Opinion 2015

Inspirational turn – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 17 January 2015

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Inspirational turn
This is an actual story about a boy who just graduated as one of the best students from a technical institution of significance.
When he joined, he was the most disobedient among the students, always trying to find one way or another to be in the limelight among the backbenchers.
Smoking, making loud sounds or even at times ignoring instructions from the professors, he was taking out his personal frustrations in the college on his fellow students and teachers.
One day, the professors took him and other students on a visit to a school for physically challenged. A boy trying to do a painting caught his attention. He was attracted to his effort to complete forgetting his physical disabilities. Both formed a rapport with each other and our student started helping him instantaneously.
May be it was the first time in life he got connected to an emotional human element. It never died down. Transformed at the realities of life, he was a changed student altogether when he returned to his college.
Then on, everyone saw a different personality in him. He was regular to his class and assignments and at the end of the course, he was the best student in his batch.
Academicians have a big role in transforming students. The students’ success to a certain extent lies in the capabilities of an effective Communication Action Programme whereby they are taught in simple ways how important is education and the significance of becoming a professional by own efforts and merits.
There is always a good human being in everyone and the success of a person or programme is dependent on finding out this and nurturing in the right way.
Students like him are to be congratulated and educationists who identify and develop such national potential at a young age are to be praised.
Ramesh Menon

Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 17 January 2014
To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online

Safety first – Gulf Today – Short Take Dt 10th January 2015

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Safety first

Many times life changes in a flash.

Looking at the weather scenario and the fog happening these days bring a sense of caution to all those who are driving in the UAE.

A strong sense of self-responsibility is required by everyone to drive slowly and safely. If and when one finds someone driving dangerously during bad weather, all efforts should be made to control the situation.

“Start early, drive carefully and reach safely” be our mantra at all times when we plan a journey.

Ramesh Menon
Gulf Today – Short Take – Dt. 10 January 2015


To read it in original, please visit Gulf Today online

Dubai Shopping Festival: Early memories and top tips – Gulf News Dt 5th January 2015

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Dubai Shopping Festival: Early memories and top tips



Residents who have been in the UAE for more than 20 years share their thoughts on DSF
By Janice Ponce de Leon and Mary Achkhanian, Staff Reporters
Published: 17:37 January 4, 2015
Dubai: Whether it’s bargains, street entertainment, or the car and gold winnings, the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) has made a huge impact in people’s lives for the past two decades.
Gulf News asked residents who witnessed the opening of the first DSF in Rigga in 1996 about their earliest memories and the shopping techniques they’ve discovered through the years. For some, the kilometres-long cake that everyone went crazy about after gossip broke out that car keys were hidden inside it was the most vivid memory during the DSF inaugural launch. For others, DSF brings to mind its distinctive shopping bag and logo. Here’s what our readers asscoaite with their DSF memories:

Mohammad Sawood, 29, works in travel sales, from India

Where he was when DSF was launched:
“I was in Dubai then, but I was still studying. I was 11 years old.”

Experience during first DSF:
“The whole festival was held in Rigga. People who lived near the area used to just walk to where the whole celebration was. The abra was the most used mode of transportation. I remember there was a bunjee jumping contest where people who’d try out and touched the water of the Dubai Creek would get to win two cars. Only the brave ones tried it out. The fireworks display was one of the major attractions because it was a new thing for many people.”

What DSF means to him:
“DSF to me is a very good campaign for tourists — a lot of people are coming to the city, so you won’t get idle at work especially of you’re working in travel sales.”

Biggest discounts he’s had so far
“When I bought an iPhone 4 two years back. I got a discount of Dh250. My very first purchase during DSF was a leather wallet at Dh30, which would probably cost Dh100-Dh150 now.”

Top shopping tip:
•             “If you plan to shop at the end of the year, wait for the DSF. That way you get a chance to win in raffles during DSF [after shopping].

Mohammad Ebrahim Mohammad, 54, files coordinator, from India

Where he was when DSF was launched:
“I’ve been in the UAE for 38 years and I was here in Dubai when they first launched it in Rigga beside the then Dubai Municipality office.”

Fist DSF experience:
“Earlier, the entire celebration was concentrated in one area in Rigga stretching for about two square kilometres. But now, everywhere you look, you see DSF promotions. We would go out to shop four or five times every week because people were really interested in it as it was a new concept.”

What DSF means to him:
“DSF is a time when family members from India travel to Dubai to shop.”

Biggest discounts he’s had so far:
“I got a discount of Dh200 after buying a TV set, that’s the biggest so far. My very first purchase was a sound mixer for Dh125 and I was able to use it for ten years.”

Top shopping tip:
•             “Best thing to buy during DSF are electronics [and] appliances. I bought a discounted washing machine that came with a [free] microwave oven.”

Ramesh Menon, communications coordinator based in Abu Dhabi:

Where he was when DSF was launched:
“I was in Dubai when the first DSF was launched in 1996. The closing day of [the first] DSF will remain unforgettable for me. I still remember the crowded Al Nasr Square streets and rush that was experienced that evening.”

Experience during first DSF:
“The first-of-[its]-kind inaugural event in the region itself was a great success. The activities were concentrated in Deira, Bur Dubai and Satwa. The streets were decorated and evenings were filled with curious residents to experiences the never before shopping bonanza that was going to be there for a long period to come in the history of Dubai and UAE. The lucky draws giving luxurious cars on raffle were a big attraction.

What DSF means to him:
“A festive time where friends and families could meet, do a bit of shopping, eat out and explore the culture and tradition of countries from different parts of the world. DSF has grown its stature to entice many countries to emulate similar events on a yearly basis.”

Top shopping tip:
“DSF now is spread out for a longer time and so wait for the early rush to subside and select offers and items that really fit your purse and requirements.”


From (left clockwise) : Julia Greenwood, Mohammad Sawood and Ramesh Menon

Julia Greenwood, PA to Senior Vice President, ADGAS, from the UK:

Where she was when DSF was launched:
“I was in Abu Dhabi at the launch of DSF. It was a fantastic idea and created a hub for people to meet and shop from all over the world.”

Experience during first DSF:
“The hype of excitement that all the shops were simultaneously on sale making offers, [holding] raffles and hotel discounts. [It was] amazing.”

What DSF means to her:
“DSF is a chance to buy products [that] perhaps I would wait to save up for, but can be considered due to DSF shopping discounts. I have made new friends from socialising on a DSF meet and shop.”

Biggest discounts she’s had so far:
“We bought skis, suitcases, [and] evening dresses from the best brands. The hotels we stayed at were offering half price rooms with breakfast.”

Top shopping tip:

“I think the whole festival runs smoothly as it is, the word is spread around the world, and visitors from all over are keen to experience it. Perhaps the public transport can get involved more with the late-night shopping, i.e., weekly passes exclusive from DSF outlets.”
To read it in original, visit Gulf News online