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 http://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