Nov 29, 2016

New Guinness World Record set by GEMS Education students as UAE National Day tribute

To celebrate the 45th UAE National Day, 2,223 students from GEMS Education schools in the UAE, gathered to form the ‘World’s Largest Transforming Human Image’ and set another Guinness World Records title in the process.
With a majority of students coming from Our Own English High School, Sharjah Girls, all the students were dressed in the colours of the UAE flag, and they created an image of an open hand and then transformed into the iconic three-fingered salute introduced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
The three-finger salute created by the Dubai Ruler in February 2013 during the Government Summit in Dubai, symbolising ‘Win’, ‘Victory’ and ‘Love’, is an innovative trademark to inspire youth in work, ethics, success and love of the nation.
The record was validated by Guinness World Records officials at the GEMS Modern Academy sports grounds.

Dino Varkey, Managing Director and Board Member, GEMS Education, said: The UAE has transformed itself over the last 45 years into a dynamic modern nation that is admired by the rest of the world for its ability to evolve and change with the times.
By creating the ‘World’s Largest Transforming Human Image’ we wanted to pay tribute to the rulers of the UAE for their visionary leadership which served as a catalyst for the growth GEMS Education in this land.
“We want to thank our parents, teachers, students and the government authorities for their support and enthusiasm in creating such a memorable occasion.”
This is the third world record attempted by students of GEMS Education and the second record that they have created as a category.
Previously in 2015, GEMS students paid tribute to the UAE for National Day by creating the record for the world’s largest human sentence. In 2014, students of 119 nationalities from GEMS Education sang the UAE national anthem at one time, creating a new world record.

Dubai breaks another 'Guinness' World record

The crowning achievement to an already great week witnessed Dubai breaking the Guinness World Record under the guidance of The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai and The Good Move initiative, part of Dubai Plan 2021 launched earlier this year in partnership with Emirates and Meraas promoting health and fitness to all members of the community; the event was in partnership with TechnoGym and UAE Cycling Federation and for the most mechanical energy produced in one hour, generating 8.999 watts.
‘Pedal to Guinness World Record’, saw 300 participants cycling for one hour on 100 stationary bicycles while results and updates were reflected on the tallest building in the world ‘Burj Khalifa’.
This thrilling, event was open for participation to all members of the community, Saturday November 26, 2016 at The Innovation Hub in Burj Park Downtown Dubai on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard.
he previous record for the most mechanical energy produced in one hour by pedaling on static bicycles is 8,369.8 watt within an hour, at Stoke Park in the United Kingdom.

ENOC open modern service station at Dubai Academic City

To fulfil the demand for a gas station in the Dubai International Academic City area, ENOC opened a new service station designed to provide customers with optimal fuelling time and the most modern facilities to date.
The opening marks the launch of ENOC’s service station expansion programme aimed at building 54 service stations over the next four years to deliver on the Group’s strategic direction to expand its operations and invest in the infrastructure required to facilitate the nation’s growth and its growing energy needs.
Commenting on this occasion, His Excellency Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO of ENOC, said: “Our service station expansion programme is part of ENOC’s wider growth strategy over the next few years to cater to the growing demand of our valued customers. We continue to innovate in implementing new technologies to promote sustainability, enhance customer experience and ensure the highest standards of health and safety.
“Earlier this year we announced our retail expansion plan that falls with ENOC’s long-term strategic objectives which are aligned with the Dubai Plan 2021 of creating a ‘Smart & Sustainable City’ for ‘Happy, Creative & Empowered People’. With the opening of the Academic City service station we are delivering on that promise and supporting the city in its preparations for major events such as Expo 2020.”
The new station offers ENOC’s customers several unique services which ease their refuelling experience.
The entrance and exit to the station were designed to implement the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) guidelines for safe manoeuvring of vehicles and to reduce traffic on the exit road, thus easing congestion within the station.
New pump dispensers contain a fuel system designed to have maximum flow rate as per National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) safety standards which is an international standard for safety as fuel stations.
To factor in the waiting time inside the service station, dispensers are built with retractable hoses to enable refuelling cars from both sides to reduce waiting period.
A double wall fuel piping with automatic fuel leakage detection and secondary containment also safeguards any environmental contamination.
“The site is built to best global practices in the retail fuel industry with full retail automation and modern construction standards. We have adhered to the new Dubai Municipality compliance for Green Build regulations and invested in a number of solutions to enhance energy efficiency and resource management. The Academic City service station is a model of a sophisticated service station that makes our customers’ lives easier and minimises environmental impact,” added Al Falasi.
Various energy conservation and green initiatives have been implemented with the innovative Vapor Recovery System (VRS) which prevents fugitive emissions during refuelling vehicle.
The VRS technology also works when ENOC tankers are filling in the underground tanks in order to maximise recovery of emissions at the station.
Other energy-saving include full LED lights installed at the site reducing energy consumption by 50% compared to conventional stations. 
The station also uses the VRF technology for the air conditioning (AC) system which saves 35% compared to conventional package AC system.
On the retail front, a modern touchless automatic carwash and water recycling system, which uses recycled water for 80% of water consumption, enables faster and efficient methods for vehicle cleaning services.
Other retail facilities at the station include ZOOM convenience store with Pronto, Autopro, Papa Murphys Pizza, Popeyes Chicken and McDonald’s, offering ENOC’s customers a variety of selections.

How much UAE visa will cost after increase

Abu Dhabi: Effective on Friday, the employment visa for a worker sponsored by governmental bodies will cost Dh200 per year, while the visa charge for workers employed by the private sector or free zones will be Dh250 per year.
A new visa fee structure signed by Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, states that the residence visa for an investor or partner will cost Dh250 per year.
The residence visa for a family member of a worker employed by governmental bodies will cost Dh200 per year, while the charge for workers employed by private businesses and free zones as well as investors and partners of businesses will be Dh250.
Renewal of the residence visa will cost Dh200 per year for a family member of a worker employed by governmental bodies, private sector or free zones, while the renewal charge for investors and partners will be Dh250 per year.
The entry permit or its renewal for domestic workers sponsored by Emiratis or citizens of GCC countries will cost Dh150 per year, while the charge for workers sponsored by foreigners will be Dh200. The visa for a domestic helper sponsored by an investor or a partner will cost Dh250.
The new measures will include the issuing of a new array of entry permits and visas, such as multiple entry permits for visit or work; the activation of study visas, and entry permits for medical care and attending conferences.
A multiple tourist entry permit will cost Dh200, while multiple entry visa for work will cost Dh2,100.
A visit visa for residents in GCC countries will cost Dh200, while its renewal will cost Dh700.
An entry permit for study or training will cost Dh550, while its renewal will cost Dh600.
An entry permit for medical treatment will cost Dh550, while a multiple entry visa for treatment will cost Dh1,400. The same fees will be applicable to patients’ companions.
The renewal of a visa for treatment will cost Dh500, while the charge for the companions will be Dh600.
The transit visa issued to travellers transiting through UAE airports for 96 hours and sponsored by an airline operating in the country, will cost Dh100.
A Dh5,000 refundable deposit will be collected for cancelling a sponsor’s residence visa without cancelling the visas of the sponsored family members, according to the decision signed by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The deposit will be refunded once the sponsor adjusts their status.
A Dh3,000 refundable deposit will be collected for sponsorship of each family member for a female investor, while a Dh5,000 refundable deposit will be collected for humanitarian cases determined by the Minister of the Interior.
The new Cabinet decision sets up a fund for the deportation of violators of the residency rules. Resources for the fund will come from deposits encashed after applicants fail to honour their obligations under the law.
A Dh100 fine will be imposed on users of residency department portals who fail to fill in applications accurately, according to the new rules.
Individual applicants who fail to honour any declaration or affidavit will be fined Dh500, while in the case of a corporate applicant the fine will be Dh2,000.
Companies that fail to adjust the legal status of their sponsored workers on time will be fined Dh1,000 for each worker, while failure to report any change in the company’s details to the ministry will cost Dh1,000.
A Dh5,000 fine will be imposed on those who misuse the residency system or submit bogus reports to the residency departments across the country.
Repeat offenders within a year will have their fines doubled, not exceeding Dh50,000.

Quick list: Types of visas and fees
Employment Visa (Government): Dh200
Employment Visa (Private Sector, Free Zones, Investors): Dh250
Residence Visa (Government) Dh200
Residence Visa (Private Sector, Free Zones, Investors): Dh250
Employment Visa (Domestic workers sponsored by Emiratis, GCC citizens): Dh150
Employment Visa (Domestic workers sponsored by residents): Dh200
Employment Visa (Domestic workers sponsored by investors): Dh250
Residence Visa for real estate owners: Dh1,100
Multiple Entry Visa for work: Dh2,100
Visa for medical treatment: Dh550
Multiple Entry Visa for treatment: Dh1,400
Residence Visa for study or training: Dh550
Multiple Entry Visa for work or tourism: Dh1,500
Entry Visa for GCC State Resident’s Companions: 150
Renewal of GCC State Residents Companions’ Visa: 250
Entry Visa for GCC State Residents: Dh200
Renewal of GCC State Resident’s Visa:Dh700
Transit Entry Visa: 100

Visas on arrival in UAE for Chinese visitors

Dubai: Chinese visitors to the UAE will now be granted visas on arrival, the Cabinet announced on Sunday.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, has a burgeoning and increasingly prosperous middle class that is travelling abroad in numbers greater than ever before.
“We have approved a decision to grant visas on arrival at the country’s airports to visitors from the People's Republic of China,” said His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai.
“Our relations with China are strategic and a priority,” he added in remarks published on his official Twitter account.
Chinese tourists previously had to obtain visas before travelling to the UAE.
The UAE has invested billions of dollars over more than a decade to put itself on the map as a regional business and tourism hub.
Among the UAE’s seven emirates, Dubai is the most attractive for tourists.
More than 14.2 million people visited Dubai in 2015, but the target is 25 million by 2020 when the Gulf emirate hosts the global trade fair Expo 2020.
In February, officials said 450,000 Chinese visitors made the trip to Dubai in 2015, in a 29 per cent increase over the previous year.
Apart from citizens of its five Gulf neighbours, nationals of 47 countries - most of them Westerners - can obtain a visa on arrival to the UAE.

Emirates offers fares as low as Dh680 for National Day

Dubai: UAE residents planning to go on a holiday soon can make big savings on airfares with Emirates’ National Day promotion, which offers rates as low as Dh680.
The special fares apply to economy and business class flights to popular destinations in Europe, the United States, Far East and South Asia.
They can be purchased for trips between December 1, 2016 and June 15, 2017. The promotion, however, expires in 10 days. 
“On the occasion of National day, Emirates is offering travellers in the UAE excellent fares to some of its popular destinations,”the airline said in a statement on Monday.
For those booking economy class, return fares can go as low as Dh680 for passengers bound for Kuwait, Dh850 for Mumbai, Dh910 for Karachi and Dh1,520 for Istanbul.
Economy fares for Cebu/Clark/Manila, Bangkok and London start as low as Dh1,710, Dh1,790 and Dh2,150, respectively.
For those planning to visit Tokyo, fares can start from Dh3,020, while those bound for New York and Fort Lauderdale, rates are as low as Dh3,330. Special business class fares start from Dh2,490.

Top return fares from Dubai to:

Muscat: 700
Athens: Dh1,820
Singapore: Dh1,620
London:  Dh2,150
Cebu/Clark/Manila:  Dh1,710
New York: Dh3,330
Moscow:  Dh1,950
Karachi: 910
Chennai/Kochi: Dh920
Amman: 990
Melbourne: Dh3,890
Bangkok: Dh1,790
Kuwait: Dh680
Mumbai: Dh850
Kuala Lumpur: Dh1,480
Istanbul: Dh1,520
Boston: Dh3,830
Doha: Dh650
Delhi: Dh930
Nairobi: Dh1,160

Note: Fares expire in 10 days

Indian passport centres to double in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah

Abu Dhabi: The number of centres providing Indian passport and visa services in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will double from early next year, a top Indian diplomat told Gulf News on Monday.
The embassy will select two companies [instead of the existing one] that will open additional service centres in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, where a large number of passport and visa applications are handled on a daily basis, said Neeta Bhushan, Charge d’Affaires at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The number of services centres to be operated in these three emirates will be divided between two companies and customers can choose the one in accordance with their convenience, she said.
“We expect a healthy competition between two companies, which will improve the efficiency and quality of services,” Bhushan said.
The lone service centres in other emirates will continue except two in Kalba and Khorfakkan that will be closed due to low number of customers, she said. “There are only one or two customers in Kalba and Korfakkan on most of the days.”
A new centre in Musaffah in Abu Dhabi will cater to thousands of blue-collar workers living in the industrial area and Indians in the Western Region of the emirate.
As Gulf News reported on October 3, the embassy had extended the three-year term of BLS International Services Ltd, the outsourced agency currently handling the Indian passport and visa applications, until January 2017. The official said the embassy opened a tender on Monday to select the two companies and the last date for submission of proposals would be January 9, 2017. The details are available on
The new companies are expected to start their operations in February, Bhushan said.
She said the embassy decided to increase the number of service providers, considering the large number of Indians in the UAE. An estimated 2.6 million Indians are living in the UAE.
The two Indian diplomatic missions in the UAE issue around 300,000 passports a year, Bhushan said. The Indian Consulate General in Dubai that caters to Dubai and five other northern emirates issue 240,000 passports and the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi 60,000 passports a year.
Both the missions issue 74,000 Indian visas a year, Bhushan said.
Asked about any changes in services charges, the official said the companies would be selected based on the lowest bids offered by them and it would be looked into at that stage only.
Currently, BLS International is charging Dh9 as service charge for passport related transactions, apart from optional courier charges to deliver the passport. The applicants also pay Dh6 towards Indian community welfare fund set up by the embassy to help Indians in distress.
A committee constituted by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and headed by Bhushan is in charge of the bidding process to select the companies. A senior official of the Ministry, the Consul General of India in Dubai and other officials from the embassy and the consulate are members of the committee, which will select the new service providers on consensus, she said.

Revamp in passport, visa services

Existing number of centres to double in Abu Dhabi (from 1 to 2), Dubai (from 2 to 4) and Sharjah (from 1 to 2).

Two companies to offer services instead of the existing one (BLS international).

Customers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah can select the centre of their choice for service.

A new centre in Mussafah in Abu Dhabi will cater to thousands of blue-collar workers living in the industrial area.

Centres in Kalba and Khorfakkan will be closed due to low number of customers.

300,000 passports a year issued by Indian missions in the UAE.

240,000 passports a year issued by the Indian Consulate in Dubai.

60,000 passports a year issued by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

74,000 visas a year issued by the Indians missions in the UAE.

President Khalifa orders release of 1,102 prisoners on 45th UAE National Day

Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan ordered the release of 1,102 prisoners on the occasion of the 45th UAE National Day.
Shaikh Khalifa’s gesture aims to offer the released inmates a chance to start a new life and bring joy to their families.