NEWS FROM THE UAE
No fines on expired labour card if worker has left UAE
ABU DHABI — May 02: Companies will not be fined for expired labour card if the worker has left the country. This was clarified during the open day held yesterday at the Ministry of Labour (MoL) office in the capital.
The ministry’s officials met 28 applicants to resolve their problems.
Obaid Rashid Al Zahmi, assistant undersecretary in the MoL, Saleh Al Jabri, director of Firms’ Services Department, and Khalil Khoury, director of the Work Permits Department were present on the occasion.
While dealing with a company’s application relating to waiver of fines for expired labour cards, Khoury clarified, ‘No fine will be imposed on companies if the labour card has expired and the worker has departed from the UAE. Fines would be imposed only if the workers, whose labour cards have expired, are still present in the country.’
The open day also dealt with a case in which a Pakistani had applied for transfer of sponsorship. Assistant undersecretary Al Zahmi said, in such cases the worker should present proof that he/she has received all the financial dues before cancellation and transfer of sponsorship.
Al Zahmi also refused to issue new work permits to Janco Constructing Co. until the company arranged suitable accommodation for its employees.
In another case, he rejected the request of a construction and trading company for a fine waiver and referred the case to the inspection department as the company had more than 12 violations of the labour law.
Al Zahmi also ordered a manpower company Al Shamsi International Services Co. to submit details of all the workers it had brought into the country. This decision was taken keeping in view the ministry’s efforts to check violations by manpower importers.
The ministry officials also looked at some cases and initiated efforts to resolve them speedily on humanitarian grounds.
Abdullah Ahmed, a worker who was injured in an accident, had incurred all the treatment expenses. After his company refused to reimburse his medical bills, he filed a complaint with the MoL.
‘The company should pay all the medical expenses. And the worker has the right to transfer the case to the court,’ Al Zahmi ruled.
In the case of a Sudanese who applied for quashing of the ‘absconder’ tag because he had not reported for duty due to his mother’s ailment, Al Zahmi referred it to the Dispute and Labour Affairs Department for necessary action.
The ministry rejected an application seeking issuance of work permits because the company concerned had not submitted the employees’ salary list for the last three months.
The officials also reduced fines imposed on Al Sadat Petroleum Company from Dh75,000 to Dh40,000 after discovering incorrect data in the computer system.
Motorists cautioned about patch fog
ABU DHABI — May 02: A weather forecaster has warned motorists to beware of the patch fog that appears between seasons over roads passing through coastal regions.
The forecaster of the Meteorological Department, National Authority for Communications, said the phenomenon — a mass of air prevailing over the sea at night which moves to nearby land — can reduce visibility on the roads.
‘The patch fog has been seen over the past few days in some areas like Fujairah and the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway, especially early in the mornings,’ the source explained.
Meanwhile, the source said weather might remain hot, in general, with maximum temperature hovering between 38 and 42 degrees Celsius and the minimum between 21 and 25 degrees.
For tomorrow, he predicted a relative drop of two to four degrees, thus bringing mercury to normalcy with maximum temperature ranging between 36 and 38 degrees and the minimum between 20 and 22.
‘There will be no chance of fog over roads on Wednesday and Thursday but a foggy weather will prevail in coastal roads on Friday,’ he added.
Metro will have 47 stations on both red and green lines
DUBAI — May 02: The Rail Agency of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has said Dubai Metro Stations will sport unique designs, both modern and traditional.
Engineer Abdulredha Abu Hassan, Director of Planning and Design Department, Rail Agency, said metro stations are divided into two main categories — Underground and Elevated Stations.
‘The total number of stations on both lines (red and green) is 47, with 10 underground stations positioned in the central area of Dubai, while the remaining 37 stations are elevated,’ he said.
Al Hassan also said, ‘Their uniquely shell-shaped roof, while modern, invokes the heritage of pearl diving; this ancient craft that requires skill and bravery brought early prosperity and is an integral part of Dubai’s history.’
‘Interiors of the stations are uniquely designed with respect to their historical background and by adopting designs based on one of the four elements of nature, namely water, air, fire and earth. There will be a total of 12 Earth-themed stations, 13-Water themed stations, 11 Air-themed stations and 11 Fire-themed stations,’ he added.
He said that the elevated stations are divided into three types. ‘These types vary due to the land conditions and other operational requirements,’ he added.
In Type 1 stations, the entrance is at ground level with an elevated platform. Type 2 stations are supported with columns as both the concourse and the platform are elevated. Being located along busy highways, they can be accessed from both sides of the road at ground level entrances, which take passengers up to a footbridge, across the roads and into unpaid concourse areas.
Type 3 stations are designed with an extra track for future line extensions and operational functions.
Abu Al Hassan explained that the key objectives of the station’s architectural design are safety and security to the public and clear and simple planning with minimum distances for travelling. ‘The station entrances at ground level are integrated with other modes of transportations and pedestrian connectivity,’ he explained.
‘Spaces within stations are uncluttered and free from obstructions to ensure visual connections between floors. In addition to these, the stations are designed to be fully equipped with features and facilities for people with special needs,’ he added.
Plan to reduce toll fee after 1am
DUBAI — MAY 02: Engineer Badr Al Siri, Director of the Traffic Department at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has said the authority has plans to reduce the traffic toll amount from Dh4 to half the fee after 1am.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Salik workshop held at Shangri La Hotel on Sunday, Eng Al Siri said, ‘Until a decision has been taken, the amount will remain the same (Dh4 on each crossing) for each entry point (Shaikh Zayed Road and Garhoud Bridge) for 24 hours.’
He explained that a study was being carried out to reduce the tariff at night only.
‘We want to put an end to congestion on Shaikh Zayed Road and this is the reason why the toll system has been introduced,’ he added.
The toll system will be implemented in Dubai from July this year while the pre-paid sticker tags worth Dh100, topped up with a minimum of Dh50, will be available in the market from this month. The tariff will automatically be deducted when a car with the sticker passes under the electronic gates. The stickers have no expiry dates and are damaged if removed. SMS alerts will inform users if the balance is low in the cards.
For tourists entering the country through different points, giant screens placed at the entry points will guide them on buying the Salik sticker tags that are available from petrol stations and shopping malls. Initially, the electronic gates, on which the work has already started, will be installed on Al Garhoud Bridge (both sides) and after the fourth interchange on Shaikh Zayed Road (near Mall of the Emirates).
However, motorists who do not wish to use the system will have alternative routes to use after the RTA completes other projects by the end of this year.
Dubai flights to Kerala unaffected
DUBAI — May 02: All three airports in Kerala were put on a high alert yesterday after an anonymous caller claimed that a bomb was on board a Dubai-Kochi flight. But it later turned out to be a hoax call.
Airline sources in Dubai said the chaos at the airports in Kerala did not affect the smooth operation of flights from the UAE. The state has three international airports in Kochi, Calicut and Trivandrum. Air India, Emirates, and Air Arabia had scheduled flights to various destinations in Kerala.
Kerala’s Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who is on a visit to Dubai, said all Kerala airports were put on a high alert. A senior police officer in Kerala, Arun Kumar Sinha, said, ‘The security has been beefed up and we are leaving nothing to chance
Students miss AIEEE test due to miscommunication
DUBAI — May 02: Miscommunication of timing for the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) held on April 29 at the Indian High School (IHS) Dubai campus, forced several Indian students to miss the crucial test and the opportunity to get seats in prestigious engineering colleges in India.
Students complained that the timings printed on the examination admit card (hall ticket) did not indicate Indian Standard Time (IST). As a result, many students arrived at the examination centre at 9.30am Dubai time, instead of 8am.
P.V Mohan, whose son Vinay took the exam, noted, ‘He was plain lucky to reach the centre only half an hour late. Initially, the school refused to allow him to sit the exam, but realising the mistake by the examination body — the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) which failed to mention that 9.30 to 12.30 was IST and not Dubai time — later permitted several students to take the exam.’
Mohan, however, witnessed several students being turned away for arriving late.
Another parent, whose child almost missed the test, complained, ‘AIEEE is a crucial entrance examination for a large number of Indian students seeking admission to reputed engineering colleges in India. My daughter missed out 45 minutes of the exam time and was unable to complete the paper. Under the circumstances, I am not expecting a favourable result and feel helpless on her having missed the opportunity to crack the entrance test and secure a seat in an engineering college in India.’ ‘How could the examining body fail to specify Dubai time on the admit cards for a centre outside India,’ the father wondered.
Commenting on the issue, a source at IHS said the school authorities had permitted all latecomers to sit the exams this year. According to him, ‘out of 403 candidates that took the AIEEE exams this year, only 20 students arrived late.’
He, however, refused to take responsibility for the wrong communication of exam timings saying, ‘IHS is only hosting the exam in the UAE.’
Pritam Singh, head of examination for AIEEE in New Delhi, admitted it was a sheer miscommunication of timing which placed a few students in a tight spot. Further, he noted that students should have also carefully looked into the printed Information Bulletin released along with the examination form which specified the examination timings as IST.
‘Students should be more careful in the future,’ he said, adding, ‘the examination body will in the future only specify Dubai time on the admit card, instead of India time, to avoid any inconvenience.’
Singh denied that any candidate had missed the exams. ‘We instructed the centre to accommodate them despite reaching late.’
IHS, Dubai is the only overseas centre for AIEEE exams in the UAE, after Saudi Arabia in the Gulf. The entrance exams are being conducted at IHS for the past four years and this is the first time that the timings were not clearly printed on the admit card, sources said.
Nursing examination to be held on June 7
ABU DHABI — May 02: The Federal Department of Nursing at the Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced that the next nursing examination will be held on June 7.
Registration for the exams will be open from May 27 to 28 between 8am and 12:30pm on the MoH’s premises in Dubai and from May 30 to 31 at the same time in Abu Dhabi.
Exams will be open for candidates working or opting to work for the MoH or the private health sector. Nurses who are working for the private sector have to submit official letters from the Private Medical Licensing Department to sit for the exams, according to Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Head of Regulations and Registration at the Department.
Nurses wishing to be registered for the exams must meet certain eligibility criteria concerning academic qualifications and practical experience.
Applicants who graduated in foreign nursing programmes must have a minimum of 60 per cent marks. Applicants must have had at least 1,000 hours experience within three years prior to applying for registration in the UAE. Registration will be closed once the seats are full.
Nurses who meet the eligibility requirements may request for the Nursing Registration Application form and Instruction and Information Sheet for registration from the Department of Nursing from Sunday to Thursday (8am to 12:30pm).
Mysterious’ crack on Al Ain street causes traffic chaos
Al AIN — May 02: A very big crack has appeared on a key street located parallel to the Khalifa bin Zayed Street in Al Ain City downtown. The crack has resulted in severe traffic jams in the area.
Al Ain Municipality, which is part of the Al Ain Department of Municipalities and Agriculture, is investigating into the reasons behind the crack, which some are even terming as ‘mysterious’. The crack is gradually becoming bigger.
Teams from the Sector of Roads and Services (SRS) of Al Ain Municipality, and Al Ain Distribution Company have visited the site. An official from the SRS said that a team of specialists were digging out the street to ascertain the reason for the crack.
The official added that a leakage in the water line under the street seemed to have caused the crack. However, a source from Al Ain Distributing Company refuted this possibility, saying that the old water lines under the street had been replaced with new ones.