Month: December 2007

Unified visit visa soon

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Unified visit visa soon
By Ahmed Abdul Aziz (Our staff reporter)/KHALEEJ TIMES31 December 2007

ABU DHABI — The Naturalisation and Residency Departments (NRDs) at the Ministry of Interior have completed all preparations to implement the unified system of issuance of visit visas in all the emirates, Colonel Nasir Al Awadi Al Minhali, director of the Abu Dhabi Naturalisation and Residency Department (ADNRD) disclosed yesterday.

The move comes with a view to weeding out the menace of illegal workers from the country.

Talking to Khaleej Times, Al Minhali said, “The new system will restrict the issuance of visit visas for immediate relatives only, such as parents, brothers or sisters.”

Al Minhali added that workers who had entered the country on business visas would face life ban. “The NRDs across the country will reject any application to amend the status of the applicant from his/her business visa to worker’s visa,” Al Minhali noted.

Al Minhali said the measures would be implemented soon after getting the approval from the Minister of Interior, Shaikh Saif bin Zayed.

APJ Abdul Kalam launches his own epaper – Billion Beats

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Busy as ever even after leaving Rashtrapati Bhavan, India’s ”missile man” A P J Abdul Kalam donned the role of a ”media man” by launching a fortnightly e-paper Billion Beats to highlight the stories of India’s ”islands of success” and to establish knowledge connectivity.
Apparently frustrated over Indian media’s lack of focus in highlighting the country’s success stories, Kalam, along with his associates launched the e-paper on his website www.abdulkalam.com recently.

”We have the islands of success in every field of activity and we have to connect them to make a garland,” he said in his message to first edition of the e-paper being brought out by his associate V Ponraj.

Typical of Kalam, the idea to have his own media medium struck him while he was coming out of a television interview in New Delhi. As he drove out of the studios, Kalam vented his frustration to his associates saying, ”why are we not highlighting the success stories of achievers. Why are we not bringing unsung heroes to the forefront.”

”Why an overdose of politics, murder caste war why ”, Kalam was quoted as saying in the inaugural edition by M Anantha Krishnan, its National Affairs Editor, explaining the reasons that prompted the former President to launch the new initiative. Kalam also wants his new venture to establish ”knowledge connectivity” among people.

Who all are the biggest winners in the market?

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Who all are the biggest winners in the market?
31 Dec, 2007, 1555 hrs IST,DEEPAK MOHONI,

The market bounced back last week, with the Sensex finishing 5.45% or 1,044 points higher, the Nifty up 5.43% and the CNX Midcap gaining 6.63%. Tata Steel was the biggest winner among the Sensex stocks with a 12.9% gain. Other gainers were Reliance Energy, DLF, Bhel, Wipro, HDFC and Hindalco with gains between 7% and 12%. Bajaj Auto was the biggest loser among the Sensex stocks with a 6.5% loss. Maruti Suzuki lost just 0.8%, and was the only other Sensex stock to finish lower.

Era Construction was the biggest winner among the more heavily traded non-Sensex stocks with a 38.7% gain, followed by Everonn Systems with a 38.3% gain. Mercator Lines, Parsvnath Developers, Adani Enterprise, Videocon Industries, Essar Oil, Alok Industries, IOC, Ansal Infra and Mundra Port all gained between 17% and 33%. Ispat Industries was the biggest loser among the more heavily traded non-Sensex stocks with a 2% loss. There were no other significant losers.

Intermediate Trend: The indices remain in intermediate uptrends, with last week’s rally helping them avert the downtrend threat. The uptrend has started from the Sensex’s November 22 low of 18183 for the Sensex and Nifty, while the CNX Midcap index has been in an uptrend since October 22.

The uptrend will end if the Sensex falls below 18886, the Nifty under 5676 and the CNX Midcap below 8430. Our market is one of the very few that has managed to escape an intermediate downtrend. The uptrend will become more stable if the global rally evolves into an intermediate uptrend.

Outlook For ’08: The market’s long-term (major) trend remained up during all of ’07. The Sensex had gained 46.57% or 6,420 points until Friday, and the Nifty 53.28%. The CNX Midcap outperformed them with a gain of 74.39%.

Reliance Energy was the biggest winner among the Sensex stocks with a 314.7% gain. Larsen & Toubro, Reliance, Bhel, Tata Steel, State Bank, DLF and HDFC followed, with gains between 80% and 188%.

Infosys was the biggest loser among the Sensex stocks with a 19.9% loss. Other losers were Tata Motors, Cipla, Wipro, TCS, Mahindra, Satyam Computers and ACC with losses falling between 7% and 19%. The bull market will end if the indices close below their previous intermediate bottoms. These stand at 18183 for the Sensex, 5394 for the Nifty, and still 6463 for the CNX Midcap.

We will enter ’08 with a strong possibility that we are in a bubble, as the market caps of several underachieving companies are rising on hope and hype, rather than performance. Hence, there can be a correction — perhaps along the lines of the one seen in May ’06. However, bubbles are always unpredictable, and stocks can continue to rise beyond most expectations before the bubble bursts.

Short-Term Outlook: Global markets were rallying again after dipping on Thursday night and Friday morning, and this should lead to further gains at the start of the new week. A fresh global intermediate uptrend can mean more gains ahead. Europe and the US were rising again on Friday, and a global intermediate uptrend appears to be on the cards now.

Strategy: Fresh long and medium-term purchases should be made only after the next intermediate downtrend ends, and provided the bull market continues. Day traders should find the mid-caps more profitable, as the larger moves are happening in this category once again.

The intermediate uptrend looks stable for now, and swing traders can carry positions overnight on the long side with normal risk. Please note that all forms of short-term trading will succeed only with a proper risk and money management strategy.

Global Perspective: Most major global markets rallied all week, except for a sell-off on Thursday night and Friday morning. However, most of the main global indices are still in intermediate downtrends, but a persistent rally should lead to an early confirmation of an intermediate uptrend.

Several global indices went into these intermediate downtrends after making lower intermediate tops, and there’s a question mark on the global bull market. A closing below its last intermediate bottom of 12700 will be a bear market signal for the Dow, and such an event can well trigger a global bear market too.

The Sensex’s gain for ’07 (until Thursday) stands at 46.6%, making it the fourth best performer among 40 well-known global indices considered for the study. Shanghai heads the list with a 98.4% gain. Indonesia and Pakistan follow with gains of 47.1% and 51.7%, respectively . (These rankings do not take exchange rate effects into consideration). The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 7.2% and the Nasdaq Composite 10.8% during the year.

(The author is an independent technical analyst)

‘Making money will not be easy in ’08’

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‘Making money will not be easy in ’08’
31 Dec, 2007, 0454 hrs IST,Shakti Shankar Patra, TNN

At ET Intelligence Group, we have always strived to help readers take well-informed decisions. And we leave no stone unturned in doing this. Apart from providing analytical insights and expert opinions to anticipate the trends in ’08, we decided to lend an ear to what the celestial elements are telling us.

To have a better understanding of what ’08 has in store for us, ETIG caught up with renowned astrologer Bejan Daruwala .

According to this fond worshipper of Lord Ganesha, India’s best period started from September 3, ’07. Mr Daruwala — who had predicted India’s emergence as an economic superpower way back in January ’00 — claims that India will have a great time in the next few years and will emerge as a powerhouse some time around the year ’12.

“In ’08, Jupiter will land up in India’s sun sign Capricorn. This ensures prosperity and good luck,” he says. He further enunciates that other natives of Capricorn, including Ratan Tata, Baba Kalyani of Bharat Forge and Vikram Pandit of Citibank, will have a wonderful year ahead.

Mr Daruwala emphasises that ’08 will see Saturn teaming up with Virgo, which means only the ‘practical-minded and ruthless’ will survive. Companies that emphasise on cutting down unnecessary expenses and are willing to overhaul old management practices will do well. Similarly, Capricorn, the big daddy of all sun signs, will ensure that managements that act with a strict hand do well.

However, Mr Daruwala feels the Sensex may not reflect the strength of the Indian economy to the fullest. “The year ’08 will see the Sensex fluctuating wildly and money-making won’t be as easy as it has been in ’07,” he says. He further predicts that the months of March, June, September and December will be particularly tough for the market.

Looking beyond the economic scenario, Mr Daruwala sees the country facing a few new problems. He cautions that the next 2-3 years will see the emergence and rise of new forms of terrorism. He foresees that India and Pakistan will have a more permanent and long-term truce.

On a more positive note, Mr Daruwala opines that India’s favourable time had begun when Atal Bihari Vajpayee took over as prime minister, and both he and Manmohan Singh are lucky for the country.

Picnic time is calling out

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Picnic time is calling out By Manjari Saxena, Staff Reporter, and Layla Haroon, Special to Explore
GULF NEWS Published: December 22, 2007, 00:23

Nature is decked out in its best. So what are you doing sitting indoors? Pick a cool spot to enjoy during this lovely time

Nature is making its presence felt with red, gold and green spread out all over the UAE. The weather is perfect.

And our photographers go “trigger-happy” this time of the year, capturing people who’ve been making the best use of the cool weather by becoming one with nature.

The extended Eid break may be over, but the weather — and the colours — will be around for another couple of months.

So, for those who were travelling during the holidays or stayed at home due to the heavy traffic in the greener areas in and around Dubai — and, of course, for those who cannot get enough of the season — we provide our pick of picnic spaces and pack a hamper for you .

Mushrif Park, Dubai

Far from the madding crowd, the 400-hectare Mushrif Park is not just another green space.

Along with the usual children’s play area, a train, leisure games and barbecue areas, the park also offers swimming facilities. Entry fee is Dh10 for cars; swimming fee is Dh10 for adults and Dh5 for children.

Jumeirah Beach Park, Dubai

Opened in 1989, the Jumeirah Beach Park, as the name suggests, is a combination of a pristine beach and park with beautiful landscaping.

You can either bring a hamper or cook on-site in the barbecue areas of the park and beach. In the evenings, you can stroll on some of the lovely walking areas in the park.
Entry fee is Dh5 per person and Dh20 per car.

Hatta, Dubai

Enjoy a day at the Hatta Rock Pools, nestled in the Hajjar Mountains, amid rippling waterfalls and turquoise pools.

Another place to check out while in the oasis is the Heritage Village.

Green Mubazzarah, Al Ain

Al Ain is known as the Garden City of the UAE, as it has many public parks.

Located at the foot of Jebel Hafeet, the garden provides recreational activities such as desert safaris, sand skiing, abseiling, rope climbing, camping and hiking on scenic trails.

The place also has bowling, snooker and billiard centres. Free sheds, with benches and barbeque stands, are provided.

Ain Al Faydah, Al Ain

Situated around a lake created by underground springs at the foot of Jebel Hafeet Mountain and surrounded by jagged cliffs, the Ain Al Faydah picnic resort offers everything from ten-pin bowling to swimming pools.

Besides enjoying a boat ride on the lake, you can spread a blanket and sit in the beautifully manicured gardens or pitch a ball in the playground.

Central Gardens, Al Ain

This is one of the largest parks that helps brand Al Ain as the “Garden City”. A musical dancing fountain attracts large numbers of visitors.

Equipped with a large playground, it offers an adventurous picnic deal with wall climbing, grass skiing and other activities.

Sharjah National Park

This is the largest park in Sharjah. The park boasts a miniature City of Sharjah with models of the most prominent buildings.

Facilities and entertainment include barbecue area, children’s play areas, a duck pond, a giant slide, a cycle track with a horror tunnel and an infrared beam to squirt water on unsuspecting cyclists.

You can also skate on Rollerblades. Entry is free.

Jazeerah Park, Sharjah

Located in the Khalid Lagoon, as the name suggests, the park is an island and is one of the most popular tourist spots in Sharjah.

The facilities include an amusement park for children, a mini zoo, swimming pools, an artificial waterfall and train rides.

The park offers some stunning views of the Blue Souq, Corniche and the Sharjah fountain. Entry is Dh5 for adults and Dh2 for children.

Lulu Island, Abu Dhabi

A barren, man-made island in front of Abu Dhabi’s coastline serves as a scenic and peaceful picnic spot.

With its lovely beach, this place is a hub for water sport aficionados.

It has two restaurants, four coffee shops, two stretches of beach on the northern and southern part of the island, changing rooms, cafeterias, two artificial freshwater lakes, mosques and a duned area.

You can cook, play and swim. A short boat ride (free of charge) takes you from the Abu Dhabi Breakwater to the Heritage Village. Entry is Dh15 per person. Children under five are admitted free.

Shaikh Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi

With its distinctive architectural design and landscaping, the Khalifa Park is the newest recreational landmark in the city.

It has an area dedicated for women and children — with a swimming pool and an amphitheatre, all linked by a train.

An aquarium, marine museum, a historical museum and a monorail time tunnel are added attractions. Entry is Dh5 per person.

Bedouin Village, Abu Dhabi

Also known as the Heritage Village, the Bedouin Village allows a glimpse of the simple pre-oil-era nomadic life of Abu Dhabi.

Original artefacts are kept here along with permanent structures such as the ruler’s mud-brick house, amid a traditional mosque and souq.

For those interested in a traditional get together, a picnic plan to the village is a must. Admission is free.

Enjoy anon.

Other places to picnic in
Dubai Creek Park
Mumzar Beach Park, Dubai
Safa Park, Dubai
Zabeel Park, Dubai
Dubai Creek Park
Umm Suqueim beach, Dubai

Buheira Corniche, Sharjah
Al Khan Corniche, Sharjah
Al Khan Beach, Sharjah
Qanat Al Qasba, Sharjah
Public beaches in Khor Fakkan, Sharjah

Public beaches in Fujairah
Masafi

Al Hili Fun City, Al Ain
Al Hili Gardens, Al Ain
Al Ain Zoo

Heritage Park, Abu Dhabi

Dubai from the sky: Shaikh Zayed Road

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Dubai from the sky: Shaikh Zayed Road
Staff Report/GULF NEWS

Dubai from the sky: Shaikh Zayed Road
Staff Report

Shaikh Zayed Road, which has five lanes on each side with a barrier in between, stretches 55km from the Dubai World Trade Centre roundabout to the border of Abu Dhabi.

Nearly 27 kms of the road was constructed trhrough two major projects in 1993 and 1998.

The Shaikh Zayed Road is one of the most important highways, meeting other main roads such as Al Ain Road, Hatta Road, Emirates Road, Jebel Ali-Lehbab Road and other arterial and main roads.

With 13 interchanges to ease traffic flow, on peak days the number of vehicles using the road touches 200,000.

Some of the most impressive and glitzy buildings like Emirates Towers office and hotel complex can be found on this road. The striking new headquarters building is at present taking shape close to the Dubai World Trade Centre roundabout beside Shaikh Zayed Road.

Photos and news by Asghar Khan and Kiran Prasad/Gulf News

Dubai from the sky – Global Village & Emirates Road

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Dubai from the sky: Global Village and Emirates Road

The Emirates Road used to follow the outskirts of Dubai, but thanks to the ever expanding development it is rapidly becoming part of the city.

At one end of the road is the Green Community, which has now firmly taken root as a favourite place to live despite its remote location on the road to Jebel Ali.

One of the other key stopping off points on the Emirates Road is Global Village, the popular expo of worldwide culture which attracts millions of visitors every year.

Photos and news by Asghar Khan and Kiran Prasad/Gulf News

Just say it

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Just say it
By Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary, Staff Writer GULF NEWS Published: December 28, 2007,

They are two simple little words – thank you – but put together, with complete sincerity, they are so powerful that they can change lives, situations, even the future. With 2008 around the corner, how about getting some attitude – of gratitude?

A fortnight ago, I had the opportunity to spend a weekend at a resort in Umm Al Quwain. Thanks to the kids and their activities the day’s schedule was hectic and by late evening, almost all the adults were tired and those who could stay awake were relaxing by the pool.

I decided to go for a stroll on the beach to take in the cool breeze and reflect on the activities of the day.

I chose a nice spot on the beach and sat down to watch the sunset. The colours that lit up the sky were simply breathtaking. Tracers of pink and swatches of purples lay in artless abandon on a backdrop of bleeding crimson … I wished I had taken along a camera but my mind’s eye
came in handy.

Slowly, the colours bleached as though the sky had been sprayed with a giant hose of a decolorant and scraps of greys and faded pinks clung on as the backdrop paled into slate.

Soon night swept in draped a voluminous black cloak and in a swish revealed the crystal work of stars. It was pure theatre and I was watching it free of charge.

The breeze soon picked up so I decided to resume my walk. The sand was cool under my feet, the sea like a vast spill of ebony ink and the moon hung almost full as though held at that spot by an invisible puppeteer’s hand. Nature was putting on another spectacular show. Once again, free of charge.

The only sound was the lapping of the waves. I was sure that if I concentrated hard enough, I would be able to hear the beat of my heart.

And that’s when a familiar but not-so-regular emotion washed over me – the feeling of absolute gratitude for the moment. The sheer beauty of nature that was all around me, giving me everything and asking for nothing in return, except to be in the moment.

I felt blessed for having the chance to be a part of that night.

Back in my room, the calming experience I had just enjoyed kept returning to my mind and set me thinking: would it sound silly if I thanked Life for the evening? After all, how many such evenings had I experienced in the recent past? In fact, when was the last time I was overcome with gratitude for the free abundance of so many things life offers me every day, every week?

I thought of the way we say ‘Thank you’. It is specifically for something we have received or in general for nothing really; just politesse, because it’s so easy to say it without really thinking about it.

And to me that was like a thorn in the flesh. Did I really think through my expressions of gratitude?

Were they simply reflexive responses or had I said some ‘Thank yous’ that were as deeply felt as other emotions like the anger when someone cuts you off on the highway or jumps the queue with impunity or arrogance when someone does not return your call? It’s so easy to feel some emotions so strongly.
You know the ones I mean. But what about a ‘thank you’?
Quite often, we seem to miss the wood for the trees. We expect a lot of things to be the way they are and forget to acknowledge the fact that someone, somewhere, known or unknown, is responsible for making it easy for us.

We take things for granted to the extent that when we wake up, the coffee should be brewing and the croissant shining with a buttery glaze. And warm. Better still, served to you on a plate with a monogrammed napkin tucked in by its side.

You think I am going too far?

Well, I have the right to pontificate on my life and I don’t think I am not guilty of that charge. Quite often I fail to see the silver lining in the clouds and focus instead on the grey … and grumble and groan and whine about it all.

Cicero, the Roman philosopher, got it right: “Gratitude is not only the greatest virtue but the parent of all others.”

New-age psychologists believe that more than anything else, a feeling of gratitude for all the things we enjoy in life can fill us with happiness.

When you count your blessings, you actually tend to discount the inconveniences in life. You tend to grumble less, feel less stressed out and thus produce less stress hormones in your system.

Fewer negative thoughts mean your mind is free … to think of more and better ways to improve your state.

It’s called positive psychology, says Dubai-based clinical psychologist Maya Selisel Sidani.

Till recently, psychology was focused on the treatment of a particular mental ailment. It essentially meant taking a patient who was in, let’s say, a ‘minus 5’ state of mind to a condition where he/she became normal or achieved a state of mind termed zero.

But positive psychology does not involve any treatment procedures as such. It examines the individual’s
state of mind and focuses on lifting his/her mood from, for instance, zero to plus five.

“Gratitude definitely affects our sense of happiness,” says Sidani. She quotes the theory put forward by American Psychology Association president Martin Selignan who explains how gratitude impacts our sense of happiness.
According to Selignan there are three components
to happiness:

A pleasant focus on things that give us pleasure – such as listening to beautiful music, watching a play, enjoying a dinner … basically activities that provide us direct sensory pleasure.

Engagement: This is about the depth of our involvement and commitment to relationships such as (with) our spouse, family, romance, hobbies. When we do things with passion and are involved in these, there |is a natural sense of fulfillment and happiness.

The meaning of life: Doing things that give a larger, greater meaning to life such as using (your efforts) to serve a larger social end.
According to Sidani, the last category is the one that deals with feeling a sense of gratitude … by trying to find meaning to life through doing noble deeds, participating in charity drives, etc.

So, how important is it be grateful for small things in life? Does it take a life-changing experience to make people realise the value of expressing gratitude? In what way can a person express gratitude?

To find out, Friday met a few people:

A humbling experience
Brian Senelwa’s life changed for ever when he learnt that he had lost his first child, a baby boy. “That’s the time I realised how fragile life is,” says the export manager in
a Dubai FMCG company.

“The experience (I underwent) was humbling. It made me appreciate and be grateful for (everything),” he says.

Senelwa, who hails from Kenya and has two children, Christina (5) and Antony (2), is keen to instill the value
of gratitude in his children as they grow up.

“I believe in the power of gratitude. I once read a book called The Attitude to Gratitude, which pointed out the importance of appreciating what one has in life.

“Of late, with the kind of mechanical lifestyles (we lead), we are rushing through the day and I think I have forgotten to thank God for the beautiful and important things he has given me.

“When I watch television – the tragedies, the violence, pestilence, murders – I feel fortunate to be in Dubai. Of course I have had my share of ups and downs in life, many financial and personal problems, but I am thankful to God for having given me some friends who have stood by me and given me the strength to bear it all.”

Senelwa, who had a very tough childhood in Kenya, is all praise for his mother for having instilled in him the right attitude to gratitude.

“My mother, Margaret, was a source my inspiration. She brought up my sister and me single-handedly after my father passed away (I was nine years old at the time). We lived frugally, but she taught me humility and an appreciation for what we had in life.

“Eight things I will always be grateful for and thank God for…

My kids.
My health and well-being.
To be surrounded by friends.
The beauty of nature. I often travel to Hatta and Oman and am awestruck by the beauty of the desert.
My job. I love doing what I do.
For having hope. I have always looked forward to better things.
Second chances in life. Very often we commit mistakes and I am grateful I have been given a second chance to improve on them and redeem myself.
For every new morning in my life.
I had a near fatal accident in Kenya, but escaped unhurt!

* * *

Shemsah Musabih, an accredited Life Coach, specialising in relationships, says: “People sometimes focus on bad times and forget the pleasant and positive things in their lives. I truly believe a sense of gratitude ignites positive feelings in you.”

She has experienced many things in her life that fill her with a very positive feeling.

“I was born in USA but spent most of my life in the UAE. One of the strongest memories I have of my childhood is of my mother showing pictures of starving children to my brothers and me whenever we refused our food. She used to remind us of what they didn’t have and all the things that we had to be grateful for.

“My father always reminded us to thank God whenever we saw people who were suffering, sick, or poor and for us not being that way.

“We also grew up being told that there’s a blessing and wisdom behind everything that we go through – the good and the bad. We may not understand it now, but someday, when we look back upon our lives, we will realise the truth.

“I believe that we get what we deserve and we have to earn what we want in life. The only way we can prove that we will be grateful for the things we want and won’t take them for granted, is by being grateful for the things that we have.

“By being grateful, we realise that we have so many reasons to celebrate and share happiness. It puts life into perspective and keeps us going.”

One of the fondest memories she has of childhood is of spending a summer with her father in London.

“It was just him and I. I felt very close to him and he made me feel very special. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. We went shopping, to the park and simply hung out together.

“I’ve spoken about it so many times, however, now that I think about it I never actually thanked him, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say “Thank you Baba for making me feel special”.

Shemsah’s lists things she is grateful for:

The family that I grew up in. (That experience moulded me into who I am today).
My husband and son (my inspirations and support).
My friends and relationships (my balance in life).
My health and beauty.
My experience through postpartum depression (It taught me to be more compassionate and grateful. I am a better woman, wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, and citizen because of it).
My knowledge and Islam (My empowerment).
Being half American and half Emirati (I got the best of both worlds).
My safety and security (I’m grateful that I’m living in a
place like Dubai).
My time (I am grateful for each day that I am able to wake up and do the things that I want to do and share my time with the people that I love).
My food, clothes, house, wealth and nannies (I am grateful for not having the stress of not knowing where I am going to sleep tonight, or how I am going to get my next meal).
* * *

Lillian Yordi has wonderful memories of a warm Venezuelan home filled with family that makes her so full of gratitude for all the nice times she had. I crib about things and I think it is human nature to do so.

But I (am always brought back to reality) when I see things around me and I realise how lucky I am to be alive; that makes me reflect and to be grateful just for being healthy and happy.

“I am happy when I am surrounded by my family, friends and people that I care about and love. I thank God for all the beautiful things in my life – my kids, my husband and family.

Zordi recalls the happy memories of Christmas: “I can remember how every year my mother would purchase all the ingredients and then gather all of us around to begin preparing and making ‘Hallacas’ (a Venezuelan dish for Christmas) and special desserts, treats and decorations.

“She had a magic touch that made our lives special. I don’t recall saying ‘thank you’ to her but I carry that feeling of gratitude in my heart and I share it with my kids. I hope to follow my mother’s example by making my children’s lives special.”

Reliance plans $24 bn investment in petrochemicals

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Reliance plans $24 bn investment in petrochemicals
IST, PTI

DUBAI: Reliance Industries, India’s largest company by market value, plans to spend $24 billion over the next ten years in setting up petrochemicals projects in the Middle East, company Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani is reported to have said.

“We plan to set up a number of petrochemical plants in the next decade, with each costing $4-6 billion,” the Dubai-based Gulf News quoted Ambani as saying.

Ambani had yesterday told a conference here that building five billion dollar petrochemicals plants in the Middle East will be the best way for Reliance, India’s biggest producer of chemicals, to meet India’s quadrupling demand of chemicals in the next 10 years.

Reliance wants to tap the growing demand for chemicals in Asia, especially in China and India.

“Dubai will be the gateway to our future investment in this part of the world and beyond,” Gulf News quoted Ambani as saying. “We will increase our headcount in Dubai, which will be the nerve centre of our international operations.”

Ambani, who had yesterday at the petrochemical conference said that Reliance would aggressively pursue acquisitions as part of a new strategy to grow, told Gulf News his company was not yet ready for big-ticket acquisitions.

“We will need to grow and invest in our own expansion for at least 10 more years, before entering into big-time acquisitions,” he was quoted as saying.

4 Indians win media awards in Dubai

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4 Indians win media awards in Dubai
29 Dec, 2007, 1235 hrs IST, PTI

DUBAI: Four Indians have been awarded by a Dubai-based media group for excellence in fields like animation and photography.

Among the total 11 winners of Ibdaa Media Student Awards 2007, presented at a gala ceremony held at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre here, were Santosh Nayak from Sir J J Institute of Applied Art who won in the Animation category and Sagar Pitale from L S Raheja School of Art for Graphic Designing.

Besides, Varun Dahisaria from Rachana Sansad College of Applied Arts, India, came first in Digital Photography and Derryk Mas carenhas from Rizvi College of Arts, India won the award for Print Advertising.

Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority presented the awards on Thursday evening.

The students were selected from more than 2,200 media student entries across the globe, including from Egypt, India, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Philippines, the UK and the UAE for the sixth edition of the award.

Besides cash prizes, the winners were also awarded internship opportunities with leading media organisations such as CNN, MBC, CNBC Arabia, Xische, Team Y&R, Motivate Publishing, Nikon, Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and Arabian Radio Network (ARN).

Mohamed Al Mulla, director, Dubai Media City, and coordinator general of the Ibdaa Awards, said, “The awards mark the pinnacle of achievement for the talented youngsters and their remarkable creative skills. This recognition will lead to promising careers with top media organisations, not just for the winners but for all the short-listed participants as well.”