Browsing: Around The Region

Selected latest news stories from the GCC – Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain. Stories focus on topics concerning Indians across the Gulf.

Around The Region
Online registration to be compulsory for Indians flying on employment visa

India Government has made online registration mandatory for all ECNR passport holders going for overseas employment to 18 countries (including Gulf countries) from 2019. The rule will be valid for travellers to the following countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Thailand, UAE and Yemen. Starting January 1, 2019, All Indians travelling to these countries for employment have to register online at the government’s e-Migrate portal, or else will be offloaded, the Ministry of External Affairs has announced. New rule valid for Non-ECR (ECNR) passport holders The rule will be valid for Indian passport holders who do not require Emmigration Clearance. Earlier only ECR passport holders were required to get prior approval before travelling. As per the new rule: Non-ECR passport holders have to register online 24 hours before travel. They will receive immediate approval by SMS/Email. ECR passport holders…

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

Around The Region
Thursday will be the first day of Ramadan 2018

The religious bodies of Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia and various other countries have declared that Thursday, May 17 would be the first day of Ramadan this year. Qatar The Moon Sighting Committee of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Qatar announced that Wednesday, May 16 is the completion of the month of Shaaban, and that the day after tomorrow,Thursday, May 17, will be the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. This came in a statement issued by the Committee after its meeting this evening at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, chaired by Dr. Sheikh Thaqeel Al Shammari. UAE The UAE Moon Sighting Committee announced that the first day of Ramadan this year will be on May 17. The Moon Sighting Committee had gathered on Tuesday, May 15 (29th day of Shaaban) to look for the crescent moon which signals the start of Ramadan. Given…

Around The Region
LuLu Hypermarket cautions shoppers against fake prizes

Prominent retailer LuLu Hypermarkets has issued a clarification on some fake posts doing the rounds of social media regarding ‘Raffle Prizes & Gift Vouchers’, and cautioned shoppers to be “very careful” about such fraudulent acts. “We have come to know about some incidents of attempted fraud in the name of LuLu, where the callers have identified themselves as calling on behalf of LuLu and tried to obtain certain personal and financial information of the persons, including their bank account and bank card details, with the intent of defrauding them with false news of winning a prize or with some offers at LuLu,” an official spokesperson of the LuLu management said in a statement. “LuLu Group hereby declares that it never contacted by itself and has not authorised anyone to contact its customers or the common public for their banking, credit card or any similar details.” LuLu has advised the public…

Around The Region
White house postpones Trump’s summit with GCC leaders

The Trump administration is postponing until September a summit with Gulf Arab leaders that had been planned for this spring amid an ongoing dispute between Qatar and other US allies in the region, according to five US officials. The decision to delay the May summit with the six-nation Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) reflects a crowded diplomatic calendar, and the fact that President Donald Trump is without a secretary of state until the Senate confirms current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, two of the officials said. Other sources, however, told Reuters the delay is also a nod to the fact that Washington has made little progress so far in ending the standoff between Qatar and other Gulf nations, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The dispute pits key US allies against each other. It has not affected the US air base in Qatar that supports attacks on Islamic extremists. “This…

Around The Region
UAE-Saudi train to launch by end of 2021

The United Arab Emirates will have a rail link with Saudi Arabia by the end of December 2021, a senior transport official said on Monday. “By the end of December 2021, we will have a connection between us and the Saudis,” Abdullah Salem Al Kathiri, director general of the Federal Authority for Land and Marine Transport, spoke at a conference in Dubai. The planned 2,100km (1,300 mile) passenger and cargo network connecting the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states was pushed back at least three years to 2021. The UAE suspended construction of its portion of the network in 2016, while Oman said it would shift its focus to building its domestic network. Several projects across the region had been put on hold as Gulf oil producers struggle with low crude prices and rising budget deficits. Published on 12 March 2018 Image for illustrative purpose only

Around The Region
Trump threatens to cancel GCC summit if Qatar blockade not solved

The US President warned a planned six-country Gulf Cooperation Council summit will only take place in Camp David if the Qatar blockade is lifted and the crisis is resolved, Associated Press reported on Friday. Donald Trump is expected to host Gulf leaders at the prestigious presidential retreat in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains in May. However US officials suggest the meeting will be cancelled if Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain – who have imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar since June 2017 – do not take steps toward resolving the crisis. Last week, senior US officials said Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan will visit Trump in March and April to discuss setting up a Gulf Cooperation Council summit later this year. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies launched a…

Around The Region
Crescent moon sighted, Eid Al Adha to be on September 1

The Dhul-Hijjah crescent was sighted today according to a tweet posted by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), which means that Wednesday, August 23, will be the first day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah, and Eid Al Adha will be on September 1. The Supreme Court in Saudi Arabia has announced on Tuesday  that the crescent of the month of Dhul-Hijja was sighted, and Wednesday (today) will be Zul Hijjah 1. “Accordingly, Haj (Standing on Mount Arafat) will be on Thursday, August 31 and Eid al Adha will be on Friday, September 1”, the court added. The sighting was awaited since yesterday when the Supreme Court said that the moon was not sighted on Monday night. The Saudi Supreme Court, which earlier called on the public to view Dhul-Hijjah crescent at Tuesday sunset, announced in a statement in Riyadh that, according to many adult witnesses who made their testimonies to their perspective regional courts, it was…

Around The Region
Saudi-led bloc to continue Qatar boycott after ‘negative’ response to demands

Foreign ministers of the Saudi-led bloc that imposed an embargo on Qatar said Wednesday they regretted Qatar’s “negative” response to a list of demands to end a diplomatic crisis. The ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates “regret the negative response from Qatar,” they said, in a statement read out by Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry, after meeting in Cairo. Speaking to reporters after reading the statement, Shoukry said Qatar’s response to the bloc’s conditions had “no substance”. Qatar calls for dialogue Meanwhile, Qatar’s foreign minister called for “dialogue” to resolve the Gulf diplomatic crisis, accusing Arab states that have cut ties with Qatar of trying to undermine the nation’s sovereignty. H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was speaking at the Chatham House think tank in London. “As the 48 hours extension is coming to an end, Qatar continues to call for dialogue despite the…

Around The Region
Kuwait steps up efforts to end Qatar diplomatic crisis

Kuwait has stepped up its efforts to mediate an end to the economic and diplomatic blockade of Qatar. The US president, Donald Trump, also rang the Qatari emir suggesting he come to the US to discuss a resolution to the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf in 30 years. Kuwait ruler visits Saudi, UAE and Qatar Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah flew to Qatar on Wednesday night and was met at the airport by Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two held talks on how “restore the normal relations” of the Gulf. Earlier Sheikh Sabah was in UAE, where he had discussions with Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander…

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