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
UAE pays highest salaries in the GCC for domestic workers

The average monthly salary of domestic workers in the UAE stands at AED1,592 ($433), making it the highest in the region, according to the HelperChoice Domestic Worker Salary Survey Middle East 2016. Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar provide average monthly salaries of SR1,615 ($431) and QR1,571 ($431) consecutively. Kuwait provides the lowest with KD117 ($388). The figures do not include costs normally covered by employers such as agency fees, flights home and medical expenses. The survey gathered data from 2,000 recent regional job advertisements placed on the firm’s website. In terms of regional cities, the survey found that employers in Dubai offer the best salaries at AED 1,697 ($462), higher than Jeddah and Doha which both offer $400. In contrast, both Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City came at the bottom of the list with offers of $397 and $384 respectively.

Around The Region
UAE, Qatar airlines ban Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as checked-in baggage

Major airlines in UAE and Qatar have imposed restrictions on Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as a “device in checked baggage” following the recall of the personal electronic device, which are prone to catch fire. UAE Travel Alert Civil aviation authorities in UAE have banned the use of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 on all its national carriers because of the risk of batteries exploding in the “phablet” smartphone. “The General Civil Aviation Authority has banned operating, charging and carrying in bags the Samsung Note 7 on board national carriers’ flights,” it said in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency on Saturday, September 10. Samsung last week suspended sales of its latest flagship smartphone and announced a recall of 2.5 million units already sold, after faulty batteries caused some handsets to explode during charging. Qatar Airways travel alert In a travel alert issued on Saturday, Qatar Airways said, “Following the recall…

Around The Region
September 12 is the first day of Eid Al Adha

The Zul Hijjah crescent has not been sighted in Saudi Arabia, which means Eid Al Adha will be on September 12 (Monday) this year, Saudi and regional media reported. The first day of Zul Hijjah, 1437, will be on September 3. Officials in the UAE also confirmed that the Zul Hijjah moon was not sighted. Eid holidays are yet to be announced. It is noteworthy that Eid Al Adha always starts on the 10th day of Zul Hijjah. Regarding the sighting of Eid Al Adha ‘Zul Hijjah’ crescent, most of the Islamic countries sighted the crescent on Thursday, September 1, the same day of the solar eclipse. Based on the sighting of the moon, the month of Zul Hijjah will begin on Saturday, September 3. Therefore, September 11 will be the Day of Arafah, and September 12 will be the first day of Eid Al Adha, UAE news agency WAM reported. Many Arab states witnessed a…

Around The Region
Holidays alert : Eid Al Adha 2016 expected to be on September 11

This year’s Eid al-Adha is expected to fall on Sunday, September 11, according to leading astronomers. The Sharjah Planetarium has forecast that the Hilal (crescent) will appear on Thursday, September 1. It added that by that calculation Sunday, September 11, is the first day of Eid Al Adha, ‘Al Ittihad’ newspaper reports. Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Researcher and General Supervisor, Sharjah Planetarium, said the Hilal (crescent) should be above the Western horizon by at least 5 degrees and will remain above the horizon after sunset for at least 20 minutes. In the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha occurs on the 10th day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and is also the third day of the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. If a new moon is sighted on September 1, then the first day of Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on Sunday, September 11. But if the moon is not visible on the month’s first day, then…

Around The Region
Eid Al Fitr expected to be on July 6

Ramadan should last 30 days this year and Eid Al Fitr is expected to be on July 6,  according to a leading astronomer. The crescent of Shawwal will emerge on Monday, Ramadan 29, corresponding to July 4 at 3.13pm UAE time, The National quoted Dr Ibrahim Al Jarwan, assistant director of Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences and a researcher in astronomy and meteorology, as having said. According the Dr Al Jarwan, the crescent will set seven minutes before sunset, so it will not be visible during the night. Therefore, Tuesday, July 5, will mark the final day of Ramadan, and Wednesday, July 6, will mark the first day of Eid Al Fitr. Meanwhile, millions are set to fly out on summer getaways next week as the start of school holidays coincides with the holiday.

Around The Region
Complete Ramadan Guide for Non-Muslims in Middle East

If you are a non-Muslim living in the Middle East, the Holy month of Ramadan can raise a number of questions for you. You would often wonder is it fine to do something or what these customs mean. Here are the answers to some of the common questions: What is Ramadan all about? What is Ramadan? Ramadan is the ninth month of the Hijri calendar. It is regarded as the holiest month of the year as it was the month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on the night of Laylat Al Qadr, one of the last ten nights of Ramadan. The annual observance of Ramadan is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. When is Ramadan 2016? This year, as far as the Gregorian calendar is concerned, Ramadan starts on June 6 (subject to moon sighting). How long does it last? Ramadan lasts for 29-30 days, or…

Around The Region
Ramadan temperatures to be 45-50 C, Fasting time to be above 15 hrs

Temperatures during the fasting month of Ramadan will average as high as 45-50 Celsius in the Gulf, one of the highest temperate levels through the year. According to the Amman-based Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS), fasting time will exceed 15 hours and they will increase in late Ramadan. “Maximum temperatures in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries will average 45-50 degrees during Ramadan,” Khalid Al Zuak, an AUASS member said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily ‘Ajel’. He said the hottest area in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan will be the Eastern province of Ihsa, which borders the UAE and other Gulf states. He expected Ramadan crescent to be “born” on Sunday night June 5 and Ramadan to start on June 6.

Around The Region
Ramadan to start on June 6

The holy month of Ramadan will start on June 6 and end on July 5 this year, senior astronomers have said. Bahrain Astronomical Society (BAS) Deputy Chairman Waheeb Al Nasser said that the crescent marking the start of the lunar month would be possible on Sunday, June 5, making the start of the fasting the next day. “Muslims in Bahrain will be fasting for 15 hours and 18 minutes on the first day of the holy month, and 15 hours and seven minutes on the last day,” he said in remarks posted by Bahrain News Agency (BNA). In a statement issued by the news agency Wam recently, Ibrahim Al Jarwan, General Supervisor at Sharjah Planetarium, said: “The new moon of Ramadan is to appear on June 5 at around 6.59pm UAE time, but it will disappear at around 7.25pm or 17 minutes after sunset of the same day. He also pointed…

Around The Region
Smart cards to facilitate expatriate travel between GCC nations

Citizens and expatriates in GCC may soon be able travel between the six member countries with just electronic identity cards, instead of passports and visa. They will be able to use smart cards issued by their own countries to pass through electronic gates at GCC airports. Plan to be presented at GCC meeting A senior official in Kuwait has proposed the plan to allow citizens and expatriates residing in GCC countries to travel between the GCC member-nations using a smart card, Arab Times has reported. Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passport Affairs in the Interior Ministry Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah confirmed the project will be presented in the upcoming meeting of GCC Interior Ministers for deliberation. Linking smart card databases The logic behind the idea is that every GCC country has an e-gate system and countries that has issued smart ID cards to residents can be linked together by sharing the residents’ database. Earlier,…

Around The Region
Kuwait to hike power, water tariff for expatriates

Kuwait’s parliament on Wednesday passed a bill allowing the government to raise power and water charges on foreign residents and on businesses but exempted the Gulf state’s citizens. Thirty-one MPs voted in favour while 17 members opposed it. The second and final round of voting will take place after two weeks. MPs initially rejected the bill but later approved it after Kuwaiti citizens were exempted. If given the final clearance, it will be the first time in 50 years that oil-rich Kuwait raise power charges. Move after dwindle in oil revenues Like other crude exporters, Kuwait’s oil-dependent revenues dwindled since oil prices crashed by over 70 percent from its mid-2014 peak. The bill stipulates to raise power charges in apartment buildings, overwhelmingly used by foreigners, from the current flat rate of two fils per kilowatt gradually to up to 15 fils per kilowatt. For commercial uses, it will be raised from two…