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Wednesday, February 07, 2007 1:23:44 PM (IST)  

News headlines

NEWS FROM THE UAE
Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Tough rules for expats drivers

DUBAI — Feb. 07: Expatriates seeking jobs as drivers in the UAE will face strict scrutiny of their driving licences from next week, Minister of Labour, Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi has said.

Al Kaabi was quoted by an Arabic daily Al Ittihad yesterday as saying, “As of Sunday, the ministry will introduce an authentication and attestation system for driving licences similar to that of educational certificate attestation to ensure that such documents are not fake.” The move comes after the Ministry of Labour detected a number of forged driving licences last month.

KHALEEJ TIMES

A million tickets, for Dh48 each!

DUBAI — Feb. 07: How much can Dh48 do? Well, it can buy you a one-way air ticket to any one of the 20 destinations across the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent! Courtesy Jazeera Airways.

To mark the launching of its Dubai hub yesterday, the Kuwait-based carrier announced its special promotion of 1 million seats priced at Dh48 each, to the 20 destinations.

The limited promotion, which kicked off at 3pm yesterday, will remain valid till 11:59pm on February 8. The fare excludes taxes and other service charges.  The announcement was made by Marwan Marzouq Boodai, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jazeera Airways, at a Press briefing also attended by Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation.

Boodai said their decision to establish a hub in Dubai was brought about by an increased demand from passengers travelling to and from this destination.  “Jazeera Airways flights from Dubai will commence on February 8, covering direct flights between the emirate and seven destinations: Bahrain, Kuwait, Mumbai, Cochin, New Delhi, Muscat and Salalah,” he said.

Other destinations

The airline’s Dh48 promotion, which will be valid for flights originating from Dubai and Kuwait, will also cater to other destinations across Jazeera’s network like Damascus, Aleppo, Amman, Alexandria, Luxor, Mashhad, Assiut, Sharm El Sheikh, Teheran, Larnaca, and Shiraz.  Mark Turner, Manager of Airline Affairs at Dnata, said they had already set up a significant number of telephone lines to accommodate the expected influx of calls from travellers who would want to book their flights. Passengers may avail of the promotion by booking online at
www.jazeerairways.com or by calling Dnata’s dedicated hotline at 04-3166989.

KHALEEJ TIMES


Two major accidents in Dubai, no casualties

DUBAI — Feb. 07: Two major accidents were reported in Dubai, with no casualties, and only minor injuries to two people.

In the first incident, labourers travelling in three 55-seater buses had a miraculous escape when the vehicles smashed into each other on the Al Khail Road at around 5.30 pm yesterday. None of the passengers were injured.

The accident occurred when a speeding heavy truck hit the first bus, which in turn hit the other two buses in the same lane. While the driver of the bus hit by truck suffered minor injuries, all other passengers remained unhurt.

In the other incident, the driver of a trailer had a miraculous escape when his vehicle overturned on Shaikh Zayed road near the third interchange yesterday morning.

The driver lost control of his vehicle, which deviated to the right side of the road, and overturned.


KHALEEJ TIMES


RTA denies report on traffic chaos in Garhoud

DUBAI — Feb. 07: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has denied that the traffic chaos in the Garhoud area on Tuesday was due to a misjudgment on an engineer’s part.

An official from the RTA said yesterday that no work on the Dubai Metro was being carried out in Al Garhoud. “Before we close any major road, an announcement is always made. In this case no road was closed for construction and therefore, no announcement was made. The traffic jam could have been because of the schools in the area.”

The official also said since nothing wrong had been done, no one would be penalised.

According to reports, an RTA engineer closed the parking areas which led to a traffic chaos that continued until late evening.

KHALEEJ TIMES

Heavy rain expected


ABU DHABI — Feb.07: Heavy showers are expected to lash the country in the next couple of days bringing down the temperature, an official at the Meteorology Department, National Communication Authority, said yesterday. The maximum temperature will be around 26ºC while the minimum temperature will be around 14ºC to 15ºC, the official added.

KHALEEJ TIMES

Firm opens new branch for health insurance cards

ABU DHABI — Feb. 07: Daman has opened a new branch in the capital’s Al Bateen Area (next to the Central Bank) to facilitate issuance of health insurance cards.

The inaugural ceremony for the company’s fourth branch in the capital was attended by Dr Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazroui, Director General of the General Authority for Health Services for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (GAHS), the visiting German Minister of Economics and Technology, Michael Glos, businessmen and several prominent guests from the German Embassy and officials from the GAHS and Daman.

“Al Bateen is the largest among the four branches, expected to cope with our expansion plans to meet the increasing demand for health insurance in the market,” said Dr Mazroui.

“Munich Re, a renowned German insurance company which is Daman’s strategic partner, offers us their expertise in the field of health insurance and re-insurance. The joint efforts of Daman and Munich Re can provide an excellent level of service to our customers,” added Dr Mazroui.

Daman provides health insurance coverage to all expatriates working and residing in Abu Dhabi and is the exclusive provider of health insurance services for employees in the public sector in the emirate.

The Al Bateen branch will provide such services generally offered by the Daman Main Office such as sales, underwriting, production, finance and customer service. The branch caters to all individuals and companies with 50 employees or less.

KHALEEJ TIMES


Poultry prices may go up as fodder becomes costly

ABU DHABI—Feb. 07: New developments in the global market, mainly the decline in the output of grains, could have a far-reaching effect on the poultry industry and market in the UAE and Middle East, Dr Rashid Dafallah, General Manager of the Emirates Modern Poultry, has warned.

“Prices of poultry products in the UAE and Middle East are set to see steep rise due to  recent developments in the world market such as the marked drop in the global output of sorghum because of  a severe drought in Australia, he said.

The drought has affected 50 per cent of farms, pushing its prices and those of soya beans, the key component of fodder, by 35 per cent.

The price of a ton of sorghum has jumped from $ 150 to $228, he said.

“Appreciation of the Euro by 4.9 per cent has put additional pressure on the production of poultry items in the UAE as most inputs from hatching eggs to animal antibiotics are imported from Europe, he explained.

“The poultry industry in the UAE and Middle East will experience new difficulties because of high prices of fodder which constitutes 80 per cent of the total production cost,” he indicated.

The only four plants for animal food in the UAE should begin from now searching for alternatives for the vegetable fodder, made up of sorghum and soya bean in a bid to control prices as prices of fish food fell from Dh 300 to Dh120 for a ton. The acceptable increase in fodder prices is estimated between 5 to 7 per cent in the light of current losses of poultry farms.

He stressed that these farms should increase their production to strike a balance between the cost of output and market prices.

He expected an increase in chicken prices between 5 to 6 per cent.

KHALEEJ TIMES

HE CAN’T GO HOME

Dubai - Feb. 07: An eight-year-old boy left paralysed by a speeding car has spent nearly six years in a hospital bed because his family cannot afford to take him home. The youngster suffered severe spinal cord injuries and cannot move below his neck. He is confined to his hospital bed and forced to receive round the clock care and treatment from hospital staff.

Khalifa Ali Taheri was just three-years-old when a car ran into him on the Al Wasl Road in Dubai. After spending 12 days in a coma he is now permanently attached to a ventilator enabling him to breathe. His mother Shukriya, a divorced Emirati, visits him everyday in hospital but does not have the funds to allow him to be treated at the family home or receive specialist treatment abroad.

“My son has spent most of his young life in hospital. He has not seen the world outside of this hospital,” Shukriya told 7DAYS. “He is a very bright boy and can communicate sentences in four languages with the doctors and nurses. He now knows Arabic, English, Hindi and Filipino,” said Shukriya. “It is so painful to see him struggle each day just to move or talk or even just to smile.”

Khalifa is the youngest of four children and is regularly visited by his siblings. “It hurts to see him struggle each day just to move or talk or even to smile,” said his tearful mother. “Although he is very brave, he gets very moody at times and it is difficult for all of us especially when he feels pain. We are desperately looking for some hope to get him out of this situation.”

Doctors at the Rashid Hospital said in  all probability Khalifa’s condition will not change. One said that on good days Khalifa can speak a few sentences, but his voice is still strained due to the injuries he sustained in the accident. Asked how he was yesterday, all Khalifa would say was “Tammam” or “perfect”. His mother added: “He is basically just alive. I am really hoping someone can help my son, but everything is in the hands of Allah now.”

 SEVEN DAYS



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