Browsing: Around The Region

Selected latest news stories from the GCC – Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Stories focus on topics concerning Indians across the Gulf.

Around The Region
Gold price drops to its lowest level in several months

Gold has dropped to its lowest level in months, losing nearly AED 10 per gram in value in less than a week – and proving predications wrong that a Donald Trump win would increase safe haven demand. As of today morning, 24 karat was trading in Dubai at Dh148.50 per gram, down by a little over Dh9 from Tuesday, when the precious metal rallied in the wake of Trump’s victory. The price for 22 karat gold in Dubai was Dh 139.50 per gram, while it was QAR 140.50 in Qatar. Here are the prices of 22 karat gold in various GCC countries : UAE – AED 139.50 Qatar  – QAR 140.50 Bahrain – BHD 14.50 Kuwait – KWD 11.80 Oman – OMR 15.05 Saudi Arabia – SAR 141.00 In India, the price per 22 karat gram is around Rs 2,935.00 Gold’s recent decline is said to be the lowest in five months,…

Around The Region
Average GCC salaries forecast to rise 4.7% in 2017

Salaries will increase by an average of 4.7 percent across the GCC in 2017, Arabian Business has reported citing projections from professional services firm Aon Hewitt. Saudi Arabia is expected to see the largest salary increase in the region – 4.9 percent, the research shows. Kuwait follows with a projected increase of 4.8 percent, then Bahrain with 4.7 percent, Oman and the UAE with 4.6 percent, and Qatar with 4.5 percent. 4.3% Salary rise in 2016 The survey found that in 2016 the region saw an average salary increase of 4.3 percent – down from an anticipated 5 percent increase for the year based on the previous year’s report. Bahrain saw the largest average salary increases in 2016, at 4.8 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia at 4.6 percent, the study showed. The UAE followed with an average increase of 4.4 percent, followed by Kuwait and Oman with 4.3 percent and…

Around The Region
Qatar, UAE among Top 3 safest countries in the world

The world’s safest cities have been mapped out and unsurprisingly Middle East countries like Qatar and UAE has made it to the top three. The rankings by World Economic Forum (WEF) take into account “the costliness of common crime and violence as well as terrorism, and the extent to which police services can be relied upon to provide protection from crime”. The world’s 20 safest countries, according to the WEF’s Global Tourism & Travel Report are: 1. Finland – rating: 6.7 2. Qatar – 6.61 3. UAE – 6.6 4. Iceland – 6.5 5. Austria – 6.47 6. Luxembourg – 6.46 7. New Zealand – 6.41 8. Singapore – 6.4 9. Oman – 6.38 10. Portugal – 6.33 11. Switzerland – 6.32 12. Hong Kong – 6.31 13. Australia – 6.24 14. Slovenia – 6.2 15. Ireland – 6.18 16. Belgium – 6.18 17. Netherlands – 6.16 18. Norway – 6.1…

Around The Region
UAE pays highest salaries in the GCC for domestic workers

The average monthly salary of domestic workers in the UAE stands at AED1,592 ($433), making it the highest in the region, according to the HelperChoice Domestic Worker Salary Survey Middle East 2016. Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar provide average monthly salaries of SR1,615 ($431) and QR1,571 ($431) consecutively. Kuwait provides the lowest with KD117 ($388). The figures do not include costs normally covered by employers such as agency fees, flights home and medical expenses. The survey gathered data from 2,000 recent regional job advertisements placed on the firm’s website. In terms of regional cities, the survey found that employers in Dubai offer the best salaries at AED 1,697 ($462), higher than Jeddah and Doha which both offer $400. In contrast, both Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City came at the bottom of the list with offers of $397 and $384 respectively.

Around The Region
UAE, Qatar airlines ban Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as checked-in baggage

Major airlines in UAE and Qatar have imposed restrictions on Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as a “device in checked baggage” following the recall of the personal electronic device, which are prone to catch fire. UAE Travel Alert Civil aviation authorities in UAE have banned the use of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 on all its national carriers because of the risk of batteries exploding in the “phablet” smartphone. “The General Civil Aviation Authority has banned operating, charging and carrying in bags the Samsung Note 7 on board national carriers’ flights,” it said in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency on Saturday, September 10. Samsung last week suspended sales of its latest flagship smartphone and announced a recall of 2.5 million units already sold, after faulty batteries caused some handsets to explode during charging. Qatar Airways travel alert In a travel alert issued on Saturday, Qatar Airways said, “Following the recall…

Around The Region
September 12 is the first day of Eid Al Adha

The Zul Hijjah crescent has not been sighted in Saudi Arabia, which means Eid Al Adha will be on September 12 (Monday) this year, Saudi and regional media reported. The first day of Zul Hijjah, 1437, will be on September 3. Officials in the UAE also confirmed that the Zul Hijjah moon was not sighted. Eid holidays are yet to be announced. It is noteworthy that Eid Al Adha always starts on the 10th day of Zul Hijjah. Regarding the sighting of Eid Al Adha ‘Zul Hijjah’ crescent, most of the Islamic countries sighted the crescent on Thursday, September 1, the same day of the solar eclipse. Based on the sighting of the moon, the month of Zul Hijjah will begin on Saturday, September 3. Therefore, September 11 will be the Day of Arafah, and September 12 will be the first day of Eid Al Adha, UAE news agency WAM reported. Many Arab states witnessed a…

Around The Region
Holidays alert : Eid Al Adha 2016 expected to be on September 11

This year’s Eid al-Adha is expected to fall on Sunday, September 11, according to leading astronomers. The Sharjah Planetarium has forecast that the Hilal (crescent) will appear on Thursday, September 1. It added that by that calculation Sunday, September 11, is the first day of Eid Al Adha, ‘Al Ittihad’ newspaper reports. Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Researcher and General Supervisor, Sharjah Planetarium, said the Hilal (crescent) should be above the Western horizon by at least 5 degrees and will remain above the horizon after sunset for at least 20 minutes. In the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha occurs on the 10th day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and is also the third day of the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. If a new moon is sighted on September 1, then the first day of Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on Sunday, September 11. But if the moon is not visible on the month’s first day, then…

Around The Region
Eid Al Fitr expected to be on July 6

Ramadan should last 30 days this year and Eid Al Fitr is expected to be on July 6,  according to a leading astronomer. The crescent of Shawwal will emerge on Monday, Ramadan 29, corresponding to July 4 at 3.13pm UAE time, The National quoted Dr Ibrahim Al Jarwan, assistant director of Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences and a researcher in astronomy and meteorology, as having said. According the Dr Al Jarwan, the crescent will set seven minutes before sunset, so it will not be visible during the night. Therefore, Tuesday, July 5, will mark the final day of Ramadan, and Wednesday, July 6, will mark the first day of Eid Al Fitr. Meanwhile, millions are set to fly out on summer getaways next week as the start of school holidays coincides with the holiday.

Around The Region
Complete Ramadan Guide for Non-Muslims in Middle East

If you are a non-Muslim living in the Middle East, the Holy month of Ramadan can raise a number of questions for you. You would often wonder is it fine to do something or what these customs mean. Here are the answers to some of the common questions: What is Ramadan all about? What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Hijri calendar. It is regarded as the holiest month of the year as it was the month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on the night of Laylat Al Qadr, one of the last ten nights of Ramadan. The annual observance of Ramadan is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. When is Ramadan 2016? This year, as far as the Gregorian calendar is concerned, Ramadan starts on June 6 (subject to moon sighting). How long does it last? Ramadan lasts for 29-30 days, or…

Around The Region
Ramadan temperatures to be 45-50 C, Fasting time to be above 15 hrs

Temperatures during the fasting month of Ramadan will average as high as 45-50 Celsius in the Gulf, one of the highest temperate levels through the year. According to the Amman-based Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS), fasting time will exceed 15 hours and they will increase in late Ramadan. “Maximum temperatures in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries will average 45-50 degrees during Ramadan,” Khalid Al Zuak, an AUASS member said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily ‘Ajel’. He said the hottest area in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan will be the Eastern province of Ihsa, which borders the UAE and other Gulf states. He expected Ramadan crescent to be “born” on Sunday night June 5 and Ramadan to start on June 6.