UAE to Face Bad Weather Conditions Once Again

Excerpts from UAE Media

UAE to Face Bad Weather Conditions Once Again

Abu Dhabi, Feb. 20:The National Center of Meteorology and Seismology has warned sailors and fishermen to avoid going to sea during the next four days due to strong winds.

"Due to a strong north-westerly flow associated with cooler air mass coming towards the UAE starting from Wednesday morning and strengthening on Thursday and Friday to be 30 to 35 knots over the deep sea gusting 40 knots at times, which leads to rough seas with wave height from 10 to 14 feet offshore," a statement by the NCMS said today.

According to the statement, the wind will be from 16 to 22 knots over land, with rising sand or blowing dust expected to reduce the visibility over different parts of the country especially further inland, and with a significant drop of air temperature throughout the period mentioned above.

"Thus, the National Center of Meteorology and Seismology is strongly advising sailors and fishermen not to sale and fish throughout the next four days at least. In addition, precaution must be taken on highways, as well as, for people who have allergy and asthma should be indoor during this period especially children." The bad weather condition will gradually improve from Saturday, according to NCMS's forecasts.


Egg crisis hits bakeries in capital

ABU DHABI - FEB. 20:BAKERIES in the capital say that they are affected by the egg crisis in the market and are forced to increase prices of their products as they have to meet high costs while at the same time have to maintain quality.

Managers at these bakeries say that the limited supply of eggs in the market has also forced them to stop making certain items and are using liquid eggs to keep the other items in demand moving.

Hike in prices as well as limited stock of important ingredients, other than eggs, that are used in the making of pastries, cakes and other items has been also cited as reasons for increases in prices of bakery products.

Ronny, production manager from Mister Baker said they are facing difficult times and have been forced to increase the prices of their items against their wish as a carton of eggs now cost Dhs260 in the market.

"I used to buy them for Dhs130 before and flour at Dhs90 to Dhs95 is also unavailable," he added.  As a result, they have stopped making their favourite egg sandwiches for the past two months.

"We are managing the demand for cakes using liquid eggs," he lamented.

Olga Samweel, Owner and Sales manager of Khaleej bakeries and pastries in Abu Dhabi expressed her frustrations at the difficulties she and other bakers are undergoing.

She also fears losing customers if this problem persists as hikes in bakery products tends to dissuade customers.

"There is also the problem of non- availability of items in the stores and supermarkets," she complained.

"I'm going to many places hunting for eggs and each carton of eggs costs Dhs250 to Dhs300," Olga added.

"How can one run a bakery with the non- availability of priority ingredients and when the prices go up regularly," she queried.

"A small piece of cake sells between Dhs4 and Dhs6 and at this rate, I have to seriously think of stop baking cakes if this continues," she observed.

Olga added that maintaining a bakery is costly with additional payment of rent which has already sky-rocketed and keeping the employees comfortable is costly enough in that there is no saving left whatsoever.

"This is ridiculous," she opined, adding that she pays more than Dhs8,000 for diesel per month and keeping an extra Dhs3,500 for maintenance of her oven which bakes the Samoon (bread roll).

Meanwhile, a sales person at Ceasars Restaurants and Confectionary, Abu Dhabi said, "We are forced to triple increase the prices of our products, however hard we try not to."

"We are somehow managing with our sources to keep pace with the demand. We have our own suppliers of eggs so we haven't stopped any items yet," he added.

While another baker said, "We are paying Dhs300 for a carton of eggs and so we have increased our prices as well."

"We cannot play with quality and hygiene is essential too. The overall cost of maintaining a bakery is not an easy task. It is a serious business and requires money," he added.

"Diesel is essential for a bakery and the prices of our ingredients have increased," lamented Baker, who feels for the common man.

Many bakers say that as maintaining customer, trust is very important, they cannot compromise on the quality of their products.

Moreover, they say that the soaring prices of many ingredients, especially eggs, flour, milk and butter pose irresistible challenges to bakers.   "Nothing is under control and we are facing truly difficult times," they echoed.


20m old tyres roll into DM's yard


DUBAI - FEB. 20: WITH the number of vehicles hitting Dubai roads shooting up every year, over 20 million damaged tyres have accumulated in the storage yard of Dubai Municipality (DM).

The civic body's upcoming tyre recycling plant will recycle this huge load within five years, according to Assistant Director General for Environment and Public Health Affairs in DM Abdulla Mohammed Rafia.

Figures with Roads and Transport Authority show that vehicles registered in Dubai last year reached over 700,000, which saw a 12 per cent increase from the 2006 figures.

"As a result of the increasing number of vehicles in the emirate, about half a million damaged tyres reach the yard in Ghusais every year. It was nearly 600,000 last year and we expect it to go beyond a million by next year," he told The Gulf Today.

The official said that the municipality earlier used to depend on various private companies for getting rid of the damaged tyres on contract basis. "They used to process the tyres and export them. But all those processes are slower than the increase in the numbers of vehicles and the tyres reaching our yard from garages and tyre replacement shops. Though we have stored all these tyres properly, we can not solely depend on the earlier methods of disposing them off."

He said the situation demanded the setting up of the state-of-the-art recycling plant in association with a private company.

The municipality's tyre recycling project, which began last year with an initial temporary plant at the tyre storage facility in Ghusais, is expected to gain new momentum once the new plant in Umm Nahad starts functioning. The plant is scheduled to be completely functional by September.

"The new plant will have such a capacity that it will be able to recycle the entire load of these 20million tyres by 2013. Once it is done, the plant will recycle tyre wastes on a daily basis," he said.

The official said the tyre storage facility in Ghusais, in future, may be used for expanding the municipality's nursery that is adjacent to the yard.

Dhs84m project to beautify roads

DUBAI - FEB. 20: THE Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is currently engaged in developing a master plan to expand greenery and enhance aesthetic environment to ensure better setting for pedestrians.

This plan is envisaged to include a host of projects currently being designed, including Sheikh Zayed Beautification Project; which is poised to start in May 2008 at a cost of Dhs84 million.

The Director of Roads Department at Traffic and Roads Agency, Engineer Nabeel Mohammed Saleh stated that the plan aims at expanding greenery in the emirate and adding attractive and stunning outlook to the projects so as to induce psychological convenience to road users.

"The initial stage of Sheikh Zayed Road Beautification Project includes residential area extending between the Commercial Center and Defence Intersection through creating plazas and open courts of top class beatification standards."

He said that the design concept is based on widening the pavement in the immediate vicinity of towers, with a view to create a pedestrian zone with trees, green patios and terraces for coffee shop and restaurants.

"The Project also includes introduction of unique aspects of architectural arts to open courts such as stereographs, water elements, illumination, greens, shaded sitting areas, jogging track, and other elements capable of providing a live and highly attractive atmosphere; rendering special and unique style for that area which will be thoroughly upgraded" said Nabeel.

This is one of the ways the country is adopting in fulfilling safe global environmental requirements.

This comes in line with the residential and urban boom witnessed by the emirate of Dubai in terms of modern roads network, and beautification of roads and squares using innovative styles.

Such a drive requires upgrading the technical standards and specifications to meet the requirements of growth and modernity; and this in turn warrants uplifting the aesthetic elements to enhance other tourist attraction elements which Dubai is seeking to boost in the emirate.

Drugs land DJ in prison

DUBAI - FEB. 20: British DJ Grooverider has been jailed for four years, after being found guilty of bringing cannabis into Dubai. Grooverider, whose real name is Raymond Bingham, was sentenced yesterday at the Court of First Instance. He will be deported to the UK after serving his jail term.

The 40-year-old Londoner co-hosts popular weekly drum and bass show ‘Fabio and Grooverider’ which is broadcast on BBC Radio One and around the world via the internet. A BBC spokesman suggested Grooverider’s employment would not be terminated immediately - even though he has broken the law.

The spokesman told 7DAYS: “Grooverider made a serious mistake and he is paying a high price for this. The show will continue to be aired by Fabio and we will review the situation once Grooverider has completed his sentence. We do not discuss personal issues but clearly he cannot host the show while he is serving his sentence. Of course we do not condone what Grooverider has done.”

A spokeswoman for the DJ’s management company, Groove Connection, told 7DAYS that, ironically, her client is now more in demand than ever.

She said: “Grooverider will continue DJing. “He has already got bookings - people are dying to book him. He got the minimum sentence, which is pretty good, and I cannot see this affecting him on any level.”  Grooverider was arrested at Dubai airport on November 23 last year - with 2.16 grammes of cannabis in his pocket - just hours before he was due to play a sold-out show at The Lodge nightclub.

During his trial, Grooverider admitted having the drugs on him: “The drugs were in my possession - I forgot I had them in my trousers,” he said. A Dubai Customs official said in a statement read to the court: “I searched him and he had nothing illegal on him, but when I searched his bag I found marijuana in a plastic bag inside the pocket of his jeans. When I asked him about it he said it was marijuana and that it was for his personal use and he had forgotten it was in his trousers.”

Grooverider’s lawyer, Moh-ammad Al-Reda, who defended Grammy-winning R&B producer Dallas Austin when he was arrested in Dubai in 2006 with 1.26 grammes of cocaine, said last month that his client feels regret and knows he has made a mistake. Al-Reda would not say yesterday whether he would be appealing against the sentence. He has two weeks to do so. During that time Grooverider will remain in custody.


Rape teen found guilty

UAE - FEB. 20: An Emirati teenager who took part in the rape of a French-Swiss youngster was sentenced to three years in jail at the Juvenile Court yesterday. The 15-year-old boy was attacked at knifepoint last July. Two other men involved in the vicious assault, one of whom is HIV positive, have already been given 15-year jail terms. The victim has already asked for a harsher sentence to be handed to the teen and this request will be heard at the Appeals Court next month.



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Comment on this article

  • Lancelot N Tauro, Mangalore -Vasai-Doha Qatar

    Thu, Feb 21 2008

    Sand storm dust blanketed all over Doha Qatar too since yesterday.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

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