Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, wary of the repercussions of Iran's nuclear programme, opened a two-day summit on Monday at which they were joined by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was the first Iranian president to attend the gathering of the neighbouring bloc of wealthy Gulf Arab oil producers.
Abu Dhabi, looking to tap into the thriving tourism market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plans to offer a cultural bonanza rather than follow Dubai in focusing on shopping holidays. Centrepiece of the quiet emirate's mega project to lure tourists is the construction of four museums, including a Guggenheim and, perhaps, a local version of the famous Louvre of Paris, as well as an art centre.
Al-Jazeera's English-language news channel hit the airwaves on Wednesday with a heavyweight cast of presenters and the ambition to compete with Western broadcasting giants. Al-Jazeera English, sister channel of Qatar's Arabic television al-Jazeera, said its launch ushered in "a new era in international news" as it began broadcasts.