Fragrance of love Spreads Through UAE on Valentines Day

Media Excerpts

Fragrance of love pervades through UAE

UAE - FEB. 14: FLOWER shops have a mixed fortune on the eve of the Valentine's Day, as some of them are doing brisk business while others are reporting sales going down by more than half in comparison to the last year's figures.

Managing Director of a major supplier of flowers, Al Lokrit International, M.D. Gidwani said that the market has witnessed some decline on the supply front this year.

Roses could not bloom properly due to cold wave in the Indian city of Pune and adjoining areas, he stated citing it as one of the reasons for short supply.

In absence of bright sunshine, the photosynthesis process of the flower plants was affected and hence roses could not bloom fully, he elaborated adding that the weak dollar has also a significant impact on the market.

Gidwani said that the wholesale prices of one stem of Indian rose which was Dhs.1.7 last year have risen to Dhs.2-2.20.

He said that prices of roses from other countries are higher, adding that the price of African rose is Dhs.3.50 and that of South American rose Dhs.5.50.

Though other countries are opting to supply hybrid varieties of flowers, India is still continuing to supply old varieties and thus adversely affecting its export prospects.

He said that the UAE market has not only to grapple with the local inflationary trend of distribution due to hike in the prices of fuel but it is also faced with other challenges including rent hike.

"Despite all these constraints, the price of flower is lower than that of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia," he observed.

Managing Director of Jenny Flowers, Jenny Joseph said that all seven telephone lines at his retail outlet are ringing as the demands of various flowers by people are quite encouraging.

He said that the demand for roses which remains all time favourite on the Valentine's Day started coming well in advance this year as people preferred not to go for the last minute buy.

Some of them were disappointed when they could not find flowers of their choice and hence demands started coming early, he informed.

He said that the price of one stem of Indian rose ranges from Dhs.7 to Dhs.15, adding that the prices of flowers have gone up this year for various reasons.

He said that supplies of flowers have also come down from countries like India and Kenya.

He said that cultivation of roses in India was affected due to unusual quite cold conditions in the Western part of the country.

Supplies of flowers from Kenya have also come down due to internal strife in the country, the MD observed adding that his shop has alone sold 25000-35000 stems of rose last year adding that the UAE flower market earns very impressive profits during the Valentine's Day.

He said that sales have grown up this year but the figures could only be estimated on the Thursday evening.

Some shops are, however, not reporting very encouraging sales this year as Atlas Khan of Holland Natural Flowers Trading rues that business has been very slugging this year.

The sales have come down by more than half this year, he admitted, adding that the purchasing power of the people has come down drastically due to growing inflationary pressures.

He said that he kept the prices of flowers at his shop fixed by compromising on their quality.

Meanwhile, the first week of February saw Dnata Cargo handling more than 40 tonnes of fresh flowers at the Dubai Flower Centre and figures for this week are likely to be even more staggering.

Andean Arabian Flowers, one of the tenants at Dubai Flower Centre, have seen their imports of roses into Dubai increase from 14,000 stems last year for Valentine's Day, to 135,000 stems this year.

These roses have travelled a distance of more than 14,000 kms before landing on the florists' or supermarket shelves.

Flowers arrive by air in Dubai from all corners of the globe, with Kenya being the largest exporter, followed by Holland, then Malaysia and Thailand.

A student at the American School, Hanya Ramy Al Morr who was born on the Valentine's Day said that her home turns entirely red on the Valentine's Day as each family member wears red clothes while red flowers are also strewn all over.

She said that it is a very precious day for her as she gets birth day gift and Valentine's Day gift on the same day.

"I eagerly wait for the Valentine Day," she remarked.


20 tremors hit UAE in eight days: DM


UAE - FEB. 14: UAE witnessed 20 mild tremors in last eight days, a Dubai Municipality (DM) official said on Wednesday.

Engineer Mohammed mashroom, the chief of the DM's survey department said that the local network for earthquakes at the municipality observed 20 tremors in the area between Fujairah and Massafi between Feb.5 to 13. Mashroom added, "The crack in the earth called, Wadi Ham extended towards the city of Khor Fakkan.

The earthquake activity there is normal as there is a set of extending cracks from Fujairah to Massafi and from Massafi to Dibba.

An earthquake measuring five on the Richter scale had hit the same area in 2002. On receiving the observation report the municipality informed the national centre of earthquakes in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah Municipality."

It is noteworthy that Dubai Municipality has established the system for observing the crust of the earth according to the latest technologies in the field of earthquakes

Accident claims 2 on Emirates Road

DUBAI - FEB. 14: TWO persons died instantly in an accident involving four vehicles on the Emirates Road in Dubai on Tuesday.

Police said the accident was mainly caused by "overspeeding and lack of concentration" on the part of one of the four motorists.

The Department of Traffic at Dubai Police said that first of the four vehicles, all heading to the same direction, swerved on the road due to lack of attention and overspeeding by its driver identified as KH. Another vehicle knocked it from behind, both overturned and hit the other two.

"KH and and another person in his car got trapped in their vehicle and we did our best to save their lives but in vain."

Both the deceased were Asians. The accident happened between Al Kasaaraat and Al Haudh squares.

The Commander in Chief of Dubai Police, Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim expressed dismay to the "reckless drivers who forget that they have families waiting for them back home."

Dubai Police continues to intensify its drive to control rash driving in the Emirate. At the beginning of this week, the Director General of Dubai Police's Traffic Department, Eng. Brigadier Mohammed Saif Al Zaffeen said that the department will place personnel at the 'gates' of Bur Dubai and Deira as a measure of strict monitoring, "especially against those who violate tint levels

MoH focuses on affordable health services for all

DUBAI - FEB. 14: THE two-year strategy of the Ministry of Health (MoH) would focus on providing easier access to better and affordable health services to all nationals and residents.

Minister of Health Humaid Mohammed Obeid Al Qattami announced this while unveiling the ministry's vision and goals for 2008-2010 at a meeting of health workers and ministry employees in Dubai on Tuesday evening.

Qattami said the new strategy would include a number of ambitious projects aimed at achieving more progress in health services offered to nationals and expatriate residents. Those who are dependent on public health facilities in Northern Emirates are expected to benefit from the new projects planned by the ministry.

Citing the example of the electronic health system planned by the MoH, the minister said there would be more emphasis on implementing latest techniques and medical trends to comply with the international medical standards and to stand the competitiveness in the health field.

"Exclusiveness means offering very high quality services, according to the latest international standards," he said.

Establishing unified and standardised health policies in the UAE, improving preventive measures through awareness programmes, building database on the prevalence of various diseases and medical conditions and reducing dependence on overseas treatment are the other goals of the ministry. Qattami also pointed out the importance of providing training to the UAE nationals in all medical fields.

As per the strategy, new hospitals and primary healthcare centres will be built over the next couple of years.

This year will see the completion of 40 per cent of the strategic plans while the rest of it will be carried out before 2010.
UAE signs protocol on people with special needs

NEW YORK- FEB. 14: The UAE signed on Tuesday at the UN headquarters the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, becoming the 126th signatory of the international agreement since the Convention was opened for signature in March 2007.

The Protocol was signed by UAE Minister of Social Affairs Mariam Al Roumi on the sidelines of the 46th session of the UN Social Development Commission.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec.13, and opened for signature on March 30.

The convention was negotiated during eight sessions of an Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly from 2002 to 2006, making it the fastest negotiated human rights treaty.

Highlights of the Convention: The Convention aims to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy human rights on an equal basis with others.

Countries that join in the Convention engage themselves to develop and carry out policies, laws and administrative measures for securing the rights recognized in the Convention and abolish laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination.

Countries are to guarantee that persons with disabilities enjoy their inherent right to life on an equal basis with others, ensure the equal rights and advancement of women and girls with disabilities and protect children with disabilities.

Countries are to recognise that all persons are equal before the law, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability and guarantee equal legal protection.

Countries are to ensure the equal right to own and inherit property, to control financial affairs and to have equal access to bank loans, credit and mortgages.

Countries must protect the physical and mental integrity of persons with disabilities, just as for everyone else, guarantee freedom from torture and from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and prohibit medical or scientific experiments without the consent of the person concerned.

Laws and administrative measures must guarantee freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse. In case of abuse, states shall promote the recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration of the victim and investigate the abuse.

Persons with disabilities are not to be subjected to arbitrary or illegal interference with their privacy, family, home, correspondence or communication. The privacy of their personal, health and rehabilitation information is to be protected like that of others.


Baby murdered

DUBAI - FEB. 14: A mother allegedly killed her two-day-old baby girl in hospital by strangling her and smashing her head against the floor. The 33-year-old Indonesian woman is said to have killed the child because she was the product of an illicit affair.  After the brutal assault, she wrapped the baby in a blanket and placed it at the foot of her bed at Dubai Hospital.

The mother is due to appear at Dubai’s Court of First Instance next week to answer a charge of murder. Police said the woman was taken to the hospital to give birth and transferred for the night into the emergency ward shortly before going into labour and giving birth.

A nurse made the gruesome discovery while on her rounds the following morning. She told police:  “I was on my day shift when I entered the suspect’s room at around 7am. I saw a blanket on the bed and blood splattered on it. When I called the cleaner we saw the lifeless body of a newborn baby inside the blanket. I told the doctor immediately.”
A female doctor arrived and examined the baby. “The child was blue and cold, and its heart had stopped. There were signs of scratches on the neck,” the 40-year-old doctor said. She added: “The child had been dead for at least six hours and there was nothing that we could do. I then called the police.”

According to Public Prosecution the mother reportedly confessed during the police investigation that she had killed her baby on purpose. A medical report concluded that the baby died after damage was caused to the head leading to bleeding inside the brain. There were also signs of strangling that accelerated the child’s death.
The mother could face a life sentence in prison and deportation if convicted of the offence.


Sharjah Ruler orders addition of salary hike to basic salary for police, imams

SHARJAH, Feb. 13: H.H Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah has instructed concerned authorities in Sharjah to add the 70 per cent salary hike which was decreed in January 2008 to the basic salaries of police, Police Sciences Academy staff, as well as the imams and Muazens (individuals chanting the public call for Muslim prayer (prayer calls).

Accordingly, the increase will be merged with UAE nationals' pensions and to expatriates' end-of-service dues. Meanwhile, Sheikh Sultan ordered the salary hike for employees at the eastern district, Emiri court and the employees at the villages and suburbs' affairs. H.H Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Sharjah Crown prince and deputy ruler and chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council, expressed thanks to Sheikh Sultan for his generous gesture aimed at providing moral and material stability to the employees. 



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