Top Header Banner


Dubai students' app for heart patients

  • Published in UAE
A team of students from the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has produced a mobile app, which has the potential to change the lives of cardiovascular patients worldwide, encouraging them to make positive life changes by making exercise more fun.

Cardio Builder, a ‘gamified’ mobile app created by four final-year Computer Science students, Mohammed Kazim Abbas, Afrah Ahmed, Yerlan Jumatayev and Digital Systems Security Major, Katia Freywat, uses data provided by popular wearable fitness trackers to monitor a patient’s pulse and exercise levels in real-time and challenges them to raise their heart rate and increase exercise in order to unlock achievement badges and new levels.

The app also allows patients to create a list of the medication they need to take, and rewards them with extra points if they take it on time, along with the ability to share their progress on social media and challenge their friends who are also users of the app.

"We noticed that there were fitness tracker-linked games on the market for diabetes patients and those fighting obesity, but nothing existed to help people suffering from cardiovascular disease," explained Project Manager, Mohammed Kazim Abbas. "With recent statistics from Dubai’s Rashid Hospital suggesting that smoking, obesity and lack of exercise cause fatal heart attacks in UAE residents 20 years earlier than the worldwide average, we wanted to turn to technology to create a solution that would encourage cardiovascular patients to make changes to their daily routine in the interest of a more positive prognosis."

For team member Afrah Ahmed, the inspiration for the app came from a family member who was diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. "For many heart patients, the most difficult part of trying to improve their condition is sustaining long-term will-power and momentum. We wanted to create an app that would motivate them to continue with the positive life changes. Our research showed that by making things a little more fun, it helped users exhibit more self-control and reduced the stress many patients place on themselves to achieve a goal."

After receiving guidance from cardiologists at Dubai’s Rashid Hospital and Prime Medical Centre, the app has already attracted the attention of several of the UAE’s leading technology and academic experts. As a result, the team beat over 100 other computer scientists to bag an award at UOWD’s annual software development tradeshow.

The developers are currently working to link the app to a wider range of fitness tracker devices, and are hoping to launch the app on both Android and Apple devices later this year.

UAE fuel prices to be deregulated starting August 1

  • Published in UAE
Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Energy has announced that fuel prices would be deregulated as of August 1. A new pricing policy linked to global prices will be adopted.

The decision, related to petrol and diesel, is aimed at supporting the national economy, lowering fuel consumption, protecting the environment and preserving national resources.

Suhail Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy, said that in accordance with the new pricing policy that has been ratified by the UAE Cabinet, a fuel price committee has been set up to review fuel prices against average international levels prior to their implementation in the UAE every month.

Chaired by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Energy, the committee includes as members the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, CEO of Adnoc Distribution, and CEO of Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc).

Making the announcement, Suhail Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy, said: “The decision to deregulate fuel prices has been taken based on in-depth studies that fully demonstrate its long term economic, social and environmental impact. The resolution is in line with the strategic vision of the UAE government in diversifying sources of income, strengthening the economy and increasing its competitiveness in addition to building a strong economy that is not dependent on government subsidies.

This step will put the UAE on par with countries that follow sound economic methodologies. It is also anticipated to improve the UAE’s competitiveness while positioning the nation on international indices.”

Speaking on the environmental benefits of the decision, Suhail Al Mazroui said that deregulating fuel prices would help decrease fuel consumption and preserve natural resources for future generations. It will also encourage individuals to adopt fuel-efficient vehicles, including the use of electric and hybrid cars.

He noted that the decision would encourage the use of public transport. The transport sector was responsible for 22 per cent of the total greenhouse emissions in the UAE in 2013 amounting to 44.6 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Given this stark reality, he added that increasing the use of public transport and reducing dependence on individual vehicle usage will have a positive impact in lowering carbon emissions.

In this regard, the Minister of Energy pointed out that the UAE has an advanced public transport system with options that are environmentally friendly such as taxis that work on natural gas.

The Minister said: “Considering the international prices of oil and petroleum derivatives, we expect diesel prices to go down. This will stimulate the economy as lower diesel price would mean lower operating costs for a wide number of vital sectors like industry, shipping and cargo among many others.”

He added that the cost of petrol represents 3 per cent to 4 per cent of an average income in the UAE, which is a reasonable percentage compared to international costs.

Consequently, deregulating prices would not have a notable impact on individuals’ costs of living.

Al Mazroui elaborated that the decision will contribute positively to the UAE’s investment environment, enhance its economic competitiveness, and support the policy of a free-market economy with no direct interference from the government.

Stating that the deregulated fuel prices will also lead to a sustainable economy that is based on open market standards, he said the decision will further strengthen the UAE’s status as an attractive destination for foreign investments, complementing its advanced legislative economic environment, state of the art infrastructure, ease of conducting business, free movement of capital, and other competitive features that set the country’s economy apart from others.

For his part, Dr. Matar Al Nyadi, Undersecretary, of the Ministry of Energy and Chairman of the petrol and Diesel Prices Committee, said that the role of the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Finance as the government’s representatives in the committee will focus on consumer protection and ensure that petrol prices are balanced according to international standards.

He added that the pricing mechanism is structured in a way that it does not rely on just one global market and will facilitate distribution companies to make reasonable profits and to limit their losses while offering premium services.

Al Nyadi also said that the committee will urge distribution companies to increase their operational efficiency to lower their costs, and eventually impact positively the prices of petrol and diesel at petrol stations. He added that the committee will hold periodic meetings and monitor global prices.

On the 28th of each month, the committee will announce the prices for the following month. In line with this decision, prices of petrol and diesel for August will be announced on July 28, based on the average global prices with the addition of operating costs.

The Ministry of Energy has assigned a dedicated number (0565467942) and email id ([email protected]) for public inquiries on the new deregulated fuel prices.

One dead and another tested positive for MERS in UAE

  • Published in UAE
Abu Dhabi: A MERS patient died in the capital of United Arab Emirates, while another was discovered to be infected with the virus, a media report said.

The local health authority in Abu Dhabi said the patient, who died on Thursday, was a 65-year-old UAE national, while the other, whose nationality was not released, remains under observation, Xinhua reported, citing the local WAM news agency.

It added that the newly-infected remain under observation and isolation in line with the international standards and recommendations from the World Health Organization.

MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome, was first discovered in 2012 when a Saudi patient died in London. 

MERS coronavirus disease is caused by a virus. Typical symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Pneumonia is common, but not always present. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported.

The health ministry said the situation is closely monitored to ensure the health and safety of residents as well as visitors to the Gulf state.

In South Korea, the total infections have reached 165 as of Thursday since the first case in the country was discovered on May 20. The toll stands at 23.

Kannadigas in UAE upholding human values by donating blood

  • Published in NRI Form
UAE: The expatriates from Karnataka have upheld the humanitarian values over decades by organising and participating in blood donation camps, especially during the holy month of Ramzan.

The people from Karnataka came to UAE four decades ago and found their well being here. They united together to form Karnataka Sangha. Tuluvas formed Tulukuta while Konkanis, Bearys, Kodavas established their own associations.

They organized get togethers, annual sports meets, picnics, blood donation camps without violating the law of the land.

These organizations have continuously organized blood donation camps. Kannadigas working in various firms like MNC health care, Gulf medical care hospital, UAE exchange and in other establishments are organizing blood donation since many years in which thousands of people participate.

Manglur Konkans started blood donation camps way back in 1980 and registered their name in the record book.

In 2006 Sharjah Karnataka Sangha organized blood donation camp in association with Gulf Medical hospital with the help of Sharjah ministry of health at Ajman Medical college. Not only Indians but also Arab nationals, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis, Philipinese and even Egyptians took part in the blood donation camp.

On the eve of UAE National Day on December 2, Mogaveers UAE holds blood donation camp every year.  

Abudhabi Karnataka Sangha, Dubai Karnataka Sangha, Sharjah Karnataka Sangha, Al Ain Kannada Sangha, UAE Bunts, Mogaveers UAE, Amchigele Samaj, Vishwakarma Seva Samiti, UAE, Ramakshatriya Sangha UAE, Dubai Billavas, Billava Balaga Dubai, Billava Balaga Abudhabi, Kodagu Dakshina Kannada Gowda Samaja, Padmasali Samudaya UAE, Mithrakuta UAE, Brahmana Samaja, Ganiga Samaja Dubai, UAE, Devadiga Sangha Dubai, UAe Basava Samiti, Dhwani Pratishtana UAE, Kundapur  Devadiga Mithra, Okkaliga Sangha UAE, Yaksha Mithraru Dubai, Teeya Samaja UAE, Nama Tuluver UAE, Tulu Paterga Tulu Oripaga, Manglur Konkans, Konkan Bells Dubai, Pangaliates Dubai, Uswas, Daiji Rang Mandir, Karavali Milan and many other organisations are organizing blood donation camps.

B.K Ganesh Rai

Blood donator

United Arab Emirates

Adya Kiran from the Indian High School and UAE topper in the Science stream

  • Published in NRI Form
Dubai – Excited school students hugged their teachers and celebrated their success on Monday after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced the much-awaited board exam results.

At the Indian High School (IHS) Dubai, it was a big day for both students and teachers as the school celebrated top positions in two streams – science and humanities, with a second place in commerce.

Our Own English High School, Sharjah, recorded topper in commerce while Delhi Private School, Sharjah, shared the top rank in humanities along with IHS Dubai.

Science Topper
Adya Kiran from Indian High School was the UAE topper in the science stream with a score 98 per cent (490 out of 500). She scored 99 in Maths, Physics, Computer Science and 95 in English and 98 in Chemistry.

“Everyone is happy and I am happy that my hard work has paid off. It was two rigorous years of hard work which have been reflected in these results. The hardest part of being a student was coping up with life. Everything is fast-paced and you have to be good at both academics and extra-curricular development,” said Adya in a conversation with Khaleej Times.

A student of Indian High School since Grade 7, Adya hails from Mangalore, Karnataka.

“My mother has constantly encouraged me and she has pulled me back into studies if I ever wandered away,” remarked Adya.

Aspiring to study computer engineering, she has already written her JEE exams to explore the possibility of getting a seat in some of India’s best technical education institutions.

The 17-year old was beaming with happiness when Khaleej Times contacted her. “You should always be humble, kind and generous. Everyone has been calling home and congratulating us.”

Reflecting on her experience as a student, she noted, “CBSE should cut down on definitions and straight-forward questions. The questions should not test our rote-learning ability – they should focus on testing our logic. It’s more fun answering a hard question which tests your understanding.”

“I usually don’t discuss the question paper after the exams because I don’t like to spoil my mood. This result was a bit unexpected but my scores in some of the subjects were among the top three in the school.”

Shruthi Suresh Iyer from Indian High School was ranked second in the UAE with a score of 97.80 per cent.

Commerce Topper
Ashly Maria Saju scored 97 per cent in the commerce stream to become the UAE topper. She didn’t deny being surprised with her scores but acknowledged the results had given her a lot of self-confidence.

“I was very tensed and honestly I was speechless after I saw my scores. It wasn’t expected at all. It gives me a lot of self-confidence knowing that I have done the best in the UAE. Most of my teachers have written to me on whatsapp congratulating me on my achievement,” Ashly told Khaleej Times.

She scored 99 in accounting, 97 in English, Business studies and economics and 95 in Maths.

Vaishnavi Sivaprasad Neelakandh from Abu Dhabi Indian School and Anaika Bonita Rodrigue from Indian High School, Dubai were jointly ranked second in the commerce stream with a score of 96.20 per cent.

Vaishnavi said: “This is by far my biggest achievement in life. I just used to study daily and revise regularly. My amazing teachers get the credit for my performance. When I started my last year in school, my goal was to get into a good college to fulfill my aspiration of becoming a chartered accountant.”

Hoping to enter the Sacred Heart College in Kerala, the topper shared lighter moments from school.

“I remember my teachers used to leave comments on my question paper saying you can do better. Those little things push you and encourage you to do your best. Staying regular is extremely important and making use of vacation time is important. Once my pre-board started, I reduced all my other activities,” added Vaishnavi.

Her accounting teacher, Shany S. George, was full of praise for Vaishnavi’s dedication to academics.

“We are really on the top of the world and it is very happy for me as a teacher. She was a very meticulous and hardworking child who has been humble throughout. Her class participation is impressive and she would write down important pointers whenever we would remind the class about some expected questions in the exam. I am sure she will be successfully placed in life,” said Shany, a teacher at the ADIS.  

Humanities Topper
Anieka Sequeira from Indian High School, Dubai and Vidya Vijay from Delhi Private School, Sharjah, were the joint toppers in humanities stream with a score of 94.80 per cent.

Vidya has already received admission at the prestigious Christ University in Bengaluru for a triple degree in journalism, psychology and literature.

Speaking with Khaleej Times, she shared the excitement: “I did not really expect these results and it was quite a surprise. I expected to score low in history and I feel lucky that I have done well. Just a little disappointed with my score in English where I managed only 86.”

Vidya had never been a school topper and admitted the results were a big satisfaction for her as she now looked forward to university life.

“I have never been a school topper in my life and when I saw the result I felt very satisfied. A few hours after the results were announced, some of my friends called me and told me that I was the topper. My teachers and classmates have played a crucial role. We would never quarrel over marks and I remember all my friends as a cooperative bunch,” she added.

Vidya admitted that the board exams were a pressure situation with most students taking stress in the lead-up to the finals.

“There was a lot of pressure during exams but I never gave up on my routine. Studying a little more and reading regularly was the key.”” she added.

For her father Vijay Krishnan, the results are a proud moment for the family.  Speaking with Khaleej Times, he said: “From seventh grade she has been scoring above 90 per cent. She is consistent and with god’s grace and her efforts, she has done so well.”

Aneika Sequeira said: “I have been first for the last two years and I was expecting to be a school topper but being a UAE topper is just. Making my parents proud was the best moment.

“My biggest fear going into exams was blanking out after you have worked so hard. When I was in Grade 11, I remember I had lost a lot of sleep for my entrepreneurship exam because I had a fear of the subject. When I was in the exam hall, I blanked out for the first half an hour. I tried to calm myself and it worked,” said Aneika.

“My only message for students who will write their exams this year is not to go by what people say. There is a lot of stigma with humanities where people don’t think you are a smart student. You just have to prove them wrong and continue working hard,”

Using middle finger emoji in UAE could land you in court

  • Published in UAE
Most people know that flicking the middle finger at someone in the UAE could land you in prison.

However, legal experts have now warned that sending an ‘emoji’ finger-flick gesture in a message or on social media could also land you in trouble.

Police and lawyers spoke issued the warning after it emerged that Microsoft will become the first manufacturer to give users the option to flip the finger on its latest operating system.

The new Windows 10 will feature the icon when it is launched in the coming months.

Making such a gesture in person in the UAE is illegal and can lead to fines or even jail.

And criminal defence lawyer Abdullah Yousef Al Nasir, told 7DAYS that according to cyber-crime law, anyone who sends an offensive emoji or image online could also be prosecuted.

He said: “Sending a middle finger emoji on a smartphone or even sending a middle finger picture through email can put you in trouble.

“It’s an insult in the UAE and the law can punish you with either jail of up to three years or a fine of up to Dhs500,000.”

He added that if an expat is convicted they will likely be deported.

However, Al Nasir said police would have to receive a complaint from the person the image was sent to in order to act, meaning one sent between friends in jest would not automatically land someone in trouble.

But he said users need to realise how seriously such an insult could be taken.

Al Nasir said: “With the development of technology, people have started insulting others on social media using services like WhatsApp or BlackBerry messenger.

“Some people insult or mock others thinking nobody can prosecute them. But the UAE has issued a cyber-crimes law to punish anyone committing any crime like insulting someone using technology.”

A senior Dubai Police official urged smartphone users to think before posting a message or image that could be offensive.

He said: “Be careful of what you send on smartphones or emails.

“It’s up to the recipient to open a criminal case if they feel offended by a message.

“It’s an insult in the UAE and the law can punish someone committing such act.”

Dubai to have world’s biggest and UAE’s first Apple store very soon

  • Published in UAE
Dubai - Apple’s first store in the Middle East will be located at Mall of the Emirates and it will be the world’s largest retail store of the iPhone maker, sources have confirmed .The store is under construction and it is expected to open doors to Apple fans in August 2015. The estimated 50,000-sq foot store is close to the new Fashion District in the mall with the main entrance most probably from level 2.

Abu Dhabi’s newly opened Yas Mall is likely to host the second Apple store in the UAE.

Apple’s Dubai office did not respond to queries regarding the store location and its opening date, but a spokesperson for the Mall of the Emirates owner said: “As a company policy, Majid Al Futtaim does not comment on speculation or unverified stories with regards to new store openings in our shopping malls.”

On the other hand, the mall has mentioned on its website that 30 new stores are set to open, including several first-to-the region brands, and named half of them on the website. The mall is expected to complete the work on a multi-stage redevelopment project called ‘Evolution 2015’ by October this year worth Dh1 billion.

Earlier this year, Apple opened its regional headquarters in Emaar Square in Dubai. Two months ago, the company advertised several positions in the UAE for sales, marketing and retail with job titles such as ‘Expert’ and ‘Genius’. All Apple Stores feature a Genius Bar, where customers can receive technical advice or set-up service and repair for their products.

In the UAE, the iPhone is ranked second after Samsung in terms of unit sales but both smartphone manufacturers enjoy almost equal market share in terms of value, according to power retailers.

The Korean brand launches a couple of new models every year, where as Apple introduces only one or two models a year.

Apple sold 74.47 million iPhones in the latest quarter (Jan-March 2015), about 25 million more than it’s previous best quarter and 16 million more than analysts expected. iPhone sales have doubled in Asia, recording the fastest growth among all geographies.

Etisalat and du are the authorised distributors of iPhones in the UAE but a couple of key retailers buy smartphones directly from Apple.

According to the latest data available with the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, the iPhone is gaining its market share. While the iPhone 5s is the most commonly used mobile handset in the country, the iPhone 6 is also being sold like hot cake since its launch in the country.

The Cupertino-based company has more than 450 retail stores in 16 countries and online stores are available in 39 countries. Turkey was the last country, which got an Apple store in Istanbul on April 5, 2014.

Apple’s many stores are located inside shopping malls, but the company has built several stand-alone ‘flagship’ stores in high-profile locations and those are around 40. The tech giant’s stores sell Macintosh personal computers, software, iPods, iPads, iPhones, Apple TV, third party accessories and now Apple Watches.

In 2011, the company launched the Apple Online Store UAE that offers a range of products, such as iPhones, iPads, iPods and MacBooks. Apple products are already being sold by its authorised resellers at around 100 locations across Dubai, including all terminals at Dubai International airport.

Its authorised resellers — Sharaf DG, Jumbo Electronics, Plug Ins and Virgin Megastore — have designated areas of Apple products on the ‘shop-in-a-shop’ concept basis at eight locations in the emirate, according to Apple website. Apple’s premium reseller in Dubai is iStyle, which has stores at three locations in the emirate.

Embassy offers airfare help for Nepal workers in UAE

  • Published in UAE
Heartbroken Nepali workers in the UAE who lost relatives in last month’s earthquake but cannot afford to fly home to say goodbye can now get help to pay the airfare.Nepal’s ambassador to the UAE said anyone who wants to return home to bury their loved ones can get the cost of a return ticket reimbursed.

 Dhananjay Jha said many Nepalis in the UAE, especially those from the hardest-hit Sindhupal district, lost family members in the 7.8-magnitude tremor on April 25 that claimed more than 8,000 lives.He said the embassy is still receiving numerous calls from workers claiming they are desperate to fly home to perform bury the dead – but cannot afford flights, while some employers are still refusing to allow Nepali staff to travel.

 However, Jha told 7DAYS: “If somebody has lost an immediate family member and wants to go, the Embassy will give them a letter so they can get a two-way ticket reimbursed in Nepal.”

“They do have to buy the ticket to go, but they will get the money paid there.”

A death certificate must be provided as proof before the ticket is reimbursed.

“The worker has to come to get a letter from us at the embassy here confirming he or she has not received a ticket from any other source. “They can take the letter to the Foreign Employment Promotion Board in Kathmandu, along with the death certificate, where they will be compensated.”

Jha said the policy applies to migrant Nepali workers in GCC countries. “It is not government money,” he said. “We have a purpose fund at the Foreign Employment Promotion Board that has more than a billion rupees (about Dhs3.6million).

It comes from the labourers, because before leaving and coming to work in a foreign country they have to deposit 1,000 rupees there. That’s what’s come of use now.”

The information was shared by consular officials to more than 200 workers at ‘Nepal Dil Se’ (‘For Nepal, from our hearts’) – an event held on Friday to provide workers emotional guidance and financial advice to cope with the loss of family and property.

It was organised by community group Shukran Workers in collaboration with the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA-NCC) in the UAE.

Subscribe to this RSS feed