Thursday, August 31, 2006

The buck stops where?

I know the answer is going to be ‘not us’.

The question? Who is responsible for street cleaning in Dubai Marina?

At the Jebel Ali end where there is a huge amount of construction there are also several buildings complete and occupied plus shops and cafes. A residential population.

There is also a huge amount of general rubbish, builders’ rubbish, stones, sand and cement dust all over the streets. The basic community service of street cleaning does not exist.

Dangerous, unsightly, unhealthy, unnecessary. Filthy streets. In one of Dubai’s new prestige projects.

It simply is not good enough.

Now whether it’s the responsibility of the Municipality, Emaar the Master Developer, individual developers or the individual contractors I have no idea. My guess is that each will say it’s the responsibility of one of the others.

I’ve written to the Municipality and Emaar…

Cheap VoIP from Etisalat?

There are many commentators talking about the alleged introduction of VoIP from Etisalat. They all refer to it as 'cheap calls by VoIP".

VoIP is in itself not inherently cheap. The cost depends entirely on what the provider decides to charge.

The reason it's cheap from overseas-based providers is simple - there's a lot of competition.

Why on earth do these self-professed experts assume that Etisalat, with no competition whatsoever, will price its VoIP cheaply?

VoIP by Etisalat? Almost certain to happen I would suggest. But cheap? Down at the sort of levels that Skype, MyWebCalls and all the others charge? Not in a million years.

The only thing that's going to improve the technology, improve the service, reduce the rates is competition. Don't believe that du will be competition by the way, it's just an alternative government controlled provider.

And don't hold your breath for an open policy with free and fair competition.

So what can we expect? The slow introduction of marginally better technology, but we'll still be way behind where we should be. Not much else will change.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another great newspaper story

Cuddly, friendly, laughing-face dolphins. Everybody's favourite.

I like Jean Floch though. A grumpy independent kind of in-yer-face dolphin. Fallen out with his friends so he's having a bad few days, and isn't afraid to show it.

I found this in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Dolphin runs amok off French coast

August 30, 2006 - 7:35pm

An enraged dolphin has been terrorising the French Atlantic coast for several weeks, attacking boats and knocking fishermen into the sea.

"He's like a mad dog," said Hneri Le Lay, president of the association of fishermen and yachtsmen of the port of Brezellec, in Brittany. "He has caused at least 1,500 euros ($2,530) worth of damage in the past few weeks."

The dolphin, named Jean Floch, has destroyed rowboats, overturned open boats, flooded engines and twisted mooring lines.

Two fishermen were knocked into the sea after the dolphin overturned their boat.

Jean Floch has been a popular and familiar sight along the coast of Brittany since 2002.
But experts say that he must have been excluded from his group recently to have turned so violent.

According to Sami Hassani, of the Oceanapolis Department of Sea Mammals, "because of their dominant personalities and their sexual maturity, males could become dangerous."


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

GN, I love you, I love you, I love you!

There are so many comments I could add...but I'll just give you the Gulf News headline:

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I love you, Gulf News

I just love what the layout people do at Gulf News.

Is it accidental? Deliberately subversive? Is the Editor in on it...or simply doesn't notice?

Another classic today with the HeyU story of how to bypass Etisalat's site-blocking side-by-side with Etisalat's ad telling us to 'Break Free'...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Skype is 'national security risk'.

All around the world when the authorities are trying not to tell the truth they hide behind two things these days - the 'war on terror' and 'national security'.

One of the most ludicrous is from our very own Telecoms Regulatory Authority, with a spokesman, who sensibly wished to remain anonymous, patiently exlaining to us that VoIP was blocked in the UAE partly because "...there are aspects of national security..." The report is in 7Days.

I can't even be bothered to comment on such breathtakingly ridiculous misinformation.

But it is symptomatic of the refuge officials and politicians are running to when they're caught doing something indefensible. Whether it's invading other countries, detaining people in jail without trial, illegal wiretapping, racial profiling, tearing up international conventions, removing hard-won civil liberties, blocking's all in the name of 'security' or the 'war on terror'.

As such no-one can ask questions. If you do you're either supporting terrorism or you're endangering national security.

Here's another doozie, from one of our leading banks.

Money, OUR money, is deposited in the bank. A while later we decide to pay cash for a car. Go to the bank and ask for some of OUR money.

Cashier: “What do you want the money for?”

Me: (Thinks: What the ***’s it got to do with you) Says: “What?!”

Cashier: “Sorry, it’s bank policy. I have to ask what you are going to do with the money.”

Me: (Thinks: I’ll tell her it’s to buy a containerload of Kalashnikovs) Says: “Spend it.”

Cashier: Funny look.

Me: (Thinks: She’ll call the guards, they’ll call the police…) Says: “To buy a car.”

Cashier: (Handing over money) “Sorry, it’s security.”

Security? Where the hell does security come into it. There was no check on me, I said it was to buy a car, it really could have gone to buy a containerload of Kalashnikovs.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Signage adds to the road problems, Pt. 2

I highlighted this way back in January.

So many appallingly badly planned and incorrectly placed road signs are adding to the chaos on our roads. Far too many are misleading, they are inconsistent, as are the road markings.

Motorists are confused, making last second decisions on lane changing or turning. Driving standards are bad enough as it is, without this completely unacceptable nonsense adding to the danger.

Today's Gulf News has a story on a new one that nearly caught me out last week. It begins:

A confusing road sign on Shaikh Zayed Road is leading motorists the wrong way, wasting their time and money.

Motorists travelling on Shaikh Zayed Road from the World Trade Centre tunnel towards Al Garhoud bridge said that the sign before the Karama tunnel frustrates them and adds to the traffic chaos.

It has a sign directing motorists to the Al Garhoud Bridge but the road in fact leads to Karama and the Al Maktoum Bridge.

You can see the problem from the photograph; people weave about lane-changing, particularly in the four left-hand lanes, because they're not sure which way they should be going.


It's inexplicable, it's avoidable, it's stupidity. Remember that these things don't just happen, they are planned carefully and deliberately. It's just plain incompetence from the road planners - yet again.

It has to stop. Whoever is responsible needs to be held accountable. Dubai deseves better than this.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mindset confirmed.

"We don't do body counts" was a memorable quote from Gen. Tommy Franks, who directed the invasion of Iraq. A moment of truth that must have had the spin doctors in a real spin. Too late, he'd said what he really thought without, for once, the news being managed.

It set the tone, confirmed a suspicion - non-Americans simply don't matter. 'We can't even be bothered to worry about how many Iraqis are killed'.

That's been confirmed by actions over and over again, and now the latest revelation, from the LA Times & Washington Post in today's Gulf News. It clearly shows the mindset of the officers and the men they command. A sample of what it says:

Officer: Haditha killing normal

Los Angeles Times-Washington Post

Washington: Commander of the battalion involved in last November's Haditha killings did not consider the deaths of 24 Iraqis, many of them women and children, unusual and did not initiate an inquiry, according to a sworn statement he gave to military investigators in March.

It...provides a glimpse of the mindset of a commander on the scene who, despite the carnage, did not stop to consider whether Marines had crossed a line and killed defenceless civilians.

(Lt Col) Chessani told investigators he concluded that insurgents had staged a "complex attack" that began with a roadside bomb, followed by a small-arms ambush that was intended to provoke the Marines to fire into houses where civilians were hiding.

"I did not see any cause for alarm," especially because several firefights had occurred in the area the same day November 19, 2005 Chessani said. Because of that conclusion, the commander added, he did not see any reason to investigate the matter, or even to ask how many women and children had been killed.

Incidentally, notice that we have that 'he made me do it' nonsense of an excuse yet again..."intended to provoke the marines to fire into houses where civilians were hiding."

They couldn't win hearts & minds in Vietnam because of their disregard for non-Americans, it's continued ever since and I can't see it changing.

(The original Washington Post report).

Friday, August 18, 2006

More on "planning"

Interesting comment on my piece ('Heads should roll') about the lack of thought that goes into planning our road system.

Anonymous said...

Having been through a few planning meetings the last two weeks on road, water and electrical infrastructure and realising just how detailed and exact Dubai Municipality's planning requirements are, it is still amazing to see the amount of mistakes being made.

Case in point is the wonderful new Arabian Ranches interchange. On paper it makes no sense. It is a whole jumble of overpasses, underpasses, crossings, mergers and every other term used to describe road mashed into one big blob.

Is it what I suspect? That 'planners' are brought in from overseas for their ability, but actually have no experience of building road systems such as those we need here?

Are they competent to design ten-lane freeways with multiple level interchanges, bridges and tunnels going off in all directions? Can they plan ahead to take account of the booming population & vehicle fleet?

The evidence of roads being redesigned after being open a few weeks seems to suggest that we've employed the wrong people.

A better package to attract the absolute top people for the job in hand would actually save a huge amount of money.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Christian fascists?

Remembering this, President Bush said Thursday that an uncovered British terror plot to blow up planes flying to the United States was further proof "that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists.", I wonder whether terrorists carrying out murderous attacks on behalf of their warped Christian beliefs, such as bombing abortion clinics and murdering the doctors, will be classified as 'Christian fascists'?

Or what about these Catholics:

Bomb discovery fuels fears of dissident republican revival

Owen Bowcott, Ireland correspondentThursday August 17, 20

The discovery of a partially detonated 70lb bomb in a house being built for the Ulster Unionist peer Lord Ballyedmond was blamed yesterday on dissident republican groups intent on launching a fresh campaign of terror.

The incident followed the Real IRA's claim of responsibility last week for fires in retail stores in Newry, County Down, and explosions on the nearby Belfast-Dublin railway line. More than £10m damage was caused.

In this week's attack on Lord Ballyedmond's house near Hackballscross, Co Louth, the detonator on the bomb, packed in a natural gas cylinder, exploded but failed to set off the main charge. Irish army bomb disposal experts eventually made it safe.

The Guardian

Just wondering whether being Christian makes a difference...

No surprises here then.

I see the morons every day - reckless speeding, cutting in, ignoring road signs, jumping lights, illegal U turns, arrogant 'get out of my way' light flashing.

The results are predictable.

A report in today's Gulf News says that in Dubai we had nearly 1,000 crashes in the first six months of the year, deaths are up 42% over the first half of last year with 150 people killed. There were also 1,457 people injured.

Another report says that Dubai police issued 2,178 fines in the same period for jumping red lights. That's just the morons who were caught, I wonder what the real number is.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A whole lotta sense...

Bush's belief in a worldwide Islamist conspiracy is foolish and dangerous

We can only see off the serious threat we face if we separate real Muslim grievances from al-Qaida's homicidal mania

Max Hastings
Monday August 14, 2006
The Guardian

George Bush sometimes sounds more like the Mahdi, preaching jihad against infidels, than the leader of a western democracy.

In his regular radio address to the American people on Saturday he linked the British alleged aircraft plotters with Hizbullah in Lebanon, and these in turn with the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All, said the president of the world's most powerful nation, share a "totalitarian ideology", and a desire to "establish a safe haven from which to attack free nations". Bush's remarks put me in mind of a proverb attributed to Ali ibn Abu Talib: "He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere."

In the United States a disturbingly large minority of people - polls suggest around 40% - remain willing to accept Bush's assertions that Americans and their allies, which chiefly means the British, are faced with a single global conspiracy by Islamic fundamentalists to destroy our societies.

In less credulous Britain one could nowadays fit into an old-fashioned telephone box those who believe anything Bush or Tony Blair says about foreign policy.

The full article is well worth reading.

Promoting Dubai's tourism...

Here's a classic from the pages of 7Days, this published yesterday...

Hotel keeps guests’ passports after complaints over rats

A hotel is refusing to return the passports of a British family who complained their room was infested with rats. Roy Pegram and his family checked in to the Gulf Desert Hotel in Deira for two weeks. But one week into their stay they say their son found a rat in the bathroom.

Hotel cleaners killed the rat, but the next day two more were found in the room, they say.

Though the family is prepared to pay for the first week of their stay, they are refusing to pay for the time after the rats were found. The hotel, which admits there were rats in the room, has offered a discount of just dhs500, and is refusing to return the family’s passports until they pay the bill of dhs3,140.

But that's not the best bit. I love this:

A spokesman for the three-star hotel suggested to 7DAYS yesterday that the family, which has holidayed in the hotel for the past three years, may have planted the rats deliberately.

What did they do, bring the rats with them, keep them somewhere and release them one at a time? Or do they go into the back streets of Deira on rat-catching expeditions each evening?

And the hotel is withholding passports? Surely that can't be legal?

Anyway, Her Britannic Majesty's Government is on the case. Today the report is...

Hotel will release passports

A hotel has agreed to return the passports of a British family who refused to pay the bill after finding rats in their room. Yesterday 7DAYS reported how the Pegram family were prepared to pay for the first week of their two-week stay at the Gulf Desert Hotel in Deira, but would not pay for the time after the rats were found......But now the family is saying that not only will they not pay anything, they want compensation for clothes allegedly damaged by the rodents

It's all getting out of control and of course the longer the fight goes on the more press coverage it's going to get in the UK. "Rats in Dubai hotel" and "British passports seized" is the likely sort of coverage we'll be getting. Tabloids signing the family to exclusive deals..."Our Dubai holiday hell" sounds a likely headline.

I respectfully suggest that someone from Dubai Tourism gets down there pretty quickly to sort it out.

The stories are here and here.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Preposterous pretentious presentation.

Had dinner yesterday at Sketch in the Metropolitan Palace Hotel in Deira.

I ordered Beef Fillet, which was served with vegetables, potato wedges and an interesting-sounding chilli chocolate sauce.

Here's what it looked like...

The pretentious presentation is preposterous, but so many restaurants do it that way.

A message to chefs. You are spoiling the food. STOP IT!

Why do chefs, who supposedly understand food, stack the meat on top of potato wedges or other vegetables? How on earth can a chef worthy of the title do such a thing? Hot meat or fish on top of vegetables steams them and turns them soggy. It's basic common sense, a basic understanding of cookery.

And the vegetables, just look at them. Stupid tiny pieces less than one centimetre square.

The beef was excellent quality and cooked exactly as I ordered it. The chilli chocolate sauce had far too much sugar and not enough chilli for my taste, but overall the ingredients and cooking were excellent.

The problem was the stupid, stupid, stupid presentation.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Only in Dubai.

Stuck in the sun

Scores of construction workers seeking treatment for heat stroke had to wait for hours to see the doctor yesterday – in the sun.

So begins the story in 7Days.

But it gets even more farcical. A black comedy script that would be funny if it didn't involve peoples' health and safety.

More than 150 men gathered at Prime Medical Centre in Al Quoz at 9.00am yesterday to see the two doctors. But the clinic was so crowded all but 30 were forced to sit outside in the sun.

Two doctors for 150 patients?!

But wait. There's more...

Those who weren’t seen before the 1.00pm lunch break had to wait until the clinic reopened at 4.00pm.

Yes, they left a huge queue of people who needed medical assistance and went off on their siesta.

Was it a surprise that so many patients turned up? No, it's apparently quite normal...

Staff at the clinic said they have been receiving an average of about 250 patients a day since June – far too many to cope with.

“The number of patients has more than doubled during the last two months. Most of them report with heat related illnesses,” said a source at the clinic.

So why are the hordes descending on the one clinic, you might well ask.

The workers have to use Prime Medical Centre because their companies have a contract with the clinic.

Ah, so that's why.

“We come here as patients but can’t even get a glass of water to drink,” said a construction worker from ETA.

“There is no place to sit down inside and we have been waiting in the sun since morning.”

“The company would not let us go to any other hospital and it does not look like we will be able to see the doctor here today,” said another worker from ETA.

One man was rushed by ambulance to Rashid Hospital after it was determined he had suffered a heart attack while on the construction site.

A source at the clinic said the clinic normally has three doctors on duty on Mondays, but only two were working yesterday.

Six construction companies with a total of about 35,000 workers have contracts with Prime Medical Centre to provide health care, the source said.

Sorry, I've gone speechless...

The story is here

Heads should roll

The waste caused by incompetent planning in Dubai is mind-boggling.

Waste of millions of dollars in direct costs, waste of materials, waste in lost productivity as people struggle around the unnecessary extra construction, extra air pollution.

All because the planners got it wrong. Inexcusably.

You see it all around all the time, from the holescaping as I call it, endlessly digging holes in established landscaping/roads/footpaths, to major road changes.

Dubai Marina/Knowledge Village are local examples for me.

One of the entrances into KV, a great new road, access from SZR in one direction and Al Sufouh Road in the other. Finished and opened only a few weeks ago, with a set of traffic lights at the actual entrance to KV. Obviously carefully planned that way, presumably with traffic volume, road safety issues, driving standards all taken into account - as they would be by competent planners.

This is it today:

Traffic lights gone, road dug up, a completely different junction of some sort being created. Just weeks after the original opened.

Here's Dubai Marina Phase One. Again the planners would have taken projected population, projected visitors, traffic volume, ease of access/egress, safety into account.

Wouldn't they?

Of course they would, that's what planners do.

Isn't it?

Obviously not Dubai planners.

The completed road now looks like this:

A complete rethink. Corners changed, access changed, roundabouts going in...nothing like the original plan.

With all the tools at their command to get things correct, how can they get it all so wrong. This is gross incompetence.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Blogger plays at Edinburgh Festival

Let slip the blogs of war ...

New plays inspired by online diaries include one woman's story of life in strife-torn Iraq

Rob Sharp, arts and media correspondent
Sunday August 6, 2006 The Observer

The traditional assembly of attention seekers, hand-waving thespians and artistic extroverts that annually descend on Edinburgh for a month of theatrical festivities is set to be joined this year by the antics of an unlikely soul-mate - the normally secluded bedroom blogger.

A number of new plays at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the annual celebration of new theatre, which starts today, are taking inspiration from blogs, the online diaries which bring prominence to anonymous wordsmiths. Blogs have proved game fodder for those writing plays for the Fringe, anxious for new material to inform both jaunty comedies and more hard-hitting alternatives.

The full story is here

I'm a big fan of one of the blogs they're talking about, Baghdad Burning. I have a link to it over there on the right.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mel Gibson - priorities

Much as I abhor racism, isn't it a disgrace that it's Mel Gibson's outburst that's being depicted as the serious crime, not that he was drunk driving and endangering innocent lives. A breath test indicated Gibson's blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent. California drivers 21 and older must remain under 0.08 percent. That's being ignored in the hysteria over what he said.

Where's the outrage at the real crime?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The obscenity of war

This heart-rending front page photograph which Gulf News ran on Monday has caused much debate, with opinions very much divided.

There was a particular letter complaining about it in today's paper, with what I thought was a brilliant reply from the Photo Director:

How can the image of a dead child help?

Your newspaper was not allowed into my house on Monday morning. I had it thrown straight into the bin. It is distressing enough to read of the deaths of innocent children in times of war and conflict but completely unnecessary to show that image on the front page.
What happened to the classic photojournalism of war-torn countries which has won awards over the years for its clear message without having to resort to graphic and brutal pictures of burning bodies and crushed limbs?
We live in times when violence is so commonplace on TV to the point where no one takes any notice of real conflict and pain. How can the image of that dead child change what is happening in Lebanon? It appears to me the real reason this photograph has been published is to increase the sales of the paper.
When we live in a country where many things are taboo, surely sickening visuals of this nature should be sensitively handled and kept out of the press altogether.
How do you explain this photo to a child who sees it in the home? How does he understand that this is different from the game he then goes off to play on his Playstation or the internet?

From Ms S. Backhouse, Dubai

Our Photo Director replies:

Photojournalists covering the war in Lebanon have provided arguably the most harrowing images of death and destruction in recent times. They risk their lives to document the war crimes being perpetrated against defenceless women and children. We as a newspaper recording history are obliged to show the truth of what is happening and at times the truth is painful.

You contend that classic photojournalism images that have won awards do not depict the brutal imagery which has appeared in Gulf News and most Arab newspapers of late. I beg to differ on this issue as the greatest award-winning images have more often than not been violent. The napalmed children running through the streets in Vietnam, charred soldiers in a tank in Iraq, the pilot's body being dragged through Mogadishu streets, the Vietcong being shot in the head at close range, the man being beaten while being burnt alive during apartheid in South Africa, the starving child being watched by a vulture in Sudan, the killing fields of Cambodia, starving children in Ethiopia, the hacked bodies during the genocide in Rwanda, Bhopal gas explosion horror one can go on and on.

Great news pictures conjure up great horrors, great sorrow and inevitably are immensely brutal.

The child being hoisted from the rubble in Lebanon will go down as a great image of this war for its sure message: the war has killed and is killing the innocents. These images which are being widely used in the Arab media are being generally ignored by the western media. The result is outrage in this region and amazing apathy in the western world. Censorship of these images, the truth, only serves the perpetrators of violence and allows their crimes against humanity to carry on unchecked.

It is our duty as a serious newspaper to expose this.

We live in the Playstation age where children and adults alike are desensitised by the carnage on their television sets because apparent "death" is so common and "resurrection" is a mere press of the button away. In real war there is no second chance or "restart" button and perhaps parents should be duty bound to explain the difference between "real" death and "cyber" death.

By throwing Gulf News in the bin you may have lost a great opportunity to teach your children about the reality of life and how different it is from Playstation's artificial life.

You ask: How can the image of that dead child change what is happening in Lebanon? Time will tell what impact it has but for sure there will be and already has been an impact on the minds of those who saw it.

Reading US, UK, Australian newspapers I see sanitised photos of the destruction. Buildings collapsed, people in hospital with a bandaged arm, crying women, but rarely a graphic photograph showing the true horror, the reality of what's happening.

Hiding the truth, sanitising the effects of barbarity will only help it to continue. People need to face up to the reality of what happens in war. To people on all sides of all wars. That's the only hope we have of ever stopping it.

By the way, the little boy in the photograph shouldn't stay nameless. Abbas Mahmoud Hashem. Just one more innocent victim.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I give up!

That's it! I'm going to shut the computer down now. Not only is it the slowest I can ever remember, bloody Etisalat is spamming my e-mail box:

Al Shamil Quiz Competition

Dear Valued Al Shamil Customer,

As part of our constant endeavors to enhance customers Internet experience and enforce awareness of broadband Internet, we are pleased to announce Al Shamil Broadband Quiz Competition for kids during Knowledge Surprises, in partnership with the Land Department, between 3rd and 9th of August 2006.

By the way, don't you love the "...enforce awareness..." Oops, a Freudian slip.

Slow? Almost motionless.

Are they, without the promised warning, moving the cables because of Fujairah's Big Banana Island today?

I can't believe how slow my computer is.

Stupid, stupid me...

I forgot the Golden Rule.

Never comment on a newspaper story quoting 'officials' on the day it's published. The reason, of course, is that the following morning a denial will be printed in another paper

So it was this morning with a story I talked about yesterday.

Yesterday's EmTod report that new companies would be allowed 100% foreign ownership was ridiculed in today's Gulf News story UAE denies plan for full foreign ownership.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We'll get there in the end

It was inevitable that the unprecedented development we're seeing in Dubai would charge ahead of regulations and laws. Playing catch-up isn't unique to this area - for example all governments are trying to write laws to deal with new technology such as the internet.

We're still working in the old laissez faire way and while it was all low-key and small we got away with it. But not any more. Now we're negotiating Free Trade Agreements, WTO looms large, we're on the international stage, particularly as Brand Dubai, in a big way.

There's an urgent need for legislation to catch-up with the new reality.

The new Property Law was a good start, in spite of it needing a lot more work. Now Emirates Today reports two new prospective changes, in company law and vehicle insurance. Both very good, very welcome moves.

Companies may not need local sponsor to operate

Foreigners may soon be able to open a business in the UAE without the sponsorship of a UAE national if a new draft of the commercial companies law comes into affect.

The draft deletes the provision in the current law that requires foreign companies operating outside of a free zone to partner with a UAE national who holds 51 per cent of the company – paving the way for much greater foreign investment in the country.

Good drivers will benefit

Motorists with good safety records are expected to benefit from a decision taken by the Ministry of Economy and Planning to amend some regulations regarding car insurance, a top industry executive said yesterday.

Under the new rules motorists will be given the option of having a named driver policy, said Omer Hassan Elamin, Chairman of the Insurance Business Group and a member of the legal committee of the Emirates Insurance Association, which collaborated with the ministry on the amendments.

At present, insurance policies focus on the car rather than the driver, which means that anyone with a licence can drive an insured car that they do not own and still have the right to file a claim if they cause an accident.

Elamin said that the new option will mean cars will not be covered if they are driven by anyone else but the poli cy-holder. However, drivers with good records are expected to benefit from the new rules, said Elamin.

Many more legislative updates are needed in many more areas. Let's hope they're not long coming.

Emirates Today