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

Truck Driver Jailed For Negligence

Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Dubai court yesterday sentenced a truck driver to two months in prison for causing an accident in which two other motorists were crushed to death. Mudather Shah was also ordered to pay dhs400,000 to the families of the victims.

Last month, the Pakistani driver for World Wide Express Transport was driving at excessive speed by Deira City Centre when he lost control of his articulated lorry, causing the container that the vehicle was carrying to come off and crush a Dubai Transport taxi, instantly killing the taxis driver Hisham Jamal El Deen, 36 and its passenger Tamer Abdul-Haleem, both Egyptians.

The 40 tonne container had not been secured properly to the vehicle. 'Even though the prosecutors have asked for a more severe sentence, I have tried to take your circumstances into account,' Judge Ali Al Thahabi told the 23-year-old defendant yesterday.

A court source said yesterday that if Shahs employer World Wide Express insurance company does not pay the blood money, or diya, he could remain in jail well after he serves his two month sentence.

'Often, in similar cases, the government or charitable individuals step in to help defendants pay,' he added.

The source also said that the Public Prosecutor could still appeal the case to see that Shah receives a more severe sentence because 'the deaths were caused by the drivers lack of responsibility and total disregard for human life'.

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Dubai to create Air Conditioned Foot Bridges

This image is an artists impression of what seven air-conditioned pedestrian bridges to be built near some of Dubai’s crowded junctions will look like.

Yesterday, Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the dhs35 million project to be completed by the end of 2006. Each bridge is expected to cost around five million dirhams to construct, the RTA said.

The new bridges will be placed on Abu Hail Street close to the Grand Mosque, Al Nahda street near Union Co-operative Society, Abu Baker Al Siddique Street near Al Gaz Mosque, Al Maktoum street close to Al Khaleej Palace Hotel, Airport Road near the Cargo Village underpass, Casablanca Street near Dubai Tennis Stadium and on Baniyas Road near to the Sheraton Hotel.

These locations were selected taking into account a number of factors, the RTA said, such as movement of pedestrians and the percentage of accidents involving pedestrians.

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UK Newspaper Censorship Lifted by Monopolised ISP

Etisalat yesterday unblocked the web site of the UK’s most popular newspaper, The Sun.

The company had blocked the web site following 'requests from members of the public'. Web sites can be blocked if they are deemed offensive

The Sun told 7DAYS its website had been blocked due to pictures of 'Colleen McCloughlin [fiancee of footballer Wayne Rooney] that were too hot for some unnamed politicians and a couple of residents even though she was pictured in some frilly dress.'

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Get Pet Cleaning Robots with your house

Monday, December 26, 2005

A Dh2 billion Dubai-based conglomerate, with interests in information technology and real estate, has announced the launch of a new property development company that will combine its two core areas of activity to create the most technologically advanced properties in the Middle East region.

Almasa Holdings, which consists of five different companies operating in all areas of information technology, announced the launch of its sixth company, Omniyat Property Development Corporation.

The new company will focus on developing high-tech commercial and residential buildings and properties in Dubai and the rest of the region.

Almasa Holdings president and CEO Mehdi Amjad said the new company was being launched with an initial issued capital of Dh150 million, and an authorised capital of Dh300 million as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Almasa Holdings.

Mehdi Amjad was addressing a Press conference held at Burj Al Arab.

' We have been looking at the Dubai property market very carefully over the last 18 months as we were looking at further developing our real estate business and spinning off this in-house division into a fully-fledged property development company with its own structure and management team, ' Amjad said.

To be known by its trading name Omniyat Properties, the company was born out of Almasa Holdings five-year-old real estate division, which has implemented numerous successful real estate investment projects in the UK and Iran over the last few years, and started looking at the booming Dubai property market more than a year ago.

Omniyat Properties, which will soon launch its first projects in Dubai and in the future expand into other markets in the Middle East, will capitalize on its mother-companys technology base to develop high-tech properties where technology will play a major role in improving people’s lifestyles.

'Almasa Holdings is a leader in technology in the Middle East, and thats why we have decided to capitalize on our strength in technology to offer futuristic homes and offices the likes of which have not been seen anywhere in the Middle East, and probably in the world,' said Almasa Holdings chief marketing officer Ehab S Shouly.

Shouly, who is also Omniyat Properties marketing director and senior vice-president, said Omniyat homes and offices will include futuristic features such as voice control as well as robots which will take care of daily chores such as vacuum cleaning, mopping and even pressing shirts.

'Omniyat is an Arabic word that means wishes, and thats exactly what our new company is all about. Our slogan is ‘Live the Future’ and we want to give people in Dubai and the region the chance to live the future today and benefit from the technologies which are available out there,' he continued.

All of Omniyats developments, he said, will feature a technological edge, whether they are residences, offices, or retail outlets.

'Our offices for example will be able to call you and read out your emails to you, or even set up your meetings. Our homes are so futuristic were even offering robotic family pets in some of them,' Shouly said.

Amjad, who will also serve as President & CEO of Omniyat Properties, said the newly re-branded Almasa Holdings, previously known as Almasa Group, ventured into real estate five years ago as a means of diversifying its investments as its information technology business was doubling in size year-on-year.

'We started out as an IT distribution company but as we grew and our turnover reached hundreds of millions of Dirhams, we decided to invest in another sector to spread the risk.'

'We decided to go into real estate as we saw it as offering a safe investment and a good counter-balance to the fast-moving IT world,' Amjad said.

The vision for Almasa Holdings was born ten years ago when Amjad, then a fresh graduate, decided to set up his own company rather than join his familys gold trading business. He set out with a capital of one million Dirhams, and a dream to establish a regional force in the field of information technology.

The groups massive growth was aided by a major investment from Al Mirah Group, a 25-year-old leading Kuwaiti retail firm running one of the biggest chains of hypermarkets in Kuwait, which bought a 50 per cent stake in Amjads company shortly after he launched it. Al Mirah Groups chairman, Ismail Janati, is also Almasa Holdings chairman.

Almasa started out in computer hardware distribution but expanded into all other areas of information technology over the years, including manufacturing and assembly, software development, networking solutions, hardware repair and maintenance, software distribution, as well as online hiring solutions.

Almasa Holdings employs over 250 people with some 30 different nationalities across its six member-companies. It covers and operates in more than 60 countries, from the Middle East to North Africa, and Asia to Europe. The group has offices in 12 countries, with the biggest being its headquarters in Dubai.

Almasa IT Distribution, the groups core company, is today the biggest IT distributor in the Middle East and North Africa, representing top international brands such as HP, Maxtor, Avaya, Hitachi, and Microsoft among others. It has just been voted the Mena regions number one IT distributor for the second year running.

Tony Manning, Almasa Holdings and Omniyat Properties chief financial officer, said the groups turnover is expected to reach Dh2 billion by the end of this year, which is an increase of Dh440 million over the previous year.

'We have continued our year-on-year trend of excellent growth since our inception,' he added.

Manning said all six of Almasa Holdings member-companies -- Almasa IT Distribution, Almasa Business Solutions, Performance Systems, The Hiring Solutions Company, ART International, and Omniyat Properties, which took over Almasa real estate divisions projects -- have all turned in excellent performances this year.

'We expect our new property ventures in Dubai and the rest of the Middle East to make a significant contribution to our growth in the next few years.'

'Our aim is to triple our turnover within five years. While technology will remain at the heart of Almasa, property will emerge as an equally important contributor to our revenues and profits,' he said.

Manning added that the initial Omniyat Properties capital of Dh150 million will be increased to Dh300 million to support this growth. 'We expect to make further announcements in the near future regarding strategic partnerships and increases in Omniyats capital,” he said.

Tim Wilson, sales director and senior vice-president of Omniyat Properties, said the company will enter all segments of the property development market at all levels.

'We will be developing properties with residential, office, retail and probably even hotel elements. All of them will rely heavily on technology,' he said.

Omniyat Properties is also currently setting up a state-of-the-art Sales Presentation Centre from which it will be selling its properties, and giving potential customers high-tech presentations which are befitting to its image. Sales will be conducted both directly by Omniyats own sales force and through its growing network of agents.

The company will be launching its first projects in Dubai in the last week of January. It has already acquired plots of land in various developments in Dubai, and continues to explore opportunities in all countries in the region.

'We want to be a true regional developer, and to be the developer of choice for our customers,' Amjad said.

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UAE's International Activities

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Newspaper article from the Gulf News showing UAE's investment in some of the Major businesses around the world including but not limited to, Ferrari, Tussad's Wax Museum in UK, The London Eye and Daimer Chrysler.

Click on the image below to view the complete article.

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Proposed Railway Networrk To Link UAE With Other Arab Countries

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Residents of the UAE could well be able to travel by train to Damascus, Beirut, Basra and Cairo, to mention but a few cities, when an Arabian railway network becomes reality.

A proposed Arabian railway network, which will connect the UAE with the rest of the Arab world, will offer a practical alternative to short and medium-haul flights for both freight and passengers.

Murhaf Al Sabouni, General Secretary of the Syria-based Arab Railway Union, said Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah can be main line stops on the 1,860km 'third artery' of the proposed rail network between Basra and Muscat.

"The northern emirates of Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, along with Fujairah on the country's east coast, would be branch line stations," Al Sabouni said in his presentation on the General Overview of the Current and Future of Arab Rail at the Gulf Traffic 2005 exhibition in Dubai.

He said the seven UAE emirates will be connected to an ambitious Arabian railway network extending in a giant loop from the Syrian-Turkish border through Iraq and along the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Red Sea coasts.

Dubai Metro

This will be in addition to plans of constructing Emirates Railway, the UAE's future national rail network and Dubai Metro.

The presentation was based on a study conducted by the Arab Railway Union and the Syrian General Corporation for Railways in association with the Arab Transport Ministers Council of the Arab League.

No date has been suggested for the implementation of the Arabian Railway network.

In all, the network will comprise 10 trunk lines and cover 25,000km, stretching from the Syrian-Turkish border in the north to Aden in the south-west through Arabic-speaking North Africa to Mauritania on the Atlantic coast and as far East as the Iraqi border with Iran.

In North Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania all have existing railways, which will be utilised in the network, said Al Sabouni.

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Ocean Heights

Ocean Heights will be 82 Floors once completed and be one of the world's tallest Residential Buildings.

Ocean Heights will contain 600 plus luxury 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. It will also provide customers with 24-hour security, a dedicated concierge desk, professional housekeeping services and 700 parking spaces. It was designed by award-winning architectural firm Aedas.

It will also be located in the Dubai Marina and should be completed by 2008.

7:34 AM :: 1 comments ::

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New Dubai World Trade Center

Friday, December 09, 2005

Dubai has given the nod for an upgrade on the current World Trade Center Building. The plan, which envisages the redevelopment and enhancement of the present complex over the next seven to ten years, will include a state-of-the-art convention centre, office and residential towers, hotels and hotel apartments and shopping facilities. The Towers should be around 40 stories.

Also under way is a project to boost the current exhibition capacity by 30 per cent within one year to meet the surging demand for space with most exhibitions recording phenomenal growth in size.

At present DWTC has over 60,000 square metres of exhibition space, including more than 23,000 square metres of space under its management at the Airport Expo Dubai. The city has many other venues catering for events both large and small.

DWTCs current convention centre - DICC - has a capacity to accommodate events with up to 11,000 delegates and its main multipurpose hall has the capacity to hold up to 6,000 people when set as an auditorium.

The new development will complement DWTCs plans in developing the Dubai Exhibitions City, which forms an important part of the World Central project at Jebel Ali. The Exhibition City will provide 120,000 square metres of exhibition space upon completion of phase one in 2009. "Both projects will provide a tremendous boost to Dubai's position as the main conference and exhibitions hub for the region and a leader in the MICE industry," Shaikh Hamdan said.

"Dubai has cemented its position as the premier Middle East conference and exhibitions centre. I confidently expect this development to enjoy a tremendous response from exhibitions and conventions organisers worldwide and will play a big part in Dubai's and UAE's success story" he added.

Apart from the new convention centre, designed to be the most technologically advanced in the world, the project will add to the number of available hotels and hotel apartments in the city and will increase Dubai's capacity to hold world-class meetings and conventions. It will also include the Landmark Tower to be situated on Shaikh Zayed Road by the Emirates Towers, shopping outlets, residential complexes, parking facilities and links to the advanced Dubai light rail metro system.

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