LONDON/DUBAI • When Matthew Hedges, a Durham University PhD student, set off on a two-week trip to the United Arab Emirates, he was following a tradition of British academics conducting research in the Arabian peninsula. But as he tried to leave Dubai in May he was detained, held in solitary confinement in Abu Dhabi for six months and sentenced to life in prison for spying.
His sentencing triggered a rare public spat between Britain and one of its closest Middle East allies. Both sides now appear keen to move on after the UAE pardoned Mr Hedges last month. But British academia may find it more difficult to return to "business as usual".