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Top headlines: Safety tips as you hit the beach in Dubai; Pakistan allows all airlines to operate; UAE bank lending continues to climb

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on June 17, 2020 | Last updated on June 17, 2020 at 05.49 pm


A summary of the top headlines that made the news over the last 24 hours.

Abu Dhabi prepares to reopen restaurants, cafes

The Department of Economic Development, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, issued a circular on Wednesday detailing precautionary measures that must be taken in order to reopen restaurants, cafes and coffee shops outside shopping malls in Abu Dhabi.

The Department of Economic Development, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, issued a circular on Wednesday detailing precautionary measures that must be taken in order to reopen restaurants, cafes and coffee shops outside shopping malls in Abu Dhabi.

Citizens, residents no longer need a permit to travel out of Abu Dhabi

Citizens and residents may leave Abu Dhabi without a permit, the emirate's Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee for the Covid-19 Pandemic has announced.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the authority said permits issued by the police are needed for entering Abu Dhabi and to travel between its regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra).

"Movement within each region is allowed in line with the National Sterilisation Programme timings (10pm to 6am). Movement of workers remains restricted within Abu Dhabi's regions. Entry and exit of workers to Abu Dhabi emirate is still prohibited," the authority added.

Dubai to resume marine, water sports competitions

The Dubai Sports Council has announced the resumption of marine and water sports competitions, and a number of events are expected to take place in the coming days off the coast of Dubai and the picturesque Hatta Dam Lake.

Based on the directives of Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the announcement to resume marine sports competitions is part of a series of decisions taken by the Council in recent days to gradually reopen the sports sector following weeks of closure due to Covid-19.

Dubai issues tips to stay safe as you hit the beach

Planning to hit the beach soon? Remember to follow all safety rules because "Covid-19 is still around and we cannot drop our guard, just yet", the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said in its latest advisory.

Wearing face masks is mandatory, but beachgoers may take them off when they're in the water. Gloves are not necessary in open beaches; however, they must be worn at parks and closed areas.

Social distancing must be observed at all times - even in the water. "When it comes to the beach, while we do not need to wear a mask in the water, it is important to maintain social distance of ideally two metres even when you are in the water," said Dr Badria Al Harmi, director of public health protection department at the DHA.

UAE bank lending continues to grow in May

Bank lending in the UAE continued to increase in May, though at a slower pace, despite coronavirus impacting most of the sectors of the economy.

Gross credit increased by 0.1 per cent or Dh2.2 billion month-on-month from Dh1,776.1 billion at the end of April 2020 to Dh1778.3 billion at the end of May 2020, the UAE Central Bank said on Wednesday.

It was the third consecutive month of increase in domestic lending in the UAE, reflecting that the banks continue to lend even during these tough times to those customers who have good track record and are backed by solid business models.

Don't click on that 'Covid-19 medicine' link: UAE cops warn against new hacking scheme

If you receive any malicious link to some page about "Covid-19 medicines" or "secrets" to beating the disease, do not click on it, the Ajman Police warned. Such links can get devices hacked and accounts can be used for fraud. These may also allow cybercriminals to spy on residents, authorities said.

The warning comes after several complaints about hacking activities were filed recently, police said. Cyber patrols are now investigating the cases and they vow to track down the criminals and refer them to court.

"Hackers and fraudsters appeared to be taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis to launch new phishing attacks," an Ajman Police official said.

6,000 drivers fined in UAE for violating tyre safety rules

More than 6,000 motorists in Abu Dhabi were fined for tyre safety violations during the summer last year, the Abu Dhabi Police have revealed.

Tyre bursts during the summer months in 2019 claimed three lives and left two others with critical injuries, the police said, while sounding fresh warning on the dangers of driving with worn-out and expired tyres.

The police said the number of motorists caught driving with damaged and expired tyres were 6,211 last year.

Such motorists face a Dh500 fine, along with four black points and their vehicle is impounded for a week.

Pakistan allows all airlines to operate, passengers can buy tickets directly

Stranded Pakistanis are no more required to wait for special flights ticket as the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development allowed all airlines to operate in Pakistani airspace.

In a series of tweets, the ministry said travellers will be able to buy tickets directly from the airlines and they don't have to wait for a call from the consulate, and the embassy for approval to buy tickets.

Ghulam Dastgir, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UAE, said Islamabad has decided to open its airspace for all international airlines.

Covid-negative result mandatory for all Keralites returning from UAE

All passengers arriving in Kerala, including the ones on the Vande Bharat Mission flights, will have to now furnish a Covid-19 negative test result before departure, said K Ellangovan IAS, Principal Secretary, Government of Kerala told Khaleej Times.

The decision to make a negative certificate mandatory for all returnees was taken at the Cabinet meeting held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's capital, on Wednesday.

During the Cabinet meeting it was decided the State will ask the Centre to make it mandatory for all passengers to furnish a Covid-19 negative test that is at least 72 hours old, explained Ellangovan. The State has said Indian diplomatic missions in the concerned country has to arrange this facility at the airports.

Pakistan rupee slides again, sheds 0.5% versus UAE dirham as demand up

The Pakistan rupee came under pressure and shed another 0.5 per cent of its value against the US dollar on Wednesday as local importers generated demand for the greenback to clear their liabilities in outgoing financial year on June 30.

The rupee declined to Rs165.65 against the US dollar (45.14 versus the dirham) in open market as local importers purchased more US currency. It closed Rs163.05 against the US dollar (44.42 versus the dirham) on Tuesday.

Market insiders and analysts said the rupee is expected to continue downward trend in coming months due to economic slowdown and worsening situation of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Legendary Pakistan TV host, actor Tariq Aziz passes away

Renowned television host Tariq Aziz passed away in Lahore on Wednesday. He was 84.

Aziz hosted PTV's famous quiz show 'Neelam Ghar'.

Aziz started his career from Radio Pakistan, Lahore, and was the first male PTV anchor when it started its initial broadcast in November 1964.

Aziz-hosted 'Neelam Ghar', which was first aired in 1974, set new popularity records and made him a household name in Pakistan. The show was later renamed as the 'Tariq Aziz Show' and then became 'Bazm-e-Tariq Aziz'. becomes in Saudi Arabia

E-commerce giant Amazon has announced the launch of, replacing in Saudi Arabia, three years after its acquisition of the Dubai-headquartered company.

Customers are automatically redirected from to the newly rolled-out store. All existing Souq customer credentials, wish lists, orders, delivery addresses, payment methods and customer support queries have been converted to new accounts, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Customers will have free next-day delivery on orders above SAR200, as well as the option of paid same-day delivery to select areas in Saudi Arabia as becomes Saudi Post will continue to be a strategic delivery partner for the company in the coming period.

Honduran president tests positive for Covid-19

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, is receiving treatment and will work remotely and through his aides, he said late on Tuesday.

"As president of the nation and a responsible citizen, I want to communicate that during the weekend I started to feel some discomfort and today I was diagnosed as having been infected with Covid-19," Hernandez said in a televised speech, reported Reuters.

"They have recommended rest but I will continue working remotely and through my aides."

HSBC resumes cutting around 35,000 jobs

HSBC is resuming a massive redundancy plan it had put on ice following the outbreak of coronavirus, and will cut 35,000 jobs over the medium term, a memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed.

The bank will also maintain a freeze on almost all external recruitment, Chief Executive Noel Quinn said in the memo sent to the bank's 235,000 staff worldwide.

"We could not pause the job losses indefinitely - it was always a question of 'not if, but when'," Quinn said.

A spokeswoman for the bank confirmed the contents of the memo. HSBC had originally postponed the job cuts, part of a wider restructuring aimed at reducing costs, in March when it said the extraordinary circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic meant it would have been wrong to push staff out.

60% of Beijing flights cancelled to stem coronavirus spread: Report

Chinese media say more than 60 per cent of commercial flights in and out of Beijing have been canceled as the city raises alert level amid a new coronavirus outbreak.

The website of the Communist Party's Global Times said that as of 9am Wednesday, a total of 1,255 flights to and from the capital's two major airports have been scrapped.

That accounts for 67 per cent of outgoing flights and 68 per cent of incoming flights, the Global Times said.

Brazil sees record daily coronavirus cases; official says outbreak under control

Brazil reported a record 34,918 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the same day that one of the senior officials leading the country's widely criticised response to the crisis said the outbreak was under control.

Brazil, the world's No. 2 coronavirus hotspot after the United States, is fast approaching 1 million cases, although experts say the true number is likely higher due to patchy testing. Brazil also registered 1,282 Covid-19 deaths since its last update on Monday, the Health Ministry said, bringing confirmed fatalities in the country to 45,241.

Walter Braga Netto, the head of the office of the president's chief of staff, known as Casa Civil, and one of the top officials handling the crisis, said it was under control.

Russia's Putin protected from coronavirus by disinfection tunnel: Report

Russian President Vladimir Putin is protected from the novel coronavirus by a special disinfection tunnel that anyone visiting his residence outside Moscow must pass through, the state-controlled RIA news agency reported on Tuesday.

The special tunnel, manufactured by a Russian company based in the town of Penza, has been installed at his official Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow where he receives visitors, it said.

Demonstration footage of the tunnel, published by RIA, showed masked people passing through it being sprayed with disinfectant from the ceiling and from the side.

The Russian news agency described the disinfectant as a fine cloud of liquid that covered people's clothes and any exposed upper body flesh.

Philippine tycoon and Marcos ally dies at 85

Philippine tycoon Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco Jr., a key ally of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a low-key businessman who led a food and beverage empire that produced San Miguel beer, has died. He was 85.

San Miguel Corp. said Cojuangco, who served as its chairman and chief executive officer for decades, died on Tuesday night, without providing other details. Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Cojuangco died of pneumonia and heart failure in a hospital in Manila.

Cojuangco had a net worth of $1.1 billion, according to Forbes' list of the world's billionaires, with interests in cement-manufacturing, orchards, a stud farm and Australian wineries, aside from San Miguel. San Miguel, one of Southeast Asia's largest conglomerates, with a workforce of more than 28,000 people, has ventured into fuel and oil, power and infrastructure.

Saudi Arabia reports 4,919 new Covid-19 cases, 2,122 recoveries

The Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday reported 4,919 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 2,122 new cases of recovery.

Thirty-nine cases of death were also reported.

The cases were reported in Riyadh (2,371), Makkah (282), Jeddah (279), Hafouf (273), among others.

With this, a total of 141,234 cases have been reported in the Kingdom, along with 91,662 recoveries and 1,091 deaths.

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