Jul 23, 2009

Residency visa for your wife

The residency laws of the country allows married expatriate men who are living and working legally here to bring their wives to join them in the UAE.

Any man can sponsor his wife if he complies with the residency laws.

However, the residency laws allow Muslim expatriate men who are married to more than one woman, to sponsor only one of them for the residency visa.

The residency visa period for expatriates is usually between one and three years and according to the law of the country, the residency visa for wives is valid for three years.

In order to bring your wife here your salary should be not less than Dh3,000 plus housing or a total remuneration of Dh4,000.

Application

If the husband is the breadwinner and supports his wife, he should submit the application and sign it.

If the wife is young (under 25 years) then approval of the director-general of the naturalisation and residency department is needed.

The husband can send a visit visa to his new spouse and she can enter the country on this visa. After arrival the husband has to apply for a residency visa for his wife. This should be done within 60 days or the husband will be fined Dh25 for each day of delay. The husband should submit a document from his embassy or consulate to prove that he is her sole supporter. That document should be attested by the foreign ministry.

Attestation

If the couple was married in their home country and the wife followed the husband here later, the legal marriage certificate should be submitted in order to obtain a residence visa for the wife.

All documents should be attested and notarised by the authorities in the home country. The documents should be attested by the court, the immigration authority, UAE embassy in the home country of the wife and approved by the foreign ministry of her home country.

The wife will then be granted a residence visa for a housewife. She will not be allowed to work under this visa and her sponsor in this country will be the husband.

Procedure: Documents to bring

  • First make sure your salary is at least Dh4,000 to sponsor your wife
  • Apply for visit visa first so that she can enter the country
  • After she arrives here, the husband can apply for a residency visa at the emirate which has issued your residency visa
  • The documents needed include a photocopy of your passport
  • A photocopy of the wife's passport
  • A copy of your eGate card (in case you apply in Dubai)
  • Marriage certificate attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Submit your work contract, which should be attested
  • An approved salary certificate, if working for the government
  • Medical checkup of the wife at an authorised hospital or clinic
  • Application fee (e-form) is Dh100
  • Additional Dh100 for urgent application fee (e-form)
  • Dh10 Empost label (optional)
  • After the end of her three years' residency, the visa has to be renewed

Here you will need:

  • Her original passport
  • A copy of the husband's passport
  • Three passport-size pictures of the wife
  • Your work contract (if you work in a private company, or salary certificate if you work for the public sector)
  • Fees is Dh100 for each year of residency visa renewal (the maximum is 3 years)

Labour Minister issues decree to enforce Wages Protection System

Abu Dhabi: All institutions registered under the Labour Ministry will, from September this year, start paying workers' wages and salaries through the newly introduced Wages Protection System (WPS).

Labour Minister Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash has issued an order enforcing the new system, which involves transfer of salaries through selected financial institutions, authorised and regulated by the government.

The move, which is in implementation of cabinet decree number 133/1, is aimed at boosting transparency and stability on the labour market. It also seeks to protect the rights of workers in the country.

Gobash and the UAE Central Bank Governor, Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, recently launched the WPS, under which the employer can choose any registered agent to participate in the WPS.

On receiving details about workers' wages, the bank or institution sends the information electronically to the WPS. The WPS sends the salary file to the agent for payment, and the agent pays the employees.

The system will also supply the Labour Ministry with the necessary data pertaining to all salary and wage payments in the private sector.

Gobash said: "The WPS reflects the UAE's pioneering position in the region, and will increasingly project the country as a model worth emulating in the area of boosting the rights of workers.

"It is our ethical and legal responsibilities to always strive to come up with innovative means of implementing our leadership's policies which aim at providing secured and stable environment and at protecting the rights of all segments of the society."

A dedicated WPS Office in the Labour Ministry will ensure that the process is functioning smoothly. The workers will not face any deductions or charges in salaries because of the WPS.

The decree also sets deadlines for various categories of business institutions in the country to comply with the WPS. Institutions with 100 or more employees have till the end of November to comply with the new system.

Institutions with 15 to 99 employees have to comply by the end of February 2010, while institutions with 15 or less employees have their deadline set for May 31, 2010.

Acting Director General at the Labour Ministry, Humaid Bin Deemas cited a number of positive aspects of the system, including saving of money, time and energy, boosting production and employee loyalty.

He described the new system as "most appropriate", saying it will save both the employees and their employers the trouble of having to keep huge amounts of money at their workplaces.

Bin Deemas said the Labour Ministry was committed to working very closely with all concerned with the aim of reaching the best mechanism that would equally protect the interest of all parties.

He said even before the issuance of the new decree, the response to the WPS was very positive as the system transfered the wages of about 28,000 workers in June.

Stringent penalties

Cabinet decree number 133/1 states that institutions which provided false information regarding employees' wages or salaries will suffer consequences, including court action.

In addition, it will be denied the right to have a new work permit, which shall remain in force until after the court proceedings.

Any institution which fails to transfer payment of its employee to the WPS on time will also have its work permit transactions blocked until it transfers the full payment of the wages.

A repetition of these two violations will lead to more punitive action. The institution shall forfeit the right to have a new work permit until after one month of rectifying the violation.

A third violation will result in the processing of new work permit being suspended for two months, while a fourth violation will attract a three-month suspension.

The decree mandates the Labour Ministry to stop issuing new working permits to institutions which violate the decree frequently.

These institutions are to be referred to court and no work permit is to be issued to the company, or any of its subsidiaries, or other companies owned by the owner of the violating company, until after the court proceedings or after the errant company has rectified the violation, whichever comes first.

The decree abrogates ministerial decree number 156 of 2003, which mandates institutions to produce an auditor's certificate.

Free DNRD service at your doorstep

Dubai: If you are unable to go to the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) to finalise transactions, its officers will come to your home.

"This is part of the DNRD services which is done under humanitarian grounds," Lt Col Yousuf Al Merri, assistant director for entry permits, said .

Mohammad Abdul Kareem made use of the service. He said a DNRD officer visited him at home to take his signature on a sponsorship application.

Al Merri said this free service is extended to old people and those with health problems or special needs.

"We need to be informed about any situation and we will send an officer from our department to the place were the applicant is staying in order to help him to finish the transaction."

Abu Dhabi Police plan to establish modern GIS security centre

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Police plan to set up a security centre for Geographic Information System (GIS) in an attempt to apply geographical applications and solutions in police work, a senior security official said.

"A clear-cut strategy has been chalked out that incorporates the project into key strategies of Abu Dhabi Government and Ministry of Interior," Lieutenant Colonel Nasser Al Maskari, Chairman of the GIS Project Committee, said.

"The core idea is to develop smart security system that backs up all police activities and missions and enhances integration of information and knowledge-based security systems under a comprehensive strategy. It helps provide timely, much-needed information to operations rooms, patrols, personnel, crime scene investigations, and criminal evidence. It locates critical sites and backs decision-makers for sake of change and relays knowledge," he said.

According to him, the project will cover all organisational entities and formations for Abu Dhabi Police, other police forces in other emirates, military, civil and security agencies, educational institutions and public universities.

"The strategic initiative will be executed in three phases: The first phase, which envisages the development of the GIS strategy, will be completed during the current month. The second phase of designing appropriate GIS solutions and applications will be ready by mid-September to be followed by the third phase of the full fledge implementation of the project that will span from 2010 to 2014," he said.

GIS captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that is linked to location. Technically, GIS is geographic information systems that include mapping software and its application with remote sensing, land surveying, aerial photography, mathematics, geography and tools that can be implemented with GIS software.

In the strictest sense, the term describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares, and displays geographic information.

In a more generic sense, GIS applications are tools that allow users to create interactive queries (user created searches), analyze spatial information, edit data, maps, and present the results of all these operations.

For police application, it delivers information to the nearest police patrol or centre, guides policemen, rescuers or firefighters to the easiest and quickest roads to accident site.

Residents run for cover as dust storm hits Al Ain

Al Ain: A strong dust storm on Wednesday hit Al Ain drastically reducing visibility, adding to the despair of residents facing a heat wave.

The storm hit the city at 4:25pm, forcing people to stay in-doors. Gushing winds stirred up dust and sand to swirl around, creating a dust blanket for almost an hour.

The streets and markets were virtually deserted due to the heat and dust. Reduced visibility also created difficulty for the motorists on highways in the surroundings of the city.

There was, however, no major disruption to traffic and the Civil Defence Department and traffic police remained alert.

Over the last few days, some parts of the country have recently been experiencing sudden development of dust storms under the influence of heat, humidity, and upper level high clouds.

People were also warned by the weather forecasters to stay on guard as dust storms might hit in the afternoon, particularly in the eastern and northern areas of the emirates, as conditions are conducive for such development over the next several days.

A forecaster said Al Ain with 45 degree Celsius on Wednesday remained the hottest city in the country followed by Liwa where maximum temperature was recorded at 46 degree Celsius. People in Ras Al Khaimah also braved 44 degree Celsius.

The Met office forecast also indicated hot, hazy and windy condition across the country in the next 48 hours, saying that there are also chances of scattered clouds. The conditions would be hot and humid at night and hazy over some areas by Thursday morning.

Dh50,000 fine for violators of 'one villa, one family' rule

Dubai: About 5000 homes have been found violating the ‘one villa, one family’ rule introduced by Dubai Municipality two years ago.

Engineer Hussain Lootah, Director General, Dubai Municipality said starting next month a fine of Dhs50,000 will be issued to those who are found violating the rule in the emirate.

He warned that no one should expect a grace period or exemption from next month.

According to Lootah, the decision to issue fines was decided after the civic body had done all that it could to make people adhere to the rule.

Speed cameras installed on key streets

Ras Al Khaimah: The Traffic and Licensing Department has installed cameras on two main streets with 80 others to be fixed on various streets shortly to control speeding which has proved to be the key reason for accidents here.

According to Colonel Hassan Al Jeeda, who heads the Traffic Section at the Traffic and Licensing Department, the equipment has been purchased by the RAK Police Headquarters.

One of the cameras has been installed on Al Faisal Street, opposite to Al Ittihad University and registers a speeding ticket against a driver at 91km/h.

The second has been installed in Southern Al Dhait, opposite to the new Safir Mall, and is fixed at a speed of 101km/h.

"Speeding is the direct reason for at least 70 per cent of the road accidents reported in Ras Al Khaimah and unless the speeding menace is faced directly and with no delay, the number of death cases and injuries will increase in the emirate," he said.

"The target of installing radars &was not collecting the fines, but ensuring total safety..." he said.

Minor tremor felt in northern emirates of the UAE

Abu Dhabi: The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) has recorded a 5.6 magnitude earthquake at 7.35am Wednesday morning on Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz area.

The tremor resulting from the earthquake was felt lightly in some areas in the UAE especially the northern emirates, according to the NCMS. Some parts of Fujairah and Dibba and surrounding villages felt the tremors most.

The centre said that this was a natural occurrence given that the area is geographically close to the Zagros mountains in Iran, which is earthquake prone.

There was another aftershock tremor that was recorded at a 4.2 magnitude at 8.26am.

No injuries or damages were caused by quake. The authorities have expressed their readiness to deal with any emergency. Civil Defence sources said that the department was ready to tackle all emergencies.

Jul 16, 2009

Tough weather conditions in UAE force people indoors

Al Ain: Dust-laden north-westerly winds and sizzling temperatures have created tough weather conditions across the emirates, forcing people to spend most of their time in air-conditioned environment.

The conditions are worse in the coastal cities and the western areas of Abu Dhabi as the winds are coming in from over the Arabian Gulf waters.

"The dust is coming from Qatar and Iraq," said Dr S. K. Gupta, a senior forecaster at Dubai Meteorological Department.

He said conditions also created dense dust-laden fog in many areas of the UAE that has reduced visibility by considerable levels. The muggy conditions started developing on Tuesday and continued until late in the evening.

Doctors warn of dusty conditions at weekend in UAE

Abu Dhabi: With a long weekend coming up, doctors are urging people who plan to spend their time outdoors and who suffer from severe eye and nose allergies, respiratory diseases and or skin conditions, to take precautions against dusty weather conditions.

"In general try to avoid the dust, and if you're going out always carry tissues and use a standard mouth mask if and when required - it may look socially unacceptable for some people but medically it makes perfect sense to use it," said Dr Ravi Arora, Internist at the NMC Specialty Hospital

People with respiratory diseases are advised to carry inhalers and medication with them if they opt for outdoor-type activities.

"If someone is generally on medication, they must be prepared to increase the dose in case of an allergy flare up, especially when it comes to asthmatic people," warned Dr Arora.

A spokesperson from the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) told that the News the weather over the weekend is expected to be hazy and dusty in mountainous areas and the desert.

"Mountains close to Al Ain, Oman and Ras Al Khaimah and the open desert are risky for people on medication or who have breathing problems, since we do expect low visibility and dust with possible showers across the mountains and a wind increase due to rising sands in the open desert," said the official, who assured people that spending time on the beach this weekend was perfectly fine.

Dr Humeri Nasser, General Practitioner at Al Noor Hospital said people who have atopic allergies or are sensitive to dust and humidity may face breathing problems.

"Atopic families should not plan for an outdoor-type activity that could stimulate their respiratory system and result in an allergic reaction. People with asthma and eczema should not be encouraged to go out if it means risking their pre-existing medical conditions," said Dr Nasser, who urges parents planning to go on picnics this weekend, to take along a first aid kit and necessary medication.

Treatments are available if your child has a history of an allergic attack; or in case they have been stung by a bee, eaten the wrong food or face a respiratory problem, advised the doctor.

"Symptoms of an allergy are swelling, a drop in blood pressure, and loss of breath due to a swollen airway," said Dr Nasser, adding avoidance and prevention is the best policy when it comes to allergic reactions and diseases related to weather conditions.

Doctor's advice

Yaser Abu Al Sameed, M.D. pulmonary consultant, Institute of Medicine at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City says: "Many people with mild asthma need take no special care to avoid dust. However, some patients are very sensitive to this exposure.

People can try to avoid breathing dust by: Avoiding household furnishings that accumulate dust. They shoudl also dust frequently, with a damp cloth.

Al Sameed also suggested mopping floors instead of sweeping, washing all bedding every week in water that is at least 130 degrees to control dust mites, and using clean filters in air conditioning units.

Abu Dhabi earmarks Dh40m for road safety

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport has launched a Dh40 million safety improvement programme for the Al Mafraq-Al Ghuwaifat Road, considered the most dangerous in the UAE.

The 327km highway links the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The project aims to enhance traffic security and bring the road's safety features in line with international standards, officials said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport aims to improve levels of traffic safety on this vital road link to meet international safety standards as part of the department's strategy to raise levels of traffic safety on highways across the emirate," said Faisal Al Suwaidi, Executive Director Highways, at the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport.

According to statistics, 14 per cent of the accidents in Abu Dhabi took place on this road in 2007.

Al Suwaidi said the Dep-artment of Transport is investing Dh40 million to enhance driver safety, including improving U-turns, closing dangerous U-turns between Al Mafraq and Al Ghuwaifat, installing directional and warning signs, road markings, solar power flashers at unlit U-turns, and speed humps in rest areas.

The scheme, he said, also aims to improve pedestrian crossings through the Al Sila area among other measures.

"It is expected that all of these improvements will be implemented by the end of the year,"

Al Ghuwaifat is a town in Al Gharbia, where roughly eight per cent of the emirate's population, or 120,000 people, live.

However, Al Garbia takes up 83 per cent of Abu Dhabi's land area and 70 per cent of the entire country. It also has the richest oil reserves and accounts for about 40 per cent of the emirate's gross domestic product.

In addition, Abu Dhabi Traffic Police, the strategic partner of the Department of Transport in this initiative, has installed 20 solar-powered speed radars along the highway.

"We realise the importance of the Al Mafraq-Al Ghuwaifat highway linking Abu Dhabi to the neighbouring regions.

"We are also aware of the dangers that exist on this road. In cooperation with the Abu Dhabi traffic police, we are adopting critical measures to enhance safety and reduce the rate of accidents.

"We are working to provide advanced transport systems in the emirate to meet international safety standards," Al Suwaidi said.

Colonel Engineer Hussain Ahmad Al Harthi, Director of the Traffic Engineering and Road Safety Department at the Abu Dhabi Police, said traffic safety is one of their top priorities.

"Our plan ensures that we work with strategic partners to enhance the level of traffic safety across the emirate.

"We will work to intensify our efforts to increase traffic awareness and reduce accidents, especially in areas where accidents are on the increase.

"To this end, we intend to install speed signs and speed radars and intensify police patrols, and to issue on the spot fines to those who violate traffic laws," he said.

These immediate measures are part of a four-year programme to develop this major road link.

Earlier this year, the Department of Transport announced the selection of five international consortia for the new Mafraq-Ghuweifat International Highway Public-Private-Partnership Project Tender from an original shortlist of nine.

The selected consortia will work on designing, building, financing and operating the 327km highway linking Mafraq to the border post with Saudi Arabia at Ghuwaifat over the next 25 years.

Currently, work is in progress on the Al Mafraq-Al Ghuwaifat highway to expand the road to eight lanes, four in each direction, doubling the road's capacity up to the Al Ruwais junction.

After the junction, the road will be widened to six lanes, three in each direction, up to the international border with Saudi Arabia.

The Government has earmarked Dh98 billion for the economic development of Al Garbia.

Another major project is an 80km road connecting Gayathi and Madinat Zayed.

Rents in Dubai have come down says a new report

Dubai: Rents for villas and flats in Dubai have decreased by an average of 24 per cent and 21 per cent respectively between April and June.

However property rates in Palm Jumeirah have gone up by 20 per cent.

These figures are according to a published report by Asteco, a property services firm. It follows another study that showed rents in Abu Dhabi falling by 35 per cent.

According to Andrew Chambers, the managing director of Asteco, one of the main reasons for the decrease in rents in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is the current trend - of people working in Abu Dhabi opting to relocate to Dubai.

Chambers said that people are currently comparing rents and facilities provided by landlords then deciding where to stay.

The cheapest area to stay in a one-bedroom flat, according to the report is Dubai’s International City were rents fell by 21 per cent in the last three months to Dh 40,000 per year.

Palm Jumeriah continues to remain the most expensive as tenants are expected to pay Dh100,000.

Downtown Burj Dubai is the most expensive to rent a three-bedroom villa - those could come for Dh265,000 annually. Mirdiff is reported to be the cheapest area at Dh107,000 annually.

Users reject etisalat story on BlackBerry trouble

Dubai: Etisalat's explanation for problems experienced by BlackBerry subscribers in the UAE after a "performance enhancing" patch was downloaded is "far from the reality of the situation," said the IT expert who first discovered the glitch.

A patch issued by the telecommunication company for BlackBerry users last week caused many subscribers to experience severe battery drainage and heating of their devices.

Doha-based computer programmer Nigel Gourlay had claimed the drainage was caused by hidden software in the patch that intercepted the user's communication.

After a few days of silence and growing frustration among its subscribers, etisalat issued a statement earlier on Wednesday, saying the patch had created a "slight technical fault".

It added that: "These upgrades were required for service enhancements particularly for issues related to the handover between 2G to 3G network coverage areas."

Louie H, the man who discovered the fault and posted it on the official BlackBerry forum, told that: "This statement from etisalat is in no way related to the issue. Programmers have seen the code for this patch and have confirmed it is designed to send information back to etisalat."

He also questioned etisalat's need to push a network upgrade on end users, saying such updates would not be done on the users' devices.

"These phones, like etisalat, use industry standards. This implies that there was something wrong with all the BlackBerry devices the patch was sent to," he added.

The statement issued by etisalat has also raised eyebrows among BlackBerry users who were under the impression that etisalat had already been using 3G networks for its BlackBerry subscribers, as it had advertised.

Etisalat said only a minority of its 145,000 BlackBerry users were affected by the patch, and that only 300 complaints were registered by its call centre. Gulf News alone received 239 complaints about the issue since running an article on the troublesome patch on July 13.

Many of the complaints cited either a lack of response from etisalat's customer support lines, or a lack of awareness of the glitch among customer support agents.

The statement from etisalat asks customers to continue calling the support line at 101, which would "resolve the issue completely". It did not elaborate on how the issue would be resolved. A number of BlackBerry users have complained that etisalat is citing a "wiping" or formatting of the phone as a solution, which leads to complete data loss.

Users of social networking site Twitter also expressed their frustration with etisalat and rejected its justification of the battery troubles they faced. A number of them questioned why etisalat had sent 3G updates, as the operator claimed, to phones that are not 3G capable.

Gulf News readers also doubted the credibility of etisalat's justification. Anees, a resident of Dubai, said he did not think its customers would trust any patches the operator sends in the future.

A reader by the name of Coolio said: "BlackBerry devices in the whole world have no issues handing over from 3G to 2G and vice versa, except in the UAE? No BlackBerry in the world requires the patch [except] Etisalat?"

Amin, from Dubai, said he would have liked to call etisalat to resolve the problem, as suggested by the operator "if only they would answer".

Rob, also in Dubai, said: "Who believes this? The issue has been investigated by several experts and all claim it is software so that Etisalat can monitor the BlackBerry traffic".

A twitter user in the UAE, upon receiving a text message, wrote: "Were you trying to apologise for spying on me etisalat? You should know I can't read Arabic text messages."

Repeated attempts to obtain a clarification of the statement from etisalat failed.

Research in Motion, BlackBerry's parent company, also did not respond.

Inspectors ensure outdoor workers in Dubai take midday break

Dubai: A worker was spotted at around 1pm painting the outside wall of a villa in Al Warqaa area in one of two midday break violations that the ministry of labour inspectors registered in Dubai on Wednesday.

The second case was also registered in Al Warqaa and involved a group working on a villa project.

Watch video: Too hot to work

"Today is the first day I continued to work during the break. Usually I honour the midday break rule," said the shocked worker.



A group of inspectors, headed by Maher Al Obad, Executive Director for Inspection Affairs at the Ministry, was accompanied by a group of journalists on an awareness and inspection tour to foster a culture of respect for the midday break rule which stipulates a halt to all outdoor work between 12.30pm until 3pm during the months of July and August.

The awareness-driven visits aim to educate workers on their rights and the danger of working in hot conditions, as well as to educate site supervisors and safety officers.

"We work to foster a work environment which respects the midday break rule and a culture which protects workers' basic human rights through these tours," said Al Obad adding that the high adherence rate showed that the efforts were paying off.

About 16,323 out of the 16, 524 inspected sites across the country were found adhering to the midday break rule, while 201 sites were found violating the rule since this year's implementation, according to the ministry of labour statistics.

Ministry inspectors say communication with workers is one of the main challenges in their work.

"It is very difficult to talk to workers, I speak some Urdu and I still sometimes find it difficult but many of my colleagues really struggle with this issue", said Jasem Yaqoub, a newly appointed 22-year-old Emirati inspector.

Company probed

A company was summoned to the Ministry of Labour during the midday break rule inspection on Tuesday, for having a sick worker on site.

Maher Al Obad, Executive Director for Inspection Affairs at the Ministry, issued a summons request to one of the companies which they had visited on Wednesday after finding a worker lying down as he was sick.

Mustafa, a worker from Bangladesh, who was suffering from back pain and fever, was found lying down on a piece of cardboard.

"I have been suffering from back pain for about a month and I have had fever for the last two days but I cannot stay at home because I will have my salary deducted so I have to come even if I cannot carry out any duties," he told. .

However, Al Obad, said that having workers who are sick on site without receiving medical care is a violation of the labour law.

"We have summoned the company to investigate the issue and actions will be taken against the company if proven guilty," said Al Obad.

23 companies shut down for manufacture of fake goods

Ajman: Twenty three companies involved in the manufacturing and sale of fake goods were shut down by the Ajman Municipality in the first half of this year.

These companies were caught flouting the rules by inspectors during routine checks that are carried out by the civic body. In the last six months about 2,321 companies in Ajman were issued with fines in the last six months.

Checks were carried out in 2,451 companies during the last six months.

Yahya Al Reyasa, Acting Director-General of the municipality said that the companies found flouting municipality regulations were fined Dh10,000 to Dh50,000.

He said that the civic body has tightened its grip by making surprise visits on companies who put public safety at risk.

Jul 15, 2009

Fingerprinting required for new residency visas

Abu Dhabi: From the month of August, impressions of all ten fingers will be a requirement for those renewing or applying for fresh residency visa in the UAE.

Al Khaleej reports that the new criteria will be included in a special database. It is taken as a precautionary step towards ensuring safety and security and to check the entry of illegal immigrants.

The exercise will also ensure that those who apply for residence visa have a clean record and have not run into trouble with the law.


Postal services in UAE to be available only at main offices on Sunday

Dubai: Postal services will be available only at main post offices between 9am and 1pm on Sunday, July 19, on the occasion of Al Israa Wal Miraj holiday.

The following post offices will be open:

In Abu Dhabi: the Abu Dhabi Central Post Office, Hamdan, Nadi Al Seyahi, Musafah, Beni Yas, Badaa Zayed and Al Ain Main Post Office.

In Dubai: Dubai Central Post Office, Deira Main Post Office, Jebal Ali, Satwa, Al Khor, Jumeirah, Rashidiya, Hor Al Anz. Post offices at the International City and shopping malls will be open only from 5pm to 9pm. The Dubai airport post office will be open 24 hours.

In Sharjah: Sharjah Central Post Office, Al Corniche, Al Ghuwair, Kalba, Khorfakkan, Al Dhaid.

In Ajman: the Ajman Central Post Office. In Umm Al Quwain: Umm Al Quwain Centre Post Office, Sanaiyah and Al Souq. In Ras Al Khaimah: Ras Al Khaimah Central Post Office, Al Nakheel and Al Uraibi. In Fujairah: Fujairah Central Post Office and Dibba Fujairah.

The counters of all other branches of Emirates Post will remain closed. However, collection of mail from street boxes will be as usual. Collection and delivery of mail will also continue at the post offices listed above.

IT expert questions etisalat explanation on BlackBerry fault

A number of BlackBerry users have complained that etisalat is citing a “wiping” or formatting of the phone as a solution, which leads to complete data loss.

Dubai: Etisalat’s explanation for problems experienced by Blackberry subscribers in the UAE after a “performance enhancing” patch was downloaded is “far from the reality of the situation,” said the IT expert who first discovered the glitch.

A patch issued by the telecoms company for BlackBerry users last week caused many subscribers to experience severe battery drainage and heating of their devices.

Doha-based computer programmer Nigel Gourlay, had claimed the draining was caused by hidden software in the patch that intercepted the user’s communication.