News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Sailor's body on way home a month after his death

Dubai: 16 Aug:
The body of an Indian sailor, who died on board his ship off the coast of Dubai, reached Mumbai on Tuesday after his remains were finally traced in a Tehran hospital.

The sailor's brother told Gulf News that he heard the news from an Indian TV channel, but that no official had contacted him.

"We had asked that the body be delivered to our hometown near Varanasi [in Uttar Pradesh state]," said Sivanand Tiwari. He said there are two flights from New Delhi today and hoped his brother's remains would be sent home on one of them.

His brother, Subodh, had died on board the ship M.V. Bahadur nearly a month ago, but his company had shipped an African's woman's body instead to his family.

The sailor was an employee of a Dubai-based shipping company.


Pink taxis outside malls will have a feminine touch

Dubai: 16 Aug: Pink taxis will be deployed at places frequently visited by women, said an official.

The taxis will soon be on Dubai's roads to provide a "women-only" taxi service.

"The taxis will have pink roofs, pink seats and interiors, and other features to give the vehicles a feminine touch. We will roll out pink taxis with at least 50 cars in a few months," said Ammar Bin Tamim, Director of the Dubai Taxi Department at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

He told Gulf News that some 25 female drivers, including four UAE nationals, are currently undergoing training as taxi drivers.

Bin Tamim said the taxis would be deployed at places such as shopping malls and Al Wasl Hospital the biggest maternity hospital in Dubai.

He said the taxis would be easily identifiable on roads and would only stop for female passengers. Taxis with female drivers currently only operate at Dubai International Airport to ferry female passengers and families.

"There are about 30 female drivers, including 10 nationals, working for the airport taxi service," said Bin Tamim.

He said the female taxi service had proved very successful at the airport as single female passengers felt more comfortable travelling in these taxis.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has spent Dh25 million to improve its system of taxi booking and distribution over the phone and internet.

Currently some 3,000 taxis in the department are connected to the new satellite monitoring system and offer a booking facility over the phone.

Other taxi companies, which run around 3,000 taxis altogether, will soon be linked to the system to offer a booking facility over the phone.

"With the installation of the new monitoring system, we have successfully managed to reduce the 'arrival time' of a booked taxi from 15 to 12 minutes," said Bin Tamim.

The Reservation and Distribution Department of the Public Transport Corporation received 198,485 telephone calls during July, and the total number of taxi reservations made was 112,996.

Reservations over the phone increased despite the fact the base fare for taxis booked by phone was increased in June from Dh4 to Dh6 during the day and from Dh4.50 to Dh7 at night.

Bin Tamim said Al Sufooh, which houses residential areas such as Emirates Hills and Marina Towers, topped the list of reservations with 26,861.

It was followed by Al Garhoud with 15,337 reservations and Mirdif with 10,293 reservations.


46 arrested in crackdown on illegal workers

Dubai - 16 Aug: Forty-six people have been arrested in the past three days for violating immigration laws as part of a clampdown on illegal immigrants.

Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) said it had cracked down on a network of illegal workers, mainly domestic helpers, headed by Asian men.

A DNRD official said the network was allegedly being run by MF, a partner in a cleaning company based in Dubai, with his two partners – MS, who works in a tourism company in Dubai, and AB, who is here on a visit visa sent by MF.

The official said AB would drop off the workers at the place of employment for a pre viously agreed amount. The focus of the raids was absconding workers and housemaids who advertise through friends and colleagues to work as babysitters or housekeepers.

After an extensive investigation, immigration officials succeeded in arresting the absconding women.

The Director-General of the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department, Brigadier Mohammed Ahmad Al Marri, called for an intensified campaign to reduce the number of absconding workers and domestic helpers, since they threaten the security and stability of the society.

Brig Al Marri said: “The problem of illegal workers exists [at all times], but it increases in the summer months when a large number of families travel abroad and leave their servants in the country. This gives a chance to some of them to abscond or to find an additional source of income.” He added that many of these workers intend to work for someone other than their sponsor as an additional job, knowing fully well that it is against the law.

The official urged people to not give employment to someone who is in the country as an illegal or who is seeking an additional job illegally. He warned that some of them may not have undergone the necessary medical tests.

There is also a possibility that crimes may occur and the family will find it difficult to report them since the helper is working illegally.


Police promise to investigate Bur Dubai residents’ complaints

Dubai - 16 Aug: A petition has been brought by the residents of a building in Bur Dubai against the problem of “ladies of the night” in their neighbourhood.
Some 20 residents of Ismail Moosa Building and traders nearby have signed a letter addressed to Al Rafa’a police station requesting for immediate action.

Isaac Kuruvilla, one of the residents, said: “You see these women, [Russian, Chinese, Indian and Bangladeshi], about 10 to 12 of them, start their business from eight in the morning until eight in the evening.They don’t live here.” His wife Sheeba said: “You don’t feel safe living in such a neighbourhood. I cannot work in the kitchen because men are always around, ogling at you. I cannot send my eightyear-old son out to play.” Some times, residents throw water on these people to drive them away, they said.

Waseem Jehangir, who owns a textile shop in the adjacent building, said: “We are losing customers because of this. Families no longer want to come here to shop. I have had this shop for 10 years now. This is one of the prime areas and I used to have very good business until recently, when these women started doing their business here.” The residents said they have never formally lodged a complaint with the police.

“We only complained to the watchman of our building. So we came up with this idea of approaching the police as a community,” added Jehangir.

A Dubai Police source who did not want to be named said: “We have regular patrolling in these areas and arrests… the police will check on the residents’ complaint and take definite action against the offenders.”


DNRD drive to catch illegal housemaids

DUBAI — 16 Aug: The Department of Naturalization and Residency Dubai (DNRD) has organised a three-day inspection campaign to catch illegal workers, particularly housemaids absconding from their sponsors.

The DNRD has already arrested 46 men and women violators.

Brigadier Mohamed Ahmed Al Marri, Director of DNRD, has ordered intensification of such campaigns to tackle the phenomenon of runaways, especially  housemaids.

He said that the campaign will focus on the new types of illegal workers who promote themselves through their friends or colleagues to find job opportunities such as housemaids or nannies 

He said the phenomena of domestic helpers absconding from their sponsors has increased during the summer holidays.


Missing girl reunited with her parents

ABU DHABI — 16 Aug: A little girl ventured out on the roads when left unattended by her father inside his car while he went into an optician's shop. Unaware that his daughter Aya was not in the rear seat when he returned, the man Saeed drove home. It was only then that he realised that she was not in the car.

Panic set in and he rushed immediately to Bani Yas Police station seeking help. Three hours later, police found the little girl and reunited her with her parents who were overjoyed by her safe homecoming.

Lieutenant Saif Al Jabri, Public Relations Officer at the Media and Public Relations Department at the Abu Dhabi Police told Khaleej Times that the man accepted responsibility for leaving his daughter alone in the car.

"I entered an optician's shop and on returning got into the car without checking the back seat," he told the Police adding, ''When I reached home in Bani Yas I discovered that my child was not in". Bani Yas Police station coordinated with other police stations in the capital, and finally the child was found in Al Shabiyya Police station.

Police said the child was found by a woman, Nahid Al Masri, who said she had found the girl on Al Najda street standing bare foot amid the moving cars looking scared.

"I took her to my house and bought her a pair of shoes," she said. "I comforted her and took her to Al Shabiyya Police station from where she was taken to Bani Yas Police station,'' she added.



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