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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.

India
IndiGo offers discount on domestic, international flights

Indian budget airline IndiGo is offering up to 15 per cent discount on domestic and international flight tickets. In order to avail the offer, customer can do the booking till August 30, 2018. The travel period of the offer starts on September 8, 2018 and ends on October 8, 2018. Under this scheme, the airline is offering 10 per cent discount on one-way fare and 15 per cent discount on return fare. Get amazing discounts on your next 6E flight. Book today using code:SEP15P to get 10% discount on one-way fare and 15% on return fareBook Now https://t.co/yvIzG1cXyZ#FriYay #FlyYay #6E #IndiGoAirlines #LowCost #HassleFree #LowFares #6EFlight #IndiGo6E #fridayfeeling #discount pic.twitter.com/YWbWjGSpCo— IndiGo (@IndiGo6E) August 24, 2018 The discount can be availed only by using the promo code ‘SEP15P’ at the time of booking on IndiGo’s official website- goindigo.in or mobile app, said the carrier. IndiGo’s offer is valid for bookings made during…

Qatar
India adds Qatar to list of e-visa eligible countries

India has added Qatar to the list of countries eligible for e-visa facility, currently availed by passport holders of 167 countries/territories. This facility is in addition to the existing Visa services provided by the Embassy of India, Doha. e-Visas are issued on the basis of an online application and do not require the application to be submitted physically at the Embassy or a visa-sticker to be affixed on the passport by the Embassy. The approval for the visa, called the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), is sent to the applicant by email. The applicant should carry a copy of this ETA along with him/her at the time of travel. Applicants can track the status of their application online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html. On the basis of a valid ETA, a “visa” will be stamped on the visitor’s passport at the Immigration Counter at the airport of arrival. Biometric details of the applicant will…

UAE
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince discusses Kerala relief efforts with Modi

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has discussed the devastation caused by the floods in Kerala during a telephone call with the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. During the call, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his sincere condolences and sympathy to the Prime Minister and discussed the relief efforts underway. He tweeted about the conversation and expressed his condolences to the affected families. I spoke to the Indian Prime Minister about the devastation caused by the floods in Kerala. My sincere condolences to the families of the victims. We stand with the Indian people. Our relief and charitable institutions are helping with relief efforts.— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) August 21, 2018 Sheikh Mohamed said that the UAE was prepared to extend all help during this humanitarian crisis in which hundreds have been…

Bahrain
Bahrain stops issuing visas for Qatari nationals

Bahrain’s interior ministry said on Tuesday that it would stop issuing new visas to Qatari nationals, escalating measures against Qatar more than a year into a diplomatic row. The statement, carried on state news agency BNA, said Qatari students studying in the kingdom and other Qatari citizens with existing visas would not be affected. It also said the move came in response “hostile acts” by Qatari authorities. It did not elaborate. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut diplomatic, transport and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of financing terrorism. Doha denies that and says the boycott is an attempt to rein in its support for reform. In October, Bahrain said it would impose entry visas on Qatari nationals as a security measure. Citizens from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council countries are otherwise supposed to be able to travel within the GCC carrying only…

India
Cochin International Airport to reopen on August 29: CIAL

With the flood waters in Kerala receding rapidly, the Cochin International Airport, one of the three in the state and the busiest, will open on August 29 – after 15 days of closure. Confirming the same, CIAL took to its Facebook page on Thursday to announce: Airport authorities have been engaged in a massive cleaning operation of the operational area that was submerged by flood waters. Rs 220 crores loss in the floods The airport has suffered an estimated loss of over Rs 220 crores in the floods, an official told PTI. He said the solar power system of the world’s first solar-powered airport has also suffered damage in the floods. “We have launched efforts on a war-footing to rebuild the damaged infrastructure. Our initial assessment is that we have suffered an estimated loss of Rs. 220 crores in the floods,” the official said, adding around 200 workers have been…

Qatar
Doha Bank and Jet Airways offer discount on flight tickets

Reinforcing its commitment to introducing unique and diverse banking products and services, Doha Bank yesterday announced the launch of a new campaign to offer up to 12 percent discount on airfare on flights booked on Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline. During the campaign period running between August 15, 2018 and July 31, 2019, customers can avail 12% off on any First/Business class and 9% off on any Economy class when booking flight ticket online through www.jetairways.com using Doha Bank Credit Card. JetPrivilege members holding valid Doha Bank credit cards can convert their Doha Miles to JPMiles, receiving 1 JPMile against 1 Doha Mile for a minimum transfer of 2,000 Doha Miles. JetPrivilege members can redeem their JPMiles, the reward currency of JetPrivilege, for Free Award flights on Jet Airways or any of the programme’s 20+ airline partners. “Building on our longstanding relationship with Jet Airways, we have launched a…

UAE
UAE extends aid to Kerala floods relief

The UAE government has extended financial assistance to rebuild the flood-ravaged Indian state of Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday. “The UAE government is sharing our grief. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The UAE has offered assistance.” Vijayan said during a media briefing in Kerala. “Malayalis from all corners of the world have offered help. Millions of those Malayalis treat the Gulf countries as their second home,” he added. He noted that the UAE has stood by Kerala in its hour of need. The chief minister lauded the benevolence shown by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Khaleej Times…

UAE
Kerala Floods: NRI businessman donates Rs 50 crore

Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of UAE-based VPS Healthcare, has donated AED 26 million (around Rs 50 crore) towards the relief campaign for Kerala in the aftermath of the most devastating floods to affect the South Indian state in over a century. The floods have so far led to hundreds of deaths and the displacement of thousands of people. The extremely heavy rainfall has also caused unprecedented loss to property, with considerable damage to the infrastructure across the state. Dr Vayalil’s generous contribution comes as part of the emergency relief campaign launched by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation (KBZF) in line with the directives of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown…

UAE
UAE stands with Kerala flood victims

A total of AED10 million has been collected by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation through UAE-based Indian tycoons and businesses for Kerala flood victims, a few hours only after the Foundation had launched its relief campaign in response to the directives of UAE leaders to form a national emergency committee to provide assistance to the flood-striken Indian state. Indian businessmen Yusuff Ali M.A., owner of the Lulu Hypermarket chain worldwide, and Dr. B. R. Shetty, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice Chairman of NMC Health PLC, have donated Dh5m each, in response to the UAE emergency campaign for standing by the flood-hit victims. Director-General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation, Mohammed Haji Al Khouri, commended the generous support, provided by the UAE-based Indian businessmen in the country and their rapid response to the UAE leadership’s directives. “The rapid response reflects their sincere belief and trust in…

India
Kerala floods relief material exempted from customs duty

Relief materials sent by NRIs and international agencies to the Kerala flood victims are exempt from customs duty and GST, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced Monday. As per the notification of Customs dated July 13, 1994, amended vide notification dated June 30, 2017, the items such as foodstuffs, medicines, medical stores of perishable nature, clothing and blankets imported for the relief and rehabilitation of people affected by flood have been exempted from whole of customs duty and integrated tax. The above exemption can be claimed by any charitable organisation in compliance with the conditions mentioned in the notification. The exemptions would be applicable to the said goods being sent to the Central Government, the Government of Kerala, or as the case may be, the relief agencies of both the governments. The exemption will also extend to relief agencies duly approved by the Central Government or the Government of Kerala…

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