Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Ramadan 01 1434 Hijri ( July 10 2013)

Ramadan etiquette for expats across UAE & GCC

With the right attitude, non-Muslim expatriates and visitors can have a great time during Ramadan in the UAE & GCC It’s a wonderful moment to immerse in local culture, as local and Muslim expatriate residents observe the month-long fast from dawn till sunset.

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Indian graduates unfit for employment

Shocking: Nearly 50% of Indian graduates not fit to be hired, says a new report. The study, National Employability Report-Graduates 2013, conducted by Aspiring Minds, a company involved in assessing various aspects of education, training and employment, reveals that nearly half of Indian graduates are not fit to be hired.

The country boasts of 5 million graduates every year but if nearly 50 per cent of them are unfit to enter the job market, it is quite a big problem that needs to be addressed.

DETAILS HERE

Train in UAE by 2018

Etihad Rail is evaluating bids to connect key cities and industrial hubs in the country and link them to the Saudi border as part of the most important phase of the UAE’s multibillion dollar railway project.

With the first phase of the project under way, the government-owned Etihad Rail has turned its attention to the key 628km of rail lines that will connect Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain, and run to Ghweifat on the border.

The first phase of the project connects the Shah oil and gas field with the port of Ruwais. The railway will transport sulphur from the Shah sour gas project that will begin operating next year. Etihad Rail expects the 264km of rail to be operational before the year is out.

The second phase will extend the section that is running along the coast on both sides, linking the main cities to the border with Saudi Arabia.

Phase two is divided into several packages for the various stretches of rail, as well as the supporting infrastructure. “Tenders for the second phase have been submitted,” said Richard Barrett, chief executive for the Middle East at Atkins, the engineering firm responsible for the concept design for the project.

Etihad Rail’s third phase will run to the Omani border, as well as connecting the oil and gas logistics hub of Fujairah with the rest of the country.

Once all three stages have been completed by 2018, in a construction process estimated to cost Dh40 billion, the UAE will be covered by about 1,200km of track, and the network is expected to boost the economy by facilitating the movement of goods and people.

The UAE’s industrial hubs of Jebel Ali, Mussafah, Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone in Taweelah and Fujairah port outside the Strait of Hormuz will all be connected by Etihad Rail, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi and the federal government. Through its connection to the rest of the GCC, the UAE will be able to build up its position as a regional trade and logistics hub.

So far, Saudi Arabia is the only GCC state with a rail network. More than 1,300km of track connects Riyadh with the kingdom’s main oil-producing region on the Gulf coast and provides transportation for industry and the military.

Saudi Arabia’s Rail Master Plan envisages the construction of a further 5,500km of track by 2025 and includes a line to connect the UAE with Qatar and Kuwait, as well as one that would link up the Gulf and the Red Sea.

Tips to sleep well during summer nights

We end up having sleepless nights when the temperature mercilessly goes up. If keeping windows open for fresh air is one way to get good sleep, there are more you can do to sleep like a baby. a website has shared advice given by the Sleep Council on how to get perfect night’s sleep during summer season.

To keep the room cool during night, start from daytime by keeping curtains drawn.
Use cotton sheets instead of blankets.
Wear light cotton nightwear to absorb perspiration.
Take bath with cold water before bedtime to lower your body temperature.
Also drink cold water during evening and keep a bottle of water near your bed.
Stay away from heavy meal, caffeine, as these can make you feel hot in the middle of the night due to dehydration or over-active digestion.

To get relief from heat, you can put a tray of ice and water in front of the fan which will further cool the air.

Some NOT-TO-DO-AT-WORK tips

with recession in UAE almost over job market is thriving again companies are hiring and more ‘LOCAL market experience’ candidates per vacant slot available employers are looking for top notch people at bargain salary package. following are five tips to-avoid-being-replaced gathered by the job market experts

Doing your day’s work honestly is, of course, the golden mantra, but not doing certain things can also help you avoid unnecessary problems at the workplace.

If you want to be seen as a serious employee, you just have to be more careful about not making some annoying mistakes, unless you really don’t care about losing your job. That’s why you need to avoid doing these five things at work.

#1 Being too Social – Online, that is

One of the biggest mistake people make at work is abusing the time they have with spending it recklessly on the Internet and social media. While the Internet and social media are great work tools, they can be – and are often – misused.

And misusing the Internet can have serious repercussions. “The biggest mistake people make at work is abusing the time they have on the Internet, social media and using their company e-mail for private purpose,” Jennifer Campori, Managing Director, Middle East and Europe, Charterhouse Partnership, told Emirates 24|7.

“While the Internet and social media are great work tools, they can be abused and the last thing companies want to pay for is your time on the Internet,” she added.

Employees often chat online with family and friends, spend time on Twitter and Facebook during the time they should be slogging hard for the company they are employed with.

“It is unethical. How can employees use somebody else’s time, money and bandwidth? They are being paid to work, not socialise,” said the HR manager of a multinational bank in Dubai without wishing to be named.

#2 Online Shopping

An extension of the excessive use of the Internet, some employees also shop online while at work.

Time that could have been used productively is often wasted on Souq.com, eBay, Amazon and a whole lot of other sites, whether window shopping designer labels or actually swiping the credit card for the goods purchased.

“Invariably, all travel booking and ticketing is done in office – checking the best rates available to taking the ticket print-out – is all done on somebody else’s money,” said an employee working with a media company in Dubai. Avoid it.

#3 Gossiping and Office Politics

Gossiping should be avoided under all circumstances. Recruitment experts in the country believe it can only have adverse effects and reactions.

“There are objective rules like avoid too much gossiping,” said Konstantina Sakellariou, Partner, Marketing & Operations Director at Stanton Chase International.

“Most importantly, employees should avoid any office politics or gossip in the workplace. While it may be tempting to join in discussions about issues or individuals, your comments may find themselves related to senior managers, potentially impacting your advancement with the company,” said James Sayer, Director, Robert Half Middle East.

“Instead, try to take the high road by walking away or politely declining to engage in such behaviour,” he suggested.

Passing on information to another employee, who then passes it on to the next one, should also be avoided.

For example, talking about a particular ‘undeserving’ employee getting the biggest hike when this may not be the case will only lead to feelings of discontent among other team members, and you may have to face the wrath of the boss if the gossip is tracked back to you.

#4 Missing in Action

Taking too many leave often leaves a bad impression and no boss or office will give you a clean chit to stay away from work. Silly excuses to just avoid work can only land you in deeper soup. In this case, you will be given a few warnings, which then may lead to termination.

“Avoiding absenteeism and being a good team player,” are traits that should be followed at work, says the Stanton Chase expert. “However, things an employee should avoid will depend on the company one works for. For instance, in some companies, arriving late in the morning might be frowned upon whereas in other companies, it might still be acceptable,” she added.

#5 Complaining About Your Job

Negativity nurtures negativity. Employees should be smart enough to behave professionally in today’s job market.

Avoid acting unprofessional by constantly complaining about your job, salary or working conditions. Be proud of your work, your workplace or at least pretend to be until you have the next offer letter in hand.

Sewage waste in Food

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has withdrawn a batch of its chocolate almond and butterscotch cakes across 23 countries after it was found to contain sewage bacteria.

The UAE is one of the 23 countries mentioned in the recall.

The traces of coliform bacteria under investigation in the suspected batch can be found in soil, vegetation, water, as well as in the faeces of humans and warm-blooded animals.

read details here

Dress code for UAE

What is indecent for men
Very short pants in public or commercial places like malls and public offices

Chest nudity
Ezar in public places (Ezar is the local Emirati male underwear)

What is indecent for women
Clothing that exposes the stomach and back Short clothing above the knee
Tight and transparent clothing that describes the body

Rules at public beaches
All swimmers should wear conservative swimwear that is acceptable to the culture in Sharjah
Do not wear swimwear in streets or other public places

Living together
It is not allowed for a man and woman who are not connected by a legally acceptable relationship to be alone in public places or in suspicious times or circumstances.

Enforcement

Police, designated employees, security officers, and building guards are ordered to observe, coordinate and ensure adherence to these rules of decency and public conduct.
Police only enforce these whenever a warning is not sufficient.
Public employees are to provide instructions, advice and clarification to the violator, keeping goodwill as the basis in the interaction. In case of negative response, the police may be called in.
When violators of this code seek service, it may be refused and they should be made aware of the regulations.
Source: Sharjah decency and public conduct rules and objectives official brochure

Salary Racism: What’s the Colour of Your Passport?

Shared by a friend in medical profession

Bullying and workplace violence are a real problem in UAE-GCC. The backgrounds and reasons for this unfortunate phenomenon can partly be blamed on the salary disparities between different nationalities performing the same jobs.

The wage system in UAE-GCC is completely based on the color of the employees passport. This goes for all companies hiring foreign staff. My experience is from the nursing field so I will talk more about that specifically.

In most countries the nursing salaries are seen as too low compared to the education level and the actual job responsibilities and duties the job required. The salaries will however usually increase as the nurse gets more experience and training over the years. In UAE-GCC the staff nurse with only two years working experience and the one with 30 years experience plus additional training will earn the same monthly salary. There are no age or experience benefits and specialization will only once slightly increase the salary.

The only determining factor in the salary is the passport which the employee is applying for the job with. In fact, not even nationality matters.

For example an Indian national who worked in Great Britain, obtaining a British passport and dual nationality. He will naturally apply to work in UAE-GCC with the British passport because of the much fatter paycheck. Some Asians, particularly Filipinos knowing this, travel to Canada just to get the passport. It’s the easiest country to obtain a passport from in just a few years. The expats then relocate to the Middle East, applying for the job as Canadians, this way multiplying their earnings.

The below fictional salary table of nurses illustrates how bad the salary disparity in UAE-GCC can be. Salaries of course vary from one hospital to another and there’s a difference between private hospitals and government owned, with the latter paying higher salaries.

Passport = Basic salary per month UAE AEDs

Indian 2500

Filipino 3500

South African 7000

Malaysian 8000

Arabs (Lebanon, Jordan etc) 10000

UAE 11000

European (British,German etc) 16000

American (Canada,Australia) 18000

So basically the lowest paid are the Asian passport holders and highest salary goes to U.S. and Canadian passport holders. This system is said to be based on the standard of living in the home country of the employees. In other words, what the money will buy the employee back home and the cost of living and value of money in each country. It’s also said to be based on the quality of the education that western vs. Asian nurses have.

For example a Filipino nurse earns so much in the Kingdom she’s able not only to live a comfortable life there but also support her extended family back home and maybe even purchase a house and a car. The money the Filipino expat earns in UAE, although much less compared to what their western colleagues are making for the same job, will in comparison get them more back in their home countries.

On the other hand the American or European nurse, although earning more than at home, does not get a significant pay raise in UAE-GCC. Many are able to travel and save some money, perhaps pay off loans but there is no way they could support others and make large purchases at the same time.

As an example, starting salaries for Indian nurses in their home country according to this source is 2300 rupees a month which is about 41 U.S dollars (150AED). The maximum salary with all benefits would be around 5000 rupees, or 90 dollars. The estimated earnings of an Indian nurse in UAE-GCC, 2000-4000 AED is around 1000-2000 U.S dollars at the current exchange rate. That would add up to roughly 58,000 rupees. That is a staggering difference to what they can earn back home.

Filipino nurses earn approximately 5000P a month back home in Philippines, which is about 450 AED (120 U.S dollars). A news article from 2009 states Pinoy nurses salaries in government hospitals will be raised from 2550 to 3500AED. If they earned the estimated 3500AED a month in UAE-GCC that would be roughly 39,000P (900$). Almost ten times the amount they would earn in the Philippines.

Compare this to the European nurse with estimated earnings of around 2400 euros at home, minus taxes leaving her with about 1600 euros a month. That’s roughly 7500 UAE AEDs, or if counted from the salary before tax cuts, 11,000AED. In UAE-GCC her salary will increase about 30% from this. If the European were to get a comparative pay raise to the Asians, her salary would be something around 26,000 euros or 120,000AED a month.

Interestingly, the Filipino expat that first relocated to Canada to obtain the passport which he consequently used to apply for work in UAE-GCC, suddenly becomes a millionaire back home. By completing just a few years of work in the Kingdom, the expat can return home to the Philippines as a very rich man.

Another strange aspect is how the UAE nationals themselves get lower pay than westerners do. Don’t the employers value their own citizens more? Are UAE employees not seen as efficient or highly trained as the western nurses are and thus not deserving as much pay? It’s not totally uncommon to hear other nurses complaining about the laziness or lack of training of the UAE nurses though.

Even though it might be partly understandable why they thought up this kind of system in the first place and it does have some sort of rationale behind it, it still causes a lot of tension at the workplace. In the end of the day it’s unfair to pay one employee ten times more in UAE AEDs for the same job, based solely on which passport they hold. This creates grudges and jealousy between nationalities.

Is there a solution to this salary racism? Could all employees be paid same salary regardless of their passport color? If the wages went down significantly how would UAE companies be able to attract western employees anymore? If employees from poorer countries started earning the same salaries as westerners in UAE do, what would happen? An overwhelming influx of Asian employees? How about raising the UAE’s salaries in order to motivate them more? Would making the salaries more equal make the working environments more tolerable places for all nationalities to work harmoniously in?

If these salaries are based on the cost of living back home and education levels then why do some employees get paid according to their newly obtained passports? What about a UAE or Asian employee who trained in the west? Or a western nurse that got their education from a third world country? This system seems to have so many loopholes and other negative aspects to it that at least some sort of reform would certainly do good for the UAE workplaces.

IDEX 2013

The Higher Organising Committee for the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), have met to cuss preparations for IDEX’s Grand Opening Ceremony, the first stages of which will begin on the 28th of January.

Helicopters, jets from the Al Fursan aerobatics team and transport aircraft will begin their rehearsals in the skies above the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre Grandstand.

“This ceremony is a key moment of the Middle East’s largest joint defence exhibition; Abu Dhabi will be on the world stage, and it’s important we get it right.” said Major General Obaid Al Ketbi, Head of the 2013 IDEX Higher Organising Committee.

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Dec 02 1971 ~ Dec 02 2012 41st National Day -UAE

Father of nation (late) Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al’Nahyan managed to bring the 7 emirates of arabian gulf together this day in 1971. His Vision & wisdom transpired through out the region. 41 years later UAE is trade, social & economical hub of diversified nationalities. Peace Tolerance Prosperity & Religious harmony prevail across the UAE & The Region

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