Will metro’s arrival make a change in car-crazy Qatar?

Filed on March 9, 2017
Resultado de imagem para Qatar Flag Map

Qatar’s metro, once completed, will run hundreds of kilometres across ultra-modern Doha, along the coast and into its expanding suburbs. But whether car-crazy Qataris will actually use it remains an open question.

Driverless three-car trains are to serve 100 stations, easing into gleaming newly-built destinations with names such as Ras Bu Fontas, Al Shaqab and Legtaifiya.

Now the main task for those behind the approximately $18-billion project – in a country where car is king – is to ensure it draws enough passengers to justify the huge outlay.

“We are not a culture that is used to the metro, not like Europe,” said Khaled Al Thani, a civil engineer with Qatar Rail, the state-owned company responsible for the metro.

“This is all new for us.”

The Doha Metro is a massive venture even by the standards of the nation where infrastructure mega-projects are commonplace.

Officials at Qatar Rail are cagey about terming it the world’s biggest ongoing engineering project, preferring to call it one of the largest.

Since ground was broken in the summer of 2013, a workforce of 41,000 has been digging, tunnelling and building. Large tracts of land in Doha have been set aside for a network of tunnels and stations.

Qatar even set a world record for using 21 tunnel boring machines at the same time in November 2015, the highest number ever recorded.

Ninety per cent of the metro will run underground when operational. The station designs have been approved by Amir of Qatar, Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Qatar Rail says its target is to have completed 70 percent of the network by the end of 2017, with the opening due in late 2019 or early 2020.

“With metros in other developed countries, when they develop a metro they introduce a new line, but for us in Qatar, we’re introducing a whole network system,” said Khaled Al Thani.

Probably the most symbolic part of the Doha Metro will be a station around 20 kilometres north of the capital.

Lusail, the final stop on the Red Line, will serve the $45-billion city emerging from the desert that will be the venue of football’s 2022 World Cup final.

“We are actualising a vision,” said Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Subai, managing director of Qatar Rail.

The company has begun holding special classes for Doha residents to make them aware of the metro and to encourage them to use it.

“I’m very confident that the metro will be a hit,” said Thani on an upbeat note.

“It takes me approximately one hour every day to go to work. So, with the metro you have a safe and dependable transportation to reach from point A to point B.”

The target is to remove 190,000 cars a day off Doha’s heavily congested roads.

A report from the Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre (QMIC) found that commuters spent an average of 109 hours in traffic on the country’s roads in 2016.

That was an increase of seven hours over the previous year and equivalent to around $1.5 billion in losses for the Qatari economy, according to QMIC calculations.

Many question whether Qataris will swap their beloved cars for public transport, and say foreign workers are more likely to fill the carriages.

The country’s population could rise to 3.6 million by 2031, from 2.6 million today, and Qatar Rail wants 1.65 million people at year to be using the metro by that time.

“To change this culture, it will take time,” said Abdulla Alsayed Zahran, a manager with Qatar Rail.

Source : Khaleej Times

‘Terrorist blast’ injures woman in Bahrain: Interior Ministry

Resultado de imagem para Bahrain Flag Map

FILE- In this Friday, March 14, 2014 file photo, Bahraini anti-government protesters burn representations of the flag of Gulf countries’ Peninsula Shield forces, during a protest in Malkiya, Bahrain. (AP Photo)

The ministry said the explosion happened in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama and that police was at the scene but gave no further details.

A ‘terrorist blast’ slightly injured a woman near the Bahraini capital on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said on its Twitter account, in the latest in a series of explosions in the kingdom.

The ministry said the explosion happened in the village of Sanabis, west of Manama and that police was at the scene but gave no further details.

Tensions have been rising in Bahrain amid a government crackdown on opposition groups and activists it says are stirring up sectarian strife in the kingdom, where the US Fifth Fleet is based.

A man and his wife were slightly injured in an explosion in Sitra island, south of Manama last week. The explosion coincided with the sixth anniversary of pro-democracy Arab Spring protests that rocked the island kingdom in 2011.

The island kingdom crushed the protests with help from neighbouring Gulf Arab states but tensions continued to simmer, growing from time to time into small protests.

On February 5, another bomb exploded on the outskirts of Manama, damaging cars but causing no injuries, in what the Interior Ministry also described as a terrorist act.

Last month, Bahrain executed three men convicted of killing three policemen in a 2014 bomb attack. Bahrain accuses Iran of fanning unrest and supporting militants. Iran denies involvement.

Source : Khaleej Times

Etihad introduces new way to bring gadgets on US flights

Staff Reporter
Filed on March 25, 2017 | Last updated on March 25, 2017 at 08.08 am

Flying to US from Abu Dhabi soon? Here are some good news

Worried about bringing your gadgets the next time you fly from the UAE to the US? Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways says you don’t need to worry about it too much. After news of the ban, the Abu Dhabi-based airline is introducing a new method that will allow passengers to still bring their gadgets on flights to US.

Etihad Airways is reassuring passengers of its highest level of service to minimise disruption following the introduction of a new US travel directive on electronic devices.

Effective March 25, passengers on all US-bound flights from, or transiting through, Abu Dhabi International Airport will not be permitted to carry electronic devices bigger than a smart phone or mobile into the aircraft cabin.

Items such as laptop computers, tablets including iPads, gaming devices, cameras and e-readers will be required to be placed in checked-in luggage. Medical devices are exempt and can be carried onboard.

All Etihad Airways’ US flights have mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity, together with power and USB points at every seat enabling guests to remain connected through their mobiles and smart phones. And with an onboard inflight entertainment system offering hundreds of hours of free programmes, international movies, live TV news and sports channels, interactive games, and music in every seat, guests are able to keep themselves busy throughout their journey without the need of a laptop or tablet.

Etihad Airways is sending email alerts to all US-bound travellers advising of the new directive. Signage is being placed at check-in desks at airports around the world where staff will inform guests to pack any prohibited electronic devices in their checked luggage.

US-bound passengers travelling via Abu Dhabi must check-in their electronic devices at the point of origin. The directive, issued by the US Transportation Security Administration, does not affect flights departing from the United States.

At Abu Dhabi International Airport, all Etihad Airways guests travelling to the United States clear US Immigration and Customs at the US Preclearance facility in Terminal 3 – the only one of its kind in the Middle East. When guests land in the US, they arrive as domestic passengers with no requirement to queue for immigration checks again. Due to the additional security measures, Etihad Airways will deploy more staff at the US Preclearance facility to provide assistance.

To avoid inconvenience, guests are encouraged to pack the prohibited items in their checked baggage prior to reaching the Preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi. Any prohibited electronic devices will have to be declared and placed in padded envelopes before being securely taken to the aircraft luggage hold by staff. Such items will be returned to guests on arrival in the US, while conveniently, other items of checked-in luggage can be collected at the final destination in the United States.

Guests are also encouraged to avoid carrying spare battery packs larger than the permitted size as these will not be allowed in either the luggage hold or the cabin.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “We remain committed to ensuring we provide guests the highest levels of service and quality experience that we are renowned for, at Abu Dhabi International Airport and throughout their journey to minimise the impact of the new measures.

?Etihad Airways offers excellent facilities on the ground at Abu Dhabi International Airport and inflight to keep guests entertained during their journey. While we are communicating the new directive to guests before they begin their travels to the US, we are implementing a number of measures at Abu Dhabi International Airport to ease the process. We continue to work with the relevant authorities and advise guests to comply with the directive to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted journey to the United States.

In addition to the onboard offering, all cabins have a selection of digital lifestyle magazines that can be viewed for free on a smartphone via the Wi-Fly homepage. A variety of printed international magazines and newspapers are also available for guests travelling in the premium cabins.

Children receive a kid’s pack with games and toys, and there is a Flying Nanny on board to assist parents.

At Abu Dhabi International Airport, passengers have access to free Wi-Fi. Guests travelling in the premium cabins can use Etihad Airways’ lounges. For those with sufficient time before departure, guests can pay for access to Etihad’s Business Class lounge in Terminals 1 and 3 which offer computer terminals, Wi-Fi, business facilities, and a wide selection of newspapers, business and lifestyle magazines, international cuisine, shower rooms and children’s play rooms.

First and Business Class guests are also able to use the US Premium Lounge located after the US Immigration checks at Terminal 3.

Guests are able to purchase extra baggage allowance at a discount on airport rates by booking online at etihad.com; through an Etihad Airways reservation office; or via a call centre. In addition, Silver, Gold and Platinum members of Etihad Guest, the airline’s loyalty programme, are entitled to extra free baggage allowance.

While Abu Dhabi International Airport is not listed for a similar ban related to direct flights operating to the United Kingdom, enhanced security screening is likely for guests travelling to London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Etihad Airways operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and six cities across the United States – namely New York, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

For any further updates on the new directive and our policies, guests are advised to check Etihad Airways’ website at etihad.com.

Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

Gravações de A Lei do Amor estão quase encerradas


Falta muito pouca coisa de “A Lei do Amor” para ainda ser gravada…

… A direção e os autores seguraram as cenas decisivas para a semana que vem. Trabalho para poucos…

… E com isso, boa parte do seu elenco já foi liberada…

… O pior é que, no caso de alguns deles, os contratados por obra, o compromisso com a Globo se encerra no final deste mês.


Flávio Ricco com colaboração de José Carlos Nery

UAE flights disrupted due to weekend thunderstorms

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on March 25, 2017

UPDATE: Etihad and Emirates confirm flight disruptions today.

Weekend thunderstorms across the UAE has hampered life in the country, including flooding roads and disrupting air traffic.

According to a tweet by Emirates, the airline’s UAE flights were disrupted on Saturday as heavy rains continued to lash the country.

Earlier on Friday, Etihad Airways flights were affected by the thunderstorms, diverting flights to airports within UAE and the GCC.

The UAE’s national carrier confirmed disruptions today as well. According to a statement by a spokesperson:

“Abu Dhabi is again experiencing unstable weather patterns with intermittent thunderstorms that have caused eight flights to divert to airports within the UAE and GCC.

The airline is working to ensure that they return to Abu Dhabi as soon as possible. “The airline will be monitoring the weather situation in the UAE throughout the day. Any impacted guests will be being informed of itinerary changes and assisted with onward travel.

“Guests can contact the Etihad Airways Contact Centre on +971 (0) 2599 0000 (UAE), or visit the Etihad Airways website at www.etihad.com for further updates. Etihad Airways apologises for any inconvenience caused but the safety and security of our passengers and staff is of the utmost importance.”

Dubai Airports also confirmed that normal operations at DXB have been disrupted as result of weather conditions persisting since last night. A total of 15 inbound flights were diverted to neighbouring airports, while a number of outbound flights were also delayed owing to the disruption.

Dubai Airports is working with airlines and other stakeholders to minimise inconvenience to our customers and normalise operations as quickly as possible.

Passengers are requested to check the status of their flights with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

With the advent of spring in the country, heavy rains hit UAE this week with dust and more rain forecast for the coming days as well.


Source : Khaleej Times

North Korean leader orders speedier new town construction

N.K. leader orders speedier new town construction

This combined photo, provided by the North’s ruling party organ Rodong Sinmun on March 16, 2017, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un touring the construction site of a new district named Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang. Kim called on builders to finish construction for the new town before the birthday of the country’s late founder Kim Il-sung in April. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) (END)

Source : Yonhap News Agency

Kim Jong-un at rocket engine test site

Kim Jong-un at rocket engine test site

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends the test of a high-thrust rocket engine at the Sohae satellite launch site. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency reported it on March 19, 2017, without saying when the test was conducted. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) (END)

Source : Yonhap News Agency