Stories under this heading cover the Gulf and the Red Sea regions, including the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and the countries bordering the Red Sea.
The UAE emirate of Dubai has announced that it has scrapped the 30% tax on alcohol, and will no longer charge for personal alcohol licences.
Known as the Gulf's "party capital", where expatriates outnumber nationals by nine to one, Dubai has historically been more attractive to tourists and wealthy foreign workers than its neighbours, partially because of its tolerance of a more liberal lifestyle.
Despite this, the high alcohol tax had led to residents often driving to Umm al-Quwain and other emirates to buy alcohol in bulk.
Ethiopia has started energy production on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the largest hydroelectric dam on the continent, on Sunday (20 February), following years of delays and international pushback.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed travelled to the western town of Guba to inaugurate the GERD, hailing the project as the “birth of a new era” in the East-African country's history.