News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

New device to scan drugs at airport

DUBAI — Feb. 27: Ever felt hassled at Dubai airport by the delay caused due to screening of drugs you carry? You may no longer need to feel bogged down now.

Lt-Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Commander-in-Chief,  yesterday launched a PC pocket device that will facilitate speedier identifying of suspect drugs at Dubai airport.

The device, named e-Lab, will assist airport staff in identifying, on the spot, illegal drugs or those that could be abused. The device has been devised by Habiba Al Safar, a Dubai Police expert.

“People travelling to Dubai often bring pills and tablets with them, not knowing if carrying them is legal or not. And it takes time to check them. But with e-Lab, we can now immediately find out about the status of the items in question. This will spare the traveller delay at the Dubai airport,” Lt-Gen. Dhahi Khalfan announced at Press conference at Dubai Police headquarters.

Meanwhile, Al Safar explained how the device operates. “E-Lab functions under a certain system, such as Windows XP, which runs a software programme containing information and images of drugs that can be abused,” she said.

Describing e-Lab further, Al Safar said the device had a search engine that allows individuals to look for the unidentified tablet under different criteria such as physical appearance and logo. It has a camera that captures the image of the drug, enabling the user to swiftly contact a forensic expert via MMS for more assistance,” she added. “The benefits of e-Lab are two-fold,” outlined Al Safar. “It will expedite the identification of unlawful drugs, and avoid unnecessary lengthy delays for those who need their medicines,” she explained.


Sharjah - Staying together

Dubai - Feb. 27: An Indian woman who spent eight months in prison in Sharjah without her newborn child has now returned to her homeland with her baby son. Dowlath Nisa was sentenced to three months in prison after she illegally gave birth to the child in the emirate.  The 30-year-old was then stranded in jail for five months after finishing her sentence since she had no money to fly back to home to India.

Hearing of her ordeal, the Indian Consulate in coordination with the charity ‘Valley of Love’ arranged tickets for the woman and flew her back to Tamil Nadu. “Her health had severely deteriorated following her  pregnancy. When we saw her in jail, she was suffering from heart problems and diabetes. Even the prison staff asked us to help the lady somehow,” said a  worker with Valley of Love.

Nisa arrived in the UAE three years ago and worked as a maid in several homes. Her pregnancy, as she was unmarried, led to her arrest in hospital in Sharjah. The child, Iman, remained in the care of the hospital. After her sentence finished she was given her baby, but was stranded in jail with her child since she had no money to buy air tickets to get home.

She was in very poor health and she was hospitalised several times. Valley of Love then heard of her plight and contacted the woman. An appeal by the charity was picked up by the Indian Consulate which issued an out pass to enable her to leave the country along with an air ticket back home. “The consulate processed the out pass as soon as we heard about her. We ensured she was sent back home for treatment,” said a spokesperson for the Indian Consulate in Dubai.


Charges for medical fitness certificate and health card separated

DUBAI — Feb. 27: The Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) has separated the charges of medical fitness test procedures and health cards, a Dohms official said yesterday.

Officials from Dohms and the Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department (DNRD) have said that the decision would benefit people applying for renewal of their residence visas.

Speaking to Khaleej Times yesterday, Hanaa Al Tahwhara, Director of Medical Fitness Centre at Dohms, said the move would benefit the expatriates as visa renewals would now require only a medical fitness certificate.

“A large number of people now have health insurance policies. So there is no justification for them to compulsorily acquire health cards,” she explained. She, however, clarified that patients still needed health cards to avail themselves of treatment at all Dohms hospitals.

“Nearly 40 per cent of the people who come to Dohms for medical fitness tests have taken health insurance policies and are being treated in private hospitals. Therefore, they do not need health cards,” Hanaa pointed out.

“However, this decision is different from the health insurance scheme to be introduced in the emirate soon. Whether a health card is to be required for treatment in Dohms hospitals in future also, will be decided only after the insurance project is implemented,” she said.

Hanaa further informed: “The Director-General of Dohms, Qadhi Saeed Al Muroshid, has recently passed this order so that the cost of the two procedures can be lowered.”

As per the new system, while a health card can be acquired for Dh310, a medical test can be done for only Dh210. Both tests can be done separately.


Two outlets burgled in Sharjah

SHARJAH — Feb. 27: Two incidents of burglary were reported in shops located in Al Mussalah area in Sharjah yesterday morning.

The burgled outlets included mobile phone shop World Cell Mobile Trading and Sky Line Travel Agency located near the Sharjah Clock Tower. The burglars entered the shops by breaking open the lock and the glass door. 

Sharjah police sources said more than one person were involved in the burglary.

The burglars took away 20 Nokia mobile phones and accessories worth Dh50,000 from World Cell located on Al Zahra Road. But they failed to get anything in the travel agency as there was no cash or any other valuable in there.   Mohammed Naeem Al Deen, Manager of World Cell said he never thought his shop could be burgled as it is located in a very busy area, and is not very far from the police headquarters.

“When I reached the store at around 7am to open it, I was shocked to see broken glass panes scattered all over the place. I immediately called in the police,” Naeem said.

“The police took the fingerprints and pictures of the broken door. They also instructed us to call all the employees to take their fingerprints for further investigations,” the manager added.

The accountant at The Sky Line Travel Agency said when he reached the office at around 9am, he found the door glass broken and the desks of all employees in a shambles. “Fortunately for us, we do not keep money or ticket in the office after shutting shop in the night,” he said.

A police source said patrol and Anjad officers were being deployed on every spot in Sharjah, 24 hours a day, throughout the week.

The police source said the culprits would be apprehended. “In the past also, we have succeeded in nabbing criminals engaged in felony,” the police source asserted.

As per the preliminary investigations, the same gang is likely to be involved in both burglaries.


Etisalat rule will affect marketing strategies’ 
BCompanies say phone service is vital to customer service operations

DUBAI : Feb. 27: With news of etisalat threatening to cancel a firm’s licence following the latter’s breach of rules, many companies across the UAE fear that their business will be adversely affected.

The firm in question was using the SMS service to encourage customers to participate in draws. The firm has been subjected to a notice to stop the same or face cancellation of its licence.

However, with every company in the UAE dependant on the national telephone service to communicate information to customers, such a reaction on the part of etisalat has not gone down positively with most. “It will definitely affect our marketing strategies and in turn, the annual sales. Most promotions, draws and schemes, require us to inform customers. However, such a rule will surely affect the overall output in terms of customer service operations. Normally, we do not have any promotions or draws, but when we do, we just inform the customer and he/she has to visit the store. This was especially productive during the Dubai Shopping Festival,” says Mohammed Faheem Dulvi, Store Manager, Giordano.

Major retail outlets like Nayomi and Splash are close to follow. Though all agree that such measures could restrict them from ensuring better customer satisfaction, there are also some who say that etisalat has the authority to lay down the rules.

“The service provided by etisalat is excellent. No brand can function without a phone service and etisalat knows that. Breach of a contract is not justified for any organisation, it’s an altogether different issue,” adds Dulvi.

As supervisor presiding over the activities of Splash retail store at Reef Mall, for Menino Dias, any such rule being imposed spells trouble. “Such a rule will affect the marketing strategies 100 per cent. During new collections and sales promotions, though we do not engage in raffle draws, promotions are a major part of our business strategy. We also have a Centre Point Privilege Card for all our customers, wherein they win points every time they shop. The reason we cannot hold draws is because we are limited to the confines of a mall. However, in the light of such a rule being imposed, one can always turn to newer or different marketing strategies,” says Dias.

Most stores claimed that the database for its customers was collected by their staff during one-on-one transactions. However, a few depended on the national telephone service to acquire the same. “Majority of the personal database is collected by the staff. However, if we ever request etisalat to provide us with the database for middle class or upper middle class customers, they never turn us down,” concludes Dulvi. Etisalat denies the same.

Etisalat’s response

etisalat maintains that companies that do not follow the terms of the agreement will see their services being reviewed by etisalat, to protect the interests and privacy of its customers.

Omar M.Al Muzakki, Manager, Business Development, Consumer, etisalat, says, “We send defaulters warning letters, and if they keep sending spam messages, they are temporarily suspended. If they insist, then we terminate the contract with them, but until now, we have not terminated any services.”

He adds, “While companies can make use of services such as bulk SMS to reach their customers, they also have to follow certain guidelines, and etisalat takes the privacy of its customers very seriously. This is why etisalat has introduced the anti-spam SMS service, whereby customers can simply send the sender’s name or four-digit short code to 1011 and they will be removed from that sender’s list. This service is absolutely free of charge.”


Can’t drive? Don’t worry 
Dubai - Feb. 27:
Relax and let these guys drive you to your destination, in your car. meet safer Driver Company, a concept aimed at steering you safely to wherever you want to go.

DUBAI Have you ever felt sick while driving, like a sudden pain strikes you, may be a severe headache or pain in the eyes, but you have to reach home? And all you wish is if someone else could drive you home! Or may be you are on a social outing and when time comes to head home, you, not wanting to break the law, wish someone could do the driving since you are inebriated.

By this we mean, someone actually driving you home in your own car, and not giving you a lift or getting a taxi for you. Well, your wishes have been answered thanks to Safer Driver Company. All you have to do is call 04 2688797.

Safer Driver Company (SDC), based in Dubai, provides drivers to anyone who wishes to be driven home or to any destination. “If you are drunk, tired, unfit to drive or sick, you can call our drivers and they can drive you to any destination of your choice in the comfort of your own car,” says Ahmed Lazem, CEO, Safer Driver Company.

Lazem says the company was set up last year in order to contribute to Dubai Police and Road and Transport Authority’s efforts to combat traffic accidents. And this, he does by providing a service that ensures ‘unfit-to-drive’ residents reach their destinations safely and not be a road hazard to others.

He says that the idea to set up the company came to him around18 months ago. “When I noticed, through newspapers, that there were a lot of traffic accidents in Dubai, I decided to start this company. We are the first in the Middle East to provide this service.”

Following a call, two SDC drivers on a bike will locate the customer wherever he is, and while one drives the customer’s car, the other will follow the vehicle on the bike. And after dropping the customer, the two drivers will return to their station on the bike.

The company has 30 male drivers as of now and Lazem hopes to increase the number to 400 by the end of the year including female drivers. “So far we have provided more than 60 services and we expect our service to increase in the future,” says Lazem.

The company now provides its service from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. but by the end of March it will be available around the clock. “Our fees range from Dh 80 and Dh 125, depending on the distance,” says Lazem.

Talking about the kind of drivers he employs, Lazem says, “Our drivers are selected after thorough interviews. They are all well-trained and have between 5 to 15 years experience. They are mostly former taxi drivers who have good knowledge of the roads in the UAE.”

He says that the drivers can drop a customer to any place in the UAE. “We are planning to expand our service where our drivers can even take you to neighbouring countries like Oman or Saudi Arabia,” he says.

One of the company’s immediate plans is to adopt foldable motor scooters, which provide immediate mobility and take up less than five cubic feet of space. And instead of a driver and a biker going together, the driver can go to the customer, put the foldable bike in the car’s boot. And after he drops the customer, he will take out the bike and return to his station. All for a safer journey for everyone.

Retail giant goes green 
BCarrefour sells reusable plastic bags at all its stores

DUBAI - Feb. 27: 360,000 reusable plastic bags were distributed among Carrefour’s retail outlets in the UAE this morning in the retail giant’s most recent attempt to save the environment. The bags which will be sold at Dh 2 to customers can be (re)used at all Carrefour stores and will be replaced for free if damaged at any point.

The announcement was made this morning at a press conference on the Dubai Creek where officials from the retailers were joined by Dr. Saleh Al Dhaheri, director general of the Federal Environment Agency and Ibrahim Al Zu’bi advisor to the Emirates Diving Association.

Jean Luc Graziato, Vice President of Marketing and Sourcing at Carrefour supermarkets said that with the introduction of these reusable bags, Carrefour hoped to reduce consumption of light plastic bags by five per cent. “The bags were first introduced in our European outlets in 2004 and three years on, it has now become compulsory to use a reusable bag,” said Graziato who hoped that similar results would follow in the UAE. Outlets of Carrefour in the UAE currently consume 100 tonnes of plastic bags a month.

“By using the bag four times, you will be reducing the usage of plastic bags by 18 per cent and by using the bag 20 times, you will reduce overall usage by 82 per cent,” said Graziato who added that the resulting decrease in plastic bad production would lead to a reduction in the emission of greenhouse effect gases by 20 per cent. The new bag has received the ISO stamp of approval and will be available to all shoppers at Carrefour outlets from today onwards.



Top Stories

Leave a Comment

Title: News headlines

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.