NEWS FROM THE UAE
Excerpts from UAE Dailies
Chance meeting saves woman from abuse
Dubai - Nov.14: A chance meeting with a member of an Indian social organisation on board a flight to the UAE saved a woman from ill-treatment.
She has taken refuge at the shelter of the Indian consulate.
"Fortunately, I had taken down the contact number of this gentleman who is a member of the UAE-based Indian social organisation Sevanam," said a 21-year-old woman who came to the UAE on a proper employment visa as a driving instructor. She came through a recruitment agency.
The woman claimed that she was forced to work as a housemaid in her Arab sponsor's house in Fujairah. She arrived in the UAE two months ago. An Indian consulate official said that they would first look at whether the claims made by the woman are genuine prior to proceeding with the case. According to them an absconding case has been filed against the woman by the sponsor.
"I resisted as much as I could. A couple of weeks later they shifted me to work in one of their relative's house in Dubai. One day I heard them planning to send me to Kuwait to work over there in one of their relative's house ... I had to flee," she said.
The woman who is from the south Indian state of Kerala said that she had not received any money for her work at her sponsor's residence.
"Luckily my passport was still with me. I ran out of the house at the first opportunity I got and asked the first person I came across to get in touch with the member of the Indian organisation I had come across on the flight to the UAE."
Saju E.B., a member of Sevanam, told Gulf News that these cases are channelled to the consulate immediately.
He said: "We have also provided her with an air ticket to go back home. She used to work as a driving instructor back home and does not have any plans to continue here."
B.S. Mubarak passport consul at the Indian consulate said that the consulate will first try to get in touch with the sponsor and get the absconding case cleared.
He said: "In this case the woman has given the consulate some details regarding the sponsor and her visa status."
On why the consulate does not refer such cases to the police, Mubarak said: "We do that when the victim asks for it. For example there was a case of two beauticians who came to us for help. They wanted justice. We reported the matter to police.
"The sponsor wanted the women to pay for the money spent on the visa. The case was referred to the relevant departments and the fee was waived."
Dubai resident a victim of rent contract forgery
Dubai - Nov.14: A Dubai resident, who earns Dh900 a month, was traumatised when an Abu Dhabi court ordered him to pay Dh30,000 rent for a flat which he never rented in the capital.
The Abu Dhabi Civil Court of First Instance had earlier ordered the Indian worker, S.A., to pay Dh30,000 annual rent and vacate a flat which was rented in his name.
He appealed the initial verdict and his lawyer Karunagappaly Shams-udeen, of Al Kabban Advocates and Legal Consultants, convinced the Abu Dhabi Appeal's Court that the rent contract was forged. He said an unknown suspect had used a photocopy of his client's passport to rent the flat.
"S.A. was in India at the time when the contract was signed," Shamsudeen said in his defence. The lawyer explained that S.A. who works in a Dubai bakery earns Dh900 a month and 'he cannot afford renting the flat'.
"He is a Dubai resident and works here, so why should he rent such an unaffordable apartment in Abu Dhabi," questioned the lawyer.
The criminal laboratory confirmed that the suspect's signature on the contract was forged. The Appeal Court dismissed the case against S.A. and cancelled the initial verdict.
Dubai Central Jail inmates learn how to repair vehicles
Dubai - Nov. 14: Inmates at Dubai Central jail learn how to repair vehicles as part of the jail's rehabilitation programme, a senior police official said.
Brigadier Khamis Saeed Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Dubai Police's Punitive and Correctional Establishments, said the department is keen on rehabilitation programmes that will help inmates after they are freed.
He said the education and training department at the jail organised the vocational course in cooperation with the Al Futtaim training centre. The course targeted 14 UAE national inmates. All passed the course and six were released from jail.
The inmates have secured jobs as helpers at Al Futtaim as soon as they had taken the course and received the certificates.
Lieutenant Colonel Tariq Kalentar, Director of Dubai Central Jail, said many inmates showed interest in taking the course. However, the 14 were selected based on interviews, their behaviour and their English language proficiency.
He said the course was taught by instructors from Al Futtaim Training Centre for two-and-a-half months. The participants received theoretical and practical lessons for five hours, four days in a week.
Selected number plates to be auctioned in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi - Nov. 14: The Abu Dhabi Traffic and Patrols Department yesterday announced it would auction selected vehicle number plates starting next year.
The announcement was made by department officials while launching electronically readable number plates for private vehicles in the emirate. The plates are easily detectable by radar.
Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Mayouf Al Kitbi, Director of the Vehicles Registration Licensing Section at the department, said a committee had been formed to draw up procedures for auctions. He said the committee would also supervise these auctions, which will start from next year.
"People can participate in the open auctions by attending or online," the official said.
Referring to the introduction of the new edition of number plates in two sizes, he said the numbers would have a maximum of five digits from 1 to 99999.
Speed radar visibility
The design of the new number plate has been prepared in cooperation with the Emirates Driving Company (EDC), which will supervise production and distribution.
The replacement of old red and white plates in series five will begin with immediate effect. However, it has not been made compulsory for motorists to replace them immediately.
"Any motorist willing to replace their number plates can do so by paying Dh40. They also have the option of replacing them when they renew their vehicle registration. In fact the plates, bearing the existing numbers, will automatically be changed during renewal of vehicle registration," said Al Kitbi.
He said the number plates of other types of vehicles, such as taxis, motorcycles, pickup trucks, buses and trucks would remain the same until a decision was made in the future.
Al Kitbi said the new plates had been tested for speed radar visibility.
Dr Jehad Sabaitha, EDC Director, said the new edition came as part of the department's strategy to implement technology and to enhance security measures.
"The number plates will have a high-tech built-in hologram, which will make it difficult to duplicate or tamper with," he said.
'We'll always miss his jokes and bright face'
Dubai - Nov. 14: His ambition was to pursue a career in tourism because he was a people's person. But his dream was shattered by a bus driver, who in an act of extreme road rage deliberately ran over him.
Family and friends of Khalid Bin Arab, 19, a UAE national, described him as a witty, friendly and an ambitious person.
"He had a unique personality, he would make everyone around him laugh and his smile would never leave his face," said his heart-broken mother.
Police arrested the Pakistani driver Mushtaq Khan Izzat Khan after searching for him for three days.
His mother said on the day he died he came back from work at 4.30pm.
"He was tired but happy because he had received good news from his superior."
Khalid had recently left the Police Academy to pursued a career in tourism.
He told his mother: "I have finally achieved my goal."
He was accepted into a university at Knowledge Village and got a job with Jumeirah International a week ago.
Abdullah's mother said: "We will always miss his jokes and bright face. He had an amazing relationship with everyone, especially with his three brothers and three sisters."
Khalid's father said: "My son is gone. The authorities should be strict with motorists. Many drivers lack etiquette. I learned that the bus driver doesn't even know how to read."
Abdullah Ebrahim Bin Arab, Khalid's 17-year-old cousin who was sitting in the passenger seat when the incident happened, told Gulf News: "We were going to Rashidiya from Jumeirah through Al Khail Road and due to the road construction, the two-lane road became a one-lane road.
He said the bus driver was trying to get in front of them, he succeeded and the road became two lanes again.
"At this point, the bus driver started driving in the middle of the road and was not allowing us to pass and started to swerve into us on purpose," Abdullah said.
"Khalid wanted to know why he was doing that. He stopped the car on the side of the road and the bus driver stopped behind us."
It was then Khalid got out of the car and the driver drove into him, he said.
"I put my hand on Khalid's neck, but could not feel his pulse. I will never forget it."
Low-salaried in Abu Dhabi can sponsor next of kin for residence
ABU DHABI — Nov. 14: The Naturalisation and Residency Department in Abu Dhabi has started issuing one-year residence visa for the next of kin of those with monthly salary below Dh4,000.
Major Nasir Al Awadi Al Menhaly, head of the department, said the decision came in line with the directives of Major-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, in a bid to unite families by allowing sons and daughters to take care of their parents. He added that each and every resident of the UAE is allowed to obtain a residence visa for “next of kin”, by paying a guarantee amount of Dh5,000, which will be refunded immediately by Abu Dhabi Naturalisation and Residency Department after the person being sponsored leaves the country.
The department used to reject such visa applications. The visa was available only for those who drew monthly salary of Dh3,000 plus accommodation provided by their employer, or those who received Dh4,000 a month including housing allowance, he said.
Police will chase bad drivers
Dubai - Nov. 14: “Reckless drivers who refuse to stop will bear all responsibility for any resulting accidents or damage,” said Brigadier Mohammad Al Zafeen, the head of Dubai traffic police.
Patrolmen will alert speeding or reckless drivers with sirens and flashing lights to stop by the side of the road. Police will chase drivers who refuse to stop but only if it is safe and appropriate. “A police chase has to be reasonable and not end up with them driving just as badly as the reckless drivers trying to get away.
“In that case, police will circulate the vehicle’s description and the driver will face an immediate arrest,” Al Zafeen said. Dubai police have long resisted car chases to avoid causing more accidents, but the policy shift comes on the heels of recent calls from HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to reduce road death and injuries in Dubai.