News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Car lifters’ gang busted

DUBAI — Feb, 11
:The Dubai Police have arrested a gang of car thieves.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police told Khaleej Times that they managed to nab the gang who stole only  cars of a certain brand because of their big demand in the local market.

The gang managed to steal cars without leaving behind any trace,  forcing police to carry out investigation for several days.

According to a police source, the gang, comprising Afghan nationals, used a new hi-tech foolproof system to carry out their operations. However, the official refused to give exact details on how stealing operation was carried out and cars were taken away in a few minutes. 

The source said that police took immediate action on complaints from owners of a number of cars of 2006 and 2007 models of a famous brand and came to know that most of the cars were stolen from Muraqqabat, Rafaa, Bur Dubai, Rashidiya and Naif areas of Dubai.  The police launched an intensive search and set several traps to reach out to the gang.

One of the victims said he had parked his car near his villa but  his car was not to be seen the following morning.

“I immediately lodged a complaint with police. Several days passed but I did not hear anything from the police. Three days ago I received a call from the police and I was happy to learn that they had  arrested the car-thieves gang.”

He said police had also informed him that they wanted all the complainants to report to the police station. 

Police sources confirmed the arrest of the gang but refused to give details as to how or when its members were arrested. They also refused to tell how many cars had been stolen by the gang but said investigations are underway and on their completion the gang will be referred to the Dubai Public prosecution.

Diuring October last year, the police had arrested a three-member gang of car thieves. They had stolen over 22 vehicles from rental car companies. A number of stolen cars were seized at the port before being shipped. Local police had also alerted  their counterparts in other Arab countries where the stolen vehicles are shipped.


du launches its operations; 500,000 to get connections

DUBAI — Feb. 11: The long wait is finally over as 500,000 people will purchase their booked mobile connections when the du telecom operators gear up for a nationwide launch today.

Those who had booked numbers of their choice can pay online to confirm their bookings. For those who select delivery through courier, SIM cards will be delivered free of cost at the place of their choice within the coming weeks.

SIM cards can also be collected from the du distribution channels, which include nine du shops and 90 dealers, after February 25. The du network can be accessed to as soon as a SIM cards is activated.

A du spokesperson yesterday said: “Bookings must be confirmed by paying the notified fee for a du mobile account, otherwise the allocated number will be given to someone else.”

Talking about the complaints that not all cell users were able to get their favourite number as advertised by the telecom operators, the spokesperson said: “This is natural, as whoever is the owner of the ‘desired’ number had booked it due to which other person seeking the same number could not get it. Numbers are allocated subject to availability and in order of the requests received,” she explained.

“I am eagerly waiting the launch. At least there is something new to look forward to. Competition is always healthy, and we might have some attractive offers which will benefit customers,” said a mobile user.

Another person who is awaiting activation of the new service said that he was disappointed when he was unable to get his preferred number. “I was disappointed because I was expecting to get the number that I wanted as was advertised by the telecom authority. However, still I will try the new operator because I am expecting a better service than etisalat which has monopolised the sector until now.”

Recently the telecom operators have introduced new products and services which have been missing from the market earlier. These services include Pay by the Second, Me and Mine, Mobile Payments, My World and Next Generation Mobile Services. These are available in both Monthly Plan (postpaid) and Pay as You Go (prepaid) tariff packages.

In the Pay as You Go package the SIM pack is available for Dh155 while local calls to mobiles and landlines are charged at 0.5 fils per second. The Monthly Plan’s SIM pack is available for Dh125 with a monthly fee of Dh30. Calls to local mobiles and landlines are charged at 0.5 fils per second.


Indian folklore show held in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI — Feb. 11: A folklore show — ‘Feel India... a journey through the soul of India’ — was organised by the Indian Embassy at the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

More than 100 artists presented different Indian dances and traditional wedding ceremonies as practised in various parts of country.

The Indian Social and Cultural Centre and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage participated in preparing the show. Indian Ambassador Chandra Mohandas Bhabdari was the chief guest.

A music concert using the Indian traditional music instruments, was held as part of the show programme. About 152 artistes performed Indian dances.

Traditional wedding ceremonies from various Indian states, including wedding  traditions in Kerala and Kashmir, were also presented.

KV Prakash, the director of the show, said the event was aimed at making  the audience feel India and bring it closer to them.

He expressed his gratitude to every one for giving support and make it possible.

The Indian ambassador praised  the show saying it would  strengthen bonds between Arab and Indian cultures.

“We are will set up an Arab-Indo Cultural Foundation very soon to attain that end,” the ambassador reiterated.


Lane design guide

DUBAI — Feb. 11: The Roads and Transport Authority has launched a comprehensive guide on designing pedestrian lanes and bicycles paths. Titled ‘Dubai guide for designing pedestrian lines and bicycles paths 2006’, the guide contains important technical specifications on the projects and aims at providing adequate information about some basic road rules related to pedestrian and bicycles movement.


Lane design guide

DUBAI — Feb. 11: The Roads and Transport Authority has launched a comprehensive guide on designing pedestrian lanes and bicycles paths. Titled ‘Dubai guide for designing pedestrian lines and bicycles paths 2006’, the guide contains important technical specifications on the projects and aims at providing adequate information about some basic road rules related to pedestrian and bicycles movement.


Police intervention sought to control school admission rush

SHARJAH — Feb. 11:
The Our Own English High School (OOEHS) management had to seek police intervention yesterday to control the huge rush for admission forms on its premises.

A school official said the police were called to help manage the queues, not to disperse the crowd.

Lottery system

The number of applicants has apparently risen exponentially compared to last year forcing school authorities to consider implementing a “lottery system” from next year onwards, sources said.

A large number of parents with little children in tow waited endlessly in long, serpentine queues outside the OOEHS in Sharjah to procure admission forms for the kindergarten classes.

Long queues

In fact, people started queueing up outside the school gate since Friday morning to collect admission forms that were supposed to be distributed only yesterday between 9am and 11am. 

“The admission was open on a first-come-first-serve basis, forcing large numbers of Indian expatriates to wait outside the school to get admission forms. Police had to be called by the school authorities to control the crowd and to help the authorities complete the admission formalities peacefully,” a source said.

Thomas Mathew and Sri Valsan, school headmasters supervising the admission process, told Khaleej Times that “the first parent arrived as early as 7am on Friday when we had announced that admission forms would be distributed only on Saturday morning between 9 and 11 am”.


The officials said they empathised with the parents. “On humane grounds, we came to the school yesterday on our day off so that we could help parents to at least receive admission forms or tokens for ‘wait-list’ forms.

“For admissions to some 243 kindergarten seats, after some 600 seats were filled earlier for siblings of our current students, we decided to distribute  the forms for both confirmed and wait list admissions to save parents the trouble of waiting endlessly until next day,” said one of the officials.

“Until late Friday night, we distributed 243 admissiion forms for confirmed seats and up to 117 wait list forms,” he said, adding that they had no idea that people waited for the whole night to get forms. Officials left the school premises around 11.45 pm on Friday night.

Mathew said, “However, yesterday morning when we once again found a huge number of people waiting outside the school gates, we called the police. The aim was not to disperse the crowd, but to help manage the queue.”

He added that until the gates were closed at 10.45 am yesterday, the school had issued up to 547 wait list forms to parents.

Meanwhile, several parents continued to camp outside the schoool gates complaining that the school had failed to give proper information about the admission formalities and the token system.

Asif Thakur, a parent who waited for an application form since 2 am on Saturday morning, said he was issued a token and no assurance on admission had been given.

Another parent said, “I was not aware of the fact that the school would start issuing tokens and wait list forms on Friday itself, when the announcement was scheduled for Saturday.”

“If my child doesn’t get admission to this school, I have no clue what I will do because I cannot afford any other school,” said W D’Souza.

Sheela Dey, OOEHS registrar, said the school will try and accommodate as many wait list candidates as possible this year. “Last year, we accomodated all 150 wait list candidates. But, this year the number is over 500 and after working out the logistics, we will try our best to accommodate as many students as possible in addition to the 243 confirmed admissions that have already been granted. Parents will have to give us at least two to three weeks’ time to work out the possibilities of accomodating their children.”

She said the school building could undergo no further expansion. “As a result, from this year we will have a new boys’ campus so that there can be more sections for KG classes. Currently, OOEHS has 39 sections for KG-1 and 42 for KG-2 classes each with a maximum capacity of 25 students.”




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