Month: July 2008
A vehicle that stands
31 Jul 2008, 0010 hrs IST,AGENCIES
LONDON: A British designer has come up with a sports car that can be folded in half to park it in tight spaces.
Daniel Bailey, 22, has revealed that the BRB Evolution jacks up on its nose with its back wheels sliding underneath on two rollers, and thus uses 50% less parking space.
Bailey says that motorists will have to step out of the car before it morphs into its “upright” parking pose.
He adds that the car will run on electricity or hydrogen fuel, and will be more “sexy, sleek and mean” than other eco-cars.
According to him, his invention is inspired by the Lamborghini Murcielago and Peugeot 908.
“I figured two of the main problems of future cities would be pollution and over population,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
“With more vehicles needing more places to be stored, I came up with the concept of a folding car.
“The car folds up to 50% of its original size, and uses the negative vertical space, usually disregarded. This potentially doubles the amount of parking spaces,” he added.
Bailey has revealed that he has submitted his concept to Peugeot as part of a design competition.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are also planning to knock up a full-scale model of their “City Car” — an experimental vehicle which “folds” itself in half and snuggles up to other City Cars in the manner of supermarket trollies.
The MIT team, led by architecture professor Bill Mitchell, reckons its revolutionary wheels would solve urban transportation problems at a stroke, with pollution-free electric drive and the ability to park in one-eighth of the space of a conventional car.
Abu Dhabi City Scene during an evening
A view of the Electra Street / Mina road junction
A view of the Electra Street / Mina road junction
New visa rules: the facts
Last Updated: July 29. 2008 12:18AM UAE / GMT from THE NATIONAL
Citizens of 33 countries are exempted from any visa fees, no matter what the purpose of their trip, and will be granted an entry visa free of charge at airports, seaports and border crossings. Such visas are valid for one month and can be renewed for another month for Dh500. Those wishing to stay more than two months can apply for a long-term visit visa, which is good for three months. These are issued by the Ministry of Interior and UAE embassies and consulates. Nationals of exempted countries are not required to pay deposits or have health insurance.
These countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vatican City.
The tourist visa is initially issued for one month for Dh100. It can be renewed for another month for Dh500. Nationals of all countries are eligible to apply for tourist visas. The visas are issued directly by travel agencies and companies involved in the tourism industry such as hotels.
Expatriates living in GCC countries can obtain a one-month entry visa for Dh100. The visa can be renewed for a second month for Dh500.
Deposit and Insurance
Financial deposits and health insurance are prerequisites for obtaining any of the 16 types of visas to gain entry into the UAE, including tourist visas, except for citizens of the exempted countries.
There are two types of visit visas. Short-term ones, issued for one month, are non-renewable and cost Dh500. Long-term ones, issued for three months, are also non-renewable and cost Dh1,000. The new law allows residents to sponsor their spouses and direct relatives. Distant relatives can only be sponsored after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Interior’s under secretary. Only Emiratis are permitted to sponsor friends. A visit visa does not permit visitors to work in the country. If a person happens to find a job while visiting, they should fly to their home country before entering on a work permit, which the employer should secure. Officials say they will not grant visit visas to those who reapply for one immediately after leaving. The same applies for other types of visas.
New visa system launched
The National Staff
Last Updated: July 29. 2008 11:18PM UAE / July 29. 2008 ABU DHABI/DUBAI // The new visa system was inconsistently applied on day one, with some officials saying they did not have key information about the new rules.
The changes, which mainly affect non-exempt people from countries such as India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Russia, came into effect yesterday, but staff at Abu Dhabi International Airport and a major embassy said they had not received official notification of the new regulations, and were still working under the old rules. At Dubai International Airport officials said the rules were applied, although some requirements – such as compulsory health insurance – were waived because the necessary infrastructure was not in place.
People entering the UAE now must apply for a tourist visa, through a registered tourist company or hotel, a visit visa sponsored by a direct relative living in the UAE, or one of 14 other visa types, such as a conference or a medical visit visa.
Anyone wanting to work in the UAE needs a work permit sponsored by an employer. The regulations also require people to leave the country when any existing visa expires, and those seeking to re-enter immediately are unlikely to be granted another visitor visa.
The rules, from which 33 nations are exempted, are intended to give officials better information about people entering the country, including the specific reason they are here. A Ministry of Interior official said immigration departments had implemented the new system nationwide. “It has been applied across the board,” he said.
However, officials at centres affected by the changes such as embassies and airports said they had been unable to implement the new rules fully.
It was “business as usual” at Abu Dhabi airport, said an airline official who did not wish to be named because he was not authorised to comment. Airline staff, responsible for checking the validity of passengers’ visas before they board a plane, were not given clear instructions about the visa changes. The official said no one at the airport knew what the new policies were or whether immigration or airport staff should be collecting fees for tourist visas.
He also questioned whether immigration staff had installed the infrastructure for the changes.
“Whilst these proposed changes are well-intentioned, the way they have been communicated to date could certainly have been better. There appears to be an information vacuum regarding exactly when the changes come into force and, critically, what airport processes are being put in place to make them run smoothly,” he said.
“Clarification is urgently required on these matters so that the airport authorities and airlines can best advise passengers of how these changes will affect them.”
All passport systems at Dubai Residency and Naturalisation Department (DRND) border points were shut down for 10 minutes for the system changeover at 11.50pm on Monday.
Brig Obaid bin Suroor, the acting director of the DRND, said: “We supervised the transition at the Dubai International Airport departure and arrival passport control counters to ensure the switch was completed smoothly. The systems were switched off at exactly 11.50pm and restarted at 12.00am to handle the large number of passengers on both sides.”
According to the DRND, the main offices and centres also had a smooth transition to the new visa regime. “There were no issues to mention. We continue our campaign to raise awareness amongst the public and offer an overview of the requirements to our key strategic partners about the new amendments and the list of visas and prerequisites.”
The DRND assigned 44 extra IT staff to supervise and follow the transition process of the new system. Brig Suroor also formed a team of senior officers to answer queries from individuals, corporations and public relations officers about the new visa regulations.
The Indian Embassy said yesterday it had not received any official letter from the immigration office about the new visa rules. A spokesman said the only information it had was from media reports.
Travellers said they were largely unaffected by the changes and many passed through immigration on visas arranged under the old system. But some said they were concerned about the impact when the rules were fully implemented.
Tarik Shehzad, who was waiting with his family at the entrance to Abu Dhabi airport, said: “I haven’t a clue what is changing or what is going on.”
Another visitor, Mr Jai from India, said: “I came on a tourist visa expecting lots of problems but I walked through with no problems, which surprised me. My uncle applied for me a few weeks ago, so it was all organised for my arrival.”
A man representing a Jebel Ali-based electrical company who was waiting for 90 men to start work for the company in the free zone said there had been no difficulties getting them into the country.
“About half of them are out already,” he said outside the arrivals gate. “None of them have said anything about problems passing through. Our company’s HR department organised all their work visas. There are no problems if the paper work is in order.”
It was calm at the Al Hili border crossing between Al Ain and Buraimi in Oman. Hundreds of people made visa runs across the border before today, according to a hotel operator in the area.
“Daily, I normally have around 150 guests in the hotel, staying to change their [UAE] visas,” said Jamal al Safar, the manager of the Al Salam Hotel in Buraimi. “But, in the last few days, I have had around 250 people trying to change their visas before [yesterday].”
Seats vacant for Islamic History
The Department of Islamic Studies has few vacant seats for MA Islamic History course. Apply before 10th August. More information can be had from 0471-2417115.
Seats vacant for MA Linguistics
The Department of Linguistics has few vacant seats for MA Linguistics course for both general and SC/ST categories. Those with a degree with not less than 50% marks in any subject are eligible to apply. SC/ST candidates will get statutory preference. More information can be had from 0471-2418469.
Refresher course in Computer Science
Applications have been invited from college teachers for a refresher course in Computer Science which will held from 16th August to 6th September at Academic Staff College, Karyavattom. Application forms can be had from the Academic Staff College or from the here. Phone 0471-2418989.
Bharathidasan MBA admission
July 17 : Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM), Tiruchirappalli provides excellent study facilities for two year full time residential MBA programme with specializations offered in marketing, finance, operations, systems and human resource management.
Bachelors / PG Degree holders in any discipline with 50% marks or final degree students are eligible to apply.
All applicants to BIM should take IIM-CAT-2008. BIM uses CAT Score for only short listing the applicants for Group Discussion and interview.
Prospectus and application can be obtained by sending DD for Rs. 1400/- (Rs. 920/- for SC/ST) drawn in favour of Bharathidasan Institute of Management, payable at Tiruchirappally along with two self addressed slips to Bharathidasan Institute of Management, P.B. No. 12, MHD Campus, BHEL Complex, Tiruchirappalli – 620 014, Tamil Nadu, Phone: 0431 – 2520796, 2520502 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Forms will be distributed from 1st September 2008.
Online registration facilities are also provided from 1st September 2008 onwards through the website http://www.bim.edu.