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News that you need to know! Selected news stories from Qatar, India, Middle East and around the world, with focus on news that matters to Indians in Qatar.

Qatar
Admission available at some Indian schools in Doha

Offering respite to parents, some Indian schools in Doha have announced that they have few slots available for admission in various grades. Olive International School, which has three campuses in Qatar, has said that they have few slots left in grade 1 to 8, The Peninsula reported. When contacted by the newspaper, the school  confirmed they have a few slots on the three campuses for grades 1 to 8. Scholars International School also said that a few slots are available for KG-2.  The report also said that some slots are also available in Noble International and Doha Modern Indian School. When admissions opened earlier in the year, there was a big rush in most Indian schools and many children were not able to secure an admission in their preferred school. This had led to the Indian Embassy issuing circular asking parents to register with the embassy if they had not…

Qatar
Doha-Kochi flights resume as airport opens

Flights to Kochi from Doha started following the Kerala airport resuming operations Wednesday. According to the airport owner CIAL (Cochin International Airport Limited), Indian carrier IndiGo’s Doha service was among the first international flights to land at the Kerala’s largest airport Wednesday evening. CIAL said in a statement that Qatar Airways, Air India Express and Jet Airways have all confirmed to land at Kochi International Airport Thursday. All airlines, both domestic and international, will follow the current schedule for operations, CIAL said. Qatar Airways and Indian carriers – Air India Express, Jet Airways and IndiGo operate direct flights between Doha and Kochi. Following the closure of the Kerala’s largest airport at Nedumbassery near Kochi Qatar Airways rerouted its flights – QR516 and QR517 between Doha and Kochi (Nedumbassery) to Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. Thousands of Qatar residents from central Kerala have been relying on Nedumbassery airport to fly to Doha. Doha,…

UAE
India to be Guest of Honour at Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 2019

The Department of Tourism – Abu Dhabi has announced that India will be the guest of honour at next year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF). The fair, which runs from April 24-30 2019, will celebrate cultural and literary output in the UAE, while also embracing Indian literature, music, cinema and dance. An Indian Pavilion will host authors and literary scholars who will discuss the culture of their country. Saif Saeed Ghobash of DCT – Abu Dhabi said: “India’s selection as the Guest of Honour of the 29th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair underscores the deep ties between India and the Arab world and the long-standing UAE-India relationship, which preceded the UAE’s foundation in 1971. “Inspired initially by trade, these relations expanded to encompass cultural and literary products and scientific and artistic marvels, offered by a country in which 24 official languages ​​and hundreds of dialects coexist. “India’s power is…

India
Indian Rupee plunges to new low against Dollar

India’s rupee hit fresh lows against the dollar on Wednesday as emerging market currencies continue to be sold off. The under-pressure currency in Asia’s third-largest economy slid to 70.56 against USD, a record low. The rupee has been steadily falling throughout 2018 after starting the year at 63.67. Earlier this month it crossed 70 for the first time as India was buffeted by the turbulence of the Turkish financial crisis. The rupee was not alone, with the currencies of other emerging economies heavily dependent on dollar-dominated foreign capital like Brazil, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil also slipping in August.The rupee slump is widening India’s current account deficit, when the value of imports exceeds that of exports. India is a massive net importer of oil, securing more than two-thirds of its needs from abroad. High oil prices have been squeezing the rupee, making it less appealing to investors, analysts say. India’s…

India
“For Indians abroad, relief is just a tweet away,” says Sushma Swaraj

If an overseas Indian is stuck anywhere in the world, help is just a tweet away, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday. Ms Swaraj was speaking in Vietnam, where she arrived on Sunday night for the first part of her two-nation tour. She will also visit Cambodia. “If a ‘Pravasi Bharatiya’ gets stuck anywhere in world, they are confident that the government will save them. Relief is just one tweet away,” the minister said. “What was never a priority in embassies, has become top priority now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made overseas Indians proud and the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) made them confident,” she added. Ms Swaraj is extremely popular on social media for her prompt response to SOS posts from across the world, over problems ranging from passports and visas to crises in violence-hit nations. She is among the most followed women politicians on Twitter. Ms…

UAE
UAE-based bank donates AED 5 million for Kerala flood victims

The Dubai Islamic Bank confirmed on Monday that it has set aside Dh 5 million (Rs 9.5 crore) to help with the relief efforts in southern India. The funds are coursed through the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Establishment (MBRCH), which is tasked to undertake international humanitarian and charity work in disaster-hit areas. Ibrahim Boumelha, Counsellor of the Ruler of Dubai for Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the MBRCH, said: “This generous contribution (from the Dubai Islamic Bank) is fully dedicated to the relief of our Indian brothers in Kerala.” Abdullah Al Hamli, Board Member, DIB, said the bank remains committed to the government’s goals in supporting humanitarian efforts across the globe. “The DIB, being a premier Islamic financial institution, is proud to partner in such initiatives aimed at alleviating suffering and building a better future for humanity at large.”…

UAE
UAE denies report of Houthi drone attack on Dubai airport

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) denied reports on Monday that the Iranian-aligned Houthis in Yemen had attacked Dubai airport with a drone, and said operations were unaffected. The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority: Air traffic movement in the UAE is normal with no disruptions; Houthi media claims regarding Dubai International Airport are untrue. — Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) August 27, 2018 The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority “has denied Houthi media claims on the Dubai International Airport, affirming that the UAE air traffic operates business as usual,” the authority said in a statement by state news agency WAM. Houthi-run media said earlier that a Sammad-3 drone had targeted the facility, but did not provide any evidence and there were no reports of damage or casualties. Published on 28 August 2018

Qatar
Over 307,000 students return to school on Wednesday

More than 307,000 students will return to school on Wednesday, after the Ministry of Education and Higher Education completed its preparation for the new academic year 2018-2019. The preparations involved ensuring the schools will take up the new number of students, that transportation is available, and that the food products offered in the school cafeterias are in line with regulations. The ministry also signed a total of 711 teachers, bringing the total in public schools to 13,440, compared to 13,591 in private schools. The ministry added a total of 5,065 seats, by opening new schools in preparation for the new academic year. It also assigned a total of 2,117 buses to different schools, each according to its location. The ministry also co-ordinated with the Traffic Department to ensure the safety of the buses, transportation, and schools in general. The ministry will continue implementing its 2017-2022 strategy, which aims to transform…

Qatar
Qatar to establish new “Tamim Air Base”

Qatar will establish a new airbase called “Tamim Airbase”, The Peninsula reported citing a senior Qatari Amiri Air Force official. According to the report, Al Udeid Air Base will be expanded and the Doha Air Base will be developed to welcome new aircraft and systems that have been introduced to the air force service. This includes the French Rafale fighters, American F-15 fighters, Eurofighter Typhoon and other advanced aircraft. This was disclosed by Maj Gen Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Malki, Deputy Commander of the Qatari Amiri Air Force, during an interview with “Al Talai” magazine published on Sunday by the Directorate of Moral Guidance in the Ministry of Defense. In addition, command and control systems will be developed by introducing the latest radar systems and communications, Al Malki added. The development of the Air Force has taken a quantum leap under the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, as equipment…

India
IndiGo to commence flight operations to Kuwait, Abu Dhabi

Indian budget carrier IndiGo said on Friday that it will add Kuwait and Abu Dhabi to its international destination from October this year. The carrier will operate a daily flight from Chennai to Kuwait and from Calicut to Abu Dhabi from mid October. Besides, it will operate a daily flight from Abu Dhabi to Kochi, a statement issued by the airline said. Beginning October 1, it will also operate a daily flight between Doha and Thiruvanathapuram and a daily flight between Doha and Ahmedabad. On the domestic sector, IndiGo will become the first domestic airline to introduce services connecting Port Blair with Hyderabad and Vadodara. These flights will commence from September 2018. In addition, the airline will operate its first daily return flight between Surat and Chennai, daily non-stop return service between Delhi and Imphal, direct flights to Vijayawada from Delhi. “We will operate first flight between Kuwait and Chennai…

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