BlackBerry services are being misused in Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah to malign establishments and individuals. Image Credit: Javed Nawab/Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Millions of BlackBerry users worldwide, including the UAE and rest of the Middle East, have been affected by a major technical fault that left them without any access to emails, internet and the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) on their handheld devices, according to news agencies and social media sites. 

The Daily Telegraph reported that the glitch, which struck at around 10.00 GMT, has affected online services for consumers all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa, all of whom are served by a RIM data centre in Slough.

UAE telecom provider Etisalat, told Gulf News that BlackBerry services have been restored after shutting down earlier in the day on Monday. An Etisalat spokesman said: “BlackBerry Messenger services were down for an hour, they were working on it, but there might be some issues with BlackBerry that we don’t know about.”

UAE telecom operator du tweeted that they “received updates from RIM confirming BB services in Europe, ME & Africa are affected starting 09:19 GMT today & degradation is ongoing. Subscribers may experience delays in sending or receiving messages, roaming, or using other services such as Internet browsing or IM [Internet Messaging].”