About The Palm Island/Islands in Dubai

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Man-made Dubai Islands

Some people have described Dubai islands as the 8th wonder of the world. There is no doubt that these manmade islands in Dubai will impress each and every visitor. The islands are built in such a way that it is hard to say they are man-made islands.

These Dubai islands are completely manmade from scratch in the Dubai coastal line. Constructions of these islands launched after years of planning. Currently Dubai has two island groups.

Palm Island Dubai

Dubai Palm Tree Island was the first man-made Dubai Island. The island is built in the shape of a Date Palm Tree. There are three palm tree islands being built in Dubai.

Dubai Palm Island. The first man-made Dubai 					island.

The Palm Island Jumeirah

Jumeirah beach is already famous thanks to Burj Al Arab 7 star hotel. The Palm island in Jumeirah will consists of luxury accommodations such as hotels, villas, apartments etc.

Watch the below video and see what you can expect in Palm Jumeirah.

Buying properties in Dubai Islands

Real estate in Dubai islands has become a hot topic among property investors. Even though the price is high, investors can expect a very high capital gain from properties on palm islands and The World island in Dubai.

Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods and many other celebrities have bought properties in Dubai islands.

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What is The local currency in Dubai ?

Dubai Local Currency

The local currency in Dubai is the UAE Dirham (Dhs) which is divided into 100 fils. The currency is also referred to as AED (Arab Emirate Dirham).

Exchange rates of all major currencies are published daily in the local newspapers.

Money Exchanges
Money exchanges are available all over Dubai, offering good service and reasonable exchange rates, which are often better than the banks. Additionally, hotels will usually exchange money and travellers cheques at the standard hotel rate.

Credit Cards
Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept the major credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa). Smaller retailers are sometimes less keen to accept credit cards and you may have to pay an extra five percent for processing.

Banks & ATM's
Banks offer the full range of commercial and personal banking services.
Generally banking hours are from Saturday to Thursday 8am – 2pm. Closed on Friday. However, more and more banks are extending their opening hours.

Most banks operate ATMs, also known as Cash Points or Service Tills, which accept a wide range of cards. Common systems accepted around Dubai - American Express, Cirrus, Global Access, MasterCard, Plus System and VISA. ATMs can be found in all shopping malls, at the airport, at petrol stations and at various street-side locations.

Most international banks have branches in Dubai, servicing the usual retail and corporate segments. Transfers can be made easily as exchange controls are virtually non-existent, and the Dirham is freely convertible.

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Information about Dubai's Climate

Dubai's Climate

The city of Dubai is situated on a coastal strip bordered by a desert and gets very hot and humid in the summer. Cooler, more pleasant weather lasts from the end of September to beginning of May. From May to September the sun is intense and temperatures can touch 50 degree Celsius in the city and even higher in the desert! Due to the scorching heat coupled with a humidity of 80-90% near the coast, you have to refrain from daytime outdoor activities during summer.

Temperatures range from a low of about 10 degrees Celsius on winter nights, to a high of 48 degrees Celsius in the midday summer heat.

The months of January and February generally produce the highest rainfall, if any. Usually it amounts to about 13 centimeters, spread over five days per year.

Due to weather changes around the world, in recent years the winter months in Dubai have seen quite unpredictable weather. Believe it or not, Dubai sometimes gets bouts of heavy rain that leaves streets, roads, and sometimes homes flooded. Of course this is almost always followed by the usual sunshine. Occasionally, heavy winds stir up sandstorms that make driving conditions difficult since visibility on the roads is severely reduced.

It’s important to know exactly what to expect of the climate in Dubai whether you’re here for leisure, business, or to stay. With this information in hand, you’ll be ready no matter what nature has in store.

Average Monthly Climate Chart

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The UAE Vice President launches Dubai Metro

UAE Vice President launches Dubai Metro

Dubai: It’s your city. And it’s your Metro now. Fireworks lit up the night sky, motorists honked their horns and scores of onlookers cheered as the first train rolled out of the station, past the towering skyline along Shaikh Zayed Road, opening a new chapter in Dubai’s history.

Dubai became the first Gulf state to have a metro and joined the league of megacities around the world that have similar transport systems.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, bought the first ticket on the Dubai Metro, after which the first train left Mall of the Emirates station: 09/09/09 will remain etched on a board at the station.

"I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for this great job. If it weren’t for this collective effort we would not have achieved this. My message to the world is that life is all about challenges and the people of the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, love challenges and we are up to them," Shaikh Mohammad said.

"I congratulate Shaikh Khalifa and the people of the UAE on this huge achievement. This is an achievement for all Arabs," he said.

Motorists drove slowly on Shaikh Zayed Road, following the first train out of the station, and some even parked underneath bridges to catch their first glimpse of the blue streak as it emerged on its maiden voyage to Al Rashidiya Station.

The Metro is part of Shaikh Mohammad’s vision to develop an integrated transport system including the Metro, bus network, marine transport and an advanced road infrastructure.

The world’s longest automated driverless train system, which cost Dh28 billion, has been launched in a record time of four years. It will carry 1.8 million passengers per day by 2020, according to RTA estimates.

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Business and Trade in DUBAI

Business and Trade in DUBAI

The UAE lies at the heart of a strategic, geographic crossroads where trade, commerce and diverse cultures have co-existed and interacted for hundreds of years.

Today, the UAE has one of the most open and dynamic economies in the world. A number of global business indexes have recognized the advantages that the UAE brings to international business. AT Kearney ranks the UAE as one of the top 20 best places in the world for global service business. And the UAE is ranked in the top 30 on the World Economic Forum’s “most-networked countries”—ahead of all other Arab nations, as well as countries like Spain, Italy, Turkey, and India. The UAE also gets positive rankings from Transparency International and the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators for control of corruption, ranking in the top quarter of the least corrupt countries in the world.

Other clear advantages to doing business in the UAE include:

  • No restrictions on profit transfer or repatriation of capital
  • No corporate or income taxes
  • A currency, the Dirham, that is stable, secure and pegged to the US dollar
  • Very low, or non-existent, import duties
  • Competitive labor costs

These factors, combined with a strategic geographic location, an expanding infrastructure and an extremely safe environment, make the UAE an ideal place to do business.

An important trading partner for the United States, the UAE is the largest export market for the United States in the Arab World. More than 750 US firms have a presence in the country, and 30,000 Americans live there.

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Initiatives to Combat Human Trafficking in UAE

Initiatives to Combat Human Trafficking

The UAE government is committed to the global effort to combat human trafficking, and is working closely with international and regional law enforcement officials to apprehend and punish violators of human trafficking laws.  The UAE is also deeply concerned about the victims of this crime and their physical and emotional well-being, and is establishing appropriate mechanisms to support and assist victims in need.

The UAE is aggressively implementing a four-part anti-trafficking plan, designed to prevent the crime, enforce the law and provide necessary support to victims:

1. Legislation:

In November 2006, the UAE government adopted a new federal law providing strict enforcement provisions and penalties for convicted traffickers.  At a recent UN forum, US Ambassador Mark Lagon noted that the UAE is “the first government in the Persian Gulf to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law.” The UAE also established a cross-ministerial committee to combat the challenge of human trafficking.

The UAE’s commitments are in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

2. Enforcement:

The UAE is working to increase law enforcement capacity and awareness. Steps include training and workshops for police officers and public prosecutors and developing mechanisms to monitor and track human rights abuses. At least 10 human-trafficking-related cases were registered by the end of 2007, along with five convictions that resulted in jail terms ranging from three to 10 years.

Police are tracking tourist companies that illegally bring women into the country.  The licenses of companies caught carrying out illegal activities are being cancelled. At least two nightclubs exploiting women were shut down in 2007, and several others are under surveillance. The number of legal cases prosecuted in the UAE involving prostitution rose by 30 percent from 2006 to 2007.

A planned public awareness program will address the issue of demand and make the public aware of how to bring cases to the attention of law enforcement officials.

3. Victim support:

Recent improvements in labor standards and regulations will have a positive impact on decreasing the scale of human trafficking. Steps include electronic payments to workers, standards for housing, a standard contract for domestic workers and bilateral agreements with supplier countries.

The UAE also is invigorating government, charitable, and social networks to provide support for victims of trafficking.  Dubai’s Foundation for the Protection of Women and Children provides social services for victims, including counseling, in-house schooling and recreation facilities.  Within its first year of operation, 115 women and children were given assistance by the Foundation, including 28 suspected victims of trafficking.  Working with such organizations as the International Organization for Migration, some women have been repatriated to their home countries.

Abu Dhabi’s Social Support Center provides victims of all crimes psychological and social support, and the Emirate also is building the Abu Dhabi Shelter for Victims of Human Trafficking, in conjunction with the UAE Red Crescent Authority.  The Red Crescent, part of the International Committee of the Red Cross, is supervising shelters across the UAE for women and children.

4. Bilateral agreements and international partnerships:

Human trafficking has its point of origin in the home countries of guest workers, and the UAE has signed agreements with several labor-exporting countries to regulate the flow of the workforce. In order to deny unscrupulous private recruitment agencies from cheating and trafficking workers, all labor contract transactions will be processed by labor ministries or offices in the supplying countries.

A range of other international collaborations include a United Nations (UN) partnership to recreate the UAE police administration into a “center of excellence,” exchanges with non-governmental organizations to build knowledge and expertise, and outreach to foreign embassies in the UAE.

In March 2007 the UAE made a significant multi-year commitment to the UN for the establishment of the unprecedented Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT). This forum unites many countries, multiple UN agencies, intergovernmental entities and the NGO sector under a single banner and has facilitated unprecedented cooperation by the international community.

In May 2008, the UAE issued its first Annual Report on combating human trafficking, outlining the country's initiatives and results in greater depth.

Child Camel Jockeys

Since 2005, the UAE has worked closely with UNICEF on the repatriation of several hundred young children who once worked as camel jockeys in the UAE. To support the effort, in 2005 the UAE Government committed $2.7 million in initial funding. On the enforcement side, the UAE Government implemented a law banning camel jockeys under the age of 18 and authorized penalties of up to three years in jail and/or fines up to 100,000 dirhams ($27,200) for breaches of the act.

By September 2006 more than 1,000 underage jockeys had been successfully repatriated to their home countries, where they were provided with social services, education, health care and compensation. In December 2006 the UAE government set aside more than $9 million for a second phase of the UNICEF program, which will provide compensation for anyone who has ever worked as an underage camel jockey in the UAE. The agreement between UNICEF and the UAE was extended for two more years in April 2007. Claims facilities in Pakistan, Sudan, Mauritania and Bangladesh have been established to provide further compensation to former jockeys.

UNICEF officials have publicly praised the UAE camel jockey repatriation program and held it up as a model for other countries to follow.

Domestic Worker Law

The UAE established stringent contract standards for domestic workers, which became effective in April 2007. These standards govern working conditions, vacation, air tickets, medical care and salary, ensuring that the labor rights of domestic workers are standardized and protected across the UAE. Government agencies are required to enforce the new contract when issuing new work visas, ensuring that the standards are upheld in all individual agreements.

In January 2008, the UAE hosted a forum with Asian labor-exporting countries to address concerns surrounding overseas employment, including domestic work. This ministerial consultation was part of the Colombo Process, a regional consultation on overseas employment, and was the first meeting to be hosted by a country of destination. The “Abu Dhabi Dialogue” included the Colombo Process countries and other GCC states, as well as an observer from Human Rights Watch.

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Labor Rights in the United Arab Emirates ( UAE )

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Labor Rights in the UAE

For the UAE, respect for labor rights is a moral, cultural and economic imperative.  As a member of the International Labor Organization, the Arab Labor Organization and other labor-focused multi-lateral organizations, the UAE seeks to work transparently and objectively with regard to its international labor obligations.

In 2007 approximately three million foreign workers were employed by 260,000 organizations, representing more than 200 countries.  More than 90 percent of the private-sector labor force consists of expatriate workers, creating unique challenges for the UAE.

The UAE Ministry of Labor recently released its first annual report, “The Protection of the Rights of Workers in the United Arab Emirates,” which is both a progress assessment and a blueprint for ongoing action.  It acknowledges that more needs to be done to expand capacity to enforce labor laws and fully protect the rights of workers in the country—and also notes important accomplishments to date.

The UAE presented this report, along with other reports on women and on human trafficking, to the United Nations at its Universal Periodic Review in December 2008.  The UPR reviews every country’s performance on comprehensively protecting, promoting and fulfilling the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UAE welcomes the process to share progress and obtain feedback from other states.

Over the last two years, federal and Emirate governments have instituted sweeping reforms aimed at improving working conditions and worker rights, reflecting UAE’s commitment to treating all guest workers with dignity and respect.

Federal Actions

The UAE Cabinet has passed a number of reforms to combat abusive labor practices:

  • Workers in all labor sectors have rights to transfer employer sponsorship
  • The UAE has created bank guarantees that earmark funds for worker compensation
  • It is illegal for employers to withhold workers’ passports
  • New licenses are being denied for foreign labor brokers and recruiters who cannot demonstrate full compliance with UAE laws
  • In April 2006, the UAE created mandatory employment contracts to protect the rights of domestic workers in relation to salary, accommodation, healthcare and working hours

To improve living conditions, the UAE has plans for new, modern residential cities for workers throughout the UAE. In mid-2006, the first Workers Residential City was inaugurated in the Abu Dhabi Industrial Zone. The project, which is the first of three expected, provides accommodation, on-site health care, shopping and leisure facilities, waste disposal and 24-hour visa services.

Another focus of the government is the health and safety of workers, as evidenced by the prohibition of outdoor work between 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. during the hot summer months. This policy, first launched in 2005 and known as the “mid-day break” rule, is aimed at protecting workers in the sizeable contracting and construction sectors from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Sanctions for non-compliance by employers include considerable financial penalties, applied on a per-worker basis.

Emirate Actions

Emirate-level governments are also taking steps to protect the rights of foreign workers. In November 2006, HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, issued a series of directives to improve the lives of guest workers.  These directives helped shape the federal approach and included mandates for adequate housing, safe transportation for workers to labor sites, an expanded force of inspectors, new federal labor courts, and better treatment for workers returning to their native countries, as well as those who have been cheated of their wages.

The Abu Dhabi government, in its Policy Agenda 2007-2008, affirmed that senior managers within state-run institutions would be held accountable if projects under their supervision failed to comply with the Emirate’s commitment to fully enforce UAE labor laws. The same policy document called on government managers to make labor law compliance a standard clause in all government tender contracts.

Abu Dhabi also introduced a comprehensive and compulsory insurance policy for all workers, including domestic, to be funded by sponsors. The compulsory health insurance plan for private sector employees, as implemented in Abu Dhabi, came into effect across the country in 2008.

To improve emergency care and health services, the Emirate is also building three new hospitals especially for workers. Locating facilities near housing and work sites should dramatically improve response and recovery rates.

In March 2007, the Emirate of Sharjah announced a commitment to ensure better and healthier housing conditions for workers.  Companies violating the standards will face penalties of up to 50,000 dirhams ($13,600), and fines will be doubled for repeat violators.

International Leadership

The UAE has negotiated bilateral labor agreements with the governments of nations supplying large numbers of laborers to the UAE economy.  Labor-source nations received approximately $16 billion in annual remittances from the UAE in 2006.

The major focus of these agreements is to eliminate middlemen, i.e., labor recruiting agencies, in the recruitment of workers. Many labor recruiting agencies exploit workers by extorting large upfront payments from them for visas. This practice is illegal in the UAE, where labor law requires the cost of visas to be borne by the employer, but is difficult to combat because recruitment agencies operate outside of the country. It is precisely in these areas where unilateral regulation and enforcement is ineffective that the UAE hopes bilateral efforts will prove successful.  Agreements have been made with Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Thailand and the Philippines.

In January 2008, the UAE hosted two important international meetings, as part of its commitment to find solutions to labor market challenges.

The first was a ministerial consultation with Asian labor-exporting countries to solidify reforms and minimize exploitative recruitment practices.  The event was part of the Colombo Process, a regional consultation on overseas employment, and the first meeting to be hosted by a country of destination. The dialogue included the Colombo Process countries and other GCC states, as well as an observer from Human Rights Watch.  One outcome of the “Abu Dhabi Labor Declaration” is a plan for the UAE to set up offices in South Asian countries to inform workers about fair conditions and regulations in the Emirates.

Immediately following the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, the UAE hosted the “Gulf Forum on Temporary Contractual Labor” to continue the discussions. The Forum agreed to enhance partnerships between countries of origin and destination.

As a follow-up action from the dialogue, the UAE, the Philippines and India launched a pilot project to improve the quality of life for migrant workers. The multi-faceted initiative, announced in October 2008, supports workers throughout their experience:  practical measures to improve recruitment and “pre-deployment” before arrival; improved living and working conditions in the UAE; and steps to facilitate the return and reintegration of workers to their home country. The pilot project will focus on workers in the construction, hospitality and health care sectors, with a special emphasis on addressing the vulnerabilities of women in all phases of the employment cycle. In addition to the countries involved, the project includes the ILO, the International Organization for Migration and the Arab Labor Organization.

The goal of the two-year project is to create a regional framework that can be applied to other countries of origin and their destination. Countries participating in the Abu Dhabi Dialogue will benefit as developments, findings and lessons learned are shared.


Enforcement is critical in all areas of protecting the rights of workers.  Ensuring the fair and on-time payment of workers is a particular priority of labor policy enforcement.

  • The UAE Ministry of Labor requires firms to provide audited statements demonstrating that wages have been paid.
  • In 2007, the UAE government forced businesses to pay 52 million dirhams ($14.2 million) in unpaid wages, after legal action.
  • In 2007 the Ministry of Labor suspended permits of 1,300 companies for late payment of workers’ wages, while 545 institutions found guilty of nonpayment of wages had activities frozen or suspended.
  • In November 2007, the Ministry of Labor collaborated with some construction companies to provide a 20 percent pay raise for workers, to accommodate increasing costs.
  • The number of inspectors dedicated to labor has grown to 700.
  • A new, 24-hour, toll-free hotline allows workers to file complaints, check status of applications and ask questions.

In addition, the Labor Ministry is making it easier for workers to transfer to other employers. In 2007, 35 percent more workers than 2006 transferred employment. And a group of 95,000 illegal workers took advantage of an amnesty program to find employment and legalize their stay in the country.

The Labor Ministry is taking steps to speed settlement of labor disputes, processing 22,000 cases involving 31,500 workers in 2007.  It has established offices in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi courts to act as a liaison point and facilitate dispute resolution.

There has been a record increase in court cases against employers who withhold salaries and refuse to issue documents that enable people to change jobs. In the first half of 2008, the number of cases filed with the Dubai Courts Labor Cases Section more than doubled compared with the same period in 2007.

Improving working conditions is another area for action:

  • In 2007, the Labor Ministry conducted 122,000 inspection visits to worksites. These resulted in penalties for 8,588 violations, relating to working conditions and workers’ rights.
  • The Labor Ministry will not process group labor permits (for 25 or more workers) unless there is a tangible commitment (plans and resources) to provide adequate housing. In 2007, 12 companies did not meet this requirement and their applications were denied.
  • In 2007, 60 of 100 construction companies in Dubai that had been ordered to improve accommodations took action to comply with the order.  Thirty new notices were served.
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