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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Centres for Indian exams likely in UAE

Dubai: 07 June: New Delhi is planning to allow the Central Board of Secondary Education to hold entrance examinations for engineering and medical government colleges for UAE-based Indian students.

Disclosing this to Gulf News, India's Human Resources Minister Arjun Singh said the government was studying a proposal to open examination centres for the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination and Central Pre-Medical Test in the UAE.

"We have realised that India students in the Gulf have a different situation," he said, adding that the CBSE can initially hold entrance for both engineering and medical institutions from the next academic session.


New bridges will mean you cross Creek in style

Dubai : 07 June: Two new permanent bridges will be built across Dubai Creek at a cost of about Dh1 billion by 2009, according to an announcement yesterday from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Currently motorists cross the Creek via Al Garhoud Bridge, Al Maktoum Bridge or the Shindagha Tunnel.

The Ras Al Khor Bridge is currently under construction and is expected to open in January next year, while the RTA last week also announced plans for a floating bridge.

Construction on the bridges announced yesterday is expected to start next year.

“This is only an engineering solution to the traffic problem,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman and CEO of the authority. He added that other measures to manage traffic flow, including new legislation, are being considered.

The first planned bridge, the Al Shindagha Bridge, will be built near the Shindagha Tunnel.The bridge will connect the interchange between Al Khaleej Street and Omar bin Al Khattab Road with the Al Sagar Interchange and will have a capacity of six lanes in each direction.

The second project, known as the Fifth Bridge, will be built in the vicinity of the Sheraton Hotel in Deira – linking the Omar bin Al Khattab Road with Khalifa bin Zayed Street in Bur Dubai. The bridge will initially have four lanes in each direction – but will likely be extended to six lanes in each direction at a later stage.

This bridge will feature a 100metre-high tower that will contain a restaurant and offer panoramic views of the city. People will be able to reach the tower on foot, by boat or via sea taxi.

The Fifth Bridge will begin with two lanes in front of the BurJuman Centre in Bur Dubai.Two other lanes will join from Khaled bin Al Waleed Street and from Road Three in the Consulates district.The first lane will lead to Banyas Road and the second to Al Maktoum Road, while the other lanes will lead to Omar bin Al Khattab Road.

The authority also plans to upgrade the approaches to the bridges. These will then form a ring road around the city’s commercial district on both sides of the Creek. Upgrades will be constructed on 13 interchanges and the bridges along the internal ring road, from Khalifa bin Zayed Street, to Sheikh Rashid Road, Al Khaleej Road and over to Omar bin Al Khattab Road.

The bridge proposals were put forward by a participant of a competition for transport consultants organised by the authority earlier this year. Officials confirmed the competition prize to be Dh1.5 million.The funds will be taken out of the consultant’s fees if the projects are approved.


One person dies as crane collapses

Dubai - 07 June: One person died and another was seriously injured when a crane at a construction site in Al Barsha collapsed on to a building that was being used as a temporary canteen and accommodation for workers.

A 31-year-old Indian man from Kerala, A Mohammed, who was praying in the building at the time of the accident, died at the scene, when the crane collapsed on the building, crushing its sheet-metal roof. Mohammed sustained massive head injuries.

The crane operator was seriously injured and was taken to Al Rashid Hospital in Dubai by police helicopter.

An official of Al Sharafi National Contracting said: “He is undergoing treatment at Al Rashid Hospital. Hopefully, he is recovering.” Another crane was used to remove the debris from the shed.

Three labourers were in the building at the time of the incident.Two were uninjured.

A labourer, who did not wish to be named, said: “A number of workers who were in the building had a narrow escape – the crane did not crush the areas of the building in which they were at the time of the accident.” The construction site is situated behind Mall of Emirates.

An official from the Dubai Police came to inspect the scene of the accident and said that technical experts will analyse the accident. They will also check the crane operator’s licence.

A worker at the scene said that they were taking a break at an adjacent construction site at 1pm when the incident occurred.

“We heard a loud noise.There were not many workers on the side to which the crane fell. If it had fallen in the opposite direction many would have been injured,” he said.


UAE 'getting hotter year by year'

Dubai: 07 June: More evidence that temperatures are increasing in the UAE has come from figures released by meteorologists.

Forecasters at Dubai International Airport have revealed that last month's maximum temperatures were above average for May.

Officials say the sweltering figures tie in with a long-term trend for the country to get warmer.

The average maximum temperature for last month was 38.1C, compared to the overall average maximum for May in Dubai of 37.4C.

Minimum temperatures showed the same warmer-than-normal pattern, with the average minimum temperature last month being 25.9C, comfortably above the long-term average of 24.5C.

Darren Eulenstein, Chief Meteorologist at Dubai airport, said it was "impossible to pinpoint exactly" why temperatures were tending to rise, but said a number of factors were likely to be involved.

One major influence, he said, was the "heat island" effect in which increased development causes temperatures to rise.

"This is a well-known effect and certainly the surroundings of the airport, where temperatures are recorded, have changed a lot. Some 20 or 30 years ago there was very little surrounding the airport but now the larger number of roads and buildings could contribute marginally to a rise in temperatures, but it's difficult to say if it is due to this," he said.

Although global warming is often put forward as a reason for temperature rises, Eulenstein said because records in Dubai did not go back far enough, it was not possible to come to a conclusion about this.

If 2006 turns out to be warmer than average, it will follow the pattern of 2005, which saw the mercury rising faster than normal.

In August in Dubai temperatures reached 47.3C, the hottest day in the city for six years. The following month saw the mercury rise to 44.9C, the highest temperature ever recorded in Dubai in September.

Although May was warmer than average for Dubai, it was not a record breaker. The hottest ever May recorded was in 2002 when the average maximum temperature was a sizzling 40.2C.


Rain brings respite from heat for Al Ain residents

Al Ain: 07 June: A thunderstorm hit Al Ain and surrounding areas yesterday, giving residents a respite from the sweltering heat.

Light rain continued in different parts of the city for almost 20 minutes accompanied by thunder and moderate windy conditions. Though the rain lowered the temperature, it increased the humidity level.

Nusrat Jehan, a Pakistani expatriate, said it was very hot until 2pm but the weather changed later.

According to the UAE Met Authority, for the next 48 hours hot and dry conditions will continue in most parts of the country. The eastern parts of the country will experience cloudy to partly-cloudy conditions, particularly in the afternoon.


Exposure to sun rays may cause skin cancer, says specialist

ABU DHABI — 07 June: Outdoor construction workers in the Gulf region are highly susceptible to skin cancer because of prolonged exposure to sun rays during the hot summer months, a leading dermatologist in the capital has warned.

Dr Srinivas Menon, a specialist in laser dermatoaesthetics, quoting extensively from officially published statistics said that sunlight contains ultra-violent (UV) rays that can alter the genetic material in skin cells causing mutations. It is at its ominous best between 10am and 4pm. However, skin cancer tends to strike more people of light skin colour and its incidence is predictably higher in places with intense sunshine.

Terming the campaign launched by your favourite No 1 newspaper Khaleej Times as 'humane' and one that the world will stand up and applaud, he said any initiative to champion the cause of the labour force will enhance the dignity of the nation and serve to promote its potential to attract tourism and business.

According to a study on the pattern of cancer in the UAE referred to Al Ain Hospital, out of the total number of 612 cancer patients treated between 1981 and 1995, 35.5 per cent were of Asian origin, with skin cancer accounting for 14.5 per cent. The incidence was more among men who are exposed to the blistering rays of the sun.

"Even if a worker does not develop any symptoms of cancer, the very fact that there are chances of falling prey to the dreaded disease brings with it enormous social distress and mental agony to the prospective patients and their relatives," noted Dr Menon who runs his own Health Style Medical Centre.

The incidence of skin cancer in the UAE has shot up from an average 10 per cent from 1981 to 1985, to 24 per cent during 1991 to 1995. The malignancy such as skin cancer occur in measured doses and is a cumulative result of constant exposure to the harmful solar radiation, Dr Menon said.

In case the night-only shift did not find favour in some quarters, then care should be taken to ensure that the workers are provided with protective gear. This will only serve to mitigate the effects and will not represent a fool-proof protection for the workers. The widespread availability of modern medical facilities and increasing public awareness of cancer have made possible early detection and reliable diagnosis of skin cancer in the UAE. There are, however, the problems of lifestyle associated with diet, smoking, obesity and hypertension. These factors in addition to the unfortunate combination of exposure to harmful UV rays, will compound the problem, Dr Menon added.


Dubai Police go digital to record traffic violations

DUBAI — 07 June: As part of the traffic electronic services provided by Dubai Police, the Directorate General has launched a state-of-the-art electronic system for recording traffic violations.

Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, noted that the traffic police will be able to record traffic violations by using mobile phones, digital cameras to photograph vehicles or video cameras for recording the jumping of traffic signal violations and parking at special needs parking lots among others.

He said that the new system was a new turn in the electronic services offered by Dubai Police. It will speed up the police work and will provide quick services to the public.

He said that the new system will inform the violators about their traffic violations through SMS messages or e-mail, and the information will include the date, type of violations, and penalty fees.

“This system is the first of its type in the world,” said Lieutenant-General Tamim, adding, the new system is fast and will replace the old system of manual recording of violations in books. The violators will be informed of the violations quickly and the pictures will be used as evidence.

The new system will also allow audio-video registration. The vehicle's information will be entered as per the voice mail recorded by the policeman who issues the tickets. The new system will allow also photographs of traffic accidents to be sent from the mobile phones to the traffic police stations.


Breach of security?

Dubai - 07 June: WHILE it is just as well that the CID sleuths, the Dubai Police, and the Dubai International Airport's own security staff have finally resolved the mystery surrounding the decomposed body discovered on the airport complex on Saturday — and subsequently identified as a Nepalese man who is now known to have committed suicide — there are still a few crucial questions that remain unanswered.

What is not quite clear, as yet, is how the Nepalese man, who had arrived here on an employment visa, managed to enter the airport's false ceiling area, remain undetected, and finally hang himself from one of the pipes in the airport building.

Given the fact that all international airports are high-security zones, it is imperative that the authorities concerned quickly piece together the exact sequence of events surrounding the incident. They will also have to decide conclusively whether or not the airport's well-drilled security and surveillance system was breached or compromised in any way. If the answer is yes, then how and why.

While, we agree, that given the sensitive nature of any such inquiry the investigation team's findings need not be made public — but, surely the airport and other security agencies would like to know exactly what happened. What is equally important is that the authorities concerned now ensure that there is no such breach of security again.


Girl rescued by Civil Defence after leg gets stuck in escalator

DUBAI —07 June : The Dubai Civil Defence yesterday evening saved a seven-year-old girl after one of her legs was stuck in the escalator at Al Hana Shopping Centre in Al Jafilya area of Dubai.

The young UAE national, Fatima, had gone to visit the mall with her mother and other family members. While climbing, one of her legs got stuck in the escalator.

Khalid Rafiq, a shopper at the mall, said that the accident took place at around 9pm. The mall's security guards immediately stopped the escalator and called Civil Defence officials who rushed to rescue the girl. It took them over three hours to free her leg from the escalator.



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