DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , AUG 14 – 2017 :- Massage cards on the window of a car parked in the Al Barsha area in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) Story by Nawal Ail Ramahi
Massage cards offering dubious services are a common complaint in areas across Dubai, including here in Al Barsha. Pawan Singh / The National

Dubai's sleazy massage card distributors to face deportation under new rules



Dubai residents have backed a plan to heavily fine and deport people that leave so-called massage cards on the doors of residential homes, exposing children to lurid images of undressed women working in the sex trade.

Dubai Municipality officials are holding talks with other authorities about a move to impose fines of up to Dh10,000 and immediate deportation orders for those caught putting the illegal ads on doors of apartments and villas. The move would also include flyers for other businesses such as cleaning services. The current penalty is just Dh500.

Distributors have long been a common sight, particularly Barsha Heights, Barsha 1 and Discovery Gardens, littering car windscreens with the cards, though police and immigration officials have for years sought to tackle the menace.

But residents have reported finding the adverts tucked into front door frames as they return home.

Baljeet Kumar, an Indian who lives in Discovery Gardens, said he does not want want his children to see such adverts.

“I’ve got kids and I do not like them to see such stuff,” he said. “There are security guards in our building but still distributors find ways to place these adverts in front of my home.

“Sometimes my six-year-old child picks these cards up and gives them to my wife, saying that someone has dropped a card in front of our home. He doesn’t focus on what’s being advertised on these cards but it’s unacceptable.”

Mr Kumar, a sales manager, said the cards have been a problem for the six years he has lived in Dubai.

Massage cards have long been associated with the sex trade and there have been numerous cases in the courts, some involving violence.

One case earlier this month was that of a 25-year-old Nigerian who hit a police officer with a rock as he resisted arrest for placing massage cards on car windows. He was jailed for six months and will be deported after serving his sentence.

In another case in April, an illegal immigrant who was plastering car windshields with massage cards slashed a law enforcement officer with a knife when he was challenged in the street.

The Bangladeshi man, 27, attacked the immigration official with a penknife as he distributed the cards in Al Nahda and was later jailed for three months.

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Bassam Abduallah, 28, a Lebanese expatriate living in Jumeirah, agreed with a clampdown.

“I complained to the municipality about these leaflets,” he said. “I really do not know how the distributors manage to fill my front door and car with adverts.

“Sometimes I call the company and yell at them for using such marketing and advertising techniques. It hasn’t made any difference, though, and the next day I find the same adverts on my door.”

The hike from Dh500 to Dh10,000 would be a deterrent, officials said.

“It has been noticed that many illegal adverts and posters have spread in all parts of the city, including in front of private homes, said Abdul Saifaie, director of the waste management department at Dubai Municipality.

"Such practices negatively affect and distort the appearance of the city.

“First, it is a security issue as these workers are unlicensed and you can never know where they come from and residents hiring them as maids or using their services are giving them access to their lives, homes and even families,” he said.

“Second, it’s a health issue as these workers are unqualified and may not have taken proper measures to carry on with their tasks. Also, it’s an environmental issue due to the waste. When drivers find their cars filled with these adverts, they will throw it on the streets.”

Mr Saifaie said his department was in talks with police, the Department of Economic Development and immigration to implement tougher penalties to curb the problem. “The penalties will include immediate deportation and a fine of Dh10,000 to distributors of such adverts,” he said.

Mr Saifaie said he agreed with residents’ concerns regarding the content of such cards, and this was partly why he was pushing for more stringent punishment.

“It’s extremely inappropriate for teenagers to see some of these ads,” he said. “Some of these posters carry unsuitable pictures for our culture or children to see.”

A recent one-week campaign across Dubai conducted by the waste management department and Dubai Police has resulted in the collection of more than one million adverts and posters.

Inspectors scoured the streets of Al Qusais, Al Hamriya and Abu Hail taking down ads and handing out fines to those responsible for placing them.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

57 Seconds

Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Morgan Freeman, Greg Germann, Lovie Simone
Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

A cryptocurrency primer for beginners

Cryptocurrency Investing for Dummies+– by Kiana Danial 

There are several primers for investing in cryptocurrencies available online, including e-books written by people whose credentials fall apart on the second page of your preferred search engine. 

Ms Danial is a finance coach and former currency analyst who writes for Nasdaq. Her broad-strokes primer+(2019) breaks down investing in cryptocurrency into baby steps, while explaining the terms and technologies involved.

Although cryptocurrencies are a fast evolving world, this book offers a good insight into the game as well as providing some basic tips, strategies and warning signs.

Begin your cryptocurrency journey here. 

Available at Magrudy’s , Dh104 

Start-up hopes to end Japan's love affair with cash

Across most of Asia, people pay for taxi rides, restaurant meals and merchandise with smartphone-readable barcodes — except in Japan, where cash still rules. Now, as the country’s biggest web companies race to dominate the payments market, one Tokyo-based startup says it has a fighting chance to win with its QR app.

Origami had a head start when it introduced a QR-code payment service in late 2015 and has since signed up fast-food chain KFC, Tokyo’s largest cab company Nihon Kotsu and convenience store operator Lawson. The company raised $66 million in September to expand nationwide and plans to more than double its staff of about 100 employees, says founder Yoshiki Yasui.

Origami is betting that stores, which until now relied on direct mail and email newsletters, will pay for the ability to reach customers on their smartphones. For example, a hair salon using Origami’s payment app would be able to send a message to past customers with a coupon for their next haircut.

Quick Response codes, the dotted squares that can be read by smartphone cameras, were invented in the 1990s by a unit of Toyota Motor to track automotive parts. But when the Japanese pioneered digital payments almost two decades ago with contactless cards for train fares, they chose the so-called near-field communications technology. The high cost of rolling out NFC payments, convenient ATMs and a culture where lost wallets are often returned have all been cited as reasons why cash remains king in the archipelago. In China, however, QR codes dominate.

Cashless payments, which includes credit cards, accounted for just 20 per cent of total consumer spending in Japan during 2016, compared with 60 per cent in China and 89 per cent in South Korea, according to a report by the Bank of Japan.

RESULTS

Catchweight 82kg
Piotr Kuberski (POL) beat Ahmed Saeb (IRQ) by decision.

Women’s bantamweight
Corinne Laframboise (CAN) beat Cornelia Holm (SWE) by unanimous decision.

Welterweight
Omar Hussein (PAL) beat Vitalii Stoian (UKR) by unanimous decision.

Welterweight
Josh Togo (LEB) beat Ali Dyusenov (UZB) by unanimous decision.

Flyweight
Isaac Pimentel (BRA) beat Delfin Nawen (PHI) TKO round-3.

Catchweight 80kg​​​​​​​
Seb Eubank (GBR) beat Emad Hanbali (SYR) KO round 1.

Lightweight
Mohammad Yahya (UAE) beat Ramadan Noaman (EGY) TKO round 2.

Lightweight
Alan Omer (GER) beat Reydon Romero (PHI) submission 1.

Welterweight
Juho Valamaa (FIN) beat Ahmed Labban (LEB) by unanimous decision.

Featherweight
Elias Boudegzdame (ALG) beat Austin Arnett (USA) by unanimous decision.

Super heavyweight
Maciej Sosnowski (POL) beat Ibrahim El Sawi (EGY) by submission round 1.

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Traits of Chinese zodiac animals

Tiger:independent, successful, volatile
Rat:witty, creative, charming
Ox:diligent, perseverent, conservative
Rabbit:gracious, considerate, sensitive
Dragon:prosperous, brave, rash
Snake:calm, thoughtful, stubborn
Horse:faithful, energetic, carefree
Sheep:easy-going, peacemaker, curious
Monkey:family-orientated, clever, playful
Rooster:honest, confident, pompous
Dog:loyal, kind, perfectionist
Boar:loving, tolerant, indulgent  

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

The six points:

1. Ministers should be in the field, instead of always at conferences

2. Foreign diplomacy must be left to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation

3. Emiratisation is a top priority that will have a renewed push behind it

4. The UAE's economy must continue to thrive and grow

5. Complaints from the public must be addressed, not avoided

6. Have hope for the future, what is yet to come is bigger and better than before

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 14

Display: 6.1" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2532 x 1170, 460ppi, HDR, True Tone, P3, 1200 nits

Processor: A15 Bionic, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine 

Memory: 6GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: iOS 16

Main camera: Dual 12MP main (f/1.5) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4); 2x optical, 5x digital; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/3060fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps; HD slo-mo @ 120/240fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4; Animoji, Memoji; Portrait Lighting

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/3060fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD slo-mo @ 120fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 3279 mAh, up to 20h video, 16h streaming video, 80h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30m; MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay)

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: Lightning

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + SIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Blue, midnight, purple, starlight, Product Red

In the box: iPhone 14, USB-C-to-Lightning cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh3,399 / Dh3,799 / Dh4,649

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded


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