NEWS FROM THE U.A.E.
Excerpts from U.A.E. Dailies
Indian mission to expand job attestations
Dubai - 04 June: From July, all semi-skilled and skilled Indian workers coming to the UAE for employment will have to get their documents attested by the Indian Consulate.
A senior official from the Indian Consulate, requesting anonymity, said: “Currently, attestation of documents is mandatory for unskilled workers and housemaids. Now, the Indian missions plan to make attestation mandatory for all categories of workers going abroad. But this does not include professionals.” Unskilled workers, who are considered vulnerable to exploitation by overseas employers require an emigration clearance from the Protectorate of Emigrants, Ministry of Labour, India, before they can leave India.
Also, companies recruiting Indian unskilled workers have to produce a model job contract specifying minimum salary, leave and other benefits to get a green signal from the Indian missions.
“However, in order to avoid taking the consulate’s permission companies directly approach the Protector of Emigrants in India and recruit workers categorising them as ‘semi-skilled’ and ‘skilled’ candidates,” he said.
“To put an end to this practice, the Indian missions now plan to make attestation mandatory for all categories of workers going abroad,” he added.
“The Indian ambassadors’ meeting in Doha, attended by the Indian ambassadors from all the Gulf countries, decided to make attestation mandatory for all types of recruitment,” he said.
This is being done to tighten control on companies and recruitment agents.
A close examination of the spate of recent labour protests by lowpaid Indian workers indicated that most of the workers who partici pated in the strikes were recruited directly from India as semi-skilled and skilled workers. After being brought here they were demoted to unskilled workers with lower salaries and fewer benefits than were promised to them “While the Protector of Emigrants in India handles 90,000 attestation requests per year from the UAE, the Indian Consulate in Dubai handles just 7,000 attestation requests. This huge difference in number is an indication that only one-10th of the requests come to the Indian mission here,” the official added.
He said he hoped that the infrastructure and manpower which would be required to handle all the applications would be ready by July.
“Even though the Indian mission is working overtime to put everything in place, the deadline may extend beyond July, if the infrastructure is not ready by then,” he said.
UAE on the verge of a dental health epidemic
UAE - 04 June: Record levels of tooth decay among children in the UAE have led dentists to warn parents that it may lead to a dental health epidemic if they do not take their childrens’ oral health seriously.
Shocking new statistics revealed by the Ministry of Health show more than half of children throughout the country suffer tooth decay by the age of 12 and that 60 per cent of young teenagers have serious cavities due to a lack of proper oral care.
The growing levels of tooth decay among children in the UAE reveals a failure among parents to protect their sons and daughters’ oral health.
One of the main reasons behind tooth decay is that too many people have diets fillled with sugary foods. However, experts say the problem can be easily solved if parents teach their children at an early age that brushing their teeth on a regular basis is vital.
Doing that, dentists say, means that even if youngsters eat too many sweets the effects are greatly reduced.
Emirates Today spoke to Dubai based dentists who say they are noticing a worrying new trend among parents who put the state of their childrens’ teeth way down on their list of priorities.
Dentist Dr Gauri Shivani, who works at the Jebel Ali Hospital, told how mothers and fathers “need to understand” that educating a young child on how to look after their teeth will prevent seri ous problems in their teens and later life.
She added that a major problem is the consumption of huge amounts of sweets among youngsters.
However, if parents take the time to show children how to brush their teeth properly she said, this need no longer be such a major factor.
Dubai-based orthodontist Dr M Talass explained that even those at an early age need to be taken care of as it leads to “consequent decay and more serious problems”.
Six-year-old Zain Alabedeen Jabbar is a perfect example of the problems facing the UAE. His mother, Mayada, took him to the dentist for the first time after he complained of “pain in his teeth and an ache in his jaw”.
Dr Shivani discovered that every one of his teeth was being destroyed by decay.
“It is important to put a child on a dental health check-up plan from the age of one and a visit to the dentist every six months must be a priority,” Dr Shivani said.
Air passenger falls ill
Dubai - 04 June: Health authorities have urged passengers on two Emirates airlines flights to be alert for symptoms of the potentially fatal meningococcal disease.
The Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (CDNA) said that a passenger on flight EK432 on May 27 from Dubai to Brisbane via Singapore had been diagnosed with meningococcal disease.
“Emirates is working with the Queensland Health Department, who have already issued a public advisory detailing the situation and have informed passengers to contact their doctor only if they show symptoms of the disease,” said an Emirates spokesperson.
Doctors have said that passengers, especially young children, should be observed for any symptoms. CDNA has said that it is unlikely anyone on these flights will be infected, but advised anyone showing early signs of meningococcal disease to see their doctor immediately, or go straight to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Dr Ravindra Bhatt, an internal medicine specialist at Belhoul Hospital in Dubai, said: “People who were in the vicinity are at risk of contracting the illness through contact or respiratory droplets. The incubation period for the bacteria is between one to 10 days. They have to take chemoprophylatics.” An Emirates spokesperson said: “Emirates is making every effort to contact all the passengers who travelled on the flight, although we are not in possession of the full contact details as many of these are held by travel agents and other intermediaries.” The passengers who contact Emirates call centre are provided the necessary information and assistance, and are being directed to the fact sheet, available at http://www.health.qld.gov.au/phs/ Documents/cdu/29289.pdf
Travel light, police tell motorists heading home
Abu Dhabi: 04 June: The Tarif Police launched their annual summer vacation road safety campaign with a warning against overloading vehicles.
Brigadier Mohammad Butti Al Rumaithi, Director of the Tarif Police Department in Abu Dhabi's Western Region, told Gulf News that offenders will be fined heavily and their vehicles impounded for a certain period.
Hundreds of Arab expatriates, mainly from Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and Egypt travel home overland during the summer.
Brigadier Al Rumaithi said: "This is an annual feature, when the highway leading to Ghuwaifat check post on the Saudi border witnesses heavy traffic.
"We have already increased the number of patrols and we have our public relations department personnel distributing safety leaflets and guiding motorists on the highway leading to the border post."
The department has increased traffic patrols on the highway to assist travellers and attend to emergencies.
"We have patrol points on the highway where they check safety gear and size of the luggage to prevent accidents. We have also launched our annual campaign and distributing literature to remind motorists of road safety measures."
The campaign, since 2000, has proved successful with the reduction of accidents. Tarif Police said the campaign will continue to be an annual feature.
Al Rumaithi said motorists will be heavily fined if luggage height exceeds 60cm, as per the unified GCC law.
He said a number of motorist have been booked last year for defying the rule. In some cases height has exceeded 100cm.
He warned: "This is a very dangerous practice and can lead to fatalities. It can affect the balance of a speeding car and the vehicle may flip over."
He also urged northern emirates traffic police to check the luggage weight and height of vehicles.
Lt Colonel Hassan Ahmad Al Hosni, Head of the Traffic and Patrols Department at Tarif Police, said motorists before heading for the border must have all the documents, including a permit, for taking the vehicle outside the country.
He said the permit can be obtained from traffic departments of the country against a fee of Dh200.
He further advised: "They should also carry essential spare parts, safety gear and other tools, including a fire-extinguisher.
"The most important thing to do is to check if the vehicle is fit to withstand the heat on the highway. The other important thing is to replace ageing tyres. They should have new tyres for these long journeys."
Al Hosni also advised motorists to break their journey at highway rest points, petrol stations and restaurants to avoid fatigue.
Precaution: Pack safety equipment
Ensure all necessary spare parts are packed and ensure tyres' pressure is regulated to withstand the heat.
Pack safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, and travel with at least one other driver in case fatigue hits.
Avoid overloading the car and stick to load limits and stop frequently during the trip at restaurants and petrol stations.
Couple wake up to discover they are richer by Dh10,000
Abu Dhabi: 04 June: When someone's knocking at your door at 6am, it's either good news or bad news. On Saturday, it was Anjana Pattani's turn to receive the lucky wake-up call, a Dh10,000 cheque.
"This is great news, what a pleasant surprise," said her husband Manoj, still a little bleary-eyed.
Throughout this month, a few lucky Gulf News readers will be woken up during the wee hours of the morning to receive anywhere between Dh5,000 and Dh20,000 during the Super Value Stakes promotion.
While some have initially refused to open the door to the cheque delivery team, others are catching on to the drill.
"I expected it to be the Gulf News team when I heard the doorbell ring," said Manoj.
"My wife asked me who could it be this early in the morning, and I told her you might be the lucky person to get a prize, as I'd read the story about the previous winner the day before."
After a gracious welcome drink and a quick outfit change for the photo call, Manoj and Anjana posed with the giant cheque.
The long-time Gulf News readers joked about the possibility of winning more money, as the promotion rules keep readers in the draw throughout the whole month.
"We are looking forward to you coming again with more cheques, even if it's so early in the morning," said Manoj.
When asked the customary 'what will you do with the money' question, the jewellery shop employee and his homemaker wife agreed that a break would be included in the plan.
"I'll spend the money on my wife and my three-year-old daughter, on anything they want," said Manoj.
Gulf News subscribers are automatically entered in the draw, while others who wish to participate can register by giving their name, contact number and location.
Winners have to present a copy of that day's or previous day's Gulf News to claim the prize, failing which the prize money will be added to the grand draw to be held on June 30.
Lucky ones in Super Value Stakes
- Dh 10,000 Anjana Pattani, Abu Dhabi
- Dh 5,000 Shiprasad Prabu, Abu Dhabi
- Dh 5,000 V. A. Ajithan, Dubai
- Dh 2,500 Resham Hiren Katira, Dubai
- Dh 2,500 Arnold Pinto, Sharjah
- Dh 2,500 Mohammad Amjad, Dubai
UAE bans imports of poultry from Denmark
Abu Dhabi: 04 June: The UAE on Friday banned imports of all kinds of wild and domesticated birds and pets and their related products and droppings from Fion town in Denmark where cases of bird flu were reported.
A ministerial resolution issued by Dr. Mohammad Saeed Al Kindi, Minister of Environment and Water, demanded the ministry's animal wealth department to coordinate efforts with other authorities concerned to put the ban in place.
The minister was acting upon information from the World Animal Health Organisation about the appearance of the bird flu in the Danish town.
In his resolution, the minister said the ban would be enforced to prevent spread of any epidemic and communicable diseases in the country and to ensure health safety of the public and animal wealth.
‘Some shops in capital sell Danish products despite their boycott’
ABU DHABI — 04 June : Some shopping centres and shops here do bluff consumers on purpose. They sell them Danish products despite a declared boycott and refusal of the Danish government to apologise.
This was the major complaint Khaleej Times received from many readers. Consumers are very upset with these indifferent shopping malls and centres. They proved to be dishonest to consumers who deeply want to shun Danish products owing to the blasphemous cartoons of the Prophet (PBUH) earlier published by a Danish daily newspaper.
A public boycott was initiated against all products from Denmark following the offensive caricature. They were withdrawn from shopping centres as part of the boycott.
Nonetheless, all the shopping centres filled their shelves with Danish products paying no attention to people's attitudes and stances, and even without Denmark's apology.
Abdullah Khaled, a Khaleej Times reader, says: "Abu Dhabi shopping centers bluffed consumers and sold them boycotted Danish products. I once bought a dairy product. Later, I discovered that it was made in Denmark. My wife got angry with me, and wondered
how I bought such "filthy" products from a country that arrogantly defamed our great Prophet (peace be upon him), and neither it nor its government wanted to express apology. Was it that easy for you? It was a great shock to us all. I rushed back to the centre, and angrily requested a comment on that violation.
A senior official replied that all Abu Dhabi shopping centers are no more boycotting Danish products, despite Denmark's non-apology, and even without referring to consumers. I returned the dairy product and confirmed that I am still boycotting everything related to Denmark."
Khaleej Times received another phone call from Nasser Mohammed who said: "It is a must for the UAE government to absolutely ban all Danish imports. This is the least thing we can do to show our love and respect to our dear prophet (Peace be upon Him). Consumers also need to pay more attention and watch the products whatsoever they buy. Boycott enforced against Danish products must continue to protect our dignity and express our respect and love to our Prophet (peace be upon him).