Recognising art and creativity

April 10, 2012

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Dubai, April 10: The Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards, honoured 47 organisations and individuals for their contributions towards the city’s cultural scene at a prestigious event held on Sunday at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel, in the presence of members of the royal family.


In its third edition, the ceremony opened with a delightful musical performance titled ‘Music of Dubai’ by The Fridge, and an artistic sand drawing projected at the back of the theatre inspired by the heritage of the UAE.


The awards included four categories: Distinguished Patrons of the Arts, Patrons of the Arts, Supporters of the Arts, and Friends of the Arts. Their financial or in-kind contributions have reached over Dh165 million and shows an impressive 24 per cent increase from January to December 2011 compared to 2010.


Saeed Al Naboodah, Acting Director General, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: “Patronage for the Emirate’s cultural scene has grown rapidly over the last few years, underlining the impressive achievements recorded by Dubai in launching and hosting diverse cultural initiatives. The third cycle has seen increased support from government departments and organisations, in addition to a vast pool of new patrons, reinforcing interest in extending patronage to culture and the arts.”


“Today, Dubai has firmly positioned itself as a destination for culture and arts as a result of sustained support from the patrons, the unsung heroes, who highlight the artistic potential in the city. The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is privileged to honour these individuals and organisations who contribute to further consolidating the city’s status as the region’s cultural hub,” he added.


Forty-four per cent of those honoured in the third cycle are new patrons, with a 17.5 per cent overall increase in patrons, underscoring an increased interest among organisations and individuals in driving the arts sector. Fifteen per cent of the patrons comprised Government departments and organisations, a 75 per cent increase compared with the first cycle.


Visual arts accounted for 50 per cent, followed by a remarkable increase in patronage for film, which accounts for 42 per cent of total contributions. Performing arts and literature accounted for a four per cent of this year’s patronage, each.


The ‘Distinguished Patrons of the Arts’ honourees are: Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council; the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD); Jumeirah Group; Emirates Airline; Dr Farhad Farjam and Abraaj Capital.


Honourees of the ‘Patrons of the Arts’ are: Shaikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs; Shaikha Lateefa bint Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Dubai Police; Dubai Duty Free; Al Serkal Family; Barjeel Art Foundation; Mr. Ramin Salsali; AGMC – BMW; Dubai Pearl and Van Cleef & Arpels.


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News Network
September 28,2020

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Riyadh, Sept 28: Saleh Benten Muhammad, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Hajj and Umrah has announced that the Ministry of Health would take a decision on whether India and other countries will be allowed to send their pilgrims to perform Umrah.

The minister’s announcement follows an earlier statement by the Ministry of Interior saying that the Kingdom would allow foreign Umrah performers to enter the Kingdom in the third phase of the gradual resumption of the suspended Umrah service effective from Nov. 1.

In a television interview with Al-Ekhbariya channel, Benten said that there would be a special electronic path for the arrival and departure of foreign Hajj pilgrims for next year’s Hajj. Referring to the resumption of Umrah service for domestic pilgrims effective from Oct. 4, the minister said that only 12 groups of pilgrims would be allowed to perform Umrah within 24 hours in the first phase.

“The pilgrims will be divided into groups and each group will be accompanied by a health professional at the Haram. Only pilgrims with ages ranging between 18 and 65 years will be allowed in the first phase,” he said.

Benten revealed that there is no fee for issuance of Umrah permit. “No Umrah pilgrims will be allowed to enter the Grand Mosque in Makkah without completing the entry procedures through the mobile app “I’tamarana” and this is to ensure the health and safety of pilgrims,” he said, adding that alternative arrangement will be made if there is any technical snag for completing the procedures through the app.

Domestic pilgrims

Saudi citizens and expatriates as well as their families in the Kingdom are allowed to download the Umrah mobile application titled “I’tamarna,” effective from Sunday to register their names to perform Umrah pilgrimage as well as to visit and worship at the Two Holy Mosques.

The application is now available for users of iOS and Android operating systems on their smartphones seven days before the start of the first phase of the pilgrimage. The Ministry of Interior announced earlier the gradual resumption of Umrah and visits to the Two Holy Mosques with a limited number of pilgrims, starting from Oct. 4.

In the first phase, citizens and expatriates from within the Kingdom will be allowed to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30 percent from Oct. 4 that translates to 6,000 pilgrims per day and that is in compliance with the health precautionary measures of the Grand Mosque. The pilgrims will be allowed to perform the ritual in 12 groups, each consisting of 500 pilgrims in a day.

The registration of the data entered by the pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques will be directly related to the application “Tawakkalna,” the official app launched by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This step would consist of a number of procedures, including providing a guarantee that the pilgrim or visitor is free from coronavirus, the Ministry of Hajj said.

The app will enable the pilgrims and visitors to plan their pilgrimage and visit in advance, as well as to make reservation of optional services to perform their rituals in ease and comfort, in addition to ensuring the compliance of the health and precautionary measures and preventive protocols, approved by the Ministry of Health and other competent authorities, to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The Ministry of Hajj has developed the app in cooperation with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) to regulate the times of rituals of those wishing to visit Makkah and Madinah to perform Umrah and pray at the Two Holy Mosques.

Meanwhile, stores for Ihram clothing resumed business after a long interval of more than six months in Saudi Arabia prior to the partial resumption of the Umrah season from next Sunday. Ihram is one of the three pillars of Umrah, and it means entering the sacred state, during which certain things are prohibited. Men must wear two pieces of unstitched sheet of white cloth while women can wear their ordinary clothes.

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News Network
September 15,2020

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Dubai, Sept 15: A 47-year-old Indian man, who stayed in the UAE without any documents for over 13 years, has been repatriated home after getting a waiver of half a million Dirhams (Rs 1,00,21,000) in visa dues, according to a media report on Tuesday.

Pothugonda Medi, a migrant labourer from Telangana, approached the Indian Consulate in Dubai after he lost his job following the coronavirus outbreak, the Gulf News reported.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, he came to us as he could not find any odd jobs that he used to do earlier for his survival," Jithendra Negi, Consul, Labour and Consular, at the Indian Consulate, was quoted as saying by the paper.

Mr Pothugonda told the Indian mission that he had come to the Gulf on a visit visa in 2007, however his agent abandoned him soon after.

The agent had not returned Mr Medi's passport, the paper reported.

The mission found it difficult to assist Mr Medi as there were no documents to prove his citizenship.

The consulate sought the help of a charity group in Hyderabad to track down his family.

"With the support of social worker Sriniwas we managed to get the copies of his old ration card and election ID card from his native place. Some of the details that he gave were not matching, but still we could establish that he is an Indian," Mr Negi said.

After the consulate provided a free flight ticket to Mr Medi, the officials applied under the UAE government's visa expiration exemption scheme.

According to the scheme, expatriates whose visas have expired before March 1, 2020 can leave the country before November 17 without paying visa dues.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai has so far waived millions of dirhams in visa penalties.

The coronavirus has claimed the lives of 399 people with over 80,000 confirmed cases in the UAE so far.

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Agencies
September 27,2020

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Dubai, Sept 27: The Dubai-Sharjah intercity bus service, a major lifeline for commuters who travel between the emirates daily for work, has resumed.

Two of the routes started today, while the third will begin two weeks later.

"The first of the three routes, E303, starts from the Union Metro Station in Dubai and heads to Al Jubail Bus Station in Sharjah. The second route, E307A, starts from Abu Hail Metro Station in Dubai and heads to Al Jubail Bus Station in Sharjah as well. These two routes start operation on Sunday, September 27. The third route, E315, will start from Etisalat Metro Station in Dubai and head to Muwaileh Bus Station and will start after two weeks, Sharjah," said Adel Sharkri, Director of Planning and Business Development, Public Transport Agency, RTA.

"The three routes are vital for the integration of public transport networks between Dubai and Sharjah. These routes are transitional to riders returning to Sharjah starting their journey off three metro stations in Dubai (Union, Abu Hail and Etisalat). They will ease the mobility of commuters between the two Emirates, especially those living in Sharjah and working in Dubai," he added.

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