Aug 26, 2009

Warning against unhealthy eating habits after fasting

Dubai: People tend to get more obese and diabetic due to irregular eating and overeating after ending the fast, a senior doctor from the Ministry of Health warned, advising people to eat healthy during the Holy Month. 

Fasting during Ramadan can improve a person's health, but if the correct diet is not followed, can possibly worsen it, it warns. The deciding factor is not the fast itself, but rather what is consumed in the non-fasting hours, the Ministry said. 

It undertook a four-day initiative called Ahlan Ramadan, before the advent of Ramadan, providing information to corporates and workers in the labour accommodations on how to keep healthy while keeping to their religious obligations. 


A panel of medical experts conducted interactive sessions on how to fast healthily and also offered free medical check-ups. "This endeavour will ensure that a maximum number of residents are targeted to disseminate information about the appropriate way to eat and stay healthy," said Dr Wedad Al Maidoor - director of Public Health Centres. 

"The fast of Ramadan has spiritual significance as well as physical effects. Long hours of fasting may take a toll on the participant's health and the initiative reaches out to the community and encourages adequate nutrition and continued health among the residents of UAE," said Dr Ali Bin Shakr, Director-General of the Ministry of Health. 

The Ministry notes that a diet that has less than a normal amount of food but is sufficiently balanced will keep a person healthy and active during the month of Ramadan. But it advises people with medical conditions to seek a doctor's advice as meal timings and medications may need to be adjusted.

"The diet should be simple and not differ too much from one's normal everyday diet," according to Ahlan Ramadan. 

Dr Prem Jagyasi, managing director of ExHealth, the organisers of the initiative, said Ramadan is a great opportunity to focus on bringing back a balanced and healthy lifestyle in people's lives who do not normally watch their eating habits. "Ramadan requires to give the stomach a break, and by doing so one will be able to break down and expel the collected toxins from body," he said, but notes that it is very important to understand the proper practice of eating healthy.

Though the initiative ended on Monday, the panel of doctors are still available to reach corporates interested in providing the healthy eating initiative to their staff, he said.

New residential areas to benefit





Dubai: The Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) Metro Station will mainly cater to the huge new residential and commercial developments including the Dubai Marina and the JLT. 

The JLT Station is located on the Red Line of the Dubai Metro between Interchange number five and the recently built Interchange 5.5 which is also called Dubai Marina Interchange on Shaikh Zayed Road. 

Its location has strategically been chosen to meet the transport needs of thousands of residents and employees in the huge new developments such as Dubai Marina, JLT, Jumeirah Heights and Jumeirah Islands. 


The importance of the station can be gauged from the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are expected to live in around 79 residential, commercial, hotel and retail towers, once fully completed in the JLT - being developed along huge man-made lakes. The average tower height ranges from 35 to 45 storeys. 

Using the metro will be the easiest, most convenient and the cheapest mode of transport for residents and visitors to the area as they can save on expensive taxi fares and those driving can avoid Salik toll gates and parking hassle. 

The station will also benefit employees and visitors of the Dubai Metals and Commodities Centre (DMCC). 

An air-conditioned pedestrian bridge links the station with Dubai Marina across the Shaikh Zayed Road. Residents of Dubai Marina and the Jumeirah Beach Residents (JBR) can use this bridge. 

The station will be linked with the Al Sufouh Tram project which also passes through the Marina and also link Jumeirah Beach Residences. 

A feeder public bus route number F40 will link the station with different areas of Dubai Marina, providing hassle free transport facilities to the residents. The Red Line of the metro is scheduled to start operation on September 9.

Don't get carried away at iftar

Ramadan is a time of reflection and spirituality. It is also a time to discipline oneself both morally and physically. Those who are able to utilise it by exercising restraint will gain the most from it, in terms of getting closer to God and their loved ones.

Fasting can improve a person's health, provided that they eat healthy and reasonable proportions. According to a senior doctor from the Ministry of Health though, people tend to get more obese and diabetic due to 'overeating' and/or consuming a lot of greasy and fatty meals.

Adequate nutrition is obviously needed as Muslims refrain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. But people should not let themselves go and gorge. Instead, they should follow a balanced diet. 

Ramadan is a time for family and communal gatherings and as a result, many people tend to share iftar - the end of fast meal. While having a variety of dishes to choose from is great, there's a need to remember not to go overboard. Having huge quantities of food go to waste is in fact, very much contradictory to the spirit of Ramadan. Muslims are aware that this is a time for simplicity and to reach out to the needy and be more involved in charity work.

Fast-check against swine flu at UAE airports

Dubai: The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that a fast-check against swine flu is being made available at all airports in the country, Arabic daily Al Khaleej reported on Wednesday. 

Dr Ali Bin Shakar, Chairman of the Technical Health Committee for Combating H1N1 virus and the Director General of the Ministry of Health, said that the health authorities are fully equipped to deal with the high numbers of people who would be soon returning to the UAE as well as with the commencing of the schools academic year. 

The ministry has also been conducting extensive training sessions for staff across all medical sectors, Bin Skakar said. 

He added that 70 per cent of all swine flu cases that have so far been diagnosed in the UAE have been treated with medication and were quarantined at their respective homes. 

Tamilfu medication is currently available at all hospitals in the country, he said.

132 residency law violators arrested

Dubai: The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) in one day caught 132 persons of various nationalities for violating the federal law for entry and residency of expatriates.

Major General Mohammad Al Merri, Director of DNRD, said the violators, most of them domestic helpers, were arrested during a series of simultaneous inspection campaigns on four houses in Bur Dubai.

The Investigation and Foreigners' Follow up Section had conducted the raid after receiving reliable tip-off about the whereabouts of those violators, he said.

Aug 11, 2009

Iris scans keep forgers at bay

Dubai: Cases of forged documents registered at Dubai airport have dropped by more than 40 per cent in the first half of this year, the latest statistics have revealed.

About 177 cases of forged documents were reported at Dubai airport in the first half of this year compared to 310 cases during the same period last year, according to Dubai Public Prosecution statistics.

Prosecutor Mohammad Ali Rustom, Head of Bur Dubai's Second Public Prosecution, which includes Dubai airport and Dubai ports, told Gulf News that the drop was mainly due to iris scan checks.

"Iris scan checking has helped curb illegal entering through Dubai airport," said Rustom.

The iris scan, the eye biometric recognition system, was introduced in 2003 and anybody who is to be deported from the country has to have their iris scan taken to ensure that they will not be able to re-enter under a different name and passport.

"The majority of the cases reported at the airport are of people who are attempting to re-enter the country after being deported for legal reasons," said Rustom.

"We have modern equipment installed in place to discover the forging of documents and we also send the suspect documents to Dubai Police laboratories for final verification," he added.

Indian nationals topped the list of people arrested in forgery cases at the airport as they made up 34 per cent of the total number followed by Bangladeshis and Nigerians at 12 per cent respectively.

"People who are caught with forged documents usually do not know how these documents are forged as they buy them from mediators," said Rustom.

The most common documents which are forged are entry visas, entry stamps, iris scan stamps and passports, according to Rustom. However, he did not disclose a breakdown for each category.

Last month the Dubai Court of First Instance found a woman and a man guilty of smuggling 72 forged iris scan stamps into Dubai airport.

The two were arrested following the foiling of a smuggling attempt on July 17, 2008 by Dubai Police. The police set up a trap after they received information that a gang was planning to smuggle fake iris scan stamps into the country through Dubai airport.

There were four people involved in the crime, according to the public prosecution records.

Despite the big drop in forgery cases registered at Dubai airport the number is markedly higher than the cases registered at Dubai ports where until July of this year six cases of forgery were registered, according to Dubai Public prosecution.

177 cases of forged documents reported at Dubai airport

72 forged iris scan stamps found during smuggling attempt

Efficiency of labour courts improved

Abu Dhabi: Labour courts in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain have recorded a significant increase in the number of cases processed in the first half of 2009 compared with the same period last year.

The number of labour cases in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain reached 1,461 at the end of June, compared with 882 in the same period last year.

The total number of cases settled by the courts reached 1,277, or 87 per cent of the total number of cases, compared to 617 last year, representing an increase of 107 per cent.

This achievement coincided with the opening of the new premises of the labour court in the Mohammad Bin Zayed City in Abu Dhabi.

An official source at the Judiciary Department in Abu Dhabi said the results are a positive indicator of the performance of the courts and judicial departments in general during the current year.

This is attributed to the department's accuracy in implementing its five-year strategic plan, which aims to speed up the processing of labour cases, and the high degree of accuracy in issuing rulings, which has improved the process of delivering justice.

Rulings were issued in most cases within 30 days of cases being referred to courts, while appeal cases take a maximum of two months, which emphasises the importance given to legal proceedings by the department, and its keenness to process cases in accordance with the best international practices.

The decision to open new premises for the labour court was in line with instructions by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judiciary Department.

87% percentage of cases that have been settled by the courts

30 number of days taken for most rulings to be made

2 maximum number of months for appeal rulings