News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Schoolgirl falls from third floor

ABU DHABI — SEP 03: Parents of a 15-year-old girl are in a state of shock, after their daughter fell from the third floor of their apartment in Mussafah on Saturday night.

She is lying unconscious in the ICU of Mafraq Hospital. The parents are yet to come to terms with the accident and figure out how their daughter, VVT, fell from the window of the apartment. 

According to the father, VT, they found their daughter lying unconscious under their apartment window, after they returned from church on Saturday. The Grade XI student of the Model School Abu Dhabi sustained three fractures on her left leg and underwent an operation yesterday.

Upset and stunned by the incident, the parents are waiting anxiously in the hospital for their daughter to recover. The father told Khaleej Times yesterday, “ We were not present on the scene and do not know what really happened. We had gone to the church and when we returned, we saw her lying unconscious on the floor.”

He said that they would know how the freak accident occurred only after their daughter regained consciousness.  “We are praying for her speedy recovery,” he said.

A classmate of the girl said the incident had occurred between 8pm  and 9pm and that she was planning to visit the family today. Musaffa Police are investigating the matter. School authorities said that VVT is a bright young child. “ We are shocked to hear about the incident. She is a good student . I hope she gets well soon,” said an official who didn’t want to be named.


Heavy fines for damaging cables

SHARJAH — SEP. 03: Contracting companies causing damage to electric cables while carrying out road construction work in the emirate will be penalised, according to a new law enforced in Sharjah recently.

As per the new law, before executing road projects in areas where cables have been laid, contractors will have to get a no-objection from Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), which will be issued on the basis of studies and cable maps.

Al Waleed bin Khadem, director-general of SEWA, has said that the law is aimed at ensuring protection to the electricity, water and gas networks in the emirate of Sharjah.

Violating companies could face fines of up to Dh800,000, besides the material cost, said Bin Khadem.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Bin Khadem said that the law, approved by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, comes in the wake of several instances of power failure reported to be caused by unorganised road construction work carried out by contracting companies in various parts of Sharjah.

Based on the new law, SEWA will penalise the companies that cause damages to power cables. Article 10 of the law stipulates payment of compensation by the contractors found causing damage to cables.

In case of repeated violation, the contracting companies will have to pay an additional 30 per cent of the compensation amount.

The SEWA official has warned all contractors carrying out building and road construction projects to be cautious while carrying out digging work.

He pointed out that the power failure that lasted for nearly four hours in Al Nahda area in June this year was due to damage of the cable caused by a contracting company carrying out building construction project.


Worker killed in wall-collapse

DUBAI — SEP. 03: An Asian labourer was killed on the spot and three other Asian workers were injured when portions of a wall of an under-construction building caved in on them at Dubai World City at 8am yesterday.

The victims were sitting near the wall when the mishap happened.

The three injured labourers have been admitted to Rashid Hospital, Captain Khabeer Ahemd Atiq, deputy director of the Rescue Department at Dubai Operations Room of Dubai Police said. Investigations into the cause of the collapse of the wall are being carried out.


Illegals shelterers warned

ABU DHABI — SEP 03: A Labour Ministry official has warned companies employing illegal workers with stringent measures, saying the cabinet has discussed a new draft law stipulating tougher penalties for illegal labourers and companies employing them as the deadline for the illegal workers to regularise their status expired yesterday.

“Any company sheltering or recruiting illegal workers will be fined up to Dh100,000. All such illegal workers will also be fined Dh50,000 after November 3,” Humaid bin Deemas, assistant under-secretary at the Ministry of Labour (MoL), said at a Press conference here yesterday.

The UAE Government, in a further expression of its goodwill, announced yesterday that immigration authorities will continue to process exit passes for illegals seeking amnesty to leave the country until November 3, without imposing any penalty or fines, according to a statement from the Minister of Interior Lieutenant-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

However, Brigadier Mohammad Salim Al Khaili, Director-General of the Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department at the Ministry of Interior (MoI), clarified that effective today, immigration authorities will not process the applications of illegal workers who are merely seeking to regularise their residency status.

The UAE cabinet, it may be recalled, had declared a three-month general amnesty on June 2 as a humanitarian gesture to allow illegal workers to either leave the country or regularise their residency status without any penalties. The general amnesty period expired yesterday.

Addressing a Press conference along with Humaid bin Deemas, Brigadier Khaili said “Until November 3, illegal workers can avail exit passes without penalties but they don’t have the option to legalise their residency status.”

Brigadier Khaili disclosed that so far 278,715 people of various nationalities have benefited from the government’s amnesty scheme. “Beginning Monday, we will initiate awareness campaigns for illegal workers regarding the various formalities involved in obtaining exit passes. These campaigns will run until November 3,” Brigadier Khaili said.

He also warned that stringent actions would be taken against illegal workers and companies employing them once this grace period expires.

Illegal workers, Humaid bin Deemas stressed, have an adverse effect on the labour market. After the completion of the grace period, he added, “we will streamline the labour market.” He also pointed out that the 2007 amnesty has recorded a higher number of beneficiaries as compared to the 200,000 illegal workers who took advantage of a similar amnesty in 1996.

Deemas said MoL statistics show that the number of cancellation of expired labour cards and sponsorships was doubled reaching 160,000 this year as compared to 100,000 last year during the months of June and July.

“The ministry, beginning today, will also launch intensive inspection campaigns at work sites and elsewhere to trace and prosecute illegal workers, in accordance with the UAE labour laws,” he explained.

He also noted that the 2007 amnesty has proved very useful for both illegal workers and employers as about 200-300 absconding reports were waived off daily during the three-month period.

“Moreover, the ministry, between January 2006 and June 2007, had collected Dh420 million as fines relating to violations regarding labour cards,” added Bin Deemas.


Extra time: A golden opportunity

ABU DHABI — SEP 03: Minister of Interior Lt-Gen. Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan has reiterated that the latest facilities granted by the Interior Ministry on authorisation from the cabinet is a golden opportunity for all illegal workers to leave the country without paying any penalty.

It also ensures facilitating the processing of applications of all those who want to leave the country within the next two months by authorities, especially after the period granted to regularise their status expired yesterday.

Shaikh Saif hailed the role played by the media and the local Press in conveying the message aimed at eradicating the pehnomenon of illegal residents in the country, as it poses dangers to the security and stability of society and causes imbalance in the labour market.

The country’s move in this regard also facilitated safe return of all such violators to their homes.

He also thanked all the employess at the Department of Naturalisation and Residence across the country as well as those at the Labour Ministry for their efforts in implementing the decision, and attending to a huge numbers of violators.

Meanwhile, the Interior and Labour ministeries are determined to take action against all those found violating the country’s residency and labour laws, after the expiry of the period given to them to regularise their status or to leave the country without facing any penalty.

At a Press conference held at the Department of Naturalisation and Residence in Abu Dhabi, attended by the Director-General of the department, Brig. Mohammed Salem bin Oweidha Al Kheili, the Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs at the Ministry

of Labour, Humaid bin Deemas, and a number of senior officials of the Interior Ministry, officials said that every individual, firm or institution violating the labour and residence laws will face stringent punitive measures.

Brig Al Kheili said that over 278,715 people had benefited from the amnesty by regularising their legal status or leaving the county without a penalty. He clarified that the grace period announced by the Minister of Interior will give violators an additional opportunity to report to the nearest office of the Naturalisation and Residence Department to get their exit papers processed without paying any penalty.

Brig Al Kheili called upon the private sector to precisely examine the legal status of their employees before the expiry of the grace period. He warned all those firms violating the law that they would face strict punitive measures. These measures will ultimately lead to the closure of such establishments in implementation of government directives to resolve the problem of illegal workers in the country.

He reiterated that the amnesty granted by the cabinet to those in violation of the UAE residency and labour laws had expired yesterday and had achieved its goals since a large number of people had taken advantage of the amnesty either by leaving the country of obtaining legal residency documents.

He added that the Ministry of interior, in coordination with the Labour Mministry, will carry out intensive inspections throughout the country after November 3, when the additional grace period expires. These will be accompanied by public awareness campaigns for both illegal workers and their employers.

Brig Al Kheili expressed his gratitude to The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for their consistent determination to ensure that the UAE was a leader in the protection of human rights and to ensure that the labour force in the country was properly regulated.

This determination, he said, derives from their recognition of the importance of the labour force in the country’s development.

Brig. Al Kheili called upon all those concerned with the issue to make use of the additional grace period, which comes into effect today. Those in breach of the residency laws should report to the nearest office of the Department of Naturalisation and Residence and should leave the country.

Bin Deemas said that a set of stringent punitive measures have been planned and the authorities are determined to implement them against all those who violate the law, whether individuals or institutions. These measures, he said, would be announced by the Minister of Labour Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi.

The punishments will start to be implemented with effect from today (Monday) and the Labour Ministry will then resume inspections of workplaces, he added.

Cting figures from ministry records, bin Deemas sid that over 280,000 labour cards had expired last year, but that the number had been reduced to 73,000 this year as a result of action being taken against defaulting companies.

Deemas pointed out that although a large number of workers have left the country, their names have not yet been cancelled from the list of employees for each firm maintained by the ministry. Once this had been done, the number of companies in breach of ministry regulations would be much lower than the present figure of 31,000, he said.

Bin Demaas said that there are a new set of punitive measures which will be announced soon. This will be in addition to the existing rules laid down by the cabinet and       which specify a penalty of Dh100,000 for employing a person who had entered the country illegally            and Dh50,000 for employing a worker in violation of the labour law.

The ministry’s policy regarding the penalties imposed on cases of expired labour cards will continue and these penalties start from Dh5000 and may reach up to Dh40,000. This is in addition to the imposition of a ban on companies in violation of the rules so that they may not carry out their business. 


Time is up: No more status regularisation for illegals

DUBAI — SEP 03: Ilegals cannot approach the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) from today to regularise their status. They can only apply for cancellation of visas and receive their out-passes to leave the country before November 3,” stressed a DNRD official yesterday.

A big rush was reported at the Follow-up and Investigation Section (FIS) of the DNRD in Jumeirah yesterday. Many had arrived at night and stayed up all night waiting for their turn to complete the immigration formalities.

“We want to finalise as many applications as possible today as it is the last day, ”the staff said which worked tirelessly despite temporary failure of the air-conditioning system at FIs office yesterday.

Ramlou, an Indian, said that he had to wait until the last day for the out-pass because the process of  fingerprinting at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) took very long.  Idris also from India, who was  waiting for his turn outside the FIS office, said lack of sufficient funds to buy the airticket was the reason for being there on the last day to process his exit pass. 

For many others who arrived to regularise their visa status, it was a race against time to complete the formalities before the deadline ended yesterday.


A flicker of hope amid darkness and starvation
For more than a year, motherof-two Sharmila Pawar has lived in an apartment without electricity or running water – and faced starvation unless help could be found quickly.  Her extreme poverty, caused when she was abandoned by her husband, has forced her to sell most of her household items to buy basics, such as food.

But the 48-year-old, from Abu Shagara, Sharjah, has now been given a chance for a better life after an offer was made for jobs for her children, Swapnil, 25, and 22year-old Shilpa.

The family had appealed for help to Sevanam, a Keralite charitable organisation, when they ran out of food last week – and received an immediate response.  Hearing of the plight of the mother and children, originally from Mumbai, Sevanam, stepped in with the offer of work – and an income to live off and survive.

Saju Edakkadu, Secretary of Sevanam, said the organisation is also in the process of regularising the residential status of the family by applying for their passports at the Indian Consulate.

Speaking to Emirate Today, Swapnil said his family was starving as he was out of resources even to buy a day’s meal for them.

“We called Sevanam last week when there was not even a grain of rice left. Within two hours, Saju knocked on our doors with food and other stuff. We have no words to thank them” said Mrs Pawar.

Swapnil said he and his sister Shilpa could not even take up jobs for a living because their father took away their passports when he left the house in May 2006, and ever since, they have not heard from him.

“He worked for the UAE central military command for 20 years. After that he started a laundry, which closed down in 2000.  “Ever since, he refused to take up any job and met the expenses by selling whatever we owned,” said Swapnil.

Mrs Pawar said her husband even sold the only house they had in Mumbai, leaving them homeless in India – their home country.   “I would have at least taken my children to India if we had a place to live there. Now we are forced to live here illegally and without a penny,” said the mother.  Swapnil said life had become all the more miserable because water and electricity had been cut since last year due to the pending bills.

“There is no light and air conditioning. Even in this weather, we are slowly getting used to living without all that,” said the 25-year old.   According to Swapnil, he fetches water from a nearby cooler at three in the morn ing to meet the daily water requirements.

“We have not even paid the rent since last April. We are living in constant fear that we would be asked to leave any day,” said Swapnil adding that he cannot sleep on the streets with his mother and sister.   However, the family is hopeful that they will get a new lease of life with the help received from Sevanam.


New plan to curb diabetes growth
UAE - SEP 03:
The Ministry of Health is hoping that an ambitious strategy, to be launched early next year, will help significantly reduce the number of people in the country with diabetes.  At present, around 22 per cent of the UAE population has the disease, but the strategy aims to bring the number down to about 10 to 15 per cent, said Ali bin Shakar, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health.

When it comes to the prevalence of the chronic condition among the UAE’s population, the country has the second largest figure in the world.

Lifestyle choices such as unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are the main reasons behind the high figure, while experts believe UAE nationals are also genetically more prone to developing the disease compared to the rest of the World.

The Undersecretary was speaking on the sidelines of the first Abu Dhabi Medical Congress, launched in the capital yesterday.

The plan takes into consideration the experience of other countries such as the United States, Singapore and some European nations.

For the first time primary healthcare physicians and community health centres will have a major role to play when it comes to managing diabetic patients. Previously people with diabetes could only be tended to in specialised hospitals but the Health Ministry will now delegate some of the responsibility to the primary healthcare sector.

As reported in Emirates Today last month, the ministry has already mandated that primary health clinics are responsible for giving diabetic patients their three-month supply of medicines, thus removing he need for patients to go to specialised hospitals.

Dr Mariam Mattar, Undersecretary for Preventive Medicine and Primary Healthcare, said another goal was to set up a registry of all diabetic patients so their healthcare needs could be regularly assessed.

The ministry is also planning to introduce screening for people thought to be at risk for developing the disease.


School buses caught in diversion logjams

DUBAI — SEP 03: As most Asian schools in Sharjah and Dubai opened yesterday, road diversions, accidents and traffic snarls prevented several students, travelling in school buses, from reaching their schools and later their homes on time.

D.S, parent of a ward of The Millennium School, Dubai, told Khaleej Times: “My daughter had to wait for the school bus for more than 20 minutes in the morning.”   At least 12 of the 64 buses of Delhi Private School, Sharjah, reached the school nearly 40 minutes late, according to the school’s principal, Abha Sahgal.

“Our bus drivers found too many diversions on the Sharjah Airport Road and several areas had very narrow lanes, besides the extremely short signals. We’ll look at the situation for the next three days and then decide what changes are to be made accordingly,” she said.

Similarly, two buses of Sharjah Indian School were held up by a little over ten minutes in the morning, while three buses of Delhi Private School, Dubai, also faced around 20-minute delay in the morning, said the principal, Rashmi Nandkeolyar.

Late afternoon also saw anxious mothers wait for their kids to return from school. Some of the children from The Kindergarten Starters were unusually delayed by almost two hours as the school buses were caught in traffic. Despite earlier dummy runs, school authorities claim they were taken off guard because of new diversions introduced only yesterday morning.

Lawrence Hartnett, principal of The Kindergarten Starters told Khaleej Times: “Our buses had started earlier so that there would be no confusion and were prepared for traffic congestions. However, many routes were changed yesterday morning.”

RTA officials said they had opened up a road starting from the Garhoud Roundabout to the Casablanca Road (Garhoud) exclusively for schools buses.

“That road has been opened just for the buses and we are thinking about other alternatives too at the moment. The new diversions have been made in order to ease the situation in the future. The whole problem of traffic chaos would be solved once the Dh800 million road projects are completed,” said an RTA official.

However, school authorities claimed that regular commuters had also used the routes designated for school buses, thereby clogging roads further.


Etihad seeks to add eight Indian destinations to its service
Etihad Airways plans to increase its existing 21 weekly flight schedule to India by adding eight new cities to its service from Abu Dhabi.  The airline said the new destinations are being added following growing demand from Indians living in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. About half a million Indians live in the emirate, and the number is expected to grow further.

The increasing demand for more connectivity to Indian cities is evident from the large number of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain-based Indians still waiting to leave the country under the general amnesty for the illegal residents, due to shortage of flights.

The airline’s Chief Executive, James Hogan, was this week in the Indian capital, New Delhi, on a two-day visit meeting Praful Patel, the Indian Minister for Civil Aviation, and senior government officials to press the demand. He said there was a burgeoning yet unfulfilled demand for flights between India’s emerging cities and the capital of the UAE.

Etihad is currently constrained by an inter-government bilateral air treaty to operate just 28 flights a week from the UAE to India.

Hogan said during his visit the airline’s eight city “wishlist” for new services are Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Calicut, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Jaipur and Kolkata.

He said: “There is a huge demand for air travel between the UAE and India and that is set to grow further as Abu Dhabi’s ambitious property and infrastructure developments move ahead.” “Liberalisation of aviation markets are bringing multiple benefits for both consumers and regional economies alike and I hope Etihad Airways will be granted access to the emerging cities of India,” he said. Etihad currently operates daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai and national capital New Delhi.

It also operates three flights a week to Kerala’s capital city, Thiruvananthapuram, and four to Kochi.

Both Kerala routes will increase to daily flights from October, bringing the number of weekly services flown by Etihad to India to its ceiling of 28 flights.


Work on tram system to roll this year
The Al Sofouh Tram System in Dubai is set to cater to the commuting needs of 180,000 to 220,000 residents.  This was disclosed by the Rail Agency of the Roads and Transport Authority when it announced the appointment of Systra as consultants on the Al Sofouh system.

The agency also announced that a feasibility study of the project, which will be completed by September 2009, has been finalised.   Proposed to run from Dubai Marina via Dubai Media City and Knowledge Village to Madinat Jumeirah, Mall of the Emirates and Burj Al Arab, the system will not only be a solution to ease the traffic congestion but will add a major tourist attraction to the emirate.

“The contractor will be on board this December, and is expected to commence construction in January which will take 21-27 months.   “The first phase of this project is scheduled to be completed in September 2009. Currently around 19 stations are being planned for the 14km tram stretch out of which three are multimodal interchange stations with the Metro’s Red Line. These include Mall of the Emirates, Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers. The Metro stations will be equipped with travellators to ease walking between the tram and the Red Line.

“The tram network will also be in close proximity to Palm Jumeirah to facilitate a future connection to the monorail which is in progress by Nakheel,” said Abdulredha, Director of Planning and Design, Rail Agency. The trams will carry 5,200 passengers per hour per direction and will be integrated with the Metro stations as well as the bus network.

The Roads and Transport Authority is working on meeting the demands of a growing population, and have stated that the rail projects are a starting point for a wider reaching network that will eventually encompass the entire city.


Fish prices soar as catch drops

UAE - SEP 03: WITH the catch dropping considerably, customers will have still to wait for nearly two months for the fall in prices of fish which have gone "through the roof" during the past few weeks.

Fish traders said it was difficult to calculate how much the catch has really dropped but it might be even up to 50 per cent in certain cases.  They held the hot weather responsible for poor fish catch and added that this period of year is generally considered ìleanî one.

He said that the business was also comparatively low so far but it will pick up since expatriate families have started returning after the summer vacation.  Price of King Fish has also been risen significantly, Abdullah stated exuding confidence that the price would come down after two months.

He said that prices of fish are low during November, December and January while moderate in February.  The prices, however, start going up from March and they reach plateau when the summer is on peak.

Though the fish market in Sharjah has not any fixed price system and customers have to bargain "diligently" if they do not want to pay more for their each purchase, admitted another trader.   One of the traders was selling King Fish at Dhs40 per kg, higher than any standard. Prices of fish are also on higher side in the super markets as the fresh tuna whole was selling at Dhs19 per kg while fresh sherri at Dhs15 per kg,

Prices of fresh black pomfret was Dhs25 per kg while fresh Hamour Dhs. 27 per kg and Fresh Lady Fish Dhs17 per kg.

A Dubai based senior accountant, Peter D' Silva said that four kgs of sherry which earlier used to sell at Dhs30-35 is now available at Dhs80-90.

Similarly, another popular variety of fish, "Bangra" which was earlier selling at nearly Dhs7.5 per kg is available at around Dhs 12.50 per kg.

Prices of such fish have not increased significantly, which are supplied by other countries but prices of such fish are particularly affected, which are locally netted. Supplies of prawns come generally from Oman and also from China (frozen), one of the traders informed.

"Hike in prices of fish has been a general phenomenon during this period but we hope that the price would come down gradually," remarked a Sharjah resident, A. Sidiqqui.

Abu Dhabi airport introduces indoor taxi queue system

ABU DHABI: SEP 03: Arriving passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport no longer need to wait or queue in the hot sun for a taxi.   An indoor taxi queue system has been established to ensure that passengers remain in air conditioned comfort while queuing for a taxi to their selected destinations.

The new system spares passengers the need to expose themselves to the outdoor climate, particularly during the hot summer months when temperatures would soar to over 40 degrees.

The indoor taxi queue system is the first to be implemented in the UAE and the GCC region. ''This is one of many initiatives that ADAC has introduced to enhance the comfort level of passengers,'' said Mohammed Al Katheeri, deputy COO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC).

To ensure optimal utilisation of the indoor taxi queue, ADAC also recruited taxi co-ordinators and installed signage at key positions to lead passengers to the indoor taxi queue.

The taxi co-ordinators direct passengers to the next available taxi and liaise with taxi companies to ensure that sufficient taxis are available at all times, especially during the peak periods.

Besides improving the level of comfort for passengers, the indoor taxi queue system has also significantly enhanced traffic flow at the arrival area. Proper signage has been installed at key positions to lead passengers to the taxi queue area.

Positive feedback has been received from passengers, with the most common comment being "Not only is the taxis service fast, clean and efficient, I no longer have to wait in the hot sun and jostle with other passengers for a taxi."

The new system is the latest addition in a series of internal improvements that have been introduced to ensure that passengers receive best service. Free internet and TV zones, dedicated smoking areas, new directory signs and dedicated pre-check-in security points for premium passengers were among the recent initiatives introduced in the past year.

''ADAC's focus is on providing passengers with the ultimate travel experience, from the roadside to the plane," said Al Katheeri.


Indian ups weekly tally to over 100 flights

DUBAI - SEP 03: INDIAN airlines has crossed the landmark 100 flights a week with the introduction of new routes from Dubai to Mumbai and Pune.   The daily flights designed to present a bouquet of options to passengers flying to and from some of the most important destinations in India were on Saturday inaugurated by Venu Rajamony, India's consul general in Dubai.

The national flag carrier that is part of the recently floated National Aviation Company of India Limited, the holding company that runs Air-India (A-I), Air-India Express and its own domestic feeder carrier Alliance Air, now runs double-daily services from Dubai and Sharjah to Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kozhikode and Chennai.

"The idea is to provide one connection every day from Sharjah and Dubai to these destinations," said Abhay Pathak, the airline's regional manager for Gulf. The newest Dubai-Mumbai flight leaves Mumbai at 9am and returns to the Indian commercial capital at 6pm.

The Dubai-Pune flight leaves Dubai at 10:05am to land in Pune at 2:15pm. The flight departs Pune at 3pm to land in Dubai at 4:30pm.The service comes in handy to people travelling to the booming city neighbouring Mumbai that had the lone service by Air-India Express withdrawn recently.

"With these two services, our tally out of the UAE stands at 106 flights a week and 141 out of the Gulf region," he said. The airline now flies to 16 Indian destinations from the UAE where it operates to Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah besides Dubai and Sharjah.

The new additions would add up to the market share of the airline which already carries 25 per cent of all passenger traffic between India and the UAE. Indian and A-I enjoys a market share of 40 per cent, he said.

The airline that already flies daily between Sharjah and the southern Indian city of Bangalore will introduce a daily frequency from Dubai as well. To be launched in October, this will be on the double-daily pattern adopted for the other stations, he said.

In his address at a function held to mark the new flights, the Indian consul general called for more such routes to cater to Indian expatriates as well as tourists who might want to visit India. The swell in India's domestic tourist flow would also enhance the demand for Indian expatriates from north travelling to the southern destinations and vice versa, he said.

He exhorted the travel trade industry to explore the potential lying in India which is one of the most vibrant destinations on the global tourism map.


Dubai - Plane nut begins appeal

Dubai - Sep 03: A British man who opened an aeroplane door as it taxied down the runway after landing took his case to the Appeals Court in an attempt to overturn his two-year prison sentence.

The 36-year-old engineer was  given his jail term by the Dubai Court of First Instance  after being convicted of endangering the plane and the lives of other passengers. The court had heard that the man was drinking heavily during the Emirates flight and when the plane landed in Dubai he immediately jumped out of his seat.

He then pulled the handle to open the door, causing the emergency slide to inflate. Staff moved to restrain the man and he was arrested after entering the airport. He denies the charges and the case has now been adjourned until later this month.



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