Month: July 2016

Investor visa is a future option

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Although a quick look of the heading may give a negative outlook to the whole scenario, this phenomenon is productive and positive for the continued growth of the country. Expatriates who have been in this country for a long time consider it as their own home, with family and children willing to settle here. They are ready to invest their life time savings here. More than everything, all without fail regard UAE as a safe country to live and work. Then, why not, if they have valuable expertise to pass on to the next generation and finances to contribute to the growth of the country. This is the case with most of the developed countries as they too encourage investor visas.

Letters to the Editor/The National:

Expats using business loophole to stay in UAE after retirement

Petrol prices should flow

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Petrol prices should flow

I am very happy that fuel prices will be reduced by 15 fils per litre in August (UAE petrol prices to fall for first time in five months, July 28).

As a consumer, it is refreshing to note that this critical item will be cheaper, especially at a time that many daily consumables are becoming more expensive.

My hope is that this discount is reflected in the cost of other products. Lower prices would be a great relief to many in society.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Letters to the Editor/The National :

UAE petrol prices to fall for first time in five months

Mind Speaks: E-volution to excessiveness

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Photo Speaks - Presentation1 - E-volution to excessiveness

E-volution to excessiveness

It was lying idle for quite some time. To be fair to that time limit, it has remained not in use for more than 5 years now.  During its days, it was a king on its own merit.

You must be wondering, what I am talking about?

It is nothing but a 1 GB Desktop, I assembled and used for a long time. It had some of the best features handpicked and assembled including the high end hard disk, memory cards, a good resolution graphic card and monitor.

Today, I thought, I find time to re-assemble it once again. It used to be a hobby once upon a time to assemble PCs of choice.

Dissecting it into pieces brought again lot of memories.

What significantly stood out was the floppy disk option it had.

Suddenly, I thought about the 1980s, when all the computing work was done using an 8 inch floppy diskette. It was big and fragile and could handle about 500 KB of data. Imagine those days the accounting activities were more manual and some used Lotus 123. Both sides of the floppy diskettes were used and it writes data into the diskette with a loud noise! Those were also the days the data was stored only in floppy disks.

Years passed and then the 5 1/4 inch floppy diskettes arrive with more data space, at times up to 1200 KB (1.2 MB).

Then the 3½ inch compact floppy disks with 1.44 MB space arrived.

There has been no dearth in terms of storage options with hard disks coming out with bigger in terms of storage space and smaller in terms of physical size.

Now USB storage disks come in small size with 2 TB size even.

Life goes on and what used to be once an integral part of my professional and personal computing activities have now become redundant and retired.

What next? Everything is in unclear and remains suspense as in the cloud!

Remain Green.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

30th July 2016

#SafeCycling #InAbuDhabi

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Abu Dhabi is beautiful to explore in the morning. Try it out. If it on a cycle, nothing better than that!.
‪#‎Safecycling‬ ‪#‎inAbuDhabi‬
There has been mixed reaction to an earlier post of mine on cycling and hence attaching a cycling route map for those interested. This route is expanding.
Always be cautious for self and those others on your path.



Moral education will help nation

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Moral education will help nation

I applaud the decision described in Pupils to be given moral education (July 28).

This is a great move. Children who are taught the essential values of life – including ethics, personal and community growth, culture and heritage, civic education, and rights and responsibilities – from a young age will become engaged and involved with the realities of daily life.

A sense of attachment and belonging will grow in them as these values are instilled and as they learn more about them on a regular basis.

I suggest that they also include an element of health, safety and environment education into the curriculum.

Discipline in these three areas will help produce a committed generation who will be a source of pride for their nation and make their leaders’ vision a reality.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Letters on @TheNationalUAE :

Moral education to be introduced to UAE school curriculums

Solar Impulse flight was a big achievement

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The touchdown of Solar Impulse 2 was a proud moment for Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the energy industry worldwide (Solar Impulse 2 lands in Abu Dhabi, completing first zero-fuel flight around the world, July 25).

Congratulations to Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg and the entire team for the success of this amazing journey of 40,000 kilometres without fuel.

The world has changed vastly since the beginning of this journey, in terms of energy outlook and utilisation.

Even if one takes a UAE-only perspective, there has been a lot of change. We have new ministries and departments to harmonise energy production and produce better outcomes. The UAE is setting a trend.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

On the news:

Solar Impulse 2 lands in Abu Dhabi completing first zero-fuel flight around the world

Letters to the Editor: The National Dt 27 July 2016 : Speed deterrent is not enough

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The move by Abu Dhabi Police to remove the discount will give more strength to reinforce the traffic safety plan drawn up by Abu Dhabi Municipality and the Urban Planning Council. It should also tend to reduce accidents and traffic deaths. The method of giving a discount on traffic fines, specially speeding fines was not welcomed by many as it lead way to remain relaxed even when fined!. A system that could be introduced to gain more control speeding dangers may be to have a fine system based on the model of cars, the costlier the cars, the higher the fines. It has become normal to see some of these costly cars being driven fast around and most of the time the drivers not wearing seat belts or following road rules.

On the news:

Mixed reactions as Abu Dhabi Police scrap discount on traffic fines

Dates: A nation’s wealth is its natural produce!

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A nations wealth

Ramdan 2016 holidays are over and back to office work is slowly gaining momentum as staff return back from their summer and Eid break.

I had a surprise this morning, when I received a gift bag. At work we are very particular about receiving gifts and have special compliance procedures and code of ethics to receive any.

But, this one was internal and invaluable! That too from a senior colleague whom I respect and regard a lot. I couldn’t resist.

It was a bag full of freshly harvested dates neatly packed in a handcrafted bag made of palm leaves!.

I always propagate a lot about this so far untapped natural resource of the UAE.

The UAE is one of the top 10 date palm cultivators in the world, with dates grown in royal palaces, private residences, public gardens and streets as well as commercial farms.

Date palms are an intrinsic part of Arab life and heritage. For thousands of years, they have provided shelter, food and other necessities, as Arab Bedouins have settled in palm oases, and made use of all parts of the tree and its fruit. Palm wood and leaves were used to build houses, fences, beams, baskets, ropes and many other useful items, while the fruit itself has been a basic staple of the Arab diet, and a main source of nutrition and energy.

How Dates are Consumed and Preserved:

The date fruit is eaten in all stages of its maturity – ripe and fresh (called Khalaal), semi-matured (called rutab) and dried (called tamr).

The dried fruit could keep for long periods of time, so it provided nutrition to the Arabian Desert dwellers long after its cultivation season.

In addition, they used to further preserve it by extracting “dibs” or “date syrup” (sometimes referred to as date honey), thus ensuring that they would have a source of nutrition and energy throughout the year. They also developed novel irrigation methods (aflaaj) designed to extend the oases water to a wider geographical area, and hence increase the cultivated tree area.

Therapeutic Value of Dates:

The therapeutic utility of dates as well as their richness in minerals and vitamins that make them a rich source of nutrition, vitality, and liveliness. That can be illustrated by the words of Allah-

(Shake also to thee the palm-trunk, and there shall come tumbling upon thee dates fresh and ripe. Eat therefore, and drink, and be comforted ;( And by the prophet’s saying –

من تََصَبَّحَ بِسَبْعِ تَمَرَاتٍ مِِنْ تَمْرِ الْعَالِيَة لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ ذَلِكَ الْيَوْمَ سُمٌّ وَلاَ سِحْرٌ.

(Whoever has eaten seven date fruits of the high land in the morning, that day no poison or sorcery shall hurt him.)

In 2008, the UAE produced about 755,000 tonnes of dates, or 11 per cent of the world’s production,the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation says.

Dates could provide a greater contribution to the UAE’s economy if producers paid more attention to marketing, experts say.

Dates as choice food for healthy living:

Dates have plenty of nutritional values. Some of them are:

  1. Dates have naturally highly concentrated nutrients (due to low moisture content), Small portion of dates is equivalent to large portions of other fresh fruits…… 7 Dates (~40 gm) are equivalent to 80-160 gm of other fresh fruits
  2. Dates do not contain starch, they contain simple sugars only (glucose & fructose)…… These sugars are utilized by your body for energy requirements not to be converted into fat
  3. Dates contain food fibers (soluble and insoluble) which are necessary for digestion system health………. 7 Dates provide about 15% of body need
  4. Dates have extremely low fat content (part of it natural date waxes) and no cholesterol……… No fat associated health problems
  5. Dates are the highest food source for potassium (2.4 times higher than banana) coupled with low sodium content (potassium level is 6-7 times sodium level)…… Better heart health
  6. Dates are rich in antioxidants (natural phenols) which protect your body from the damaging effects of foreign oxidizing agents (e.g. free radicals)…..Protection from cellular level to tissue inflammations
  7. No poisoning or allergy case caused by dates neither directly nor indirectly was ever reported throughout history…….A safe & healthy food which exceeds all standards
  8. No special storage conditions are required to maintain freshness, nutrition value and safety……..Longer shelf life than other fresh fruits under normal ambient conditions

UAE’S export figures for Dates

The UAE owns a third of the world’s trade of dates, ranking first in exports, and second in imports in 2009, according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Trade on the domestic and international trade of dates.

The UAE exported a total of 266 thousand tonnes of dates in 2009, registering a 12 per cent increase of 28 thousand tonnes from 2008. Simultaneously, the value of these exports also increased by nine per cent from $69 million in 2008 to $75 million in 2009.

Thank you Sultan Al Hajji for this precious gift. His choice of planting a few date palm trees at his villa is one such example of excellent step to keep the tradition and values alive and preserve nature and natural values to the generation ahead. I wish every person take a step to plant a few trees in his or her own land and continue to support natural wealth grow.

It happens with creatures – Are we the same?

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A Minute with ClicksandWrites – It happens with creatures – Are we the same?

Looking at the way things happening now in this world. What do you say? It’s a predator’s world!