January 2012 - UAE INFO

Jan 18, 2012

More time for renewal of ID cards in 3 emirates

8:37 AM 0
More time for renewal of ID cards in 3 emirates

Abu Dhabi: Thousands of expatriates in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will get more time to register for ID cards and renew existing cards without paying fines.

October 31, 2011, was the deadline for all expatriates in the country to renew their existing ID cards and thereafter they had to pay a Dh20 fine per day which may go up to a maximum of Dh1,000.

But the Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) has extended that deadline for expatriates in three emirates, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, a spokesperson of the authority told on Tuesday.

Those who have not registered for a new card in these emirates have more time, he said.

No fines collected

Now the October 31 renewal coincides with the deadline for registering for a new card in each of these emirates as announced earlier — January 31 in Sharjah, March 31 in Abu Dhabi and May 31 in Dubai, the spokesman explained.

Accordingly, the deadline for expatriates in these emirates to register for a new card and renew the existing card will be the same.

The spokesman revealed that no fines were collected after the October 31 deadline from those who renewed their cards in these emirates.

However, October 31 was the deadline for all Emiratis across the country to register for new cards and renew the existing ones

So, Emiratis across the country and expatriates in the four other emirates — Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah — who crossed the deadline have already paid the fines, the spokesman said.

"They were not given any reprieve because their deadline had ended long back," the spokesman said.

November 31 was the deadline for expatriates in those four emirates to register for the cards.

Expatriates in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, whose residence visa expires in 2012, do not rush to take an ID card now, the spokesman said.

They have to take the card when they renew their visas this year, irrespective of the announced deadlines.

Jan 6, 2012

Top 10 pavilions at the Global Village

5:42 PM 0
Top 10 pavilions at the Global Village


Kashmiri pashmina (woollen) shawls that are incredibly soft and light yet keep you warm and cosy are draped over several stalls here. Depending on the quality of the Himalayan goat wool (cashmere) and colourful hand-stitched embroidery used, prices hover between Dh200 and Dh2,000. They can last a lifetime; be sure to wash the shawl only in cold water and air-dry it.

Grace your home with famed Persian handmade carpets in a variety of designs and sizes. The Tarasoli rug stall there claims to be the only one at Global Village with authentic Persian carpets. They start at about Dh2,000 – no matter what the size – and come in silk, wool, and silk-wool varieties. On your way out, don’t miss out on Iran’s superior quality dry fruits, priced at about Dh100 per kilo for a bag of mixed nuts.

African tribal men and women greet you at the gates as you enter a microcosm of the continent. The entire pavilion is lined with souvenir stalls, selling wooden miniatures of wildlife, tribal caricatures and masks. They start at just Dh20, but one shop there is offering two 10-foot giraffes for Dh25,000. There are also reptile-skin handbags, with tiny wallet-sized ones costing about Dh200.

It is easy to see why China is the “workshop of the world” when you come across a dizzying variety of readymade garments, window curtains, bedcovers, accessories and toys. The price range is equally wide, with some steal deals on window curtains (2.5mx2.7m) for just Dh125. You can also pick up offbeat nightdresses and lingerie for only Dh35 a piece.

It’s a mini bazaar seemingly air-lifted from an alley in Bangkok and put down in Dubai. The aroma of spicy Thai delights wafts across the pavilion, which has back-to-back food stalls selling combos for about Dh25. There is also a Thai grocery store stacked with products from the Southeast Asian country. If all the hustle and bustle wears you down, pop in for a Thai massage, priced at about Dh200 per hour.

Keep the winter chill out – and do it in style – with handcrafted pure leather jackets at rock-bottom prices. Starting at about Dh200 for sheep leather, the much sought-after attire also comes with collars and sleeves lined with fox fur, for around Dh500. If you want to really stand out, it will cost you extra, with cow leather overcoats going for some Dh800. You can take a tea break at the traditional food stall there, serving hot tea and tangy fried snacks like samosas.

The incense burns non-stop here, drawing in curious shoppers with its natural woody fragrance. It’s like stepping into a traditional market out of the 1,001 Arabian Nights legend. There are perfumes and incense for use at home and for clothes starting at Dh30 (for as many grams), flowing black abayas for Dh200, and UAE dates for Dh50 per kg.

You won’t have to guess what this pavilion is known for, when scores of honey salesmen spoil you with freebies of the golden stuff. The honey is so pure and fresh you can smell and taste hints of the nectar the bees sipped to produce the end product. Dh150 a kilo is the going rate for most types, though you should expect to fork out more for varieties such as “Only for married”, said to boost intimacy.

The Mediterranean country has come to the fair for the first time – and taken visitors by pleasant surprise. The spotless pavilion is decked out with festive décor and traditional shop signs, offering cute little souvenirs, the world-famous churros (sweet fried bread) and, of course, Real Madrid football club gear. Stall keepers said their prices are unbeatable, despite traditional Spanish products not being easily available in Dubai. But the showstopper is a stall with traditional Spanish silk shawls known as manton de Manila. Some of these handmade beauties take six months to make. Prices start at about Dh350, going up to Dh10,000 for the larger ones. They even have shawls turned into Arabic headscarves for about Dh265.

This is one of the biggest, tallest pavilions – but small on costs. At every corner you turn are giant stalls selling Egyptian gowns for men and women, and night suits for children. The men and children’s clothes – said to be of pure cotton – are priced at about Dh35 per piece (or three for Dh100). The women’s dresses go for about Dh60 per item, or two for Dh100.

32 things to do this Dubai Shopping Festival

5:36 PM 0
32 things to do this Dubai Shopping Festival
  • 1 DSF opening
    1 DSF opening

    DSF will open with fireworks at 8:30pm tonight. The spectacular display will stretch for about 6km, the longest in the history of the festival. The musical display will be synchronised with the theme song of DSF and will illuminate the night sky along the stretch from Business Bay, Dubai Creek right up to the Shindagha area.

  • 2 The Layali Dubai
    2 The Layali Dubai

    The Layali Dubai concerts will feature some popular artists and entertainers from the region. To be held on the Burj Steps, the Layali Dubai shows are making a comeback to DSF with two nights of Arabic concerts over the

  • 3 Global village
    3 Global village

    Global Village is the place to experience the cultures and cuisines of different countries. Visitors will be entertained by performers from each country represented at Global Village.

  • 4 Al Seef Street
    4 Al Seef Street

    This year, Al Seef Street will host folk dances and activities by entertainers dressed in colourful national costumes. Al Seef Street will also host the DSF Bazaar.

  • 5 Al Rigga Street
    5 Al Rigga Street

    Al Rigga Street will feature family-oriented activities throughout the 32 days of DSF. The entertainment will include street performers, a night souq, the Monte Carlo circus tent and a fun fair area.

  • 6 Promenade at Dubai Festival City
    6 Promenade at Dubai Festival City

    The newly-opened Promenade at Dubai Festival City is the newest DSF destination. A host of entertainment activities will be available for visitors.

  • 7 Night Souqs
    7 Night Souqs

    The Night souqs will feature products and cuisines from different cultures. Participants will sell arts and crafts and clothing . There will also be family entertainment and children’s activities.

  • 8 Fireworks!
    8 Fireworks!

    A big hit with visitors, firework displays have become synonymous with the festival since its inception. The 17th edition is no different with daily fireworks on both sides of the Creek.

  • 9 Al Fahidi Fort
    9 Al Fahidi Fort

    Dubai Museum lets visitors take a look at the history of Dubai through artefacts and an audio-visual presentation, among others. Traditional gift items are available as souveneirs. Close to the Museum lies the old Bastakiya area in Bur Dubai that offers a glimpse of the UAE’s culture and heritage.

  • 10 City-wide sales
    10 City-wide sales

    City-wide sales and discounts, offering the visitors the best value for money, are the big attraction of DSF.

  • 11 DSF Desert Camp
    11 DSF Desert Camp

    The DSF Desert Camp focuses on Emirati heritage. The attractions include horse and camel rides, in addition to barbecue facilities and a food court that will serve local cuisine amongst many others. Those who would like to indulge in a bit of shopping will even find a souq selling traditional items.

  • 12  Handicrafts
    12 Handicrafts

    Handicrafts offer an ethnic flavour for the visitors’ shopping list. Global Village and the night souqs will be the places for bargain hunters.

  • 13 Global Village
    13 Global Village

    A number of cultural activities add flavour to the month-long festivities. Global Village, among other venues, will host about 10-15 performances every day by national groups.

  • 14 - Heritage Activities:
    14 - Heritage Activities:

    The rich Emirati heritage will take pride of place during DSF 2012. The Heritage and Diving Village will host a display of horses, traditional folklore, classic car shows and many activities that will rekindle Emirati traditions.

  • 15 Fashion
    15 Fashion

    DSF fashion shows have inspired local design talents to bring out their best traditonal dresses and other creations.

  • 16 Souqs
    16 Souqs

    Souqs are part of Dubai’s shopping culture. The downtown souqs offer great bargains on scarves, shawls, handicrafts and leather items.

  • 17 food
    17 food

    Dubai is known to offer the widest choices of cuisines. Although Global Village has the widest selction , other venues also offer ethnic food.

  • 18 Kiosks
    18 Kiosks

    Kiosks, on streets and in malls, can offer bargains on accessories, electronics and other products.

  • 19 Mega Raffle!
    19 Mega Raffle!

    The Infiniti Mega Raffle gives coupon buyers the opportunity to take home a luxury Infiniti QX 56 model worth Dh350,000, in addition to Dh100,000 in cash every day for the 32 days of DSF. In addition, three bonus winners will be drawn as part of the bumper raffle on the final day. Each raffle coupon costs Dh200

  • 20 Carpet and Arts Oasis
    20 Carpet and Arts Oasis

    The Carpet and Arts Oasis, located at Dubai Airport Expo, hosts 150,000 carpets and art pieces from all over the world, making it the largest display of these products in the region

  • 21 Redemption
    21 Redemption

    Redemption games are available in all the funfare areas in Al Rigga Street, Al Seef Street, Global Village and Dubai Festival City.

  • 22 Music!
    22 Music!

    Musicians will play three sets an evening with traditional instruments like the Riq and Qanoon, as well as modern ones like the electric guitar. They will perform different genres of music; from classical to jazz to hip hop and more at Dubai Festival City.

  • 23 The Nissan Grand Raffle
    23 The Nissan Grand Raffle

    The Nissan Grand Raffle is giving shoppers the chance to drive home one of eight Nissan models every day. They include the Tiida Sedan, Tiida Hatchback, Altima, Juke, Qashqai, Xterra, Murano and Patrol — with the lucky winner receiving a different model each day. Raffle coupons will be available at ENOC and EPPCO stations and can be obtained with a minimum purchase of Dh20 for all non-fuel purchases.

  • 24 Hang with celebs!
    24 Hang with celebs!

    Celebrity look-alikes from Hollywood, sports and royalty will pose for pictures with visitors at various venues.

  • 25 Asianet Film Awards
    25 Asianet Film Awards

    DSF 2012 will host the Asianet Film Awards. There will also be events to coincide with Indian Republic Day and the World Arab Boxing Championships.

  • 26 Dubai Duty
    26 Dubai Duty

    Some of the world’s biggest tennis stars will gather in Dubai for the annual championships. The tournament starts from 26Dubai Duty February 1 at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

  • 27 Exhibitions
    27 Exhibitions

    Several exhibitions are being held during DSF. They include the Sign and Graphic Imaging Middle East, the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress, Intersec Middle East and the Weight Loss show.

  • 28 Gold Raffle
    28 Gold Raffle

    Every day, the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group will give away half-a-kilogram of gold to a winner. On the last day of DSF, three kilograms of gold await a shopper. Shoppers will receive coupons to enter the raffle after spending Dh1,000 or more on gold purchases at any of the participating outlets across the city. A scratch-and-win campaign also offers shoppers the chance to win gold and diamonds worth up to Dh2 million.

  • 29 Al Seef Street
    29 Al Seef Street

    Al Seef Street will host theatrical shows by troupes from the UAE, Egypt, Syria and India, among others.

  • 30 Street Performers
    30 Street Performers

    There will be performances given by ‘Sound-alikes’ of famous artists at the Dubai Festival City. Solo musicians will also keep visitors entertained.

  • 31 Funfares!
    31 Funfares!

    DSF funfares offer a grand selection of rides to thrill children and adults alike. They are available at the Global Village, Al Rigga Street, Dubai Festival City among other places.

  • 32 Street carnivals
    32 Street carnivals

    Carnivals are among the most popular events of DSF. The Dubai Carnival will have the theme of ‘One World, One Family, One festival’. There will be floats, performers, music, and fireworks and laser

32 things to do this Dubai Shopping Festival

5:34 PM 0
32 things to do this Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai Shopping Festival — the month-long shopping and entertainment event — is back with a bag full of attractions. Gulf News takes a look at the offerings. There are so many things you could do, but we have listed 32 attractions for the 32 days of the event.

RTA offers half-price discount on Blue Nol Card fee

5:27 PM 0
RTA offers half-price discount on Blue Nol Card fee

Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced to give 50 per cent discount on the issuance fee of the Blue Nol Card, a personalised travel card for the use of public transport in the city.

"The card issuance fee has been reduced from Dh70 to Dh35 and the offer is valid from January 2 to February 29," said Mohammad Yousuf Al Mudharred, Director of the Unified Automated Fare Collection at the RTA.

He said the Blue Nol cards sold at this discounted price will have no prepaid balance and buyers would need to top them up. "These cards are obtainable exclusively from metro stations and some public bus stations as they will not be available online as the online price will remain unchanged," he said.

He said the step is taken as a further encouragement of more community members to obtain this personalised card which also carries user's photograph. People with special needs, the elderly and students also required to have Blue Nol Cards.

However, the most popular one is the Silver Nol Card which is used for travel in economy class of the metro, the buses, water taxis and to parking tickets in the paid parking zones.