NEWS FROM THE UAE
Excerpts from UAE Dailies
Visa to carry applicant’s photograph
ABU DHABI — JUL 27: The Department of Naturalisation and Residency in the Ministry of Interior has ordered all the departments of naturalisation and residency in the country to fix the photograph of visa applicants on the visas themselves, stated Brigadier Mohammad Salim bin Oueidah Al Kheili, director general of the department.
According to a fresh guideline, instead of the black and white photocopy a colour photocopy of the applicant’s passport will have to be submitted along with the application for visa. The decision applies to all categories of visas.
The photo of the applicant will be taken from the colour photocopy of the passport and fixed on the visa by the naturalisation and residency departments in the country. The visa with the photo will be submitted at the airport at the time of the arrival of the applicant.
This decision has been implemented at the Abu Dhabi Naturalisation and Residency Department and will come into force immediately at other departments countrywide.
The decision is in line with the directives of Minister of Interior Lt-Gen. Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan to protect against manipulation and tampering of visas.
5-gallon water bottle price up
DUBAI — JUL 27: Be prepared to spend more on the bottled water that you bring home. A number of bottled water companies in the UAE have announced their intent to hike the prices of 5-gallon water bottles soon.
The quantum of price hikes, however, is likely to vary from company to company.
Oasis Water, one of the largest bottled water companies in the UAE, has announced that from August 1, the price of its 5-gallon water bottle will go up from Dh7 to Dh9. Company officials attributed the hike to inflation and the resultant increase in the cost of production.
Al Ghadeer, the Abu Dhabi-based bottled water company, is set to increase the price of 5-gallon water bottles from Dh6 to Dh7.
Officials of Al Bayan company have also declared their intent to hike the price of 5-gallon water bottles soon but they are yet to announce the quantum of the increase. Shawki Khlil, director of the Purchase Department at Union Cooperatives, confirmed: “We have received a letter from Oasis stating their intent to increase the bottled water prices by around 12 per cent. Aqua Fina company too has declared its intent to hike the bottled water prices by over 10 per cent.”
Khlil said that currently, the Union Cooperatives were selling the bottled water at the same prices and had not yet decided on the new prices. “We’ll be consulting the Ministry of Economy on the issue,” he said.
Khlil said that some bottled water companies in the UAE had already increased the prices by Dh1 per carton, following the recent 30 per cent hike in fuel prices. He, however, said there was no justification for increasing the bottled water prices right now.
87 companies violate midday break rule
ABU DHABI — JUL 27: The Ministry of Labour (MoL) has found 87 companies violating the midday break rule in July and August, according to Mohsen Ali Saeed, director of the Inspection Department at the MoL.
Ali Saeed told Khaleej Times that the violations were recorded during the inspection visits at the sites of these companies in the capital.
According to the directives of the Minister of Labour, Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Ka’abi, the names of the companies and managers will be published in the media if they violated the midday break rule law three times.
Dubai Police plans action against riders
DUBAI — JUL 27: Brigadier Essa Aman Obaid, Deputy Director of the General Department of Traffic at Dubai Police, revealed that over 300 motorcycles were stopped for reckless driving during a road safety campaign in Deira and Bur Dubai recently.
Brigadier Obaid stated that severe penalties will be imposed on motorcyclists. These include confiscation if the vehicles are not licensed.
Emirati sponsorship must for expat schools
ABU DHABI — JUL 27: All expatriate community schools, including those run by foreign missions in the country, should be sponsored by UAE nationals and must abide by the regulations enlisted in the private education law, according to Ali Mihad Al Suwaidi, assistant undersecretary in the Ministry of Education (MoE).
All the non-public schools in the country should abide by the regulations regarding licensing, construction of buildings, recruitment of teachers and the curricula, he said.
“The community schools are non-public schools. Hence, they would be classified as private schools that should be sponsored by an Emirati,” explained Al Suwaidi.
Etisalat, du asked to provide toll-free complaint numbers
DUBAI — JUL 27: The UAE Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced a regulation binding both the telecom operators in the country, Etisalat and du, to provide toll-free complaint registering numbers to consumers, a TRA official said yesterday.
Talking to Khaleej Times, the official explained: “The complaints or suggestions regarding the mobile coverage and quality of service will be recorded through these numbers and will then be forwarded to both providers. It’s then up to the providers as to how they will deal with the complaint.”
Responding to queries, the TRA official said a procedure had been developed whereby consumers could register their complaints to TRA directly, the details of which will be announced in a couple of weeks.
“We trust the operators to handle their complaints. That’s the reason why we have issued this regulation,” the official clarified, adding that it was too early to comment on any such decision as the response to this regulation was still awaited.
“We will see the kind and number of complaints received by both operators and then act accordingly,” he added.
sumers can lodge their complaints or give their suggestions on the following toll-free numbers: For Etisalat, the number is 800111050 and for du it is 800112233.
It’s not a heat wave, it’s global warming in action
DUBAI - JUL 27: Dubai is experiencing more than a heat wave, in fact the weather is gradually becoming hotter every year, forecasters said yesterday. The Meteorological Office at Dubai International Airport has predicted that maximum temperatures in the emirate during August will fluctuate between 45C and 47C. However, officials say the mercury is unlikely to cross 50C.
Factors other than temperature, however, contribute to how hot people feel. High humidity and a low wind contribute to an increase in the feeling of heat, explained David Vorster, forecaster at the Met Office.
The comfort index, an arbitrary measure of how conducive environmental conditions are to physical activity, weighs temperature, humidity and wind to determine how hot the weather will feel.
The index ranges from one, very comfortable, to 10, very uncomfortable.
On Wednesday, when the temperature in Dubai reached 41C, the comfort index was very high at six due to high humidity and low wind. Vorster said the situation became extremely uncomfortable when the comfort index reached eight.
Yesterday, the heat peaked at 39C and the comfort index was three.
This year the temperatures have been higher compared to the same months in previous years.
“The summer has been hotter compared to last year and temperatures have been 0.5 per cent more than normal for any month this year,” said Vorster. “It can be attributed to global warming.” The highest temperature ever recorded in Dubai was 47.5C in August 1999. However, the hottest day so far this year was June 17, when the mercury touched 45.6C.
Vorster has advice for those looking to escape the heat.
“Temperatures in Dubai will remain the same and be a little higher during August,” the forecaster said.
“The best place to escape to within the country will be Fujairah, where the weather will remain much cooler with temperatures ranging between 34C and 36C, thanks to the cool winds blowing in from the ocean.”
All you need to know about rents
DUBAI/ABU DHABI/SHARJAH - JUL 27: As recent changes in the rental laws in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah have confused tenants and landlords, Emirates Today has gone to the source to clarify the issue. Currently, each emirate has different regulations and many renters and property owners are unaware of their rights and responsibilities.
And the past year has seen changes in the tenancy laws in all three emirates.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued a decree at the beginning of the year capping all rent increases in the emirate to seven per cent annually.
Following the decision, there were fears that landlords will try to evict tenants to lease the property to a third person for a higher rent – as a means of bypassing the cap.
However, Saeed Mohammed Al Kindi, Chairman of the Rent Committee, said landlords trying to evict tenant to earn a higher rent will not be allowed to do so.
While rental contracts in Dubai must be renewed annually, the committee has announced that a tenant may only be evicted at the end of the contract period if it is written into the rental agreement.
“Landlords will not be allowed to ask a tenant to vacate just because his tenan cy contract has expired. A tenant has the right to stay for a minimum of three years unless the contract clearly states the tenant has to vacate after one year,” said Al Kindi.
But several landlords who are unable to move into their own houses have said they were unaware of the clause when they signed rental agreements a year or two ago.
In Abu Dhabi, renters also enjoy the protection of a rent cap. Landlords may not raise the rent by more than seven per cent. However, they may do so only every two years.
As there is no law stipulating that a tenant can renew a rental contract in Abu Dhabi, owners seeking to get around the cap may issue eviction notices to their renters at the end of a rental agreement in order to lease the property to a third party for more money.
A landlord can refuse to renew a rental agreement by providing a month’s notice to the tenant to vacate the property.
Most rental agreements in Sharjah are for three years and a new law prevents property owners from increasing the rent before the end of the contract period.
The rental law seeks to standardise these agreements by requiring they be in writing and authenticated by the municipality, with the payment of a fee.
The Sharjah law also states that landlords may not ask tenants to vacate a property before three years since the signing of the contract, unless the tenant refuses to pay rent.
Dubai - Road rage maniac
Dubai - Jul 27: A Dubai resident has described his horror after a “cold-blooded” driver rammed him off the road and drove off almost killing him and his pregnant wife. Nawras Sawalha has now appealed for eyewitnesses to the incident to help him find the driver so that he can be kept off the roads.
“This crazy driver could have killed us or could kill other people. My aim is to track him down and save others from tragedy,” said Sawalha, a PR manager based in Dubai. The incident happened last Friday afternoon when Sawalha, his pregnant wife and his sister-in-law were driving towards Wafi City on Sheikh Rashid Road.
Sawalha told 7DAYS that a male driver, in a white Toyota Previa, started flashing his lights and driving a few inches behind his car. “He was trying to race past me. I had nowhere to move to due to the traffic. Before I could get out of his way he deliberately rammed into the rear of my car,” said Sawalha.
His vehicle careered off the road due to the force of the impact and smashed into three street lights and a traffic sign before coming to a stop at the side of the road. The tyres exploded, the axle was broken and the car was almost completely destroyed, Sawalha said.
“All of us, thankfully, were wearing our seatbelts which saved us from death. The driver was in such a hurry that he just drove off without bothering to see what happened to us. He was so cold-blooded about this. Not only does he ram us off the road, but then drives off without caring. He is a maniac,” said Sawalha.
The family was in such shock that no one could remember the other driver’s number plate so have been unable to file an official complaint with police. They are now desperately seeking any eyewitnesses who may have seen the speeding car. “We want to appeal to anyone who may have seen the car or noted the plate number to help us locate this person. He could have killed us all,” said Sawalha. DAYS