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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.

IndiGo to start daily services to two more cities from Doha

IndiGo, which is India’s largest passenger airline in terms of market share, will start operating to two more destinations in India – Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad from Doha in early October. The daily non-stop service between Doha and Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala state, will be from October 1. The daily non-stop service between Doha and Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat state, will be from October 2, IndiGo announced on Wednesday. Flight timings IndiGo’s Thiruvananthapuram flight from Doha will depart daily at 11.35am and reach the Kerala capital at 6.55pm. The flight from Thiruvananthapuram will depart at 11.15pm and reach Doha at 1.40am. The Doha-Ahmedabad flight will depart from Hamad International Airport at 2.40am and reach the Gujarat city at 8.35am. IndiGo’s Ahmedabad-Doha flight will depart at 9.35am and reach Doha at 10.35am. IndiGo already flies to six Indian destinations from Doha; Kochi, Kozhikode (both Kerala), Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai…

Indian Rupee hits fresh low at 72.73 to a dollar

The rupee hit a fresh low against the dollar for the second day as it touched ₹72.73 in the afternoon trade as compared to the previous close of ₹72.45 a dollar, which was an all-time low. The previous intra-day low was on Monday when the currency hit ₹72.67 to a dollar. A combination of domestic and international factors like worsening balance of payments situation and trade wars have impacted emerging market currencies and the rupee is no exception. Besides, unabated foreign fund outflows, sharp plunge in domestic equities with the benchmark Sensex crashing by over 500 points, too, weighed on the domestic unit, dealers said. The rupee Tuesday opened on a positive note by inching 20 paise higher at 72.25 against the US dollar amid increased selling by banks and exporters. The currency, however, failed to sustain strength and weakened to hit a fresh lifetime low of 72.73, down by…

Around The Region
Exchange Rates: GCC Currencies vs Indian Rupees

Here are today’s Exchange Rates for all GCC currencies (UAE Dirhams, Qatar Riyal, Saudi Riyal, Oman Riyal, Bahrain Dinar and Kuwait Dinar) against Indian Rupees: 1 UAE Dirham = Rs 19.80 1 Qatar Riyal = Rs 19.98 1 Saudi Riyal = Rs 19:39 1 Oman Riyal = Rs 188.92 1 Bahrain Dinar = Rs 192.86 1 Kuwait Dinar = Rs 240.08 Please note these are currency trading rates and not remittance rates. Remittance rates from banks / exchange houses will be slightly lower than these rates. The rates can also change from time to time. Kindly check with your bank / exchange for the best rate for remittance. Exchange rates are determined in the foreign exchange market, which is open to a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers, and where currency trading is continuous: 24 hours a day except weekend. Updated: 11 September 2018

Eligibility for permanent residency in Qatar explained in new law

Qatar Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has officially issued Law No. 10 of the year 2018, pertaining to the issue of permanent residency, QNA reported. The law is now in effect and will soon be published in the official gazette. Here are the conditions to grant permanent residency: Article 1 If a candidate is born outside Qatar, he/she should have completed 20 years of stay in the country on a legal ordinary residency permit. For those who were born in Qatar, this period has been limited to 10 years. The duration of residency should be consecutive and prior to the date of submission of the application for permanent residency permit. The residency of an applicant in the county should not be interrupted by staying outside Qatar for more than 60 days in a year. The duration of stay out of the country will be deducted from the balance…

Qatar lifts Exit Permit requirement for most expatriates

Most expatriates in Qatar under the labour law will no longer have to obtain exit permits in order to leave the country temporarily or for good within the duration of the work contract. In a widely-welcomed move, Qatar has amended its residency laws to allow expatriates to leave the country without exit permits from their employers. The Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani issued on Tuesday the Law No. 13 of 2018, amending certain provisions of the Law No. 21 of 2015 regulating the entry, exit and residency of expatriates, The Peninsula reported. Law No. 13 of 2018, amends provisions of Law No. 21 of 2015 and Law No. 1 of 2017, which regulate the entry and exit of expatriates. Under the new law, most expatriates would be able to leave the country without having to obtain permits from their employers under the law. Who needs exit permit…

Indian expat in UAE wins Rs 23 crore jackpot

An Indian expatriate became the new multi-millionaire of Big Ticket raffles after winning AED 12 million (Rs 23 crore), the biggest jackpot of Big Ticket raffle in Abu Dhabi. George Mathew, who purchased ticket number 175342 at Big Ticket Abu Dhabi, was announced as the winner of the bumper prize on Monday.  “It has been last 6 months since I started purchasing Big Ticket along with my 6 friends and finally it is our lucky day today. I am really happy and surprised as well by the call from Big Ticket. God blessed me after with 12 Million Dirhams and thank you Big Ticket Team for such wonderful news,” he said. George Mathew, who lives in Ajman with his family since last 9 years, works for Gulf News. The Dream 12 Million Raffle Draw Series 195 was announced Monday morning at the Abu Dhabi International Airport’s arrivals hall at 10am. Interestingly,…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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