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Arabic press review: Senior UAE official sought to buy East Jerusalem home?

Meanwhile, Jordanians are moving to Turkey in search of economic prosperity, while Egypt unveils another price hike for Cairo metro tickets
A leader of the Islamic movement in Israel accused the United Arab Emirates of being behind an attempt to buy a house near Al-Aqsa Mosque (AFP/File photo)

UAE behind failed East Jerusalem real estate deal?

A leader of the Islamic movement in Israel has accused the United Arab Emirates’ intelligence chief of attempting to purchase a home near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

Commenting on news reports that an Emirati plane landed in Tel Aviv with two senior Emirati officials in tow, Sheikh Kamal al-Khatib accused the UAE’s Tahnoun bin Zayed al-Nahyan of being behind an attempt to buy a house "adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque" for $20m, according to the Arabi21 news website.

Khatib, deputy head of the Islamic movement in Israel, said the attempted real estate purchase, "which failed despite offering the owners $20mn, was made by a local businessman known to be close to Mohammed Dahlan, who lives in Abu Dhabi".

Private jet reportedly takes UAE and Israeli officials from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv
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"The owner of the house next to Al-Aqsa Mosque spoke with me personally three weeks ago, and he assured me that the Jerusalem businessman who offered to buy the house was sent by Tahnoun bin Zayed," al-Khatib said.

Israeli sources said a private plane took off from Abu Dhabi and landed directly in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

The UAE's minister of foreign affairs, Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nayan, and Tahnoun bin Zayed, the head of UAE Intelligence, were on board, Israeli journalists first reported. Neither the Israeli nor Emirati governments have confirmed the reports about the Emirati officials' secret visit to Israel.

Austerity-hit Jordanians seek new starts in Turkey

A new, striking phenomenon is being witnessed among Jordanians: capital flight to Turkey.

The phenomenon can also be called "family flight”, in view of the fact that the family breadwinner brings his loved-ones and capital when leaving Jordan for Turkey, according to an article in Jordanian newspaper al-Ghad.

The situation has been prompted by a difficult economic situation in Jordan, caused partly by the heavy tax burden, high production costs and an economic recession in the Kingdom.

Al-Ghad reported that more Jordanians have been buying apartments in Turkey in an attempt to acquire Turkish nationality, or even just live in a country with a more dynamic economic environment.

Every owner of small, medium or large capital would resort to buying an apartment in Turkey in order to acquire nationality or even get his family out to live in Turkey at least in a dynamic environment, where there is no depression and stress, according to the article.

Turkey is the most convenient destination for many Jordanians since they can easily acquire tourist visas to explore the country before ultimately deciding to move there, the newspaper said.

At the same time, a large number of Jordanians also hope to go to the United States, Australia or European countries. However, these countries have more complicated immigration procedures.

Egypt raises metro ticket costs in Cairo - again

The Egyptian Ministry of Transport has announced the ticket prices for the new Cairo metro project, which is scheduled to open officially in early February.

One ticket will cost between 4 and 7 Egyptian pounds (about $0.25-0.40), up from the current price, which ranges from 3 to 7 Egyptian pounds (about $0.17-0.40).

Additionally, the expected increase in metro prices will force metro passengers to pay 14 Egyptian pounds (about $0.78) to have access to all the stations in Cairo’s metro network, double the current price of 7 pounds, London-based newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Less than two years ago, the ticket, which gives its holder access to all the metro stations in Cairo, cost just one Egyptian pound.

For its part, the Ministry of Transport says the real value of a Metro Cairo ticket is 16.5 pounds (about $0.90). It also said the current Egyptian metro company will manage the first and second lines, while a French company will monitor the third line, thus requiring a separate tariff.

On 11 May 2018, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's government raised ticket prices for the Cairo metro, which serves as the main means of transportation for nearly 10 million low-income people in the city, by 350 percent.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.