Gulf News https://www.sahilonline.net/en/gulf-news SahilOnline, Leading news portal from Coastal Karnataka, bringing you latest updates from the Coast, State, Nation and the World, in Kannada, Urdu and English. Gulf News 50,000 Kannadigas in Kuwait may lose jobs https://www.sahilonline.net/en/50000-kannadigas-in-kuwait-may-lose-jobs Jobs of more than 50,000 Kannadigas in Kuwait are in limbo as the Gulf country has initiated the process of bringing in a legislation to restrict the number of foreign workers. Thermometers in hand, Dubai opens for tourists amid pandemic https://www.sahilonline.net/en/thermometers-in-hand-dubai-opens-for-tourists-amid-pandemic From French soccer jerseys to slick online campaigns, Dubai is trumpeting the fact that it reopened for tourism on Tuesday — but what that means for this sheikhdom that relies on the dollars, pounds, rupees and yuan spent by travellers remains in question. Second chartered flight carrying 181 Bhatkalis from Dubai to land in Mangaluru Airport tonight https://www.sahilonline.net/en/second-chartered-flight-from-dubai-reaching-mangalore-tonight-bhatkal-and-surrounding-people-will-arrive-from-ras-al-khimah-airport The second chartered flight carrying 181 stranded people of Bhatkal and surrounding regions, from Dubai to Mangaluru will take off from Ras Al Khaima international airport today evening, informed Mr. Atiqur Rahman Muniri, a well-known Bhatkali businessman, who have chartered the flight to ease the problems of Uttara Kannada people in gulf by repatriating them home. 166 stranded in UAE, arrive at Mangalore International Airport https://www.sahilonline.net/en/166-stranded-in-uae-arrive-at-mia As many as 166 stranded people from UAE arrived at Mangalore International Airport in a chartered flight on Tuesday evening.  173 people stranded in Saudi Arabia return to Mangaluru https://www.sahilonline.net/en/173-people-stranded-in-saudi-arabia-return-to-mangaluru As many as 173 stranded people including eight children from Saudi Arabia landed at Mangalore International Airport on Monday night.  Saudi Arabia to hold 'very limited' hajj due to coronavirus pandemic https://www.sahilonline.net/en/saudi-arabia-to-not-cancel-but-conduct-hajj-in-very-limited-numbers-due-to-covid-19-pandemic Saudi Arabia says this year's hajj will not be cancelled, but that due to the coronavirus only "very limited numbers" of people will be allowed to perform the major Muslim pilgrimage. Chartered flight brings 173 stranded Indians back from UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/chartered-flight-brings-173-stranded-indians-back-from-uae A chartered flight on Sunday brought 173 Indians back to Karnataka from UAE where they were stranded since the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The flight, arranged by the Karnataka Sports and Cultural Club (KSCC), landed at the Mangaluru international airport (MIA). KSCC is the first sports and cultural club to arrange a chartered flight for stranded Kannadigas in the UAE, said a press release. Karnataka: 160 Kannadigas stranded in Kuwait arrive at MIA https://www.sahilonline.net/en/ktaka-160-kannadigas-stranded-in-kuwait-arrive-at-mia The first chartered flight repatriating Indians stranded at Kuwait since months landed at the international airport here. Second chartered flight of Bhatkalis to bring home 210 stranded people from Dubai on June 23 https://www.sahilonline.net/en/second-chartered-flight-for-stranded-in-dubai-from-bhatkal-and-surrounding-areas-to-be-fly-from-rak-airport-to-mangalore-on-23-jun Following the first chartered flight, Bhatkalis business tycoon Mr Atiqur Rahman Muniri announced about the second flight that will fly home stranded 210 passengers of Bhatkal and surrounding areas on June 23 from Dubai and other parts of UAE. Dubai: Chartered flight carrying 184 Bhatkalis takes off from UAE's RAK to Mangaluru, India https://www.sahilonline.net/en/dubai-special-chartered-flight-carrying-184-bhatkalis-takes-off-from-rak-airport-to-mangaluru-india A chartered flight arranged and organized by one of the well-known Bhatkali businessmen and chairman of Nuha General Trading, Dubai, Mr. Ateequr Rahman Muniri, took off from Ras Al Khaima International Airport, UAE, carrying stranded citizens of Bhatkal and surrounding regions who were stuck in Dubai and other parts of the United Arab Emirates due to COVID-19 lockdown.  Saudi Firm Flies Home Over 1,600 Stranded Indian Staff On Chartered Flights https://www.sahilonline.net/en/saudi-firm-flies-home-over-1600-stranded-indian-staff-on-chartered-flights In one of the largest COVID-19-related repatriations from the Gulf by a private employer, a Saudi Arabia-based company has begun operating chartered flights to send home over 1,600 of its Indian employees. Second non-Vande Bharat Mission flight landed in MIA https://www.sahilonline.net/en/second-non-vande-bharat-mission-flight-landed-in-mia A chartered flight carrying Kannadigas, stranded in Saudi Arabia, arrived at Mangaluru International Airport, MIA officials said on Wednesday. Chartered flight for Bhatkalis from Dubai to Mangaluru; More than 350 citizens register requesting to repatriate home https://www.sahilonline.net/en/more-than-350-people-send-request-to-fly-for-mangalore-airport-india-from-dubai-uae-after-chartered-plane-to-rescue-bhatkal-people-from-dubai Upon learning about the special chartered flight for stranded people of Bhatkal and surrounding regions from Dubai to Mangaluru, hundreds of people contacted organizers requesting to repatriate home, which has now left organizers in dilemma to decide what steps can be taken to repatriate such a large number of people trapped in United Arab Emirates due to Coronavirus lockdown. Special chartered flight to fly stranded Bhatkalis from United Arab Emirates to Mangaluru on June 11 https://www.sahilonline.net/en/good-news-for-bhatkal-people-residing-in-dubai-united-arab-emirates-uae A most comforting and breathtaking news for the people of Bhatkal and surrounding regions who are stranded in Dubai and in United Arab Emirates in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak has prevailed. Mr. Atiqur Rahman Muniri, a well-known Bhatkali businessman and a owner of Nuha General Trading Company has arranged a chartered flight to repatriate them to Bhatkal and surrounding areas via Mangaluru International airport. Special Air India flight with 65 passengers from Muscat lands in Mangaluru https://www.sahilonline.net/en/special-ai-flight-with-65-passengers-arrives-from-muscat-in-mangaluru In the continuing evacuation of Indian citizens stranded abroad due to COVID-19 lockdown, a special repatriation flight from Muscat landed here with 65 passengers on Wednesday night. Covid-19: Karnataka govt should announce special package to Indian expats lost jobs in gulf https://www.sahilonline.net/en/state-govt-urged-to-announce-special-package-for-nri-kannadigas-who-lost-their-jobs Former Karnataka Minister and Congress Legislator U T Khader has asserted that the Karnataka government should announce a special package for Indian expats who have lost jobs in Gulf due to Covid-19 lock-down. 3 more Indians in UAE lose jobs for 'Islamobhobic' social media posts https://www.sahilonline.net/en/3-more-indians-in-uae-lose-jobs-for-islamobhobic-social-media-posts Three more Indians based in the UAE have either been fired or suspended from their jobs for "Islamophobic" posts on social media, days after the Indian ambassador to the Gulf nation warned the expatriates against posting such provocative updates online, a media report has said. Visas of Indians stranded in Gulf extended, won't return home anytime soon: Centre https://www.sahilonline.net/en/visas-of-indians-stranded-in-gulf-extended-wont-return-home-anytime-soon-centre The Centre on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that there was no immediate plan to bring back the Indian citizens stranded in the Gulf countries due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and that the expatriates had been granted visa extension. Saudi says total oil curbs could reach 19.5 mn barrels https://www.sahilonline.net/en/saudi-says-total-oil-curbs-could-reach-195-mn-barrels Oil output cuts by OPEC and its allies, together with pledges from other G20 nations and purchases by strategic reserves, could remove 19.5 million barrels per day from the market, the Saudi energy minister said. IndiGo to cancel some flights to UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/indigo-to-cancel-some-flights-to-uae New Delhi:  IndiGo on Saturday said it will cancel some of its flights to the UAE after the Gulf country announced that it would suspend all entry visas, except diplomatic visas, from March 17 in view of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, the airline said, "Owing to the suspension of visas for all foreigners with the exception of diplomatic passport holders, IndiGo will be cancelling some of its flights to Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi w.e.f. March 17, 2020 until the travel restrictions are lifted." "We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, and will be refunding the full amount to the impacted passengers," it added. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship of the United Arab emirates (UAE) stated on Saturday that the decision to suspend all visas, except diplomatic visas, from March 17 was taken as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Meanwhile, another private carrier, SpiceJet, said it had not planned cancellations as yet. "We are reviewing the situation constantly. No cancellations have been planned yet," a spokesperson of the airline said. UAE suspends issuance of all entry visas from March 17 https://www.sahilonline.net/en/uae-suspends-issuance-of-all-entry-visas-from-march-17 The UAE on Saturday temporarily suspended the issuance of all entry visas except for those holders of diplomatic passports. This will be effective as of March 17. Air India cancels all flights to Kuwait, Italy till April 30 https://www.sahilonline.net/en/air-india-cancels-all-flights-to-kuwait-italy-till-april-30 New Delhi :  Air India on Friday announced the cancellations of all flights to Kuwait and Italy till April 30 amid the coronavirus outbreak in these countries. The national carrier has also curtailed flight operations to South Korea, France, Germany, Israel, and Sri Lanka till April 30 in a bid to contain the lethal infection which has claimed 5,000 lives globally. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across India is 82 including two deaths. The central government on Wednesday announced the suspension of all visas to India till April 15, as part of the measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. Coronavirus scare: Saudi Arabia suspends international flights for two weeks https://www.sahilonline.net/en/coronavirus-scare-saudi-arabia-suspends-international-flights-for-two-weeks Riyadh : The Kingdom has temporarily suspended all international flights for two weeks to slow down the spread of coronavirus, local media reported on Saturday, quoting the Ministry of Interior. The time period will be considered as an official holiday, the ministry said in a statement, for the residents who cannot come back during the two weeks, starting from Sunday, Khaleej Times reported. During the two-week period, some flights would only be allowed in "exceptional cases", the ministry added. On Friday, 24 new cases of COVID-19 infections were reported in the Kingdom, raising the total to 86. Earlier this week, Riyadh also imposed a temporary lockdown on its eastern Qatif area, home to a large Shia-Muslim population, after the Interior Ministry announced that all individuals diagnosed with the disease are from the same municipality itself. According to local media reports, the Kingdom also suspended all educational and Quranic activities at mosques starting to help prevent the spread of viral infection. The Kingdom has suspended travel to and from the entire European Union and 12 other countries in Asia and Africa. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the outbreak as a global pandemic as more than 140,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus across 114 countries. More than 5,000 people have died - around 3,000 of them in China - after contracting COVID-19 across the globe.  Abu Dhabi to Be Free of Single-Use Plastic Bags by 2021 https://www.sahilonline.net/en/abu-dhabi-to-be-free-of-single-use-plastic-bags-by-2021 New policy launched by Environment Agency Abu Dhabi targets reduction of single-use plastics in the emirate New Delhi, Delhi, India: Business Wire India The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) have today announced a new policy to reduce single-use plastic materials in Abu Dhabi, mitigating its harmful effects. The comprehensive policy, which is the first-of-its-kind in the region, aims to keep plastics out of the environment and eliminate the use of avoidable single-use plastic and non-plastic materials by 2021 through fostering a culture of recycling and re-use and encouraging more sustainable practices in the community. One of the key aspects of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD)'s policy is focused on making Abu Dhabi free of single-use plastic bags by 2021. The policy continues the legacy of the UAE's Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed, who had a deep passion for preserving the environment and achieving sustainability. Under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), the policy is part of the Abu Dhabi Government's efforts to increase sustainability and improve the environment through the Ghadan?21' programme that is accelerating the development of the Abu Dhabi economy and investing in the community. Developed in line with international standards, the policy will be implemented over the next two years (2020-21) in co-ordination with government and private stakeholders and has been prepared with the support of Emirates Nature WWF and 12 other government entities, including the Department of Economic Development and Borouge. Six major outlets and many private sector entities producing plastic materials in Abu Dhabi were also involved. The scope of the policy includes developing regulations to limit the use of targeted single use plastics in Abu Dhabi gradually with a phased approach with incentives to target consumption of single use plastic bags through fees and then banning them, introduce fees on single use plastics with available sustainable alternatives and prevent free distribution of such items to the end user. To realize Abu Dhabi's vision for an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable waste management system, the policy identifies the 16 most common single-use plastics that cause the largest amount of marine waste (according to global studies) and will be targeted to varying degrees during the new policy implementation. These include plastic bags, beverage cups and lids, plastic cutlery, straws and stirrers that are going to be subject to fees. Plastic bottles will be targeted through the introduction of a plastic bottle return scheme supported with incentives. Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, said: "The launch of the single-use plastics policy reflects our steadfast commitment towards transitioning to a more sustainable economy that seeks to minimise waste and protect vital ecosystems in our environment." By implementing this new policy, Abu Dhabi will be joining more than 127 countries around the world that have already taken measures to ban or limit the use of disposable plastic materials. Our policy is aligned with international standards in order to make Abu Dhabi a pioneer in reducing the use of avoidable single use plastic and non-plastic materials by 2021." An estimated 13 million tonnes of plastic enter the world's oceans annually, altering vital habitats, endangering marine wildlife and impacting the food chain by releasing toxic chemical compounds. This issue is a grave concern for the preservation of our local species, posing a threat to our marine wildlife, sea turtles and seabirds, among others. Our policy responds to this global issue. Her Excellency added: If we do not take bold steps to contain the use of single-use plastics through influencing behavior and effective waste management, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans and seas by 2050 creating lasting impacts on, not just ocean health, but ultimately human health and global food security. Studies show that 36% of the global production of single use plastics are not recycled and globally more than 400 million tonnes of different types of plastics are produced every year. As a result of high consumption rates and low recycling operations, by 2050 it is expected that for every three tonnes of fish in the ocean, there will be one tonne of plastic. In the United Arab Emirates, 11 billion plastic bags are consumed annually (according to a report presented in The World Government Summit in February 2019), which is the equivalent of 1,184 plastic bags per person per year compared to a global average of 307 plastic bags per person per year. About Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) Established in 1996, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) is committed to protecting and enhancing air quality, groundwater as well as the biodiversity of our desert and marine ecosystem. By partnering with other government entities, the private sector, NGOs and global environmental agencies, we embrace international best practice, innovation and hard work to institute effective policy measures. We seek to raise environmental awareness, facilitate sustainable development and ensure environmental issues remain one of the top priorities of our national agenda. (Eds: Disclaimer: The following press release comes to you under an arrangement with Business Wire India. PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same.) One Indian among 15 new COVID-19 cases reported in UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/one-indian-among-15-new-covid-19-cases-reported-in-uae DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates reported 15 additional cases on Saturday of a new and fast-spreading virus, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 45. The Health Ministry said 13 of the new cases had recently arrived from abroad, and they include three Emirati citizens, two Saudis, two Ethiopians and two Iranians, as well as a person each from Thailand, China, Morocco and India. The statement gave no further details on where the travellers had come, when they had arrived to the UAE and which ports of entry they had come in from. The other two cases, an Emirati and an Egyptian, were diagnosed after being monitored in connection with a cycling tour in the country that was halted a week ago after two Italians were first confirmed as having the virus. The UAE is a major tourist destination and most of its residents are foreigners. The emirate of Dubai is also home to the world's busiest airport for international travel. To stymie the spread of the virus, the UAE has suspended schools, nurseries and universities for a month. It has also stopped flights to Iran, one of the hardest-hit countries by the new coronavirus, and limited flights to China. Authorities have urged residents and citizens not to take unnecessary trips abroad, and to expect screenings and possible quarantines upon return. Like other countries around the world, the UAE has also cancelled major art, sporting and business events. The virus, which originated in China, has infected more than 100,000 people globally. More than 5,000 cases have been confirmed in the Middle East, with most of those in Iran. Coronavirus: India hasn't imposed any travel restrictions to UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/coronavirus-india-hasnt-imposed-any-travel-restrictions-to-uae The Indian consulate in the UAE has denied reports that India has imposed travel restrictions to the emirates. "There is no specific advisory against travel to the UAE due to coronavirus. However, many events have been postponed and schools have been shut for four weeks starting March 8," tweeted the consulate, rubbishing reports published by a certain Indian television channel. The consulate has asked Indian expats in the UAE to keep an eye on official advisories issued by both India and UAE. As part of the measures to contain the spread of the virus, India has issued a travel ban on countries like China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan. Confirmed new Coronavirus Covid-19 cases are rising in India with 16 of the 21 Italian tourists quarantined in New Delhi testing positive, taking the total number of infected cases to 28. Out of the 16 patients tested positive in New Delhi, 15 are Italians, and one is an Indian national. In UAE, where the schools and higher education institutes will shut for four weeks starting Sunday, the Indian missions have confirmed that the board exams for CBSE will happen as per the schedule. But stringent safety and hygiene protocols will also be adopted by the schools to ensure the safety of students attempting the exams. The Indian High School, a centre for the exams, said the exams will go ahead as scheduled. "Unless and until the board advises otherwise, we will be organizing the exams for students," said an Indian High School official. Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends entry for Umrah amid coronavirus fears https://www.sahilonline.net/en/saudi-arabia-imposes-temporary-ban-on-umrah-pilgrims-amid-coronavirus-concerns Saudi Arabia on Thursday temporarily suspended the entry of pilgrims who visit the Kingdom for the purpose of Umrah and visiting the Prophet's Mosque, in an attempt to ensure public safety by preventing the spread of the coronavirus epidemic that has so far claimed lives of nearly 2800 people. Thumbay University Hospital Signs MoU with Ajman Court for Offering Medical Services https://www.sahilonline.net/en/thumbay-university-hospital-signs-mou-with-ajman-court-for-offering-medical-services Thumbay University Hospital, the largest private academic hospital in the region located at Thumbay Medicity, Al Jurf, Ajman, has signed an agreement with the Ajman Court of First Instance, according to which the hospital will provide healthcare services for all the staff of Ajman Courthouse- Ministry of Justice and their dependents. Indian sustains severe burn injuries while trying to save wife in UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/indian-sustains-severe-burn-injuries-while-trying-to-save-wife-in-uae A 32-year-old Indian man is fighting for his life after sustaining 90 per cent burn injuries while trying to save his wife from a fire at their home in the UAE, according to a media report. First coronavirus case in Middle East confirmed as Chinese family of four infected https://www.sahilonline.net/en/first-coronavirus-case-in-middle-east-confirmed-as-chinese-family-of-four-infected Abu Dhabi: A Chinese family of four members infected with the coronavirus is the first confirmed case in the Middle East, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said on Wednesday. In a statement, the Health Ministry clarified that "all family members are in stable condition and the situation was contained by following the most necessary precautionary measures adopted globally when dealing with infected cases." The ministry assured the people about the general health situation, emphasising that "it is not a cause for concern." "We advise all citizens and residents to adhere to the general health guidelines," it said. "All the necessary precautions in accordance with the scientific recommendations, conditions and standards approved by the World Health Organisation" have been taken in coordination with health and all concerned authorities in the country, the ministry confirmed. Thumbay Group’s Hospitality Division Launches Premium ‘Dolci’ Brand of Blends & Brews Coffee Shoppe https://www.sahilonline.net/en/thumbay-groups-hospitality-division-launches-premium-dolci-brand-of-blends-brews-coffee-shoppe Blends & Brews Coffee Shoppe, the network of UAE-born coffee shops under Thumbay Group’s Hospitality Division has launched its premium brand ‘Dolci’ with its first outlet opened at Thumbay University Hospital, Thumbay Medicity, Ajman, on 14th January 2020. Dubai: Pak taxi driver returns Indian girl's lost wallet, earns praise from her family https://www.sahilonline.net/en/pak-taxi-driver-returns-indian-girls-lost-wallet-earns-praise-from-her-family Dubai: An honest Pakistani taxi driver in Dubai, who returned an Indian student's lost wallet containing cash and her UK visa, has been hailed by the family for his goodwill gesture, according to a media report. Raechel Rose, a Keralite and a corporate law student at Lancaster University in the UK, was on her way to her friend's birthday party in Dubai where she completed her graduation. Rose, who flew to Manchester on January 8, had lost the wallet in Modassar Khadim's cab on January 4, the Gulf News reported. "She had got into his taxi with another friend near Burjuman on January 4," said Rose's mother Sindhu Biju. "Just then, they saw their other friends in another car and decided to join them," said Biju who was accompanying her daughter. They immediately left the hired taxi and Rose forgot to take her wallet along, she said. The wallet contained her UK student visa, over 1,000 Dirhams (Rs 19,000) in different currencies. The Indian family approached police for help and checked the CCTV footage but to no avail as the car's number plate was unclear. "Since they had not started the journey, the driver had not started the meter. Hence, it was difficult to trace the driver through the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) call centre," Biju said. "She did not have a copy of the visa. When she called the university, she was told she might have to apply for visa again. Though she was in tears, she rushed to the police station to report the matter," she said of her daughter. Khadim noticed the wallet after completing to two other trips. "Since the family, who came next, said it was not theirs, I opened it to check if there is any contact number. I could only see all the cards and the cash," he said. Khadim called the RTA, reported the matter to police, but failed to contact Rose. However, to his surprise, he was soon contacted by the RTA officials. "Finally, the RTA call centre called me back when I was finishing my duty and verified the details that matched with their complaint. I was given their number following which I went to their house to drop the wallet," he said. He was given 600 Dirhams (Rs 11,500) by Rose's father, but refused to accept the amount despite the parent's insistence, saying she was like his "younger sister". The Indian family also wrote to the RTA appreciating Khadim's gesture, the report said. Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who modernized Oman, dies at 79 https://www.sahilonline.net/en/sultan-qaboos-bin-said-who-modernized-oman-dies-at-79 DUBAI: Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Mideast's longest-ruling monarch who seized power in a 1970 palace coup and pulled his Arabian sultanate into modernity while carefully balancing diplomatic ties between adversaries Iran and the US, has died. He was 79. The state-run Oman News Agency announced his death late Friday on its official Twitter account. The sultan was believed to have been in poor health and traveled to Belgium for what the court described as a medical checkup last month. The royal court declared three days of mourning. The news agency mourned the death of the Sultan and praised the "towering renaissance" he had presided over. It said his "balanced policy" of mediating between rival camps in a volatile region had earned the world's respect. The British-educated, reclusive sultan reformed a nation that was home to only three schools and harsh laws banning electricity, radios, eyeglasses and even umbrellas when he took the throne. Under his reign, Oman became known as a welcoming tourist destination and a key Mideast interlocutor, helping the US free captives in Iran and Yemen and even hosting visits by Israeli officials while pushing back on their occupation of land Palestinians want for a future state. "We do not have any conflicts and we do not put fuel on the fire when our opinion does not agree with someone," Sultan Qaboos told a Kuwaiti newspaper in a rare interview in 2008. The sultan's death, however, raises the risk of unrest in this country on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. The unmarried Sultan Qaboos had no children and did not publicly name an heir, a tradition among the ruling Al Said dynasty whose history is replete with bloody takeovers. The Defense Council, which is made up of the heads of the branches of the armed forces and other top security officials, issued a statement saying it had convened a council of royal family members to choose a successor. Oman's longtime willingness to strike its own path frustrated Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, longtime foes of Iran who now dominate the politics of regional Gulf Arab nations. How Oman will respond to pressures both external and internal in a nation Sultan Qaboos absolutely ruled for decades remains in question. "Maintaining this sort of equidistant type of relationship ... is going to be put to the test,"said Gary A. Grappo, a former U.S. ambassador to Oman. "Whoever that person is is going to have an immensely, immensely difficult job. And overhanging all of that will be the sense that he's not Qaboos because those are impossible shoes to fill." The sultan had been believed to be ill for some time, though authorities never disclosed what malady he faced. A December 2019 report by the Washington Institute for Near-East Policy described the sultan as suffering from "diabetes and a history of colon cancer." Sultan Qaboos spent eight months in a hospital in Germany, returning to Oman in 2015, with the royal court only saying that the treatment he received was successful. In December 2019, he traveled to Belgium for a week for what the court described as "medical checks." Days of worry about his condition ended Dec. 31, 2019, with the royal court describing him to be in stable condition. Sultan Qaboos cut a fashionable figure in a region whose leaders are known for a more austere attire. His colorful turbans stood out, as did his form-fitting robes with a traditional curved khanjar knife stuck inside, the symbol of Oman. He occasionally wore a white turban out of his belief that he spiritually led Oman's Ibadi Muslims, a more liberal offshoot of Islam predating the Sunni-Shiite split. The sultan's willingness to stand apart was key to Oman's influence in the region. While home only to some 4.6 million people and smaller oil reserves than its neighbors, Oman under Sultan Qaboos routinely influenced the region in ways others couldn't. Oman's oil minister routinely criticizes the policies of the Saudi-led OPEC oil cartel with a smile. Muscat hosts meetings of Yemen's Houthi rebels, locked in a yearslong bloody war with Saudi Arabia. When Americans or dual nationals with Western ties are detained in Iran or areas under Tehran's influence, communiques that later announce their freedom routinely credit the help of Oman. The sultan's greatest diplomatic achievement came as Oman hosted secret talks between Iranian and U.S. diplomats that led to the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. The agreement, which limited Iran's atomic program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions, has come unraveled since President Donald Trump withdrew from it in May 2018. Even while mediating negotiations with Tehran, the sultan maintained ties to those in the Pahlavi dynasty that Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew. Sultan Qaboos' outward-looking worldview could not have contrasted more sharply than that of his father, Sultan Said bin Taimur, under whose rule the sultanate more resembled a medieval state. Slavery was legal, no one could travel abroad and music was banned. At the time, the country, which is nearly the size of Poland, had only 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) of paved roads. Yet Sultan Said let his son Qaboos, born in Salalah on Nov. 18, 1940, travel to study in England. Qaboos' time abroad included schooling at Britain's Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and training with the Scottish Rifles Regiment in what was then West Germany. Qaboos returned to Salalah in 1964 but found himself instead locked away in a palace. Music cassettes sent to him from friends abroad included secret messages from the British. London was frustrated with Sultan Said, who had grown increasingly eccentric after surviving an assassination attempt and as Communist rebels kept up their offensive in the sultanate's Dhofar region. A July 23, 1970 palace coup ended up with Sultan Said shooting himself in the foot before going into exile in London. Qaboos took power. ``Yesterday, Oman was in darkness,'' Sultan Qaboos said after the coup. ``But tomorrow, a new dawn will rise for Oman and its people.'' Sultan Qaboos quickly moved toward modernizing the country, building the schools, hospitals and roads his father didn't. With the help of Iranian forces under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the British and Jordan, the sultan beat back the Dhofar rebellion. "You can see the sultan's fingerprints," Grappo said. "They're just everywhere.'' Over time, Sultan Qaboos introduced what amounted to a written constitution, created a parliament and granted citizens limited political freedoms. But the sultan always had final say. In a sign of his strong grip, he also served as prime minister and minister of defense, finance and foreign affairs, as well as governor of the sultanate's Central Bank. "Holding all these positions in government probably sort of constrained his country in the sense of developing senior leadership," Grappo said. That strong grip extended to any sign of dissent. The Royal Oman Police often patrol in riot-ready vehicles with chicken wire covering the windows, something only seen in the island nation of Bahrain which has faced years of low-level unrest. U.S. diplomats routinely describe the Omani press as ``muzzled`` and even private outlets self-censor out of fear of running afoul of so-called ``red lines.'' All public gatherings require government permission. Small protests broke out as part of the wider Arab Spring unrest in 2011, revealing discontent over corruption, unemployment and rising prices within the sultanate. Oman was one of the few countries in the Arab world to maintain ties with Egypt after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, and acted as a mediator between Iran and Iraq during their ruinous eight-year war. It has also long served as a quiet base for U.S. military operations, including a failed 1980 attempt to free hostages held by Iran after the U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran. As he grew older, Sultan Qaboos also grew increasingly reclusive. He is known to have had three major passions reading, music and yachting. He "read voraciously," Grappo said, played the organ and lute. He created a symphony orchestra and opened a royal opera house in Muscat in 2011. His yacht ``Al Said'' is among the world's largest and was frequently seen anchored in Muscat's mountain-ringed harbor. Sultan Qaboos was briefly married to a first cousin. They had no children and divorced in 1979. ICC opens anti-corruption investigations into Qatar T10 League https://www.sahilonline.net/en/icc-opens-anti-corruption-investigations-into-qatar-t10-league Dubai:  The International Cricket Council is investigating the Qatar T10 league after intercepting "a number of known corruptors" in the event, which it sanctioned a year ago and featured some prominent retired players such as South Africa's Hashim Amla. The ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit was working with the organisers to monitor the league since its inception. "The ICC sanctioned this event 12 months ago based on the sound information provided by the organisers," ICC's Integrity Unit General Manager Alex Marshall said in a statement issued Tuesday night. "However, substantial changes to both team ownership and the organisers just days prior to the event getting underway rang alarm bells for us and we applied additional investigative resource on the ground to address our concerns. "As a result we have intercepted a number of known corruptors both in Qatar and globally and disrupted planned corrupt activity at the event. This has given rise to a number of new investigations for the ICC ACU team as we continue in our efforts to ensure cricket is a corruption-free sport," he added. The inaugural edition of the Qatar T10 League, 10-over format tournament organised by the Qatar Cricket Association was held from December 7 to 16 this year. The T10 league witnessed six teams comprising 24 international cricketers, 12 players from associate ICC countries, Qatar national cricket team players and other local players. Falcon Hunters won the tournament by beating Swift Gallopers by four wickets. Fast bowler Manpreet Gony, who played just two ODIs, was the only Indian to feature in the tournament. Other prominent players to compete in the league apart from Amla were Pakistan discards Kamran Akmal, Mohammed Hafeez and Sohail Tanveer. Gulf Committee Samsi host get-together event in UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/gulf-committee-samsiget-together A get-together event of Samsi diaspora residing in United Arab Emirates (UAE) was held here at Al-Rashidiya park in Dubai on 13th December, Friday, organized by 'Gulf Committee Samsi'. GCC summit calls for greater economic integration among Gulf countries https://www.sahilonline.net/en/gcc-summit-calls-for-greater-economic-integration-among-gulf-countries RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday. The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique. The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security. The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed. They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani. In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced. At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC. His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term. Spectacular formation of UAE Human Flag at the KSCC Fitness Challenge Grand Closing Ceremony https://www.sahilonline.net/en/spectacular-formation-of-uae-human-flag-at-the-kscc-fitness-challenge-grand-closing-ceremony As part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30X30, the Karnataka Sports and Cultural Club (KSCC) held its Grand Closing Ceremony of Fitness Activities on Friday, 29th of November at the Al Mamzar Park. The event was a conclusion of a consecutive four Fitness Activity programs held as part of the month long DFC 30x30 challenge Bhatkal Premier League 2020 auctions held in UAE: Sahil Sawda emerged as the highest bid player https://www.sahilonline.net/en/bhatkal-premier-league-2020-auctions-held-in-uae-sahil-sawda-emerged-as-the-highest-bid-player Sahil Sawda, emerged as the highest bid player in the AUZ Bhatkal Premier League (BPL) players' auction, held recently here at Deira Twin towers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Sahil Sawda, who began with a base point of fifty, was finally bought by 'NFN Warrior' for a whopping 107 points. Dubai: Gulf Medical University Provides 220 Healthcare Professionals to UAE and the region https://www.sahilonline.net/en/gulf-medical-university-provides-220-healthcare-professionals-to-uae-and-the-region His Highness Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of the Supreme Council, UAE and Ruler of Ajman, conferred degrees on 220 graduates of the various colleges under Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman at the 16th Convocation Ceremony held on Wednesday, 27th November 2019, at the Emirates Hospitality Centre, Al Jurf, Ajman. Indian Social Forum Riyadh Hosts Karunada Sambhrama -2019 https://www.sahilonline.net/en/indian-social-forum-riyadh-hosts-karunada-sambhrama-2019 The Indian Social Forum Karnataka State Riyadh celebrated Kannada Rajyotsava with a Family get-together event Karunada Sambhrama -2019 at Taqat Vue Resort, As-Sulay Riyadh Saudi Arabia on November 14th 2019. Colourful event marks 64th Kannada Rajyotsava in Dubai https://www.sahilonline.net/en/kargil-hero-naveen-nagappa-felicitated-in-karnataka-rajyotsava-program-in-dubai Observing the 64th Kannada Rajyotsava celebration, a colourful event was marked here at Dubai recently, under the aegis of Kannadigaru Dubai. Thousands of Kannadigas residing in the United Arab Emirates participated in this event to make it a grand success. Bhatkal Premier League to kickstart in January 2020 in UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/ninth-edition-of-bhatkal-premier-league-to-begin-from-10th-january-2020 The much awaited cricket vaganza for Bhatkal residents and cricket players in UAE, Bhatkal Premier League’s ninth edition is scheduled to begin on January 10, 2020. The tournament which will be participated by eight teams will be played at Eden Gardens Ground in Ajman. Abdussalam Damda Abu elected as the new Chief of Bhatkal community Jeddah; Habibullah Mohtesham re-elected as General Secretary https://www.sahilonline.net/en/abdul-salam-damda-abu-new-chief-of-bhatkal-community-jeddah-habeebullah-mohtisham-re-elected-as-jamaat-general-secretary Social activist and an active member Mr Abdussalam Damda Abu elected as the new President of Bhatkal community Jeddah, whereas Habibullah Mohtesham has once again been elected to the post of General Secretary. The election of office-bearers came into effect on Friday, 25th October, at the residence of Election Commissioner Abdul Maiz Jukaku, in a meeting chaired by Mr Fazlurrahman Muniri. Saudi Arabia Increase Visa Fee Six Times, Repeat Haj Pilgrimage to Get Costlier https://www.sahilonline.net/en/saudi-arabia-increase-visa-fee-six-times-repeat-haj-pilgrimage-to-get-costlier Saudi Arabia has effected a nearly six-fold increase in visa fee, an order which can make Haj pilgrimage very costly, according to a media report, which said many Muslim countries were angry over this move. Karnataka Sports Club to organize ‘KSCC Tolerance Trophy – Volleyball tournament' on 25th October in Dubai https://www.sahilonline.net/en/kscc-to-hold-kscc-tolerance-trophy-volleyball-tournament-on-oct-25 KSCC Tolerance Trophy - Volleyball tournament to be held on 25th October 2019, in Al Wasl Club, in relation to Year of Tolerance in Dubai. Pre event meet was held on 19th October 2019, with organizing committee and participating teams. Mr. Hafeezuddin Kaup presided this meeting in Dubai Pearl Creek Hotel. 2500 Visitors Attend ‘Free Mega Medical Camp’ Organized by Thumbay University Hospital Ajman https://www.sahilonline.net/en/over-2500-visitors-attend-free-mega-medical-camp-health-carnival-organized-by-thumbay-university-hospital-ajman More than 2500 people of over 40 nationalities attended the ‘Thumbay Health Carnival & Free Mega Medical Camp’ organized by Thumbay University Hospital, Ajman, the biggest private academic hospital in the region, on Friday, 18th October 2019. 5-Year-Old Bhatkal boy dies of drowning at swimming pool in Dubai https://www.sahilonline.net/en/bhatkal-boy-drown-in-dubai-swimming-pool A 5-Year-Old Bhatkali child lost his life after he went drowning at a swimming pool in Dubai on Friday evening. Thumbay Hospital Ajman Celebrates 17th Anniversary https://www.sahilonline.net/en/thumbay-hospital-ajman-celebrates-17th-anniversary Thumbay Hospital - Ajman, the first academic hospital established by Thumbay Group under its healthcare division, celebrated its 17th Anniversary with a special function at the hospital, on 17th October 2019. 35 expat pilgrims dead, 4 injured in bus crash in Saudi Arabia https://www.sahilonline.net/en/35-expat-pilgrims-die-in-bus-crash-in-saudi-arabia Thirty-five foreigners were killed and four others injured when a bus crashed with another heavy vehicle in the holy city of Madinah, Saudi state media said on Thursday. Indian Man Killed In Dubai After Gas Leak Explosion At Neighbour's House https://www.sahilonline.net/en/indian-killed-in-dubai-in-cooking-gas-leak-explosion  A 47-year-old Indian man was killed in an explosion caused by cooking gas leakage at an apartment building in Dubai. NRIs can now apply for Aadhaar on arrival https://www.sahilonline.net/en/nris-can-now-apply-for-aadhaar-on-arrival Non-resident Indians (NRIs) with valid Indian passport can apply for Aadhaar on arrival, without the 182-day waiting period, with the government issuing a notification in this regard. Ajman: Gulf Medical University’s White Coat Ceremony Welcomes New Batch of 472 Future Healthcare Professionals https://www.sahilonline.net/en/ajman-gulf-medical-universitys-white-coat-ceremony-welcomes-new-batch-of-472-future-healthcare-professionals Addressing the new students, Prof. Hossam Hamdy, the Chancellor, emphasized the importance of communication and teamwork as two key skills for future healthcare professionals. UAE honours outgoing Suri with Order of Zayed II award https://www.sahilonline.net/en/uae-honours-outgoing-suri-with-order-of-zayed-ii-award The UAE has conferred the outgoing Indian Ambassador Navdeep Singh Suri with the First Class Order of Zayed II award, Gulf Medical University forges stronger ties with Osaka City University Japan; To bolster collaboration in Education and Research https://www.sahilonline.net/en/gulf-medical-university-forges-stronger-ties-with-osaka-city-university-japan-to-bolster-collaboration-in-education-and-research The partnership between Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman and the Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine, Osaka City University (OCU) has progressed to a higher and more comprehensive level of mutually beneficial opportunities, opening up a host of benefits to students, faculty and researchers of both universities. UAE honours PM Modi with highest civilian award https://www.sahilonline.net/en/uae-honours-pm-modi-with-highest-civilian-award Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with the 'Order of Zayed', the UAE's highest civilian award, on Saturday as a mark of appreciation for his efforts to boost bilateral ties between the two nations. UAE can be India's 'valuable partner' to achieve USD 5 tn economy: Modi https://www.sahilonline.net/en/uae-can-be-indias-valuable-partner-to-achieve-usd-5-tn-economy-modi India finds a partner in the UAE to achieve its ambitious dream of achieving a USD five trillion economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, in an exclusive interview. Hajj: Stoning at Jamarat Al-Aqaba marks first day of Eid https://www.sahilonline.net/en/hajj-stoning-at-jamarat-al-aqaba-marks-first-day-of-eid At the dawn of the first day of Eid al-Adha – the third day of Hajj - hundreds of thousands of Hajj pilgrims walked together to Jamarat Al-Aqaba in Mina. It is at this site the pilgrims throw seven pebbles at a wall in a ritual that symbolizes the stoning of the devil. Security at the site are managing the flow of the more than 2 million pilgrims, to ensure that congestion is kept to a minimum. Worshippers gather on Mount Arafat on the second day of Hajj https://www.sahilonline.net/en/worshippers-gather-on-mount-arafat-on-the-second-day-of-hajj ARAFAT: Over two million pilgrims arrived at Mount Arafat on Saturday as Hajj approached its peak. Security authorities organized the roads and guided pilgrims in order to ensure their safe passage. The various government sectors have also offered hair, catering and medical services to worshippers. Hajj pilgrims arrived at Mina on Friday where they remained in the city until sunrise on the second day of Hajj and then travelled to Mount Arafat. More than two million faithful begin Haj pilgrimage https://www.sahilonline.net/en/more-than-two-million-faithful-begin-haj-pilgrimage More than two million Muslims begin the annual Haj on Friday. "All of the arms of state have been deployed (and) we are proud to serve as 'God's hosts'," said security forces spokesman Bassam Attia. In total some 2.5 million faithful, the majority from abroad, will undertake the pilgrimage this year. "More than 1.8 million visas were delivered online without the need for middlemen. It's a success," said Haj ministry official Hatim Bin Hassan Qadhi. Thumbay Food Court: Multi-cuisine Food Destination Opens at Thumbay Medicity; Launches ‘Live & Learn’ Concept https://www.sahilonline.net/en/thumbay-food-court-multi-cuisine-food-destination-opens-at-thumbay-medicity-launches-live-learn-concept The food court is envisioned as a ‘Live & Learn’ space, immensely benefiting the students and faculty of Gulf Medical University as well as the various hospitals within Thumbay Medicity, by facilitating greater social, academic and intellectual interactions and enriched learning experiences Indian passport holders to get UAE visit visa permit https://www.sahilonline.net/en/indian-passport-holders-to-get-uae-visit-visa-permit Dubai: Indian passport holders with the United Kingdom and European Union visas can get a visit visa permit at all the UAE ports, the authorities here have said. The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai posted a video tweet on Monday that lays down the conditions under which this facility will operate. It said that the entry permit will be issued “provided that the validity of the residence visa issued by the UK and EU countries and applicant's passport is not less than six months.” According to the GDRFA, Indian passengers can get their entry permit for a fee of AED 100 (1,874 INR) and AED 20 (INR 375) service charges. “The maximum period allowed to stay within the UAE for the holders of the entry permit is 14 days and can be extended once. A renewal fee of AED 250 (4,687 INR) and service fee of AED 20 (375 INR) will be charged,” it said in the video. “If the holder of the entry permit exceeds the specified period of 14 days, or the extension period of 28 days within the UAE, the fine shall be calculated as follows: AED 100 (1874 INR)for each day, AED 200 (3,749 INR) departure permit,” it said. UAE to give free mobile phone SIM cards to tourists https://www.sahilonline.net/en/uae-to-give-free-mobile-phone-sim-cards-to-tourists Tourists visiting the United Arab Emirates will be given free mobile phone SIM cards with 20 MB data as a gift without providing any documentation, a media report on Friday quoted authorities as saying. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship made the announcement in Abu Dhabi, saying that the SIM cards will also include free international calling minutes and text messages. The free tourist-friendly SIM cards will be valid for a month and they will get automatically renewed if the tourist extends their visa, the Gulf News reported. Colonel Khamees Al Kaabi, executive director for Musanada Services at the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and Charbel Fawaz Litany, chairman and CEO of TeleKomNow signed the agreement in the matter on Tuesday. "Tourists will get the SIM card from the passport control officer on arrival as a gift. It will contain data and talk time, which they can recharge anywhere in the country," Litany was quoted as saying by the paper. Saudi Arabia raises India's Haj quota by 30,000 https://www.sahilonline.net/en/saudi-arabia-raises-indias-haj-quota-by-30000 In a significant step, Saudi Arabia has increased India's Haj quota from 170,000 to 200,000, paving the way for 30,000 more Indians to go for the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in the kingdom. The issue of India's Haj quota was discussed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bilateral talks with Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman here. Modi, who is in Japan for the G20 Summit, discussed the deepening cooperation in trade and investment, energy security and counter-terrorism with the "invaluable strategic partner". Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that the Crown Prince had promised Prime Minister Modi that India's Haj quota would be raised from 170,000 to 200,000 annually. Dubai: Indian couple held for torture, death of mother https://www.sahilonline.net/en/dubai-indian-couple-held-for-torture-death-of-mother A 29-year-old Indian man and his wife have been charged in a Dubai court with physically assaulting his mother, causing her bone and rib fractures, internal bleeding as well as severe burns and unintentionally causing her death, according to a media report. The man and his 28-year-old wife, whose identity have not been revealed, tortured the elderly woman repeatedly and they even cut her right eye iris out and part of her left eye too, the Court of First Instance heard. The torture is believed to have lasted from July 2018 till October 2018. A forensic doctor said that the elderly woman weighed just 29 kg at the time of her death, the report added. The couple has been detained but they denied the charge. A case was registered at Al Qusais police station. Indian minor dies after being left behind in Dubai bus https://www.sahilonline.net/en/indian-minor-dies-after-being-left-behind-in-dubai-bus A six-year-old Indian boy was found dead after he dozed off in his school bus and left behind alone for several hours in the UAE on Saturday, according to a media report. 'Blood, body parts were scattered all around': Dubai bus crash survivor recounts horror https://www.sahilonline.net/en/blood-body-parts-were-scattered-all-around-dubai-bus-crash-survivor-recounts-horror The survivors of the Dubai road accident that killed 17 people, including 12 Indians, said the co-passengers screamed and wailed as they tried to help each other in the blood-splattered bus that rammed into a low-clearance sign here. Formalities in process to repatriate bodies of 12 Indians killed in bus accident in Dubai https://www.sahilonline.net/en/formalities-in-process-to-repatriate-bodies-of-12-indians-killed-in-bus-accident-in-dubai The Indian Consulate in Dubai is in the process of completing formalities related to forensics and other documentation required to repatriate the bodies of the 12 Indians who were among the 17 killed in a horrific road accident here when a bus coming from Oman entered a restricted lane and rammed into a low-clearance sign. 12 Indians among dead in Dubai bus accident https://www.sahilonline.net/en/12-indians-among-dead-in-dubai-bus-accident Twelve Indians were among 17 people who were killed in a horrific road accident in Dubai when a bus, mostly with Eid vacationers coming from Oman, entered a restricted lane and rammed into a low-clearance sign, police and the Indian mission here said on Friday. Nine persons were also seriously injured when the driver of the bus coming from Oman's capital Muscat to Dubai, wrongly entered a road not designated for buses towards Al Rashidiya metro station here on Thursday evening. Dubai Police authorities said that there are still some unidentified bodies and the number of Indians who died in the accident could rise further. "With great sadn 'Terror' attacks could threaten global oil supply; warns Saudi King Salman https://www.sahilonline.net/en/terror-attacks-could-threaten-global-oil-supply-warns-saudi-king-salman Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Saturday warned that "terrorist" attacks in the region could imperil global oil supplies. Long Eid Al Fitr holiday for UAE private sector https://www.sahilonline.net/en/long-eid-al-fitr-holiday-for-uae-private-sector The UAE private sector will get a six-day long Eid Al Fitr holiday, after the Cabinet announced a nine-day long holiday for the public sector earlier on Sunday. En route to Makkah, two Indian men complete 3,800 km journey to UAE on cycles https://www.sahilonline.net/en/en-route-to-makkah-two-indian-men-complete-3800-km-journey-to-uae-on-cycles Two Indian men have arrived in the UAE on cycles pedalling 3,800-kilometer across three countries, three months after they set out on a cycling adventure to visit Makkah in Saudi Arabia Bhatkali student among CBSE toppers in United Arab Emirates https://www.sahilonline.net/en/bhatkali-student-among-cbse-toppers-in-united-arab-emirates A Bhatkali student in Dubai, was among the Indian school students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who topped the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Grade 12 examination in Commerce stream. Indian autistic teen among CBSE toppers in United Arab Emirates https://www.sahilonline.net/en/indian-autistic-teen-among-cbse-toppers-in-united-arab-emirates A 17-year-old autistic teenager was among the Indian school students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who topped the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 examination, the media reported on Tuesday. Indians rejoice as stone laid for first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi https://www.sahilonline.net/en/indians-rejoice-as-stone-laid-for-first-hindu-temple-in-abu-dhabi Thousands of Indians on Saturday rejoiced and participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony of the first Hindu temple in UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi. Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar-Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), which is constructing the temple, presided over the four-hour ceremony following which sanctified bricks were placed at the main pooja sthal (place of worship). Indian Ambassador to UAE Navdeep Suri read out Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on the occasion, congratulating the Gulf nation for this initiative. “On behalf of 130 crore Indians, it is my privilege to convey our greetings to my dear friend and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” Suri quoted Prime Minister Modi as saying. Deal signed to host T10 league for five years in Abu Dhabi https://www.sahilonline.net/en/deal-signed-to-host-t10-league-for-five-years-in-abu-dhabi The Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi will be the new home of T10 cricket for the next five years, starting with the 2019 season. Oman suspends Boeing 737 MAX flights to and from its airports https://www.sahilonline.net/en/oman-suspends-boeing-737-max-flights-to-and-from-its-airports Oman on Tuesday suspended takeoffs and landings by Boeing 737 MAX planes at its airports, said its aviation authority, making it the latest country to do so after a deadly crash in Ethiopia. Muslims in India reject extremism, says Sushma Swaraj https://www.sahilonline.net/en/muslims-in-india-reject-extremism-says-sushma-swaraj Indian Muslims have rejected the poisonous ideology of extremism because of their country's pluralism and culture of religious co-existence, Sushma Swaraj, Indian External Affairs Minister said at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's meeting with its foreign ministers in Abu Dhabi. Crown Prince orders release of 850 Indian prisoners from Saudi jails on PM Modi's request https://www.sahilonline.net/en/crown-prince-orders-release-of-850-indian-prisoners-from-saudi-jails-on-pm-modis-request Saudi Arabis' Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on February 20 ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners lodged in his country's jails on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's request as the two leaders held extensive talks here, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. After the talks, it was also announced that India has decided to extend e-Visa facility to Saudi nationals. Saudi Arabia backs India's fight against terrorism and extremism https://www.sahilonline.net/en/saudi-arabia-backs-indias-fight-against-terrorism-and-extremism Saudi Arabia Friday said it stood with India's fight against terrorism and extremism and denounced as "cowardly" the suicide attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers. The strong condemnation came days ahead of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's state visit to India next week for talks with the top Indian leadership. At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district. Strongly condemning the terror attack, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said Riyadh denounced the explosion that targeted a milit Expat's passport torn at Mangalore airport ahead of Dubai flight https://www.sahilonline.net/en/expats-passport-torn-at-mangalore-airport-ahead-of-dubai-flight An Indian expatriate is berating “the lack of human consideration” shown by airport security staff in Mangalore after they allegedly ripped his wife’s passport on purpose to prevent her flying home to Dubai. Rubeena Hashim, 28, was travelling back to Dubai from her native Kerala via the airport in the neighbouring state of Karnataka, with her two children Fathima, aged four, and eight-month-old Noora. From here, Rubeena would be rejoining her husband, Mohammad, 33, a trading company public relations officer in Downtown, who had stayed back in their Al Tawar residence on work. She begged and begged and in the end they made her sign a waiver that stated that if she encountered any problems entering the UAE with a damaged passport, Mangalore’s airport authority would not be responsible. - Mohammad, Rubeena's husband Her Air India flight on February 3 was almost thrown into jeopardy however when she noticed her passport had been rippe Pope Francis and top Muslim cleric in joint call for freedom of belief https://www.sahilonline.net/en/pope-francis-and-top-muslim-cleric-in-joint-call-for-freedom-of-belief Pope Francis and a top Muslim cleric have issued a joint call for freedom of belief during the first visit by the head of the Catholic church to the birthplace of Islam - the Arabian Peninsula. UAE gives Pope Francis pomp-filled welcome ceremony at visit's start https://www.sahilonline.net/en/uae-gives-pope-francis-pomp-filled-welcome-ceremony-at-visits-start Pope Francis opened his historic visit to the United Arab Emirates on Monday with a grandiose, pomp-filled welcome ceremony before he was to address faith leaders in a show of religious tolerance in a Muslim region known for its restrictions on religious freedom. UAE leaders hold wide-ranging discussions with Pope Francis https://www.sahilonline.net/en/uae-leaders-hold-wide-ranging-discussions-with-pope-francis His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have discussed with Pope Francis the friendly relations between the UAE and the Vatican as well a number of topics of mutual interest. Heavy rain, flooding causes 12 deaths in Saudi Arabia https://www.sahilonline.net/en/heavy-rain-flooding-causes-12-deaths-in-saudi-arabia 12 people have died and more than 170 have been injured this week due to flooding from heavy rain in the northwest. DVS United win Nawayath Premier League cricket tournament held in Ajman https://www.sahilonline.net/en/dvs-united-win-nawayath-premier-league-cricket-tournament-held-in-dubai A packed house at the Eden Garden Ajman cheered on as DVS United clinched the championship title of Aztex Nawayath Premier League 2019 (NPL) on Friday, 25th January. Intolerance reigns supreme, says Rahul Gandhi in Dubai https://www.sahilonline.net/en/congress-president-rahul-gandhi-says-in-dubai-bjp-is-destroying-our-organisations-in-india Congress president Rahul Gandhi said in Dubai on Saturday that India had witnessed a great deal of intolerance and anger in the past four-and-a-half years which stemmed from the “mentality of the people in power”. India witnessing over 4 yrs of 'intolerance' says Rahul Gandhi in UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/india-witnessing-over-4-yrs-of-intolerance-says-rahul-gandhi-in-uae Congress President Rahul Gandhi Friday praised the UAE for declaring 2019 as the 'Year of Tolerance', saying India on the other hand has been witnessing four-and-a-half years of "intolerance". Rahul Gandhi takes jibe at PM Modi, says doesn't want to tell his 'Mann Ki Baat' in Dubai https://www.sahilonline.net/en/rahul-gandhi-takes-jibe-at-pm-modi-says-doesnt-want-to-tell-his-mann-ki-baat-in-dubai Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday told Indian workers here that he wants to listen to their problems instead of telling his "Mann Ki Baat". Families rejoice as 18 Uttara Kannada fishermen released by Iran reach Dubai safely https://www.sahilonline.net/en/18-uttara-kannada-fishermen-released-from-iran-reaches-dubai-safely Faces of the family members of 18 Uttara Kannada fishermen who were released from Iran after keeping them under boat arrest for last six months, gleamed with happiness after they reached Dubai safely earlier tonight. 18 Uttara Kannada fishermen held captive in a boat in Iran set free after 6 months https://www.sahilonline.net/en/18-uttara-kannada-fishermen-who-have-been-arrested-in-iran-released-left-to-dubai 18 Uttara Kannada fishermen including nine from Bhatkal finally released by Iran court on Tuesday who were kept under boat arrest in Kish Island from last six months. Nawayath Premier League cricket tournament to begin on 4th Jan at Ajman ground, UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/nawayath-premier-league-cricket-tournament-to-begins-in-dubai-from-4-january-in-ajman-ground "Bhatkal Community T20 cricket tourney is all set to begin on 4th January, Friday at Eden Garden in Ajman, as the inaugural ceremony of 'Aztex Nawayath Premier League (NPL) likely to kick off at 4 PM", announced NPL organizing committee in a press release. Medical Community Programme to showcase advances in Fertility Treatment in Oman https://www.sahilonline.net/en/medical-community-programme-to-showcase-advances-in-fertility-treatment-in-oman In an endeavour to support development of Fertility and Reproductive Medicine in Oman, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic Muscat– has organised a series of programmes for the medical community, in association with the Oman Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OSOG). TEEN BEATS 2K19: Motivational Workshop for Students to be held in Kuwait on 11th January https://www.sahilonline.net/en/tean-beats-2k19-motivational-workshop-for-students-in-kuwait Kuwait India Fraternity Forum (KIF) has scheduled to organize Teen Beats 2K19, a motivational program for students on 11th January 2018 from 08:00AM to 08:00PM at Kuwait Teachers Association Auditorium, Dasma. 13-year-old Indian boy in Dubai owns software development company https://www.sahilonline.net/en/13-year-old-indian-boy-in-dubai-owns-software-development-company DUBAI: A 13-year-old Indian boy in Dubai, who developed his first mobile application four years ago, also owns a software development company, a media report said Sunday. Aadithyan Rajesh, a student from Kerala, was only nine years old when he developed his first mobile application as a hobby to beat boredom and also has been designing logos and websites for clients. The tech wizard, who started using a computer when he turned five, has finally launched his own company 'Trinet Solutions' at the age of 13, the Khaleej Times reported. "I was born in Thiruvilla, Kerala, and my family moved here when I was five. The first website my dad showed me was BBC Typing, a website for kids where young students can learn typing," he told the Dubai-based English daily. Trinet has a total of three employees, who are friends and students from Aadithyan's school. 'If US stops our oil, then no oil will be exported from the Gulf': Iran https://www.sahilonline.net/en/if-us-stops-our-oil-then-no-oil-will-be-exported-from-the-gulf-iran The United States will not be able to stop Iran exporting its oil and any move to prevent Iranian crude shipments passing through the Gulf would lead to all oil exports through the waterway being blocked, Iran's president said on Tuesday. The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran and US officials say they aim to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero in a bid to curb the Islamic Republic's missile programme and regional influence. "America should know that we are selling our oil and will continue to sell our oil and they are not able to stop our oil exports," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech during a trip to the northern Iranian city of Shahroud. All Indians must register online before flying to UAE for work https://www.sahilonline.net/en/all-indians-must-register-online-before-flying-to-uae-for-work Starting January 1, 2019, all Indians flying to the UAE on employment visa must pre-register with an Indian government recruitment portal, failing which they will be offloaded. Stranded Uttar Kannada fishermen in Iran send new video clip seeking help from MEA https://www.sahilonline.net/en/stranded-uttar-kannada-fishermen-in-iran-kish-send-new-video-clip-seeking-help-from-mea-sushma-swaraj The 18 fishermen from Uttar Kannada district working in Dubai, who have been arrested by Iran security police allegedly of entering Iran borders from Dubai coast around four months ago, sent a new video clip on Monday seeking External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to interfere into the matter and help them in getting released. They belongs to coastal towns Bhatkal, Honnavar and Kumta. Asian couple steals diamond worth USD 81,000 in Dubai, held in India https://www.sahilonline.net/en/asian-couple-steals-diamond-worth-usd-81000-in-dubai-held-in-india An Asian couple who stole a diamond worth 300,000 dirhams (about USD 81,000) from a shop in Dubai and fled the UAE was arrested dramatically from an Indian airport and brought back to the country, a media report said Monday. Markaz Al Nawayath AbuDhabi organizes 'Al-Nawayath Championship' for Bhatkalis in UAE https://www.sahilonline.net/en/markaz-al-nawayath-abu-dhabi-organises-al-nawayath-championship-2018-teams-from-dubai-too-participated Markaz Al Nawayath of AbuDhabi on Friday, 2nd November, organized Bowling and Table tennis games with the title 'Al-Nawayath Bowling And Table Tennis Championship' for the Bhatkali players situated in different Emirates of UAE. Muscat Association's “GAWEE MILAN” attracts huge crowd https://www.sahilonline.net/en/gaanwi-milan-organised-by-bhatkal-muslim-association-muscat Keeping alive the glorious tradition of hosting annual get-together in Muscat, the Bhatkali diaspora under the aegis of Bhatkal Muslim Association has organized meticulously an impressive “Gawee Milan” at the sprawling grand hall of prestigious Al Falaj Hotel amidst bonhomie and  traditional fervor in order to spread the aroma of renewed togetherness among Bhatkali people.