News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

President clears confusion over holidays 

Abu Dhabi: Oct. 19: Public sector employees will get a four-day Eid Al Fitr holiday if the first day of Eid falls on Monday, October 23, according to a ministerial decision.

In line with the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ministry of Governmental Sector Development announced in a circular issued yesterday that Thursday, October 26, would be added to the regular three-day holiday, if Eid Al Fitr falls on Monday.

However, if Eid falls on Sunday, government employees will get a three-day holiday, from Sunday, October 22 to Tuesday, October 24.

Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Governmental Sector Development, announced that Ramadan 29 and 30 have also been declared a public holiday, according to Cabinet decision 102/29 for 2002.

The ministry expressed, on behalf of all employees and workers of the federal ministries and departments, deep gratitude and thanks to Shaikh Khalifa and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for the gesture.

Diesel cheaper by 20 fils at Adnoc pumps from today 

Dubai - Oct. 19:  Abu Dhabi-based Adnoc Distribution will reduce its diesel price in the UAE by 20 fils starting from today, a top official said yesterday.

"We have decided to decrease the diesel price from Dh9 to Dh8.80 per gallon effective from Thursday in all the Adnoc filling stations," said Jamal Al Zareef, Adnoc Distribution's General Manager.

Diesel prices in the UAE are linked to international prices, which are retreating steadily because of lower crude prices.

Dubai-based oil retailer Enoc said it has not changed its pricing policy. "We have no intention to change our gasoline or diesel retail prices at present," an Enoc spokesperson told Gulf News.

Truck drivers contacted by Gulf News were pleased by the reduction.


Etisalat launches new mobile services 

Dubai - Oct. 19:  Telecommunications company etisalat has launched a new promotion that lets mobile users use their handset to access a string of services.

The free-of-charge service can be used on both prepaid and postpaid etisalat mobiles.

Customers who type in *122# on their phones and press send will be entered into a menu that will enable them to carry out a string of functions.

For example, mobile users will be able to configure their phones for or subscribe to the likes of MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), GPRS, Push to talk and 3G. Some of these services will incur extra charges.

Officials say the new facility eliminates the need to remember different SMS keywords.

Eisa Al Haddad, etisalat's chief marketing officer, said: "We are happy to enable our customers to manage their own mobile accounts through this simple channel.

"They can easily see and access the various services and value-added additions that we regularly introduce."


New Shaikh Zayed road exit creates chaos 

Dubai - Oct. 19:  A recently opened exit from Shaikh Zayed Road towards a service road near the Mazaya Centre has led to chaos in the area, motorists have complained.

"This is a perfect example of a self-created mess on the part of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)," said a man whose office is located in the area.

He said the road exits to and from Shaikh Zayed Road were much better earlier as the traffic ran smoothly and there were no traffic jams.

The RTA has recently completed the Al Wasl road and pavement project.

As a result of the project, a new roundabout has been built at the exit from Shaikh Zayed Road and another roundabout just 150 metres away from the first one.

The first roundabout always comes as a surprise to motorists coming from Shaikh Zayed Road while vehicles clog some stretches leading to traffic backing up.

The same exit leads to Street 35 in Al Wasl area, which is a link between Shaikh Zayed Road and Al Wasl Road. This one and half km long street has at least four roundabouts –three of them within a distance of 500 metres —making mobility difficult for motorists.

"I see accidents on these roundabouts almost every day because the road network is confusing," said Vikas, a resident. He said that these roads lack safety standards and the authorities concerned should take measures to improve road safety in this area.

A marketing manager at a travel agency in the Emarat Atrium said that the service road has become dangerous since it was opened to two-way traffic recently. "We have started witnessing traffic jams on this road especially during peak hours," he said.

He noted that the exits to and from Shaikh Zayed Road have been badly planned because they cannot cater to the heavy traffic in the residential and commercial area.



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