United Arab Emirates halts ban on BlackBerry service

The United Arab Emirates has called off a ban on Research in Motion’s BlackBerry service that would have left nearly a half-million users without the service just days from now, it announced today.

The UAE is the first of a number of countries to directly resolve its dispute with Research in Motion. India gave the BlackBerry creator two months to provide the country with some way to tap into corporate email accounts before it executes its own ban. Saudi Arabia let the deadline for its ban on the service slide without major incident. The ban on the BlackBerry service in the UAE was set to begin on Monday.

The UAE was a particularly notable holdout, as one of its emirates, Dubai, is among the largest business hubs in the world. The ban would have blocked out the service for business travelers heading to Dubai and other parts of the UAE.

Representatives from the UAE said a deal had been reached between the government and Research in Motion to make its devices compliant with local government laws, according to a report by the Associated Press. It wasn’t clear what concessions the BlackBerry provider made to government officials, but the wording of the agreement suggested it was a permanent one, the report stated.

The ban emerged after a handful of countries demanded that Research in Motion provide a way for government officials to tap into the BlackBerry service to view corporate email and messages. Research in Motion has stated before that it has no way to decrypt the data that goes through its network via corporate email accounts and so is unable to provide governments with the actual data. Research in Motion has maintained that individual governments would need to request the encryption keys for the data directly from companies.

Investors took the news as a positive, sending Research in Motion’s shares up 2.6 percent to $49.15 as of 10:30 PST.