Author WAM

UAE
UAE Cabinet approves day visas for transit passengers

The UAE Cabinet has given the green light for preparations to begin on a general policy to grant entry visas to transit passengers – across all UAE airports – who wish to visit the country’s landmarks and tourist attractions. The new policy aims to enhance transit visa procedures to enable stopover passengers to enjoy a day out in the country, thus boosting the tourism industry. The cabinet formed a working group, led by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, to prepare the new policy considering the possible positive effects it will have on the tourism sector and the economy in general. 70 per cent of the total passengers who passed through the UAE’s airports in 2017 were transit passengers. The new policy will list visa fees, mechanisms for increasing the number of stop-over visitors, as well as ways to promote the country’s tourism attractions. Published on 15 April 2018

Community
Leaked papers: No re-examination for NRI students, confirms CBSE

India’s Ministry of Human Resources and Development has announced that there is no evidence of any leakage of examination papers outside India and as a result there will not be any re-examination for NRI students pursuing studies at CBSE-affiliated schools outside India. “Our information is that there is no leak outside India, so there will be no re-exams outside India,” Education Secretary Anil Swarup IAS said. As per to the latest information, Class 10 Maths re-test is expected to be held in July while Class 12 Economics exam will be conducted on April 25. The exams were cancelled after reports question paper leak emerged from Delhi. No evidence of paper leakage outside India The official said that there were no pan-India leakage nor there was any evidence of paper leakage outside India. “Regarding Class 10th re examination, as leak was restricted to Delhi and Haryana, if at all a re-exam…

Qatar
No plan to shift airbase from Qatar, US confirms

Two leading US defence entities have refuted the reports that the Americans are planning to leave the Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar. The unfounded story also said the US is leaving the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The US Central Command said that the reports by some media outlets in the blockading countries are “false” and without any “merit” “The US is not leaving Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, nor is the US leaving Al Udeid AB, Qatar. These reports are false and without merit,” The US Central Command said on its official twitter handle. The US is not leaving Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, nor is the US leaving Al Udeid AB, Qatar. These reports are false and without merit.— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) March 25, 2018 Further rebutting the fake news, US Air Force Central Command said: “There is zero credibility to news reports asserting the US is…

UAE
Dubai ranked as the best city for expats in MENA

Dubai has ranked the best city for expats in the Middle East and Africa, according to Mercer’s 20th Quality of Living Survey. Dubai ranks 74th globally in overall quality of living, making it the number one city in the Middle East and Africa region for the sixth year in a row. Dubai was closely followed by Abu Dhabi, which claimed 77th place. Only four other cities in this region make the top 100, including Muscat (70), Tel Aviv (87), Manama (93), and Kuwait City (99).  Vienna tops the global ranking for the ninth year running and is followed by Zurich, with Auckland and Munich in joint third place. The survey, said to be one of the world’s most comprehensive, is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Published on 21 March 2018

Qatar
Qatar to reimburse recruitment fees to 30,000 workers

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) welcomed the State of Qatar’s steps on reimbursing the fees of bringing in 30,000 migrant workers in the construction of World Cup facilities. The confederation said that, by the end of March, more than 5,500 people from across South Asia (one-third of the workforce) will recover the money they have paid to intermediaries who hired them to work in Qatar. ITUC added that Doha is negotiating with a number of mediators to recover fees for the rest of the construction workers, which are expected to reach 30,000 by 2019. The amount may total up to 3.6 million pounds. The employment fees have become a thorny issue for Qatar and that dealing with them is part of the efforts of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy to improve the human rights file, pointing out in this context that workers pay money to mediators in their…

Qatar
Qatar health system ranked 13th best in the world and first in Middle East

Qatar’s health system has been ranked 13th best in the world and first in the Middle East by the 2017 Legatum Prosperity Index. The annual index measures and ranks the health of people living in 149 countries. A comprehensive review process assessed three key measures of the quality of each country’s healthcare system, including basic mental and physical health, health infrastructure, and the availability of preventive care. Qatar’s health ranking within the Legatum Prosperity Index has risen in the past ten years, advancing from 27th in the world in 2008 to 13th place at present. “To be ranked 13th in the world is a wonderful endorsement of the quality of care we deliver every day to patients across our health system,” said Minister of Public Health H E Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari. “The transformation of Qatar’s health system in recent decades has been remarkable. We have made enormous progress…

India
India has third highest no of billionaires at 121, Mukesh Ambani stays richest: Forbes

India has 121 billionaires — 19 more than last year — making them the third largest group of the ultra-rich after those from the US and China, according to Forbes, the business magazine that produces an annual list. Mukesh Ambani, the energy and petrochemicals magnate, who keeps his standing as the richest Indian, is richer by $16.9 billion in 2018 with assets of $40.1 billion, according to the magazine’s list released online on Tuesday. He moved up to the 19th global rank on the list of 2,208 billionaires worldwide compiled by Forbes. In 2017, he ranked 33rd with $23.2 billion. The US has 585 billionaires and China 373 this year on the Forbes tally, which it calls “The Three Comma Club” for the punctuation used in writing out fully the billion in numbers. In 2017, there were 102 Indians on the list. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest…

UAE
Impact of blockade on Qatar fading, says IMF

The economic and financial impact on Qatar of a nine-month Saudi-led blockade is fading, but some risks for the Gulf emirate remain, the International Monetary Fund has said. In a report released this week, the IMF said the effect of the blockade on economic activity in Qatar had been “transitory” as new trade routes were quickly established and growth remained positive. Foreign financing and resident private sector deposits had fallen by $40bn but that had been offset by cash injections by the central bank and the Qatar Investment Authority – the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, it said. Although Qatar’s economy and banking and financial systems remain sound, there are still some risks, the IMF said. “The main risks relate to the possibility of lower hydrocarbon prices, the implementation of planned fiscal measures and uncertainty associated with the lingering impact of the diplomatic rift.” Like other Gulf energy producers, Qatar has…

Qatar
Biriyani lovers in Doha can now enjoy 2 biriyani for the price of 1

Doha’s popular restaurant chain Savy Group has began a limited period offer where customers can buy any biriyani and get another one absolutely free. The offer which runs till 17th March 2018 is available at the following outlets: Biriyani Hut :  Opposite Nissan Service Center, Pearl Roundabout, Al Wakra Royal Indian :  The Mall, D Ring Road, Old Airport Area, Doha Tamarind Indian : Open Piazza, Lagoona Mall, Westbay, Doha Biriyani Hut in Wakra offers a wide range of authentic Biriyanis like Hyderabadi Dum Biriyani, Chettinadu Biriyani, Murg Tikka Biriyani, Mutton Boti Kebab Biriyani, Thalasseri Biriyani, Thalapkettu Biriyani, Persian Biriyani, Tawa Prawn Biriyani, Avadhi Saffron Biriyani etc. For vegetarians there are options like Mughalai Vegetable Biriyani, Vegetable Kashmiri Pulao and Shahi Navaratna Biriyani. Royal Indian in The Mall offers authentic Biriyanis like Mughalai Chicken Biriyani, Hyderabadi Lamb Biriyani, Tawa Prawn Biriyani, Kashmiri Veg Biriyani and Lucknowi Fish Tikka Biriyani. Tamarind Indian…

India
NRIs who had PPF account can continue to hold it

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who had invested in Public Provident Fund (PPF) can continue their accounts for now, a new official announcement says. According to the new office memorandum released by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) on Feb. 23, the earlier notification about the closure of PPF accounts has been provisionally removed. “It has presently been decided to keep the related notification in abeyance till the additional order in this regard,” the office memorandum declared. The earlier notification was issued on Oct. 3, 2017, by the Department of Economic Affairs(DEA). The amendment to the Public Provident Fund Scheme, 1968, declared in the official gazette, “If a resident who opened an account under this scheme subsequently becomes a non-resident during the currency of the maturity period, the account shall be deemed to be closed with effect from the day he becomes a non-resident.” Interest will be compensated at the rate applicable…

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