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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

DNRD receives applications from over 29,000 amnsety-seekers

Dubai, July 20: Up to now, 29,378 amnesty-seekers have approached Dubai immigration authorities to regularize their status, Brig. Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD), said on Thursday.

In June, the UAE Cabinet announced a three-month grace period for foreigners present illegally in the country to regularize their situation according to the law, or to leave the country, without penalty.

''Around 6000 labourers have had their visa changed and their status regularized and 50 per cent of applicants have had their residency cancelled, ''Al Marri told a joint press conference with Indian Consul-General Venu Rajamony at the Indian High School.

The Indian Consulate opened today in coordination with the DNRD a centre at the Indian School to receive applications from amnesty-seekers.

Al Marri praised the constructive cooperation shown by the Indian mission with the DNRD to facilitate procedures of Indian labourers.

On his part, the Indian Consul-General, Venu Rajamony, told reporters that the centre will continue to receive applications from labourers seeking to legalize their status up to August 25.

He added that Indian labourers who lost their passports would be issued outpasses to go home.

According to him, three counters were allocated for Air India, Indian Airlines and Air Arabia to issue tickets for those completed their formalities.

Al Marri and Rajamony toured the centre at the Indian School to inspect arrangements made the Consulate and DNRD to process transactions of amnesty-seekers.


Dubai - Conmen on the prowl

Dubai -  Jul 20: Civil Defence has issued a warning for people around the city to be on the lookout for a group of men posing as fire safety technicians who swindle money from unsuspecting members of the public.

The men are turning up at business and apartment buildings and claiming they can provide Civil Defence-approved safety certificates for a cash payment. However, Brigadier Rashid Thani Al Matrooshi, the director of Dubai Civil Defence, said his department has nothing to do with this and urged anyone who comes into contact with these men to report them straight away.

“The swindlers often claim fire extinguishers need maintenenance and certificates,” he said.  Al Matrooshi said that if anyone is approached by men claiming to be part of an inspection team, they should ask to see ID first.



Dubai - Cameras watch out at tunnel

Dubai - Jul 20: Dubai Traffic Police are positioning four speed radars inside the Airport Tunnel to crackdown on reckless motorists. Brigadier Issa Aman from Dubai Traffic Police said that the placement of the cameras was as a result of the number of speeding offences and accidents taking place inside the tunnel.

In coordination with the Road and Transport Authority the cameras were activated yesterday morning. Drivers will be recorded committing offences and subsequently fined.
Aman also warned that any drivers of fuel trucks who use the tunnel will be dealt with severely and have their vehicles impounded.
Fuel trucks are prevented from using the tunnel due to the dangers posed by any accidents.


Abu Dhabi - Etihad to stop flights to war-torn Sri Lanka

Abu Dhabi - Jul 20: Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said yesterday that it was pulling out of Sri Lanka, citing a sharp drop in tourist traffic to the tropical island due to ongoing fighting between government and rebel forces. "After extensive market analysis, we have decided to discontinue our services between Colombo and Abu Dhabi from September 9," the airline's manager for Sri Lanka, Kumar de Silva, said in a statement.

"Emotionally, this has been a tough decision for us, because Colombo was one of our earliest destinations." Tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka plunged 30 per cent to 30,810 in June as compared with 44,066 a year earlier amid heavy fighting between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.

For the six months through June, overall tourist arrivals were down nearly 25 per cent to 224,791 visitors, compared to the same period a year earlier, the Sri Lanka tourism board said. Tourism is one of the main foreign currency earners, for Sri Lanka.



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