A last minute decision for sure. Last month the UAE had RIM under its gun threatening to ban BlackBerry services from October 11. On Tuesday it was reported, that only few BlackBerry users are switching to other smartphones. Service providers Etisalat and du had even offered alternative smartphone options to their customers, including devices from Nokia or Apple's iPhone. This all shall be history now as the Emirates is not going to suspend any of its BlackBerry services after all. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority also acknowledged "positive engagement and collaboration of RIM in reaching this regulatory compliant outcome."
It is not clear what the exact changes are, but rest assured BlackBerry users in the UAE may continue using their devices normally in the future. In an e-mailed statement, RIM said it "cannot discuss the details of confidential regulatory matters that occur in specific countries". This allows for little conclusions to be drawn, but I believe the Emirates has been granted similar access to monitor BlackBerry traffic as India. Despite these matters this is an excellent outcome and shows that RIM has a big heart for the Middle East. We love you too, RIM.
Update: A contact of mine in the Emirates, who wishes to stay anonymous, has provided me with very interesting insight into the subject. Since the very first threats to ban BlackBerry services in the country, several local shops and dealers have lowered their prices for BlackBerry smartphones. However, a couple of days ago prices went up again for almost no reason. Word has it that "inside" information was floating around regarding the talks between the UAE and RIM. In addition, locals already knew since yesterday that a positive outcome has been reached, despite the local media being virtually silent about the subject. No comment on whether the UAE has been granted access to monitor BlackBerry traffic, though.Â