UAE announces new labour contract renewal rule

News Network
November 23,2019

Dubai, Nov 23: Domestic helps aged over 60 can now get their labour contracts renewed under certain conditions, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has announced. Spelling out the three conditions for this, Khalil Al Khouri, assistant undersecretary, MoHRE, said: "They should be medically fit, all charges need to be paid by the employer and all the entities concerned must approve the application."

The move is in response to the needs of employers and families who wish to keep their domestic helps after they turn 60, especially in cases where their ages do not affect performance.

Domestic helps include servants, sailors, shepherds, horse keepers, falconers, workers, housekeepers, cooks, nannies, farmers, gardeners; and private trainers, nurses, private, teachers and drivers.

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Hajj 2020: Officials outline health, security measures

Agencies
July 16,2020

Riyadh, Jul 16: Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, minister of interior and chairman of the Hajj Supreme Committee, chaired a virtual meeting on Wednesday with the heads of  security agencies and officials in charge of this year’s Hajj season.

During the meeting, the minister and security officials discussed organizational issues related to Hajj, including preventive and precautionary steps related to fighting the coronavirus disease, procedures related to pilgrims commuting to the holy sites, and mechanisms to facilitate performing the Hajj rituals.

Prince Abdul Aziz confirmed abiding by the directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to take all precautions to preserve the safety of the pilgrims, and facilitate their performance of their Hajj rituals, according to the highest health standards to contain the new coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia has decided to allow only a limited number of domestic pilgrims to perform Hajj this year in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Only those expatriates between the ages of 20 and 50 who are not suffering from any chronic diseases can apply for the pilgrimage.

Earlier, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that requests from people of 160 nationalities in the Kingdom have been screened electronically to select who will perform Hajj this year.

Of the pilgrims who will receive approval, 70 percent will be non-Saudis residing in the Kingdom and the remaining 30 percent will be Saudi citizens.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior said that anyone found entering the sites of Hajj (Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat) without a permit from July 18 till the end of Dhu Al-Hijjah 12 will be issued with a fine of SR10,000 ($2,600).

The fine will be doubled if the offence is repeated. Security personnel will be posted on roads leading to the holy sites to ensure that anyone who breaks the law will be stopped and fined.

Around 2.5 million foreign and domestic pilgrims performed Hajj last year.

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6 Gulf countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia back extending UN arms embargo on Iran

Agencies
August 10,2020

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Dubai, Aug 10: A six-nation bloc of Gulf Arab nations torn apart by internal strife endorsed on Sunday an extension of a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, just two months before it is set to expire.

The Gulf Cooperation Council said it sent a letter to the UN Security Council backing an extension of an arms embargo that’s kept Iran from purchasing foreign-made weapons like fighter jets, tanks and warships.

The GCC — comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — alleged Iran had “not ceased or desisted from armed interventions in neighbouring countries, directly and through organisations and movements armed and trained by Iran.”

A Saudi-led coalition continues to battle Yemen’s Houthi rebels, whom the UN, the U.S. and armament experts have accused of receiving arms from Iran.

Tehran denies arming the Houthis, even as Iranian armaments and components have repeatedly turned up in Yemen.

As such, it is inappropriate to lift the restrictions on conventional weapons’ movement to and from Iran until it abandons its destabilising activities in the region and ceases to provide weapons to terrorist and sectarian organisations, the GCC said.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi condemned the GCC letter and called it an irresponsible statement that serves U.S. interests, Iranian state TV reported.

Mr. Mousavi also criticised the Gulf Arab countries for being among the “largest arms buyers in the region and the world,” even amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The UN banned Iran from buying major foreign weapon systems in 2010 amid tensions over its nuclear program.

That blocked Iran from replacing its ageing equipment, much of which had been purchased by the shah before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. An earlier embargo targeted Iranian arms exports.

Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal saw the UN agree to sunset the arms embargo this October.

President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the deal in 2018, part of a maximum pressure campaign that’s hurt Iran’s already-ailing economy and led to a series of escalating incidents in the Middle-East.

That the GCC offered a unified statement on Iran comes as it remains torn by the ongoing Qatar crisis, which saw Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates cut diplomatic ties and launch a boycott of the nation beginning in 2017.

Kuwait has sought to mediate the crisis, though its 91-year-old emir now is hospitalised in the U.S. suffering from an undisclosed ailment.

Amid the crisis, Qatar has had warmer ties with Iran and used its airspace while sharing a vast offshore oil and gas field with Tehran.

The small nation is home to the massive Al-Udeid Air Base, home to the forward headquarters of the US military’s Central Command. Oman, which saw its long-serving sultan die earlier this year, long has had close ties to Iran and has served as an interlocutor between Tehran and the West.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates long have viewed Iran far more suspiciously, accusing it of stirring up dissent among Shiite populations in the region.

The unified GCC statement comes after recent visits by outgoing U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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24-yr-old NRI techie falls to death from UAE building after throwing his phone down

coastaldigest.com news network
August 3,2020

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Sharjah, Aug 3: A 24-year-old Indian engineer has fallen to death from the sixth floor of a residential building on Eid al-Adha in the UAE's Sharjah, a media report said on Monday. 

The electrical engineer, identified with his single name Sumesh, hailed from the south Indian state of Kerala.

He lived in a building in Al Dhaid in Sharjah, from where he fell to death on Friday, the report said, adding that he was apparently talking over the phone and threw it down minutes before the incident.

Sumesh, who came to the UAE a year ago, worked as a designer in Sharjah's Muwaileh area. His roommates said that he had some "personal issues" that had been "bothering him for some time", according to the report.

"It was Eid al-Adha and our cook had made biryani for us. We were all cracking jokes and having a good time. In fact, even Cuckoo (Sumesh) was also laughing with us. He seemed happy. Nobody had anticipated this. I did sense a few times that something was troubling him and I even asked him about it, but he brushed it off," the report quoted his roommate Dileep Kumar as saying.

Shans KF, another roommate, said Sumesh was to travel to India for his annual leave but could not because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The police have launched an investigation and moved the body to the forensic lab for an autopsy.

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