Power cuts blamed for fines and prison



ABU DHABI // Thousands of people have faced imprisonment or lawsuits because their businesses ground to a halt due to power outages in Fujairah, according to documents released yesterday at the FNC.

Dozens of buildings and businesses have lacked electricity for up to two years, said Sultan al Muazzin, a Federal National Council member from Fujairah and the chairman of the health, labour and social affairs committee. Dr al Muazzin presented his findings in a written report to the FNC.

The report accompanied a question directed to Mohammed al Hamili, the Minister of Energy, that asked why many buildings in Fujairah still lacked utilities.

The emirate falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (Fewa), which provides services to the Northern Emirates. Abu Dhabi has also set up power plants to cater to the region.

"There is another dangerous problem, which is court verdicts that threaten the life and future of a lot of building owners who borrowed from banks to set up these buildings which have not been operational for two years," he said.

The "massive losses" endured by the owners, of which 98 per cent were UAE nationals, "points to a sad end inside prisons", he said.

Dr al Muazzin estimated the number of individuals facing prison or court decisions related to these loans at 10,000.

The lack of electricity in buildings had contributed to a housing shortage and a rise in rents in the emirate, he added.

In an interview before the session, Dr al Muazzin also said he wanted to find out why there was seemingly "favouritism" that allowed more influential businesses to be connected to the electrical grid before regular citizens.

Fewa attracted criticism earlier for running an Dh800 million surplus in 2009 despite the electricity shortages. In a written response, Mr al Hamili, who is also Fewa's chairman, said the agency was following a timetable to supply electricity to its customers, and had connected about 950 customers to the grid in 2010.

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Teaching your child to save

Pre-school (three - five years)

You can’t yet talk about investing or borrowing, but introduce a “classic” money bank and start putting gifts and allowances away. When the child wants a specific toy, have them save for it and help them track their progress.

Early childhood (six - eight years)

Replace the money bank with three jars labelled ‘saving’, ‘spending’ and ‘sharing’. Have the child divide their allowance into the three jars each week and explain their choices in splitting their pocket money. A guide could be 25 per cent saving, 50 per cent spending, 25 per cent for charity and gift-giving.

Middle childhood (nine - 11 years)

Open a bank savings account and help your child establish a budget and set a savings goal. Introduce the notion of ‘paying yourself first’ by putting away savings as soon as your allowance is paid.

Young teens (12 - 14 years)

Change your child’s allowance from weekly to monthly and help them pinpoint long-range goals such as a trip, so they can start longer-term saving and find new ways to increase their saving.

Teenage (15 - 18 years)

Discuss mutual expectations about university costs and identify what they can help fund and set goals. Don’t pay for everything, so they can experience the pride of contributing.

Young adulthood (19 - 22 years)

Discuss post-graduation plans and future life goals, quantify expenses such as first apartment, work wardrobe, holidays and help them continue to save towards these goals.

* JP Morgan Private Bank 

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Dubai
Kite Beach
Zabeel Park
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The five stages of early child’s play

From Dubai-based clinical psychologist Daniella Salazar:

1. Solitary Play: This is where Infants and toddlers start to play on their own without seeming to notice the people around them. This is the beginning of play.

2. Onlooker play: This occurs where the toddler enjoys watching other people play. There doesn’t necessarily need to be any effort to begin play. They are learning how to imitate behaviours from others. This type of play may also appear in children who are more shy and introverted.

3. Parallel Play: This generally starts when children begin playing side-by-side without any interaction. Even though they aren’t physically interacting they are paying attention to each other. This is the beginning of the desire to be with other children.

4. Associative Play: At around age four or five, children become more interested in each other than in toys and begin to interact more. In this stage children start asking questions and talking about the different activities they are engaging in. They realise they have similar goals in play such as building a tower or playing with cars.

5. Social Play: In this stage children are starting to socialise more. They begin to share ideas and follow certain rules in a game. They slowly learn the definition of teamwork. They get to engage in basic social skills and interests begin to lead social interactions.

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