Dec 13, 2011

Emirates ID Deadline Draws near

Emirates ID had announced a Dh20 per day fine, going up to a maximum of Dh1,000 for Emiratis and expatriates who failed to apply for or renew their ID cards within the new deadlines set by the authority.

Deadline

While October 31 is the new deadline for Emiratis, the deadline for expatriates in various emirates will be in four phases, starting from November 30 in four emirates — Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman.

The week after the announcements of fines and the new deadline, there was a 53 per cent increase in the number of Emiratis registering for ID cards, the spokesman said.

Numbers increase

The number of expatriates registering for the card has also increased, he said, but figures were not readily available.

Expatriates in Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Ajman, and all expatriates working in government sector across the country have to pay fines from December 1. But the fines will be applicable for expatriates in the emirates of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai from February 1, April 1 and June 1, 2012, respectively.

All children under 15 years of age, Emiratis and expatriates, are exempted from the fines until October 1, 2012.

October 31, 2011, will be the deadline for renewing all identity cards expiring up to that date. Any cardholder across the UAE, with the exception of children under 15 years, has 30 days to renew the card from the date of expiry.

The Dh20 a day fine will also be applicable on delay in registration and renewal of ID cards and on delays in reporting changes in data. Any change in the personal data of cardholders, except children under 15 years of age, should be reported to Emirates ID within 30 days from the date of such change or incident.

The nature of such data — name, marital status etc. — and incidents — birth, death, divorce etc. — can be specified later.

The UAE cabinet has exempted those covered by social security schemes, people with special needs and those with autism from the registration fees.

However, the spokesman reminded that the exemption is applicable only for the charges and not the deadlines — and that registration for ID cards was compulsory for all.

Nov 27, 2011

UAE issues mission visas for short-term jobs

DUBAI: Expatriates planning to work for a short term or on probation can enter the UAE with a 90-day mission visa.

According to the UAE law, people with visit, transit or tourism visas are not allowed to work or obtain a work permit in the Gulf state.

“We do not have labour permit under the category of probationary [employment] and people who enter the country for visit cannot work at all here,” the paper quoted Humaid Bin Deemas, Acting Director-General of the Ministry of Labour as saying.

People caught working with visit visas will be deported and banned from entering the country forever. The sponsors of companies involved in illegal employment will face a penalty of Dhs 50,000 for each such worker, he added.

However, the sponsoring company can apply for a mission visa at the Ministry of Labour, which also issues a temporary work permit.

The temporary work permit is also issued for those already living in the UAE on residence visas on a case-by-case basis.

"Mission visa is valid for entering the country for 60 days and the employee can stay up to 90 days after entering the UAE. This kind of visa is renewable once for another period of 90 days after which the expatriate holding the mission visa should leave the country," Bin Deemas was quoted as saying.

People who enter the country on mission visas should secure the mission card from Ministry of Labour, Bin Deemas said, adding, people on mission visa can convert it to work permit and continue to work.

Nov 22, 2011

Dubai Airports Flash Mob

Sharjah book fair from November 16 to Nov 26



The Government of Sharjah has granted a total of $300,000 (Dh1.1 million) to the International Book Fair's translation centre during the upcoming book fair.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Ahmad Bin Rekadh Al Ameri, Director of Sharjah International Book Fair, pointed out that even though the translation centre is a key feature every year at the book fair, "this year is different because in celebration of the 30th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, we will translate books not only from Arabic into other languages but vice versa as well."

The Centre for Translation will serve as a platform to provide publishing houses with translation grants, networking and educational programmes.

The 30th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair is held under the patronage of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and will run from November 16 to 26.

The fair will also feature a "rights table" on November 14 and 15, where publishers and businesses can discuss proposed grants for rights sold during this event.

Top authors

The ten-day annual book fair is recognised as one of the most significant book fairs in the Middle East and the Arab world, as this year it draws 750 publishers, showcases books from 42 countries, and expects to attract more than 400,000 visitors from both trade and consumer markets.

"A total of 137 UAE publishing houses will participate at the book fair, and all Arab countries except for Libya will be participating," said Al Ameri, who added that the event will feature up to 260,000 titles in various languages.

More than 50 international publishers from more than 16 countries have confirmed their attendance. The programme will also be attended by Arab publishers from across the region keen to build their networks with international publishers. As part of this year's celebration, Saudi Arabia has been invited as the fair's Guest of Honour, and the cultural focus will be on India.

Al Ameri said, "There will be more than 20 top Indian publishers and there will be a showcase to highlight the presence of ten distinguished authors," including Dr Shashi Tharoor, Shobhaa De and Chetan Bhagat.

In addition, this year's book fair will offer a Live Cookery Show 2011 programme that comprises 32 recipes across the world. Some world-renowned authors participating include crime writer Peter James, New York Times best-selling novelist Kate Mosse, and award-winning historian George Goodwin.

$100m traffic technologies upgrade in Abu Dhabi



ABU DHABI - Minimum $100 million will be spent in Abu Dhabi to improve and modernise traffic technologies.

Plans to bring transport and traffic up-to-date were announced during the opening of the two-day Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) Middle East conference being organised by the Abu Dhabi Police (ADP) and Abu Dhabi Municipality on Tuesday.

“There are over 30,000 kilometres of roads and bridges in the UAE and we are now bringing the latest ITS to cope with the increase of traffic and population,” said Major-General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Director-General of Police Central Operations.

According to studies, ITS technologies have the ability to reduce road accident deaths by 40 per cent and to improve traffic movement by 30 per cent. A special committee put in place by the Ministry of Interior three years ago have been working on choosing the best and most suitable of these technologies for the country’s roads.

Abu Dhabi emirate, especially the capital, where the population and traffic are the most dense, is already installing new traffic systems.

“Abu Dhabi depends on a specific mobility pattern heavily reliant on light vehicles, as the share of public transport does not account for more than seven per cent of total mobility requirements,” said Abdulla Al Shamsi, Executive Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Assets at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City.

“Such a situation gives rise to several traffic woes and pressures as seen in the rising number of vehicles on roads and traffic congestions, which negatively impact road infrastructure as well as the overall environment,” he added.

The Abu Dhabi government began the development of ITS in the 1980s by building traffic light networks, CCTV monitoring systems and traffic control centres. In these past decades, the city’s municipality has put in place nearly 120 signal junctions, 160 surveillance cameras, a central traffic control unit, built a 200km-long optic fibre network, and deployed 90 cameras to catch motorists jumping red lights.

“Presently, there are 250 new signal junctions as well as surveillance devices deployed in areas under development on Yas, Reem, Saadiyat, Al Sawah and Raha Beach, coupled with the construction of three traffic control centres in these areas,” said Al Shamsi.

“The Municipality of Abu Dhabi City, in cooperation with the Department of Transport, has been working on several intelligent traffic system projects, which will be implemented shortly,” he mentioned.

Examples of these include setting up a light signal network in Mohammed bin Zayed City, introducing Virtual Messaging Signs, expanding the CCTV camera network, upgrading the traffic and control systems on Abu Dhabi island and deploying fixed electronic traffic counters, which are all part of the $100-million budget.

ID cards made mandatory for traffic services in UAE



Abu Dhabi/Dubai: The National ID card has been made mandatory for expatriates to access traffic and licensing services across the country except for Dubai emirate, senior officials said.

It is already mandatory for Emiratis across the country and expatriates in Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to access the Ministry of Interior Services, including traffic and licensing services, since November 2009.

The ID card is compulsory for expatriates in Abu Dhabi to access some of the traffic department services since August 2010. "But all traffic and licensing services in Abu Dhabi will require the ID card now," Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director-General of Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID), told Gulf News on Monday.

In Dubai, the ID card will be made mandatory from December for expatriates working in government and semi-government organisations, in order to obtain traffic services. But it will be mandatory for all expatriates in Dubai to access traffic services by mid-2012. The deadline for expatriates in Dubai to apply for ID cards is May 31, 2012. "The Emirates ID card is already a must for UAE nationals for traffic and licence procedures. From December 1, this will be extended to all the expatriates working in government and semi-government offices too," Ahmad Hashim Behroozian, CEO of the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) Licensing Agency, told Gulf News yesterday.

Ministry services

"By mid-2012, all expatriates will need an Emirates ID card for all RTA transactions," he said.

Brigadier Gaith Hassan Al Za'abi, Director-General of Traffic Department at the Ministry of Interior who announced on Saturday that the ID card will be mandatory across the country for obtaining traffic and licensing services, clarified that a receipt of the ID card application procedure will also be accepted.

Al Khoury said the authority has asked the executive councils of all the emirates to make ID cards the official identification document for all official transactions. So Emiratis and expatriates can produce ID card for official transactions instead of family books and passports [respectively], Al Khoury said. He said the ID card mandatory norm for traffic services was to have been implemented in Sharjah yesterday (Sunday). But the traffic department officials in Sharjah were not available for comment to confirm this yesterday.

Processing applications

In Abu Dhabi, those who open a fresh file to undergo driving tests and process applications for a driving licence [after passing the test] and car registration have had to present their ID cards since August 2010. Services such as renewing existing driving licences and vehicle registration also require the ID card now.

The CEO of the RTA said the decision to make the ID card mandatory for services is being done in phases to avoid strain on the system. The ID card will be made mandatory from January 2012 for all municipality transactions.

Director General of Sharjah Municipality Sultan Al Mualla said that expatriates and UAE nationals working in government and non-government organisations will be required to present the municipality with their ID card.

Dubai Shopping Festival




Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) takes place every winter with its mammoth array of discounts, competitions, prizes, fireworks and entertainment. DSF offers amazing shopping discounts, attracting holiday makers from around the globe keen on grabbing a bargain. The festival began in 1996 as an initiative of the Dubai government to promote trade, and it gets bigger and better every year. DSF is not only a retail festival, but also a family festival with a large focus on mall-based entertainment and early evening shows.

Its continued success is proven by the large number of tourists from not only the GCC but also the rest of the world.

Traditionally, the festival runs from mid-January to the end of February and it kicks off with a huge opening night that features light shows and fireworks across the Dubai Creek, which are then continued throughout the entire festival.

Other events associated with DSF range from in-mall fashion shows, musicians, street performers, jugglers and other entertainers.

Sep 4, 2011

UAE residents without ID cards risk daily fines

Expatriates and Emiratis in the UAE could face fines of AED20 for each day they fail to possess an Emirates ID card under a new decree that comes into effect Sunday, Sept 4.

UAE residents could be charged up to AED1,000 under the daily penalty outlined in Cabinet decision No.25 for 2011, issued on July 5, that aims to persuade residents to sign up for the mandatory identification cards.

The ruling also lays out daily fines for residents that fail to renew their ID cards within 30 days of the expiry date, or to update key data within a 30-day period.

In a statement the Emirates ID Authority (Eida) said the decision would be effective 60 days from date of issue on July 5.

“[Eida] has announced that it is currently working on an implementation plan,” the agency said.

Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) has faced an uphill struggle in convincing UAE residents to sign up for their mandatory identification cards, despite a series of deadlines.

Each card contains the holder’s address, photo, date of birth and fingerprints and can be used as an official source of identification in the UAE. The cost for a five-year card is AED100 for Emirates, while expatriates pay AED100 for each year the card is valid.

Eida said in December that UAE nationals had until June 30 to sign up for the identification card. No deadline was specified for expat residents.

In July, Dubai ruled that workers in any of Tecom’s eleven free zones would need to register for an ID card before applying to renew to secure their visa.

Expatriates and Emiratis in the tax-free business parks were told they must register for the identification card before completing the medical tests needed for visa applications.

Eida has long planned to tie the scheme to the compulsory medical test that residents are obliged to take when their residency visas are renewed.

It is likely the UAE government will increasingly require expatriates to present ID cards when dealing with federal agencies, in a bid to pressure residents into signing up for the scheme,

Browyn Colgan, a senior associate at Clyde and Co, said in July.

“It is our understanding that the Eida will put no final deadline in place [for expatriates to have ID cards] and there is no plan to issue fines to expatriates who don’t have the ID cards,” she said.

“But what they have said is that it will become increasingly difficult for individuals to deal with government departments and to complete transactions if they don’t have ID cards. What is happening in Tecom, you will see rolled out by other government departments in the UAE.”

Sep 1, 2011

Emirates airline online UAE visa

Emirates has launched a new online visa system for people from 56 countries, including India, Pakistan and the Philippines, visiting the UAE. XPRESS provides a step-by-step guide.
Step 1
After you book tickets click on "Manage a Booking" on www.emirates.com and follow on-screen instructions. One-way flights are not eligible. Pay $57 (Dh209) for a 30-day visa and $44 (Dh162) for a 96-hour visa (plus $17 (Dh62) service charge and sales taxes for both). Residents of some countries may have to pay deposit of Dh1,000.
Step 2
Upload copies of passport bio page, photograph and proof of residence for transfer to Dubai immigration.
Step 3
Track status of visa application on "Manage a Booking" using visa application number.
Step 4
Visa will be delivered electronically within four days. All payments are by credit card. Deposit will be reversed on credit card upon confirmation of exit from the UAE.

Aug 25, 2011

Emirates ID must for Abu Dhabi Visa

Abu Dhabi: All expatriates in Abu Dhabi who apply for a new residence visa or its renewal from mid-September have to first apply for a national ID card.

Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) has already linked the visa medical tests at several Preventive Medicine Centres (PMCs) with the registration of national ID cards.

The remaining PMC's in the emirate will also be linked with the ID card registration process by mid-September, a top official told yesterday.

Expatriates must first apply for the ID card and show its receipt to undergo the medical tests as part of the visa application process, said Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director General of Emirates ID.

The official explained that an expatriate has to first complete the pre-registration process — filling out the form, paying the fee and making an appointment for registration — at a certified typing centre before the visa medical test.

Emirates ID has already linked the visa medical tests with ID card registration in Preventive Medicine Centres in Madinat Zayed, Sila, Delma and Ghaythi in the Western Region and Mussaffah in the emirate.

When the remaining PMCs in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi city are linked with the ID registration next month, the entire emirate will come under the new process.

Strategy

Abu Dhabi will be the fifth emirate to link the visa processing and ID card registration after Umm Al Quwain, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah as part of Emirates ID's 2010-2013 strategy to enrol all expatriates in the country by the end of 2013.

The Preventive Medicine Centres in free zones in Dubai and Dibba Al Hisn and Al Dhaid in Sharjah have also linked the visa medical tests with the ID registration.

The authority has already announced that all remaining PMCs across the country will be linked by the end of the year.

Two new ID card registration centres will be opened in Abu Dhabi soon, Dr Ali Al Khoury told Gulf News.

A new registration centre at the Preventive Medicine Centre at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi city will be opened very soon, he said.

Another centre in Al Baniyas on the edge of the city will also be opened by the end of this year, Al Khoury added.

Plan on fines not yet ready


The official said the plan to implement a federal government decree authorising the authority to impose a fine on residents who fail to register for ID cards has not been completed yet. "We are looking into the issue and will announce the plan soon,"Dr. Ali Al Khoury said.

A federal government decree has authorised the authority to impose up to Dh 1000 fine (Dh 20 each day) on those who fail to apply for ID card or renew it. But the authority has not disclosed what category of people will face the fine.

New registration centres in Abu Dhabi

Two new ID card registration centres will be opened in Abu Dhabi soon, Dr. Ali Al Khoury said.

A new registration centre at Preventive Medicine Centre at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi city will be opened very soon, he said.

Another centre in Al Baniyas on the skirts of the city will be opened by the end of this year, Al Khoury said.

Aug 24, 2011

Citizens of 34 nations exempt from UAE visit visa waiting period

Dubai: Citizens of 34 countries do not have to wait one month before applying for a visit visa after leaving the UAE, a senior Interior Ministry official said.

Currently visitors who leave the UAE even after a day's stay have to wait for a month before they can apply for a visit visa again.

"Citizens of nations who need to obtain an entry permit into the country through any one of the residency departments will not be able to apply for another visa immediately after they leave the country," Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, acting Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Borders, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

Law

"Even if they stay here for two days and leave the country, they can come back after one month," he said. There is no multiple entry visit visa, Maj. Gen. Al Menhali stressed.

"If a visitor comes here, then goes on vacation to a nearby country and wants to come back, he should wait for one month before returning here," he said.

Maj. Gen. Al Menhali said these rules apply to people who need to apply for a visa prior entering the UAE.

"There are citizens of 34 countries who do not need a visa in advance. These citizens can get a visa upon arrival in the UAE," he said.

He said since the visa is issued upon arrival, these citizens can come back here any time they like.

"Citizens of these 34 countries need to show their passport to the immigration officer at any of the country's borders and they will have a new visa stamped. They can come and go as much as they want and at any time they want," he said.

Rules not new

"These rules are not new. But some people believe that they can come to the country and stay a couple of days and leave. They want to come back gain on the same visa believing that the visa has not expired yet, but they cannot. They have to wait for one month," he said.

Maj. Gen. Al Menhali said if a person stays for a day and leaves, the visa will be deemed expired even if the expiration date is later.

He said the one month waiting period is counted from the day the person leaves the country and not from the date of the visa expiration.

Multiple entry

Businessmen who need to enter and leave the country several times can apply for a multiple entry visa which is valid for six months, a senior Interior Ministry official said.

Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, acting Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Borders, said once this multiple entry visa expires, businessmen have to wait for a month before applying for another visa.

This waiting period does not apply to citizens of 34 countries.

Maj. Gen. Al Menhali said the residency department deals with issuing visas on a case-by-case basis.

"We study each visa application and if it needs to be issued before the end of the one-month period, we can do it but it will depend on the circumstances of the visa applicant," the interior ministry official said.

The citizens of these 34 countries also do not have to wait a month before applying for a visit visa.

List of 34 countries

Andorra
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Brunei
Canada
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Monaco
Netherlands (Holland)
New Zealand
Norway
Paraguay
Portugal
San Marino
Singapore
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States
Vatican City

Reprieve for workers with six-month visa ban

Dubai: Expatriate workers who have received a six-month ban on leaving their jobs recently will be able to obtain new work permits, if they have completed two years with their former employers, a senior official from the Ministry of Labour said.

Humaid Bin Deemas, Acting Director-General at the Ministry, said these workers will be issued new work permits from January even if they have not served the full six-month ban.

“Following the implementation of the new rules by the Ministry of Labour, expatriate workers who have completed two years with their employers can change jobs without serving the ban,” Bin Deemas told Sharjah Radio.

He said sponsors cannot force employees to continue to work for them if the workers do not wish to do so. “If workers have quit before the completion of two years then they will not be issued labour cards until the two-year period is over,” Bin Deemas said.

The official said if a worker, who has cancelled his residence visa, returns to the UAE on a visit visa, he will not get a work permit before the expiry of the two-year period.

Bin Deemas said the relationship between a sponsor and a worker will end with the expiry of the labour card, which is limited to two years. “Skilled and unskilled workers who end their contracts legally will get a labour permit,” he said.

Jul 31, 2011

Restaurants open during Ramadan

Long Yin

Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud

04-702 2455

Bistro Madeline

InterContinental,Dubai Festival City

04-701 1111

Asha's

Wafi City, Oud Metha,

04-324 0000

Toscana

Souk Madinat, Jumeirah

04-366 6730

Kisaku

Al Khaleef Palace Hotel, Deira

04-223 1000

Zuma

Gate Village, DIFC

04-425 5660

Epicure

Desert Palm, Al Aweer

04-602 9333

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

DIFC

04-363 7401

Mediterraneo

Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa

04-888 3888

Wagamama

Crowne Plaza, Shaikh Zayed Road

04-305 6060

Bussola, The Westin

Al Sufouh Road, 04-399 4141

Sezzam

Kempinski, Mall of the Emirates

04-341 3600

Certo

Radisson Blu, Dubai Media City

04-366 9111

Noodle House

Madinat Jumeirah, 04-366 6345

Deliveries & Takeaway

Johnny Rockets

Shaikh Zayed Road

04-325 1411

Da Shi Dai

Dubai Marina

04-426 4636

Sumo Sushi

Garhoud

04- 283 0622

Bento Ya

Shaikh Zayed Road

04-343 0222

Malls for Takeaway

Mirdif City Centre (Only take away from fast food outlets)

Ramadan Kareem to all --Ramadan guide for expatriates

Ramadan Kareem to all......
  • Dos

Dress appropriately

Men and women are expected to dress in an appropriate manner, not showing too much kin and making sure hemlines and necklines are modest. So watch before you step out.

Exchange Ramadan Greetings

While meeting Muslims, it is customary to use the greeting "Ramadan Kareem" and at the end of Ramadan, during the Eid celebrations "Eid Mubarak".

Respect those on fast

Fasting can result in a change of temperament in some people; therefore be considerate towards the people around you.

Accept invitations

If invited to an iftar with friends or colleagues, do go along and always be on time if not a few minutes early. Remember not to go empty-handed; desserts are always a good option to offer the host.

  • Don'ts

Refrain from eating or drinking in public places

From dawn to dusk, no one is allowed to eat, drink or smoke in public places as a sign of respect to those fasting, therefore those who wish to eat or drink are advised to do so in private places.

Do not play loud music

Ramadan is a time for prayer and spiritual reflection, therefore playing loud music at home or in the car should be avoided. At the time of Azaan (call to prayer), the sound of music or TV channels should be put on mute.

Avoid driving during dusk

During sundown people head home to end their fast, therefore if it isn't required to be on the road, refrain from doing so and wait for half an hour.

Do not swear, shout or get angry in public

Ramadan is a time of patience and controlling emotions; swearing or any form of outrage is disrespectful to people as well as to the piousness of the month.

Do not engage in public displays of affection

It is against the customs of the country to engage in displays of affection in public, and even more so during the month of Ramadan.

Do not offer food or drink

Do not offer a Muslim food or drink during fasting hours, believing it to be an act of hospitality. They will understand and appreciate this gesture and not find it offending.

  • How non-Muslims can enjoy the spirit of Ramadan

Ramadan is a month of spirituality, reflection, sharing and helping those in need. In fact, there are several ways in which even non-Muslims in the country can participate and imbibe the spirit of the month. Here are some tips on how you can join in:

Help the needy and give charity

Ramadan is a month of giving charity to the needy. This is the perfect occasion to hold a community charity drive to collect clothes, toys or books, etc. The collected items can then be handed over to one of many charities in the country.

Hold an Iftar

Hold an iftar for your Muslim friends and enjoy every step of the process of preparing this end-of-fast meal. Also invite those who are away from family and who have not eaten a home-cooked meal for a long time. Do ensure that all food is halal.

Fast for a day

Try fasting for a day. See how well you can control your needs and desires. It will also give you an understanding of what your Muslim friends and colleagues go through during Ramadan.

Promotions and activities galore

Shopping malls (extended hours), clubs and restaurants in the city are offering a wide range of discounts. We say go out and soak up the spirit.

Make a difference

Take part in the ‘Yalla Walk - Every Step is a Reward' event aimed at raising awareness about healthy habits and encouraging people to walk in any of the walking tracks across Dubai. Register at www.yallawalk.com

Time for some introspection

Ramadan is the perfect time to engage in introspection and to take a close look at our feelings, thoughts and action, and resolve to make improvements. How about giving up smoking?

Etiquette Workshop

Eton Institute, in partnership with Dubai Knowledge Village and the Shaikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding, is organising a free one-day workshop on cultural awareness and customs to be observed during Ramadan. The free workshop will give attendees an insight into Islamic and Arabic cultures as well as teach essential etiquette to be observed during the month of fasting.

The workshop will be conducted on July 30 from 10am to 2pm at the auditorium in Dubai Knowledge Village.

People interested in taking part in the workshop are urged to book early as there are limited places available which are offered on a first come first serve basis.

  • For further details, visit www.eton.ac or call 800 3866.

Ramadan timing at Indian visa and passport centres

Abu Dhabi: During the Holy month of Ramadan, the passport and visa outsourcing centres of the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India in Dubai, operated by BLS International Services Ltd will observe revised timings.

The centres in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will work from 8am to 6pm from Saturday to Thursday.

The centres in other places will work in two shifts- from 9 am to 12 pm, and 3 pm to 6 pm.

The revised timing will be in force from August 1 to Eid ul Fitr, after which the normal working hours will resume, said a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Jul 24, 2011

Amer provides visas on wheels

Dubai: The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai has introduced Amer mobile service taking visa transactions to residents' doorsteps.

Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, said the new facility takes the services to the public.

Major General Al Merri said the service launched recently finalised 50 transactions last week.

He said the service was launched by the residency department in order to make it easier for the public and to complete their transactions in a short time.

"The service is open for individuals and companies regardless of their location inside Dubai," he said.

Major General Al Merri said customer satisfaction tops the agenda of the residency department staff in Dubai.

"We are looking to introduce the best kind of e-services to the public and our staff are well trained to serve the customers with accuracy and professionalism in record time," he said.

He said the residency department is following the strategy of Dubai government and of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the directives of Lt General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Excellence

Major General Al Merri said the project is considered an achievement in delivering services to the public. He said the mobile office is equipped with latest technologies to handle any transaction.

Maj Gen Al Merri said the project aims at connecting the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs with the clients.

He said Amer mobile service works from 8am to 8pm. The staff of the Amer service will visit members of public who wish to use this service.

"This service is done for public with nominal fees," he said. "The project aims to develop and improve e-services at Dubai residency department and to keep up with the latest developments in the field of electronic technology," he said.

Col Yousuf Al Merri, Assistant Director for residency and entry permits, said Amer provides all advanced services of the department.

Phone number: Toll-free access

Lieutenant Colonel Khalid Nasser Al Razzuqi, Assistant Director for Electronic Services, said Amer mobile service is now accessible to individuals, corporations and government departments, and the service request can be placed by calling toll-free number is 800 5111. The service will be delivered at customers' premises.