NEWS FROM THE UAE
Excerpts from UAE Dailies
Police arrest couple for murder of businessman
SHARJAH - AUG 27:A couple has been arrested in connection with the murder of a 62-year-old Sharjahbased Indian businessman, police in Sharjah and Dubai said yesterday.
“The killer and his accomplice [a woman] have been caught,” following investigations by Sharjah and Dubai police, Brigadier Saleh Ali Al Mutawa, Director-General of Sharjah Police, said.
The alleged killer was arrested while he tried to board a flight at Dubai International Airport.
Devarajan was slain in his apartment in Musalla Tower near Rolla Square. The case was resolved about 12 hours after the discovery of the body in a pool of blood.
Official sources said the body of the victim, Devarajan, was found on Thursday by a family member in the bedroom. Fatal cuts were on the neck, police added.
A police team was formed to investigate the case. The main suspect, whose identity was not disclosed, was found to be trying to leave the country. Police said the man had got his boarding ticket but was stopped from getting into a plane. He later told police about his accomplice. Both of them are Asian.
The alleged culprit has confessed to the murder.
“We urge people not to hire illegal residents as domestic servants,” said Brigadier Mutawa, hinting the woman involved in the case is a housemaid. “No body can predict the criminal intentions of illegals,” he added.
The Sharjah Police chief said the public should report cases of illegals and refrain from giving them shelter.
He also called on the local press not to report crime stories before validating all relevant information.
Police probe Indian’s death in Sharjah flat
SHARJAH — AUG 27: Mystery continues to surround the suspected murder of a 62-year-old, Sharjah-based, Indian expatriate whose body was found lying “in a pool of blood with a deep gash on his throat,” last Thursday afternoon,” according to police sources.
The body of the victim, Devarajan, was discovered by his son Binu in the former’s 9th floor Musalla Tower apartment near Rolla Square in Sharjah.
Devrajan’s wife and daughter, who have been vacationing in India, are expected to return to the UAE today, according to family sources. While no arrests have been made in connection with the case as yet, police sources confirmed yesterday that the watchman of the building, a few acquaintances of the victim, and Devrajan’s housemaid (who was sacked last month for her alleged involvement in some petty theft) are being questioned.
A devastated Binu told Khaleej Times: “I found my father’s body lying in a pool of blood when I returned home from work at about 1.30 pm on Thursday afternoon. However, I cannot say anything more. I am still in shock.”
Devarajan, who hailed from the south Indian state of Kerala, had been residing in the UAE since 1976. He used to run Al Bine Trading, a Sharjah-based company engaged in importing packing materials from USA.
He had also recently started his own manufacturing unit in Sharjah Industrial Area. He too, family sources said, had been vacationing in India for the past about six months and had returned to Sharjah only last month.
Campaign ensures safe first day for pupils
ABU DHABI - AUG 27: Police patrols supervised by senior officers yesterday ensured that pupils in Abu Dhabi returned safely to school.
“No school-related accident was reported,” said Lieutenant Hamad Adeel Al Shamsi, Director of force’s Traffic Department. “We are keen to keep our youngsters safe.” A total of 77 patrols took part in the operation and ensured that traffic moved smoothly on the first day of the new academic year. The campaign was supervised by 21 high-ranking officers.
Parents were told they should not allow children aged under 10 to travel in the front seats of their cars and police were under orders to fine those who did not obey.
The back-to-school campaign was intended to increase both motorists’ and youngsters’ awareness of safety issues, added Al Shamsi.
The police teams were stationed across the capital early in the morning. They helped children to cross roads and distributed leaflets giving advice to parents.
The department produced copies of the leaflet in both Arabic and English in a move intended to create effective lines of communication with families. Parents were asked to improve their children’s knowledge of traffic rules and regulations by talking to them at home and instructing the how to board and leave buses safely.
Al Shamsi called on all civil institutions to come together to increase public awareness and create a society where traffic rules and regulations were respected by all.
“All motorists are asked to adhere to traffic rules and to slow down when close to school areas,” he added.
Police save nine from yacht
DUBAI - AUG 27: Nine people were saved from a sinking yacht after a Dubai Police marine rescue team spotted them by chance. The crew found themselves in difficulties after their vessel’s engine broke down.
The police team rushed to their aid and all were taken to safety and found to be in good condition. Lieutenant Ali Abdullah Al Naqbi, who was on duty in the force’s operations room at the time of the drama, urged sailors to take all necessary precautions before going to sea.
“People wishing to sail should check the condition of their yachts or boats includ ing engines and other equipment,” he said. “They should ensure they are carrying modern communications equipment. “The group in this incident could not call for help and they were rescued only through God’s mercy.” Sailors should always tell the authorities where they plan to go and give GPS coordinates before they leave.
This enabled officers to check that they were safe if necessary. And crews should obtain a weather forecast from a reliable source before leaving.
Amnesty-seekers at consulate get a final shot at employment
DUBAI - AUG 27:Leading companies in Dubai are headhunting amnestyseekers who are queuing up at the Indian consulate to have their applications dealt with.
And many of the illegal residents are happy to take up the jobs on offer. One employer is looking for 500 workers.
“About 25 companies such as ETA, Ahmadia, Maritime Industrial Services (MIS), UAE Exchange, Convergence and others have placed CV collection boxes in the consulate and at other centres,” said a consulate official.
“I think they are collecting many CVs and have even hired several people. UAE Exchange, for one, was keen to recruit motorcycle riders.” MIS, which requires technical staff for its engineering division, has conducted tests on potential candidates who placed their CVs in the collection boxes.
Social worker and businessman Mahmoud PS, who runs the firm, said he was offering 500 jobs to amnesty seekers. He said: “Many illegal workers want jobs and several companies like us need employees to continue production.
“Therefore, we sought the permission of the Indian consulate to place CV collection boxes and conducted tests.
“We are mainly looking for specialised employees but the majority of the applications coming in are from the civil construction field.” Many bosses want to stop using illegal immigrants. The amnesty deadline is less than a week away and once it passes any company employing them will risk heavy fines from the Ministry of Labour.
Sudhir Kumar Shetty, General Manager of UAE Exchange, said: “We did not give a blanket job offer to amnesty people. We have collected CVs from the boxes and are looking for people with proper documents and a valid two-wheeler licence for delivery jobs with our company.
“We cannot afford to recruit illegal workers and then train them to get a driving licence.
“The number of vacancies to be filled will be finalised next
20,000 applications for visa cancellation
ABU DHABI — AUG 27: The Abu Dhabi Naturalisation and Residency Department (ADNRD) has received about 20,000 applications within a period of almost three months from the amnesty seekers demanding cancellation of their visas or reguralising their status, according to sources at the ADNRD.
Sources said that during the period from June 4 to August 25, outpasses were issued to a total of 15,000 illegals, while cases of 5,609 seekers were reguralised.
About 1,700 amnesty seekers come every day to the ADNRD office in Al Wathba and Al Shahama. Most of them were Bangladeshis, an official said.
Fingerprinting of 700 illegals was done. The officials discovered that 34 of them had entered the country illeaglly after they had been deported with a life ban. The ADNRD will transfer their cases to the Abu Dhabi police to start investigation into their cases.
Thanks to budget airlines, fares remain stable
DUBAI — AUG 27: UAE residents can heave a sigh of relief as air-fare rates for in-bound travel have remained stable this year compared to last year, according to industry sources.
This development has been attributed to the availability of a long list of carriers operating from Dubai and Sharjah airports, as well as the presence of low-cost airlines.
“People are given more options these days. And the aviation industry has been quite responsive to the requirements of travellers,” said Binu Justus, general manager of International Travel Services (ITS).
No-frills airline services, Justus added, have begun to gain popularity in the UAE with carriers such as Air India Express, Jazeera Airways and Air Arabia providing low air-fares to various destinations within and outside the Gulf region.
A source from Air India Express confirmed that their fares are about 30 per cent cheaper, depending on the destination, compared with their sister carrier Air India. “We cover 10 major destinations in India and we give our passengers complimentary snack pack on board,” he said.
Jazeera Airways, meanwhile, has been encouraging the public to try out their no-frills service, which can be as low as Dh99 for a one-way ticket to neighbouring Bahrain although it also serves sub-continent destinations such as Mumbai, Kochi, and New Delhi in India.
The competition in the aviation sector has also been fuelled by the presence of more than 100 regular commercial airlines operating from Dubai International Airport and more than 20 scheduled airlines taking off from the Sharjah International Airport.
Sabien Fernandes, general manager of Alpha Holidays, said that air-fares usually drop as the summer peak season ends around September but tough competition in the aviation industry has contributed further to the air-ticket rate’s decline.
“Air-fares during the months of June, July and August are normally higher, particularly for outbound travel. But by September 1, we can expect lower fares for in-bound travel because people will start returning from their holidays,” he said.
Fernandes also agreed that travellers are becoming more aware of the advantages of using budget carriers. “Everyone wants to save money. Travellers are starting to care less about in-flight freebies as long as their flights leave on time and they arrive at their destinations safely,” he commented.
Oscar George, branch manager of Al Rais Travel, likewise observed that travellers were not bothered by the restrictions associated with buying cheaper air tickets.
“The presence of low-cost carriers is good for the industry. Aside from giving people more options, it ignites a healthy competition in the market. And travellers are more informed nowadays so they are not bothered by restrictions imposed on budget tickets,” he said.
‘Onam phone call’ offer by Etisalat
ABU DHABI — AUG 27: Etisalat has announced that all international phone calls made to India today until 7am till tomorrow will be charged at off-peak rates.
This is to celebrate the festival of Onam in Kerala, and enable UAE residents to reach out to their family and friends in India.
Dubai - High seas horror
Dubai - Aug 27: Police and Coastguard officials saved the lives of nine people after their luxury speedboat sank just a few hundred metres from the Burj Al Arab hotel at the weekend. The nine - seven British expats and two Filipinos – were left stranded out at sea when the rented boat started taking in water before eventually sinking to the depths.
Teams of officers from the Sea Rescue Department and Difficult Missions Squad were alerted to the scene and managed to rescue all the crew and passengers. First lieutenant Ali Abdullah Al-Naqbi, from the police force’s Difficult Missions Squad, told 7DAYS that a tragedy was narrowly averted on Saturday afternoon.
He said that no Mayday call was received from the boat, but patrols scanning the sea from the shore at Jumeirah noticed the floundering vessel and alerted the emergency services. “We moved very fast and approached the yacht to rescue the people on board or already in the sea. They were very relieved and happy to see us,” Al Naqbi added.
According to police, many of the nine were terrified and clutching the boat as the waves lapped around them. “Some of them had already thrown themselves into the sea as the yacht was sinking and they were all afraid and looking hopeless. They started to wave to us and call for help when they saw our boats approaching,” he said. “Nobody was hurt and the boats arrived in time just a few minutes before the boat was completely submerged.”
Two rescue boats from the Difficult Mission Squad and one from the police and Coastguard attended the rescue operation. Although no one on board the boat was injured, police said that several of the men had suffered from shock due to their ordeal. Police warned anyone keen on venturing out to sea to make throrough preparations before they depart on their adventure.
“They should make sure of the condition of the boat and the engines, and carry proper communication equipment while also informing the authorities where they plan to go and for how long,” a police spokesman said. An investigation has been launched into how the boat, rented from a Dubai-based hotel, managed to sink.
4% pregnant women in UAE at diabetes risk
ABU DHABI - AUG 27: IN a research by the Capital's Corniche hospital - the hub for maternity and childbirth, it was revealed that four out of every 100 mothers developed gestational diabetes while carrying.
Dr Bashir Salih, Chief of Service Obstetric Medicine at Corniche Hospital observed that with the UAE populations' tendency to diabetes, placed second highest worldwide at 19.5 per cent, the high show of gestational diabetes is not surprising.
"Mothers in the UAE are proven to be at high risk of gestational diabetes but this risk can be greatly reduced by adopting a healthy lifestyle - both exercise and diet - before pregnancy."
"However, if contacted, it is important that gestational diabetes be detected early, as high blood sugar in the mother may adversly affect the pregnancy," he added.
Moreover, the "Diabetes Knowledge Action" public health awareness campaign organised by ICLDC (Abu Dhabi's Imperial College London Diabetes Centre) has been quick to respond to recent figures published by the capital's Corniche Hospital on diabetes during pregnancy by moving the diabetes screening booth to the hospital.
According to Dr Maha Taysir Barakat, Endocrinologist and Medical Research Director at ICLDC, pregnant women are considered at high risk if they have a family history of diabetes, are obese or generally overweight, and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
She also stressed that women who experience gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later years.
She also said that more than 20,000 people have received one-on-one consultations over the past sixteen weeks, as part of the campaign's outreach programme I WONDER... with over 17 per cent of those who took the simple blood test called back for diabetes treatment.
"The I WONDER... campaign is exceeding expectations. However, this is still the beginning of a long fight against diabetes. We fear that those who are most at risk are often immobile and not yet had contact with consultants," she added.
DIABETES. I WONDER....is a joint public health awareness initiative by ICLDC and Emirates Foundation, endorsed by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).
The booth kicked off in April at Abu Dhabi's Marina Mall, and moved onto Jimi Mall in Al Ain, before its return to the capital at the Corniche Hospital.