News headlines

Excerpts from U.A.E. Dailies

Expatriates will not need entry visa for GCC countries

ABU DHABI — 25 May:Expatriates living and working in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will be able to visit the member states without an entry visa.

Secretary-General of the GCC Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Attiya told Khaleej Times yesterday that Kuwait had opened its borders for the residents of other member countries as a pioneering step. The decision will help in boosting trade and tourism ties among the member countries.

“The Secretariat General of the GCC supports this measure as other new steps will be taken to facilitate travel of expatriates living in one member state to another,” he said. “A proposal to this effect will be forwarded by the Secretariat General to the leaders of the GCC at their forthcoming summit conference,” he added.



26 traffic accidents in one week

ABU DHABI — 25 May:Two people were killed and 32 others injured in 26 traffic accidents in Abu Dhabi and surrounding areas from May 13 to 19. The dead were identified as a UAE national and a resident Arab.

A weekly statistical report issued by the Abu Dhabi Traffic Police stated that these accidents were caused due to violation of traffic rules and safety regulations by motorists such as

entering the road without checking the movement of vehicles, jumping the red signal and not keeping safe space between cars.

An analysis of the nature of accidents showed that there were 16 cases of collisions, six incidents of people being run over by vehicles and overturning of 4 vehicles.

Nationality-wise, the report said that Asians were the most affected by these accidents with 13 of them suffering minor to moderate injuries. 

Ten Arabs were involved in traffic accidents, of whom only one sustained serious injury.

Of the eight nationals affected by traffic accidents, one case was fatal while the others suffered slight to moderate injuries.

As for violations, over-speeding topped the list throughout the period under review accounting for over 50 per cent of tickets issued to erring motorists.


Etisalat to roll out incentive packages

Dubai: 25 May:Etisalat will segregate its subscription rates and package them under new pricing categories aimed at various professional groups and corporates across the UAE, a senior official said.

The introduction of the packages comes at a time when the country's second telecom operator du plans to roll out its services towards the end of this year.

A senior Etisalat official said this is the beginning of many surprises for its 4.7 million subscribers, whom it would try to retain.

Eisa Al Hadad, Etisalat's Executive Vice-President for Marketing, told Gulf News that the company is planning to create new packages for most professional segments. "We have a plan to divide our subscribers into segments or group of professionals and create a number of new services and incentives for users who use our facilities most," he said.

"The promotions will attract new subscribers and also reduce bills," said Al Hadad. He assured that end users, including professionals and the business sector, will benefit from Etisalat's new packages.

The new packages and incentives for the UAE market will apply to both mobile and fixed phones and internet services.

Etisalat will launch the Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) services by the end of the year, in line with its plans to cut prices of international phone calls. Representatives from international telecom companies such as Ericsson, Alcatel, Siemens, Huawei, Nokia, and Lucent Technologies welcomed the proposed FMC services. "This will energise the regional market in service and companies' sales," a Nokia official said.

FMC aims to empower consumers with a consistent communications experience whether at home or on the move.

The plan: Preparing for era of competition

No more flat phone rates
Rates to be based on subscriber's profession
Packages will be as per usage and talktime
Reduced rates likely for all Etisalat-to-Etisalat calls
Calls between Etisalat-du will be expensive to discourage existing subscribers from changing operator
More announcements on packages will follow before the commercial launch of du's services.


Maid jumps from 15th floor of building

Sharjah: 25 May:A housemaid jumped to her death from the 15th floor of a building in Sharjah, police sources said.

Police said that the 22-year-old Ethiopian maid, who worked for a Syrian family in a building in Al Rolla Square, died instantly.

The Criminal Investigation Department of Sharjah Police is investigating the motive.

A friend of the family employing the housemaid told Gulf News that the girl was depressed.

The friend said that she frequently received international phone calls from someone threatening to send snakes to her and kill her family members in Ethiopia.

The friend said that she was afraid that someone would perform black magic on her or her relatives.

The sources added that in a separate incident Sharjah Police were investigating the murder of a Pakistani man.

The source said that the man, who was not identified and whose age was not given, had been stabbed in the stomach.

"We are investigating the murder," the source said.


Hit and run Driver in Police Custody

Dubai: 25 May:A hit-and-run driver was caught yesterday, several hours after seriously injuring a pedestrian trying to cross the Sheikh Zayed Road.

The accident happened at 8.30am.The Indian man, about whom no other details were immediately available, tried to walk across the city’s main highway between the third and the fourth interchange.

The driver who hit him fled the scene, said Lieutenant Sayeed Al Shamsi, head of the traffic department at Bur Dubai Police Station.

The driver, a UAE national man in his mid-twenties, was later caught at another police station in the city where he told officers he had hit a tree. He had gone there in an attempt to clear his insurance papers. The man later confessed to running over the pedestrian and has been detained, said Al Shamsi.

The Indian pedestrian was airlifted to the Rashid Hospital in a very serious condition, he said.

Yesterday afternoon, the man was still fighting for his life, said a hospital source.

While it is forbidden to cross Sheikh Zayed Road on foot, many people often attempt to do so. Last year, 23 people were killed while trying to cross the highway.

Officials at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority were predicting a death toll of 40 this year and have fast-tracked a Dh23 million project to install a fence in the middle of the highway.The project is currently being carried out.

Meanwhile, a woman not wearing her seatbelt sustained serious injuries after jumping a red light close to the Mall of the Emirates.The woman was hit by another driver, who was speeding at more than100kph.



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