Category Archives: Goverment

UAE households the target for lowering water use

TheNational.ae

UAE households the target for lowering water use

ABU DHABI // The UAE has one of the world’s most efficient water-supply networks, losing only 10 per cent to leaks, so the focus for preserving the precious resource has to be on consumers.

And with demand for water continuing to grow, Abu Dhabi’s nine power and water plants, which between them can produce 4.1 billion litres of water a day, are near full capacity.

“There’s been a large growth in demand and the main challenge we face now is to meet this large growth,” said Mohammad Al Hajjiri, head of water forecasts at Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company.

“In the last 50 years we started living a lifestyle of people who have a lot of water.

“This lifestyle was imported from western countries.”

Mr Al Hajjiri was speaking at the International Water Summit that continued yesterday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Despite growing pressure on supplies worldwide, many countries still lose a third or more of their water to leaks.

Japan loses up to 40 per cent while Jordan loses at least half.

“Forty per cent of the global drinking water is lost because of this,” said Diego Lucente, senior water projects manager at Suez Environment.

“In developed countries, we lose [45 billion litres] of water a day in terms of leakage.”

In that context, Abu Dhabi’s 10 per cent leakage is in the top tier. The problem now lies with consumers.

“It’s not just about using technology to reduce your losses, it’s about lifestyle changes,” said Bob Taylor, the business development director at Sembcorp, a UK utilities services company.

The World Health Organisation says a good standard of living can be maintained with 160 litres of water a day a person. In warmer countries such as the UAE, 180 litres is considered the maximum needed.

“We’re using much more,” said Mr Al Hajjiri. “Abu Dhabi has one of the highest consumption rates in the world. We live in nice standards so if you want to reduce it, you have to change your lifestyle.”

The UAE’s water use is estimated at 350 litres a person a day.

Mr Al Hajjiri said the Government was embarking on campaigns to reduce household use.

Bills are colour-coded to indicate whether a family is using more or less water and electricity than the norm.

“The bill tells you the actual cost of water and electricity versus what you are paying and you pay less than a third of the amount,” he said.

But he is optimistic that the situation will change.

“My grandfather used to live on 20 litres a day,” Mr Al Hajjiri said.

“Now we live on [much more] but we have to keep those habits that were suitable to this part of the world.

“There’s a high rate of consumption that needs to be addressed.”

cmalek@thenational.ae

Taxis to charge Salik from Tuesday

GulfNews.com

Taxis to charge Salik from Tuesday

By Shafaat Shahbandari, Staff Reporter
Published: Jan 15, 2013 9:59 PM

Dubai: Taxis in Dubai will start charging a Dh4 toll from Tuesday when passing through Salik toll gates installed across four different locations in Dubai, a senior Roads and Transport (RTA) official told Gulf News.

Tolls for taxis are being reintroduced after a gap of four years, as the RTA upgrades meters that will automatically add toll charges to fares after passing through a Salik gate.

Taxis were allowed to pass through Salik gates without charge from December 2008 due to dozens of complaints by customers regarding the manual inclusion of tolls by taxi drivers that led to confusion and suspicion of cheating.

“We have now developed a system that will automatically include tolls when taxis pass through Salik gates. Earlier we had problems when taxi drivers were adding toll charges manually and there were a lot of complaints, which won’t be the case now,” said Adel Mohammad Shakeri, Director of the Transportation System Department, at the RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

The meters of all 8,000 taxis, including the franchise cabs, have been upgraded and will begin to charge tolls while passing through any of the four toll gates on Al Maktoum Bridge, Al Safa, Al Garhoud Bridge and Al Barsha.

“Customers will have an option to choose an alternative route and cabbies will have to ask them if they are willing to take a Salik route or an alternative route,” said Shakeri.

He added that taxis passing through two consecutive toll gates of Al Safa and Al Barsha within 30 minutes in a single trip will be charged only once, while all rides on Al Maktoum Bridge will be toll-free between 10pm and 6am.

“Our idea is to reduce traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road and drive them to alternative routes, if a customer doesn’t want to pay extra for the toll then he can choose an alternative route and we would like to encourage people using alternative routes,” he said.

However, neither cabbies nor customers are convinced that reintroducing the toll on taxis will solve the traffic problem.

“I think it’s absurd to think that reintroducing Salik will ease traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road, there only 8,000 taxis in Dubai which run across Dubai when compared to over a million vehicles in Dubai, how will a handful of taxis taken away from Shaikh Zayed Road reduce traffic,” said Nikita, a Dubai resident of Dubai.

Echoing her views a taxi driver said: “Many tourists would prefer to take Shaikh Zayed Road and won’t mind paying an additional Dh4 as a toll. I think even residents would prefer paying a toll rather taking an alternative route.”

Travel bans can be cleared at Abu Dhabi airport

Travel bans can be cleared at Abu Dhabi airport

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/inside.asp?xfile=/data/nationgeneral/2013/January/nationgeneral_January202.xml§ion=nationgeneral
Sent from KT Mobile.

13 Jan 2013

Prospective travellers flying through Abu Dhabi who discover they are on a travel ban list due to unpaid fines will soon be able to still catch their flights.
The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) announced the setting up of an ‘Injaz’ centre at the Capital’s airport, so people banned from leaving the country on the basis of court orders can pay off their fines.

Currently those who only discover their travel ban while at the airport are turned back and must go through a long-winded court process to clear their bans, resulting in missed flights.

The centre is to be a round-the-clock, seven-day service where defaulters, against whom courts have issued arrest warrants or international travel bans, can settle their financial obligations, an informed ADJD source said.

The source said the aim of the centre was to let blacklisted people pursue their travel abroad without restrictions.

The centre will also offer services like handing over photocopies of court verdicts and documents passed down by all courts in the emirate and relaying information about the travel ban.

news@khaleejtimes.com

Dubai eGovernment updates mPay services – Users can now pay Salik, DEWA, traffic fines

http://www.itp.net/588919-dubai-egovernment-updates-mpay-services?tab=article

 

By Georgina EnzerPublished May 6, 2012

Dubai eGovernment has updated its mPay mobile payment gateway and has added new features, including SMS capabilities. Users can now send an SMS to 4488 to inquire or pay government transaction fees or due charges.

The SMS service now allows Salik recharge from RTA, payment of traffic fines from Dubai Police and payment of electricity bills from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

“This gateway is part of our initiative to provide government services through innovative channels with the aim of facilitating government transactions of the public and businesses in Dubai. All departments need a set of electronic components and infrastructure to provide their service online under high quality and security stipulations. We, in Dubai eGovernment, work on the provision of these components in the form of common eServices and infrastructure with the departments, enabling them to provide their eServices to the public, thereby offering them a platform for innovation and excellence in their specialized fields,” said Wesam Lootah, assistant director general of Dubai eGovernment.

The new updates to the Dubai eGovernment system are designed to allow users to activate auto-payment/auto recharge of the government services provided by mPay regularly (daily, weekly, monthly or at a specific date for payment or recharge). They also allow control over the minimum balance and the maximum payment/recharge.

The updates also allow users to configure mPay to support multiple accounts for one government service. For example, a customer can recharge the Salik account of his/her car and that of another car he/she owns from his/her mPay account.

“Dubai eGovernment provides online payment services through the Internet and mobile phones for instant payment of government fees, using effective and convenient means to save their time and spare them the trouble of visiting the concerned banks or departments. As mPay does not need a computer with access to the Internet, the service can be done instantly anywhere,” said Lootah.

The Dubai eGovernment is currently considering the expansion of individual and corporate beneficiaries of this service, either by introducing new departments and entities or adding new services of interest to customers.

To use mPay service, customers must register on http://mpay.dubai.ae.

 

UAE laws translated into English

http://thenational.ae/article/20090424/NATIONAL/704239817/1138

UAE laws translated into English

Marten Youssef

* Last Updated: April 23. 2009 11:53PM UAE / April 23. 2009 7:53PM GMT

ABU DHABI // In a major step towards improving transparency in the legal system, the Ministry of Justice yesterday announced that every federal law passed since the UAE’s founding in 1971 has been translated into English and will soon be available online.

The ministry has also begun translating 1,500 federal court decisions, 500 international treaties signed by the UAE and 2,000 official fatwas issued by UAE muftis, to create a centralised, easily accessible body of case law and statutes in both Arabic and English.

The Government says the translations will give legal practitioners, businesses and scholars unprecedented access to the country’s lawbooks. The aim is to improve understanding of the UAE’s laws and legal system internationally, as well as foster the transparency sought by international companies and investors.

“There are more people that speak English than Arabic in the UAE and our goal is to make the laws available to them,” said Abdulla al Majid, the Minister’s Adviser and the director of the translation project.

All the documents will be posted online at www.elaws.gov.ae. The website will initially be free for public access for three months, but the ministry is contemplating eventually charging users a subscription fee.

“We are looking for feedback at this stage from the public to wage which direction we will go. We are considering creating different levels of memberships, such as academics and corporations,” Mr al Majid said.

More than 80 people working in the US, Lebanon and the UAE, including various ministries and courts, have worked on the project for two years so far.

“This is a three-step programme. First we had to gather all the relevant laws, then put them on the website in Arabic and then translate them in an ongoing programme,” Mr al Majid said.

The programme also aims to centralise the federal laws, treaties and fatwas and decisions taken by the Federal Supreme Court.

“Our goal was to get every single law created and amended since 1973,” Mr al Majid said.

Although the country was founded in 1971 with the passage of the Constitution, the first federal laws were not passed for another two years.

“This is clearly a wealth of information that for the first time is available to the public directly from the Ministry of Justice and not from a law firm,” Mr al Majid said.

“The best feature about this is the search engine which allows you to find even one word amid a sea of legal documents. That changes the face of research for academics, lawyers, judges, businesses and the public. You can imagine the kind of impact this will have on the overall justice system.”

The English translations are just the beginning, Mr al Majid said.

“We are also considering translating them into other languages, and translating specific laws within each emirate. At this point our focus is on English. This opens new doors for us and boosts our credibility further.”

He said the UAE’s diverse population meant that English had become the language of business. The project “will encourage people to learn more about our values and law even from their own countries before they come here,” Mr al Majid added.

Several sources have already translated many UAE laws.

The most prominent effort has been undertaken by a company called Affinitext, which has translated more than 3,000 laws and made them available in Arabic and English on the internet for specialised users.

The project was initially an undertaking for DLA Piper, one of the largest law firms.

“There are over 3,000 laws with no central repository,” said Graham Thomson, founder of Affinitext.

“Each law resides with a different area: free zones, ministries and so on. To collate just the Arabic is a major logistic challenge. Then translating it, then putting it on the best available programme on the internet,” He said.

However, the translations by Affinitext are available online for a license fee for companies and law firms, and are not meant for private use.

myouseef@thenational.ae