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Issued by the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai


Issue 16

September 2015

HH Sheikh Mohammed inspects Dubai International Airport

45% people suffer from food intolerance


Eye tracking: Technology that gives voice to the mute

Online visa facility //// for GCC expats hailed by travelers, tourism industry


Smart choice for a smart living

New user interface that enables individuals: • Renew passports (citizens). • Issue new and renew residency for wife & children. • New and renew sponsored visas (citizens). • Extend on arrival visa. • Generate barcode to enter smart gate at Dubai Airports. • Legal consultation. • Attach required documents. And more sevices for individuals and companies

Available on all app stores. Search for: GDRFA Dubai or scan the QR code

• Toll free: 8005111

Welcome Message

Remarkable summer T his year we witnessed one of the best summers at the Dubai International Airport in various spheres.

Foremost was the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, at Terminal 3 to see the readiness of our borders to cope with high number of passengers during the season. We reached over 20 million passengers travelled during June, July and August, one of the highest numbers so far. His Highness directed the GDRFA Dubai staff at the airport to ceaselessly work toward enhancing services for visitors and guests of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and leave a lasting impression of the UAE’s hospitality as well as reflect the extent of progress made in border services in the last few years. We felt very proud as His Highness appreciated the efforts of the GDRFA Dubai staff in terms of utilising smart technology to introduce a culture of smart travel at the Dubai Airport and ensure speedy and comfortable movement of passengers. The past few months have been very special in the history of the GDRFA Dubai as we have made intensive efforts, held brainstorming sessions and introduced the best international practices in the border industry. We have trained and improved the capacity of our staff , our systems and all this has led us to the position we have attained today. Hence, as the summer travel season comes to an end, I would like to thank the entire GDRFA Dubai staff for their efforts to take the global status of the UAE to the next level and make the journey of the passengers

smooth without compromising on safety and security. I once again urge our staff to give their best and adopt innovation as their topmost goal. This brings more challenges for us in near future, particularly as we expect more than 79 million passengers in 2015 and more than 126 million travelling through Dubai International and Al Maktoum International Airport by 2020. I promise that amid all these challenges, in the coming days our visitors and guests will experience higher creativity and innovation in our systems. To attain this, we are working round the clock with the ultimate goal of enhancing passenger experiencemaking travel hassle free and comfortable for them, leaving them with memories they can cherish.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 1

GDRFA Message


in History


October 1971 Pursuant to an order promulgated by the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, two departments were established: Central Immigration Department and Ports and Borders Department


October 1972 The two departments were merged with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and Federal Law No. 17 concerning the naturalization and passports was promulgated.


1973 Federal Law No. (6) concerning Immigration and Residency was promulgated as the first law regulating the entry and residency of expatriates in United Arab Emirates.


1977 The two departments were merged and the new Department shifted to a building in the ministries complex


1982 The Administration shifted to the present building during the tenure of Colonel Mohammad Al-Ghaith


2003 The building was completely refurbished during the tenure of Brigadier General Saeed Bin Belaila


1999 Naturalization and Residency Administration, Dubai, established a branch at Hatta Fort


1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

Our Vision: To have the UAE as one of the most secure and safest countries in the world.

Our Mission (MOI):

To work efficiently and effectively towards enhancing the quality of life in the UAE community by providing security, traffic, reform, residency services and ensuring safety of lives and properties.

Our Mission (GDRFA):

For the happiness of the people, we offer excellent and fast naturalization, residence and ports services.

Our Values:       

Justice Team-Work Excellence courtesy Integrity Loyalty Social responsibility

Strategic objectives:  Promote safety and security.  Promote public confidence in the effectiveness of services provided.  Optimal use of intelligence.  Ensure all administrative services are provided based on quality, efficiency and transparency standards.

To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: amer@dnrd.ae Toll Free Number: 04 3139999 - 8005111 Working Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM GDRFA-Dubai http:// www.dnrd.ae Dubai Airport Freezone http://www.dafz.ae Dubai Public Prosecution http://www.dxbpp.gov.ae Dubai Municipality https://www.dm.gov.ae

Department of Economic Development http://www.dubaided.gov.ae Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing http://www.dubaitourism.ae Land and Property Department http://www.dubailand.gov.ae


GDRFA News GDRFA Photographes by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan

UAE News

Al Marri briefed on the development of new smart gates planned at Dubai Airport


Dubai is No. 1 top jobs destination for US expats

Happiness Hour initiative launched in Abu Dhabi



Middle East News Saudi to launch five-year resident ID card for expats

P 21

Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai

Expat employment in Bahrain grows 6 p.c

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri Director General

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General

General Coordinator Major Khalid Al Rahma Editorial Consultant Ghassan Suleiman Creative Manager Mohammed Al Jarouf Executive Editor Shveta Pathak

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Sharjah encourages family tourism

Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai Advertise with us Content, Production, Marketing & Advertising Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management Phone: + 9714 2566707 Fax: + 9714 2566704 Website




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Al Marri briefed on the development of new smart gates planned at Dubai Airport H is Excellency Major General Mo-

hammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, visited Dubai airport on the first day of Eid and inspected new smart gates. Travellers coming through Dubai Airports during Eid Al Fitr were greeted with flowers and a card, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs reported, saying even with the rush of passengers entry processes were handled efficiently. “The UAE is a highly popular tourist destination. All entry points into the country and the city were very well prepared to deal with the tourist rush during Eid,” Major General Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, Director-General of the GDRFA, said. “The department has developed procedures so that all processes are as succinct and quick as possible.”

Al Marri visited the GDRFA at Dubai Airport during the first day of Eid Al Fitr. He inspected the new generation smart gates, which are expected to be installed at the airport soon. He saw the new designs for gates, their quality and ease of use by travelers alongwith safety aspect.

He said the staff at the airport create the first impression of our country and they should reflect our national identity and culture to the visitors in the best manner by ensuring comfort and happiness of passengers, helping them facilitate procedures and answer all their queries. “We have developed our services to make sure all travelling procedures are seamless and expedited. The key to providing an efficient service is to work together as a single team and correspond with other departments.” Al Marri was accompanied during the visit by His Excellency Major General Obaid Mohair Bin Surour, Deputy Director General, GDRFA-D, Brigadier Ahmed Al Muhairi, Colonel Hussein Ibrahim, Colonel Talal Shanqeeti, Colonel Khalaf Al Ghaith, and other officials. 

4 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |


14,600 companies register for GDRFA online service M ore than 14,600 companies regis-

tered for the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) online service in the first six months of this year. The e-portal will become the only medium for companies to apply for residency issuances, visit visas and work permits starting September 1, according to a Gulf news report. In total, over 50,000 companies have registered for the service. Previously, the rule stipulated that all companies employing over five people must use the e-portal. The report quoted Maj Gen Mohammad Ahmad Al Marri, Director-General of the GDRFA, as saying that starting September, all companies and establishments in Dubai will be obliged to use the e-service when submitting applications for their employees and no manual appli-

cations will be accepted by the department.“Through the e-portal, companies will find that all official procedures will be faster, easier and more efficient,” he said. “All companies are required to register at one of our branches before using the service. Starting September, all firms will be obliged to use the e-portal when submitting applications for their employees. No manual applications will be accepted.” So far, three GDRFA branches are accepting e-portal applications from companies: the GDRFA branch in Festival City, Bin Sougat Mall, and the main headquarters in Al Jafliya. However, Major Ali Malallah, acting deputy assistant of the director-general for entry permits and residency, told Gulf News that soon the number of branches accepting e-portal applications

will increase to ten. “We register an average of 1,500 companies a month,” he said. “We will soon be accepting eportal applications in seven other branches as well, to efficiently deal with the rush of applicants.”Maj Malallah said even though 14,627 companies have been reported as registering in the past six months, the actual number may be more. “At times, online accounts are opened for a single person who has a number of companies under his name,” he said, “so, realistically; the number may be much greater than the statistics show.” Maj Malallah said a company’s public relations officer, owner, partner, or an authorised signatory must be present to register with the online service. “The required documents for registering in the service are to be presented personally,” he said. “The application must be filled in both English and Arabic. A photocopy of the establishment’s card must be submitted, along with passport copy of the authorised signatory.” Maj Malallah said the department can be reached via www.ednrd.ae in case of any inquiries. “Alternatively,” he said, “people can contact us directly on 043139911 or on our toll-free number 8005111.”  |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 5


More than 14,600 entry permits issued

GDRFA processes 860,734 transactions during Eid A total of 860,734 transactions have

been processed by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, (GDRFADubai), during the five-day, Eid alFitr holidays. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai attributed the achievement to the efforts and hard work of the residency staff in all sectors and also due to their commitment to providing a simplified and fast services to the public. Maj. Gen. Al Marri said that the achievements, initiatives and qual-

6 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

ity of work by the GDFRA-Dubai cannot be done without the support, and follow-up of H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, pointing out that the GDRFA-Dubai is keen to remain at the forefront of excellency in performance, achievements, and in simplifying work process for customers.

146,782 permit including 134,387 new entry permits.

Statistics suggest that the number of residency visa issued during the five days of the Eid-holiday reached 28,403 including 9,686 new residency visa, 11,294 renewing of residency visa among others while the entry permits reached

A total of 1850 establishment cards were also issued during the holiday.

During the same period, follow up on the illegal and foreigners sector dealt with 1681 transactions including 179 absconding cases, 821 leave permits, 24 forged document among others, and the number of issued and renewed Emirates egate cards reached 1637.

In addition, ship movements at the Dubai sea ports saw 356 arrivals and 372 departures. ď‚…



Many more services ahead T he UAE has added another achievement to its kitty with the launch of the online visa service for GCC expats.

The UAE is the first country in the Middle East to have launched an online visa facility for GCC expats and launch of this service is not an overnight decision but a result of serious efforts of the Ministry of Interior, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai and other emirates.

queues at the airport and also make the work of our staff easier and faster.

The introduction of this facility is driven by the vision of our leaders to make smart services an integral part of every service in the UAE and offer the best services to our customers and visitors round the clock.

Considering the service is a major initiative that will benefit a large number of people, we have published an in-depth story in this issue of Manafez Dubai with important details about the facility.

The service will be soon available on smart phones as well.

I promise everyone that the online visa service is not the end. There are many more services and initiatives to come that will enhance experience of passengers and our visitors.

This unique smart service aims to further strengthen the image of UAE as a unique tourism destination and improve quality of services offered to the visitors to make their visit enjoyable, comfortable and memorable. I am sure online visa will enhance flexibility for visitors, falling in the category that can avail of it, and it will make their life easier as they can obtain visas sitting in their homes or offices within a few hours.

I would like to thank the entire team, who worked hard to make this service a reality and benefit millions of people. Especially my brother Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA-D, who has given us all the support to attain our target to offer the best services without compromising on the safety aspect and keep the emirates safe.

On this occasion I would like to bring to the attention of our brothers in GCC countries that October 1 is the deadline for accepting the visa at the airport. Thereafter, they should obtain online visa, which will save them from getting into

Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor Deputy Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 7

UAE News

Dubai is No. 1 top jobs destination for US expats

D ubai has emerged as the most soughtafter destination among US residents keen on working abroad.

According to a research by Aetna International, a health benefits provider, Dubai has been the most sought after destination since January 2013 for US citizens, moving Europe’s primary financial centre London to second place after being the top of the wish list since 2006. Aetna looked at Google Trends data for the world’s 40 largest countries and their capitals since 2006, found that Dubai has been the most searched location since January 2013. London, which used to top the wishlist, landed the second spot. Paris, which occupied the third spot, is also

9.1 per cent people look for jobs outside their country

attracting American interest, as well as Singapore and Rome. Caroline Pain, marketing director Aetna International, said in a press release: “Compared with 2006,US citizens appear to be considering a far broader range of countries than ever before when it comes to working abroad. Dubai has now overtaken London as the most popular city for Americans looking for jobs overseas. It’s also interesting to see Paris becoming the third most searched glob-

al city, pushing Singapore down the table.” Pain added, “Like everyone else around the world, it would appear US residents think about job prospects along with their New Year’s resolutions. Our research analysis discovered two noticeable trends year-overyear –a peak in January, and in the middle of the year, with searches trailing off toward the end of the year.”

Total number of expatriates worldwide was around 50.5 million in 2013

The trend in US residents choosing to ‘expatriate’ has consistently risen since 2008 with the number reaching a record 3415 in 2014. Aetna International’s research did highlight the job search market experiencing a decline in 2011 but, since 2013, the overall trend shows a relatively steady level of interest in expat working. According to reports, there were 7.8 million expatriates working in the UAE in 2013, comprising more than 80 per cent of the country’s population, according to published reports. Americans have a population share of approximately 40,000 in the UAE and the number is expected to increase. 

8 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

UAE News

Happiness Hour initiative launched in Abu Dhabi

T he Ministry of Interior, represented

by the General Directorate of Naturalisation, launched the ‘Happiness Hour’ initiative, Emirates 247 reported. The initiative will be implemented at the level of the various naturalisation departments and sections nationwide to measure the levels of customer satisfaction with the services provided to them and aims to streamline and simplify the procedures, speed up transactions, and take care of customers. Colonel Suhail bin Kaltham Al Khaili, Deputy Director General of Naturalisation for Investigation Affairs, launched the initiative during a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Directorate General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi.

Quoting Major Ahmed Hadi Rashidi, Deputy Director of the Naturalisation Department in Abu Dhabi, the report said the initiative is part of the Ministry of Interior’s 2014 2016 strategic plan. “It aims to strengthen public confidence in the effectiveness of the services provided to our customers, and to achieve the Ministry’s values of excellence, teamwork, and social responsibility,” the report quoted him as saying. Maj. Rashidi pointed out that the initiative serves as a channel for direct communication with customers, enabling them to engage directly with officials and to contribute their opinions and suggestions. “In accordance with the standards of quality and efficiency, this initia-

tive would contribute to the development and improvement of work standards alongside the provision of services,” he said. Continuing, the Deputy Director of the Naturalisation Department indicated that a survey will be distributed to customers in order to gather the opinions and suggestions that would assist in the further development of work procedures and the provision of exceptional services, said the report. The launching ceremony was attended by Colonel Yusuf Khouri, Deputy Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi; and Colonel Saeed Salem Al Shamesi, Head of the Information and Follow-up Department, along with a number of officers and customers.  |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 9

UAE News

Emiratis, followed by Saudi Arabians are biggest investors

Indian, Britons, Pakistanis top expat investors in Dubai real estate

I ndians were the most prolific for-

eign investors in Dubai’s real estate during the first half of the year, with a total of 3,017 transactions worth AED7.8 billion, the Dubai Land Department said. British investors were ranked second with deals worth AED4.7 billion, followed by Pakistani investors. A total of 13,166 investors from India, Pakistan, Britain, Canada, Russia, China, US, France and Afghanistan were involved in deals worth a total of AED30 billion. Almost 20,000 investors spent more than AED53 billion ($14.4 billion) in Dubai real estate during the first half of 2015, a report in Arabian Business quoted the Dubai Land Department (DLD) as saying. As many as 19,848 investors from 142 nations had been behind property transactions in the emirate during the first six months of the year. DLD’s report also revealed that GCC investors completed AED17 billion worth of transactions, with Emiratis forming the lion’s share of this figure (2,130 transactions worth AED11.494 billion), said media reports. Saudi Arabians were ranked second with 999 real estate transactions worth AED3.174 billion. Kuwaitis were ranked third, followed by Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

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Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, director general of DLD, said: “One look at the figures from DLD’s Research and Real Estate Studies Department is enough to show us that Dubai’s real estate sector is now enjoying sustainable growth. “Based on the strong performance of the market, we fully anticipate that the momentum will be continued throughout the next five years as we lead up to Expo 2020, the biggest marketing event in the world.” He added: “The diversity in investors’ nationalities revealed by the report shows that the Dubai market is international and that investor confidence is increasingly being cemented thanks to the wise real

estate policies laid down by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler Dubai.” DLD’s report showed that 2,756 investors from 16 Arab nations completed transactions worth more than AED6 billion in the first half of 2015. Jordanians made transactions to the value of AED1.4 billion, while Lebanese nationals were second on the list of Arab investors having conducted AED1.2 billion worth of transactions. Investors from Egypt came in at third place followed by those from Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Algeria, Palestine and Morocco. 

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 11

UAE News

HH Sheikh Mohammed inspects Dubai International Airport


is Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inspected a number of facilities at the Dubai International Airport to have a first-hand assessment about the smooth movement of passengers through this vital and international gateway. He, accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, toured Terminal 3 which is exclusively dedicated to Emirates Airline flights. 12 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

He also inspected Emirates Airline counters, about 50 of them, including the Passport Control Section and the First and Business Class counters at the Terminal which is the largest airport terminal in the world. Sheikh Mohammed and the accompanying delegation accom-

panying took the monorail from Terminal 3 to Concourse D, the world’s first dedicated A380 facility used exclusively by Emirates, at the Dubai International. He was briefed about the quality of world-class services and facilities as well as comfort and good treatment provided by the airport au-

UAE News

thorities to inbound and outbound travellers using the Dubai International, the number one airport in the world for international passengers. Sheikh Mohammed commenced his tour at the departures lounge in Terminal 3 where he inspected the baggage delivery service system at the Emirates check-in counters, the weighing mechanism and passport verification, all of which are carried in less than ten minutes. Sheikh Mohammed also inspected counters of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, and was reassured of the speed and ease of procedures. He then took the internal monorail connecting Terminal 3 to concourse A where passengers board

the new Airbus A 380. Sheikh Mohammed also toured the corridors of the concourse and its facilities to make sure passengers are comfortable when travelling. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed briefed him about the rising number of travellers through the Dubai International Airport which is expected to reach 80 million by the end of this year. Dubai, he said, has become the world’s favourite destination given its -state-of-art-airport facilities, unparalleled customer services and user-friendly facilities.HH Sheikh Mohammed expressed his satisfaction about procedures at the airport and continuous upgrading of services and facilities for the travellers, a move that has brought for the country a

good international reputation. Commending the services enjoyed by travellers on board Emirates flights, he noted: “Our planes carry along with them the messages of love and peace from our people to people from other parts of the world to bring cultures closer.” Among those who accompanied HH Sheikh Mohammed and HH Sheikh Ahmed during the tour included Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director General of Protocols and Hospitality Department, Eng. Khalifa Al Zafeen, Vice Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, Major General Obaid Mohair bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai). 

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 13

Cover Story

Online visa facility for GCC expats hailed by travelers, tourism industry


he visa service has received tremendous response and over 12,535 visas were issued from June to August. Hailing the service, senior officials from government departments, hotel and tourism industry said the service brings Dubai closer to attaining its Tourism Vision for 2020 of attracting 20 million visitors every year.

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Starting on the 1st of October; visa applications would be done online via all access ports to Dubai, according to the GDRFA Dubai. Airliners providing connection flights between the UAE and GCC States will allow GCC expats working in the Gulf in specific professional domains and holding valid work residence permits there, to board their flights to the UAE only if they have attained their visas online. Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director of the GDRFA-Dubai, told Manafez Dubai: “The online visa service comes as part of the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VicePresident and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to work on providing government services round the clock via mobile phones and smart devices for the public. We are committed to enhancing traveler experience.” Al Marri said starting October, GCC expats visiting UAE will only be admitted in via the online visa service. With the online service, he said, visa can be obtained merely six hours prior to their flights departure. Major General Al Marri said the coming months will witness great achievements in relation to ports services in UAE in general, and Dubai in particular. These include the application of the online visa facility; a step that shall contribute to facilitating the flow of visitors to the UAE, while simulta-

Online service brings Dubai closer to Tourism Vision for 2020 Appreciating the online facility, Helal Almarri, Director General Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said: “The introduction of the online visa facility by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) further strengthens Dubai’s collective efforts in attracting more visitors, bringing us closer to achieving Tourism Vision for 2020.

Almarri said that Dubai’s strategic global location, its world-class infrastructure, attractions, high accessibility and facilitated connectivity placed the emirate as the 5th Global Destination in the MasterCard Global Destination Index last year.

“This was reinforced with our visitor outcome for 2014 where the emirate attracted 13.2 million overnight visitors – an 8.2 per cent increase from 2013 –outpacing the global tourism sector average growth which is 4.7%. In addition to that, Dubai International Airport ranked number one in international traffic and the emirate grow its business events, or MICE, “Through the online visa facility, tourism by 10 per cent,” he said. expat residents of our neighbouring countries are encouraged to visit “The support of the GDRFA, alongDubai, and it not only streamlines side our other government and prithe entry process for them and their vate sector partners has been, and travelling companions, but also en- will continue to be, vital in helping sures a great first impression of the Dubai Tourism achieve its goals and city and setting the stage for what we look forward to further fosterwe know will be a memorable and ing this mutual support as we look enjoyable Dubai experience,” he to 2020, and beyond,” said Helal added. Almarri. Dubai Tourism has long worked in coordination with organisations such as the GDRFA as we collectively head towards achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of making Dubai the world’s most visited family destination.”

neously enhancing security procedures, and ensuring the vision of our State to become the best country in the world in the domain of safety and security.

Dubai is witnessing major creative transformations that shall provide for greater leadership on international level and ensure UAE incoming visitors advanced |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 15

Cover Story

and quick services and facilities through the various access ports to Dubai, he said. The Directorate stated that these achievements are only the fruits of the directions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the follow up provided by His Highness Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Interior. These aim at enhancing the position of the UAE as an all-domain leading destination, and provide visitors round-the-clock smart services of the highest international standards. Major strides Major-General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director-General of the GDRFA-Dubai said that the Directorate has made great

16 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

GDRFA-D launches extensive marketing campaign to encourage use of online facility

strides in achieving the UAE’s vision to become a preferred tourist destination and to provide services matching its reputation. He said the online visa facility has left positive impression among visitors arriving the UAE via Dubai airports, as it saves time spent on acquiring visa upon arrival. “Dubai has become a preferred destination for tourists coming from GCC due to an exceptional environment of recreation, comfort, and shopping it provides specially for families, enabling them to derive pleasure from each moment they spend amidst a welcoming environment characterised by generosity, safety and

security”, Major-General Obaid stated. The services to be enjoyed by GCC expats visiting the UAE include usage of iPhone, Android and Black Berry smart phone applications to apply for entry visa to the UAE. Major-General Obaid indicated that the Directorate is implementing a wide-scale marketing campaign in coordination with its strategic partners to promote this service, especially that it would become compulsory starting October. Airlines such as Emirates, Fly Dubai and the rest of Gulf carriers, would not, after this date, take on board any passenger who does not hold an online visa to Dubai issued in advance. Airlines that allow boarding of any passenger, who does not

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hold an entry visa, or who is not allowed to enter the UAE, are subject to accountability and to payment of fines, in addition to boarding back such passenger to the destination of origin. Immediate notification on phone Lieutenant-Colonel Talal Shanqeeti, Assistant Director-General for Airports Affairs at the GDRFA-Dubai, said that the GDRFA is encouraging the public to use the online visa portal. He said: “Before introducing this facility, the application process to acquire a visa upon arrival via immigration counters in Dubai airports used to take around 40 minutes. GCC visitors can now finalise their entry procedures via Dubai airports in less than 3 minutes. They can also use their smart phones to take a picture of the visa barcode to facilitate their entry procedures.” The online visa facility provides applicants with immediate notification on their mobile phones when the visa is ready, and eventually they can present it via their phones upon arrival at Dubai International Airport, once the service is officially activated starting October 1. Giving details, Lieutenant-Colonel Al Shanqeeti said:"We started testing this service late in 2014." Given the huge expansion in the facilities of Dubai airports and our diligence to implement the UAE vision that will achieve a huge leap to the State’s ports in-

Starting October, all visa applications by GCC expats to be done online or through smart applications

dustry, the higher management chose to postpone the application of this smart service until the right time. It is opportune now that the Ministry of Interior has given green light to start implementing the service on all ports of the State.” Al Shanqeeti said the introduction of online facility was preceded by relentless efforts and high level coordination by all related government bodies to ensure the correct implementation that fulfils the formula of facilitating visitors’ processes, whilst ensuring the strict security procedures followed by the State to safeguards its achievements are maintained. Thanks to these efforts, this facility has now become a reality. “How wonderful are the challenges we have all faced to make available for UAE visitors this level of facilitation, which is bound to make their access via its airports and different ports, a magnificent and long lasting experience. Those wishing to visit the UAE can access the Directorate website from their workplaces or homes, and acquire this free of charge service by registering their data, paying the fee, and waiting for reply to their application at least six hours prior to boarding the plane”, he added.

Talal Shanqeeti Lieutenant-Colonel Al Shanqeeti stressed that applicants receive immediate notification on their mobile phones when the visa is ready. Fees for acquiring the tourist online visa amount to AED 185, and this visa is renewable. Lieutenant-Colonel Al Shanqeeti added “only few extend their tourist visas, with the exception of visitors coming to Dubai for medical treatment, now that the Emirate has become a famous Arab and international destination for medical treatment.” Specific Airports Speaking about the ports through which visitors can access the UAE via the online visa facility, Lieutenant-Colonel Al Shanqeeti explained an important point, in which he stressed that a visitor who has acquired an online visa should enter via the airport he/ she specified when filling the application. He indicated that other airports of the State would only allow entry via the airport specified in the visa data. The Assistant Director-General for Ports Affairs said “the online visa |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 17

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facility is a new system, but the Directorate’s work team managed to connect it to the old visa system. This step would expedite the implementation of the UAE Vision within a short time and record more successes in the ports industry with regards to improving security and introducing more facilitation to the flow of visitors and passengers through our ports on the level of the State as a whole.” “Thanks to the early passenger data inquiry system, any person will not be able to enter the State through Dubai ports unless holding a visa issued and security checked in advance. Transit passengers through Dubai airports may still come to the airport and proceed with their flights. The purpose of such facilitation is to avoid harming the interests of airliners, whilst simultaneously maintaining the country’s security and disallowing unwanted persons from entering the State”, Lieutenant-Colonel Al Shanqeeti added. Technology and Capacity Building Speaking about the importance given to technology, training and capacity building in as far as the ports industry is concerned, Al Shanqeeti stressed, “We have learned from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum that creativity and innovation are the secret for success. Hence, the higher management directed us to use smart solutions to overcome the challenges related to the record growth in the numbers of passengers via Dubai airports, and provided us with all 18 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

12,535 online visas issued since June

the support and mentoring to fulfil this assignment. By the grace of God, we have succeeded. The encouragement and praise we receive from our Leadership is a medal of honour on our chests, and an incentive for all to keep on giving to achieve wished for goals.” Hotels, tour operators record rise in tourists Those travelling to the UAE said they find the online process much easier and faster and can now travel more frequently to the region, which has numerous tourist attractions. Tourism industry in the UAE hailed this distinguished step, which would further enhance the importance of Dubai on the global tourism map, and award it more competitive advantages compared to other destinations. The service comes at a time when Dubai International Airport is witnessing record growth rates, and is expected to handle 79 Million passengers by end of this year, and around 100 Million passenger by 2020, compared to 71 Million passengers last year. The new facility is bound to add more flexibility to the flow of visitors through airport immigration counters, and reduce their waiting time to just 15 seconds. According to hotel representatives and tour operators, they

have already started witnessing rise in number of enquiries from the visitors and they expect numbers of visitors to the UAE to grow significantally. Amit Biswas, Director of Sales, Le Meridian Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, said: “We have witnessed an increase in the number of queries which can be attributed to the online visa service. Anyone can apply now, and this ease of visa availability is attracting more visitors to Dubai.” Faster Processes Mohammed Elkaram, General Manager, Signature Hotels, said: “The online visa facility has made the process much faster and easier for GCC expatriates. We have witnessed a rise in the number of tourists coming from these countries of late and also an increase in the number of people doing online bookings for hotels even though at this stage it is difficult to give exact numbers on the same.” As the process is much faster, industry players said the facility will encourage GCC expats to travel more frequently to the UAE. “In particular, the online visa facility will further encourage the expatriates who are keen on visiting the UAE over the weekend. They can simply complete the visa process online,” said Elkaram. Corroborating his views, Biswas said: “The chance of getting a visa is almost 99.9%, there by en-

Cover Story

couraging travellers to opt for Dubai increasing the footfall of visitors here.” The reduced time has added to the convenience of the passengers. It’s a great initiative, especially as it will reduce the paper work, be easier and more convenient for visitors as applying online means they don’t have to wait in long queues and they can do it at their own time and convenience. It is also more cost effective for visitors as there is no more agent commission involved,” said Biswas. The number of queries has already risen and in hotel operators

said they expect business to get a major boost in near future. Elkaram said: “We expect the number of tourists to grow further with this move and many people will visit more frequently than they did earlier. It will provide a lot of opportunity to businesses, especially hotels.” Tremendous response With the launch of the online service, which can be availed by GCC expatriates on residence visas, people no longer need to get into queues to pay for UAE entry permits upon arrival at the airport as they can apply for the visas online itself.

Within the first month of the launch over 3,000 people availed of the service. Starting October, the visas for GCC expats visiting the UAE will be done only online. Al Marri said the decision allows GCC expatriates to enter the UAE through any of its borders through a simple process. He said that a total of 2,628 online visas were applied for by GCC residents in one month itself — 2,512 for expatriate residents and 116 for domestic helpers. He said the online visa service, which started in April, has fast-tracked transactions at the airport. |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 19

Middle East News

Expat employment in Bahrain grows 6 p.c T he number of expats employed in Bahrain grew by six percent during the first quarter of the year, media reports said.

Quoting the latest Bahrain Labour Market Indicators released by the country’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), the reports said that employment growth among foreigners was more than double the growth rate for Bahrainis (two percent).

In total, 538,480 expats were employed in Bahrain at the end of the first quarter, up from 508,002 at the same time last year, media reports said quoting the Gulf Daily News. Meanwhile, the number of employed Bahrainis rose to 156,429 from 153,525 over the quarter.

The figures mean that expats account for 77 percent of Bahrain’s workforce, the newspaper reported. Total employment in the first quarter of this year across the private and public sector was 694,909, including 65,886 female domestic workers and 42,861 male domestic workers. 

Oman extends amnesty for undocumented workers till October

O man has extended its amnesty for

undocumented foreign workers to leave the country without being fined to the end of October, according to media reports. More than 14,000 illegal workers have applied for the amnesty so far and 8,000 of them have already been deported, while the rest will be deported after legal procedures are completed, Gulf News quoted an official as saying. The Ministry of Manpower announced the amnesty starting May this year for three months with a view to give an opportunity to illegal workers to get relief from fines

20 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

and legal penalties if they voluntarily turned themselves in and exit the country. The deadline has now been extended from July 30 to October 28. An official from the MoM told Muscat Daily, “The decision to extend the deadline has been revised so that more people can avail the offer and travel back home and avoid trouble and legal jurisdiction.” Citing the ministry’s twitter account, the report said that over 6,895 had availed amnesty by June. The account earlier stated that 2,487 illegal immigrants were deported between June 14 and 18 while 2,367

were deported and 1,370 had registered for deportation between June 21 and 25, it added. The move is part of the ministry’s initiative to regulate the labour market. With the amnesty, migrant workers living without proper documents in Oman can travel back to their home country without attracting any fines. A previous amnesty offered at the end of 2009, which lasted until the start of 2011, helped over 60,000 overstaying workers to return home without facing any legal action. Similar amnesties were issued in 2005 and 2007. 

Middle East News

Saudi to launch five-year resident ID card for expats S audi Arabia plans to introduce

national ID cards valid for five years to replace residence visas for expatriates, according to media reports. The new system is likely to be enforced at the beginning of 2016, the reports said. “We will start issuing the new ID card at the beginning of next year. It will replace the residence visa for expatriates,” Madina’ Arabic language daily quoted Lt Colonel Ahmed Al Luheidan, a spokesman for the Passports Department, as saying.

He said ID holders can enquire about the remaining residence period online and that the new card could be extended without the need to have a new one issued. According to a report in the Saudi Gazette, four new electronic services are to be introduced by the Passports Department (Jawazat), including changing the residence permit for expatriates by launching a new card under the name “resident identity card” with new features. It has also been made compulsory for those who benefit from the

Jawazat services to have a mail box “Wassil” so as the department can provide the services to their homes. The service will begin at the start of the Hijri year (October), the report said.At the beginning of Dhul Qi’dah, the Passports Department will stop all companies and establishments’ officials from visiting its offices, as the services will be provided electronically and the identity cards of the workers will be delivered to the locations of the companies and establishments via the mail. 

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 21

International News

Visa waiver agreement between the two countries was signed last year

Visa-free travel between UAE and Seychelles



visa waiver agreement was signed in Abu Dhabi in November last year, in the presence of Seychelles’ President Michel during a working visit to the UAE.

Now that the internal procedures of the UAE and the Seychelles have been completed. The visa waiver has been welcomed across various sectors.

Seychelles is the first African country to sign an agreement of this kind with the UAE

President James Michel said, “The coming into force of this the visa waiver agreement will herald a new period in travel with ease for the Seychellois people and also enhance greater people to people contact, trade and tourism between our two countries.

national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, said: This visa waiver simplifies travel to the UAE for Seychellois passport holders and brings our two countries, which have longstanding bilateral relations, closer together.

It bears testimony to the unique friendship between Seychelles and the UAE. We have very special ties based on mutual respect, understanding and support, and these will be further strengthened by the development of our tourism and trade exchanges,” said President Michel. Seychelles is the first African country to sign an agreement of this kind with the UAE.Welcoming the visa waiver, Joël Morgan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Chairman of Air Seychelles, the 22 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

“It signals a clear intent to build on our existing relationship and symbolises the deep level of trust between Seychelles and the UAE, our largest outbound travel destination and the country with most air connections to our archipelago. “This visa waiver is reciprocated through Seychelles’ policy of granting all foreign visitors a visa on arrival, including UAE nationals, which has contributed to the UAE becoming our fourth-largest inbound tourism market.”

The development will allow Seychellois to visit the UAE for a period of up to 90 days, without applying for a visa before travelling. A visa will be granted free of charge on arrival. Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said: “This exciting development makes travel to the UAE more affordable and convenient for Seychellois, who no longer need to pay or wait for a visa to be processed. “The UAE is a popular holiday and business destination for Seychellois, in particular for its shopping opportunities. In the first half of 2015, a total of 4,425 Seychellois travelled to the UAE, representing a significant 26 per cent of all departures. “In turn, some 8,646 Emirati nationals have visited Seychelles in the first half this year. In response to such strong travel demand, in both directions, we have worked with Etihad Airways to enhance our combined schedules and together offer double-daily flights between Seychelles and the UAE.” 

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 23

International News

No. of immigrants rises by 3.7 p.c

One-fifth people in Germany are migrants T

he number of immigrants living in Germany rose by 3.7 percent last year to a record high of 11 million and a fifth of the population is of a migrant background, according to media reports, which quoted the Federal Statistics Office. The figures highlight Germany’s growing reliance on foreign-born workers to drive its powerhouse economy, Europe’s largest, as well as its acceptance of hundreds of thousands of refugees, said Reuters UK. According to the report, many of the immigrants came from other European Union countries, such as

Poland, Romania, Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary. Last year, the number of people living in Germany of a migrant background had risen by around 1.5 million, or 10 percent, from

2011. The native population — excluding people of a migrant background — fell by 1.4 percent. The figures were based on a sample census, the report quoted Statistics Office as saying. 

No e-cigarettes in checked baggage

T he International Civil Aviation Or-

ganization has amended the 20152016 edition of its Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Doc 9284), prohibiting passengers and crew from carrying e-cigarettes and other battery-powered port-

able electronic smoking devices in checked baggage. The amendment also prohibits recharging the devices in aircraft cabins.“Several incidents have been reported involving e-cigarette heating elements being accidentally activated and resulting in fires in checked baggage,” high-

lighted Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO’s Council President. “We had already recommended that our Member States take actions on these concerns late last year but, after a further review by our Dangerous Goods Panel, it was determined that a formal amendment to the ICAO Technical Instructions should also be undertaken.” ICAO first advised its Member States of electronic smoking device safety issues in December 2014, when they were encouraged to recommend to airlines that their passengers be required to carry such devices in the cabin – and not in checked baggage – so that potential incidents could be immediately dealt with. 

24 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

OUR SERVICES • • • • • • • • • • •

Remittance Corporate Cash Collection Corporate Cash Payout Travel & Tours Remittance Forex Bill Payment Wealth Management Mobile Phone Products Prepaid Cards Loyalty Program

POBox 52035 Dubai U.A.E. - Office:Tel: 04-2350007 - Fax: 04-2350515 TT Dept: Tel: 04-2258520 - Fax: 04-2258990 - Email: info@reems.ae

Al Qusais 2 (Near Dubai Grand Hotel) Behind Haddad Hyderabad Restaurant P.O.Box 231900 Dubai Tel    : +9714-2592470 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 25 Fax   : +9714-2592480

Special Report

Business travel spending to hit a record $1.25 trillion USD in 2015


he Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has projected that global business travel spending will hit a record $1.25 trillion USD in 2015, 6.5 percent growth over 2014.

China’s business travel will increase by 61 percent over the next 5 years, from $261 billion in 2014 to $420 billion in 2019. The increase is greater than the increases in business travel growth in the next 8 largest countries combined, including the U.S., Germany, India, U.K., Indonesia, France, Turkey and Japan, said the report. “Despite recent economic speedbumps, China will pull away as the global leader in business travel over the next five years,” said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick. According to the GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report

& Forecast, sponsored by Visa, global business travel spending will record a 6.5 percent growth over 2014. Growth will remain strong through 2019, with business travel projected to grow 6.9 percent in 2016, 6.0 percent in 2017, 6.4 percent in 2018 and 5.8 percent in 2019. Business travel spending The large majority of business travel spending in 2014 occurred in a few dominant markets. In fact, over two-thirds of total business travel spending continues to occur in the U.S., China and Western Europe. Currently Asia Pacific owns the largest share of the business travel spend market with 39 percent

followed by North America with 27 percent and Western Europe with 24 percent. GBTA expects that by 2019, Asia Pacific will have gained another 3.5 percentage points in market share, while the United States and Western Europe will lose 2.7 percentage points and 0.6 percentage points, respectively. “The global business travel market is incredibly dynamic, with dozens of countries around the world such as China, India and Mexico, growing at remarkable rate,” said Brian Triplett, SVP, Head of Commercial Product, Visa Inc. “As these markets develop, safe and secure electronic payments will help corporations and business travelers around the globe track and manage their business travel spend.” India: The Next Big Thing? • More than any other country, India is poised for breakout growth. In 2014, India had $26 billion in business travel spending, which will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5 percent through 2019 to $45 billion. Fifteen years from now, India will likely be a top-five market in business travel spending. 

26 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 27

Biz World

Petrogas distribution company puts customer service at the core of its objectives

Bin Sidra:

‘We strive for excellence’


bu Dhabi-based Bin Sidra National Petrogas, which distributes petroleum gas across the UAE, has completed around 550 projects including over 4300 villas in Al Falah project in Abu Dhabi.

The company, which has carved a niche for itself in the market in the 19 years of its operations, has a strong team of experienced professionals including engineers. Khalid Bin Sidra, General Manager, Bin Sidra, said: “We are committed to providing the best services at reasonable prices to our customers. To reach this target we continually keep seeking innovative ways to improve our performance and enhance operational efficiencies.” Bin Sidra is engaged in distribution of Central Gas System and Natural Gas, Gas Pipes 28 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

The company is a regular participant at industry events

Installation and Execution and supplying accessories to its customers who range from households to commercials as well as large enterprises. Efficient customer service is at the core of Bin Sidra’s vision, said Khalid. “Attaining excellence is our goal and it is our customers who motivate us to continuously enhance our services. We seek constant feedback and try to ensure that whether it is the

prices, safety, timely delivery or responding to any customer queries, we do it in the most efficient manner, on a par with international standards. We ensure that we deliver in accordance with technical specifications,” he added. Equipped with a team of experienced professionals, Bin Sidra hires the best talent and focusses on continuous improvement of its human resource through regular trainings and orientation programmes. The company is a regular participant at industry events, which is an effort toward staying updated with the latest and implementing best practices.


“By participating in regional and national level events, we learn about the best international practices and as our constant endeavor to innovate and improve, we implement the strategies that help us attain our goal of achieving excellence.

I would say attaining excellence is our prime goal and all our activities are focused on that,” added Khalid. “As an organization, we ensure that we meet the changing requirements of time in an environment friendly manner. Quality and safety of our environment is something we are very particular about,” he said. The company has established tie-ups


with m a n ufacturers worldwide to strengthen its presence. Among the companies it works in association with are Saudi Gas tanks and cylinders Factory, Cavagana Group (Omeca-Parteca-Rec and Jaksa: Solenoids and Gas Accessories. Regarding future plans, Khaled said Bin Sidra’s goal is to continue offering the best and latest services in line with its vision and maintain its credibility as one of the most reliable establishments in the central gas arena in the UAE as well as across the Gulf region. |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 29

International News

US to collect biometrics of foreigners at 10 airports


he US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will collect biometric and biographic information of foreign travelers departing from the country on selected flights, a report by Airport Technology website said.

The Biometric Exit Mobile (BEMobile) Air Test will be implemented at 10 airports including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Newark Liberty , John F Kennedy, Dallas Fort Worth, George Bush Intercontinental and Washington Dulles. Slated to be carried out over a year, the test will evaluate both a new biometric exit concept of operations at selected airports and CBP’s outbound enforcement policies and workforce distribution procedures.

30 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

The new biometric exit concept will see CBP officers using a wireless handheld device at the departure gate to collect biometric and biographic data. The tests are likely to be carried out on pre-selected outbound international flights that will either be selected randomly or to correspond with the existing outbound enforcement operations. CBP officials will inspect the travel documents of passengers including passport, visa and lawful permanent resident card to

determine if he needs to submit the relevant information, said the report. Information of such travellers will be collected by swiping or inputting the information from the travel documents using the wireless handheld device. The collected information will be used to create a biographic- departure record in CBP’s database that will be paired with the biometric data to develop a complete, biometric-based departure record for the passenger, the report added. 


To be a good example for peer organizations


To best help others by providing high-quality materials at the most reasonable prices and by the easiest ways to pay back the amounts due.

Basic Values

1-Innovation: to adopt a continual search methodology for improvement of our processes; to focus on dinding solutions for technical problems; and to keep a positive attitude towards changes. 2-Commitment: to be always committed to distinguished performance with regards to implementation; and observing the required technical criteria during implementation and after completion.

Abu Dhabi: Tel.: +971 2 677 8889, Fax: +971 2 677 8897 , P.O.Box:8217 Dubai: Tel.: +971 4 267 4561 , Fax: +971 4 267 4562 Ajman: Tel.: +971 6 746 4864 , Fax: +971 6 746 4862 E-mail: binsidra@emirates.net.ae |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 31 Website: binsidragas.com

In Focus

Eye tracking: Technology that gives voice to the mute


dvancements in eye tracking technology are making communication easier for those unable to use speech or hand gestures to express.

The technology is being used to provide education, write books, draw and even generate speech by typing a message or selecting phrases. While there is no confirmed statistics available on the number of people who suffer severe impairments causing a complete disruption of motor pathways, according to one estimate, based on National Institute of Health statistics on brain-stem strokes and survival information, as many as 50,000 individuals are affected in the in the United States alone. In many such impairments, the consciousness and cortical functions are preserved even though motor pathways that control eyes, limb movements, face, trunk and phona32 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

History of eye-tracking goes all the way back to 1800s when Louis Emile Javal noticed that people do not read smoothly across a page, but rather pause on some words while moving quickly through others tion are affected, and using the right aids an individual can communicate. Communication can open up for people with locked in syndrome, also called pseudo coma, cerebral palsy, motor neuron disease and muscular dystrophy using eye tracking technologies. “My arms and hands were deteriorating quite rapidly, meaning I couldn’t work anymore.

The Eyegaze saved my software engineering job. I can control a Mac and do everything with my eyes that I used to do with my hands. I can respond to email, I can program, I can control debuggers, I can surf the web, and I can hold conversations.” Testified Jim, a user of Eyegaze Edge. The Eyegaze Edge by LC Technologies is an eye-operated communication and control system that enables people with disabilities to communicate and interact with the world. It helps users can generate speech, either by typing a message or selecting pre-programmed phrases, by looking at control keys or cells displayed on a screen.



Among the initial initiatives in eye-tracking was a device built by Edmond Huey that tracked eye movement in reading

The company says its systems are being used to write books, attend school and enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities all over the world. Users can opt for desktops and even tablets. The technology can be used to provide education, write, draw and even generate speech by typing a message or selecting phrases. Other eye-tracking developments include software that allows a person to do day-to-day tasks, such as opening curtains.

Samsung’s EYECAN+, A volunteer group of Samsung engineers has developed a second generation of the company’s EYECAN eye-tracking technology, designed to allow disabled people to navigate a computer interface. The first of its kind, EYECAN+ does not require users to

wear any device, such as glasses. Instead, it is a single-unit, portable box that sits below the monitor, and works by wirelessly calibrating with the user’s eye. Once hooked up, the user can select out of the 18 commands through eye movement or blinking. To use it, one needs to be 60 cm to 70 cm away from the monitor and EYECAN+ does not require the user to be in any specific position, as it can be used while seated or lying down. Calibration is only required for first-time users, as EYECAN+ will remember each user’s eye characteristics. Users can also adjust the sensitivity for both calibration and actual use. Once calibrated, the EYECAN+ user interface appears as a popup menu in one of two different modes, rectangular menu board or floating menu wheel, both of which contain 18 different commands. Both menu types can be configured to remain at the fore of the screen.

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 33

In Focus

Users can compose and edit documents as well as browse the web through simple eye movement using EYECAN+. To use all 18 commands, all that is needed is eye movement and blinking, and each command can be selected by looking directly at the relevant icon and blinking once. The commands include “copy,” “paste” and “select all,” as well as “drag and drop,” “scroll” and “zoom in.” Additional custom commands can also be created to include existing keystroke commands, such as “close program” (“Alt+F4”) and “print” (“Ctrl+P”). Compared to its predecessor, EYECAN, Samsung’s first eye mouse that was introduced in 34 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

Eye-tracking technology is used in automotive, medical and defence industries to make us safer

March 2012, the calibration sensitivity and overall user experience (UX) of EYECAN+ have been significantly upgraded, partly thanks to Hyung-Jin Shin, a graduate student in computer science at Yonsei University in Seoul. Hyung-Jin Shin, a graduate student in computer science at Yonsei University in Seoul. Born quadriplegic, Shin had worked with Samsung on EYECAN between 2011-12, and took on a key role in developing the EYECAN+ UX by piloting the eye mouse over the course of 17

months and extensively working with Samsung engineers to ensure the burgeoning array of functions and commands remain practical and easy to access and use. Gaze interaction Tobii Dynavox, which provides assistive technology for individuals with communication disabilities, has introduced Tobii Dynavox I-Series+ speech generating devices and accompanying Communicator 5 software. The new I-Series+ I-Series+ devices come with a 12 inch or 15 inch touch screen and optional eye tracking capabilities, supporting communication through voice, email, text messaging, social networking, phone calls and more. Users can also access computer applications and


control their environment including electronic devices, lighting and doors. Compared to its predecessor, the ISeries+ has a more powerful processor making it possible to run Microsoft Windows 8.1, which is more suitable for users relying on touch and gaze input. “With I-Series+ and Communicator 5, our goal was to enable faster communication with great focus on ease of use, both for the end user as well as for people around the users,” says Fredrik Ruben, president of Tobii Dynavox. “One of the features that we are extra proud of, currently introduced as a beta, is the ‘dwell-free typing’ where literate eye tracking users can simply gaze over letters to form words they intend to write. This has the potential to significantly increase communication speed for our users.” “The Communicator 5 Dwell-free typing is so quick. I find I have to really know what I want to say, it is


ye tracking is a field of monitoring what people do with their eyes, what they choose to look at, how their visual activities behave and how their eyes move.


puter with their eyes, similarly as an everyday computer user uses a mouse (e.g., activate, select, zoom, scroll, etc.) to control their computer.

Gaze interaction only requires the movement of the eye itself—the movement of other muscles is not required, making it a perfect solution for those with rehabilitative disabilities (paralysis, spinal cord injury, repetitive strain injury, severe The computer access method carpal tunnel) and motor disallows those with disabilities to abilities (Lou Gehrig’s, cerebral navigate and control their com- palsy, autism, etc.) Eye tracker instruments measure eye behavior- the directions to which eyes are pointed and also predict gaze points, i.e. the locations of the objects in space being looked at.

sometimes quicker than my mind,” said Steve Burns, one of the beta testers, diagnosed with ALS. As eye tracking technology continues to make advancements, users look for affordability and ease of access. Recently, US President Obama signed the Steve Gleason Act into law last month, ensuring Medicare and Medicaid include access to speech-generation technologies,

Advertising, entertainment, packaging and web-design benefit tremendously from studying visual behavior of consumer

according to New Orleans’s WDSU-TV.After a series of changes at Medicare last year, insurance no longer covered the expensive speech-generating devices used by people unable to speak, according to ESPN. The act is named after Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints football player who was diagnosed with a serious debilitating illness in 2011. The new law will affect patients across the nation. The new legislation will “ensure that eye-tracking and ‘gaze interaction accessories’ are covered under Medicare for ALS patients with demonstrated medical needs,” WDSU reported.  |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 35


& Tourism

Family tourism, a key pillar of Sharjah Tourism vision 2021

Sharjah encourages family tourism


amily tourism is among the key pillars of the recently launched Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, under which the emirate aims to attract over 10 million tourists over the next six years.

Once renowned as the most important port on the lower Arabian Gulf and one of the key trade hubs in the region, the Emirate of Sharjah is today better known for its expanding tourism industry.

Dazzling shows and carnivals, enchanting parks and stunning desert landscapes, scenic man-made lagoons and cultural hotspots, Sharjah has all that it takes to captivate everyone in the family.

To attain its target of attracting 10 million visitors over the next six years, as per the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, the emirate is offering attractive packages and offers that are specially designed for family tourists. Earlier this year, figures released by SCTDA showed that during the first two months this year hotels in Sharjah received 42,150 guests from Saudi Arabia alone, primarily families. Reflecting the growing popularity of Sharjah among families, hotels in Sharjah reported 100 per cent occupancy when the schools in the Gulf countries closed for vacation during the Spring break this year.

36 36 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|September |September2015 2015||


Sharjah is offering attractive packages and offers that are specially designed for family tourists in its efforts to encourage family tourism and attract over 10 million visitors by 2021 With year-round activities and festivals showcasing the best of Arabic culture and heritage, Sharjah has ensured that it remains a favorite location for families to relax in a peaceful and secure atmosphere any time of the year. Festivals and events such as the Sharjah Light Festival, the Sharjah Water Festival and the Sharjah International Book Fair have become highly successful in drawing thousands of families from around the region and beyond. Year on year, these events have been growing in size, innovation and creativity, attracting greater numbers of families. In addition, Sharjah offers some of the most distinguished cultural hotspots and outstanding museums. Family holidaymakers also have the unique choice of enjoying Sharjah’s pristine family-friendly beaches on the Arabian coast.

Stunning light displays, music, video projections and colourful displays by artists on historical buildings, transform Sharjah during the annual Sharjah Light Festival. The festival is the largest of its kind, attracting over 200,000 visitors.

& Tourism

is organising towards the end of this year a unique family focused event, the Sharjah International Family Tourism Conference. Featuring training workshops and networking activities, the conference will be attended by experts from tourism and hotel sectors, travel industry, celebrity speakers, ministerial delegations as well as heads of tourism authorities and departments from the region and abroad. The event represents one of the major steps by the SCTDA towards activating the partnership of public and private sector companies and institutions in a collaborative framework to achieve the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021. Having been chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2015 by the Arab Tourism Organisation, Sharjah has shown that it enjoys a distinct status as the region’s leading tourism hub. In the coming years, driven by the Sharjah Tourism Vision 2021, the Emirate is all set to consolidate this position and make it all the more exclusive by emerging as the Ideal Family Tourism Destination. 

Besides, water sports, snorkelling and diving activities are available on the Emirate’s east coast, where families have the option to either camp on the beach or stay in any of the motels and hotels that line the coast. With the family tourist at the core of Sharjah’s tourism roadmap, SCTDA

|Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai||September September 2015 | 37

New Technology

GX Aviation Completes In-Flight Testing; Confirming High-Speed Ka-Band Connectivity

Honeywell and Inmarsat to bring high-speed wi-fi to airplanes over land and water


aving the way for a new era of in-flight wireless connectivity similar to what is available at home or in the office, Honeywell Aerospace and Inmarsat have successfully completed the first phase of hardware and satellite network flight tests for GX Aviation broadband services.

Honeywell’s JetWave-branded hardware enables airplanes to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation for GX Aviation global Ka-band inflight Wi-Fi services. The tests, which included streaming YouTube videos and live radio, online conference calls, downloading files and more, were conducted in the U.K. in June 2015 – validating GX Aviation’s ability to deliver highspeed Wi-Fi connectivity while over land and water. The tests demonstrated a successful connection between the JetWave

38 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|September |September2015 2015|| 38

hardware and Inmarsat’s first Global Xpress satellite, I-5 F1, which powers GX Aviation services for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. This follows the ground-based high-speed and performance tests completed in March 2015. “We are on the cusp of a new era of connectivity in the skies, and the successful testing of our JetWave hardware with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation network is a critical step in getting this service ready for public use,” said Jack Jacobs, vice president of Safety and Connectivity at Honeywell Aerospace.

“Airlines, passengers and pilots continue to demand better, more consistent and faster in-flight WiFi to make their jobs easier and travel experience better. The successful results of the recent tests signify that Honeywell and Inmarsat will soon satisfy these demands.”Inmarsat Aviation president Leo Mondale said, “These flight tests are an exciting step toward the launch of GX Aviation and bringing a true broadband experience to the market. With GX Aviation, airlines and their passengers can finally experience a connectivity service equivalent to what they are used to on the ground. 

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DUBAI, UAE | Landmark Grand | Landmark Riqqa | Landmark Plaza | Landmark Baniyas | Ramada Deira JEDDAH, KSA | Landmark Suites Jeddah | Landmark Suites-Prince Sultan |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 39


& Hospitality

45% people suffer from food intolerance


lmost 45% of the population worldwide is estimated to be suffering from food intolerance. It has long been known that consumption of certain foods can have profound effects on the physical and mental health of susceptible individuals. High consumption of processed foods, a wide variety of which is available these days, only worsens the situation. While less than 2 per cent of the population suffers from food allergies, the proportion of people suffering from some form of food intolerance is much higher. Food intolerance is associated with a wide range of unpleasant symptoms and many chronic conditions. 40 |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 |

Symptoms Symptoms can appear upto 3 days after eating a ‘reactive’ food and can last for weeks. Among the symptoms could be: 1. Gastrointestinal: abdominal bloating, cramping, excessive wind, water retention, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, colic, vomiting, nausea. 2. Dermatological: urticarial, atopic dermatitis, eczema, acne, psoriasis, itchy skin and other rashes. 3. Central nervous System: migraine, headache, impaired concentration, mood and behavioural changes, autism, depression, anxiety, fatigue, dizziness and hyperactivity. 4. Musculoskeletal: arthritis, joint pain, aching muscles and weakness, fibromyalgia. 5. Respiratory: asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, wheezing. 6. Others: weight gain or loss, glue ear, infertility.

Unlike food allergies, food intolerance, however, is not likely to be life threatening. But it can get difficult to identify the foods that cause such symptoms as these symptoms often occur sometime after the food has been eaten. For example, the milk or bread eaten one day could be the cause of joint pains three days later. Some food related symptoms may be caused by enzyme deficiency or chemical sensitivity, while in others an immune response may be involved. Identifying the problem Getting a Food Print test is the first step in identifying the problem and working toward resolving it. The FoodPrint IgG antibody test is a simple finger-prick test that can be done quickly within the clinic set-


ting. It allows more than 220 types of foods to be analysed. The test is suitable from 2 years of age. FoodPrint tests an individual’s reaction to cereals such as corn, durum wheat, gluten, oats, wheat, rye; nuts and beans including soybean, walnut, almonds; Meats and Fish; Vegetables; Fruits; eggs, milk, tea, garlic, ginger Reactions for foods could be mild, moderate or strong, and it is usually advised to eliminate the foods that have shown moderate to strong reactions. The information obtained from the test can be used to make changes in the eating patterns. After one has taken the FoodPrint test, one receives a patient pack which contains a Patient Support guide in addition to the test results. The guide contains information on how to safely remove the trigger foods and substitute them for alternative ones.

Eliminating or rotating foods In case an individual has a number of positive reactions, it might get too challenging to remove all the foods at once and in such case it is advised to: Avoid the foods to which one has a moderate or strong reaction and, Rotate the foods showing a mild reaction. Rotating implies that one does not eat those foods more than once every four days. For example, to rotate wheat, one can have wheat toast on day 1, rice cakes on day 2, corn bread on day 3, oat cakes on day 4 and pasta on day 5. Some people feel slightly worse when they eliminate a food, while it can be difficult to completely give up certain foods, but one needs to persevere. Substitutes trigger foods with those that have not shown any reaction. Trying out new foods also increases the variety of nutrients in one’s diet, helps to stop cravings and add to the pleasure of eating.

& Hospitality

Trying out new foods also increases the variety of nutrients in one’s diet, helps to stop cravings and add to the pleasure of eating

Most people do not need to take a re-test, but in case one wants, it is advised to have a gap of six months between the tests. If symptoms have improved and one has successfully reintroduced the problem foods, a retest is unnecessary. Results An independent survey audit by University of York on behalf of Allergy UK found that 75 per cent of respondents who were suffering a specific medial issue reported a significant improvement within 20 days of eliminating the foods highlighted by the foods intolderance test. Of those, 91 per cent reported a return of symptoms upon re-introducing the foods. 

|Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 41

opinion column

Innovation key driver to future growth H ong Kong’s strategic location at the

doorstep of south China, supported by world-class infrastructure and a wellestablished global trading network, makes it the preferred logistics hub in Asia for goods moved by sea, air or land.

Prof. Anthony Cheung Bing-leung Transport and Housing Secretary Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Of the total freight throughput handled by Hong Kong, some 70 per cent is related to south China. Hong Kong stands ready to play a prominent role in such regional growth as a ‘super-connector’ between China and the world. Today, about 20 per cent of China’s international trade is handled by Hong Kong. Hong Kong offers a wide choice of multimodal transportation links that are much treasured for their flexibility and versatility. To strengthen Hong Kong’s role as the preferred logistics hub in Asia, the government is undertaking major infrastructure projects to enhance the city’s physical connectivity with Mainland China and the rest of the world. Hong Kong International Airport has consistently ranked among the world’s busiest passenger and cargo airports. Indeed, we are, for a number of years, the world’s busiest cargo airport and we are the third busiest international passenger airport after Dubai International and London Heathrow. Every day, we have more than 1,100

Edited excerpts from speech at flights operated by over 100 airlines, the Global Port Research Alliance Conference on Logistics Connectivity connecting our airport to about 180 42 42 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|September |September٢٠١٤ 2015 ||

destinations worldwide, including 45 destinations on the Mainland China. From Hong Kong, one can reach all major Asian economies within four hours’ flight and half of the world’s population within five hours’ flight. To enhance the airport’s handling capacity, the Hong Kong Airport Authority is taking forward the implementation of the three-runway system, with a target commissioning date of 2023. The future three-runway system will increase the practical maximum capacity of the airport by 60 per cent, to handle about 100 million passengers and close to nine million tonnes of cargo per year by 2030. Sponsorship programmes are launched to encourage the adoption of e-freight which can enhance companies’ cargo-handling reliability and efficiency. A Secure Air Freight Enclosure (SAFE) project is supported to develop a device for real-time monitoring of air cargo while carried on trucks to prevent unauthorized tampering. Looking ahead, innovation will be a key driver to future growth. And innovation relies on human talent. To this end, the Hong Kong Government has set up a HK$100 million Maritime and Aviation Training Fund last year to nurture new talent and facilitate professional upgrading. Hong Kong is getting prepared to participate in and contribute to the phenomenal regional growth expected in the next decades. 

opinion column

India offers great opportunities is a special year for IATA as we T his are celebrating 70 years of airlines working together through IATA to create value.

The tag line for our 70th anniversary celebration is “Flying better. Together.” That reminds us of the fact that IATA was created to be a forum for collaboration and partnership and a vehicle to support the development of the standards necessary to the safe and efficient operation of the global air transport network. Aviation today is very different to when we were formed. This year airlines will carry as many people in a day as traveled by air in the entire year of 1945 and the industry has evolved into a job creation machine, employing 56 million people. India is no exception. We can trace nearly 7 million Indian jobs directly to aviation and aviation-related tourism contributing over $23 billion to India’s economy. We are very excited about the government’s commitment to make it easier to do business in India. I am hopeful that the much-anticipated aviation policy, which the government is due to publish for consultation in the near future, will be a major step forward. There is great hope that the policy will help lay the foundations on which Indian aviation will flourish as it develops into the world’s third largest aviation market by 2029. I also hope that the new policy will have a strong focus on using

technology to support global standard best practices. And that would help us to meet customer demands by moving forward the Fast Travel initiative here. According to our 2014 Global Passenger Survey, nearly 75% of air travelers would prefer to check in automatically or via a text message from their airline. The Fast Travel initiative responds to these demands through time-saving, self-service options including selfcheck-in and/or automatic check-in, self-bag tagging and self-boarding and automatic rebooking.

Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, International Air Transport Association (IATA)

There is plenty of opportunity to introduce process automation and selfservice options at Indian airports. My hope that we can progress these areas in India is encouraged by the recent simplification of visa categories and the introduction of the e-tourist visa system. But even as it stands now, this is a major change to a long-entrenched process. That tells me that with political will, even more change is possible—especially with a government that is focused on making it easier to do business. I will close by reflecting on the great opportunity that is India. I must say that, as with previous visits, I am impressed by the potential of this market. It is a big country, a big population and undeniably a big future. 

(Excerpts from remarks at the TAAITAFI Symposium on Future Aviation Trends in Mumbai) |Manafez Dubai |September 2015 | 43

Profile for Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management

Manafez Dubai | September 2015  

16th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai

Manafez Dubai | September 2015  

16th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai