NEWS FROM THE UAE
Excerpts from UAE Dailies
Postcard Millionaire: No proof, No Million!
DUBAI — Feb. 12: So near — yet so far! Usman and Khairudheen, two Indian expatriates, claim they are the rightful winners of the Dh1 million Postcard Millionaire draw, held last August.
The only snag is they cannot furnish proof, which, they say, was lost.
The Dh1 million, therefore, still has no legal claimants, confirmed sources at the Millionaire Company, organisers of the Postcard Millionaire promotion for Emirates Post.
Christian Franzelin, Director of Millionaire Company told Khaleej Times: “Under the circumstances, we cannot hand over the amount to just anybody who stakes a claim.
“Unless the original ticket counterfoil is not furnished, we cannot disburse the money.”
However, Khairudheen and Usman, who claim to have purchased the ticket number 3158221024 jointly, have not given up hope.
Usman said that both were in India on the day of the draw. “But as we came to know of the result, we rushed back to Dubai.
“We first met officials at the Karama Post office, who demanded the original ticket copy. Unfortunately, the original counterfoil in possession of my partner, Khairudheen, was lost. We explained this to the officials.”
Since then, the duo said, they have approached the postal authorities many times but to no avail.
Khairudheen said he has even tried, in vain, to retrieve the SMS message he received from the postal authority, announcing the news of their winning.
However, Franzelin simply rules out any SMS being sent out by the Millionaire company to the winners. “The office only makes a telephone call on the number provided by the customer,” he said.
Franzelin also clarified that the winning ticket number was advertised extensively in the UAE newspapers, urging the winners to come forward and claim the money.
He said: “Fake claims cannot be ruled out. A number of people have already approached our offices staking their claim to this amount.”
Usman, on the other hand, said he has been so besotted by the draw result that he’s even lost his job in pursuit of the big money.
“I am still hoping that some day, this amount will be handed over to us,” he sighed. The Postcard Millionaire draw, which was launched in 2002, has so far held more than 120 draws. But this is the first time that no claimant has been traced.
MoE cancels licences of 17 pvt institutes
ABU DHABI — Feb. 12: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has cancelled the licences of 17 private institutes in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, following requests by the owners of these institutes, Ali Mihad Al Suweidi, Assistant Under-Secretary at the MoE, has said. Al Suweidi told Khaleej Times that the ministry had received applications from some of the owners of these institutes to cancel their licences as they did not want to continue further.
However, a source at the MoE noted that a number of the licences had been cancelled as a result of expiry (of licences) or breaching of the terms and conditions by the institutes.
Workers can leave firm during probation without paying fine
ABU DHABI — Feb. 12: The Ministry of Labour (MoL) has recently received a large number of queries from workers on quitting jobs during the probation period.
Talking to Khaleej Times, Hatem Al Genibi, Director of the Disputes Department at MoL, said, “the worker has the full right to leave the company during the probation period, similarly as the firms have the right, legally, to terminate the worker’s services during the same period.”
Al Genibi added: “According to the Labour Law, if a worker quits his job in the probation period, he does not have to pay any money to the company even if they have completed the visa formalities, including the medical tests. However, the ministry will ban the person from working in the country for six months in such case.”
Al Genibi said the probation period should not be more than six months, and the worker should submit his resignation at least a month before leaving.
Explaining the details further, Al Genibi said, “the company has to pay the worker all his financial dues such as the basic salary, accommodation and transportation allowances, and the overtime. If the company refuses to pay the worker’s dues, he/she must come to the MoL to file complaint against such firms.”
For the air ticket, he said, “In case the worker wants to leave, he/she will pay for the air ticket.”
Al Genibi also called upon the workers to read the UAE’s labour laws on the web site www.mol.gov.ae to know about their rights and obligations.
RTA urges motorists to exercise caution
DUBAI — Feb. 12: The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has urged motorists and pedestrians exercise maximum caution on roads as seven road fatalities were reported during Eid Al Adha and New Year holidays.
Eng Maitha Mohamed Bin Adai, Chief Executive Officer of Traffic and Roads Agency has asked the traffic awareness teams to focus on cyclists and motorists during the road safety campaign, to be launched on January 14.
Eng Salah Al Marzouqi, Deputy Director of Traffic Department, and Manager of Intelligent Traffic Systems informed 1,622 accidents were registered in Dubai during the four-day holiday of which 1,575 were simple accidents, 47 resulting in injuries to 34 and causing seven deaths.
Dubai - It’s a conspiracy
Dubai - Feb. 12: The defence lawyer for a couple who are alleged to have treated their housemaid like a “prisoner in Abu Ghraib” has said the charges against his clients are totally fabricated. The couple, HY, a 36-year-old Kuwaiti woman, and AH, a 29-year-old Iraqi man, are accused of locking their maid in a flat for three days and burning her with hot coals and cigarettes and forcing her to sleep on ice cubes.
However, the pair’s lawyer has said the case has been brought as a matter of revenge as he claims HY had sacked five of the witnesses who have now testified against her. “My client is a millionaire that has a record company and she fired the witnesses when she discovered they stole money from her. They have fabricated the case as revenge,” he said.
Friends of the couple have already testified that the Filipina maid, PS, was not tortured, claiming she was only hit once and that was when she had let a stranger into the apartment. However, according to the testimony of another witness, AH bragged to people about torturing PS in a similar way to how prisoners were humiliated and beaten at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The Filipina maid, PS, alleges she was forced into a room without clothes and made to sleep on a blanket filled with ice. She claims this abuse lasted for three days, at which point HY, cut the phone line and locked her in the flat when she left for Kuwait.
The Filipina then says she seized the opportunity to force the door open with a knife before heading to the Philippines Consulate. The two accused deny all the charges and a verdict is expected to be issued on February 27.
Dubai - Parking meter thieves
Dubai - Feb. 12: Three men accused of stealing almost dhs39,000 from parking meters across Dubai went on trial in Dubai yesterday. HN, MS and LK all worked for a private company that collected the money from the machines for the municipality.
However, the trio siphoned off dhs38,909 for themselves after emptying the machines with a key they had stolen from a workmate. After investigations led them to HN, Sharjah Police questioned him and noticed that while he was in custody no money went missing from the meters.
He then confessed he had two accomplices, who had helped him steal the coins for the past eight months. The trial has been adjourned until later this month.
Tenants Seek Legal Advice on Contraversial Decision
Dubai - Feb. 12: Tenants at a major residential development in Dubai are seeking legal advice over a controversial decision by Emaar to sell their apartments.
Residents at The Greens have called on the developer to reconsider a 14 day deadline to decide if they want to buy the property or face having it sold on the open market. Tenants told 7DAYS they were concerned new private landlords would force them to leave or attempt to increase their rents beyond the current permitted rent cap of seven per cent.
Emaar currently owns seven apartment blocks at The Greens, situated just off Sheikh Zayed Road near Mall of the Emirates. Phil, who has lived at the Greens with his wife for more than 18 months, told 7DAYS last night: “A fortnight just isn’t enough time to decide whether I want to fork out almost a million dirhams or not.
“Our one-bed is selling for dhs924,000. And they want the deposit a week later, which I think is around three per cent, and a dhs5,000 processing fee. I came here to pay off my debts, not gather more. I’ll look at the figures but I can’t see me being able to afford to buy.” Residents received the letter from Emaar last weekend, stating as a result of several enquiries by tenants, they had decided to sell a number of buildings.
British expat Chris, who is due to return shortly to the UK to attend his grandfather’s funeral and discover if his father has cancer, said: “Given these personal tragedies I had hoped that Emaar would reconsider the timescale imposed and grant me a reasonable time to deal with my family tragedies before returning to sort the business with my apartment.
“But I was told the two-week time frame is basically not negotiable.” Residents have already gathered to discuss the situation and say they are planning on writing to both Emaar and the government in the hope they may reconsider the time frame. One resident said: “What’s worrying for those residents who can’t afford to buy is that if their apartment is bought by another landlord who wishes to rent it out, the seven per cent rent cap will no longer apply. They could decide to raise the rent by 50 or 60 per cent.
“I may well buy but many families are already talking about leaving Dubai.” Last night an Emaar spokesperson said tenants of the 344 units in The Greens were given the first option to buy their homes at a competitive price and additional discounts will be offered to tenants. Asked about the reason for the two-week notice period, they added: “We believe two weeks should be suitable to decide on the options available. We do not wish to extend the option but may take a decision on an individual basis taking into consideration personal reasons.”