NEWS FROM THE UAE
Excerpts from UAE Dailies
LOCK-INS LEAD TO LOCK-UPS
Dubai - Aug 03:Locking anyone in a house or a room – including housemaids, children or employees – is illegal, Dubai Police have warned. Colonel Khaleel Ibrahim, Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation Department of Dubai Police, told Emirates Today anyone breaking this law was open to prosecution.
“As per the law, it is illegal to lock anybody in as this is considered depriving individuals of their freedom,” he said. “Anybody who does such a thing will be charged and punished in case any harm results from this act.” Colonel Ibrahim said the practice was common and many people locked their housemaids in when leaving their homes, fearing they would run away.
“Many people fear getting into trouble if their housemaids run away,” he said.
“They will lose the money they paid to the agent to hire the maid, plus the amount paid for the air ticket and other expenses. So many employers tend to lock their housemaids at home.” Some parents leave their children at home alone with the door locked, he said.
“They fear their children may get hurt if they go out of the house. This is illegal as well, and the parents will be charged and may end up in trouble if anything bad happens to their children.” Ibrahim pointed out that the law was intended to protect those inside a home in case a disaster strikes. “For example, if a fire or any other natural disaster takes place, it will be very difficult for these people to escape,” he said. “In many cases, people locked-in were burnt to death or suffocated from the smoke.” The practice also makes it difficult for rescue workers and neighbours to assist people inside a home in case of a medical emergency.
Rescuers lose valuable time having to wait to break down the door, he said.
On Wednesday, Emirates Today carried the news of a nightclub employee who died of smoke inhalation from a fire because she was locked in her apartment.
“The best thing that parents or employers can do is to leave their housemaids or children with the neighbours,” said Ibrahim. “In this way, they will make sure no harm comes to them.”
Missions set own deadline
UAE - Aug 03: Amnesty-seekers without passports have been advised to approach their respective consulates and embassies at least two weeks before the deadline set by the authorities.
Anticipating a last-minute rush for obtaining emergency certificates, several consulates and embassies have set their own deadlines.
The deadline for Indians planning to submit their applications has been extended until August 13, authori ties at the Indian Embassy said. According to the Indian officials, no applications for the emergency certificates will be accepted by the embassy or the consulate after the new deadline.
The UAE Government’s three-month amnesty, set to end on September 2, allows all illegal residents to leave the country or adjust their visa status without being fined or imprisoned.
Delivery of all emergency certificates must be completed by August 20, explained Indian officials, and then temporary offices, which have been set up in the schools and associations around the UAE, will close.
The Pakistani Consulate in Dubai yesterday said amnesty-seekers without passports have until August 31 to apply for the emergency certificates.
“It all depends on the lastminute rush. Right now, there are about 300 to 400 people turning up every day to apply for emergency certificates. It takes about three to four days for us to issue the documents,” said Dr Zaffar Iqbal, the press attaché at the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai.
The consulate alone has so far issued about 14,000 emergency certificates.
The Ministry of Labour has estimated the number of illegal immigrants in the UAE to be around 350,000.
As of yesterday, the Indian Consulate in Dubai had received more than 34,500 applications for amnesty.
Out of the 40,000 passports of Indian nationals received from the immigration authorities, around 16,800 have been handed over to the public.
The Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai has also advised its nationals planning to take advantage of the amnesty offer to apply before August 23.
Officials are expecting 2,000 more applicants during the next two weeks.
Wasantha Senanayake, the Sri Lankan Consul-General in Dubai, said applicants are finding difficulty in booking air tickets back home.
“There are no tickets available now.
“At least for the next 10 days all flights are full. If there is a shortage, we may request airlines to operate special flights to transport those travelling on amnesty,” said Senanayake.
Focus on security as Dubai braces for expatriate boom
DUBAI — Aug 03: With the expatriate population in Dubai poised for growth in the coming years, there is a need to put in place effective security arrangements, a senior police official said yesterday.
Dubai Police Academy Director Brigadier Dr Mohammad Ahmed bin Fahd said priority needed to be given to setting up of a mechanism of cooperation between public and private sectors in order to achieve a level of security which meets international standards.
Brig. Fahd was speaking at a meeting which was held to introduce private firms to security awareness aspects at the Dubai Police Academy.
The presence of a multitude of nationalities and cultures puts Dubai in a unique position, he pointed out.
“Dubai has been a hub that has attracted human resource since the time of the pearl trade when there were contacts with India, East Africa and other trade centres in the region. Like centuries before it, the 21st century is witnessing a revolution but one in the area of establishments or institutions offering different services,” he remarked.
Adil Abd-Al Hadi, CEO of UK-based Shield Security Services, which has designed security courses for Dubai Police Academy, highlighted that security required a management philosophy involving the training and awareness of employees and staff.
“Everyone working at a company performs security tasks during the day. Locking your desk, logging off from your computer, closing a door or window, these are all security functions, meaning that we are all part of the security system. Security management is an ongoing project, not something that arises when an undesired event occurs,” Abd-Al Hadi pointed out.
He hoped that Dubai would have an internationally-recognised centre of excellence for security management in the near future.