News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

IMF Delegation Reviews Draft of New Labour Law

ABU DHABI — May 04: A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday reviewed the draft of the new labour law and the fresh policies that would be implemented to streamline the labour situation in the country.

Obaid Rashid Al Zahmi, assistant undersecretary in the Ministry of Labour (MoL), who met the IMF delegation, said, "We discussed the points detailed by the ministry related to labour issues during the years 2005-2006," said Al Zahmi.|

The IMF delegation also reviewed the functioning of the departments of inspection and work permits.|

"We apprised the delegation of the draft of the new law and the latest developments that have taken place such as the minimum wages and salaries in the country as well as the development of the labour market mechanisms," Al Zahmi stated.


Health Authority begins inspections

ABU DHABI — May 04: The Health Authority in Abu Dhabi (HAAD) will shortly begin inspecting all organisations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to check compliance levels of the recently legislated health insurance law. The inspection will cover all companies, including insurance companies, brokers and third party administrators — responsible for processing claims.

A health insurance policy, it may be recalled, was made mandatory in January this year for all expatriates residing and working in the capital, following a presidential decree.

Employers are responsible for providing a health insurance policy for all their expatriate employees — the kind of policy cover depends upon the employee's salary.

Non-compliance with the insurance policy law will subject companies to penalties stipulated under the comprehensive 2005 health insurance law.

HAAD sources added that inspectors from the Department of Justice have also been authorised to visit all public and private organisations, and insurers and health care providers have also been authorised to ascertain that all parties are observing the law.

The Authority also has the sanction to probe public grievances, without prior notice, according to Sultan Al Dhaheri, Head of Claims and Reimbursements Section at HAAD.


Labour law changes soon

ABU DHABI — May 04: The federal law of naturalisation and residence will soon be be undergoing a number of amendments, Minister of Justice Mohammed bin Nakhira Al Daheri has disclosed.

He told Khaleej Times that the proposed amendments could include doubling of fine of Dh10,000 as well as imprisonment for those who employ any person who is not under their sponsorship. The fine and imprisonment will be enhanced if the offence is repeated, he stated.


Vendors, beggars among 308 held in DM crackdown

DUBAI — May 04: In a joint crackdown, officials from the Dubai Municipality, the Dubai Police and the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) nabbed 308 people, including street vendors, beggars and unauthorised car washers last month.

According to Obeid Salem Al Shamsi, assistant director-general of Dubai Municipality incharge of Administrative and General Services Affairs, the drive against law violators also resulted in the seizure of several low-quality goods, pirated CDs and beverages.

"The nine inspectors at the Security and Control Unit of the Administrative Affairs Department carry out regular checks.

In April 2007, they caught a total of 308 people, including 197 street vendors, 52 beggars, 51 car washers and eight butchers and fish cleaners," he said.

He noted that a total of 2,627 counterfeit products including readymade garments, perfumes, cameras and watches were confiscated.

Also, some 2,714 pirated film DVDs, 50 pornographic movies, and alcoholic drinks, including 81 bottles of whisky and 170 cartons of beer, were seized last month.

Al Shamsi stated that the violators, who belong to various nationalities, would be handed over to the DNRD for deportation and the seized goods destroyed and disposed of safely after legal action has been expedited against the violators.

Al Shamsi urged the public to call the Municipality Emergency office on 04-2232323 round-the-clock to report such illegal activities.

Civic inspectors conduct regular spot checks to curb unauthorised hawking, begging and car washing in public places by individuals in violation of a ruling by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.


Ice shortage hits fish sellers in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI — May 04: Fish retailers in Mina Market here are incurring losses due to shortage of ice required to preserve fish.

The shortage is the result of high demand from fishing boats and trawlers. Rise in temperature with the advent of summer is another factor.

Fish seller Abdul Qadir said against his daily requirement of 20-25 bags of ice (each bag weighs 20kg) he gets 5 bags only.

"The bag we get from the Abu Dhabi Fishermen's Cooperative Society at Dh2 is being sold in the market for Dh4. Lack of enough ice on displayed fish makes us liable for a fine of Dh1,000," he added.

Abdullah Kolteri, another seller, said the shortage of ice cropped up just five days ago. He works two shifts from 6am to 10pm daily and receives 500-600kg of fish but due to the lack of ice 10-15kg of fish gets spoilt everyday.

Mohammed Moqren, Chairman of the Transitional Committee for running the society's two ice plants, said: "The ice produced by our plants is subsidised and sold at Dh2 a bag. It is sold to all fishermen and sellers in the market."

While denying there was any shortage, he said "what has happened is that we have stopped selling ice to some middlemen who bought large quantities and then resold it at Dh3 a bag."

"The society doesn't make any profits as its core objective is to maintain an acceptable price," he stressed.

Speaking about the requirements for fish shops, Dr. Adel Hijazi, supervisor at the fish market, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), said the fish on display should be laid on a thick layer of ice. The top of fish should also be covered with a thin layer of ice to ensure safety for as long as possible.


50kg of seized fish destroyed

ABU DHABI — May 04: As much as 50kg of tuna, salmon, mackerel, and some other kinds of fish were destroyed after they were confiscated in the Tourist Club area, behind Dana Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Acting on a tip-off by an Emirati about the transporting of fish reportedly from Dubai in a van and sale at night, the Abu Dhabi police swooped on the scene and recovered about 50kg of fish from the van. However, the van's driver had managed to sell a large quantity before fleeing from the scene on seeing the police.

The van reportedly belonged to a Dubai-based fish trading company.

An official source pointed out that some people from outside Abu Dhabi have been noticed selling fish, especially at night. They bring the consignment, sell it and go back.

The source called on all UAE citizens to be alert to any suspicious cases in order to maintain the public health.

He clarified that the Mina Market and the Fish Market, both situated in Zayed city, are the only authorised bodies to sell fresh fish.


Traffic safety will only improve if kids are taught from a young age

UAE: MAY 04: Education, Education, Education. The cornerstone on which any successful campaign to improve road safety must be built is education. Of course introducing a strict system of penalties will have an impact in reducing the number of traffic accidents. However, it is virtually impossible to fundamentally change people’s behaviour behind the wheel without engaging their hearts and minds.

Any government which is serious about improving its country’s road safety record must put into place highly visible and high impact educational campaigns to highlight the consequences of dangerous driving. In my native UK, hard-hitting and often shocking road safety messages have been a regular fixture on our TV and radio, in newspapers and magazines and on roadside advertising hoardings since the early 60s. These campaigns frequently use disturbing images with the aim of jolting people out of complacency and persuading them to drop dangerous driving habits such as speeding, driving without a seat belt and drink-driving.

A particular UK campaign which has stuck in my mind is a TV advert from 1993 called ‘Elephant’, which highlights the dangers of not wearing a seat belt in the back seat. A family out for a drive in their car has a collision. The mother sitting in the driver’s seat is wearing her seat belt and smiles with relief that they all appear unscathed. Unfortunately just at that moment her son, who was not belted up, is flying forwards due to the impact and morphs into an elephant as he crashes into his mother and kills her.

The message that the advert was communicating was that unbelted passengers can be thrown forward with the force of three and a half tons in the case of an accident. The fact that I still remember this after 14 years shows just how influential and powerful a well thought out campaign can be. In the light of this I have been pleased to read press reports over the past few months which show that Dubai’s government has recognised the role of education in improving road safety and is making it a key part of its strategy to cut the number of deaths on the Emirate’s roads.

Of course the particular challenge when it comes to devising effective campaigns is the huge variety of cultural backgrounds here in Dubai. The Roads and Transport Authority is tackling this by implementing a range of awareness campaigns in different languages. The organisation will also be specifically targeting particularly high risk groups including youths and truck drivers. The Ministry of Education is planning to catch future road users while they are still young by introducing a course on road safety into the national academic curriculum. The course will run from kindergarten until the child leaves school so that youngsters grow up with a good understanding of traffic rules and the potential dangers.

As individuals we can also do our bit to pass on safety messages to the younger generation. It’s never too early to begin teaching our children about using the roads safely, both as pedestrians and as motorists. And remember that children learn by example. Prevent them from picking up bad habits before they have even learned how to drive by always sticking closely to the rules of the road when you are in the driving seat.




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.