary general of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council said.

“Talks are very advanced and positive,” Mohammed Ahmed al-Bowardi told reporters in Abu Dhabi today. “We are very optimistic it will be resolved before the deadline.”

BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and Web browsing services will be halted in the U.A.E., home to the Gulf business hub Dubai, from Oct. 11, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said on Aug. 1. The regulator said BlackBerry messages, which are transferred to computer servers outside the country, can’t be monitored as stipulated under national security laws.

Saudi Arabia and India last month reached agreements with RIM, based in Waterloo, Ontario, on data access. The company agreed to work with wireless service providers in Saudi Arabia to make instant messages available for monitoring, that nation’s regulator said. RIM will provide an automated solution for tracking BlackBerry smartphone messages by November, two officials in the Indian Government who declined to be identified said in New Delhi last month.

The U.A.E. regulator informed local phone companies Emirates Telecommunications Corp., known as Etisalat, and Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Co., known as Du, of the planned suspension and instructed them to shift clients to other services. Both operators have introduced packages that will allow customers to replace their BlackBerry and have access to similar services.

The U.A.E. phone companies rose to their highest levels since May today, with Du gaining 2.4 percent to 2.54 dirhams in Dubai and Etisalat advancing 0.5 percent to 10.55 dirhams in Abu Dhabi.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ayesha Daya in Dubai at adaya1@bloomberg.net; Zahra Hankir in Dubai at zhankir@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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