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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

New Indian envoy to UAE to focus on better ties

DUBAI — AUG 12: India’s new Ambassador to the UAE Talmiz Ahmad yesterday said boosting bilateral and economic ties between the UAE and India and addressing the issues of Indian community would be his key objectives.

In an interview with Khaleej Times, the Indian envoy who took charge last Wednesday, said, “My major task is to further enhance the political and economic relations with India and the GCC countries, especially the UAE.”

“India has a major political role to play in promoting stability in the region as a key partner in the fight against terrorism. India has always stood for peace and we believe in constructive dialogues to resolve issues,” Ahmad said.

Commenting on the Indian workforce factor in the UAE Ahmed said all the workers should stick to the contractual obligations. “Both the employers and employees should fulfill the contractual obligations. The problems are arising because of misunderstanding between the contracting parties,” he pointed out.

“This is a free labour market. Nobody is compelled to stay back and work here. Even though the Indian missions in the Gulf countries have issued repeated warnings, some people still choose to enter the Gulf countries through illegal means,” he regretted.

He expressed the need for awareness campaigns in order to educate Indian job-seekers, especially the labourers, about the perils of resorting to illegal means. Describing the flourishing bilateral trade ties between India and the UAE, Ahmed said, “My objective is to create more small and medium-scale joint ventures between the two countries. This will help boost bilateral economic ties.”


Relax and munch at Dh2.5m Abra kiosks

DUBAI — AUG 12: These traditional Abras at the Dubai Creek are not meant for sailing but to remain ‘anchored’ and allow people to sit back and relax while reading newspapers or munching snacks.

With a capcity to accommodate  eight people, the kiosks have been built in the shape of Abras by the Roads and Transport Authority at seven Abra stations namely, Baniyas, Al Sabkha, Old Souk, Deira, Al Seef, Bur Dubai and the Heritage Village station. The last Abra kiosk was built at the Heritage Village.

Completed at a cost of Dh2.5 million, the RTA project is meant to provide waiting room facility to Abra transport users or other  visitors.

The people visiting the stations can buy snacks, newspapers, magazines etc from these kiosks. As Engineer Khalid Al Zahid, the acting CEO of the Marine Agency of the RTA said, “The selection of the Heritage Village station is evident as the location reflects all the aspects of the rich cultural heritage of the UAE.”

“The Agency selected the suitable location inside the village surrounded by heritage locations. The traditional kiosk has been placed beside the old ships in the village to revive the heritage of Dubai. There are a lot of people using the services of the Abra everyday. And there are many visitors and tourists too who come to visit these places. This will be a good opportunity for them to understand the UAE culture,” he added.

The Abra kiosks have cost Dh 415,000. each. The  project is characterised by the unique design of these kiosks as they describe the purpose for which they have been built. Moreover, they stress the traditional architectural pattern which fits well with the historical places and the identity of the area.

“The kiosks offer an attractive view of Dubai Creek. These can also be shifted from one place to another. These have been designed as a portable kiosk,” said Al Zahid.


Central Bank for rent hike

ABU DHABI — AUG 12: The Central Bank (CB) yesterday announced that the bank had sent a written letter to the Rent Dispute Committee of Abu Dhabi stating that the bank supported rent increases in Abu Dhabi. A Press release was issued by the bank on Thursday.

The chairman of the rent committee has been invited by the bank to discuss the rent issue. The meeting is expected to be held in a couple of weeks.


Road victim not identified 

One of the four victims who died in an early morning bus accident in Dubai on Friday had still not been identified last night.  Jebel Ali police said the body was being stored in the police morgue.

The three others, all Indians, were named as Dheenanath Yadav, 34, Sheilaban Pillai, 46, and Deepankar Nigari, 27.

Five others who sustained serious injuries were still in the intensive care unit at Rashid Hospital.

“Their situation is critical because their bodies and faces were mutilated in the accident,” said a police source.

Eight other people who suffered minor injuries have been discharged from hospital.

The tragedy happened in fog at 6.40am when a minibus carrying labourers to a worksite rammed into a bus near Jebel Ali Roundabout on Emirates Road. The minibus driver and a passenger were killed instantly. Moments later two others who had been on the minibus died when they were struck by a car as they stood at the accident site.

Bus driver Sathish Kumar, 33, from Punjab in India, said the minibus’s headlights were switched off and it was travelling at “breakneck” speed.

“He veered off the road before colliding with my vehicle,” said Kumar.

“There were around 75 people on my bus but luckily everybody escaped. The fatalities were all from the minibus.” A police spokesman said an initial investigation had shown the main cause of the tragedy was the minibus driver was speeding. Another factor was the poor visibility caused by the fog.


Dubai Customs officials reap crackdown rewards 
Dubai Customs have spotted violations – including underreporting the value of goods and smuggling banned items – worth more than Dh400 million in the first half of this year.
Customs Director Ahmed bin Butti said his department had seen “every trick in the book” and has imposed strict penalties to deter violators.

Fines on people or companies who attempt to bring banned items into the country or try to hide the true value of imported goods can amount to three times the value of the seized goods.

Bin Butti said authorities can prevent such items from being brought into the country and force violators to pay to ship them back to the source, or they can be confiscated and destroyed.

In case of criminal viola tions, customs officials refer importers to the police. Any company that breaks the law is automatically put on a black list and its entire shipping operations are put under surveillance, said bin Butti.

There are currently 654 inspectors in Dubai who hunt for customs violations.

Executive Director of Dubai Customs’ land and air outlets, Ahmed Mahboub Misbih, said inspectors had identified and documented a total of 164 violations in the emirate, in first half of 2007.

He added that 16 customs centres in the emirate process different shipments depending upon their contents.

“Dubai Customs has fixed systems to check containers and other mobile ones to search luggage and parcels.

“This is in addition to systems that detect radioactive materials and others that remotely detect explosives and drugs,” said Misbih.


Sharjah, Dubai equally hot

SHARJAH - AUG 12: PEOPLE of Sharjah would be under the impression that their city is warmer than the neighbouring megalopolis, Dubai, going by the temperature charts of the twin cities.

But the fact of the matter is that despite variation in temperatures by few degrees, the actual temperatures in the middle of these cities might be same or similar, pointed out Duty Forecaster at Dubai International Airport, Dr. SK Gupta.

He said that Dubai observatory is quite close to seashore and hence the topographical condition brings down the maximum temperature by around 2 to 3 degree Celsius.

"It is also the reason why even the minimum temperature recorded at Dubai Observatory is a bit on higher side when compared to that of Sharjah," he explained.

In contrast, Sharjah observatory is quite far from the coastal area and very much "in land," thus pushing up the maximum temperature.

He said that the minimum temperature, recorded at Sharjah observatory, is comparatively low due to nocturnal cooling in the desert areas.

Meanwhile, Dubai recorded the maximum temperature of 42.6 degree Celsius while minimum temperature was pegged at 33.1 degree Celsius on Saturday.

Sharjah recorded the maximum temperature of 45.1 degree Celsius while the minimum temperature was 28.9 degree Celsius.

If we compare temperature of Fujairah with other Emirates, the maximum temperature is quite on lower side.

The minimum temperature recorded in Fujairah on Saturday was only around 36 degree celsius.

Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah are having orographical effect as they are surrounded by mountains He said that Abu Dhabi observatory is quite far from the sea shore and hence recordings of maximum and minimum temeratures are similar to those of Sharjah.



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