UAE bans Dubai-based website for ‘false news’
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have banned a popular Middle Eastern business publication for publishing "false news".
The Dubai government said on Wednesday that the Arabian Business website had been blocked and its print edition stopped for a month.
The Dubai-based publication breached regulations of the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) by publishing information based on "inaccurate information", a statement said, without providing further details.
An editor at Arabian Business declined to comment on the closure, while other officials at the magazine did not respond to requests for information.
The magazine recently reported that courts in Dubai were in the process of liquidating dozens of failed real estate projects in the boomtown, which weathered a severe property slump as part of the global financial crisis in 2009.
The online article was then deleted and an apology posted online on Friday, saying the piece was an "oversight" and related to projects dating from 2010 which were "now outdated".
By that point the article had already been picked up by other publications, including in Qatar, drawing the ire of Emirati authorities.
The Dubai media office said on Saturday on Twitter that it "ruled out a report published by Arabian Business (and) copied by Qatari media" about the projects.
On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt cut all ties with Doha, closing its only land border, banning planes from their airspace and barring Qatari nationals from passing through their airports.
Days later, the UAE's general prosecutor announced that anyone who expressed sympathy with Qatar could face 15 years in jail, citing flawed existing legislation.
Those found guilty could also face fines of 500,000 dirhams ($136,000).