Day: July 3, 2008

Abu Dhabi corniche beach opening

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Abu Dhabi corniche beach opening

Sheikh Mansoor, left, and Sheikh Hamed take a tour of the new Abu Dhabi corniche beach in a golf buggy after cutting the world’s longest inaugural ribbon to officially open the beach.

Photos courtesy: Stephen Lock / The National

Abu Dhabi public beach opens
Zoi Constantine for THE NATIONAL

Last Updated: July 02. 2008 11:10PM UAE / GMT

ABU DHABI // More than 150 additional parking spaces and two new pedestrian overpasses are planned to cope with the anticipated influx of people to Abu Dhabi’s public beach, which officially opened last night.

“The inauguration of the Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach is part of the capital’s strategic plan to develop its seafront and equip it with modern infrastructure and services it can be proud of,” said Jumaa al Junaibi, the general manager of the municipality, at the launch.

The beach, which cost Dh105 million (US$28.5m) to develop, is free to the public, with facilities including a mosque, changing rooms, shaded snack kiosks and restaurants, and 12 hectares of parks, playgrounds and promenades. Four beach volleyball courts are set among 555 palm trees and there will be a permanent police post.

“I invite all to behave [in a way] that respects the culture and traditions of the UAE society and to be involved in the municipality’s effort to keep the beach the beautiful, clean and harmonious place it has been designed to be,” said Mr Junaibi.

Hundreds of people turned up for the opening ceremony at the beach, which had been decked in flags and balloons.

The cutting of the 5km ribbon was marked with a fireworks display over the water. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, the Minister of Presidential Affairs, attended the official opening, which was originally scheduled for Monday but delayed. However, while the opening of the 2km beach, which can accommodate 5,000 beachgoers, has been eagerly anticipated, there is some concern that the already congested Corniche area will not be able to handle the additional parking demands.

“I think parking will be big problem,” said Nabil Khouri, an engineer from Lebanon, who is a member of a private beach club near the new beach.

“I might go if the facilities are adequate, but the location just along the road is not appropriate.”

However, Gena Hardesty, who lives along the Corniche, said beachgoers should not be discouraged. “If you drive around the back streets not far from the beach there are parking spaces, so I don’t think it will be much of a problem,” she said.

There are 780 public parking spaces on the opposite side of the Corniche Road available to beachgoers, according to the municipality.

An additional 172 spaces were also planned, along with two pedestrian overpass bridges linking the area to the beach.

“The plans are subject to final approval, but we are trying to provide the public with a way to safely park and cross [the road to the beach],” said Atef Garib, a traffic and transport expert at the municipality.

There are already two pedestrian crossings along the Corniche Road and one underpass, he added. Work is also expected to begin soon to increase the size of the taxi lay-bys along the beach.

There will be 15 lifeguards to monitor the beach and patrol the water on jet skis. Swimming is expected to be prohibited after 8pm during the summer months.


New policy unlikely to affect visa flights

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New policy unlikely to affect visa flights
By Zoe Sinclair and Adel Arafah (Staff reporterS/KHALEEJ TIMES)3 July 2008

DUBAI — Airlines offering “visa run flights” to expatriates renewing their visit visas expect minimal impact after a change in the visa policy, officials said yesterday.

A raft of visa changes will take effect from August 1, with one policy to end the practice of “visa runs” where expatriates leave the UAE to a neighbouring country usually only for a matter of hours before returning and renewing their visit visa upon entry.

Dubai Department of Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) Director Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marrihas said from August 1, Dubai’s expatriates will have to remain outside the country for one month before returning on a visit visa.

This rule is already in effect in the other emirates in the UAE, according to Major-General Mohammed Salim bin Awaida Al Khaili, Director-General of the Naturalisation and Residency Department, Ministry of Interior.

He explained that a visitor who stayed the maximum of 90 days of the visit visa duration in the country should leave the country and he can only get a new visit visa after 30 days of the date of his departure. Kish Air, an Iranian airline which operates to the nearby Kish Island

about five times daily, averages about 350 visa run passengers of its total 500 passengers, according to an official.

However, the official said the airline had recently reduced flights to Kish Island and other GCC countries in the climate of high fuel prices and instead increased domestic flights. “Some business will affect us but we’ll make it up on other routes,” he said.

“Kish supports the rules and regulations of Dubai and we have our own business plan.”

Oman Air offers a special visa run package on its five times daily flights between Dubai and Muscat, attracting an estimated 30 to 40 per cent of its business, according to an airline official.

“We are not aware of the visa change and as far as we are concerned, as long as required, we will continue. It’s part of our business,” an official said. However, he said such a policy would not have a dramatic effect on the airline.

“If it becomes effective, it would have a marginal effect. It’s not our core business. We have labourers travelling on leave, tourism, business travel, family and friends visiting the region and holiday packages.”

Any complaints about visa processing can be submitted to the Naturalisation and Residency Directorate General in Abu Dhabi which would investigate.

World’s longest ribbon at new beach

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World’s longest ribbon at new beach
By Adel Arafah (Staff reporter)KHALEEJ TIMES 3 July 2008

ABU DHABI — Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, yesterday inaugurated the new Abu Dhabi corniche beach. Also, a new world record was created when Shaikh Mansour cut the longest-ever inaugural ribbon.

Ministers, diplomatic representatives to the UAE, and senior officials of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Abu Dhabi Municipality were among those present at the ceremony.

After cutting the ribbon, Shaikh Mansour toured the premises and facilities of the beach. “The newly-opened beach reflects the UAE leadership’s keenness to ensure comfort to people and enhance public services and utilities for all residents,” said Juma Mubarak Al Janeibi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Municipality.

The beach has a host of facilities for visitors, including four playgrounds for beach volleyball as well, Al Janeibi added.

As many as 555 palm trees have been planted in the parks extending along the beach.

Also, there are seven monitoring centres for swift rescue in case of emergencies.

Dubai launches HR Strategy

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Dubai launches HR Strategy
By a staff reporter KHALEEJ TIMES 3 July 2008

DUBAI — The government of Dubai yesterday launched a Human Resources (HR) Strategy to create a high performance culture, build the workforce capacity and capability and develop HR knowledge and expertise in order to achieve the government’s excellence objectives set out in the Dubai Strategic Plan (DSP) 2015.

The eight-year HR Strategy was unveiled under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and was attended by Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

The event was organised at the Madinat Jumeirah by the General Secretariat of Dubai Executive Council.

As part of the strategy, the focus would be on requirements of Dubai’s fast paced economic and social development and hone the technical and leadership skills of nationals. From here on, reward and recognition systems will be linked to performance and subject to regular review, celebrating outstanding levels of contribution.

The thrust would also be on the availability of credible and accessible data to drive informed decision making.

Outlining the scope of the HR Strategy, Ahmad bin Byat, Secretary General of the Dubai Executive Council, said, “Some of the priority areas inbuilt into the HR Strategy will include a strategic and forward-looking policy, promoting accountability and a result-based culture, increasing efficiency, enhancing responsiveness and customer service, and empowering and motivating public sector employees.”

He added, “The strategy will provide clear, measurable indicators of progress against HR targets, and although it covers an eight-year period, it will be adapted to respond to changing factors through regular reviews, taking into account any emerging development.”

Bin Byat said the newly launched strategy would help the Dubai government attract, retain and empower a highly motivated workforce so as to become an employer of choice for high-calibre UAE nationals.

Following the launch, Shaikh Maktoum honoured the high achievers and other qualifiers of the Professional Diploma in Human Resources programme.

Hosted by the Dubai Executive Council in collaboration with the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), the programme aims to build the capacity of its human capital and equip them with in-depth knowledge on international best practices.

After the launch of the HR Strategy, Shaikh Maktoum handed out diplomas to the first batch of government employees who have completed the HR Professional Diploma programme.

The graduation ceremony also acknowledged the non-executive government employees who enrolled for the HR Basic programme that sought to acquaint participants with the fundamentals of human resources management.

Fine tune your skills with FFS

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Fine tune your skills with FFS
Tuesday July 1 2008 21:14 IST EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

First Finishing School, a Corporate Finishing School based in Chennai is offering various programmes for emphasising cultural studies and prepares students especially for social activities. At FFS, the trainee trains himself/herself in the vital aspects of organisation that he/she is expected to pick up in the first two-three years of career. Thus, First Finishing School is a bridge between education and a promising career.

Corporate Finishing Schools aim to build the skills and characteristics that a fresher is expected to possess before he/she starts a career. Such skills include, presentation, business etiquette corporate induction et al. These training would also be sector specific, which is, training the students on the soft skills and getting them ready to certain aspects of those sectors where they are expected to work. For example, if a student wishes to work in the retail sector, the student would be trained in the nuances of customer service, merchandising and stock management.

FSS also offers training pro g rams that act as a career enhancer for the corporate entrants, executives and professionals through its Corporate Finishing Programme. First Finishing School can be contacted at 43114401, 43114701 or

Mithas Labs launches Clinical Research Course

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Mithas Labs launches Clinical Research Course
Tuesday July 1 2008 21:15 IST EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

Mithas Labs Clinical Research Foundation Pvt Ltd, a clinical research organisation has launched a first-of-its kind Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research (PGDCR) in association with the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR), United Kingdom.

The one-year course offers 6 months of theory and practical sessions and 6 months of internship and costs Rs 99,000. The one year programme consists of 240 days or 1,200 hours.

For admission, candidates should have a university degree in Life Science / Health Science, BSc / MSc / BTech / MTech (Biotech), Pharmacy (BPharm / MPharm), BSc (Nursing), MBBS / MD and the minimum pass for entry is 50 percent at the graduate level. On completion, the student will be awarded the PGDCR, by the Institute of Clinical Research, UK.

The course highlights include 100 percent industry Orientation and Placement assistance, training by highly qualified faculties, hands on training in the fields of Clinical Research instrumentation.

After completion of PGDCR, the trained candidate of Mithas Labs will acquire a demonstrative knowledge in Basic components of Biomedical Sciences, Drug Development Process, Laws / Regulations and Policy Guidelines and procedures in.

Clinical Research, Concepts of GCP / GLP, Study design in detail, Ethics in Clinical Research, Quality assurance & Management, Data Management & Biostatistics in Clinical Research and Instrumentation and documentation in clinical research. For details, call 04427472459 / 64 / 76.

PG Diploma in Educational Counseling

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PG Diploma in Educational Counseling
Tuesday July 1 2008 21:15 IST EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

City School of Social and Managerial Sciences (CSSMS), an accredited centre of NCC, UK in association with Association of Accredited Advisors on Overseas Education (AAAOE) will be offering a PG Diploma Course in Educational Counseling.

A Graduate with good grade from any discipline is eligible to join this one year full time course, which costs Rs 40,000. A total of 20 full and 10 half scholarships are available and the selection will be based on the students’ academic merit and aptitude.

The course has been designed to enhance the quality of professional care provided. The course modules include Introduction of Counseling, Business English Communication, Counseling and its Purpose, Policies of Overseas Educational Counseling Country-wise, Psychology and Ethics of Counseling, Business IT and Public Speaking and Public Relations.

Students on enrolment will be placed with member organisations for practical training of 8 – 10 months and classes will be held only during weekends at CSSMS. On completion of practical training, students should do a project / dissertation, which will be evaluated by the academic committee. For details, call 044-2615 3030 / 0303.

The perfect imagemaker

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The perfect imagemaker
Wednesday July 2 2008 08:42 IST Asha Prakash EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

He is the one who coined the term ‘Image Management’. This image guru of India, economist, journalist and founder of the country’s only children’s newspaper, is the man behind the success of many a political party and politician. Founder of ‘Perfect Relations,’ he’s always in the news for his lobbying.’ And there’s more to Dilip Cherian. Describing all his achievements in a single breath would be impossible.

A Malayali by birth, Cherian was on one of his rare visits to Kerala the other day when we caught up with him. “I would prefer to call myself an entrepreneur more than anything else,” he says. “I even started a restaurant once, it was the first stand alone multi-cuisine restaurant in Delhi. But once I feel a venture is in a stage to be handed over to someone, I do it.”

Cherian, who began his career as an economist, felt that being an economist was like being the conductor of a bus. “You have no real control over it,” he says. He thus decided to switch to journalism as he felt that the industry offered space for his own views.

At that point, in the early 80s, business journalism was virtually nonexistent, says Cherian, with all market reports being done by foreign companies. But they could rarely get the correct perspective of Indian markets, he says. “You need to understand the Indian ethos and the Indian pyschology to write informed reports.” Cherian was thus part of the team which created Business India, the first business newspaper of India.

So why the switch to image management? “More than creating something new, I think it was more of a response to the great changes that were happening in the market.” In order to survive, Indian companies were desperately in need of professional and result-oriented image building. Always a step ahead of the others, Cherian founded ‘Perfect Solutions,’ an image management company in 1992.

The clients of ‘Perfect Solutions’ belong to a wide spectrum of industries from corporates to prominent political parties and bigwigs to Bollywood personalities.

Political parties are increasingly opting for professionals to do their PR and literature. “Before long the majority of voters will comprise the MTV generation. Traditional methods like long speeches will no longer win their support. So we apply the basic rules of PR here too – study the audience and give them what they want.”

Bollywood is also a field where survival depends on good image making, he says. “We try to find out what is different or unique about the brand or venture and focus on that.” For example, when a movie is about to be launched, Cherian’s team studies the scenario and the right time for the launch.

“Today, one third of the success of a movie depends on the music,” he says. “By the time a movie is launched, its music should have already created an identity.”

The future of image making lies in providing specialised services, according to Cherian. “Today clients need people who know their industry inside out, not someone who has to study it from scratch.”

So what according to him is the secret to success in the field? “The ability to communicate well, a thorough knowledge of the Indian market, environment and psychology.” But having coming so far, the image guru has no plans to rest on his laurels.

“Our next venture is to start an exclusive training centre for image management, which will match global standards,” he says. Well, one more to add to his list of first’s.