NEWS FROM THE UAE
SOURCE : THE NATIONAL/GULF TODAY
Teachers warned private tuition is illegal
SHARJAH - OCT 23: Teachers who offer private tuition in their homes have been warned that the practise is illegal and they could face prosecution.
Abdullah Amin, the head of legal affairs at the Sharjah Education Zone, said the problem was widespread in the emirate, especially among private schools, and many teachers were either not aware of the legal repercussions or ignored the law.
“Go into any residential area and one will see many paper advertisements pinned on the noticeboards inviting students for tuition with the teacher’s number listed there,” he said.
Mr Amin said few of those offering tuition were properly trained. Many were university students and others were unemployed people on visit visas.
He warned that those who broke the rules would be prosecuted. Licensed teachers who were found guilty could be banned from teaching and people on visit visas would be deported.
Hisham Yusuf, whose son goes to school in Sharjah, said he suspected that teachers who offered tuition marked their pupils’ work more generously.
Fawzia al Gharib, the head of Sharjah Education Zone, asked parents to report teachers who offered tuition. She also discouraged parents from paying for private tuition outside school. “Even if there is a weakness in the child’s learning, there are competent and authorised institutions to do tuition, but not in a teacher’s home,” she said
Gaming machines seized from Abu Dhabi bars and hotels
ABU DHABI - OCT 23: Police have seized dozens of gaming machines from several hotels and bars in the capital.
Officers confiscated the video poker machines from several businesses on Tuesday, bar and hotel staff said.
Hoteliers said they believed the raids were carried out across the emirate and were the result of a policy change, which meant the machines could no longer be used legally. No arrests were made and the businesses remained open.
“I have no idea why this happened because we have had a permit for over a year to have them,” said Hassan Raafat, general manager of the Sands Hotel.
“Two police officers came at 9.30pm and took the machines out the back door. The seizure happened quietly and our guests did not feel anything. The police were very cordial, saying, ‘Hello, how are you?’, and explained that it wasn’t just our machines that were being taken away but the machines all over Abu Dhabi.”
Mr Raafat said his machines were entertainment machines. “No one wins cash.”
“People play for points,” he said. “For each Dh100 people receive 2,000 points. If they play and win enough points, they receive prizes like a pen, a free drink or even a mobile.”
At the Arcadia Restaurant and Bar, the gaming room was empty yesterday. A barmaid said the police had removed nine machines the night before.
PC Joshee, 49ers accounts manager, said four machines were removed from the bar, adding that they had brought in Dh10,000 to Dh12,000 a month of additional income.
“Each month varied of course according to how many people played and for how long. In order to operate the machines legally we had to pay a government tax and a rental fee to the company that owned them.”
Abu Dhabi Police would not comment immediately on the raids, but a spokesman said a press release on the new gaming policy was being prepared.
'Confirm departure terminal ahead of journey'
DUBAI - OCT 23: Dubai Airports has asked all Emirates airline passengers to check their departure terminal before heading to Dubai International.
The call follows the launch of the second phase of transition of operations to Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai International, under which Emirates flights to all destinations in the GCC countries, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas operate from Terminal 3.
Dubai Airports and Emirates are carrying out an awareness campaign to ensure the comfort and convenience of their customers. Customers are advised to confirm their departure terminal by checking their flight bookings and tickets; alternatively they can call 04-214 4444 or visit www.emirates.com.
Emirates airline announced a revision on a range of its Business and Economy Class fares, for tickets issued in the UAE, to more than a dozen popular destinations, including cities in India, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Reflecting the further softening of fuel prices, this latest move will see fares reduced by between 7 per cent to 35 per cent on selected Emirates flights including Amman, Damascus, Bangkok, Mumbai, Kozhikode, Paris, Colombo, Cochin, Delhi, Frankfurt, Munich, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Zurich.
Adnan Kazim, Emirates' senior vice-president for Commercial Operations - Gulf, Middle East and Iran, said, "Demand for Emirates' flights has remained robust, but we are glad to be able to introduce further fare revisions in tandem with the lowering fuel prices. We believe that our latest round of revisions would be welcomed by our customers, particularly in light of the increasingly challenging economic climate.
"Emirates is monitoring the situation closely. While we continue to provide a high-quality service and product, we are also working hard to keep our unit costs down so that we can keep on delivering the best value proposition to our customers."
In August, Emirates announced its first fare revision on the back of lowering oil prices for tickets issued in Middle East and GCC markets to over 20 cities in Europe, Far East and the Middle East.
DM declares Dhs2,000 reward for informers
DUBAI - OCT 23: If you spot a sewage tanker driver emptying the raw, stench dirt at a public place, simply let the municipality know about the illegal activity and get rewarded with an amount of Dhs2,000.
Dubai Municipality has declared the cash reward each for informers who tip-off municipal inspectors on sewage tankers dumping raw sewage illegally, instead of waiting for their turn at Al Awir Sewage Treatment Plant. Committing severe offences to environmental laws of the country, the activities had resulted in polluting part of the emirate's coastline.
The DM authority has informed that about 55 tankers have been detected this week for depositing raw sewage in open areas or through storm water networks that are designed to carry pure rainwater to the sea.
DM inspectors have been keeping close watch to trap the law-violators, who mainly empty the tankers between midnight and 5am, so as to avoid detection.
Assistant director general at the health, safety and environment control sector of DM, Salem Bin Mesmar said, "The law-breakers have been fined Dhs100,000 each, as the civic body had earlier warned owners and drivers of sewage pumping services providing companies in the emirate against this practice."
"Drivers of the punished tankers were found disposing the raw sewage in Jebel Ali, Al Qusais, Al Manama, Leseily, Lehbab and Al Awir areas," he added.
The severe punitive actions included a heavy fine Dhs100,000, confiscation of tankers for period of one month to three months, and suspension of trade licences of transporting companies until further notice.
He said the department had observed that on an average some 4 to 5 tankers are carrying out this illegal activity daily which represent just one per cent of the total sewage tankers in the city.
However, their action ultimately results in the pollution of seawater and affects the health of swimmers and beach-goers.
In the wake of increased illegal dumping activities recently, the DM authority has urged strong public support in order to put an end to this phenomenon for once and all. Those who spot such illegal activities can inform the DM inspectors on the 24-hour toll-free number 800 900, and win the cash reward of Dhs2000.
Meanwhile, the officials pointed out that the congestion of sewage tankers at Al Awir Sewage Treatment Plant area can be hopefully reduced soon, as DM maintenance department is currently working on a new project of 50,000 square metre parking space for the trucks.
Dubai launches camel-milk chocolate
DUBAI - OCT 23: The world's first camel-milk chocolate was launched in Dubai today.
The announcement of the chocolate, called Al Nassma - after the arabic word for a cool desert breeze - is a tremendous development for the UAE's camel milk industry as demand from the chocolate manufacturers will create a need for more camel milk.
Although a traditional staple for the Bedouin, camel milk is not produced on a large scale. There are currently two camel farms in the country and fresh camel milk is still very much a niche product.
The Al Nassma chocolate is produced from camel milk powder made from Dubai-based Camelicious, the brand's sole camel milk provider.
At the moment, the UAE is not allowed to export dairy, meat and other animal products into the European Union because the country, like many others in the region, has not been declared free of foot-and-mouth disease.
This may soon change as studies carried at Dubai's Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) have proven that one-humped camels, the variety native to the UAE, are resistant to the disease.
An Austrian company, HM Chocolate Holding, has a 50 per cent ownership in Al Nassma, which means that the UAE camel milk industry now has a powerful ally to aid its efforts to bring camel milk products to European markets.
Although camel milk is produced in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa, only Dubai has a facility which enables chocolate makers to produce a quality product, said Martin van Almsick, general manager of Al Nassma and former manager of the famous Cologne Chocolate Museum.
Mr Van Almsick's words were confirmed by Vienna-based Johann Georg Hochleitner, member of the company's board of directors, whose idea it was to create camel milk chocolate.
Mr Hochleitner, who has already created chocolate made out of sheep and goat milk, spent two years, travelling as far as Libya and Kazakhstan, to look for a suitable camel milk producer. After finding Dubai's Camelicious, it took another two years to develop the product line.
"We want to create a brand which has international importance," said Mr Hochleitner. "I believe this product has the power to become the sweet ambassador of Arabia born in Dubai"
"We have only the best ingredients," he said, explaining that the company does not use artificial flavours.
The honey, used in some of the flavours comes from Yemen, while the vanilla is from Madagascar.
Man stabs his friend to death
AJMAN - OCT 23: A trivial money dispute between two Pakistani friends has ended in a crime when Sameeh Allah Hajji, 32, has stabbed his friend Noor Shad Khan, 28, with a knife in various parts of his body leading to Shad Khan's death while being transferred to Khalifa Hospital, a senior Ajman Police official disclosed.
Unveiling details about the crime, Colonel Sultan Al Nuaimi, Deputy Director of Ajman Police explained that the killer was arrested 24 hours after committing his brutal crime. The victim was found lying in one of the Ajman industrial area roads in a pool of blood.
"After receiving a call from a passerby who could see Shad Khan lying on the floor with various stabs all over his body, we immediately rushed to the incident site where Shad Khan was still battling to survive and he died while he was being transferred to the hospital."
Colonel Al Nuaimi noted that officials from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and from the Industrial area Police started investigating and collecting necessary information in order to identify and arrest the criminal.
"Investigations revealed to us that the criminal is a close friend of the victim and we co-operated with Sharjah Police in finding the whereabouts of the criminal who was raided and arrested at one of the residential homes in Al Zhaid area with blood stains on his clothes."
During interrogation Hajji was asked about the main reason that led him to stab and kill his friend. Hajji confessed to the Police officials that on the day of killing his friend they had a fight regarding money and that he furiously stabbed his friend using a knife several times before fleeing the accident scene while leaving his friend excessively bleeding. Hajji led the police to the place where he hid the knife he used in killing his friend and illustrated to the police how he committed the crime.
Colonel Al Nuaimi noted that Hajji is currently detained and will be referred to Ajman Prosecution to complete all the legal procedures against him for killing an innocent man.