Month: July 2008

A vehicle that stands

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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.

Photo Speaks – Abu Dhabi city scene

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Abu Dhabi City Scene during an evening

Mina port road

A fish cleaner at the Mina Fish market Abu Dhabi

Children play area at Mina Cooperative market

Children play area at Mina Cooperative market

Children play area at Mina Cooperative market

Etisalat building at Airport road Abu Dhabi

Electra Street Abu Dhabi

A view of the Electra Street / Mina road junction

A view of the Electra Street / Mina road junction

An evening at Mina road

New visa rules: the facts

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New visa rules: the facts

Last Updated: July 29. 2008 12:18AM UAE / GMT from THE NATIONAL

Exempted countries
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.

Tourist Visas

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

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.

Visit visas

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.

mhabboush@thenational.ae

New visa system launched

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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].”

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Seats vacant for educational courses

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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

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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: admissions@bim.edu). Forms will be distributed from 1st September 2008.

Online registration facilities are also provided from 1st September 2008 onwards through the website www.bim.edu.

IGNOU In move to train Private Security

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IGNOU In move to train Private Security \
New Delhi, Jul 29: A leading distance university and a security company got together today to train and qualify private security guards– an industry hitherto itself a source of concern.

Indira Gandhi National Open University and newly-formed Security Skills Council of India signed a Memorandum of Understanding this afternoon to ”design, develop and deliver” skills and diplomas and certificates for guards and supervisors.

The MoU was jointly announced by IGNOU Vice Chancellor V N Rajasekharan Pillai and SSCI Chairman and Managing Director R K Sinha as effort to bridge a yawning gap between law and the ground reality.

Law requires personnel to be trained in everything from ”correct wearing of uniform” to handling weapons and spotting improvised explosive devices, and includes fitness, firefighting, crowd control, checking identities, and even giving first aid.

Prof Pillai also released a student prospectus-cum-programme guide for short term, non-credit vocational programmes for security guards and security supervisors.

”Terrorism cannot be checked only by law enforcement agencies,” Sinha said as he and other speakers pointed to the key role private security men or even citizens play in securing a nation by detecting suspicious activity or individuals early on.

India’s private security industry currently employs some five million individuals, many of whom are not educated or qualified or even trained. The agencies came up as a result of demand from businesses and homes. Many companies themselves are accused of offering poor wages and work conditions.

Authorities readying to regulate the industry three years ago noted how these agencies helped meet businesses’ security needs, but caused ”a growing concern” by the manner of their functioning.

”Many of these agencies conduct their operations without due care for verifying the antecendents of the personnel employed as private security guards and supervisors.

”Certain private multinational security agencies have also established their branches in the country, which unless properly regulated may have serious security implications.” In some instances personnel employed by these agencies have been involved in criminal activities.

In 2005, the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act was enacted followed by the Private Security Agencies Central Model Rules a year later.

The law requires private security agencies to get a licence within a year or fold– but most States have yet to enforce it, industry sources say.

As D K Kotia, an officer of the Home Ministry, put it in a speech delivered in absentia, ”When fully implemented, this Act will help bring in desired professionalism in security industry in a big way.”

MBA at Army Institutes of Management

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MBA at Army Institutes of Management

July 29 : Army Institute of Management, Kolkata (AIMK) and Army Institute of Management & Technology (AIMT), Greater Noida have invited applications from eligible candidates for admission to their two-year regular MBA Programmes for 2009-11 session.

Of the 120 seats available at AIMK, 80% seats are reserved for Army Wards and 20% are general seats. At AIMT, all the 120 seats are reserved for Army Wards. There is hostel facility for boys and girls at both the Institutes.

Applicant should have a three year Bachelor Degree recognized by AIU in any discipline with 50% marks. Those completing Bachelor Degree in 2009 may also apply.

Selection to the course at both Institutes will be based on score of CAT conducted by the IIMs. Short listed candidates will be called for Group Discussion and Interview at AIMK/AIMT for final selection. Separate application has to be submitted to each Institute.

For applying to AIMK, application and Prospectus can be obtained by post by sending a DD for Rs. 800/- for Army Wards and Rs.900/- for General Candidates drawn in favour of ‘Director AIM’ payable t Kolkata.

They can also be obtained by hand by submitting a DD for Rs.750/- for Army Wards and Rs.850/- for general candidates from AIM, Judges Court Road, Opp. Alipore Tele Exch, Alipore, Kolkata-700027.

For applying to AIMT, Prospectus and Application can be obtained from AIMT, Plot M-1, Pocket P-5, Greater Nioda, UP-201306, by sending a DD for RS.800/- drawn in favour of AIMT payable at Noida. They can also be obtained by hand by submitting a DD for Rs.750/- at AIMT. Only Army Wards are eligible for admission at AIMT.

Prospectus and Application from of the Institutes can also be obtained by hand through DD only, from AWES, Army HQ, Kashmir House, New Delhi and from AWES Cells of all Command HQs. They can also be down loaded from the websites of the Institutes AIMK- www.aim.ac.in and AIMT- www.aimt.ac.in The Prospectus and Application forms will be available from 4th August 2008 to 29th September 2008.

The last date for submission of AIMK/AIMT applications is December 6, 2008. Application can also be submitted with a late fee of Rs.200/- till 31st January, 2009.

Applicants to AIMK/AIMT should also apply for CAT as per the instructions of CAT. The last date for receipt of Application for CAT 2008 at various IIMs is 5th September, 2008. CAT will be held on 16th November, 2008 (Sunday).

Details of CAT are available at http://www.catiim.in/

Khaleej Times plans relaunch

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Khaleej Times plans relaunch
Bradley Hope for THE NATIONAL Last Updated: July 26. 2008 8:03PM UAE

ABU DHABI // Khaleej Times, a 30-year-old English-language newspaper based in Dubai, is preparing for a major relaunch at the end of August to compete in the region’s rapidly expanding media market.

Sources familiar with the newspaper report that earlier this month the board appointed Rahul Sharma, formerly the Delhi editor of Hindustan Times, as editor and Didier Brun, the former senior vice president of strategy and development at the International Herald Tribune (IHT), as the chief executive. Both declined to comment for this article.

The relaunch of Khaleej Times would come less than six months after the launch of The National, which is printed six days a week by Abu Dhabi Media Company.

Earlier this year Arab Media Group, based in Dubai, relaunched a daily newspaper as a business publication, Emirates Business 24/7.

And the Financial Times recently began publishing a Middle East edition, with increased coverage of the GCC countries. Gulf News, which was established the same year as Khaleej Times, 1978, is also a long-standing English-language publication.

“For years Gulf News and Khaleej Times were the established, must-read papers here,” said Austyn Allison, the managing editor of Communicate magazine. “Now there’s this new competition from The National and other publications. Newspapers are having to change.”

To meet the challenge Khaleej Times has been drawing on resources from abroad. For instance, the paper’s layout is being redesigned by Paula Scher, a partner at Pentagram Design in New York, who has done work for The New York Times Magazine.

Mr Sharma, the new editor, has been given an open-ended budget for hiring reporters and editors from around the world, according to sources familiar with the newspaper.

In early May Khaleej Times announced it had formed a strategic alliance with IHT to print and distribute its newspaper in the UAE. The companies said at the time that further publishing arrangements, including running the IHT as an insert in some editions of Khaleej Times, were potentially on the horizon.

IHT has relationships with nine English-language newspapers around the world in which the local affiliate runs a daily edition of the newspaper as an insert, according to the company’s website.

Achilles Tsaltas, the vice president of circulation and development at the IHT, said that his company had signed the agreement with Khaleej Times in the belief that the newspaper would undergo major changes.

“We are investing in the thinking of Khaleej Times – they are very committed to changing their game,” he said. “They want to emulate The New York Times’s editorial credibility. We’re confident that is where they are heading.”

The Government of Dubai has a considerable stake in Khaleej Times and was pressuring its board members to improve the newspaper, the sources said.

Two years ago the Investment Corporation of Dubai, an investment group owned by the Dubai Government, acquired a 30 per cent share of Galadari Brothers, the parent company of Khaleej Times.

The chairman of the newspaper division is Adel al Shirawi, who is the vice chairman of Istithmar World – an investment group owned by the Dubai Government.

Five of the seven boardmembers are employees of companies wholly owned by either Dubai Holdings – a private company of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – or the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

bhope@thenational.ae