World Mate Mobile Travel service

Etisalat to introduce World Mate Mobile Travel service

28 May 2008

ABU DHABI – Corporate executives and businessmen challenged by their busy lifestyle and constant travel plans can now find a solution to managing their travel itinerary with Etisalat announcing plans to introduce the World Mate Live application which operates on BlackBerry Smart phones.

World Mate Live is a first-of-its-kind mobile travel service empowering frequent fliers with travel information in real-time. World Mate Live acts as a personal Travel Assistant by automatically delivering valuable content and services to a customer’s Blackberry device removing stress and paperwork from their travel experience while saving them time and money. The application pushes context-aware features such as flight alerts, flight notifications and meeting notifications. It also features flight schedules, car rentals, maps, world clocks and a currency converter.

“The introduction of the World Mate Mobile Application for Blackberry will transform a user’s Blackberry device into an extremely versatile tool so that users can plan their travel itineraries in time through a very convenient and intuitive method, said Abdulla Hashim, VP, Enterprise Solutions, Etisalat. “We would like to support our local community of Blackberry users by empowering them with such innovative applications and we will look to add more value added applications in the near future”.

World Mate Live can start tracking a user’s itinerary in real-time, showing details and suggestions when required. For example, when a flight is delayed or cancelled, a user can be notified immediately and then presented with alternative flights for the desired destination. Upon arrival, they will be greeted with a message outlining the next few items on their itinerary, along with the local time and weather, as well as maps and directions to their next destination.

World Mate Live will be supported on all Etisalat offered Blackberry Smart phones. Etisalat currently offers Five Models of Blackberry Smart phones, 8700, 8100, 8310, 8800 and 8820.

No more public smoking in Sharjah

From the Khaleej Times article

“…The Sharjah Municipality yesterday announced a ban on smoking in public places from June 1…”

“…The places where smoking will be prohibited include buses, taxis, public rest rooms, amusement centres, hospitals and health facilities, waiting areas in facilities, hotels, hotel apartments, enclosed shopping malls, restaurants and coffee shops, enclosed entertainment places like cinemas and theatres, enclosed parking spaces, stores, exhibition areas, beauty and hair-cutting salons, health clubs and assembly halls and conference rooms.

Violation of the ban will attract fines of Dh1,000 for individuals and Dh10,000 to Dh20,000 for establishments like hotels and salons that allow smoking.

The civic body will instal signboards in public areas where smoking is banned which will display a telephone number on which people can report violation by anybody….”

Read the full article

Beach Precautions – ‘If the red flag is up, don’t swim’

From Gulf Today article


Aquaventure Waterpark operations director Stewart Hodsoll said: “Don’t swim after sunset.”

He pointed out four reasons: the absence of a lifeguard on duty, the possible roam of sea creatures and sea vessels, the poor visibility and the changes in the water levels….”

Read the full article

New Dh200 note to be issued from tomorrow

Keypoints from the Khaleej Times article:

“…The amended Dh200 currency note with new security features will go into circulation from May 27, 2008…”

“….The overall design and other specifications of the note are the same as on the currency note currently in the circulation, but additional security elements have been added, which can be seen only under ultraviolet light….”

Read the full article

The first online school in the UAE

Highlights from ‘The National’ article

The first online school in the country is looking to recruit pupils for the next academic year.

K12 International Academy has so far attracted 17 students to its home schooling courses and hopes to increase this to 200 by the start of the 2008-09 academic year.

The school is the first overseas branch of K12 Inc, a US-based online school that has tens of thousands of pupils in America.

Read the full article

Free wi-fi for Abu Dhabi airport passengers & New Car Park Rates

Highlights from the Gulf News article:

“… Free wi-fi access to the internet will be made available for passengers at Abu Dhabi International Airport from June 1…”

“…In the last twelve months the airport has operated 12 Internet kiosks, each offering 15 minutes of free access per user. In response to the demand from customers for such services ADIA has chosen to introduce free access for all passengers across its three terminals. …”

“…From 1 June an hourly rate of Dh10 will apply to Terminal 1 car park users and Dh5 per hour for users of the Terminal 2 car park. Short-stay visitors simply dropping off family or friends and leaving within 15 minutes will still have access to both parking facilities free…”

Read the full Gulf News article

If you are staying in a shared villa…

Only one family can live in a villa: DM

By Joy Sengupta (Our staff reporter)

20 May 2008

DUBAI — In what could come as a major blow to the many families with limited income, especially families of expatriates, the Dubai Municipality has stated that only one family can live in a villa.

Officials of the Building Inspection Department of the civic body said that they have already launched a crackdown on those villas which housed more than one family.

Read the full article here

No more 9 to 5?

From today’s Khaleej Times

RTA proposes flexible hours

By Joy Sengupta (Our staff reporter)

20 May 2008

DUBAI — Flexible work timings in both private and government offices is the new mantra being advocated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to control the increasing traffic rush in Dubai.

Abdul Mohsen Younis Ibrahim, CEO of the Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector at the RTA, said flexible timings at all public and private organisations would play a very important role in easing the present traffic situation.

“The idea of flexible timings for work places could be of great help. At present, most of the offices have the same opening and closing times. With everyone going to work and coming back at the same time, traffic snarls are the order of the day. We are studying the different aspects of the flexible timings and would refer the proposal to the government for implementation,” he said.

Read the full article here

Now you can carpool in Dubai!

RTA allows carpooling; signs pact with big firms

EMPLOYEES from the same company have been allowed to use the same vehicle while going for work, a scheme known as carpooling which is aimed at pulling people away from using private cars to mass transportation

The arrangement shall be licenced by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) which is “soon loading the procedure on to the agency’s website,,” said the Director of Planning and Business Development at Public Transport Agency, Khalid M. Hashim.

Read full Gulf Today article

School Bus Locator & ‘Child-now-in-School’ SMS Informer

After the death of a 4-year old left behind in a school bus in Abu Dhabi, 2 software companies have developed software to help track the school bus and to inform the parents by SMS once the child reaches the school. Read the full Gulf News article here.

Great idea! I hope the RTA also implements such a display board at all bus stops to let us know exactly at which stops the buses are on and how long it would take to reach this particular stop. Software companies, are you listening?