Top headlines: Covid-negative test to enter Abu Dhabi; Federal govt staff returns to work from July 5; Dubai Summer Surprises to begin on July 9

Dubai - A look at the headlines that made news over the last 24 hours.

By Web Report

Published: Mon 29 Jun 2020, 5:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 29 Jun 2020, 7:24 PM

UAE residents need Covid-negative test to enter Abu Dhabi

UAE residents and visitors need a Covid-negative test result to enter Abu Dhabi, authorities announced on Monday. They should have received the results in 48 hours prior to their visit.

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee for the Covid-19 Pandemic said the negative test results must be shown via the AlHosn app or as a text message from any hospital or screening centre in the UAE affiliated to the National Screening Programme.

Entry of non-Abu Dhabi-based workers is still prohibited. "The movement of mail and all types of goods is exempted," the Abu Dhabi Media Office tweeted on Monday.

All federal govt staff in UAE to return to office from July 5

All federal government employees in the UAE will report to office from July 5. Only employees with chronic diseases are allowed to continue working from home, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources said. Such employees need to provide a medical report approved by an official committee, the authority added.

Previously, some other categories of employees were exempted from going to office. These included pregnant women, people of determination, the elderly, and female employees with children in grade 9 and below, among others.

Dubai Summer Surprises dates announced

The 23rd edition of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) will start on July 9 and will continue until August 29, organisers have announced.

The Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) on Monday announced a series of exciting festival campaigns including the DSS, Eid Al Adha and Back to School (BTS).

The DFRE has lined up a series of events, promotions, entertainment and digitally led experiences and initiatives for the season.

UAE launches system to increase food security

The UAE has launched a National System for Sustainable Agriculture to ramp up production and quality of local farms.

A remote Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday also announced an additional Dh320 million budget for national universities.

"Today, I chaired a Cabinet meeting in which we approved a National System for Sustainable Agriculture to improve the efficiency of our UAE farms, enhance our self-sufficiency in food, and create new opportunities to ensure the sector is always ranked among the best," said Sheikh Mohammed.

School buses in UAE to have tracking system, smart alert systems and remote cameras

UAE school buses will have to upgrade their safety requirements and install remote tracking, smart alert system, cameras and fire extinguishers among others, the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) has announced.

The five new safety upgrades are in line with the decision passed by the federal Cabinet on Sunday. "As per the decision, school buses should install technical equipment so that schools, supervisors, drivers and traffic controllers can manage the buses and students to improve safety, said Abdulla Abdelqader Al Maeeni, ESMA director general.

Dubai schools now open for campus tours

Schools in Dubai may now take prospective students and their parents on a tour of the campus. According to an update posted on the website of the emirate's education regulator Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), schools can do this "provided physical distancing and other health and safety guidelines applicable to all school visitors are followed".

Campus tours had been suspended in March when schools closed temporarily and learning went online as a precautionary measure against the spread of Covid-19.

Vande Bharat Mission tickets sold out hours after direct sales started in UAE

Tickets for special flights to several cities in India were sold out just hours after direct sales began, an Air India officer at the ticketing office told Khaleej Times on Monday. Flights to Lucknow, Delhi, and Hyderabad, which are part of the Vande Bharat Mission's Phase 4, are now fully booked.

"Only tickets to the Kerala sector are available. But those seats, too, are running out fast," said the officer.

The Indian Embassy in the UAE announced on Sunday that Indian expats, who have registered with missions, can secure seats on the repatriation flights on a first-come-first-served basis, provided that they fulfil the mandatory conditions to return home.

Stranded residents willing to pay up to Dh15,000 for a one-way ticket to UAE

Some UAE residents stranded in India say they will be resorting to the 'expensive option' of business jets to return to the country.

With India further pushing back the dates for the start of scheduled passenger flights to foreign destinations including the UAE, expats who say they are desperate to return after months of uncertainty are willing to pay up to Dh15,000 per ticket to fly back to the country of their residence.

Business jets, a mode of transport so far reserved for the well-heeled and not necessarily used for repatriation or evacuation of stranded people, have seemingly come to the rescue of those who can afford to spend between Dh10,000 and Dh15,000 for the option.

23 die after ferry capsises in Bangladesh

At least 23 people were killed after a ferry capsised in Buriganga river in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka on Monday morning, duty officer of fire service and civil defence headquarters Rozina Islam told Xinhua. "As many as 11 bodies have already been recovered," she said. However, AFP reported 23 casuaities.

The Dhaka-bound ferry 'Morning Bird' capsised after it was hit by another launch 'Moyur-2' in Buriganga river at Shyambazar area of old Dhaka around 9.33am (local time), she added.

The ferry was reportedly carrying over 100 passengers.

Emirates resumes service to 4 more destinations in July

Emirates announced the addition of more destinations, starting from July 1. Flights will be resumed for Cairo, Tunis, Glasgow and Malé, bringing network to over 50 cities in July.

The Dubai-based carrier continues to add travel options for customers with the announcement on Monday that it will re-start passenger flights to Cairo (from 1 July), Tunis (from 1 July), Glasgow (from 15 July) and Malé (from 16 July).

This will bring Emirates' network to 52 destinations in July, offering travellers convenient connections between the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas through its Dubai hub, while ensuring the health and safety of customers and employees on the ground and in the air.

UAE temporarily suspends all flights from Pakistan

The UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has announced the suspension of all inbound flights from Pakistan, including transit ones. The suspension will be in place till the country establishes a process of laboratory testing for Covid-19 for all departing travellers enroute to the UAE.

"This is a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of all arrivals as of Monday, June 29, 2020," the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said late on Sunday.

Returning UAE residents need Covid-negative certificate

All UAE residents currently stuck abroad and wanting to return must complete a Covid-19 test, the UAE government has announced.

Those who do not have a Covid negative test taken within 72 hours of take-off will not be permitted to board the aircraft.

This is part of the key guidelines announced on Sunday by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship for residents with valid visas to return to the country starting July 1.

Saeed Lootah passes away, Sheikh Mohammed pays respects

Haj Saeed bin Ahmed Al Lootah, the founder of the world's first Islamic bank, has passed away. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter on Sunday to offer his respects.

Confirming his passing, Sheikh Mohammed said: "He was a trader who started with nothing. His touch is visible in several aspects of the Dubai economy."

Saudi Arabia to levy 15% VAT on goods imported via online platforms

Saudi Arabia on Sunday said it will levy 15 per cent value-added tax (VAT) on products bought through online platforms outside the kingdom.

The Saudi customs authority said in a tweet that this new rule will be applicable to all those products shipped on or after July 1, 2020.

On May 11, Riyadh had announced increasing VAT three-fold from five per cent to 15 per cent with effect from Wednesday, July 1. The kingdom would also suspend cost of living allowance from next month in order to shore up state finances, which have been battered by low oil prices and the coronavirus. The revised higher VAT rates will be applicable to all supplies of taxable goods and services in the country.

Fujairah public beaches, parks to welcome visitors

Beginning Monday, June 29,  all public beaches and parks in Fujairah will reopen for visitors.

Fujairah Municipality has taken the step in collaboration with the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.

Visitors, however, will need to strictly observe all precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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