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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 tops Arab world in Food Security Index

Qatar has claimed the top spot among the Arab countries and 22nd globally in the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2018, released by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Qatar has managed to accomplish this feat despite the blockade imposed by the siege countries on the country since June 5, last year. The Global Food Security Index considers the core issues of affordability, availability, and quality across a set of 113 countries. Singapore is ranked first in the 2018 GFSI ranking for the first time while Ireland is on the second place in the index. After maintaining the top spot between 2012 and 2016 and falling to second in 2017, the US has now dropped to third. Qatar was ranked higher than 91 countries that included Italy, Russia, China, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Poland, Greece, Hungary, and Argentina. Qatar’s Minister of Municipality and Environment H E Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi said in…

Katara opens art exhibition to mark Mahatma Gandhi birth anniversary

P. Kumaran, Ambassador of India to Qatar and Dr.Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara inaugurated “Experiments with Truth”, a painting Exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi. The exhibition being held in building 16 of Katara is jointly organized by Indian Embassy and Katara, as part of 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji. The Indian Ambassador said that Mahatma Gandhi is the tallest leader of the Indian independence movement and is the father of the Indian nation. “His two principles of non-violence and truth are highlighted in this exhibition, and these messages will continue to be relevant in today’s world which is seeing all kinds of manifestations of difficulties”, he added. The Visual Arts Forum of Indians in Qatar (VAFI) contributed more than 40 paintings by its members for the exhibition. Sree Kumar, Founder and President of VAFI, said that the artists had been working over the past couple of months…

Qatar’s new law on Exit Permits to come into effect on Oct 28

Qatar’s exit permit reform will come into force from October 28, the Joint Coordination Committee between the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs said in a statement. The Ministry also urged the employers to register the name of employees who will require prior approval before leaving the country due to their nature of work. The joint committee “announced that the Law No. 13 of 2018 will be enforced by amending certain provisions of Law No. 21 of 2015 regarding the entry and exit of expatriates and their residency from October 28, 2018.” The percentage of such workers shall not exceed 5% of the total number of employees. It should be submitted to the ministry through the online platform, which has been launched on the Ministry’s website Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had issued last month the Law No.…

E-approval required before bringing medicines to UAE

Residents and tourists who need to carry personal medicines to the UAE will have to first fill up an electronic form, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced. The form can be downloaded for free on the MoHAP website ( or its app. The quantity of medicines to be brought to the country should not exceed a personal use period of three months for non-controlled medicines and one month for controlled and semi-controlled ones. Guidelines for carrying of personal medicines with travelers in to the United Arab Emirates Applicants need to submit a prescription issued by the attending physician, a medical report approved by health entities and a copy of Emirates ID or passport. Once they submit the form along with the required documents, the officer concerned in the drugs department examines the request and issues the approval. Published on 16 October 2018

Around The World
U.S Senators Oppose India’s New Data Localization Policy

Relations between India and United States of America are strained following the implementation of India’s data localization policy. As of October 15, all payment data on domestic transactions in India will be stored inside the country. Trade plays a vital role in India’s economy and steps have already been taken by the prime minister to intensify trade throughout the country. However, two U.S senators have warned that the new legislation will present “key trade barriers”. Reaching out In April, the RBI gave system providers six months to comply with the data localization policy. However, according to Live Mint, Whatsapp is currently the first and only global company to comply with the new law. A letter dated October 12 was sent to prime minister, Narendra Modi from U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Mark Warne. In the letter, the senators urged Modi to rethink the policy and to opt for a “light touch” instead.…

Dubai-bound Air India Express hits wall, diverted to Mumbai

Passengers onboard an Air India Express flight from Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu to Dubai escaped a major accident after the wheels of the plane hit the airport outer wall while taking off early on Friday, officials said. The flight IX-611, with 130 passengers and six crew, took off at around 1.20 a.m. and was then diverted to Mumbai where it made a safe emergency landing around 5.40 a.m. Captain D. Ganesh Babu was informed of the incident by the groud staff at Trichy. Captain Babu reported that the aircraft system were operating normally but diverted the flight to Mumbai as “a precautionary measure”, said an Air India official. Trichy- Dubai Air India flight with 136 passengers on board hit the ATC compound wall at Trichy Airport yesterday and was diverted to Mumbai. The flight had got damaged under the belly, was declared fit for operations after inspection at Mumbai Airport.…

Dubai airports unveils ‘smart tunnels’ for faster passport control

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has launched the pilot phase of Smart Tunnel at Dubai Airports’ Terminal 3 to enable Emirates Airlines passengers to finish passport control procedures in less than 15 seconds. The initiative, a first of its kind in the world, is currently available to first and business class travelers of Emirates Airlines. How the system works As per the new system, the traveller simply have to walk through the tunnel and look at the camera, equipped with biometric recognition technology. The Smart Tunnel assesses passengers data accurately using machine learning in order to facilitate and accelerate the process of transit through Dubai airports without the need to use any travel documents or boarding card as in the use of “smart gates”. The tunnel will work hand in hand with the smart gates, equipped with latest face-recognition software, that allow residents to use…

Kerala’s fourth international airport to open on December 9

Kerala’s fourth international airport, in Kannur, is slated to open on December 9 following an approval by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), a top official said here on Friday. Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) managing director V. Thulasidas confirmed the launch date, saying “we are ready for operations”. KIAL authorities are trying their best to see that commercial operations commence soon after the inauguration, but the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will take a decision on that. Already, 11 international carriers and six domestic operators have confirmed their flights out of KIAL. The first trial operations were undertaken successfully at the airport on September 20, and a repeat rehearsal the following day. On Thursday, DGCA gave its final approval for the airport opening. The airport, built at a project cost of Rs1,892 crores (Dh949 million), is located at Mattanur, near Kannur and spread over 2,000 acres of land.…

Gandhi Jayanti: Burj Khalifa to have special LED show

Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa on Tuesday will showcase special LED screenings to mark the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. The special LED show, jointly organised by the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi, Indian Consulate in Dubai and Emaar Properties, will take place at 8:20pm and 8:40pm on Tuesday, the consulate announced. Gandhi Jayanti (Gandhi’s birthday) on October 2, a national festival in India, is also celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. Speaking on the occasion, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri, said: “I am delighted that we are celebrating one of the tallest personalities the world has seen by screening his image on the iconic building.” “I am sure that the events that we will organize over the next few months will not only remind all of us about the enduring message of Mahatma Gandhi but also motivate us to put some of his lessons into…

Indian naval ship to arrive at Doha’s Hamad Port on Tuesday

The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Mumbai, a guided missile destroyer, is arriving at Hamad Port early Tuesday, on a three-day visit of Qatar. In the framework of the deep-rooted friendly ties, multi-faceted and growing co-operation between India and Qatar, this is the second time in the last six months that an Indian Naval Ship is visiting the country, according to a statement from the Indian embassy. Earlier in March, Indian Naval Ship Kolkata was in Doha to participate in the Dimdex 2018, an exhibition where a large number of shipyards and navies from across the globe showcased their capabilities. The INS Mumbai, the 10th warship of the same lineage, has been built to an indigenous design at Mumbai’s Mazagon Dock Limited. It bristles with a formidable array of weapons backed by state-of-the-art sensors and equipment. The vessel is the third of the Delhi class of guided missile destroyers and represents…

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