Monthly Archives: May 2011

Have Traffic fines now clear them before Visa renewals

Abu Dhabi: Cancelling or renewing visas for expatriate residents will soon be linked to payment of traffic fines.

Motorists who have fines either recorded on their driver’s licences or their vehicle’s plate number will not be able to conduct transactions with their respective Residency and Foreign Affairs Department unless they pay their traffic fines.

Brigadier Gaith Al Za’abi, Director General of Traffic Coordination Department in the Ministry of Interior, said the move was prompted by millions of dirhams of wasted fines against drivers who default in payment of traffic penalties.

Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim said motorists, who do not pay their traffic fines for a long time or have large amounts of accumulated fines, will be taken to court. The new procedures of collecting traffic fines on time will be implemented across the country.

Dubai Desert Safari Special summer promotions for 2011

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UAE airlines reduce fares yet the fares seem still high due to demand

Dubai: Airlines in the UAE are slashing their ticket prices as residents get ready for the summer holidays.

Emirates airline has removed the fuel surcharge on all tickets with immediate effect, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways also announced a special promotion with up to 40 per cent reduction in economy class fares.

The news follows a decline in commodity prices, including crude oil, after the death of Al Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden last week.

“In line with the recent decrease in fuel prices Emirates has removed its fuel surcharge on all tickets. The removal of this surcharge reflects our long-standing commitment to our customers,” said Tim Clark, President of Emirates.

Keeping a promise

“We promised our customers from the outset that we would eliminate the surcharge as soon as it was commercially viable and this has now been done,” he added.

Etihad said their promotion was not linked to falling oil prices nor was it a response to Emirates’ fuel surcharge announcement.

“Last week we were recognised as the Middle East’s Leading Airline at the region’s World Travel Awards, so we are very excited to offer these sale fares to complement the win; [they are] designed to help all our UAE-based customers choose their perfect holiday or short break during May,” said Hareb Al Muhairi, Etihad Airways vice-president of UAE sales

In reality the fare will still seem high as the demand would increase specially to countries like India Pakistan Sri Lanka & Malaysia where people will be travelling most in the holidays.

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The Business Goes Social

Your business needs to be social now – not some day

Today, consumers want more than content online, they want to make a human connection. This means it’s no longer enough to push your product information out to your consumers. Today’s geo-located, email checking, text messaging, status updating, smartphone toting, trigger happy ‘social consumers’ are ready to engage with you. i.e. if you are ready to engage with them.

A recent study about small to medium sized organisations showed that 44% of entrepreneurs were using social media to attract new customers (35% Facebook, 15% LinkedIn, 10% Twitter, 8% blog, 8% YouTube).  For overall marketing strategy, the top strategies were company website, search engine optimization and online social networking.

The above makes sense when you consider the following stats:

  1. Over 500 million global users are active on Facebook every month
  2. People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  3. More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
  4. More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) are shared each week
  5. During the second half of 2010, LinkedIn’s membership base grew, on average, by 1 million new members every ten days
  6. Registered users of LinkedIn grew from 55 million at the end of 2009 to 90 million at the end of 2010. Page views grew from 2.8 billion to 5.5 billion
  7. LinkedIn Today delivers a customised online newspaper that is assembled by algorithms, rather than journalists
  8. Twitter is the fastest growing social networking site on the internet, with north of 110 million registered users
  9. New users are signing up at the rate of over 300,000 per day
  10. 180 million unique visitors come to the site every month
  11. Twitter gets a total of 3 billion requests a day via its API
  12. Twitter users are, in total, tweeting an average of 55 million tweets a day
  13. Twitter’s search engine receives around 600 million search queries per day
  14. Of Twitter’s active users, 37 percent use their phone to tweet
  15. 75% of Twitter traffic comes from outside Twitter.com (i.e. via third party applications.)

As if the above is not enough, this is just in.

Pepsi has introduced a ‘Social Vending System’, a networked vending machine with large full-touch screen designed to enable consumers to connect with Pepsi brands (and one another) at the point of purchase.

Novel features of the system include provisions for a patron to ‘gift’ a friend by selecting a beverage, then entering the recipient’s name, mobile phone number and a personal text message and, if desired, a short video recorded at the machine.

The gift is delivered with a system code and instructions for redeeming it at any PepsiCo social vender. The recipient may thank the original sender by dispatching a gift in return, or ‘pay it forward’ by presenting a beverage to someone else. The machines are equipped for remote monitoring, giving operators the ability to manage inventory levels and schedule deliveries remotely. Digital content also can be updated online, allowing easy changing of messages and media content.

This certainly gives KISS a new definition, Keep It Social Silly.

Send your comments to sharad@cyber-gear.com