du offers 2GB data and 25-75 minutes for free

Following their network outage over the weekend, Dubai-based telecom company du now offers free data for the interrupted services last March 19.

“As a token of appreciation for du customers affected by the [interruption] in some mobile services on March 19, 2017, we are offering our postpaid customers 2GB data and 75 national minutes, and our prepaid customers 2GB data and 25 national minutes for free,” the telco said in an official statement.

Prepaid customers can enjoy the offer for 1 day, while postpaid customers can enjoy the offer for 30 days, starting from their April bill cycle.

In order to activate the offer customers have to SMS ‘FREE’ to 5050, from 23-27 March 2017, the company detailed.

“Our customers’ satisfaction is a key priority, and we constantly look to raise our standards, to ensure that our customers are able to enjoy a superior and seamless user experience” du added.

Du’s network outage had lasted for nearly six hours last Sunday and some consumers reported that they have even experienced disrupted service a lot longer.

Dubai Municipality issues new rules for escalators

Dubai Municipality will give all shopping centers and other buildings a grace period of two weeks to check and adjust their escalators’ safety to prevent accidents involving children.

The circular listed new safety measures to protect children from accidents on escalators.

Redha Salman, Director of Health and Safety Department, said a minimum of Dh1,000 fine will apply for those who do not follow.

“It (fine) could be higher if other safety aspects are not found to be compliant,” he added according to local news.

The circular also pointed out that all elevators, escalators and moving passageways must have a certificate of examination and compliance with the safety requirements of a company accredited by the Emirates International Accreditation Center, according to Gulf News.

Buildings have been ordered to secure the escalators by installing a cover to protect the upper conveyor belt and provide the required protection at the starting area of the conveyor belt, where children sometimes cling or climb onto. -KCO

Dubai gets world’s fastest ambulance

With the maximum speed of 300 km/hr, the world’s fastest ambulance worth Dh1 million is now part of the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS).

The ambulance is a Mustang car converted into an ambulance and it has been equipped with basic medical devices, alarms, and audio-visual systems.

This sports car turned ambulance will reach the patient or injured in four minutes and offer urgent first aid until the arrival of the ambulance van in eight minutes.

The luxury ambulance vans, according to DCAS, have been deployed in tourist areas like the Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Street and Jumeirah sidewalk. The vehicles will also be stationed at places where conferences and big festivals are held.

“The new ambulances will contribute effectively to boost the image of Dubai as one of the paramount important tourist cities, and much progressing in rendering the services to the visitors, Emiratis, and expatriates,” the Khaleej Times quoted Khalifa bin Derai, Executive Director of DCAS, as saying.

“It is not just for transporting the patients fast, but rather a moving hospital that is operated by an emergency technical team and qualified paramedics to handle the serious injuries as it is equipped with the most sophisticated equipment in the world,” he added.

The fast vehicles of DCAS have already transported as many as 10,000 persons suffering from heart problems over the last two years, and the number of cases in accidents stood at 44,000 last year, local news wrote.

All you need to know about the gadget ban on UK, US flights

Are you scheduled to fly to the United States or the United Kingdom anytime soon? Take note that in accordance with the new directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), people coming from the UAE and other Muslim-majority countries can no longer bring devices larger than a mobile phone such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras in the main plane cabin. Instead, these items shall be put in the checked-in bag of passengers.

The ban which is expected to be enacted in the foreseeable future, as per a U.S. government official in a report by the Associated Press, is a direct response to unspecified terrorist threats against the two powerhouse nation. Intel from concerned agencies revealed that commercial flights continue to be a high target for terrorists. However, involved parties refuse to go into the specifics of the looming threat.

Other sources, meanwhile, cited the occurrence last year in Somalia, where a bomb which was hidden in a laptop attempted and fortunately failed to crash a plane as an inciting incident. This particular example is an indication that groups planning to create chaos is getting more innovative with their schemes and it is better to employ precautionary measures to prevent similar or even worse incidents.

Partaking carriers
Dubai-based carrier, Emirates, have already announced that they will be implementing the rule on their flights to the US and UK. “Emirates can confirm that as per the new security directive issued by, electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smartphone, excluding medical devices, cannot be carried in the cabin of the aircraft,” the airline said in a statement sent to the Khaleej Times.

On top of Emirates, Etihad Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc as well as Qatar Airways, all have until Friday to fully roll out the ban in their aircraft cabins. The ban will cover all direct flights departing from Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City, Casablanca, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports.

Canada and France to soon follow
Following the announcement, officials from Canada and France are said to also be toying with the idea of following suit. Although, both of the countries have yet to take any measures that are geared up towards the implementation of the same rules on their respective countries.

Will Pia Wurtzbach fly as next Darna?

After Angel Locsin finally confirmed that she will no longer be reprising her role as the iconic Philippine superhero, Darna, the guessing game as to who will be the next one to don the red costume has officially begun. Fortunately, there is no shortage of ladies wanting to play the role including confidently beautiful herself, Pia Wurtzbach.

Last January, even before Locsin bowed out of the role, Miss Universe 2016 has actually already expressed her eagerness to take on the mantle. In a Twitter conversation with a fan asking about her interest in the gig, Queen P said “YES! I would love to play the Filipina version of Superwoman! DARNA! 🙂 -Pia.”

Now, talks of her eventually starring in the remake has once again picked up buzz with a lot of fans backing up the casting choice. As of now, however, ABS-CBN, who helms the project, is still tight lipped as to who their choice for the part is.

Dubai Municipality warns tourists on renting out used costumes

Have you tried renting out traditional Emirati costume at tourist spots in the United Arab Emirates? If yes, is it clean? If not, then the establishment that you got your garments from are violating UAE’s hygiene rule and should be fined Dh2,000.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, has issued a health warning against renting out and borrowing used costumes and outfits without proper cleaning and disinfection, local news said. The Dh2,000 fine for first time offenders will increase exponentially if they would continue not following the mandated hygiene protocol.

The warning came after the assistant director general of Dubai Municipality for Health, Safety and Environment Control Khalid Mohammad Sharif Al Awadhi said that the civic body found out that some establishments offer customers with used costumes and outfits for entertainment.

“The reuse of specific costume or outfit for different customers whether for the purpose of photography or any other activities is prohibited, without properly cleaning and disinfecting the items after each customer’s usage,” Al Awadhi explained. Furthermore, storing or throwing these clothes, shoes, socks, caps or any other items on the floor after usage is also prohibited, he added.

“These items must be kept in special cabinets or baskets before or after cleaning and disinfection. The storage of clean and disinfected clothing and items must be done in suitable ventilated areas away from sources of contamination.”

Failure to comply with these directives shall result in punitive actions as per Local Order 11 of 2003 concerning public health and community safety, he added. -KCO

Rainy weekend expected in UAE

If you are planning on a weekend getaway that calls for the sun, it’s better to scrap it off as early as now. The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology, (NCMS) has just issued a warning regarding rainy days that will affect the UAE from Thursday up until Monday.

The weather in the next couple of days is expected to be gradually affected by unstable conditions, where the clouds will increase from time to time with a chance of scattered rain.

”The wind will be freshening from time to time and sometimes become strong with towering clouds activity, causing blowing dust/sand especially over exposed areas. The sea will be rough in the Arabian Gulf and Sea of Oman,” the NCMS said as quoted by Emirates 24/7.

Aside from planning other weekend activities done indoors, motorists are also advised to be extra cautious when driving as roads will be slippery wet.

Qatar reports 1st case of MERS-CoV this year

A new case of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) is recently reported in Qatar, marking the country’s first case of the disease in 2017.

The patient was identified as a 62-year-old male expatriate, according to a statement translated and posted by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease blog, from Qatar’s Ministry of Health.

This case raises Qatar’s total to 19 since MERS-CoV was first detected in that country in 2012. The Ministry of Health revealed that 7 of those 19 patients have died.

Upon further testing, it was ruled that the infection was more likely acquired locally instead of it being travel-related. The patient was said to be suffering from comorbidities, including chronic illnesses, and did not report traveling outside the country or having contact with any symptomatic people in recent weeks. Over the course of time before he was diagnosed he had a fever, night sweats, and abdominal pain.

As of now, there is no current vaccine against the viral respiratory disease so it is advised that everyone should be diligent about their health choices.
Despite not having any case reported yet in the UAE this year, it is always best to follow proper hygiene practices like regular hand-washing and exercise healthy habits to reduce the risk of getting not just MERS-CoV, but also any kind of transmitted disease.
Furthermore, if you ever find yourself feeling unwell with symptoms syncing up with that of MERS-CoV, immediately get checked by a professional so you can be treated right away.

UAE sets stiffer traffic fine, punishment

A set of new regulations, covering a comprehensive range of traffic discipline and violations, will soon be implemented across the country, according to the Ministry of Interior.

Announced last Wednesday via an official announcement in the UAE Gazette, the organization is looking to roll out a new set of rules for drivers and passengers alike in an effort to decrease road accidents and fatalities.

The draft has already been signed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

This will cover multiple and in-depth violations, which could mean stiffer penalties for offenders, such as heavy fines, black points, and impounding of vehicles.
As an example, reckless driving will incur a fine of Dh2,000, 23 black points, and impounding of the vehicle for a period of 60 days, the report revealed.

The same punishment and fine will be applied to drivers who endanger the lives of others. Reckless driving will also apply to buggy drivers, who will receive a Dh3,000 fine and have their buggy impounded for three months.

Drivers caught under the influence of alcohol or drugs will have their license suspended for one year, starting from the day of the verdict.

On top of these, all passengers in a car will be mandated to wear seat belts. Those who fail to follow proper protocol will have the driver of the vehicle fined Dh400 and slapped with four black points.

The date of implementation of the regulations is yet to be confirmed.

Duterte, Robredo urge allies to focus on nat’l issues than impeachment cases

Vice President Leni Robredo found herself an unlikely of President Rodrigo Duterte in an effort to impeach her.

President Duterte, who was fresh from his diplomatic trips to Myanmar and Thailand held a press conference at NAIA where he told his allies to lay-off of Vice President Leni Robredo’s back.

“We just had an election. Guys, lay off. Stop it. Do other things but don’t tinker with structure of government,” he said as reported by local media outlets. “I will not countenance it. Elected yung tao.

Duterte is currently facing charges for his administration’s war on drugs that is believed to be a breeding ground for extra-judicial killings in the country as well as claims on his hand on the Davao Death Squad.

Meanwhile, Robredo is on the brink of facing separate impeachment raps over his controversial video shown at the United Nations where she criticized the government’s approach in the war on drugs.

‘Country First’

For the first time the President and the Vice President presented a united front, despite being on separate sides of politics. Both of them are urging everyone to not be carried away with impeachment controversies.

Later on the same day, a pool of reporters caught up with Robredo where she sang a similar tune to that of the President’s regarding focusing on national issues instead of pursuing these impeachment complaints.

“Hindi ko pa napanood ‘yun, pero kung sinabi niya ‘yun, tingin ko naman para ‘yun sa bansa natin,” she said. “Tingin ko ‘yung impeachment—whether against the President or against sa akin—hihintuin nito ‘yung mga dapat pinag-uukulan ng pansin ng Kongreso.”

“Masyadong maraming trabahong kailangan atupagin. Magiging very divisive para sa bansa natin. Tingin ko hindi siya makakabuti in the long run,” she added.