31 May, 2008
Here's the Forbes magazine list of the 20 "Hottest Young Royals"
1. Prince William
2. Prince Harry
3. Zara Phillips
4. Princess Beatrice
5. Charlotte Casiraghi (Monaco)
6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (Crown Prince of Dubai)
7. Princess Victoria of Sweden
8. Prince Azim of Brunei
9. Prince Carl Philip of Sweden
10. Andrea Casiraghi (Monaco)
11. Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis (Germany)
12. Princess Madeline of Sweden
13. Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark
14. Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein
15. Princess Tsuguko of Takamado (Japan)
16. Princess Sirivannavari (Thailand)
17. Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (daughter of the ruler of Dubai)
18. Princess Iman bint Al Hussein (Jordan)
19. Prince Philippos (Greece)
20. Princess Sikhanyiso (daughter of King Mswati III of Swaziland)
(Will delete post soon)
That's a 400% increase, though technically it's an 800% increase! How's this going to help businesses, tourism or common folk - or perhaps, am missing something?
More here & here
27 May, 2008
"Dubai: New Salik toll gates will be installed at Al Maktoum Bridge and between the first and second interchange on Shaikh Zayed Road, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Tuesday.
“The two new toll gates will be activated from September 9 as part of the second phase of Salik system,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA."
26 May, 2008
What is the UAE Googling for? Just about 6 months ago, Google Zeitgeist listed UAE as one of 42 countries to record its most 15 popular Google search keywords. The following are the results (from November 2007 to April 2008):
|Rank||Nov 07||Dec 07||Jan 08||Feb 08||Mar 08||Apr 08|
|Emirates united Club||سيارات|
|standard chartered||honda uae||مصرف ابوظبي الاسلامي Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank|
|Arabic Dance||reliance||dodge charger||تلفزيون دبي|
|compass||krishna||المحقق كونان detective Conan|
|4||honda civic||Xmas messages||philippine star||guns||Proxy sites||philippine star|
(star academy TV show) ستار اكاديمي
|6||cheap flights||watch movies||icons||عجائب الدنيا|
| اغاني شعبيه Local Songs|
|7||dubai holding||Italy||intel||صور للبنات|
|philippine news||الأم Mother|
|8||NEWSالأخبار||Dubai immigration||ndianmasala||قوس قزح|
|NASA||صور صدام حسين Sadam Hussein photos|
(H = the letter H)
|white and black german shepard||cartoon network games||airlines|
|UAE fourm for stock exchange||kerala chat||nokia n96||gulf news classifieds||gym|
|11||christmas cards||Nissan Patrol||air blue||cyprus||emirates driving institute||صور فراشات Butterflies photos|
(Jawad Al Ali)
|download yahoo messenger||sandra bullock||cinestar cinemas|
|13||puppies||Hazza Bin Sultan||nikon|
|make up games|
|14||خلفيات حلوه Screen savers||King Chat|
|nissan patrol 2009||dubai world cup 2008||تعلم من أجل الامارات Learn for Emirates|
|15||job in dubai||nokia e90|
|Angelina Jolie||مصرف ابوظبي الاسلامي Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank|
- Nov 07 (#1): National Bonds .... All of a sudden people want to know more about them, why?
- Nov 07 (#6, #11, #13): Cheap Flights. Christmas cards, puppies .... Getting ready for Christmas vacation and preparing gifts, huh?
- Dec 07: No Arabic keywords listed .... Where were the Arabs at this time?
- Jan 08 (#5): Bed .... After Eid & Christmas, people are looking for beds ...
- Jan 08 (#15): Iraqi Flag .... Why? Something changed about the Iraqi flag?
- Feb 08 (#7): Girls photos .... Naughty!
- Mar 08 (#4): Proxy Sites .... I can understand that.
- Nov 07 & Mar 08 (#13 both): Puppies, dogs photos .... We have more dogs in UAE more than ever.
- Apr 08 (#1, #15): Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank .... Suddenly more popular ... Go ADIB!
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (April 2008)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (March 2008)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (February 2008)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (January 2008)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (December 2007)
Google Zeitgeist This Month for UAE (November 2007)
I call the current punishment and prosecution law when it deals with such issues as "chewable" because everyone can interpret it on his own way. Article 361says: Anyone who violate public decency and anyone who seduce others for debauchery privately should be punished by either jail for no more than 6 months and a fine of no more than 5000 AED or both.A legislation on its own should be initiated to define what is consistent and inconsistent with the UAE culture to give a clear message about what is accepted and what is not. Every resident and citizen of this country would be accountable to what they do. The government then should have the total responsiblity and authority to fine, arrest and deport anyone who violate this law.
Women Get Jail and Deportation for Kissing on Dubai Public Beach
Dubai: Two women who were standing trial for kissing and cuddling on a public beach have been sentenced to one a month prison term followed by deportation.
The Public Prosecution charged the girls with kissing, groping each other and indecently gesturing in public.
Transvestites Caught in Public will be Arrested, Says Dubai Police Cheif
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim said transvestites have been seen of late in public places, including shopping malls. This does not adhere to UAE society's traditions and social values.
"Dubai Police have made up their mind to tackle this problem strictly. Any man who dresses up and behaves like a woman in public or vice versa will be legally questioned and legal action will be taken against him," Dahi said.
25 May, 2008
So greetings to the only UAE national on the interpol list.
24 May, 2008
It would be interesting to see what the Ecological Footprint data findings are for UAE. According to a Gulf News story published a couple of years ago, UAE has one of the largest ecological footprints – 9.9 hectares per person.
I've been getting this error:
Can any users in the UAE please try and load this image and indicate in the comments whether or not it is working; thanks.
EDIT: problem fixed
23 May, 2008
Fujairah wadis choking on waste
Sandra Knuteson, the assistant professor of environmental science at the American University of Sharjah, collected and measured rubbish – including plastic bottles, glass, aluminium cans, paper, food wrapping and nappies – discarded at two popular wadis in Fujairah and Hatta.
The scientist started her project in December, when she decided to estimate the impact of the National Day weekend on Hatta Pools. She cleaned up an area 300 metres long and 100 metres wide around the wadi a week before the long weekend, removing 183kg of rubbish from the site.
However, the following Monday, another 81kg of waste had appeared. Two-thirds of the rubbish was plastic and broken glass. The rest was aluminium cans, crisp wrappers, toys, nappies, styrofoam containers, cigarette butts, food and paper.
A similar method was used at Wadi Wuraya, a picturesque waterfall in the mountains of Fujairah. The project was carried out with volunteers from HSBC and the Emirates Wildlife Society – World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), which is working with the Fujairah Government to have the wadi declared a protected area.
On March 8, the volunteers removed 115.9kg of rubbish from a 0.05 square kilometre area. Two weeks later, 42kg was collected. Ms Knuteson believed the amount could have been substantially larger if a municipality clean-up had not been carried out during the two weeks.
Glass made up 47 per cent of the litter and some of the bottles were broken, putting the public’s safety at risk. There were also plastic, soft drink cans, cigarette lighters and batteries.
“The batteries are a danger to water quality,” said Ms Knuteson, adding that the acids contained in them can leak into the soil, reaching groundwater supplies.
Apart from being unsightly, litter is a threat to the well-being of animals.
22 May, 2008
Below is an image from Gulf News from an article entitled “Family evicted from Satwa home now lives in tent”
An interesting and indepth coverage of business owners’ and tenants’ viewpoints on the imminent demolition of their premises and homes can be found in an article in this week’s Time Out Dubai edition. It also features a snippet from the post of alexander, a prominent UAE blogger and journalist.
Some are planning to move to their countries of origin after some 30 years in the UAE; others anticipate moving to Al Barsha, according to the article.
Some of Satwa’s highlights include Ravi Restaurant; the vast array of tailors; the infamous shawarmas and fast food…and a whole load more: you name ‘em.
Savour the delights while you can.
Almost always, Dubai is interpreted, presented and discussed as an exception.
But what if we look at Dubai as a "normal" city – young and maturing – a city like any other, with potentials, problems and dilemmas … a city inventing itself on the run in a ruthless age of city marketing?
Beyond the tourism Babel on which its current fame is based, Dubai is turning into a vast mosaic of (sub)cultures – a unique urban assembly of the locals, the expats, the part-time, the traders, the workers, the rich, the poor, the serious, the frivolous.
Dubai will never be pure.
It is not a utopia.
Rather the city is an intelligent orchestration of needs and opportunities that have triggered a genuine Dubai culture. The result suggests a prototype of efficient globalized coexistence, a theater where the world's current connections and contradictions are played out. When many more established "civilizations" are stuck in more confrontational modes, perhaps Dubai is discovering, after all, the unexpected plausibility of a truly global culture.
- Rem Koolhaas, curator
In February 2007, the Dubai government announced a new phase in the city's evolution. A strategic plan code named Vision 2015, drafted by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, declared that, after decades spent assembling one of the most productive economies on earth, the time had come to shift priority from promoting growth to bringing Dubai's economy and society into balance. Having already overseen the generation of a metropolis, Vision 2015 announced the government's move from hardware to software - from buildings, roads and ports to regulations, legal frameworks and, significantly, culture. In the local media, the plan was presented as a new stage of Dubai's development, a mega-project in line with the construction of the city's infrastructure, but aimed at its people.
In the months following Vision 2015's unveiling, a new cultural agenda formed. It is articulated in the language of rational exuberance that has defined Dubai's development so far, and contains a program of investment that would be unimaginable almost anywhere else. A series of ambitious projects - including transforming a 27 kilometer-long stretch of the city into a culture and arts district - is already underway, steered by a newly created government body, the Dubai Arts & Culture Authority. With each new launch and release, the big picture becomes clearer: having already established itself as a center for trade and tourism, in the next decade Dubai will become a center of culture - a city that, in the words of its planners, "shapes 21st century culture and arts in the region and the world." It is an admirable ambition, one that raises an immediate question: What does "culture" mean in a city like Dubai?
To begin to address the issue, the Arts & Culture Authority has organized Dubai Next, the first exhibition sponsored by the government for an international audience. Two curators - Rem Koolhaas, the Dutch architect and writer, and Jack Persekian, Artistic Director of the Sharjah Biennale - were invited to provide alternate views of the city. Koolhaas represents the view of Dubai from the outside-in, overseeing a photographic documentation of the dense cultural tapestry formed by the more than 200 nationalities that call Dubai home. Persekian presents another perspective: by accumulating works by five artists based in Dubai, in combination with a selection of local films curated by Bidoun, he provides a glimpse into the experience of Dubai's indigenous population, a community of under 200,000 that oversees the city's development but accounts for less than twenty percent of its residents. In the span of a few decades, they have witnessed changes that formerly required a century and, for many, Dubai is now no more familiar than it is for the city's newest arrivals.
Finding a balance between tradition, a continually evolving local culture, and Dubai's majority of assorted expats is a challenge for which there are no good precedents. In establishing itself a global epicenter of culture, Dubai must find ways to represent itself without sacrificing the intricacy that distinguishes it in the Gulf region and beyond. It is an effort that is ongoing and will play out in the dozens of cultural institutions that the city is now planning. Dubai Next opens the discussion, and announces the start of a new chapter in Dubai life.
- Brendan McGetrick, editor
(in 5 lines or less please)
(this is for creative work purposes - for privacy: please respond via email)
21 May, 2008
Here's a series pilot by Phat Mo I found on YouTube... there are many in the series which he calls 'half sketch, half reality".
Just like Freej shows life in Dubai via animation, this stuff is a light-hearted look at the things we condemn...
There are other videos on the Phat Mo Show YouTube Page... but this is the one that made most sense to me. Does it ring a bell for other people too? The part about condemnation.... ?
20 May, 2008
The Dubai RTA's Director of Planning & Business Development Department is quoted as saying:
"Now people can drive their friends and colleagues to and from their homes and workplaces without fear of getting fines if they get approval from the RTA."
It should never have been a problem, never have been banned, but it looks as though we're getting somewhere in the battle with traffic congestion. Until you read the "but" part of the reports.
To car pool:
The motorist must register the car with the RTA.
Motorists will be given certificates allowing them to share their cars.
The names of the persons sharing the car should be furnished at the time of registration to avoid a fine.
A maximum of four people will be allowed to share a car.
And look at this for the worst Big Brother part:
After they have entered their personal details and information on their vehicles, the authority will conduct background checks on colleagues wishing to carpool before issuing a letter of approval.
They're checking your background before you can sit in someone's car?!!
I can hardly believe these can be true reports.
All over the world people share cars. RTA equivalents and governments encourage and support it. Many cities have special lanes for them, to speed their journey. Singapore has various meeting places where a driver going into the city centre can pick up passengers.
If people want to give others a lift, and to share petrol costs if they choose, that is A Good Thing. And it should also be a personal choice, encouraged by the authorities to reduce traffic congestion, reduce the need for parking space, reduce pollution.
This is a real can of worms. Just a few of the questions:
The car must be registered with the RTA.
So if the car's in for service or repair, the owner can't use his hire car to drive his registered passengers around?
The names of those sharing the car must be pre-registered.
So when one of them leaves the company, his name has to be de-registered and any new passenger registered?
What if your company has an overseas visitor and asks you to drive him to the office - and around town come to that. Do you have to pre-register him as an approved passenger?
A maximum of four people will be allowed to share a car.
So if you have a vehicle suitable for carrying more, like a big 4x4 or a people mover, you can't fill it?
People can drive their friends and colleagues to and from their homes and workplaces.
What about other journeys? A group of friends going to dinner decide that one will drive them all. A friend or colleague is going to the airport and you offer to take him there. Illegal?
And in general, there are the less structured instances of people sharing cars.
What if a neighbour's car won't start and you offer to drive him to his office? Illegal?
A colleague's car is off the road so you offer him a lift until he has it back. Illegal?
You and a colleague are going to business meetings in the same area, so you offer to drop him off. Illegal?
And then there's the enforcement of it all. What's the plan, to stop all cars with more than one person in it? Check who they are, where they're going, if they have a car pooling certificate, if the passengers are registered?
And who will do it, the police? Don't they have enough real work to do?
Time for a petition I think.
The stories I've read are in Gulf News and The National.
11 May, 2008
/"Oral divorce could give way to courts" /
10 May, 2008
At the moment the design is looking quite stale and isn't up to date with regards to video on the internet, and web 2.0 etc, I would like to make this blog into a more modern website.
The list on blogrolling is also difficult to manage, and due to the fact we have something like 200 links on this page showing at once, we must constantly rid the list of outdated links.
Unforunately, the current design would disappear because it is impossible to move it onto draft.blogger.com, and 3-column designs are impossible using the newer blogger designs; this could make space quite cramped.
I've made a small example of what this blog could easily look like (http://testuae.blogspot.com/; the list on the right titled "My blog list" is what could be done with the blogrolls. It is possible to list the 25 most recently updated blogs using this list, among other things this would...
- decrease loading times
- attract more attention to bloggers who regularly update (as opposed to listing a few hundred blogs)
- actually provide users with an accurate method to determine which blogs have been updated, blogrolling is notoriously inaccurate at reading when the blog has last been updated
Using the newer blogger platform we can also create image/video streams (this would enable sharing of photographs/video taken by people who post them to appropriate channels/lists).
Please share your opinions/ideas about this in the commenting section.
07 May, 2008
The NCMS used planes to sprinkle cloud seeding salts in the moist clouds heading towards Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain. The monitoring stations already registered light to medium rainfalls in different areas of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The Centre is planning to repeat the tests tomorrow. WAM
The UAE will be ready to introduce a system of value added tax (VAT) by the end of the year.
Abdul Rahman al Saleh, the executive director of Dubai Customs, said the “infrastructure” for an Emirates-wide taxation system would be put in place between October and December.
Dubai Customs was commissioned by the Government two years ago to look into a potential VAT and is finalising the strategy. If implemented, it would be the first time VAT, which is applied to the sale of goods and services and not income, has been imposed in a GCC nation.
However, a government source said although the mechanics would be in place, it was “very unlikely” that VAT would be introduced this year because Federal approval and GCC co-operation, on several related issues, would be required.
VAT would be introduced to replace customs duties, which the UAE must phase out as part of the free trade agreements (FTAs) it is signing with a number of major trading partners, Mr Saleh said.
The government source, who declined to be identified, said a GCC-wide agreement on these FTAs is still some way off.
Mr Saleh told a seminar at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai that VAT was likely to be set at a flat rate of between three and five per cent. It would be applied to all goods and services.
04 May, 2008
Full details http://freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=362
Just to go out my cave (lol @ i*maginate), I posted this topic in the most famous Emirati Financial Forum with an average of 3000 visitors at any given time. Btw, it has been locked and deleted there. Fortunately I saved it before that. It is in Arabic if anyone is interested, source1, source2 . I'll leave you with the most interesting comments, positive or negative !!
- There is no strength nor power except Allah
- There are guys with Kanduras who steal, commit adultery, flirt .... and no one told them anything. "If it was bald, let it herd"
- May God bless us from these things
- Maybe he wants someone to sponsor him in 2040? He has a vision don't you think?
- We ask God for forgiveness, "if you are shameless, do whatever u want"
- May God guide him.
- It is true that there are Emiratis who steal and commit adultery but they cover themselves, unlike this man.
- Real men are died.
I guess am not the only one who is living in a cave. The ones who have no idea why there are such responses need to go out their caves too. Is he one of ur local friends Rosh? :P
02 May, 2008
"In a statement to media Google acknowledged that the problem appeared to be a caching error at the ISP, although it declined to name Etisalat as the affected ISP. Etisalat has still not commented on the issue at the time of writing.
The statement from Google reads: "We have had reports of this problem in the UAE and believe it was due to caching being done by a local ISP. We take our users' security very seriously and have made necessary changes to resolve this issue. It should now be fixed, but if users see any more instances, we'd like for them to contact the YouTube support team at http://www.google.com/support/youtube."
more links on the youtube problem:
some screnshots of the problem in action from blog.shijaz.com
In other proxy news...
Internet access provided by du has become significantly slower since the telecommunications company decided to block websites deemed culturally incompatible, members of the business community say."
"The vehicle, which is capable of carrying a passenger and driver, is said to be capable of a maximum speed of 70kph – as long as the horse is galloping and the road is long and straight.
While acknowledging that horse-drawn vehicles are hardly a new concept, Mr Mirhejazi notes that his invention is similarly easy on the environment. The horse produces the obvious emissions, he says, but the vehicle uses no petrol. Mostly, though, he is motivated by the advertising potential of the Naturmobil, which he believes could eventually earn him a fortune.
“Imagine you see this in the street, a horse-powered car,” Mr Mirhejazi said. “Can you turn your head away? No! Will you remember this image? Yes! If you put advertisements on the outside of the car imagine how effective that will be.”
The horse – which Mr Mirhejazi promises is never uncomfortable – stands on a treadmill inside the vehicle linked to a gearbox that is controlled by the driver.
The animal is provided with food and water and is also hooked up to a machine that monitors body temperature. If the horse is tired or overheating, an electric motor automatically takes over."
Does anyone else think the horse might be a tiny bit uncomfortable? or perhaps in imminent danger should the vehicle need to brake quickly?
01 May, 2008
"Ajman: Residents will need a liquor licence to buy alcohol in the emirate from now on, Gulf News has learnt.
Previously anyone could buy any amount of alcohol in Ajman but soon only non-Muslim Ajman residents over 21 years with a liquor licence will be able to do so.
Liquor licences will be issued to residents with a valid residence visa from the police department.
Sources told Gulf News the authorities aim to regulate the sale of alcohol.
"People must be non-Muslims, aged over 21 years and must show their liquor licence to buy alcohol," a source said."