Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah dies

Radio stations in the UAE are playing Koranic recitations or sombre music to mark the passing of His Highness Shaikh Saqr Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
Born in 1920, Shaikh Saqr belonged to Al Qasimia dynasty that ruled the northern part of the Greater Oman Region, following the fall of Ya’aribah state and emergence of Al Busayidi state in Suhar and Muscat in 1747.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Look at me Mum.

The guys who were filmed driving like drop kicks on Sheikh Zayed Road are, surprisingly considering the risks of their actions, still alive.  You may remember these morons from their antics back in May and you'll probably also remember that their 'slap on the wrist with limp celery' punishment was a 1000 dirham fine, that's around $300.  You could probably be fined more than that for wearing a short skirt in the mall.  One article states "Motoring experts claim levying heavy fines will not have any effect on the behaviour of these kind of drivers." Its now apparent that levying laughable, tiny fines has no effect either. These boys must have wasta by the bucketful.
'7 Days' the local shock-horror English language in Dubai has discovered that the fools have a Youtube channel.  This has caused some comment in the press, but having looked through the channel's contents, let's not get too overexcited.  Most of the clips are taken from tv coverage of the drifting comps which are held in controlled conditions at the MotoPlex at Um al Quwain.  However, they do have a clip which shows why they'll leave their mothers' crying:  

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Changes to visa rules for Saudi Arabia

Anyone who’s ever applied for a Saudi visa will know that the rules change on a fairly regular basis.  It seems that at present Saudi visas are only being issued for 30 days validity.  As a result, its a fairly regular process to prepare all the documents just like you did last time, take them into the typist to be translated and typed up for the KSA authorities, only to find that the rules have changed and now you need a different type of application form, or a pre-registration email from MOFA in Riyadh, or a letter of authority from someone else or the company stamp on a document, all/any of which you didn’t need last month..  This week, we have discovered that no Saudi visa will be issued without a signed copy of a form below which is now required for all applications processed in Dubai (could be the entire UAE but the typist’s English was a bit limited) and it is required for all nationalities.  ----------------I hereby undertake to give my fingerprints and my eye iris pattern images and comply with the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
I, the undersigned, hereby agree to have my fingerprint & iris data (biometrics) captured as part of the application procedure for an entry visa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I further agree and declare as follows:
1. If granted the visa I shall abide by all the laws and regulations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and respect the Islamic customs and traditions of its people.
2. I am aware that all alcoholic beverages, narcotics and other illegal drugs, pornographic materials or publications, which violate the social norms of decency and all other publications, which are disrespectful of any religious belief or political orientation, are prohibited and shall not be brought into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3. I am also fully aware that the crime of smuggling narcotics and other illegal drugs into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is punishable by the death penalty.
4. I have never been removed, excluded or deported from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or from any other Gulf Cooperation Council member state or charged with violation of any law or regulation thereof.
5. I agree to depart the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on or before the expiration date of my visa. I am well aware that any violation of the laws and regulations of the Kingdom or any engagement in prohibited activities such as the activities mentioned herein or in the entry visa documentation are subject to the penalties, which are described in the "Dealing with Persons on Entry Visas" statute as enacted by Royal Decree No. 42, dated 10/18/1404AH.
6. I acknowledge and reaffirm my declaration that this application and the evidence submitted with it are all true and correct. I also understand that if I submit any false information or if my name was found to be listed as banned from entering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia my application will be denied or my visa, if already granted, revoked. Moreover, I may be turned back from any Saudi port of entry at my own expense while I shall have no right to demand compensation.