Nov 11, 2012

13th MENA FOREX show Dubai on 9th - 10th June 2014 at The Ritz Carlton DIFC

Following the great success of the 12th Forex show managed funds and Investment opportunities that was recently held in Dubai in November, and following the huge demand from many International brokers

It gives me a great pleasure to Launch the
"13th MENA FOREX show, Managed Funds & Investment Opportunities" to be held in Dubai on 9th - 10th June 2014 at The Ritz Carlton DIFC
The Event is designed as a meeting point for the industry professionals.

The expo promises to welcome more than 1,000 investors, Introducing Broker from all over the Middle East and over 50 exhibitors from all over the world.
Are you targeting Middle East Markets ? Than The 13th MENA Forex show in Dubai is the place to be.
The show  will offer a unique Platform to expand your business, for New Comers to the region and existing Brokers .
Plenty of networking opportunities. Meet , discuss, and chat over all day running Coffee stations, Lunch meetings, Award dinner and enjoy the Exceptional Networking

Oct 3, 2012

Visa hotline set up in the UAE

Dubai: Visa issues for all UAE residents will be dealt with by a new central hotline set up by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
The centre, based at the GDRFA in Dubai, will be open from October 10 when people can call the toll free number 800 5111 with queries 24 hours a day, on weekdays.

Sep 20, 2012

Interior Ministry denies ban on tourist visas


DUBAI: A top Ministry of Interior official has denied reports of a ban on tourist visas for unskilled workers.
Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalisation and Residency, and Ports Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, said residency departments across the country were processing visit visa transactions for applicants following “standard procedures”.
The official denied earlier reports that visitors from some Asian countries — such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines — will be required to submit university diplomas alongside applications for tourist, visit and conference visas to the UAE.
Al Menhali said these reports are false. “Any new procedures would be announced to the public and posted on the ministry’s website or released to the media by the Security Information Department,” the news agency WAM quoted him as saying.
Earlier, citing an unnamed federal official, local media reported that new rules for issuing visit, tourist and conference visas would apply to a certain category of applicants from mostly Asian countries as part of an ongoing crackdown on human trafficking and begging in the UAE.
The clampdown, the report said, was part of a “new regime” aimed to check the influx of low-paid workers who end up begging on the streets or pose security threats to citizens and residents.
The unnamed official said that visit visa applicants must have enough money to cover their visit and obtain health insurance.
Al Menhali said such reports came from “unofficial” sources and were “unreliable”.
Meanwhile, most typing centres in Dubai said they were doing business as usual.
“We have not received instructions from the authorities about any visa rule changes,” said Mohammad Ebrahim, manager of Quality General Services, whose typing centre is visited by hundreds of applicants daily. “The requirements are the same.”
Typing centres are the first stop for visit visa applications, attending to thousands daily.
Business as usual
“We’re not aware of any stricter visit visa rules,” said Nehal Ahmad, manager of Darwish Shakeel, a Bur Dubai typing centre. “We have not been told to implement or ask for additional papers from applicants.”
Nisar of Fenoje Typing Centre, said: “There are no new restrictions for visit visas,” said Ahmad.
Ahmad, however, has said that stricter rules requiring expatriates to present a Dewa bill, a tenancy contract validated by the Ejari system and a two-bedroom apartment when applying for a residency visa for a next-of-kin or housemaid visa has significantly cut down on the number of applications.
“Applications for this category are down by 40 per cent. Our business is down. But we have to adhere to the rules.”

Sep 18, 2012

Stricter UAE visit visa rules to be implemented


Abu Dhabi: Residency departments across the country have adopted stricter visa rules, banning tourist, visit and conference visas for workers from certain labour exporting countries.
A senior official told the move is intended to better protect citizens and residents by preventing foreign criminals from coming to the UAE.
He said: “The Federal Residency Department, which oversees residency departments across the country, has decided to adopt stricter regimes for tourist, visit and conference visas to curb the influx of blue-collar workers from many labour exporting countries into the country,” said the official who wished not to be named.
The new regime bans visit visas for some workers, especially from traditional labour exporting countries to the UAE, and sets a university degree as a prerequisite for obtaining a visa, plus other requirements, the official said.
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and The Philippines are some of the largest countries exporting labour to the UAE.
Categories banned from obtaining tourist, visit or conference visas include electricians, pipe fitters, masons, farmers, drivers, tailors and cleaners.
The requirements include round trip tickets, proofs of a confirmed hotel booking and and enough money to finance the stay.
The move was prompted by the recent arrests of scores of foreigners on tourist, visit and conference visas, who were either engaged in organised crimes, human trafficking or were found unemployed and looking for jobs or begging in the streets, or near hospitals, mosques and malls, according to the source.
The source stressed the UAE continues to welcome genuine visitors.
“However, these visa requirements will give authorities a greater ability to manage the flow of visitors into the country and allow residency departments across the country to screen more travellers for security risks prior to their arrival in the UAE.
“This would help significantly reduce the risk that individuals engaged in organised crime or the trafficking of persons could gain entry to the country.”
The UAE last reviewed its visa requirements for other countries in 2008.
The source stressed it is up to applicants to satisfy visa officers that their visit to the UAE is temporary and that they would not overstay, that they have enough money to cover their stay, have health insurance and are not a security risk to citizens and residents.
Tourist visas must be prearranged, usually through a hotel but possibly also through an airline or other travel agents based in the UAE.
Hotels, travel agents, airlines and other companies, which arrange a tourist visa for a customer, are also held responsible for their customers and pay deposits to cover any fines.
Concerning conference visas offered to business people wishing to attend an event or fair, they will have to submit proof of their status as a businessman or woman or investor and have enough money to cover their stay and health insurance.
Welcoming the new regime, some tour operators said they arrange tourist visas for visitors only through their relatives living in the country, who pay charges of up to Dh10,000 as a surety that the visitors will comply with the visa rules.
Others would withhold passports of visitors during their stay in the country, they said.
They warned of companies who submit fake information about visitors especially for subjects of countries whose passports do not include recognised professions.

Aug 14, 2012

Abu Dhabi braces for new parking rules after Eid



Abu Dhabi: Residents will be expected to abide by new rules as Abu Dhabi switches to a new paid parking schedule that is to be enforced immediately after the Eid Al Fitr holidays.
“Extending the paid parking hours until midnight will result in a more efficient utilisation of parking space, so it can be beneficial to a bigger number of users,” said Mohammad Nasser Al Otaiba, general manager of Mawaqif at the Department of Transport.
“Since the launch of Mawaqif and within a short period, we achieved a noticeable improvement in the usage of parking spaces; [this has] positively impacted the lives of visitors and residents in Abu Dhabi. Also, we received positive feedback in areas where Mawaqif has been implemented,” Al Otaiba added in an earlier statement.
With the month of Ramadan drawing to a close, residents gave mixed signals on the impending change in the paid parking schedule.
Some residents felt the two-hour paid parking extension hardly helped those wanting to go for a drive in the evenings since they were unlikely to find parking spaces when they returned. “My outings are highly determined by parking availability,” said Hassan Abu Jamei, 26, a petrophysicist.
“Parking is not easier because of the reduced number of possible parking spaces in a given area relative to the way it was before the implementation of the Mawaqif system. It is much more difficult for shoppers and visitors as well” he added.
Those with parking permits were not as concerned about the change of timings but were hoping to find more spaces once the transition takes place.
“I have a full-day permit worth Dh15, so these changes do not really affect me,” said Palestinian resident Mohammad Fateh Allah, 24, who works as a product specialist. “On the contrary, I believe that the changes will make a positive difference and save a lot of time for me to find a spot. Besides, others will only have to pay a few extra dirhams.”
Others such as N.S, 25, said that a concerted public information campaign would help in a smoother transition. “If you happen to miss the announcement, you have to hear it through word of mouth which is rarely accurate. I think this is why many people get bothered,” she added.
Samer Ebrahim Haddad, who parks his car far from his house in an area where parking is free, said the changes were unlikely to affect him much. “I am lucky that my university does not have paid parking. But on days that I used to pay Dh6, I will now pay Dh10 and despite that sounding like a small amount, the difference is big especially since many machines do not accept quarters and halves which keeps me constantly low on change,” said Samer Ebrahim Haddad, 21, a university student from Iraq.
Old Parking Timings (before Ramadan)
8am to 10pm
New Parking Timings
8am to 12 midnight — Saturday to Thursday
Free parking on Fridays and public holidays

Eid Al Fitr holidays announced for public and private sectors in UAE



Eid Al Fitr holidays for ministries and federal government institutions will begin from Friday, August 17 (29th Ramadan 1433) and will last until the 3rd of the month of Shawwal.
Work will resume from the 4th of Shawaal, according to a circular issued by Humaid Mohammad Al Qatami, Minister of Education and Chairman of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources.
It means that Eid holidays for public sector will be from August 17 to 21  (if the month of Ramadan has 30 days and Eid falls on Sunday, August 19) and offices will open on August 22.
On the occasion, Al Qatami offered greetings to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses The Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates.
The minister also offered greetings to the people of UAE and the Arab and Muslim nations around the world.

May 30, 2012

1 day to Dubai ID deadline: Eida clarifies who is exempt


Like every Dubai resident, even house-helps and nannies are required to register for their Emirates ID cards, confirmed an official at the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), just a day before the May 31 deadline for Dubai kicks in.
“If someone lives in Dubai, or Abu Dhabi, or Sharjah, and don’t have an ID card, and the validity of their residency expires during 2012, they must apply for the ID card along with the renewal of their residency procedures.
“And this will not cost them any fine,” he confirmed.
In case, the visa of a house-help and nanny, sponsored for a year, expires before December 2012, then they will be except from Dubai deadline of May 31.
This means they need not pay penalty of Dh20 per day, up to a maximum of Dh1,000.
Eida had earlier stated that residents whose residence visas expire this year can renew their national IDs then. “This is done to ease the burden on the residents.
“They can go in at one-time and finish the entire process, instead of repeating it just two months later,” stated Diyaa Abdul Al, senior officer media and communications at Eida.
Don’t Panic
Eida has also provided Dubai residents with a brochure titled “Don’t Panic”, which is translated into nine languages, explaining the registration procedure.
They have also launched an ad campaign, across newspapers, the Dubai Metro, social media channels and via mobile text messages, in an effort to spread awareness, elaborated Ayesha Al Rayesi, Project Manager, Planning & Quality, Acting PR and Marketing manager at Eida.
Eida has also urged UAE nationals and residents to register their children, aged below 15 years, before October 1, 2012, after which they will be fined.
“Yes, it is mandatory for all under-15s, nationals and residents, to register before the deadline, failing which they will be charged a penalty of Dh20 per day, up to a maximum of Dh1,000,” clarified Diyaa.
The fees for Emiratis are Dh100 for 5 years, plus Dh70 for typing fee and other charges, and for expats, it is Dh100 for every year, plus Dh70 for typing and other charges.

Show up on time, be done in 10 mins

Eida said that it aims to ensure there are no jams that prevent quality service and aims to end the procedure for any person arriving on time within 10 minutes, maximum, and to ensure families and women are not inconvenienced.

Eida has also called on private sector companies in Dubai to ensure registration procedures for employees is complete.

Eida has also asked companies in Dubai not to transfer employees en masse to registration centers without an appointment.

May 10, 2012

Emirates ID extends time to collect cards from post offices


Abu Dhabi Crowding at some post offices across the country to collect national ID cards has prompted the authorities to announce new measures to ease card distribution.
The Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) Wednesday said it has extended the deadline to collect the cards from post offices up to 90 days, instead of one month.
Wednesday, Emirates Post also started sending the ID cards to the companies of the applicants by courier, if there are more than five cards to be sent to a company, an official spokesman for Emirates ID told on Wednesday.
The cards will also be distributed through self-service kiosks very soon, he said.
The authority extended its apology to applicants who faced difficulty receiving their cards from the Central Post Office in Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi City during the past few days due to overcrowding. This particular post office has been crowded because most of the Abu Dhabi residents opted to collect their cards here, the spokesman said.
More than two million cards have been delivered during the first quarter of 2012, compared to 500,000 during the same period in 2011.
Self-service kiosks
The ID cards will be sent to the post boxes of individual applicants also. Since most of the applicants work with a particular organisation having a post box number, the card will be sent to that post box also. Providing the post box number in the application form is mandatory.
The self-service kiosks will start working for Emiratis in the first stage at four selected centres across the country. They will enable ‘on the spot printing' of ID cards and immediate delivery to the applicants.
The authority is working on introducing electronic kiosks which will renew ID cards the same day. They will be installed at shopping malls across the country in future, the spokesman said.

Stricter new tenancy rules in Sharjah

Sharjah Strict new tenancy rules have come into force in Sharjah, where tenants must now declare their salaries and relationships to people living with them.
Only tenants who live with family members and make at least Dh4,000 a month will be allowed to rent units in residential areas. To prove this, they must produce government-issued labour contracts and documents like marriage certificates and passport copies of co-tenants.
Also, the unit must be big enough for all family members living there.
However, it was not clear how officials would make that assessment. It's understood each unit must have a specific number of rooms according to the number of family members living together.
Meanwhile, low-income "bachelors" will only be allowed to live in "industrial areas" after showing a no-objection certificate from their employer. They will be allowed to share rooms, but subletting will not be tolerated.
Those failing to meet these requirements will not have their tenancy contracts attested by the municipality. Failing to attest the tenancy contract, which includes a two per cent annual housing fee on the value of the rent, carries a fine for each year it is not attested. Officials can cut off power and water supply to units whose contracts are unattested.
A Sharjah Municipality official, on condition of anonymity, said the new rules have been in effect for a month.
A 33-year-old Pakistani resident of Shaba district, who shifted apartments recently, said he was asked by the real estate agent to list all family members who would be living with him — his mother, wife and brother. "I thought ‘that's strange.' I went to the municipality and I was told to ‘bring the labour contract, marriage certificate and [families'] passport copies too'. No one told me it's a new rule," he said.
"You only find out when it's time for your tenancy renewal or when you are getting a new place, which means you'll be turned back because you won't have all documents with you."
Another tenant, who visited the Tenancy Contract Attestation Office at Al Khan on Tuesday, said he was not informed of the new regulations. "They told me to go to the main office [in Government Square]. I don't know what's going on," he added.
However, bachelors, mostly south Asians in low-income jobs, said rents in limited units in industrial areas have skyrocketed on the back of the evictions seen last month. "It's going to be hard to find a place as a single guy in residential areas now, even if you make good money. Some tenants had turned this into a business, subletting the place to bachelors," the municipality official said.
To rent a flat you need…
  • Attestation of the tenancy contract [Dh50]
  • Passport copies [tenant, landlord, family members]
  • Marriage certificate [for couples]
  • Labour contract [attested by Ministry of Labour]
  • Employer NOC [for bachelors]
  • Two per cent housing fee

Mar 28, 2012

Emirates ID registration in Dubai linked to visa process


Abu Dhabi: From April onwards, residents in Dubai must register for an Emirates ID card immediately after applying for a residence visa, a senior official at the Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) confirmed on Tuesday.
This follows the linking of six major Preventive Medicine Centres (PMCs) in Dubai with the ID card registration process, Dr Ali Al Khouri, director general at the Eida told.
"Visa applications are already linked to ID card registration in all other emirates. In Dubai, this linkage took a while as we wanted to ensure that the country's largest PMC, which is also open 24 hours and processes nearly 3,000 visas on a daily basis, could handle the load," Dr Al Khouri said.
The rollout of the system in Dubai completes a countrywide scheme that links the Population Register and National ID Card (PRIDC) and visa applications. The linkage is already in place in all the other emirates.
With this integration, an expatriate who goes for medical examination at one of the PMCs for visa purposes can then go directly to an Emirates ID centre annexed to the PMC to complete the registration procedure.
The new ID card will be issued by Eida only upon the issuance of a residency visa by the relevant entity, explained an Eida official.
The deadline for Abu Dhabi residents over the age of 15 years to apply for an ID card is set for the end of March; for Dubai residents, the deadline is end-May.
Once these deadlines lapse, "delay fees" will be charged to applicants, the official said.
Fee range
"The fees range from Dh20 to Dh25 per day, with a maximum fee of Dh 1,000 for delayed registration. On our website, we have already put in place a counter to remind Abu Dhabi residents about the deadline, and will update the counter for Dubai residents once the Abu Dhabi deadline lapses," Dr Al Khouri said.
As such, an Abu Dhabi resident over the age of 15 who has a valid residence visa but has no national ID card or possesses an expired one, has until March 31 to apply for the card without being charged "delay fees", while for a Dubai resident, the deadline is May 31.
The official also reminded employers not to wait for the last minute as nearly 90 per cent of residents who have not yet applied for ID cards are blue-collar workers.
"Employers must therefore ensure that their workers apply for the cards before the deadlines," he said.
Nearly 6.2 million — or 77.5 per cent of about eight million inhabitants across the country — have already registered for Emirates ID cards, and about 30,000 applications are still being filled out every working day at over 1,200 typing centres across the country.
"The year 2012 will continue to be a challenging year for Eida, with nearly four to six million new applications and ID card renewals expected to be processed over the year," the official said.
He added that Eida operation volumes would reach "normal" levels of two to three million applications and renewals over a period of one year only in 2013.
New application system
  • A new version of the Eida online application system that allows residents to apply for or renew their ID cards without visiting typing centres is currently in the works, Dr Ali Al Khouri said.
  • "While the current system has seen quite a few applicants, a new faster system will be introduced within the next two months," he said.
  • "We have compiled user feedback on the current system, and the new version will, therefore, provide greater speed and user-friendliness for those who want to complete ID card registrations on their own," Dr Al Khoury added.
  • Dh1000: maximum ‘delay fee' for late registration
  • May 31: registration deadline for Dubai residents
  • 6.2m: UAE residents have already registered

Mar 8, 2012

Police clearance certificate needed for Jobs in UAE

Dubai: Private companies are demanding a police-issued clean criminal record from job applicants in the UAE.

Those failing to produce police clearance or with a bad standing at previous jobs or colleges are weeded out by HR managers and job agents even if they are otherwise deemed ‘job-worthy'.

Employers and recruitment agencies told XPRESS on the sidelines of the Careers UAE job fair in Dubai this week that job seekers face closer scrutiny nowadays.

It is not clear why more companies are going to greater lengths to investigate applicants, but headhunters said the credit crunch had seen a rise in dodgy candidates "desperate to get their foot in the door".

Others said the procedures are "best practices" at big firms which smaller companies want to copy. Ammar Shehada, business development manager at recruitment firm Ershaad.ae, said: "The majority of employers are asking for police background checks, work references, academic documents or professional certificates after shortlisting potential candidates. Recruitment agencies must ensure they are forwarding the right candidates to employers by ensuring that whatever is mentioned in the CV is true, as we recruit human beings and not a piece of paper. Otherwise it's all a waste of time, effort, money and reputation."

Mohammad Al Suweidi, managing partner of Dubai law firm Al Suweidi and Co, said the government requires employees to get police clearance. "This requirement of a police certificate of good conduct makes sense for the private sector because it safeguards the interests of employers. As an employer, it's my right to know that the person I am hiring has no criminal record. It's good practice. You wouldn't want an embezzler to handle your accounts."

Besides producing original education and employment history documents attested by officials, a police Certificate of Good Conduct is demanded by many private firms. They also make calls to former line managers and even past school teachers to see if the applicant had behaviour or attitude issues.

Referrals by prior bosses or education providers are cross-checked and validated, but more sensitive information is shared over the phone, a long-serving HR manager at one of the UAE's biggest conglomerates said.

"If there was a minor problem in the past, I really don't care. If it was serious, it'll get flagged up in the police or immigration checks," he said on condition of anonymity.

"With former line managers, they don't like to put things down in writing for legal reasons — the applicant could file a case, ‘why did you say these bad things about me?' So I call them up and we verbally discuss everything — why the candidate left or was terminated. There was someone we wanted to hire for a senior position where everything was looking good. But because of bad feedback, we didn't go ahead."

A manager of a leading job agency said on condition of anonymity: "You need to know what's the candidate's background, they could be a threat to the company.

"After the recession, there were many non-genuine applicants who wanted to hurt employers financially. There were fraudsters, fake referrals and fake documents. They were desperate to get their foot in the door.

"There is a real concern, and the demand for police certificates is on the rise. What you say about yourself should not contradict what the police say. But it's also happening because medium companies want to follow big companies' best [recruitment] practices. This is a sweeping trend, which is starting to take off across the board."

Another recruitment firm, JustJobs.ae, believes many applicants are becoming aware of the police background checks.

"They know about this; it's part of getting hired in so many companies and government departments. And why should they be offended or worried if they have nothing to hide?" said senior recruitment specialist Sami Al Zubaidi.

No immediate comment was available from Dubai Police.

Feb 13, 2012

Emirates ID-visa link in Dubai from April 1

Plans to link the national identity card to visas will be enforced in Dubai on schedule on April 1 after it was implemented in all other emirates.

The Emirates National Identity Authority (EIDA), which is carrying out a nation-wide ID project, said applicants would not receive their cards before their residence visas are renewed or issued.

It said those applying for an ID and residence at the same time must first fill an application at an EIDA registration office before they are allowed to have blood test, which is a pre-requisite for have a visa issued or renewed.

“The link-up between the ID and residence visas is now almost complete after it was enforced in all emirates except in Dubai,” EIDA said in a statement carried by the Dubai-based Arabic language daily Emirat Alyoum.

“This link will be implemented in Dubai on April one in coordination with the residence and immigration department in the emirate.”

EIDA said the link-up, once completed, would allow its registration offices at preventive medicine departments to handle at least 22,000 applications a day.

Feb 8, 2012

ID card deadlines eased in free zones

Abu Dhabi: Thousands of expatriates working with private companies in free zones in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will get time to register for or renew their national ID cards without paying fines until March 31 and May 31 respectively, Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) announced yesterday (Tuesday).

The authority had started imposing fines on the expatriates working with private companies in free zones from January 1, 2012 for delayed registration and renewal of ID cards along with the expatriates in government and semi-government sector, an official spokesman of the authority told Gulf News yesterday.

It was because the government considers free zones as ‘semi-government sector’, he said.The spokesman made it clear that the reprieve is not applicable for free zones in other emirates [except Abu Dhabi and Dubai] because the deadline for expatriates in the five other emirates has already expired.

Penalties: confusion abounds

Many expatriates in the government and semi-government sectors have started paying fines because of the confusion about the status of their companies. Many others mistook the reprieve announced for expatriates in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. As Gulf News reported on January 19, only the family members of expatriate employees in government and semi-government sector in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will get time to register for or renew ID cards without paying fines until March 31 and May 31 respectively.

Feb 7, 2012

UAE visit visas not tied to Emirates ID… for now

Is Emirates ID card mandatory when applying for a visit visa?

As per Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department call centre, it is mandatory for all applicants to have an Emirates ID card. However, typing centres do not ask for it.

“You need to have an Emirates ID if you want to apply for a visit visa for your spouse or parents,” the call centre staff said.

A person, who recently applied for the three-month visit visa at the Jebel Ali DNRD branch, however, was not asked about it.

“I was told over the phone to bring the Emirates ID card, but when I went over to apply no one asked me if I had the ID card. Even when I asked if they wanted to see my Emirates ID, they said ‘no’ at the typing centre.”

On February 3, Dr Ali Mohammed Al Khouri, director-general of Emirates Identity Authority (Eida), told this website: “There is full co-ordination between Eida and all federal and local departments and institutions. Already, many government departments provide services only if the applicant has an ID card. Currently, it is not compulsory to have the ID card to avail of government services, but it will become so at the beginning of next year.”

He added that having the ID card will become compulsory after Eida’s linking with all government institutions is completed.

The authority had fixed November 1, 2011 as the deadline for Emiratis to registered for the ID card. December 1, 2011 was the final deadline for employees of the government and quasi-government (federal and local) bodies and their families.