Life in Dubai and its not so public Lores
Theres more to it than the eyes can see

The eighth wonder of the World in Dubai

Monday, May 22, 2006

7:09 PM :: 3 comments ::

Vikram :: permalink

Dubai develops worlds first robotic car park

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dubai Municipality yesterday inaugurated its first robotic car park in Deira.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, Acting Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: ' This is the first of many such car parks in Dubai. ' The automatic car park, located behind the Inter Continental Hotel on Al Maktoum Street, will operate on an experimental basis for six months.

' During office hours, the parking facility will be restricted to Dubai Municipality officials and after that it will be free for public [use], ' said Lootah.

After the six-month period, the municipality will open the car park to the public and decide on appropriate parking charges.

The pillar-like structure utilises a minimal amount of land area, just 7.5 square metres and can accommodate 16 cars.

Essa Al Maidour, Assistant Director General for General Projects Affairs, said: ' The design of the structure looks like a multi-storied pillar that can contain a large number of cars, ' he said.

East and West Robotics LLC, a robotic car park design and manufacturing firm had worked since May 2005 to complete this model project.

Members of the public do not even need an instruction manual to operate the car park. Nicholas Fuad Amiouni, Design and Production Manager of East and West Robotics, said: ' Instead of a human attendant, an artificially intelligent system controller is initiated through the touch-tone of a mobile phone. It needs only a missed call to park a car and another to retrieve and drive away. It takes only 15 seconds to park a car, ' said Amiouni.

Once a missed call is placed on the system, a platform is then provided for the calling motorists car. After the car is on the platform and the motorist has stepped away from it, the car is automatically sent to a preassigned, vacant parking spot.

To get the car back, simply place another missed call.

10:12 AM :: 2 comments ::

Vikram :: permalink

Quit smoking contest offers $10,000 prize

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Smokers in the UAE can win up to $10,000 (Dh36,700) if they quit smoking for a month in May.

The Central Department of Health Education at the Ministry of Health is conducting the “Quit and Win, Smoking Cessation Contest” during May along with Nicotinell.The programme coincides with World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

Dr Ayesha Al Mutawa, director of Central Department of Health Education, said: “The contest is open to all smokers – shisha, cigarette, cigar or pipe. Anyone can walk in and pick up the forms. After a month, we will test their lungs to see if they have really quit. This is a test of their will power.Then we will put them on a nicotine patch programme.” Participating malls in the Emirates will have stands equipped with health educators and tests to measure the toxic gases in the lungs of smokers before and after they quit.

All smokers above 18 years of age, with a history of daily smoking of one year or more before the start of the competition are eligible for the contest.

Once a person register to enter the contest, he or she will have to abstain from smoking for at least four weeks between May 1 to May 30.

A biochemical test will be done for participants to ensure complete abstinence from smoking during the period.

In addition to the test, a witness must testify on the smoking history of the participant during the four weeks period.

Apart from the main prize, there will be an international draw for winners and the opportunity to win more prizes.

Entry forms will be sent to the Central Department of Health Education.

The event is held in collaboration with Health Education Sections in the Northern Emirates as well as Preventive Medicine Department in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

Spouses who smoke are likely the main targets for campaigners.

Rini Damos, a Dubai housewife, said: “I want my husband to quit smoking anyway. So if he gets money for it, of course, I will encourage him.”

5:10 AM :: 1 comments ::

Vikram :: permalink

Burj Al Alam sets sights on being three-time world record breaker

Friday, April 21, 2006

Those in charge of creating the world’s tallest commercial tower – the Burj Al Alam – have three more records in their sights.

Latest plans reveal the giant structure will hopefully contain the highest restaurant, the highest spa and a hotel with the most lofty views anywhere across the globe.

But chiefs say that if somebody else attempts to nab the overall crown of tallest commercial tower, they will not attempt to top them with an extra antenae.

Yesterday, the details were revealed and, typically, it did not pass off without a world record being set as the tallest ice sculpture in the world was unveiled in the form of a 40-foothigh model of the Burj Al Alam.

Burj Al Alam, unveiled this week, has three records pencilled in its blueprints.

“It will have the world’s highest restaurant, complete with a garden, the world’s highest spa and the highest situated hotel,” said Syed Mohammed Ali, chief executive of the building’s developers, Fortune Group.

The skyscraper in the Business Bay area of Dubai is designed to resemble a crystal flower. It is to become one of the world’s tallest buildings, only 28 metres below the current tallest,Taipei 101.

The Burj Al Alam, being developed by the Fortune Group, a Dubai-based contracting and investment firm, will stand at 108 storeys (482 metres).

Imran Hanif, sales and marketing director of Fortune Group, said: “The top 10 towers in the world that are complete or under construction are unlike this one. The Taipei 101, for instance, has an antenna making it currently the tallest. Freedom Tower has an antenna on one side.We won’t be adding any antennae on the top. Our unique design does not permit that.” The building has a façade of blue reflective glass, formed from six distinct shafts thinning at the centre.The entire building flares out at the top and the bottom.

“The architects had a real challenge because the floor space reduces to 20,000sq ft in the cen tre before flaring out to 28,000sq ft at the top,” Hanif said.

The building features a sixstorey “crown” that consists of a sky garden, Turkish bath, club facilities and a helipad. Each office floor plate is divided into six “petals”.

The building will have retail outlets on the ground levels, 74 storeys will be dedicated to offices, while 27 storeys will be taken up by hotels. Burj Al Alam will be completed by 2009.

5:35 AM :: 1 comments ::

Vikram :: permalink

Undercover police to target the boy racers

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Boy racers who are staging dangerous impromptu races on Dubais roads are firmly in the sights of a team of new undercover traffic police.

Brigadier Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Director of Dubai Traffic Police Department, said a new road safety campaign launched by his office would provide the motivation for racers to stop.

'What these people are doing is illegal and we now have undercover police cars that can take control of such racers,' the top official said.

'We are also now using our radars to compile a record of those who drive above 50 per cent of the speed limit like racers and they may lose their driving licences. We will impound their cars and even confiscate the vehicles if they repeat the offence,' Al Zafeen added.

Dozens of young men and women say they race through Dubais traffic on a near daily basis in pursuit of 'glory', endangering the lives of those around them.

A 21-year-old, who would not be named, said he has participated in some 300 of such races in the past few months alone and there were thousands of bored youths like him who are always itching for the next race.

A 21-year-old Iraqi, Mahmoud Zaid, said: 'The races just happen.You pull up at a light, and you see a guy in a souped-up car next to you.You gun your engine, he guns his, and when the light changes, you take off.'

'We hit around 220 kilometres per hour, even in traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road. The race ends when one gets much more ahead than the other, or you get to where you were going, or just when you get bored with it,' he explained.

The drivers say because their races are small and unplanned, they avoid the police net on major racing implemented in February to stop large-scale illegal races that were organised on Dubai's roads.

'The [government] has not done anything yet to scare me off racing,' one young racer said.
'Even with radars, we manage. We all just slow down together, and then its a free-for-all after that. Radars are just obstacles, like other cars on the road,' added the racer, who says he races every day and has never been caught.
Racers said it would take stronger action to keep them off the roads – greater fines, threat of deportation or loss of licences.

The traffic police campaign, launched on Sunday, involves a greater police presence on the roads, the use of unmarked cars to catch offenders, recording licence plate numbers of dangerous drivers and heavy use of mobile radars, all of which will affect racers as well as other dangerous drivers, said Al Zafeen .

So far this month 12 people have been killed in accidents on Dubais roads and 91 have been killed since the start of the year. Last year an average of two people a day were killed in accidents in the UAE 292 in Abu Dhabi and 236 in Dubai many as a result of dangerous drivers.

2:21 AM :: 0 comments ::

Vikram :: permalink

IBM to help UAE automatically punish drivers

Friday, January 06, 2006

InformationWeek reports that IBM has announced a deal with United Arab Emirates in which it would provide speed tracking devices that will automatically warn violators of traffic laws:
'The telematics device will use multiple microprocessors based on IBM's Power Architecture, and will have the capability to monitor the speed of the vehicle and send out a warning if the car surpasses the posted speed limit.'
GeekCoffee goes on to report that tickets will be issued automatically to violators who ignore the warnings.
If the voice warning is ignored, the system would use a GSM/GPRS link to beam the car's speed, identity and location to the police so that a ticket could be issued.
Pretty damn scary especially for me....

12:33 AM :: 2 comments ::

Vikram :: permalink

Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum dies

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

His Highness Shaikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has died.

He was 62 years old.

A statement from the Ministry of Presidential Affairs confirmed that His Highness died earlier this morning in Australia.

The President of the UAE, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nayhan, mourned the death of Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The statement added that the UAE had lost a historical leader from its leaders who dedicated his life to building the country, and strove to do his best for its people.

The statement added that Shaikh Maktoum was a generous and giving man whose memory will be ingrained in the consciousness of the nation.

The official mourning period will last for 40 days, when all UAE flags will fly at half mast.

Ministries and government organisations will be closed for seven days.

1:00 PM :: 0 comments ::

Vikram :: permalink