Blog Posts by Seban Scaria

  • Ramadan expected to start on July 9

    Ramadan is expected to start on July 9, local daily Gulf News reported citing Adel Al Saadoon, a leading astronomer in Kuwait.

    “Based on the calculations, the crescent marking the start of the month will be visible on Monday, making Tuesday the first day of the holy month,” the daily quoted Saadoon as saying.

    Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise until sunset during this month to boost spiritual commitment and charitable engagements.

    However, there are many debates over the best way to calculate the beginning or the end of the month.

    Under the traditional approach, the first day of Ramadan follows the day after the slight crescent (hilal) is sighted.

    Questions raised over the merit of the traditional approach included whether the start or end of the month should be declared if the hilal is sighted in only one part of the country, the report said.

    The modern approach makes use of the astronomical calculation, even though

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  • Child left in car for hours dies in RAK

    A three-year-old Yemeni boy died in Ras Al Khaimah after his family left him in a car unattended for three hours in 43C heat, UAE daily The National reported on Sunday.

    The family returned to their home in RAK at 2 pm after an outing on Friday and found the little boy unconscious in the car three hours later. The child was rushed to Al Dhaid Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.

    Authorities said the cause of death was lack of oxygen.

    “Unattended children suffocating inside a car is clear evidence of family negligence and poor judgement of the potential dangers involved,” the daily quoted Maj Gen Nasser Lakhraibani Al Nuaimi, secretary general of the Ministry of Interior and head of the higher committee for child protection as saying.

    Dr Fakhri Azzam, a specialist paediatrician at the Medcare Medical Centre at Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai, said: "If a vehicle is parked in direct sunlight, a trapped child can develop life-threatening symptoms within 10 to 20 minutes."


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  • Kuwait bans 100,000 people from leaving country

    About 100,000 people are trapped in Kuwait over fines worth less than KD100 ($350), local website reported on Sunday.

    Kuwaiti courts have banned about 100,000 people from leaving the country over various disputes , with many related to minor fines, the website reported, citing Arabic newspaper Al-Qabas.

    According to the report, the list included 58,000 Kuwaitis and 42,000 expatriates from 12 countries.

    The travel bans are imposed to protect the rights of the creditors and they could be lifted once the fines are paid, a Ministry of Interior staffer said.

  • Dubai landlords now asking for salary certificate

    Dubai landlords are demanding salary certificates from prospective tenants in a new move to ensure they earn enough to pay the rent, UAE weekly tabloid XPRESS reported on Thursday.

    The situation is in sharp contrast to recent years when landlords tried to lure tenants by offering low rents and easy payments, the report said, adding, the new move has not gone down well with residents in the emirate.

    "This is ridiculous," the newspaper quoted an Indian expat, Anil, as saying.

    He snapped up an apartment deal, after becoming frustrated by a real estate agent  who asked for a salary certificate.

    "I had nearly finalised an apartment in Dubai Marina when I got an e-mail from the property agent asking for my salary certificate. When I enquired, the agent told me the landlord wanted the certificate to make sure I had the paying capacity and this despite the fact that I was giving him a single cheque. I felt so humiliated, I decided not to go ahead with the deal,” XPRESS quoted Anil as saying.

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  • Saudi writer urges Twitter followers to 'sexually harass' working women

    A prominent Saudi 'self-help' writer has triggered a fierce debate by urging his Twitter followers to 'sexually harass' women working as cashiers in big grocery stores, local daily Gulf News reported on Wednesday.

    Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood, who has more than 97,000 Twitter followers, used the hashtag #harass_female_cashiers and made the comments in an attempt to "encourage" Saudi Arabian women to stay at home and protect their chastity.

    Dawood's campaign against Saudi Arabia's moves to encourage women to work in grocery stores has lead some Twitter users to denounce him.

    Dawood justified his tweet by citing a story from the early days of Islam about a famous warrior, Al Zubair, who

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  • Britons in the UAE advised not to rock the boat

    In a conference in Dubai, discussing the need to maintain harmony, Britons were advised not to 'rock the boat', alluding to occasional incidents in which they clash with local laws governing public decency and dressing norms.

    The conference, 'The UAE Through its Expats' Eyes' explored the views of the British, Asian and Arab communities in the Emirates, local daily Gulf News reported on Sunday.

    Prominent Emirati political science professor Dr Abdul Khaliq Abdullah said: "I think we are all in this together, expats and citizens.  It's in the best interest for all to not rock the boat. This boat has benefited us all, brought us security and prosperity. We should do everything possible to maintain that relationship between the two sides."

    "But some could get carried away, act indecently. It's important to keep the stability and identity [of Emiratis]. The local culture needs to be respected, everyone should show mutual respect."

    "Sometimes they are not aware or ignorant of this. This

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  • Tickets for Rihanna's Abu Dhabi concert on sale

    Tickets for R'n'B megastar Rihanna’s Abu Dhabi concert on Saturday, October 19, have gone on sale.

    The six Grammy Awards winner will perform at the du Arena on Yas Island as part of her Diamonds World Tour. She last performed in the UAE for the 2009/10 New Year's Eve concert in Abu Dhabi.

    Virgin Megastores is the concert's official retail partner and tickets are available immediately from the chain’s stores in Abu Dhabi Mall, Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, tour promoters FLASH Entertainment said.   

    According to Concert organisers, this is the one and only Rihanna show taking place in Abu Dhabi, and while tickets are still available in all categories, they are expected to sell out well in advance.

    Ticket prices for the all-standing concert start from AED395 and range to AED1,295. They are also available from and Virgin Megastores across the UAE.

    For more information, visit

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  • UAE public and private sector to get holiday on June 6

    The UAE has declared Thursday, June 6, as a public and private sector holiday to mark Al Isra'a Wal Miraj, the ascension of Prophet Mohammad.

    According to the Islamic calender, Israa Wal Mairaj holiday is expected to fall on Thursday, June 6, just before the start of the weekend.

    It means the weekend will extend to three days on June 6 (Thursday), June 7 (Friday) and June 8 (Saturday).

  • Early morning fire at Sharjah tower

    A fire broke out at a residential tower in Sharjah early on Sunday, local daily Gulf News reported.

    Residents of the Al Omraniya Building - Block B and its adjacent building located along Jamal Abdul Naser Street have been evacuated, the report said.

    There were no reports of casualties.

    The fire which is believed to have started at around 3:45 am in a seventh-floor apartment was brought under control within 30 minutes by firefighters, the daily reported citing witnesses.

  • UAE regulator denies penalties for using Skype

    The UAE telecom regulator has denied saying that those using Skype phone service could be fined up to AED1 million, UAE daily The National reported on Monday. 

    The claim was made on Sunday in a Dubai-based Arabic newspaper, which in addition said users could face jail for up to two years.

    The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) issued a statement saying: "In reference to the article published in Emarat Al Youm on the penalties of using Skype, attributing certain statements to the TRA; the TRA hereby confirms that it did not make any such statements."

    Skype website, which allows users to make free voice and video calls, has been blocked in the UAE for many years.

    However, there was confusion last month when telcom service providers Etisalat and du unblocked it, but the TRA later announced that the service was still unauthorised.


(95 Stories)

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