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Dear Friends,
I am starting a new thread which will contain a brief information and links related to Life in UAE and UAE Developments. As far as possible, I will cover immigration/visa, work related and any other industry related developments which are of use to us on a day-to-day basis. This is also created to make sure you do not miss any useful information while you were away from here either on business or personal reason.
You may also contribute news items of importance and relevance here and make it a collective effort to enhance our knowledge.
Ramesh Menon

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi
Hr . Payroll Analyst/hr Generalist/payroll
Results Certified Executive Coach & Training
Technical Officer
Working As A Hr Manager
+1 Other


Daily news brief: Wednesday, 2nd July 2008

Foreigners visiting UAE must undergo medical check-ups for contagious diseases

WAM Published: July 01, 2008, 18:56

Dubai: Foreigners who come to the UAE to live, study or work for a period not less than six months will now have to undergo medical check-ups for some contagious diseases, like HIV/Aids, Hepatitis-b and leprosy.

Humaid Mohammad Al Qutami, Minister of Health, has issued a new ministerial decree making it compulsory for all expatriates coming to the UAE to live, study or work to undergo the medical tests.

Insurance for low-income expats
By Dina El Shammaa, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: July 02, 2008, 00:08

Abu Dhabi: Expatriates earning a salary of Dh5,000 or less will now be eligible to enrol for the basic health insurance plan due to high inflation rates in the UAE, said an official from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

The basic health insurance plan (BHIP) is subsidised by the government of Abu Dhabi for people with low monthly salaries. Up until June 1 more than 700,000 expatriates with a salary of Dh4,000 or less have been enrolled in the plan. Daman has more than a million health insurance members to date.

Under Law 23, the executive council of Abu Dhabi and HAAD agreed with the National Health Insurance Company (Daman) to keep the premium basic product stable at Dh600 for 2008. The employer bears all costs of the employee's basic plan.

Most companies sticking to midday break rule

By Wafa Issa, Fuad Ali and Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporters GULF NEWS Published: July 02, 2008, 00:08

Dubai/ Fujairah/Ras Al Khaimah: Ministry of Labour inspectors across the country went out two hours prior to the start of the midday break to spread awareness about the implementation of the rule while the majority of companies showed commitment on the first day of its enforcement.

Maher Al Oabed, head of the Inspection Unit at the ministry, said that the ministry's main focus this year was to educate companies and workers on the rule.

Mid-day respite for workers from today

By Riyasbabu and Ahmed Abdul Aziz (Our staff reporters)KHALEEJ TIMES 1 July 2008

DUBAI/ABU DHABI — Beginning today, the Ministry of Labour (MoL) will enforce the mid-day break rule for labourers, banning outdoor work between and 3pm daily during the months of July and August.

However, this year, work at construction sites, where concrete mix pouring is being done (which needs non-stop work for 10 hours), electricity and water maintenance in buildings, and other light activities under shade at workshops, will be allowed during the break time, the MoL yesterday clarified.

The mid-day break will also not stop work in emergencies on roads or disasters as well as at oil and petroleum companies.

Ministry organises awareness campaign for labourers in UAE

Staff Report GULF NEWS Published: July 01, 2008, 16:04

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Labour in association with New Medical Centre (NMC) is organising an awareness campaign for labourers across the UAE from Tuesday.

The campaign will focus on educating the labourers about taking care of their health while working under the hot summer sun.

Complementing the midday break rule that came into effect on Tuesday, the campaign will educate the labourers on simple and practical measures to avoid dehydration and illness. A team of experts, including doctors from the New Medical Centre (NMC) hospital, will visit labour camps for the purpose.

You may visit the following links to read more on the above news:

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: Life in UAE

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: UAE Developments

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

Daily news brief: Thursday, 3rd July 2008

New policy unlikely to affect visa flights

By Zoe Sinclair and Adel Arafah (Staff reporterS/KHALEEJ TIMES)3 July 2008

DUBAI — Airlines offering "visa run flights" to expatriates renewing their visit visas expect minimal impact after a change in the visa policy, officials said yesterday.

A raft of visa changes will take effect from August 1, with one policy to end the practice of "visa runs" where expatriates leave the UAE to a neighbouring country usually only for a matter of hours before returning and renewing their visit visa upon entry.

Dubai Department of Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) Director Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marrihas said from August 1, Dubai's expatriates will have to remain outside the country for one month before returning on a visit visa.

This rule is already in effect in the other emirates in the UAE, according to Major-General Mohammed Salim bin Awaida Al Khaili, Director-General of the Naturalisation and Residency Department, Ministry of Interior.

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: New policy unlikely to affect visa flights

Dubai launches HR Strategy
By a staff reporter KHALEEJ TIMES 3 July 2008

DUBAI — The government of Dubai yesterday launched a Human Resources (HR) Strategy to create a high performance culture, build the workforce capacity and capability and develop HR knowledge and expertise in order to achieve the government's excellence objectives set out in the Dubai Strategic Plan (DSP) 2015.

The eight-year HR Strategy was unveiled under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and was attended by Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

The event was organised at the Madinat Jumeirah by the General Secretariat of Dubai Executive Council.

As part of the strategy, the focus would be on requirements of Dubai's fast paced economic and social development and hone the technical and leadership skills of nationals. From here on, reward and recognition systems will be linked to performance and subject to regular review, celebrating outstanding levels of contribution.

The thrust would also be on the availability of credible and accessible data to drive informed decision making.

Outlining the scope of the HR Strategy, Ahmad bin Byat, Secretary General of the Dubai Executive Council, said, "Some of the priority areas inbuilt into the HR Strategy will include a strategic and forward-looking policy, promoting accountability and a result-based culture, increasing efficiency, enhancing responsiveness and customer service, and empowering and motivating public sector employees."

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: Dubai launches HR Strategy

For detailed reading, please visit:

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: Life in UAE

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: UAE Developments

Have a great day and great week-end.

Ramesh Menon

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

Daily news brief: Friday, 4th July 2008

Friday being week-end is the time for some relaxed reading. And I found something very interesting, particularly for HR - because Credit applications are getting into an alarmingly increasing rate these days. The report has some interesting statistics too.

Calls for credit ‘capping’ system

The National Last Updated: July 03. 2008

Mall of the Emirates’ expectation of a 40 per cent increase in sales during Dubai Summer Surprises has highlighted the need for a federal credit bureau to help tackle rising consumer debt.

Money owed on personal loans and credit cards in the UAE in the last three-month period alone was Dh40 billion – with 70 per cent of it owed in Dubai.

A draft law is being finalised at the Ministry of Justice, establishing a federal credit bureau to function as a national credit data-sharing structure to supervise banks’ lending policies.

The proposal is being backed by Visa, the credit card provider, and has received the support of some of the UAE’s banks. However, a recent investigation by The National found one bank was still prepared to offer four credit cards with one account.

Expatriates who earn more than Dh5,000 a month are offered up to 30 times their salary.

The general manager of the UAE’s largest credit collection service, CRCQ, also supports a national capping system to prevent excessive debt and backs government plans to introduce the federal credit bureau.

“It would be very beneficial to consumers to have a capping system,” he said.

“People are living beyond their means and feel social pressures to drive nice cars and wear nice clothes and so on. It’s globalisation but it is not helped by the fact that banks and financing companies make it easy for people to incur more debt.

“On the positive side, the economy here is booming and it’s a very prosperous society, but on the other, it means the consumers have no savings and high debts.”

Personal loans in the UAE increased by 39 per cent last year, reaching compared with Dh28bn in 2006.

Extracted from the THE NATIONAL

For the complete report, please visit:

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: Life in UAE

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

Daily news brief: Monday, 7th July 2008

Over 90,000 vehicles hit road in Abu Dhabi
(WAM) Abu Dhabi:

Over 90,000 new vehicles hit the road in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and over 28,000 driving licenses were issued in the first half of the year, according to Police figures.

Lt Colonel Mohammed Al Kitbi, Director of Vehicle and Driver's Licensing Department, said 28,068 new driving licenses were issued and 91,509 new vehicles were registered in the period from January to June in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
''The share of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Western Region of these licenses were 20,925, 4,975 and 2,168 respectively, '' he explained.

As for vehicle registration, he added new cars registered in Abu Dhabi numbered 67,722. Al Ain and the Western Region saw registration of 21,876 and 1,911 respectively in the same period.

DP World - UAE launches large scale recruitment drive for UAE nationals
(WAM) Dubai:

DP World - UAE, the local arm of global marine terminal operator DP World has announced a major recruitment drive for UAE nationals in its various departments, mainly at DP World's flagship Jebel Ali Port.

The recruitment campaign is in line with the company's policy of providing opportunity to national youth to join its workforce and contribute to its growth as well as that of Dubai and the country.

There are currently over 150 job vacancies in the various departments, including the
Container Terminal, Commercial, Documentation, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Marine, Procurement and Technical departments.

DP World - UAE has reserved vacancies exclusively for the UAE nationals who have
sufficient experience and also for fresh national graduates holding high school certificates, diplomas and university degrees.

Selected applicants will go through an intensive training programme according to the
respective department specialisation. The aim is to prepare and qualify them to take up positions in DP World's UAE Region. Opportunities will also be available for many of the selected candidates to undergo training at other DP World ports around the globe.

For more detailed reading, please visit:

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: UAE Developments

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

Daily news brief: Tuesday, 8th July 2008

Bid to curb diesel sales
Matt Chung for THE NATIONAL July 07. 2008

ABU DHABI // Adnoc has been asked to restrict sales of diesel at its petrol stations on the island to reduce traffic congestion and accidents caused by vehicles queuing on main roads to take advantage of cheap prices.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company sells diesel for Dh8.60 (US$2.34) per gallon, less than half the cost of fuel at the Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), Emarat and Emirates Petroleum Products Company (Eppco) stations in Dubai and the northern Emirates, where it costs Dh19.25 (US$5.24) per gallon.

The price of diesel in the northern Emirates is said to have increased by 58 per cent this year.

New system being installed at Dubai airport to detect fake travel documents
By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: July 07, 2008

Dubai: The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) reinforced its employees' skills and ability to spot falsified documents and passports following an extensive training on the Electronic Documentation Information System on Network (EDISON) for verifying various passport security features and examination of questioned documents.

The system which is currently implemented by DNRD at the Dubai International Airport various terminals to assist passport control officers in detecting forged travel documents containing images of over 1,400 genuine and fake travel document samples from over 190 countries and is recognised as a global reference for testing the authenticity and validity of travel documents.

Abu Dhabi announces major road projects
By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS Published: July 08, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Major road projects, including the upgrade of the international highway and reconstruction of the Mafraq interchange, will have a huge impact on Abu Dhabi mainland, a senior official told Gulf News.

The projects will shift the focus from the city and will take development all over the emirate, in accordance with the 2030 plan of Abu Dhabi Government, said Abdullah Al Shamsi, Director of Roads and Infrastructure at Abu Dhabi Municipality, in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.

The projects will support all upcoming developmental activity on the mainland, especially in Al Gharbia (the Western Region) which will attract large numbers of people to settle there, he said.

The projects will transform Abu Dhabi into "Greater Abu Dhabi" as envisaged in Abu Dhabi government's 2030 plan.

Al Gharbia has a population of 120,000. Abu Dhabi government has earmarked Dh98 billion for infrastructure, tourism and economic development projects in the region.

Al Gharbia comprises seven main cities: Madinat Zayed, Mirfa, Liwa, Ghayathi, Sila, Ruwais and Dalma Island, and is close to the borders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

For detailed reading kindly bookmark and visit:

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: UAE Developments

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: Life in UAE

To create more interest to this thread and also to benefit from your casual visit/reading of this place, I will be adding one management tip each day. So, let us begin:

A good rule:

Improve meetings by creating and sharing this simple guideline: Everyone must respond out loud.

Reason: During discussions you can never be sure what attendees' silence means. It could indicate agreement - but it could also indicate disagreement, confusion, serious reservations or lack of interest. The only way you can know for sure is to ask all attendees to verbalize their reactions.

- Adapted from Who's Got the Ball? Maureen O'Brien, Jossey-Bass Publishers.

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

Daily news brief: Wednesdy, 9th July 2008

Dubai residents could soon cancel labour cards at residency department

Dubai: Labour Card cancellation could soon be done at the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) and at its offices in Dubai.

Those who need to cancel their labour cards can complete the procedure of cancellation at the DNRD without the need to visit the Ministry of Labour.

A team from DNRD and the Labour Ministry is studying the possibilities of implementing the new service.

Police call for compulsory fog lights
Matt Kwong for THE NATIONAL

ABU DHABI // Fog lights capable of penetrating dense early-morning haze should be mandatory for all vehicles to reduce the high accident rate, a new police report suggests.

“All cars in the UAE must have fog lights because we have this exceptional weather here,” said Yousif al Katheeri, a warrant officer who drafted the report. “Front fog lights should be in all cars, even Japanese ones. It doesn’t take much to install them and it could save so many lives and reduce so many accidents.”

Breast cancer in the UAE strikes girls as young as 17
Alison McMeans and Mitya Underwood for THE NATIONAL

ABU DHABI // Women are being diagnosed with breast cancer in their teens and 20s, in one case as young as 17, highlighting a need for greater awareness of the disease at an early age, say health professionals.

A leading expert has revealed that there are more cases of breast cancer among younger women in the UAE than in other parts of the world. Along with the 17-year-old, a woman of 19 was diagnosed with a disease more commonly associated with women in their 50s.

Late diagnosis often leaves women with little chance of a cure and doctors are calling for campaigns to alert schoolgirls and young women to the danger.

Women, afraid of the stigma still attached to breast cancer in Gulf states, often ignore warning signs and are reluctant to examine themselves. Younger women remain largely ignorant of the need to be aware of the disease from an early age. Dr Rawda al Mutawa, who was involved in the recent Break The Silence campaign, part of the Global Initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness, said: “Throughout the campaign and during the checks we performed on the younger women, many younger people were diagnosed with cancer who had no idea at all, including a 17-year-old.”

You may read all the above news in detail at:

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: Life in UAE

Management tip of the day:

Overcome Stress by acknowledging it. If you let it build up, you are likely to explode. Instead, explain to others that you are feeling too much pressure and ask them to help you see a way out of your current stressful situation.

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

Daily news brief: Thursday, 10th July 2008

New visa rules come into effect

By Adel Arafah (Staff reporter/KHALEEJ TIMES) 10 July 2008

ABU DHABI — Lieutenant-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, has issued a decision amending certain provisions of the law of entry and residence of foreigners.

According to the amendments, which came into effect on July 5, a new type of visa, multiple entry visa, would be issued which allows the bearer to enter the country several times during the six months from the date of issue. The bearer will be able to stay for a maximum of 14 days after each entry into the country.

The Department of Naturalisation and Residency and the embassies and consulates of the UAE in foreign countries will have the authority to issue visas to the foreigners for visiting their relatives or friends who have legitimate resident visas in the UAE.

There will be two types of visit visas, both non-renewable. The first type, long-term visit visa, allows the holders to stay in the UAE for 90 days. The second type, short-term visit visa, allows the holders to stay in the country for 30 days.

For entry permits to visit the UAE, the request should be submitted in the prescribed application forms of the Ministry of Interior along with the documents required for each case.

A) If the purpose of entering the country is visiting a relative or friend, residing in the country legally, the following requirements should be fulfilled:

1. The visitor should be a spouse or one of the immediate relatives of the sponsor. An exception could be made for the second-degree relatives to visit the sponsor on approval by the Undersecretary of Ministry of Interior or his representative;

2. The sponsor should be a UAE citizen in case the visitor is a friend of the person who submits the application; and

3. Proof of consanguinity, marriage or justification for the visit must be furnished and the sponsor must stand as guarantees.

B) If a woman wants to visit her husband who is a citizen of GCC countries but living in the UAE, she must have a valid residence visa in the country of her husband.

In all circumstances, the beneficiary should have a health insurance cover and pay Dh1,000 as a financial guarantee that would be refunded upon departure.

The visit visa holder will be allowed to enter the UAE once within two months from the date of issue.

Visitors may be allowed into the country for studies and the holder of this type of visa will be allowed to enter the UAE once during the two months from the date of issue and they could stay for 60 days and may be extended for the same term twice.

One of the universities or institutes or educational or research institutions licensed in the UAE should provide the guarantee for the study visa. The beneficiary should have health insurance cover and deposit Dh1,000 as guarantee that would be refunded upon departure.

Visit visas may be issued for medical treatment. The holder of such a permit may enter the country once, within two months from the date of issue. The person could stay in the country for 90 days from the date of entry. Such permit may be extended only once for the same period. A hospital must sponsor the patient and a medical report must be furnished along with the refundable deposit of Dh1,000.

Visas for attending an exhibition, festival or conference will be only for a single entry within two months from the date of issue. The person could stay in the country for up to 30 days from the date of entry. This visa cannot be extended. The occurrence and timing of the event must be certified in a letter issued by an official department. A refundable deposit of Dh1,000 must be paid.

The holder of a tourist visa may enter the country once within two months from the date of issue. The person could stay for a maximum of 30 days in the country from the date of entry. Such visas could be extended once for the same period. The sponsor of the visitor must be the tourist agency or institution. A deposit of Dh75,000 must be paid when applying for an institution card.

A refundable deposit of Dh1,000 shall be paid for such a visa for people of certain nationalities to be specified by the decision from the Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry. The application should be submitted to the department concerned a week before arrival and the number of people for whom the visa is sought must not be more than 10. The itinerary should be attached with the application. An exception to the number of members of the group may be given by the Undersecretary of the Interior Ministry. The persons must have health insurance cover.

The UAE ambassadors and consuls abroad are also authorised to issue entry visas for public figures, dignitaries and alike. The condition of sponsor may even be dropped in such cases.

The beneficiaries, as per the bylaw, must, in all cases, have medical insurance.

Management tip of the day

Listen more, not less, to people who annoy you. When you tire of listening to a known complainer, don't start to ignore the person. Instead, ask for more information, detail, clarification or explanation. Often you will come to understand that person's perspective and situation.

A humble request:

Dear friends, I have been updating this thread regularly and am sure some of you are visiting it and reading it regularly. I would like to get responses from you whether it is proving to be useful or not. Objective from my side is to:

- provide information updates on visa/labour/immigration rules which are published in newspapers in UAE
- regular update means you or me never miss any important information if by chance you are not able to catch up with the daily news.
- provide a source of information for members from outside UAE to know what are the developments happening here.

Thanks to know your mind.


Ramesh Menon

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi

I came to know from the UAE official website that for obtaining the visit visa the sponsorer has to deposit an amount of 2000 dhs. with effect from july 01, 2008.
But during June 2008 I read from gulf news that the deposit amount will come in to force only w.e.f. august 01, 2008.
please clarify

From India

Daily news brief: Sunday, 13th July 2008

Unserviceable debt drives more people to suicide

By Sunita Menon, Staff Reporter Published: July 11, 2008, 00:50

Dubai: Rising debt has led to a rising number of suicides among Indian expatriates, according to an Indian Welfare Trust.

According to the trust the main cause for suicide is because people are unable to pay off their debt.

Suicides among Indian expatriates have been on the rise since 2003, said K.V. Shamsudheen, chairman of the Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust.

The trust has an ongoing initiative “Sandwanam” (Consolation) that aims to reduce suicides among expatriate Indians. He said debt has trapped many low and middle income Indian expatriates in the UAE. A good number of Indian expatriates could not even pay interest to the lenders. Main sources of credit are bank loans, credit cards and individual illegal lenders.

Interest rate

“The interest rate varies and depends on the source of the loan. While banks are charging up to 8 per cent for loans, on credit cards interest can be up to 30 per cent and individual lenders charge from 72 per cent to 120 per cent. The spending habits of expatriates and their dependents play a very important role in getting people into debt.

“Once a person becomes a non-resident Indian, the family back home will start spending lavishly without considering the financial situation of the breadwinner,” said Shamshudeen.

He said in expressing their love and affection for their families, Indian expatriates who fall in the middle income group try to meet all the financial needs of the family back home, sacrificing even basic necessities and taking out loans without regard for the consequences.

“If there is any possibility to get a loan from a bank that will be their first option. When they cannot pay back the bank loan they apply for credit cards and take loans from the credit cards. When both become overburdened they will take loans from individual lenders with exorbitant interest rates,” said Shamsudheen.

“In some cases the minimum payment on the credit cards is more than their monthly salary. Such cases are increasing day by day,” he added.

Shamsudheen has been spreading awareness on financial planning and frugality, cautioning people not to fall into the debt trap. “I have conducted 150 training sessions for more than 40,000 people all over the Gulf. The Government of India should also take the initiative to educate the dependents of expatriates to spend within the limit of their earnings, after saving for the future,” he said.

AD Municipality, MoL to implement new safety standards

By Ahmed Abdul Aziz (Staff reporter / KHALEEJ TIMES) 13 July 2008

ABU DHABI - The Abu Dhabi Municipality recently organised a one-day workshop on the occupational health and safety standards for representatives of more than 30 contracting companies in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, according to a senior official at the municipality.

'The workshop aimed at completing a survey on the work sites to ensure implementing the safety measures to save the workers' lives and protect their health,' said Ibrahim H. Baqer, Director of Safety and Quality Department at the municipality.

Baqer told Khaleej Times that the Head of Occupational Safety and Health at the Ministry of Labour (MoL) and directors from 31 leading construction and contracting companies in the emirate attended the workshop.

As usual for detailed reading, please visit:

Team 1 Dubai : Your e-Home for TQM & Positive Thinking: Life in UAE

Management tip of the day:

When someone asks you to make changes to a draft document, use a different color font to highlight those changes. That way, the person can easily scan the document and approve your corrections.

Have a great day,

Ramesh Menon

From United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi
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