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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Low-income group can sponsor families under new NRD rule

ABU DHABI — Nov. 22: The Naturalisation and Residency Department (NRD) in Abu Dhabi has adopted a new procedure to make personal sponsorship easy for residents belonging to the low income group who were not allowed to sponsor their immediate family, Khaleej Times has learnt.

A number of terms and conditions have been set whereby applicants sponsoring immediate family members should earn a minimum salary of Dh2,500 per month and have a proper accommodation. Otherwise, the salary should be more than Dh3200 and a Dh5,000 bank deposit is to be submitted.    The deposit will be refunded in case of sponsorship cancellation or transfer. In addition to the specified salary and accommodation, the bank deposit must be submitted for sponsoring wife and children whose residency will only be for two years.

As for sponsoring parents, only a one-year sponsorship is issued against a bank deposit. The same term is applicable to brother and sister. Regarding investors, the duration of all sponsorships is one year. An investor can sponsor his wife and children against a bank deposit of Dh20,000 instead of the previous Dh70,000. The same condition is applicable to an investor’s father, mother, brother, sister, and children above the legal age.


RTA will cancel licences of substandard driving schools

DUBAI — Nov. 22: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will cancel the licences of small driving schools that do not meet the required standards prescribed by the federal law effective from January 1, 2007.

This will be done following decisions taken after studies conducted by the RTA and the Traffic Department at Dubai Police to reorganise the training and testing of drivers.

The institutes have been officially notified several times on the  need  to rectify their standards according to Article 122 of the Executive regulation of Traffic Law and Traffic Federal No. 21 of 1995. Accordingly, a warning was issued to institutions to follow prescribed regulations , failing which their licenses would be cancelled within six months.

According to the RTA, the number of schools affected by the decision are not more than about 30, while the institutions registered with the Dubai Economic Development Department are 180.

According to Shihab Hamad Bu Shihab, in charge of the Licensing Department at RTA, “Small institutes are currently violating laws and are not qualified enough to train drivers. They have been notified and given sufficient time to rectify their positions. They have also been granted alternative including mergers into one institution, but they did not respond to the offer.”

He said the decision should come as a  surprise as it has been taken according to a previous recommendation by the Traffic Department at Dubai Police on April 6, 2004 to cancel the license of small schools by the end of 2005. This decision was attached to official letter dated June 21, 2005 to the Department of Economic Development in Dubai and their licenses were extended up to the end of 2006.

According to the law, the institutes should provide all technical requirements for training, appoint trainees and theoretical teachers who have the ability to explain the traffic laws and regulations, and should have enough spaces for internal training before road training. Bu Shihab stressed that many schools and institutes did not fulfil most of these conditions.

Vehicles used for training should be fully equipped with technical specifications and safety requirements specified by the licensing authority, but again most vehicles being used by small schools are not fulfilling these conditions which could  pose threat to the lives  of the trainees, supervisors and other road users, added Bu Shihab.


Owners of the affected driving schools say that they are still waiting for a merger into a larger school as promised by the RTA one year ago. They also say that the wait has cost them big losses in the business

Said Abdul Hai, the manager of Al Ikhlas Driving School, “Nearly three years ago, we were asked to improve our standards or wait for a merger with a bigger school. We are still waiting for a response from the authorities because we want to set up a bigger school with better facilities as  promised “

He also said that the school only had a limited time (over one month) to train people after which there would be no more business

Another school owner, who did not wish to be named said that they had already been barred from opening students’ files in the police station from today but they could still provide training till the year end. “We will either have to bear the loss or wait endlessly for a merger,” he added


'Stoning' sentence commuted 

Fujairah - Nov. 22:
A woman escaped a sentence of 'death by stoning' after her sentence for adultery was commuted by an appeal court to one-year imprisonment, 40 lashes and deportation.

N.A.M., a Bangladeshi, had been convicted by Fujairah's Sharia Court of committing adultery with the second defendant, M.N. who was also convicted of the same charges.

With the stoning, N.A.M. was initially also sentenced to two years in jail, a Dh1,000 fine and deportation.


Sharjah shop thieves take cash and passports 

Dubai - Nov. 22: Burglars broke into a stationery shop located on Al Wahda Street in Sharjah on Tuesday.

The suspects also escaped with three passports that were locked in a drawer which belonged to shop employees.

The amount stolen from the Clarion Stationery Trading store could not be ascertained. Sharjah police on Tuesday confirmed the break-in. Police told Gulf News that investigations were ongoing.

The suspects gained entry to the shop by breaking the glass door. Blood was splattered all over the shop floor, the cash box, the counter and on furniture.

Mathew Cherian, a shop assistant who was the first to arrive at 7am, told Gulf News he was shocked to see the glass door broken.

"The drawers were open and the passports were missing. Bills were scattered all over the floor. I called the shop manager," he said.

Jacob Mathew, the shop manager, told Gulf News that police took fingerprints and blood samples from the floor.

"While breaking the glass door I am sure one of the suspects must have cut himself quite badly because blood was all over the shop. We cannot say how much money has been stolen. This is because we did not count the cash that was collected on the previous day.

"We are worried about losing our passports," he added.


Sentence against schoolboys upheld 

Dubai - Nov. 22: A court has decided to keep two schoolboys in a reformatory house after they were found guilty of locking up a victim in his car and stealing his mobile.

The Emarati teenagers, identified as A.D and M.S., had earlier pleaded for clemency before the Dubai Court of Appeal.

However, the court turned down their plea and decided to keep them at a rehabilitation centre after they were found guilty of kidnapping the Indian victim, J.R., by locking him up in his car and stealing his mobile phone, as charged by the Public Prosecution.

Police heard that they attacked the victim when he was in his car. The victim got scared but the suspects prevented him from escaping from his vehicle which they drove away.

The two accused pleaded innocent and maintained that they did not have any criminal intent.

Their advocate said in his defence argument that according to article 96 of the Federal Penal Code, "a reduced verdict is considered whenever a youngster [under 18] commits a crime without having any criminal intention or upon serious provocation from the victim".

"My client is a teenager and his behaviour was irrational and ridiculous. He is in secondary school and would lose his academic year if he were placed in a reformatory house," said the lawyer.



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