News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

ABU DHABI, Jul 24 — Tenancy contracts of around 120 tenants will be cancelled for sub-letting their flats, according to a decision taken by the Department for Social Services and Commercial Buildings in Abu Dhabi (DSSCB).

The tenancy contracts for these flats will be issued to the sub-tenants who had been sub-let the residences.

Juma Al Mansouri, head of the Rental Section at DSSCB, told Khaleej Times that the original tenants lose their legal rights on tenancy contracts immediately after they sub-let the flats.

“No one, other than the tenant himself or his family, can utilise the leased unit without a written approval from the DSSCB,” Al Mansouri stressed.

The official disclosed that the DSSCB was receiving many complaints from sub-tenants against the original tenants who were persistently demanding hikes in rents by as up to 200 per cent per annum. If the demands were not being complied with, they were forcing the sub-tenants to vacate the flats.

Al Mansouri said the DSSCB was currently conducting surprise raids to take appropriate action against the violators


Over 100 to lose tenancy for sub-letting their flats

ABU DHABI — Jul 24: Tenancy contracts of around 120 tenants will be cancelled for sub-letting their flats, according to a decision taken by the Department for Social Services and Commercial Buildings in Abu Dhabi (DSSCB).

The tenancy contracts for these flats will be issued to the sub-tenants who had been sub-let the residences.

Juma Al Mansouri, head of the Rental Section at DSSCB, told Khaleej Times that the original tenants lose their legal rights on tenancy contracts immediately after they sub-let the flats.

“No one, other than the tenant himself or his family, can utilise the leased unit without a written approval from the DSSCB,” Al Mansouri stressed.

The official disclosed that the DSSCB was receiving many complaints from sub-tenants against the original tenants who were persistently demanding hikes in rents by as up to 200 per cent per annum. If the demands were not being complied with, they were forcing the sub-tenants to vacate the flats.

Al Mansouri said the DSSCB was currently conducting surprise raids to take appropriate action against the violators.


Illegal taxi drivers make merry of amnesty rush

DUBAI — Jul 24: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) might be doing its bit to crackdown on illegal taxi drivers, but the rush of amnesty seekers has indirectly turned out to be a big boon for such drivers.

With thousands of people coming in from far off places to the Indian High School centre here for outpasses everyday, these taxi drivers usually park their vehicles right outside and openly solicit for passengers with perhaps a wink and a nod.

This menace has irked many legal taxi drivers who are competing to pick up passengers from the same venue. “This is a good time for us to make a few quick bucks. The same situation prevails at other designated immigration centres in Jumeirah and the Our Own Indian School,” said Javed, who runs an illegal van.

Most of these drivers are on the lookout for amnesty seekers who come from other emirates like Sharjah or Ajman etc. and have to travel back once their work is done. “We charge just Dh10 for a trip between Dubai and Sharjah and Dh15 for Ajman. We prefer these long route passengers because we would rather not ply within Dubai — where there is a higher risk of getting caught,” added Sajjad, another illegal taxi driver waiting outside the IHS .

These days we easily make Dh300 to 400, as compared to a poor average of just about Dh50 on other days,” they added collectively. “These men are destroying our earnings. It’s high time the police took some stringent action,” said an enraged S. Biju, a full-time taxi driver with National Taxi.

However, Janardhan Rao, an Indian expatriate and one of the amnesty seekers said: “We obviously prefer the cheaper option for equally obvious reasons.”

Meanwhile, officials of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) maintain they are trying their best to control the menace by taking a variety of measures. Mohammed Obeid Al Mulla, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency section said, “These measures include seizure of vehicles and slapping heavy fines. We have also identified many places like Baniyas Square, Gold Souq, Naif Street, Al Mulla Plaza, Hor Al Anz, Salauddin Street, Banks Street etc. where these illegal taxi drivers are to be found most frequently.”


Expanded Emirates Road to ease traffic

DUBAI — Jul 24: Come August, people taking the Emirates Road to avoid Salik will enjoy a much smoother drive as a part of the road’s expansion project has been completed and it will be open to traffic next month.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), yesterday said 36 per cent of the first phase of the expansion of the Emirates Road has been completed and it would be opened to traffic in August.

The new stretch begins from Sharjah border and goes up to the Al Aweer Bridge. Work is on in full swing to increase the number of lanes from three to six on the Emirates Road.

Al Tayer stated this during an inspection tour of a number of road projects being implemented by the RTA. The RTA chief commenced his tour by inspecting the progress of the expansion work on the Emirates Road. He was accompanied by senior officials of the RTA.

He pointed out that the expansion of the Emirates Road will reduce traffic congestion to a large extent. As many as 10,000 vehicles use this road each hour in each direction.

Al Tayer also inspected the intersections being constructed at the Arabian Ranches. The total cost of the project is Dh409 million. Fifty per cent of the work on this project, which started on July 6 last year, has been executed. It is slated for completion in June 2008.

He also said that 50 per cent of the work at the Arabian Ranches Intersection has been completed. 

With a 2.4km bridge, the Arabian Ranches Intersection is considered to be the largest in Dubai. The intersection consists of 11 bridges and a tunnel.

Al Tayer said among the other road projects being executed are the expansion of Umm Suqeim Road from four lanes to eight lanes and the expansion of Al Qudra Road from two lanes to four lanes in each direction from the intersection at the transit road. Two signals  will be set up to service the Motor City cars and Dubai City of Studios.


Yet another victim of passport-grab

DUBAI — JUL 24: It has been over a year-and-a-half since Ghansi Lal Saini, 40, left his home and family in the Indian state of Rajasthan and came to Dubai. He hoped to work hard and provide a decent living to his family back home.

Today, Saini is concerned about just one thing. He wants to return home as early as possible. With his dreams shattered, all his hopes now revolve around amnesty.

It was in December 2005 when he came to work here as a brick mason with a contracting company.

“The company has cheated me. Back home, I have got four children, besides my wife and old parents to support. Today, I am an illegal. I paid Rs95,000 (nearly Dh9,000) to the agent to get the visa. I borrowed this money and I am yet to pay back even half the debt,” the man lamented.

According to Saini, he was promised a salary of Dh700 per month. “But in the first month, they gave me just Dh37. They said they were deducting money for medical and other expenses. In the next month, I got Dh340. Thereafter, the company officials refused to talk to me.

“I refused to work and asked them to give back my passport. But they refused. I am still to get back my passport. The company asks me to pay Dh3,000 first in lieu of returning my passport. But I don’t have any money,” he added.

Saini said he had approached the Indian Consulate, which advised him to seek amnesty. “They have asked me to go for an outpass. But my passport is still with the company. Why should I leave it with them?” he asked.

But Saini said he doesn’t have any option other than to forget about his passport.


Water bottle price hiked

AL AIN — JUL 24: Several bottled water companies in Al Ain have increased the price of the five-gallon bottle by 20-50 per cent following a meeting among themselves last week.

A famous mineral water company has raised the price of the five-gallon bottle from Dh6 to Dh9. The company has distributed leaflets mentioning the new price in residential areas in Al Ain. The company attributes the water price hike to the recent increase in diesel prices.

Other water companies have raised the price of five-gallon bottle from Dh5 to Dh6.


Maid charged with theft, sent to prison

DUBAI — JUL 24: An Indian housemaid, identified as VJ, who abandoned her sponsor in Ajman in September last, was recently charged with theft and is lodged in the Ajman Central Jail.

The housemaid, according to her Dubai-based cousin, wanted to change her sponsorship from her local Arab sponsor to an Indian family. Her sponsor consented to give her a No Objection Certificate (NOC) and return her passport, but on reaching the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) to collect her passport, she was arrested by the police.

“My sister did not steal anything, as alleged by her sponsor,” said her cousin, Praveen Kumar.

“She wanted to go back under the amnesty and then come back to UAE later. Since an Indian family was willing to employ her, I suggested that we could request the sponsor to issue an NOC and return the passport. Even when we called her up, she was willing to return the passport. However, when my sister went to pick it up from DNRD, she was arrested.”

The housemaid’s local sponsor, AB, who works with DNRD, told Khaleej Times, “VJ worked with us for eight months till September last for Dh450. She was a very good worker but when her mother, who was also working as a housemaid in Qatar, came to the UAE, she changed completely.

One day, we saw that she had stolen our camera, video, a mobile phone and a few pieces of jewellery. When she contacted us, she even conceded to return the mobile phone. But, when she came she claimed she didn’t take it and the police arrested her.”

Till July 11, VJ was lodged in the Jumeirah jail and later transferred to the Ajman prison.

Ajman Central Jail officials confirmed VJ’s presence. “She was arrested on charges of theft and the case is now with the Public Prosecution,” a police official said.

Labour Consul B.S. Mubarak in the Indian Consulate-General in Dubai said the matter is being looking into.


Part-time maids become scarce due to amnesty

DUBAI /SHARJAH — JUL 24: Expatriates returning from vacations are facing problems finding part-time household help as several “maids” have availed themselves of the amnesty announced by the UAE government.

People gradually returning to the UAE after spending their vacations abroad say the hired help they had depended upon for their daily household chores, had taken advantage of the amnesty, leaving them without any options.

They also say they are having trouble looking for new help as the response is low. Besides, the available ones have increased their charges by at least Dh200 per month or from Dh10 to Dh20 per hour so as to reap maximum benefits from the situation, they add.

Aparna M, a working Indian expatriate who had hired a part-time Filipino maid to do the cleaning and washing work at her house said: “I came back from vacation to find that my maid had disappeared without any information. I am looking for a new one but it seems that the demand is more than supply now.”

She adds: “Whoever I interviewed seems to have increased their charges either to make enough money before departing for good next month when amnesty ends, or to benefit from the absence of others.”

Says Indu, another working Indian woman: “The same happened with me. But my problem is that I have children who need to be looked after while I am at work. My kids were attached to my Indonesian housemaid who has now left the country.”

She adds: “It is now double burden on me because I have to do all the household work before leaving for office while my children are neglected. I wish the UAE introduces easier rules for housemaids or even starts considering reduction of sponsorship fee so that it is easier to sponsor someone whom we trust.”

As per the UAE law, hiring any runaway help is illegal, but most expatriates flout the rule openly. Recently, the government announced that those found guilty of hiring help illegally could face a fine of up to Dh10,000.

“I wish the government could relax the rules for hiring household help. Not all people require a maid 24 hours. Like I need someone to come and do the necessary household chores and then leave after her work is done. Now for this kind of work, I will not pay a huge amount to sponsor a maid and bear her expenses for a year,” says Fatima Mansoori, an Arab expatriate teacher.

Says Noorjehan, an Indonesian housemaid who had fled her sponsor due to ill-treatment, “We all know that we are illegal and working part time is also against the rules, but people are willing to hire us because it solves many of their problems. I still have another year to go before my visa expires. Therefore, I will work until then.

According to the figures issued by the Interior Ministry last year, around 600,000 people work legally as domestic staff in the UAE, with at least a double number working illegally. Currently, the UAE’s principal response to runaway housemaids is to deport them.


40 workers allege insult by manager

ABU DHABI – JUL 24: Nearly 40 Egyptian labourers of a decoration and furnishing company yesterday filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labour (MoL) against their manager, who they alleged, had insulted them during the working hours.

Talking to Khaleej Times, one of the workers said: “The engineer insulted us and shouted at me and my colleagues after the MoL inspectors had come and left the company premises. They (inspectors) had found violations in the midday break rule by the company.”

Another worker of the company said: “We were insulted because we had talked to the MoL inspectors who came to the factory on Saturday. We had apprised them (MoL inspectors) with the bad conditions we are living in.”

The worker added: “We have been working under pressure. We are ready to do that. But they must respect us.”

However, the manager accused of insulting the workers denied having done so. He told Khaleej Times: “I did not insult the workers. However, during the day, I may have shouted at them. But at no time did I mean to insult them. I only wanted to get the work done, and I wanted quality. We respect our workers. But if they want to cancel their contracts, the company will pay them all the dues.”

Meanwhile, sources at the MoL said the matter was being investigated.


Trendy ‘Greetunes’ for mobile users

ABU DHABI — JUL 24: Etisalat has brought its customers more options to personalise their mobile phones with new and trendy Greetunes by being the first operator in the region to provide Sony BMG tones to its customers.

With this service, a user can now assign a love song by Celine Dion for his/her loved one to enjoy, or a Shakira song to listen to, ensuring that the callers are entertained while they wait for the respondent to answer.

Sony BMG’s catalogue will offer tunes from genres such as rock, pop, R&B, rap, and country to jazz and classical. Some musicians from these genres include Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Pink, Westlife, John Mayer, George Michael, John Legend, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, and Alicia Keys among others.

Customers can subscribe to Greetune service via SMS by sending ‘r greetune’ as SMS to 1010 or by simply dialling 125 (for both GSM & Wasel customers). An SMS will then be sent confirming subscription and a PIN number with instructions to log on to The customer can then enter the user ID -their mobile number- and PIN number to preview/listen, buy and assign tones to callers. Customers can also call the IVR number 144 if they wish to change their Greetune album.

There are no subscription charges for this service, but there is a monthly fee of Dh5. Each Greetune will cost Dh5. Customers can store up to 20 different Greetune tones in their personal ring tone collection and can also change them any time.

Khalifa Al Shamsi, vice president, Marketing, Etisalat, said: “The Greetune service of Etisalat has witnessed great success since its launch, and has also recently been expanded with a large selection of tunes from the Sony BMG Music catalogue.”


: A movie company is to make a unique feature film about life in Dubai – and it wants to hear your story to make the project work.  Dubai… With Love will be a 100-minute long production written by people living in the emirate. It will consist of 10 sections, each 10 minutes long and telling a separate story. The stories may be either fictional or based on true life, but will have a common theme – modern Dubai.

Takhayal Entertainment is making the Dh7.3 million movie, the Arabic title of which is Dubai… Maa Hobbi.

“We are in the business of stories and we are looking for social drama and not extremes,” said Chairman Youseff El Deeb.

“Each story will have its own vision and deal with a particular part of Dubai life. We want people to see real people living real lives and to walk out of the cinema having seen real issues.” Darine El Khatib, Project Manager at Takhayal Entertainment’s film division, said: “Well written stories, that is our strength.We know how to develop a good story and work with people to make their scripts better.

“We know there are plenty of stories out there of love, despair and adventure, whether at work or socially. Dubai is not just about people going to the beach.” Scripts submitted by the public should be 10 pages long and will go through a selection process.

An Emirati must be involved in each segment of the film as director, actor or writer. The stories do not have to be in Arabic.

Takhayal – which means imagine – is a film production and satellite TV firm set up in 2005 by El Deeb.

The Canadian-Egyptian, who has been working in the industry for more than 25 years, said the firm aims to produce Arabic cinema with an international quality.

The group is based at Dubai Media City and will soon move to Dubai Studio City. It also has offices in Egypt. The film division was launched last year and has produced two Arabic films, Ala’aba Al Sig’ar (The Young Parents) and Kas wa Lazk (Cut and Paste).

Scripts can be submitted to or visit


More hackers log on to Dubai cyberspace
The number of cyber crimes in Dubai has risen to 100 in the first half of the year – 30 more than during the same period in 2006.  The figure was revealed by Dubai Police’s Criminal Evidence Department director Colonel Ahmed bin Hammad.

Cyber crimes include hacking into bank and company websites and phishing – using e-mail to obtain bank account and credit card details.

Tariq Al Noman, undersecretary of the General Information Authority, said such crimes took place because of “weak existing laws that do not keep pace with swift technological changes”.

He also highlighted the need to adopt new investigation methods to follow-up cyber crimes.

Techniques for collecting evidence should be modernised, he said, especially as the threat had spread through the internet and the total number of web users had risen to 1.86 billion worldwide by the end of last year.

Hackers were encouraged by the huge increase in trading on the internet. The global value of this business rose to Dh73 billion in 2006.

Al Noman said the abuse of e-mail was the most widespread cyber crime aimed at individual level, while hackers tended to target commer cial websites and credit card companies.

Zain Al Sharif, head of the information security team at Dubai Municipality, said: “Whenever we update our anti-hacking systems, hackers perform similar operations on the other side.” But he said the municipality had not recorded any hacking attacks since he started working there seven years ago.

“We have a strong security infrastructure,” he added. “The municipality controls 123 sites, including outside ones. We receive daily reports on the latest viruses discovered around the world as well as information on how to handle and destroy them.” Captain Rashid Ahmed Lootah, head of Dubai Police’s cyber crime section, said: “We have five experts, all UAE nationals, who have taken advanced training courses in the United States and Europe.” He said the cases they handled ranged from hacking and illegal use of the internet to make phone calls, to the duplication of satellite television codes to illegally receive ciphered channels.

IT expert Abdul Wahab Mustafa called for the development of laws to match the huge technological advances that have taken place.

He said judges and public prosecutors handling such cases should undergo special training and an emergency unit to respond to cyber crimes should be set up.


Oral insulin treatment for diabetes on the way

UAE - JUL 24:
Doctors in the UAE say work on developing the first oral insulin treatment for diabetes is a medical landmark.  But they cautioned it was too early to say how effective it could be.

The capsule form of the drug, called Capsulin, would do away with the need for regular injections.  It is being developed by the British pharmaceutical firm, Diabetology, and Cardiff University, which say initial work has now been completed successfully.

The UAE has one of the world’s highest rates of type two diabetes, which is linked lifestyle problems such as poor diet and lack of exercise. “The evolution of oral insulin therapy is a landmark development in diabetic treatment,” said Dr Raji Mathew, a general practitioner at Welcare Hospital, Dubai.

“It is a very convenient method of administering insulin. But it is too early to say how beneficial it will be. The efficacy and safety of oral insulin has to be carefully evaluated before it is tried on patients.

“Though the mainstay in the treatment of diabetes is lifestyle modification, including dietary restrictions and exercise, medications also play a very important role.

“As insulin injections are taken up to four times daily, many patients prefer to take it as a last resort.” Dr Maha Barakat, medical and research director at Abu Dhabi’s Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, said: “We take the position of Diabetes UK by saying that as Capsulin is still in the early stages we would rather not comment on how it could affect patients.” However, the new form of the drug could be available to UAE patients in just three years if testing goes well.

Nearly a quarter of UAE nationals suffer from diabetes due partly to genetic predisposition.

Experts fear the percentage could rise to 50 per cent within 15 to 20 years.

Among expatriates, 17.4 per cent have the disease.

Diabetics normally take insulin through injections, but it can also be administered using inhalers.

It has long been thought that tablets would be a more convenient way of taking the drug.

But until now this has not been possible as stomach acids would break down insulin before it could benefit the patient.

But Diabetology says it has solved the problem with a special coating.

Co-founder Dr Roger New said: “We have worked for many years to provide an effective treatment for patients to take insulin capsules instead of injections.

“We have developed a preparation of insulin which can be ingested orally and absorbed to have measurable effect.”


Stranded with no money

European, South African and Asian employees of a Dubai yacht-making company have not been paid for five months – and some are considering using the amnesty to return to their homes.  The salaries of the staff at V1 Advanced Composite Technologies, based in Jebel Ali, ranged from Dh2,000 to Dh50,000 a month. A number of them have been forced to take alternative jobs.

When Emirates Today contacted the company a spokesperson stated that they were aware of the situation and had sent out an e-mail to the employees explaining that all dues would be sorted out. A copy of that e-mail, dated April 5, was forwarded to Emirates Today.

The e-mail said: “We had to deal with various problems such as client payment due to delays in production, skyrocketing unexpected expenses for new production facilities and inaccurate material forecasts.

“The company is losing Dh3million to Dh6m per month. Funds are on the way and all salaries, cheques and payments will be released upon the receipt of the funds.” But three months later the cash has still not been paid.

“I have not been paid for five months,” said Briton Simon Bowden, 43, who worked as a supervisor at the firm.

“I live in the Springs. There are many employees who are waiting for payment – no one has received any money since February 2007.” Bowden – who contacted the Emirates Today hotline – is relying on savings to survive.

He used to earn Dh21,000 a month and is owed Dh84,000.

Five British colleagues were stranded in Dubai without money, he added.

“Michael Powell, one of our colleagues, was taken back to England last week after his parents sent money for his repatriation. Many employees have problems with their banks because they have defaulted on loans.

“We have approached various people for advice on the illegal workers’ amnesty – my visit visa has expired. “Even the British Embassy could not help; they advised me to see a lawyer and file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.” Dean Vaughan, 42, said his parents in England were paying his bills. He added: “I have a new job but I haven’t paid off the debts I accumulated when I was not paid.” Manager Vincent Gows, 40, from South Africa, said: “I had to borrow money to pay bank loan instalments. The bank is calling every day because I defaulted on my repayments as I did not receive my salary for five months. There were 22 South Africans working under me. Apart from five, all have left the country fearing prosecution for loan default.” New Zealander Mark Gray, 24, said he had been living on credit card until he obtained a new job in Ajman. “Four people from my country were working for the company and a few have left,” he said.. “About Dh80,000 salary is outstanding.”


Amnesty rush expected by August-end
The aviation sector is expecting a big rush for bookings from amnesty-seekers returning home by the end of August.  Industry officials in the capital said the response for bookings by amnesty-seekers so far have been very low in Abu Dhabi as compared to Dubai and Northern Emirates, but they expect a change in that by the closing date of amnesty.

“We have set up a counter at the Indian Embassy for the convenience of amnesty-seekers to book their home-bound seats on Air India flights. There is no big rush as we are booking from eight to 10 seats a day on an average.The rush for bookings from Indians leaving the country under the amnesty will grow as the deadline approaches. The number will increase in the last week of August,” said K Lakshmanan, Air India station manager for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

The official also said the airline has introduced special offers for amnesty-seekers.

“We have amnesty flights, three to Mumbai and three to Delhi. The one-way amnesty airfare for these destinations is Dh590, including taxes.

“The fare for south Indian destinations via Mumbai and Delhi is Dh690,” he added.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is also experi encing low response for bookings from amnesty-seekers in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

A spokesman for the airline said it has not witnessed any difference in terms of a rush for bookings since the launch of the amnesty.

He said: “The business is as usual. “We have not witnessed any rush for bookings as anticipated.

“However, it is likely that there would be a big rush as the deadline for the amnesty approaches.” When asked about fares, the spokesman said the airline has not introduced any special amnesty fares.

Omeir Travels, a leading travel agency of the emirate, has introduced special fares for some major Asian destinations. Kanwal Jit Singh, a senior manager at Omeir Travels, said: “We have introduced special discounted amnesty fares for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“We are offering the lowest fares as most of the people taking advantage of the amnesty are very poor.

“We want to provide them with maximum facilities and thus decided to offer the lowest possible fares.

“There are certain terms and conditions for those benefiting from these facilities. The minimum requirement is visa cancellation or having an out pass.”


Your floating queries answered 
Does the floating bridge actually float? Does it swing when there are high tides? How many days did it take to build the bridge and can it withstand large waves? These are some of the many questions that residents and commuters ask.  Mohamad Yassin, General Manager of Clement Systems Gulf – the Jebel Ali-based company that built the bridge – says he encounters these questions wherever he goes when people learn that his company was involved in the construction of the bridge.

“Does it actually float is the question most ask. And when I say ‘yes’, people are hesitant to believe it,” says Yassin. He, along with Juergen Clement, Chief Executive Officer of Clement Systems are busy giving the finishing touches to the bridge.

A week after the 360 metrelong floating marvel was unveiled across the Dubai Creek, Emirates Today spoke to Clement, the German Civil Engineer who put the pieces together to build the first such bridge in the region.

The bridge, according to company officials, is a result of a quick solution which His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,VicePresident and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai was very keen to solve – the traffic congestion faced by commuters. He wanted something to be done immediately and since a permanent structure would have taken at least three to four years we came up with this idea.

According to Clement, the structure is more of a floating ship rather than a bridge.  “It actually floats and is built using 20,000 tonnes of concrete, blocks of styrofoam (polysterene) and steel. The basic elements of the bridge are pontoons and the backbones,” said Clement.

“If we remove the ramps that connect the bridge to the road and the pillars that support them against sideway movement then it will float away,” he said. More than 50 pillars are built as permanent structures on the Creek bed.

There are four sections that form the basic elements of the bridge and on one end these are separated by two doors and on the other are linked to transitional elements that connect the bridge to the ramps. Each section comprises 23 pontoons and several backbones that prevent the structure from oscillating.

Backbones are built with steel and are laid in between the pontoons and lie exactly beneath the road to provide stability to the bridge. “It is the backbones that stabilise the bridge from both vehicular movement and tidal waves,” said Clement.

“We have used more concrete than steel to reduce cost. Styrofoam also takes care of the bridge’s safety. Even if someone tries to create a hole in the bridge it will never sink,” said Clement.

The bridge is built in such a way that it can withstand a tide as high as 1.8 metres.

As the water level rises, the bridge also moves up. The transitional elements expand based on the height providing a leverage to the ramps that connect the bridge. The weight of the ramps are further supported by hydraulics present on both sides.

And the speed limit on the bridge is a strict 60kmph.

The actual operational construction period of the bridge was just three-and-a-half months.

“The planning and the approval of the design was what took a lot of time. Now that the plan is ready, a similar bridge can be built in just four months,” said Clement.


 A disgrun

Dubai - Revenge attack

Dubai - Jul 24:A disgruntled led former employee slashed the man who fired him with a scalpel in front of horrified shoppers in a Dubai mall, police have disclosed. The 35-year-old Palestinian attacker launched the savage attack on his former boss after luring him into a meeting by claiming he needed to talk about staffing issues at the company.

While outside the Virgin store in Deira City Centre, the sacked employee drew the scalpel from his pocket and slashed at his Indian manager with the medical knife. After being wounded across the shoulder, the victim ran through crowds of shoppers into the record store for his own protection.
Security guards detained the knifeman as he chased his victim inside the store. They led him into an office and restrained him until police arrived at the scene. An eyewitness told 7DAYS: “I saw the pair of them standing in front of the store, they appeared to be shouting.

“Suddenly one of the men drew a knife and slashed at the other. I could see the man bleeding from a wound to his shoulder. He
then ran into the shop to escape followed by the other man.

“He was held back by security guards inside the store and locked inside a room until police arrived and arrested him. Lots of people had gathered around the scene to see what the commotion was. It was quite worrying as I thought he must clearly be mad with rage. I'm not sure what happened to the man who was stabbed.”

It was revealed yesterday that the victim had been sacked from his job the previous week and had his visa cancelled, prompting the revenge attack. The assailant has been charged by police with assault and has been referred to the Public Prosecution department for a court hearing.

Captain Khaleel Ibraheem from the Criminal Investigation Department at Dubai Police told 7DAYS the case was not being treated as attempted murder and that he had been charged with assault for the attack.

Police said they were still investigating the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the attack. The victim is recovering from the incident after being treated for his wounds in hospital.


Dubai - Sweeping changes

Dubai - JUL 24: Abused housemaids will soon have access to a 24-hour phone helpline thanks to a new initiative launched by the Indian government yesterday. The service, to be launched in September, was put together following a series of exploitation complaints from maids working in the Gulf, officials said.

“The number will be toll free and all expenses will be borne by the government. The decision was taken to safeguard the rights of Indians working as housemaids,” said Tanveer Mohammed, deputy secretary at the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The phoneline’s number will be advertised at consulates and embassies through the Gulf, as well as being provided to women before they leave India to work in the  region.

And maids in Dubai yesterday said they were delighted with the new proposals. “This is by far one of the best initiatives the Indian government has come up with and will surely go a long way in proving that we are in capable hands even though we are far away from home,” said Teresa, who has worked in the emirate for the past 12 years.

She added that she thought it would also help raise the living standards of maids who are neglected or abused. “It would open up better living conditions, better lifestyles but above all it would give to them a sense of belonging,” she said. The announcement follows a statement in May by the Indian minister for women and child development, Renuka Chowdhary, calling for a ban on women under 30 to work as domestic help in the Gulf.

Chowdhary said domestic workers had complained of being pushed into prostitution after their employers had seized their passports. The ban has been in place in the UAE since 2002.


Dubai - Harsh terms demanded

Dubai - JUL 24: The Public Prosecution yesterday asked for tougher sentences for three men in connection with the trafficking of an Indonesian woman who was forced into prostitution.

Two of the men were given 15-year terms, while the third was acquitted. “According to the law, if the victim is a child, disabled or female, then the verdict is supposed to be life in jail especially if there were two suspects or more, just like this case,” said Hamad Juma’a, head of the Appeal Prosecution. “We want the maximum verdict in such crimes… it has a bad effect on society.”
The Indonesian victim was sold for just dhs4,300 by two of the men and forced to work as a prostitute in Dubai.



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Comment on this article

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Thu, Jul 26 2007

    It is a Big Joke that in Abudhabi only 100 people are subletting their flats. And DSSCB is taking action against the 100 who offended. What DSSCB is doing by increasing the rents wrecklessly ?

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

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