‘Spy Tool’ Blackberry saga hits Dubai telecoms industry

In recent years the telecommunications industry in Dubai, and in the UAE as a whole, has seen rapid growth with more providers entering the market and many retail outlets reporting increased sales of mobile phones. Technology is a major growth industry in the region, fuelled by the desire to have the best of everything and to prove to the world that Dubai is a city to be reckoned with.

The recent furore regarding the Blackberry, the business phone of choice in the western world, and its makers RIM has led to some doubts in the industry as a whole, yet foreigners looking at jobs in the industry should rest assured that there are still plenty of openings.

The problem with the Blackberry stems from its widespread use an instant communications tool – a very powerful one at that – and has led to the Dubai Chief of Police, Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim, making some alarming comments about the situation.

At a recent conference focusing on information technology Tamim told the audience that problems with espionage involving Israel, the USA and Britain had been the major cause of the expected curbs on the use of Blackberry’s, although no further details of the accusations were made.

Within the industry itself there have always been curbs expected on the use of mobile technology in the Middle East as certain aspects of personal freedom are not as developed there as they are in western countries, yet the Blackberry saga is a worrying one that will have a great bearing on the future of the industry in the UAE and Dubai.

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