Mango Festival attracts hundreds

•July 14, 2019 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

The 3-days ‘Pakistan Mango Festival’ has attracted a large number of diplomatic corps based in Dubai as well as community members from Emiratis, Pakistanis, India, European and other Westerners residing in Dubai.
The major attraction of unique 3-day festival was over 70 food dishes made using different varieties of mangoes from Pakistan, which is one of the largest mango exporting country in the world.
Dillu Stephen, chef de Cuisine at the Giardino Restaurant, Palazzo Versace Hotel told Gulf Today that they have prepared over 70 dishes with mangoes including a number of curries, chutnies and deserts.
“It was not an easy task but we took this challenge to create many dishes including as main course. We started our preparing a couple of days ahead of the festival to try and taste the varieties of dishes and we are delighted to announce that all the dishes have been approved and enjoyed by our guests comprises of dignitaries from different nationalities,” he said.
The country has more than 250 varieties of mangoes with each one having its own unique scent and taste and over 30 varities were displayed at the festival for the visitors to taste and admire.
The festival was organised by the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai in collaboration of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan at the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai.
Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistan while opening the festival in the presence of a large number of guests has highlighted the country’s one of the largest produce and said that the first of its kind festival in Dubai will bring more attention to the multi-community residence of Dubai to taste and enjoy the huge verities of mangoes also known as ‘king of fruits.’
“In Pakistan over 250 varieties of mango are being cultivating in which very few number 25-30 are producing on commercial purposes including Dusehri, Anwar Ratol, Langra, Chaunsa, Sindhri, Maldha, Fijri and others,” he said.
He pointed that the demand of Pakistani mangoes and mango products is constantly on the rise especially in overseas markets like China, UK and UAE.
The major mango producing areas of Pakistan include Multan, Bahalwarput, Muzzafargarh and Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab province while Mirpur Khas, Hyderabad and Thatta in Sindh as Dera Ismail Khan, Peshawar and Mardan in Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa province.
-Published At The Gulf Today

Awareness session on Pak tax rules sought

•July 14, 2019 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | SHARJAH

Recent measures in Pakistan to widen the tax net, initiating a number of proposals like an amnesty scheme to allow people to declare their ‘unknown’ assets, and changes in tariff in many services and products, have created confusion among the Pakistani expatriates in the UAE.
Most of the community members have no idea as to how much they will be affected or what kind of taxes they are going to pay once they land in the country. They seek detailed information regarding the measures through a massive awareness campaign.
Muhammad Shahid Khan, Senior Vice President Sports & Culture Pakhtunkhwa and Vice President & Joint Secretary Pak Khyber-Dubai speaks to Gulf Today and says that the Pakistanis in UAE …
-Published At The Gulf Today

Interview: President of MCM

•July 9, 2019 • Leave a Comment

MCM to introduce five short training courses

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

Mena College of Management (MCM), Dubai, aims to serve the UAE government’s strategy to fulfil the demand for professionals in the fields of hospitality and tourism with local talent, by introducing a package of five short training courses soon in Dubai.
Another major achievement of the College is to begin a student exchange programme with EM Normandie in France, beginning with 15 students from the Spring semester 2019-2020.
This was stated by Professor Nabil El Kadhi, President of MCM, during an interview with Gulf Today.
The short courses will be offered in collaboration with the Future Cities Council, Canada at the MCM Dubai campus, to allow local students and professionals to hone their skills based on market demand.
The courses, of 3-5 days’ duration, have been tailored to the needs of the UAE market by internationally recognised institutions. The course titles are: Digital Leadership – Leading the Digital Transformation; Digital Transformation – Digitise or Die; Future Foresight For Bright Future – Shaping a Bright Future of Your Organisation; Future…
-Published At The Gulf Today

HHC to continue radio awareness programme

•July 4, 2019 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) has announced awarding certificates of good conduct, in cooperation with Dubai Police, to a group of addicts who have recovered and completed a rehabilitation programme in addition to providing training courses aimed at honing their skills.
The HHC has assured the continuation of the ‘Masmuh’ programme, which was launched during the last Ramadan, in collaboration with the Irada Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation, and a new initiative aimed at supporting people who are recovering from addiction. The centre has been extending a wide range of support through a series of events and activities including Fazza Heritage Tournaments, the radio network, Radio Al-Awla and the Dubai Radio of the Qur’an.
n the sidelines of the awareness workshop held by the centre, in cooperation with the Irada Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation, the Executive Director of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmouk, said that the programme will continue for the benefit of its listeners on a weekly basis as a realistic approach. It also stimulates the recovery of social interaction through the programme within the framework of family awareness while also stressing that the family is the wall of the first, the main lifeline of the children, against the risk of addiction.
The doors of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, especially Radio Al-Awla and the Dubai Radio Holy Quran, and the management of the Fazza tournaments, are open to the beneficiaries to enhance their professional skills through professional preparatory courses. All obstacles in cooperation with the Dubai Police, in particular, give them a certificate of good conduct, which enables them to return strongly to the labour market, in order to enable them to accept and integrate the community,” he said.
Bin Dalmouk considered the importance of standing firmly against the phenomenon of abuse, in return for paying attention to the mechanisms of treating those who have fallen into this trap and rehabilitating them, and not leaving them prey to the relapse to addiction and support their recovery, stressing that the main point always in this remains conscious awareness and family support.
-Published At The Gulf Today

DHA Valley Islamabad

•July 1, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Victims of housing project seek Pakistan govt’s help

By Jamil Khan | SHARJAH

A group of Pakistani expatriates who invested in a multipurpose housing scheme in Pakistan – DHA Valley Islamabad, a private residential project – have appealed to the Government of Pakistan to resolve their long-pending issues including possession of plots after a delay of over 10 years.
The UAE has alone over 6,000 affected people out of overall 65,000 applicants who invested in the housing scheme launched in 2008. Every single applicant had paid approximately $13,000 and $16,700 against a residential plot measuring 5 Marlas (1 Marla=272 square feet) and 8 Marlas respectively.
The scheme was launched for all Pakistanis through a widespread media campaign and also attracted overseas Pakistanis in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and America to invest for their better future with promised good returns.
Ali Haider Zaidi, group leader of the affectees of DHA Valley Islamabad, while addressing a press conference in Sharjah along with over 50 people highlighted their struggle to get possession of their plots.
“We have regularly paid our instalments in the three-year promised time during 2008 to 2011 in dollars. The plot holders in Pakistan paid in rupees but the overseas residents were asked to pay in dollars and we did our part and waited for years to get possession of our promised plots but all went in vain. After waiting for years we started our struggle in 2017 to start gathering affected people through social media groups in the UAE, Saudi and USA,” he said.
The victims residing in the UAE have tried to approach different forums to raise their voices including the Pakistani mission in Abu Dhabi and Dubai while also trying to reach the higher authorities in Pakistan. They are still waiting for a solution to their grievances.
Highlighting their problems through the media, the affectees of the projects from the community are holding meetings in the UAE periodically to voice their woes but still nothing has happened.
Muhammad Khalil, residing in the UAE since 1996, has said that “we have with our hard-earned money invested in the DHA project which is considered to be a known name in the country’s housing sector and backed by a government institution. We collectively requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to resolve this issue and help the overseas community as many people have already passed away while waiting to get possession of their plots and now their widows are helpless,” he said.
He pointed that “we are Pakistanis and looters of the hard-earned money of overseas Pakistani should be brought to justice. These cases are not helping portray a positive image of our country among the other nations of the world.”
Muhammad Arshad, another resident in the UAE since 1993 and also affected by the DHA Valley Islamabad, appealed to the government of Pakistan to listen to the plight of overseas Pakistanis as every minster in the current government of Imran Khan has been claiming that overseas Pakistanis are an asset but not helping to resolve such long-standing issues.
Recently, the overseas applicants of the project have been asked to pay $3,300 in the name of Service Government Charges (SGC).
“We have been asked to pay the new charges in dollars which is not only a large amount compared to local applicants in Pakistan but also illegal as we have already paid services charges with our regular instalments,” they said.
The group of affected people jointly appealed to Imran Khan, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Chief of Army, Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, Zulfi Bukhari, special assistant to PM on overseas Pakistanis to help them on the possession of their plots and take action against the management of the housing scheme recently demanding $3,300 as service government charges (SGC) which they say is totally illegal.
They also demanded that a comprehensive map of the location and the project be uploaded on its website which still lacks basic information.
-Published At The Gulf Today

Revamped 2XL Furniture Store Opens

•June 28, 2019 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

DUBAI: The high-end 2XL Furniture & Home Décor store in Uptown Mirdiff Mall in Dubai reopened its doors today after refurbishment. The spectacular showroom was officially inaugurated by Suood Al Sadi, General Manager of 2XL Furniture & Home Décor.
To celebrate the occasion, the store hosted a special welcome reception for its exclusive clientele and patrons showcasing its state-of-the-art facilities boasting the latest 2XL collections.
The upgraded outlet has been configured to cater to the needs of 2XL’s sophisticated clients.
Al Sadi, stated, “We are very excited to announce the re-launch of our stunning showroom in Uptown Mirdiff Mall spread over an area of 11,800 sq ft.Many of our customers have made 2XL products a part of their lifestyle, and this new facility,that is of strategic significance for us,will cater to their needs with extraordinary products and service they experience in every 2XL location.”
Elaborating on the exceptional concept behind the store’s design, Amit Yadav, Head of Marketing, 2XL Furniture & Home Décor, said, “Customers engage with content differently today than they used to few years back. The luxury interiors have been designed taking three distinct aspects into consideration which is form, feel and function that translate into the highest quality, convenience and experience for our buyers.”
Amit further added, “The 2XL store’s space in Uptown Mirdiff Mall has been redesigned to help shoppers navigate better for a unique retail experience. Starting from the impressive 3-meter high entrance with Turkish limestone marble to natural stone flooring and fabulous colour-scheme, everything wows with an inviting and sumptuous atmosphere. Central to the revamp are the new wall ergonomic fixtures for accessories”.
The 2XL Furniture & Home Décor store enjoys a prime location in Uptown Mirdiff Mall which is known as Dubai’s first retail centre to offer an open-air experience. Buyers will find at the showroom a magnificent and vast selection of the finest classic and contemporary products beautifully displayed throughout the showroom.
Commanding a sizable share of the UAE market, 2XL Furniture & Home Décor has strong expansion plans. The luxe retail brand, that currently has 9 showrooms spread across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah and Al Ain, will soon be opening another store in Al Ain.

Community attends session on amnesty scheme

•June 26, 2019 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

A large number of community members from different backgrounds gathered to share their grievances at the event organised by the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai to educate the expatriate community on the current amnesty scheme which will be ending on June 30.
The event was organised jointly by the Pakistan Embassy in UAE, Pakistan Business Council-Dubai, Pakistan Association Dubai and members from different professional backgrounds were present who asked a number of questions related to tax, amnesty and other policies.
One of the common questions were on the property they bought in the UAE through their hard money they earned in he UAE. The visiting official assured them that they should not be worried.
Dr Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed, Director General (International Taxes), Feberal Board of Revenue (FBR) Pakistan told the community that three major events have occurred over the past two years, OECD framework got operational, Benami (unknown) law implemented and quantum of underground economy (due to related factors, FATF threat, FE regulations, hawala/hundi).
“If you earn money here and buy assets then you should not worry about the amnesty and no need to declare your assets.”
Community members asked the officials that they have many questions on daily basis and they need a permanent official in the Pakistani mission in the UAE. “We have a number of suggestions regarding the posting a permanent official like tax consular, expansion of banking network in remote areas to benefit blue collar workers to avoid hawala/hundi,” Dr Ahmed said.
The purpose of the ongoing amnesty scheme is to allow the non documented economy’s inclusion in the taxation system, trigger economic revival and growth by encouraging a tax compliance in the economy, generate much-needed revenue for the exchequer and ease out Pakistanis let bring in and outside with undisclosed assets in an era of international transparency.
“The ‘Benami’ law is very simple and guidelines are also uploaded online for public to get benefit. It is a fresh start for revive our economy.”
Expatriate ask to get benefit of the ongoing amnesty scheme to deposit their cash, liquidation if local assets and to bring back Pakistan One should get affidavit before June 30,” he said. “There is a great demand to extend the deadline but it is not going to happen. Once one declared assets in the ongoing amnesty scheme there will be no tax,” he added.
“There is a great demand to extend the deadline but it is not going to happen. Once one declared assets in the ongoing amnesty scheme there will be no tax,” he added.
Ahmed Amjad Ali, Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai said that they are forwarding a number of suggestions to FBR to benefit the community and they are hopeful to get serious response on priority basis.
-Published At The Gulf Today