News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Have wheels, will sleep...

DUBAI/SHARJAH — March 09: With escalating house rents becoming a major problem in both Dubai and Sharjah, many people with a weightless pay packet apparently have no options left but to spend their nights out in their cars and vans.

Not just this, according to them, there are people who have been pleading for shared space in the car trunks. And they are ready to pay for the favour — Dh5 daily. The situation for these men is already pathetic and getting worse. To top it all, because of the fear of being detected and questioned by the police — they do not even get a proper night's rest. However, selling space to people to sleep in one’s vehicle is apparently fast becoming a profitable business.

As the darkness creeps in, these homeless men start off on their nightly hunt. It is not easy to find a spot where they can dodge the law. These people have to prowl around at least six to eight parking lots before they can strike a deal. Late last month, it may be recalled, a man died of cardiac arrest in Sharjah —while he too was living in the car, for the past almost two years.

Says Sanath, a Sri Lankan national who has been living in the UAE for the past six years: "The average cost of a bed  space in Sharjah is Dh600. I work in an electronic shop and my job is to look after the cables. My salary is Dh1,500 and I have a family of six back home.

“Till last year I was living in a bed space in Sharjah for which I paid Dh350. But suddenly the rent increased to Dh600 and I had no option  but to move. Now I sleep in the company car," he admitted.

He added: "My clothes and other personal belongings are dumped in the car's boot. I pay Dh50 per month to a family which allows me to use their washroom. But every night I have to move around till I find for a safe place to park and sleep.

“Surprisingly, or then perhaps not, some people facing a similar predicament have also offered to pay for some shared space in my car. And they are even willing to pay Dh5 for it daily!"

The conditions in Dubai too are apparently not too different. As Kamlesh, who works in a Karama market as a cleaner said: "I just get Dh600 every month. I am lucky my friend has a pickup vehicle.

“He allows to me to stay in his vehicle during the night. We are careful to park in a crowded and free parking lot — where we can rest for the night and remain undetected. Till recently, another man shared the 'bed' space and my friend charged him Dh 5 for the night" he disclosed.

Obviously, he added, with the summer setting in "the situation can only get a lot, lot, worse."


Ban on poultry products in passengers' luggage likely

ABU DHABI — March 09: A meeting of the National Emergency Committee on Bird Flu yesterday discussed a ban on entry of poultry products with inbound passengers' luggage.

The meeting also discussed a quarantine for falcons, and their testing for the bird flu virus.

The Minister of Environment and Water, Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi, said after the meeting, that the mechanism to dispose of the confiscated products from passengers was also discussed.

It was also agreed at the meeting that the follow-up committee should submit daily reports on any suspected bird flu cases, the minister added.

"A decision was taken to publicise the precautionary measures being taken by the emirates, such as the closure of bird-selling outlets located in residential complexes," he pointed out.

He further said: "Food shipments will only be allowed into the country via the Ghuweifat border checkpost and international airports at Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The imported food consignments must also carry the certificates of origin. Trucks carrying food consignment will be thoroughly screened at all border check points."

As for the quarantine for birds, Dr Al Kindi said the veterinary facilities in the country were equipped with most modern technology.

On the extraordinary GCC meeting held in Riyadh last week, the minister said it stressed the need for adhering to the previous resolutions adopted in November 2005 with regard to alert on new or suspected bird flu cases. The GCC meeting also decided to maintain a ban on all species of ornament birds.

Dr Al Kindi also made it clear that the Ministry of Environment and Water was the sole official authority to decide on ban on import of birds.

Meanwhile, Majed Al Mansouri, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, which hosted the meeting, said falcons kept at bird quarantines would be released only after exhaustive check-ups to ensure they are free of the bird flu virus.


More than 300 workers protest

ABU DHABI — March 09: More than 300 labourers, working with an Abu Dhabi-based company, staged a demonstration in their camp in Mussafah yesterday demanding payment of their dues, according to Hatem Al Genebi, Director of the Disputes Department at the Ministry of Labour (MoL).

"The workers were moved from the Abu Dhabi Municipality to that company. The firm will cancel the visas of some of the workers. So, the workers protested when the company delayed the wages for just one month," said Al Genebi.

About 10 labourers working with the Bin Hafeez Company staged another demonstration around the same time in Mussafah. "We do not have any details about this problem. However, the MoL will follow up on the two problems next week because the complaints came at the end of the working day," said Al Genebi.


MoL to check labour cards of medical centre workers

ABU DHABI — March 09: The Ministry of Labour (MoL) will launch an intensive inspection campaign against medical centres in the capital next week, according to Mohsen Ali Saeed, Director of the Inspection Department at the MoL.

He said the ministry has received several complaints against medical centres where  workers have no labour cards or contracts. "We will inspect several centres in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to ensure that all workers have labour cards."

The MoL inspection teams will look for approval certificates issued by the Ministry of Health for nurses and doctors.

He added, "We have also been carrying out a campaign in schools where we have found several violations."

Officials at private schools told Khaleej Times that the inspection teams always treat them as if they are thieves. "We want to say to the MoL that the schools educate students. They are not a prison. So we wanted the MoL to cooperate with us and not to police our teachers," said an administrator of Abu Dhabi-based private school, who refused to be named.

Commenting on private schools' complaint, Qaseem Jameel, Head of the Inspection Department, said, "We have found out that there are just two schools which have never cooperated with the inspection team. So we have tightened inspection measures on these schools."


New conditions for outdoor eateries

ABU DHABI — March 09: The City Image Section at the Abu Dhabi Municipality has earmarked a set of conditions for restaurants and coffee shops to serve customers in outdoor areas.

The new regulations come following a study conducted by the Section recently.

As per the new regulations, outdoor services of restaurants and coffee shops should not function at the entrance of buildings or public utilities. Aside from this, tables should not be put up near worship houses, hospitals and schools.

One of the key conditions is the availability of slope for the disabled people at the entrance.

Also, advertisements will not be allowed in these outdoor get-together areas unless a permission from the Municipality is obtained. The owner of the outlet or his representative is responsible for cleaning of the licenced areas.

Also, the designs of the outdoor eateries should comply with those of the main buildings and surrounding areas in terms of colours and furniture.



Dubai - March 09: Two men attempted to blackmail their employer by threatening to download intimate video footage of him and his girlfriend on the Internet, a Dubai court has heard. The Nepalese men attempted to extort dhs100,000 from their manager after stealing the memory card from his personal camera. After watching the compromising scenes, the two men said they would ruin his life by downloading the videos to a potential audience of millions in the UAE and across the world by playing the film over the internet.

The Court of First Instance heard that the two men, who both work as security guards at a business in the Al Rashidiya area of Dubai, found the video camera in the office of their 50-year-old employer last May and removed its memory card. They then watched the explicit material showing scenes of the man with his girlfriend filmed in India.

The Nepalese expats are accused of then sending emails to their victim saying they were in possession of the film and would bring about his ruin by sending it to his friends, family and the rest of the world. They then demanded dhs100,000 for the film’s safe return. The victim, a successful Indian businessman, agreed to pay just dhs50,000 to keep the film away from the public, but also alerted Dubai’s Criminal Investigation Department that he was being blackmailed.

On an agreed date earlier this year, the three arranged to meet at a popular supermarket in Jumeirah where the tape and money were to be exchanged. Police caught the culprits red-handed as they handed over the incriminating video for the cash. Following a lengthy police investigation, detectives discovered copies of emails sent by the men threatening to release the film onto the internet.
The Nepalese men, both in their late 20s, admitted a charge of blackmail and stealing in court and will be sentenced at a later date. Lawyer Mohammad Al-Redha from Al-Redha Advocate and Legal Consultants, said the men faced lengthy jail sentences if found guilty. He added: “In these kinds of cases the penalty is a minimum of three years, followed by deportation if they are expats. There is no reduction in sentence if they admit the crime.”

The two men are being kept in police custody until their sentence is handed down. The memory card is still being held by police.



Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: News headlines

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.