Nov 25, 2008

Your ID card questions answered

The Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) has been flooded with queries from residents seeking clarifications on the process of registering in the Population Register and obtaining a national identity card.

What is the importance of an ID card? Having got an ID card, how and where can it be used?

Under the law it is your valid identification document while conducting official transactions with government, semi-government and private sector organisations.

As a multipurpose, secure, smartcard it will eventually enable holders to use it as a driving licence, labour card, residence permit, investor card and health and health insurance card.

It will also work as an ATM card, provide e-signature service for companies to sign documents, e-mails, e-forms and serve as an e-passport for Emiratis while travelling within the GCC countries.

The ID card can be used for e-payment (e-dirham, e-purse) and include family book information for citizens. It can also be used to protect children over the internet with support from local Internet service providers and cyber cafes.

It will also allow ID card holders to have a common mechanism to log on to online services (single sign-on), and into their personal computers.

By law, the ID card can be used by holders immediately according to the Cabinet Decision 201/1 of September 2007 to identify the holder's identity when using government, semi-government, and private sector services.

All transactions

When will the ID card be used to process all transactions (health, finance, others)?

According to the EIDA, technical work has been completed to integrate the e-dirham and e-gate with the ID card, and the effective start date of these services shall be announced by the concerned organisations.

The respective ministries and entities that recognise the benefits and security of this ID card are expected to proceed with this (driver's licence, health records, health insurance, labour card and investors card) soon.

Once an ID card is issued to a person, all public and private entities must recognise it as an official, legal document issued by a trusted government body.

Is anyone exempt from registering?

All Emiratis (holders of valid passport and family book) and legal residents (holders of valid passports and residence permits), including their children, must register in person with the EIDA.

The identity card is mandatory for persons 15 years and above. While it is not mandatory for children below the age of 15 to apply for the ID card, the EIDA recommends issuing the card for children, which costs Dh50 for them.

Everyone must register regardless of age to help in the census, as an accurate census will be provided to decision makers for better strategic planning of the UAE.

Fee

What is the fee for a card?

The fee is Dh100 for Emiratis over 15 years of age and is valid for five years. It is free of charge for Emiratis receiving welfare. For children under 15 years of age, the fee is Dh50 for issuing the ID Card valid for five years (it must be replaced when the child becomes 15 years old). However, registering in the population register without issuing the ID card is free.

The fee for expatriates is Dh100 per active year in the residency permit. For a residency visa valid for three years, the fee will be Dh300 total.

From the day you register for an ID card and your visa is valid for two years and two months, the fee will be Dh300 because the two months are calculated as the third year (this portion of the year is considered a year). Additional fee of Dh20 must be added as mandatory ID card delivery service.

Special needs

How will people with special needs, the elderly and the sick register?

Applicants who cannot visit registration centres will be granted the free mobile registration service. The registration fees are not waived and will be collected, but they will not have to pay the Dh500 fee for the mobile service assuming they request the service for themselves only.

However, if their family members want to avail themselves of the mobile service, they each have to pay the Dh500 fee for the mobile service in addition to the card fees. The number to call for the service is 600523432 or through the appointment system on the EIDA website www.emiratesid.ae.

Will expatriate professionals who have not registered by December 31, 2008 be fined?

The EIDA has stressed that no fines will be issued to expatriate professionals. Moreover, the EIDA is not concerned with issuing fines. We are not the authority to do that. We are the service provider.

Will expatriate professionals be able to carry out regular transactions (financial, educational, health, etc) if they have not registered within the December 31, 2008 deadline?

For Emiratis, no service shall be provided without the ID card from January 1, 2009 as per the law. So far, no such measures have been announced against expatriate professionals who fail to register within the Enrolment Strategy deadline.

But the ID card is the only valid identification document for professional expatriates from January 1, 2009. If any organisation demands the card for official transactions and expatriate professionals do not have them, the EIDA cannot be held responsible.

Like any other organisation in the UAE, the EIDA obeys government regulations and will demand the ID card from its employees and customers to provide services.

Must the ID card be carried at all times?

Yes. It is your valid identification document. You have to carry it to prove your identity.

Stolen card

What steps are to be taken if the ID card gets lost or is stolen?

The card holder must notify the nearest EIDA registration centre. A new ID with the same unique number will be issued for a fee of Dh300. Once the case is reported, the system automatically deactivates the card and it cannot be used anymore.

My visa expires before June 2009, will I face trouble conducting transactions next year if I do not have a card?

All expatriate professionals have to register irrespective of the validity period of their visa. It is advisable to register now and avoid the rush in the future when priority will be given to a new category to register. The EIDA bears no responsibility for the delay and missing the Enrolment Strategy deadline. The EIDA will not refuse registering any one with a valid residency period.

I am on vacation and unable to access the website due to heavy traffic. I cannot return before the deadline. What are my options and will I be fined?

It is your responsibility to register before the deadline. The EIDA cannot be held responsible for your absence. The EIDA will continue to register all expatriates until the end of 2010. No fines will be imposed, but if the ID card is required for any official transaction, the EIDA cannot be held responsible for your delay.

We recommend that you register at your first opportunity when you are back in the UAE.

Deadline

What is the deadline for legal residents to register? Will it be extended?

As per the law and regulation, the deadline for all legal residents is December 31, 2010. In order to regulate the registration flow and ensure that every Emirati and resident get registered before the deadline, the EIDA prepared an Enrolment Strategy to support the government deadline. Hence, each category has been given a specified period.

  • Emiratis: from June 2005 to December 31, 2008. (The reason for the longer duration was given until the EIDA positioned itself over the seven Emirates, which took place by early 2008).
  • Residents working for the public sector and their families: from May 2008 to October 31, 2008.
  • Professional residents working in private sector and their families: from July 2008 to December 31, 2008.
  • Other categories shall be announced early January 2009.

The EIDA will continue registering these categories even after the deadline, but it is at their own risk and they will have to put up with the long queues because other categories will also be registering and will be given priority.

Registration

It has become impossible to find registration forms, or register on the website? Will I be penalised?

It is your responsibility to register. New software for 'pre-registration' is now available on the EIDA website and is hosted by about 50 other organisations. You can fill out the form within ten minutes, using the software for you and your family members on your personal computer.

Free CDs of the software will be issued soon at EIDA centres. This online service (first free of charge application among government entities) is made available as an add-on service, while other channels were made available to get this service from such as from Emirates Post centres, and third party typing centres within major EIDA centres for Dh40.

The website does not allow me to book an appointment for my entire family. If I sponsor my spouse and children, will I have to go with them for every appointment?

The appointments until December 31, 2008 have already been booked in major registration centres. But half of the registration capacity of the EIDA centres has been kept for walk-in registrations. Each category has to register with their families.

Although the card is optional for children below 15 years old (but registration is compulsory) the guardian's consent is required to issue the card. Children must be present. One guardian must accompany children for registration.

Will hospitals not treat me if I do not have an ID card?

This is not within our jurisdiction. If entities demand the ID card, that is up to them. From a humanitarian point of view, everyone should be entitled to medical treatment in emergency situations.

Barcode

What is the need for a barcode?

The barcode expedites the registration process; it provides security and privacy to the applicant's information. The barcode guarantees that the information provided by the potential card holder is accurate and genuine.

If an expatriate holds a diploma and works as a professional, will he be required to register for an ID card?

He or she must register.

If a professional has a degree and does not work, will it be mandatory for the spouse to apply for an ID card?

Yes. A family is a unit and is required to register if one of the spouses is part of the category.

If an employed professional has children who have completed their university studies and are unemployed, do they have to register for an ID card. If so, when is the deadline?

Yes. December 31, 2008. Again the family is a unit and is required to register if one of the spouses is part of the category we called upon for registration according to our Enrolment Strategy.

What about new professionals joining after December 31?

They can register after obtaining a residence permit.

If one is able to generate an online application and fix an appointment, will it be possible to change the appointment date?

Yes, you can, but you have to give 24 hours notice that you want to change or cancel and you can use the online appointment system for that.

Married

As an expatriate woman married to an Omani, I already have a GCC ID card. Will I need to register for a card in the UAE as well?

Yes.

Is the cost of the national ID card the responsibility of the sponsor or the company?

The law does not force the employer to pay the fees for his employees but it must ensure the employees register. By law, it is the resident's individual responsibility to pay the fee. But if an organisation wants to pay the fee, it is their decision.

Is there a grace period for those who get their residence visas on December 30 or 31? Do they have to rush to get an ID card?

They have to register as soon as they get a valid visa.

Are professionally qualified housewives required to register for the card before 2009?

Yes.

What happens to the ID card if one dies after obtaining it?

The card gets automatically deactivated once we receive an automatic update from the government entity that authorises and authenticates this event.

Questions answered by Darwish Ahmad Al Zarouni, Director-General of the EIDA, and Thamer Rashid Al Qasimi, Planning Director and Project Management Director.

The registration process

Where to register?

You can register at any of the more than 25 EIDA centres across the UAE. To get the address, phone number and location map of each centre,

log on to http://www.emiratesid.ae /html/english2/21.html or call the toll free number 600523432.

Centres are open from 7.30am to 8.30pm from Sunday to Thursday. Major centres are open half day on Saturdays.

Do I have to book an appointment to register and how will I know if the appointment I booked online is confirmed?

Appointments are not mandatory and it is an extra add-on service offered by the authority. However, when booking an appointment, the application process function is based on the following steps:

1- Click on the appointment system link from the main website

2- From the appointment system page, click the service type you would like to have:

a. Cancel/Update Appointment (requires your booking number)

b. Mobile Appointment (please note that the main reason for launching this first-ever mobile registration service in the UAE is for elderly and people with special needs who are not able to visit registration centres)

c. Appointment booking

i. Fill the form with the following information: your name, nationality, mobile number, appointment type "personal or family", gender and count of family members, residential Emirate, nearby centre, and SMS language preference. Then click Next.

ii. An SMS with confirmation/reference code to prove the authenticity of the process and requestor shall be sent to the provided mobile number. It reads (Emirates Identity Authority Welcomes you to its Registration Appointment System, please use the following number to confirm your appointment #########", please enter this code in the reference box, then the "OK" box

iii. Appointments are subject to availability and number of applicants. Select the preferred week, date and time. If available, finish the process to get a second SMS with the confirmation code detailing the date and time of the appointment and the selected registration centre.

iv. With this code you must come in to the centre by at least 15 to 20 minutes prior to the appointment to confirm your appointment using the Kiosk machines or at the customer service desk.

3- Residents who do not make prior appointments can walk into any registration centre of the EIDA and apply for the ID card (first-come-first served, and it is subject to centre registration capacity and number of confirmed appointments.)

How to get your identity card


Dubai: In April 2006 the UAE Government introduced a single identity card. This card is compulsory for everyone living legally in the UAE, including nationals, expatriates and GCC citizens.

The Emirates Identity Authority has rolled out the first phase, as part of a three-year plan.

In the future, the cards will be used as a travel document within the GCC. However, when the scheme was introduced for expatriates, 'not many' expatriates actually turned up to take part in the scheme.

Registration for expatriates working in government departments commenced on June 1, after being postponed from May 1 because of the number of Emiratis that had not finished registration.

Other sectors will need to register for the cards according to a schedule that is to be announced.

It is mandatory for expatriates who are at least 15 years old living lawfully in the UAE to obtain a registration card.

For children below 15, registration for the Population Register and ID card programme is also mandatory, although having an ID for them is a matter of choice and is subject to a guardian's consent.

The Population Register includes a centralised database that includes the aim of upgrading governmental services and putting an end to forgery.

Registration: How to apply for an ID card

1. Book an online appointment
2. Before going for your appointment, fill in an online application form from the EIDA website (www.emiratesid.ae) and take a printout, using a laser printer.
3. Visit the nearest EIDA service centre and pay the registration fee, while submitting your form.
4. Allow biometric and fingerprinting to be done and get your original documents scanned.
5. You can either choose to have your ID card sent to you by Empost or personally collect it after 3 working days.

EIDA can also be contacted on: 600 523 432

Documents and fees

  • UAE Nationals: Original Family Book and Passport. Dh100
  • UAE Residents: Original passport. Dh100 per year of visa validity.
  • Lost or damaged card: Dh300

Source: Emirates ID Authority

RTA taxi initiatives are most welcome

Passengers driving in Dubai-registered taxis must be delighted at the news that they will not have to pay the Salik road toll from next month.

This is a great initiative by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which is aimed at cutting fuel consumption for taxi drivers who choose longer routes to avoid the toll gate, and maintaining a positive image of the emirate.

Many residents had shied away from using taxis because of the high cost. Without a doubt, this move will encourage them to use taxis more often as their journeys begin to cost less. As a result, they may choose to use their cars less frequently and thus help reduce congestion on the roads.

Equally significant is the announcement that 1,500 new taxis will be introduced next year to address the serious shortage. Hopefully, we will also start to feel the impact of RTA's other recent initiative, District Taxis, whereby taxis are deployed in areas which suffer from short supply.

Customers worry over faulty ATMs

Dubai: Residents have complained about several faulty Mashreq bank ATMs both in Dubai and Sharjah.

Customers said for the past three days they have been facing problems in withdrawing cash from the bank's ATMs. But the Mashreq Bank claimed that there is no technical problem with any of its ATMs and people would have faced difficulties in withdrawing cash because of heavy weekend customer traffic. The bank also assured it would look into the complaints.

Vipin Das, a Dubai resident, said he tried to use the ATM machine on Shaikh Zayed Road both on Saturday and Sunday, and it showed technical error.

"I contacted their support desk and I was told that they will fix it within two days," said Vipin, who works for a private firm in Bur Dubai. Machines in Lamcy Plaza and Mall of the Emirates are also reported to have shown similar glitches.

Zulekha, a Sharjah resident, said she was unable to withdraw cash from the bank ATM near the corniche. "Even on Sunday morning, when there was not many people using the machine, it was giving error message," complained Zulekha, a housewife.

The bank has assured that they will look into the issue and ensure that customers face no difficulties in accessing the service.

According to Sharjah resident Mohammad, the machines were not repaired until last afternoon.

Bus lane to connect Sharjah and Dubai

Sharjah: A dedicated bus lane will soon be set up between Sharjah and Dubai in order to relieve motorists from the daily traffic congestion.

"A special committee has already been formed to implement the plan, and we are finalising the details," said a senior official at Sharjah Transport Authority.

The announcement was made on the sidelines of the three-day Sharjah Urban Planning Symposium (SUPS) that ends today.

The first phase of implementing the bus lane will be in three areas on the Sharjah/Dubai border: Al Taawun Road, Al Ittihad Road and Emirates Road.

Faster commuting There are currently two inter-emirate bus routes that transport passengers from Dubai to Sharjah. Passengers can either get a bus from Al Ghubaiba station at Bur Dubai or the station at Deira, which leaves passengers at the main bus station near the Sharjah Fish Market.

"By improving the services of the public transport system, commuters will then have an incentive to use the inter-emirate buses because they will get to their destination faster than using their own vehicles," the transport official said.

"Ultimately, the motorists will also benefit because the buses will not add to the traffic congestion."

The launch of the bus lane will be headed by the Sharjah Transport Authority and the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai, in collaboration with the Sharjah Directorate of Town Planning and the Directorate of Public Works.

Mirroring city growth The public transport system must be aligned with the growth of the city for it to work successfully, said an academic yesterday at the Sharjah Urban Planning Symposium.

"There is an urgent need to develop an effective system in Dubai that will help in achieving lower expenses, simplified procedures, improved safety and increased efficiency," said Dr Akmal Abdul Fatah, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the American University of Sharjah.

Abdul Fatah presented a research paper titled, "Factors Affecting the Service Performance of Public Buses in Dubai," which pointed out the problems affecting passengers. A methodology was developed to identify the significant factors affecting the bus system.

During his presentation, he explained that the journey time of the buses was affected by lack of punctuality and information found at bus stops.

Nov 11, 2008

Pedestrian network planned in Dubai


A new airconditioned bridge for pedestrians with escalators is ready for the public at the Abu Baker Al Siddiqi Road in Deira.

Dubai: A short fitness walk through a network of air-conditioned crossings and subways will not only keep diseases at bay but also enable public move around in hot weather depending less on vehicles. The Dubai Road and Transport Authority will be linking up major buildings through air-conditioned walkways in some areas. These buildings will also be linked using covered walkways with main roads as well as Dubai Metro stations to increase pedestrian mobility. "The strategy will minimise the reliance on vehicles for short trips, and accordingly cut short road congestion as well as pollution in the emirate.

"Walking is one of the safe modes of mobility, which has good health benefits. It is also an economical mode of mobility that saves time compared to vehicles, particularly in congested places and during peak times," said Abdul Mohsen Ebrahim Younes, Chief Executive Officer of the RTA's Strategy and Corporate Support Services.The new arrangement will also bring down the nuisance of jaywalkers whose numbers are on the rise in the Emirate. Statistics provided by Dubai police in August this year shows some 1,022 jaywalkers have been fined in Dubai from January until the end of July.

Crossings: Many near completion
Currently, pedestrian crossings are under construction at Abu Hail Road, Beirut Road, Umm Suqeim Road, Airport Road, Casablanca Road and Abu Baker Al Siddiqi Road. More crossings will be built on Emirates Road, Shaikh Zayed Road, Damascus Road, Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, Salahuddin Road, Baniyas Road, Al Rashid Road, Zabeel Road, Al Wasl Road, Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Road and Al Rabbat Road. According to the RTA, the Emirate of Dubai showed a 15 per cent drop in fatalities from traffic accidents to 196 cases during the first nine months of 2008 from 231 cases reported during the same period in 2007. Fatal run-over accidents dropped to 73 cases from 97 during the same period last year.

Mechanised car parks being considered in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Being able to park one's car within a matter of few seconds could seem as the ultimate dream to motorists, especially those living or working in downtown areas where it is not uncommon to hunt around for 45 minutes for a parking space. For this reason, robotised car parks, which promise to park your cars within 45 seconds, instantly got the attention of the audience at the Middle East Parking Symposium that began yesterday in Abu Dhabi. But could that put an end to the growing parking woes of the residents? "Yes it can", according to Nicholas F. Amiouni, a Senior Robotics Design Engineer at East and West Robotics, who design and manufacture robotised car parks. Cities like the capital need them because even businesses operating in these places will get affected if there are no proper parking spaces.

Surf the internet for free while you smell the roses in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Residents can enjoy free wireless internet connectivity in two public parks on the corniche within a month, thanks to a new initiative of Abu Dhabi Municipality, a senior official told Gulf News on Sunday. "We are trying to complete the preparations in co-operation with etisalat to introduce internet connectivity within one month," said Abdul Aziz Al Jeraishi, Director of Public Parks and Recreation Department at Abu Dhabi Municipality. "Initially, the connectivity will be available in two public parks on the corniche - Musical Park and Official Park." The connectivity will be available round the clock, said the official. "The entry is free to those two parks, so people can enjoy free browsing. "If successful, we will gradually extend the service to other parks in the capital," said Al Jeraishi.

Foreign passport 'no bar to citizenship'

Abu Dhabi: Producing a passport of another country or seeking to obtain one does not affect the right of people without proper documents to seek naturalisation in the UAE, a senior official said on Monday. Lieutenant Colonel Sultan Al Khadar, the director of the legal department at the Interior Ministry, said the doors of the ministry are open before the people, who show good intention in applying for citizenship. Al Khadar was referring to an applicant, who produced a passport and asked that the information he submitted be corrected claiming his passport was torn.

To obtain UAE citizenship, those without citizenship of any other country must have been staying in the UAE before December 2, 1971 and should not have left the country for good any time. They must produce true information and original documents to prove their identities and other credentials required as per the naturalisation regulations and possess the police verification certificate.

Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, has ordered the setting up a committee to resolve the issue of people without documents to prove their identity once and for all.

Shaikh Saif has ordered that this issue be treated with accuracy, diligence and efficiency to uphold the rights of those entitled to citizenship.

A higher committee, made up of representatives of the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, concluded a two-month mission on Thursday to resolve the issue. All people who carry no proper documents including those who obtained decrees of UAE passports but without family books, known as Khulasat Qaid, were allowed to register with the committee, which will resolve the issue.

Those who failed to register would be considered to be residing in the country in violation of the residency laws. Interior ministry officials warned that the ministry would launch an "intense campaign" to find out those who failed to register within the stipulated period.

The ministry did not specify what penalties they would face, nor did it release details of how it planned to deal with people without documents to prove their identity. The formation of the committee came two years after President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered the status of people without documents to prove their identity to be resolved.

Oct 30, 2008

Residents slam Dh20 inter-emirate taxi charge

Dubai: Many residents say that the Dh20 minimum taxi fares is nothing but 'daylight robbery'. They said that instead of looking to strengthen alternate public transport the authorities are making it more costly to commute between Dubai and Sharjah.

Authorities in both emirates have announced their plans to increase the minimum fares of metered taxis for commuting from Sharjah to Dubai and back. The current metered taxi in Sharjah starts from Dh2.50 during day time and Dh3.30 after dark. Similarly in Dubai the current charges stand at Dh3 and the Dh3.50 after 10pm.

Many members of the public said they failed to see any logic in how the increase in the minimum taxi fares will encourage them to hire taxis. Agreeing that fare increase will serve as an incentive for them to pick up more passengers to Dubai and Sharjah, taxi drivers said they still need to battle traffic congestion on the highway.

On speaking to taxi drivers both in Sharjah and Dubai it was learnt that one of the main reasons for them to refuse passengers to Dubai and to Sharjah and on occasions within each emirate is due to the snarling traffic.

Calling it a complete waste of his time if he takes a passenger from Sharjah to Dubai K.M., a Pakistani taxi driver, said: "I am just disappointed that the companies do not take the drivers' feedback when they introduce any such rules. It takes me no less than two hours to drive a passenger to Dubai, while I can utilise the same time in making three to four trips within Sharjah."

He said the Dh20 minimum fare might hit the taxi companies in terms of revenue. "There are four franchise taxis operating in Sharjah, still the public keep complaining of lack of taxis, now with the fare increase, the demand for taxis will fall," he said.

Unable to comprehend the impending increase in minimum taxi fare Simi Chandran, a Dubai resident, said: "Taxis are not available within Dubai even if you book it well in advance. For instance last week I booked a cab for 5.30 in the evening from my office on Shaikh Zayed road. The booking was made at 3.00. I called again at 4.30 to confirm by booking. But at 5.40 when I called the call centre to enquire, they said they will make one more booking for me but there is no guarantee that I will get one. At 6.30, when I called for the third time, the agent told me none were available."

Hanif Mohammad a Dubai resident said: "For the common man the need of the hour is a good public transport system." Jassem Abdullah, an Emirati, said: "The increase in minimum taxi fare will encourage residents to buy cars or go for illegal taxis."

Biggest road safety drive launched

Dubai: A major safety campaign covering safety issues in various aspects of life, will be launched next week and will seek a bigger role by the general public in the campaign. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is launching a major safety campaign under the slogan Haseb "take care". The ongoing campaign will highlight safety issues for motorists and users of other transportation means. In later phases, the campaign will highlight safety in fields including, roads, transportation, construction, marine, and other fields. It is not just about not speeding and wearing seatbelts, but about a variety of safety behaviours. This is the first time in the UAE that multiple safety messages will be launched under one major campaign, which states that road safety is not for a week or a month, but for life.

The first phase will focus on road safety and specifically on the seven key causes of road accidents based on accident statistics of 2007. The seven major causes of road accidents which the RTA will focus on during the first phase of the campaign include: excessive speeding, use of handheld mobile phones, fatigue, not keeping enough distances between vehicles, not wearing seatbelts, lack of lane discipline and jumping red signals. Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said launching this campaign is one of RTA's continuous efforts to prevent road accidents and reduce its impact on lives and properties. He pointed out that excessive speeding in considered a main or secondary reason of around 80 per cent of fatal accidents.

"The first phase of this comprehensive campaign focuses on speeding to encourage motorists to abide by speed limits. When the speed is 70km/h and is reduced by 2 per cent of the average speed, it helps in reducing fatal collisions by 10 per cent," Al Tayer said. He said the campaign has already started internally with the RTA's employees, as the RTA is keen on launching this campaign at the beginning for its employees who must be role models in spreading traffic culture in the society by abiding by the traffic laws.

Al Tayer said the Haseb "take care" campaign is about placing greater responsibility on every member of the society to act safely wherever they are and in whatever they do. The campaign is not about targeting road users, preaching safety and hoping that the road users act. "While government has the responsibility to develop and implement strategies aimed at improving road safety, it is broadly recognised that road safety is a shared responsibility. Private sector, associations and other non-government entities have a vital role to play," he said. Al Tayer said the awareness issue is also a responsibility of social organisations, media, and educationists, especially school and university teachers.

Strategy

"Our strategy includes initiatives to educate and influence children on safety, thereby inculcating good habits from younger ages. At the same time, constant reminder on safety to adults from various backgrounds will allow for a potential change in the bad habits created over the years," he said. "The RTA adopts the highest traffic safety standards in inspecting new projects during the design phases, as the newly established roads by the RTA have all the internationally approved safety standards," Al Tayer said.

Method

The RTA will use various tools to convey the awareness messages of this campaign. The awareness messages will include, statistics, pictures and slogans that communicate with the public's minds and emotions. The RTA will convey the messages through newspapers, TV channels, radio stations, internet, flyers and brochures. The information will be conveyed in various languages besides Arabic and English. "Safety campaigns raise public awareness that can help to influence the attitudes and behaviours that cause accidents. Safety campaigns also create public acceptance for safety engineering and police enforcement and give national focus for local initiatives aimed at safety behaviours," Al Tayer said. He said the total number of deaths in road accidents in 2007 was 329 deaths compared to 312 deaths in 2006. He said this means there is 21.5 deaths per every 100,000 of the population.

  • Contribute in reducing road accident fatalities and reaching to safety levels of the countries that are pioneers in road safety.
  • Enhancing the level of public and official awareness regarding safety.
  • Bringing together various road safety messages under one simple theme (Haseb/take care).
  • Keeping the campaign's theme an ongoing issue in the public's minds and getting them to say "Haseb or take care" at least 10 times per day thereby keeping awareness high.
  • Creating a need for the general public to take care at all the times.

Oct 22, 2008

Identity cards needed by end of the year

Dubai: Professional expatriates who do not obtain the new identity card by the end of the year may face a suspension in transactions and dealing with governmental and semi-governmental bodies, said a senior official at the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA).

Darwish Ahmad Al Zarouni, Director General of EIDA, told that the authority is under discussion with relevant government bodies to consider suspending some service to professional expatriates.

"Services we are looking at suspending will include driving licence renewals and renewal of vehicle registration," said Al Zarouni.

The deadline to register for the card for professional expatriates and all nationals is December 31 2008. The authority defines professionals as holders of bachelor degrees or higher qualifications. They also include: consultants, medical doctors, engineers, journalists, teachers, IT professionals and accountants. Blue collar workers will be given until the end of 2010 to register for the card.

However, the suspension of services by next January will be applied to all UAE nationals who have not obtained identity card. Bank transactions will also be suspended for Emiratis, according to Al Zarouni.

Earlier on Tuesday, Thamer Rashed Al Qasemi, Planning Director at the authority, said in a press gathering that expatriates will face a suspension in bank transactions and all governmental services if they do not obtain the cards by the end of the year.

Penalties by banks "A circular has been sent two months ago from the UAE Central bank to banks informing them not to provide any services for Emiratis and professional expatriates who do not produce the card as identification," said Al Qasemi.

Details: Registration centres Applicants can fill in the registration form at www.emiratesid.ae and print it out to submit it at any of the 24 registration centres in the country. Customers without access to the internet can approach typing centres at the registration centres to prepare the application forms. To find out the locations and opening times of the centres and documents required visit the website or call the EIDA call centre at 600 523 432.

Only immediate family members can share villas - official

Dubai: Only immediate family members are allowed to share villas, an official from Dubai Municipality has clarified.

Dubai Municipality's Head of Building Inspection section in the buildings department, Engineer Omar Abdul Rahman, said that distant relatives such as cousins and their families will not be allowed to share villas, assuring residents that the "one family per villa" rule still applies.

"As long as the tenants are members of the same family they can live in one villa, but distant relatives cannot," he said, adding that every case is assessed individually.

Engineer Abdul Rahman, however, said that traditional joint families need not worry. Naturally growing families, he said, were permitted to live in the same villa, such as cases where a father's children were starting families in the same house.

"If it's a family made up of a grandfather and his children together with their children that is fine, but you can't bring your cousins and their families to live with you," he said.

He warned however, that any additions made to the villa, such as partitions, must be authorised by the municipality.

The new rules are part of a campaign to reduce overcrowding in villas which can pose safety or fire hazards.

The municipality has issued a 30-day grace period for families to move out, which expires this weekend. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has been instructed to cut off utilities for violators beyond the period.

Oct 20, 2008

Buildings to get direct alarm system

Dubai: Civil Defence teams inspected more than 4,000 buildings and establishments in Dubai in August to connect them to the direct alarm system, a senior official said. Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director of Dubai Civil Defence, said the direct alarm system has already been installed in 220 establishments and the teams are inspecting other establishments to check their preparedness to be connected to the system. He said the direct alarm system is connected to Dubai Civil Defence's Operations Room, monitors the changes related to fires and sends direct alerts about smoke, fire or fault at elevators or the firefighting and protection systems. The system also identifies the location of the fault inside the building as well as providing civil defence and maintenance companies with detailed reports about the readiness of the firefighting and combating systems. Major General Al Matroushi said the project of connecting the buildings with direct alarm system aims at protecting lives and properties by detecting the fire at its early stages.

Internet to link ministry with workers

Dubai: Residents working in the UAE can now obtain a copy of their employment contract and labour card online through a new electronic service launched by the ministry of labour at Gitex 2008 on Sunday. Netwasal, meaning to communicate in Arabic, is a free reporting service initiative which provides ministry of labour information for both employers and employees. The initiative is part of the revamping of the ministry of labour website. The service is aimed at the working population of over 3.2 million and the 260,000 companies operating in the country, according to the ministry of labour's 2007 statistics. Humaid Bin Deemas, Acting Director General at the ministry, told a press gathering at Gitex that netwasal is the first e-service which is directed at employees and not only employers and aims to establish interactive communication between the ministry and workers. "This service will help protect workers' rights as it conveys a message that the ministry is keen on preserving their rights, especially as there are a limited number of employers who refuse to give their employees their employment contract," said Bin Deemas.

Two phases
The initiative will be implemented in two phases. The first phase, which started on Sunday, will enable employees to enter the ministry of labour website (www.mol.gov.ae) and enter their labour card number after which he/she can print their employment contract. In the second phase, which is expected to come into effect next week, workers will be able to obtain a copy of their labour card even if they do not know their card number, after entering their passport number.

Oct 16, 2008

First flight sail through Emirates Terminal 3

Dubai: Emirates threw open the doors of its new Emirates Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport to its passengers, in a phased operation that commenced earlier on Tuesday.

The first Emirates flight EK843 Dubai-Doha, an Airbus A330-200 with 136 passengers, four in First, 27 in Business and 105 in Economy Class was flagged off from Gate 213, on time at 2.15 pm.

The new terminal opened with staff from Emirates Airport Services and Dnata manning every operation and service, including concierge and porter services, check-in and information counters, and all the lounges - Unaccompanied Minors, Special Services, Customer Services, Marhaba, First and Business Class - in the terminal and concourse.

Passengers effortlessly used both the traditional check-in counters and the Self Service Kiosks dotting the terminal. The baggage system at check-in, including the kiosks that handle luggage, functioned equally smoothly.

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group said: "Today our customers tasted the fruit of years of planning, investments and commitment. While we were quite confident of the robust systems and facilities, today was still a day of reckoning and we are delighted that our operations worked as planned. My warmest congratulations to all the stakeholders involved with Emirates Terminal 3, and particularly to the staff of the Emirates Group for their unflagging dedication and teamwork."

First passengers
Jamal Nasser Lootah, Executive Director for Industrial Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy and a Skywards Gold member was the first passenger to check in at First Class in the new terminal. He was presented with a commemorative certificate by Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, and flowers by an Emirates cabin crew member.

Khalida Mirza, Vice Manager of A1 Properties, also a Skywards Gold member and the first passenger at Business Class check-in said: "I always prefer to fly Emirates. It has the best aircraft and the best service. It was a dream to travel from the new terminal and therefore I am here early to check-in."

Tamatsu Tamaro was the first passenger at Economy Class check-in and he enjoyed complimentary access and facilities at the well-appointed Marhaba Lounge. He said: "The facility is really big and spacious - I'm surprised and very impressed. The Marhaba service is excellent. I am happy to be Emirates' first customer at this impressive facility."

Both passengers were welcomed with special commemorative certificates and flowers from Emirates' cabin crew members.

Flights
On day one, besides flight EK843, other flights scheduled for departure from Emirates Terminal 3 include EK845 to Doha, EK857 and EK859 to Kuwait, EK839 to Bahrain, and EK817 to Riyadh.

Emirates flight EK2926 Jeddah-Dubai was the first flight to arrive at Emirates Terminal 3 and other flights scheduled to arrive on the first day include EK844 from Doha, EK212 from Houston, EK202 from New York, EK840 from Bahrain, EK858 from Kuwait, EK262 from Sao Paulo and EK818 from Riyadh.

From wednesday, October 15 onwards, all the flights to and from the GCC and the Americas - 40 flights a day, around 15 per cent of the airline's total services - have started depart from and arrive at Emirates Terminal 3.

The second phase, to be launched shortly, will include flights to the rest of the Middle East and Africa, increasing operations to 99 flights every day, 37 per cent of all flights.

Flights to Europe will take-off in the third phase, escalating operations to 168 daily flights or 60 per cent of all Emirates' services.

The fourth and final phase will include flights to the Indian Subcontinent, East Asia and Australasia and bring the total to 269 flights every day.

Oct 13, 2008

Traffic Black points

No

Violation

Fine

Black Points

In Absentia/In Presence

Vehicle
confiscated/ Days

1

Driving dangerously or racing

2000

12

Both

30

2

Drving under the influence of Alcohol drugs or similar substances

Decided by Court

24

Both

60

3

Driving a vehicle without number plat

1000

24

In presence

60

4

Causing death of others

Decided by court

12

In presence

30

5

Not stopping after causing an accident that resulted in injuries

Decided by court

24

Both

60

6

Reckless Driving

2000

12

Both

30

7

Exceeding maximum speed limit by more than 60 km/h

1000

12

Both

30

8

Driving in a way that is dangerous to public

1000

12

Both

30

9

Jumping a red light

800

8

Both

15

10

Running away from a traffic policeman

800

12

Both

30

11

Dangerous overtaking by Trucks

800

24

Both

60

12

Causing a car to overturn

Decided by court

8

Both

-

13

Causing serious injuries

Decided by court

8

In presence

-

14

Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 60 km/h

900

6

Both

-

15

Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 50 km/h

800

-

Both

-

16

Overtaking on the hard shoulder

600

6

In presence

-

17

Entering road dangerously

600

6

Both

-

18

Causing moderate injury

Decided by court

6

Both

-

19

Heavy vehicle lane discipline

600

6

Both

-

20

Overtaking from a prohibited place

600

6

In presence

-

21

Causing serious damage to a vehicle

Decided by court

6

In presence

-

22

Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 40 km/h

700

-

Both

-

23

Parking in fire hydrant places, spaces allocated for people with special needs and ambulance parking

1000

4

Both

-

24

Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 30 km/h

600

-

Both

-

25

Driving against traffic

400

4

In presence

-

26

Allowing children below 10 yrs old to sit in the front seat of a vehicle

400

4

In presence

-

27

Failure to fasten seat belt while driving

400

4

In presence

-

28

Failure to leave a safe distance

400

4

In presence

-

29

Failure to follow the directions of a traffic policeman

400

4

Both

-

30

Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 20km/hr

500

-

Both

-

31

Entering a road without ensuring that it is clear

400

4

In presence

-

32

Exceeding permitted level of car window tinting

500

-

In presence

30

33

Not giving way to emergency police and public service vehicles or official convoys

500

4

Both

-

34

Driving a vehicle that does not comply with safety and security conditions

500

-

In presence

30

35

Failure to stop after causing and accident

500

6

Both

7

36

Driving a noisy vehicle

500

-

Both

30

37

Allowing others to drive a vehicle for which they are unlicensed

500

-

In presence

-

38

Loading a heavy vehicle in a way that may pose danger to others or to the road

500

6

Both

7

39

Overload or protruding load from a heavy vehicle without permission

500

6

Both

7

40

Driving a vehicle that causes pollution

500

-

Both

-

41

Stopping on the road for no reason

500

4

In presence

-

42

Stopping on a yellow box

500

-

Both

-

43

Not giving pedestrians way on pedestrian crossing

500

6

Both

-

44

Failure to abide by traffic signs and directions

500

-

Both

-

45

Throwing waste from vehicles onto roads

500

4

Both

-

46

Refusing to give traffic police name & address when required

500

-

In presence

47

Stopping vehicle on the left side of the road in prohibited places

500

-

Both

-

48

Stopping vehicle on pedestrian crossing

500

-

Both

-

49

Teaching driving in a training vehicle that does not bear a learning sign

500

-

Both

-

50

Teaching driving in a non –training vehicle without permission from a licensing authority

500

-

In presence

-

51

Placing marks on the road that may damage the road or block traffic

500

-

Both

-

52

Operating industrial, construction and mechanical vehicles and tractors without permission from licensing authority

500

-

In presence

7

53

Modifying vehicle’s engine without permission

400

-

In presence

-

54

Modifying vehicle’s chasses without permission

400

-

In presence

-

55

Changing vehicle’s color without permission

400

-

In presence

-

56

Exceeding maximum speed limit by not more than 10 km/hr

400

-

Both

-

57

Driving with a driving license issued by a foreign country except in permitted cases

400

-

In presence

-

58

Violating the terms of the driving license

300

-

In presence

-

59

Parking behind vehicles and blocking their movement

300

-

Both

-

60

Towing a vehicle or a boat with an unprepared vehicle

300

-

In presence

-

61

Driving a vehicle that omits gases or fumes with substances exceeding permitted rates

300

-

Both

-

62

Leaving a vehicle on the road with its engine running

300

-

Both

-

63

No lights on the back or sides of the trailer container

200

-

Both

-

64

Lights on the back or sides of the container not working

200

-

Both

-

65

Taxis which have designated pick up areas stopping in undesignated places

200

4

Both

-

66

Prohibited entry

200

4

Both

-

67

Blocking Traffic

200

-

Both

-

68

Vehicle unfit for driving

200

-

Both

7

69

Driving a light vehicle that does not comply with safety and security conditions

200

-

Both

7

70

Not lifting exhaust of trucks

200

-

Both

7

71

Not covering loads of trucks

3000

-

Both

7

72

Using vehicle for purposes other than designated

200

4

In presence

7

73

Heavy vehicle prohibited entry

200

4

Both

7

74

Violating loading or unloading regulations in parking

200

4

In presence

7

75

Carrying and transporting passengers illegally

200

4

In presence

7

76

Writing phrases or placing stickers on vehicles without permission

200

-

Both

-

77

Not taking road safety measures during vehicle breakdowns

200

-

Both

-

78

Turning at undesignated points

200

4

Both

-

79

Turning the wrong way

200

4

Both

-

80

Loading a light vehicle in a way that may pose a danger to others or to the road

200

3

Both

7

81

Overload or protruding load on light vehicles without permission

200

3

In presence

7

82

Stopping vehicle without keeping the distance specified by the law from a curve or junction

200

-

Both

-

83

Transporting passengers by vehicle undesignated for this purpose

200

4

In presence

-

84

Sudden swerve

200

4

In presence

-

85

Driving a taxi without required license

200

4

In presence

-

86

Carrying passengers in driving training vehicle

200

4

In presence

-

87

Driving a taxi with an expired warranty

200

-

In presence

-

88

Reversing dangerously

200

-

Both

-

89

Taxi refusing to carry passengers

200

4

Both

-

90

Falling or leaking load

3000

12

Both

30

91

Not securing vehicle while parked

200

-

Both

-

92

Parking in prohibited places

200

2

In presence

-

93

Parking in loading and offloading areas without need

200

-

In presence

-

94

Parking on road shoulder except in cases of emergency

200

-

In presence

-

95

Using multi-colored lights

200

-

Both

-

96

Not wearing helmet while driving motorbike

200

4

Both

-

97

Exceeding passenger limit

200

3

In presence

-

98

Driving with tires in poor condition

200

-

In presence

7

99

Driving with and expired driving license

200

3

In presence

-

100

Not renewing vehicle registration after expiry

400

-

In presence

-

101

Driving unlicensed vehicle

200

-

In presence

7

102

Violation of laws of using commercial number plates

200

-

In presence

-

103

Not fixing number plates in designated places

200

2

In presence

-

104

Driving with one number plate

200

2

In presence

-

105

Driving at nights or foggy weather without lights

200

4

In presence

-

106

Using unmatching number plates for trailer and container

200

-

Both

-

107

Not fixing reflective stickers at the back of trucks and heavy vehicles

200

-

Both

-

108

Not using indicators when changing direction or turning

200

3

In presence

-

109

Not giving way for vehicles to pass on the left

200

-

Both

-

110

Not giving way to vehicles coming from the left where required

200

-

Both

-

111

Stopping a vehicle in a way that may pose danger or block traffic

200

3

Both

-

112

Failure to have vehicle examined after carrying out major modification to engine or body

200

-

In presence

7

113

Using training vehicles outside of timings specified by licensing authority

200

-

In presence

-

114

Using training vehicles in places not designated by licensing authority

200

-

Both

-

115

Overtaking from the right

200

4

Both

-

116

Overtaking in a wrong way

200

3

In presence

-

117

Driving an unlicensed vehicle

200

-

In presence

7

118

Abuse of parking space

200

3

Both

-

119

Number plates with unclear numbers

200

3

Both

-

120

Violating tariff

200

6

Both

-

121

Light vehicle lane discipline

200

2

Both

-

122

Parking vehicles on pavement

200

3

Both

-

123

Not showing vehicle registration card when required

200

-

In presence

-

124

Not showing driving license when required

200

-

In presence

-

125

Not fixing taxi sign where required

200

-

Both

-

126

Not fixing a sign indicating licensed overload

200

3

In presence

-

127

Using interior lights for no reason while driving

100

-

In presence

-

128

Failure to abide by specified colour for taxi or training cars

200

-

In presence

-

129

Failure to display tariff of buses or taxis or not showing them when required

200

-

In presence

-

130

Broken lights

200

6

In presence

-

131

Using horn in prohibited areas

200

2

In presence

-

132

Driving below minimum speed limit

200

-

Both

-

133

Failure to keep taxis and buses clean inside and outside

200

-

In presence

-

134

Smoking inside taxis and buses

200

-

Both

-

135

Using hand-held mobile phone while driving

200

4

In presence

-

136

Not abiding by taxi drivers obligatory uniform or not keeping it in good condition

100

-

In presence

-

137

Calling on passengers in the presence of signs

100

-

Both

-

138

Not displaying truck’s load on both sides

100

-

Both

-

139

Not carrying driving license while driving

100

-

In presence

-

140

Not carrying vehicle registration card while driving

100

-

In presence

-

141

Driving without spectacles or contact lenses

100

-

In presence

-

142

Not using interior lights in buses at night

100

-

In presence

-

143

Broken indicator lights

100

2

In presence

-

144

Using horn in a disturbing way

100

2

In presence

-

145

Having no red light at the back of vehicle

100

-

Both

-

146

Opening left door of taxi

100

3

In presence

-

147

Pedestrians crossing from undesignated places (If any existed)

200

-

In presence

-