Monthly Archives: March 2011

Green Mosques project to help save Dh6m per year

Abu Dhabi: A project named ‘Green Mosques’ will reduce the water and electricity consumption at 300 mosques in Dubai by 20 per cent which will in turn save Dh6 million per annum.

Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi of the ruling family of Ajman, popularly known as “Green Shaikh” mentioned the project among the eco-friendly initiatives in the country in a seminar in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking to Gulf News, he said, a consultant identified 300 mosques that paid Dh26 million as water and electricity charges last year. “The bills could be Dh32 million this year [if the same consumption rate continues]. The project envisages saving Dh 6 million by reducing water and electricity consumption by 20 per cent,” Shaikh Abdul Aziz explained.

The saved money could be used for productive purposes, he said. He urged the participation of the public in such projects. ” I am not asking for money or sponsorships but your expertise and talent.”
 
Abu Dhabi Airport Company (Adac) and Etihad Airways jointly organised the seminar at Adac headquarters on Wednesday to shed light on environmental friendly habits, individuals and corporations can adopt to reduce resource consumption.

As Gulf News reported on July 5, 2010, hidden cameras placed at three Dubai mosques had revealed that too much water was wasted from fast-flowing taps in wudu or ablution areas. The cameras were set up as part of an experiment by an official at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department to see first-hand how water is consumed by devotees. Litres of water are left to pour down the drain while people remove socks and shoes, chat, with some even taking a long-time to perform wudu.

Gulf News also reported on December 4, 2010 how self-stopping taps installed in the ablution area of one Dubai mosque saved huge amount of water. The consumption of water dropped by more than 15,000 gallons in one month — an overall saving of 30 per cent.

Issues: Lack of awareness

Some people watch the news but they treat the contents on policy matters as unrelated to them, said Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi responding to a question on a recent survey report that only 25 per cent of Emiratis were aware of climate change issues.

He said he is making special project to promote environmental awareness among Emiratis. “It will be my gift to them,” Shaikh Abdul Aziz said.

Article Courtesy Gulf Nws

Sandstorm in Gulf likely to hit UAE on Saturday

A massive sandstorm has hit the southern Iraq and north-west of Kuwait on Friday. It has been affecting parts of eastern Saudi Arabia as well. The gradual movement of the storm is likely to affect Bahrain and Qatar as well and today it is to arrive in UAE.

The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) in Abu Dhabi has also issued a weather alert saying the winds and dust may reach the western region of Abu Dhabi Emirate at around 10am on Saturday. Horizontal visibility will also go down to 1,000 to 2,000 metres.

Forecasters said the wind speed over Iraq, Kuwait, and parts of Saudi Arabia is more than 80km per hour. Visibility has been severely  affected in some places as it has gone down to just 50 metres.

Umrah Pilgrims asked to be careful

People, who are travelling to Saudi Arabia from the UAE in small cars, especially for Umrah, have been asked to be extremely careful as poor visibility and strong winds could cause problems for them.

“It would be advisable for them to delay their travel for at least a day or two,” said the forecasters.

The road leading to Hafoof, a city in eastern Saudi Arabia and an important station on the Umrah route, and its surrounding areas could be buried in the sand at different places. Cars and small vehicles could get stuck in the sand on the roads, said the forecasters.

Beyond the boardroom in Dubai

This is how BBC reporter Elyse Moody Describes Desert Safari in Dubai

About 30 kilometres southeast of Dubai, our white Toyota Land Cruiser veered off the highway. The driver, mild-mannered Abbas, hopped out of the car at an Emarat petrol station; a hissing sound escaped as he let the air out of all four tires. Slamming the door shut, he cranked the car, briefly reverted to the highway, then jolted 90 degrees to the right, charging straight and fast into the desert. Our SUV zipped over the dunes as if it were a jet ski on the Gulf, as Abbas blasted Rihanna and Kanye on the radio. The adrenaline-fuelled adventure makes a welcome break from a week filled with meetings.

A detailed look at the Dubai desert safari

Dubai is the fastest growing city it receives over 15000 visitors daily most of them are business or mere shopping travelers only a few think of doing a tour in Dubai. One of the most taken tour of Dubai is probably the famous Desert Safari. Over the time this tour has changed many names in early days it was known as ‘Desert Dune Drive” later it was known as “Dubai Desert Safari” and now people call it with names like “sun downing safari” Desert Safari, belly dance safari and Dune Bashing Safari.

What ever you call it this tour is certainly a must for any one visiting Dubai. It will take you out of modern Dubai and give you a feeling of the desert the metropolis of Dubai is build upon.

You will not only see the dunes you will actually drive right thru them and enjoy its light and golden sand as the Jeeps use tactics to fly the sand over the car from its wheels. You will go up the dunes and then plunge in the deep valley spontaneously giving you a feeling of disbelief and an exciting adventure.

All of the safari companies have specified desert camps which are strictly regulated by the Dubai Tourism Department called DTCM. The drivers who drive the vehicles are also required to have special licenses to drive in the desert. The desert camps are tactfully decorated but the wilderness of the desert is right outside the camp. While at camp one can ride camels which are kept by the camp owners or take a sand board and do some sand skating or just stroll and drag yourself in the sand to literally get the feeling of it. The camp is also full of many activities for all interests you might want to get henna painting done on your hands or you might just try the Arabian dishdash and get yourself photographed as an arab or have some sheesha and if nothing else try to get some gifts from the handicrafts shop.

The camp organizes BBQ dinner food actually comes half cooked from Dubai and is cooked again at camp to serve in the buffet  as you have your dinner the stage in the middle is lit up and loud dance music is played. An Russian origin dancer walks on board the stage and performs an excellent dance for the visitors many different dance styles are displayed and she is very active in making sure the spectators participates she pull people on the stage and makes them dance and enjoy.

Just as the Belly dance show ends the tour of Dubai Desert Safari ends and the jeep drivers start collecting their people and take every one back to the hotels and homes.

In about 5 hours total time one really goes out of Dubai and feels the real desert on which the ever increasing empire of Dubai is built. The life in the desert just out of dubai is somewhat same as it used to be centuries ago the sand has the same color the sunset has the same romance and the camels are still used as ride in the desert. What is changed is the sensual dance and the food at the camp and music.