DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - SEPTEMBER 12:  People entering and exiting the Union Metro Station in Dubai on September 12, 2009.  (Randi Sokoloff / The National)  For news story by Praveen or Stock-Metro *** Local Caption ***  RS008-091209-METRO.jpg
People enter and exit the Union Metro station in Dubai on Saturday.

RTA campaign to educate commuters



DUBAI // Transport officials are planning a second large-scale education drive for Metro users this week after serious passenger-related disruptions over the weekend. On Friday, two days after the official launch, 30,000 people showed up within the first two hours of the 2pm opening, causing chaos at the stations. Many others, unaware of the afternoon opening, were turned away in the morning.

People with questions about pricing and tickets formed long queues at ticket counters. As a result, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will start a new advertising campaign over the next few days in a bid to move people through the stations more quickly. The advertisements will run on radio and television and in newspapers over the course of the week, the RTA said. "We have over 180 nationalities and so many different languages," said Peyman Younes Parham, director of marketing and corporate communications for the authority.

"We are going to embark on a heavy educational campaign, like explaining fare structure again, buying tickets and what type of tickets are available, the fines, courtesy and ethics on the trains." Passengers, not knowing what type of tickets were available or how much they cost, inundated staff behind the ticket counters with questions, resulting in long queues. "I knew where it would take me, but I didn't know for exactly how much and what type of card I needed," said Pratik Vidihar, an Indian, at the Nakheel Harbour and Tower station. "I think the ticketing system was too complicated."

The RTA, attributing the train delays on Friday to passengers who pressed the emergency stop buttons, said it would remind the public of the fines for hitting the buttons without a valid reason. The RTA started sending text messages to residents on Friday night asking them to be "calm and courteous" when travelling on the system and asking if they had any questions. "Passengers should not abuse the system," the message read, "which would result in legal action against them."

Hundreds of people queued up on Friday evening to take the Metro from the Mall of the Emirates station, where there were scenes of pushing and shoving as passengers grew impatient. Security officers tried to control the situation by allowing only 200 people in at a time. The RTA conceded that its message inside the stations was so far falling on deaf ears. "We are informing the public through TV screens and the PA systems," Mr Parham said. "That is the key, and we want people to listen to that. That is where we are telling people about what's happening and what needs to happen and what the action is and how the service is.

"A lot of people are just not paying attention right now to the staff on the trains. Nobody is asking them what to do or what is happening or what they need to do. We don't want people to panic. We want them to relax." The RTA ran a promotional campaign based on market research a month before the Metro launched. The firm Saatchi and Saatchi created the advertisements for the RTA and was also responsible for the slogan "My City. My Metro." - which is plastered across the emirate on bridges and billboards and appears in every Metro advertisement.

eharnan@thenational.ae

INFO

Everton 0

Arsenal 0

Man of the Match: Djibril Sidibe (Everton)

THE SPECS

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed dual clutch

Power: 710bhp

Torque: 770Nm

Speed: 0-100km/h 2.9 seconds

Top Speed: 340km/h

Price: Dh1,000,885

On sale: now

Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East
Orlando Crowcroft
Zed Books

The Bio

Favourite place in UAE: Al Rams pearling village

What one book should everyone read: Any book written before electricity was invented. When a writer willingly worked under candlelight, you know he/she had a real passion for their craft

Your favourite type of pearl: All of them. No pearl looks the same and each carries its own unique characteristics, like humans

Best time to swim in the sea: When there is enough light to see beneath the surface

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

GOLF’S RAHMBO

- 5 wins in 22 months as pro
- Three wins in past 10 starts
- 45 pro starts worldwide: 5 wins, 17 top 5s
- Ranked 551th in world on debut, now No 4 (was No 2 earlier this year)
- 5th player in last 30 years to win 3 European Tour and 2 PGA Tour titles before age 24 (Woods, Garcia, McIlroy, Spieth)

Europe wide

Some of French groups are threatening Friday to continue their journey to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, and to meet up with drivers from other countries on Monday.

Belgian authorities joined French police in banning the threatened blockade. A similar lorry cavalcade was planned for Friday in Vienna but cancelled after authorities prohibited it.

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

Australia tour of Pakistan

March 4-8: First Test, Rawalpindi

March 12-16: Second Test, Karachi

March 21-25: Third Test, Lahore

March 29: First ODI, Rawalpindi

March 31: Second ODI, Rawalpindi

April 2: Third ODI, Rawalpindi

April 5: T20I, Rawalpindi

Anti-semitic attacks

The annual report by the Community Security Trust, which advises the Jewish community on security , warned on Thursday that anti-Semitic incidents in Britain had reached a record high.

It found there had been 2,255 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2021, a rise of 34 per cent from the previous year.

The report detailed the convictions of a number of people for anti-Semitic crimes, including one man who was jailed for setting up a neo-Nazi group which had encouraged “the eradication of Jewish people” and another who had posted anti-Semitic homemade videos on social media.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: CarbonSifr
Started: 2022
Based: Dubai
Founders: Onur Elgun, Mustafa Bosca and Muhammed Yildirim
Sector: Climate tech
Investment stage: $1 million raised in seed funding

The chef's advice

Troy Payne, head chef at Abu Dhabi’s newest healthy eatery Sanderson’s in Al Seef Resort & Spa, says singles need to change their mindset about how they approach the supermarket.

“They feel like they can’t buy one cucumber,” he says. “But I can walk into a shop – I feed two people at home – and I’ll walk into a shop and I buy one cucumber, I’ll buy one onion.”

Mr Payne asks for the sticker to be placed directly on each item, rather than face the temptation of filling one of the two-kilogram capacity plastic bags on offer.

The chef also advises singletons not get too hung up on “organic”, particularly high-priced varieties that have been flown in from far-flung locales. Local produce is often grown sustainably, and far cheaper, he says.

The Land between Two Rivers: Writing in an Age of Refugees
Tom Sleigh, Graywolf Press

Women & Power: A Manifesto

Mary Beard

Profile Books and London Review of Books 

TOUCH RULES

Touch is derived from rugby league. Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of six on the field at any time.

Teams can make as many substitutions as they want during the 40 minute matches.

Similar to rugby league, the attacking team has six attempts - or touches - before possession changes over.

A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender, and must be with minimum force.

After a touch the player performs a “roll-ball” - similar to the play-the-ball in league - stepping over or rolling the ball between the feet.

At the roll-ball, the defenders have to retreat a minimum of five metres.

A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the score-line.

How Voiss turns words to speech

The device has a screen reader or software that monitors what happens on the screen

The screen reader sends the text to the speech synthesiser

This converts to audio whatever it receives from screen reader, so the person can hear what is happening on the screen

A VOISS computer costs between $200 and $250 depending on memory card capacity that ranges from 32GB to 128GB

The speech synthesisers VOISS develops are free

Subsequent computer versions will include improvements such as wireless keyboards

Arabic voice in affordable talking computer to be added next year to English, Portuguese, and Spanish synthesiser

Partnerships planned during Expo 2020 Dubai to add more languages

At least 2.2 billion people globally have a vision impairment or blindness

More than 90 per cent live in developing countries

The Long-term aim of VOISS to reach the technology to people in poor countries with workshops that teach them to build their own device

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

Director: Nag Ashwin

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

Rating: ★★★★

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The Genius of Their Age

Author: S Frederick Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 290
Available: January 24

Dr Amal Khalid Alias revealed a recent case of a woman with daughters, who specifically wanted a boy.

A semen analysis of the father showed abnormal sperm so the couple required IVF.

Out of 21 eggs collected, six were unused leaving 15 suitable for IVF.

A specific procedure was used, called intracytoplasmic sperm injection where a single sperm cell is inserted into the egg.

On day three of the process, 14 embryos were biopsied for gender selection.

The next day, a pre-implantation genetic report revealed four normal male embryos, three female and seven abnormal samples.

Day five of the treatment saw two male embryos transferred to the patient.

The woman recorded a positive pregnancy test two weeks later. 

SPEC SHEET: APPLE TV 4K (THIRD GENERATION)

CPU: Apple A15 Bionic

Capacity: 64GB, Wi-Fi only; 128GB, Wi-Fi + ethernet

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, ethernet (Wi-Fi + ethernet model only), IR receiver

I/O: HDMI, ethernet (128GB model only); Siri remote (charging via USB-C); accessibility features

Video: SDR/Dolby Vision/HDR10+ up to 2160p @ 60fps

Peripherals: Compatible with HD/UHD TVs via HDMI, Bluetooth keyboards, AirPods

Photo: GIF, HEIF, JPEG, TIFF

Colour: Black

In the box: TV 4K, Siri remote, power cord

Price: Dh529, Wi-Fi only; Dh599, Wi-Fi + ethernet

The Iron Claw

Director: Sean Durkin 

Starring: Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, Holt McCallany, Lily James

Rating: 4/5

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

 

Martin Sabbagh profile

Job: CEO JCDecaux Middle East

In the role: Since January 2015

Lives: In the UAE

Background: M&A, investment banking

Studied: Corporate finance

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Switch Foods
Started: 2022
Founder: Edward Hamod
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Industry: Plant-based meat production
Number of employees: 34
Funding: $6.5 million
Funding round: Seed
Investors: Based in US and across Middle East

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


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