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Dubai Tourism didn’t ban Nigerians from UAE- Official

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Dubai Tourism didn’t ban Nigerians from UAE- Official

…Says ban report is fake, as COVID 19 takes toll***

The Dubai Tourism says it has not banned Nigerians from visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Stella Fubara-Obinwa, its Director Africa, International Operations, has said.

Fubara-Obinwa made the clarification during a webinar organised by the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) in Lagos.

It would be recalled that shortly after the arrest of Hushpuppy in Dubai, a social media message which went viral indicated that Dubai had banned Nigerians, under age 40 years, in a bid to curtail widespread 419 / fraudulent activities.

Industry watchers, however, opined that while the ban might have been real, the devastating impact of COVID 19 on the economy, exacerbated by purported shying away of Nigerians, might have also necessitated the timely lifting of the ban.

The theme of the meeting was: “Tourism Business Opportunities in Face of New Normal.”

Fubara-Obinwa said there was never a time, nor was there any publication, which reported that Nigerians had been banned from visiting the UAE.

“I challenge people to show me any publication from the United Arab Emirates which states that Nigerians had been banned from the country.

“This is fake news and am not happy with the development from the Nigeria travel agents.

“Nigeria is very important to Dubai; Nigeria has the highest number of travellers to Dubai, out of the 41 sub-Sahara countries.

“As a matter of fact, Dubai is ready to accommodate visitors, likewise every hospitality business, while we adhere to the new COVID-19 restrictions,” she said.

Fubara-Obinwa said Dubai had been opened to tourists from July 7, adding that safety measures had been put in place across all hospitality and tourism outfits.

She noted that Dubai was recently recognised as a safe destination by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Also read: 30 Nigerians stranded in Lebanon rescued, as 150 awaiting evacuation – NIDCOM

According to her, in Dubai now, a tourist is expected to have a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at any accredited laboratory in their countries, 96 hours before embarking on a trip to Dubai.

She explained that this would make travellers to ascertain their COVID-19 status prior to their journey to Dubai to guide against spreading the virus.

“The Dubai Department of Tourism and Conference Marketing has given direction that all large events should be suspended until further notice with exception to meetings, examinations and training.

“Training, meetings and examinations are allowed with strict adherence to social distancing and other stringent protocols.

“Live events are suspended till further notice to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and assure tourists of their safety.

“We have put measures in place to boost tourists’ confidence coming to the UAE, and we are doing more,” she said.

Fubara-Obinwa noted that the UAE had assured every traveller flying with the Emirate Airlines free medical travel insurance, which would cover COVID-19 treatment in the country.

She said that travellers with other airlines would have to present their medical travel insurance covering COVID-19 treatment before being allowed to travel.

“Also, a declaration must be signed to bear all cost of quarantine and treatment if other airlines are used, in the event that they are infected with COVID-19 in UAE.

“Other travel requirements for the UAE is that travellers must have a negative PCR test result and must disclose any symptom before travelling.

“The Dubai Assured Stamp will be given to tourism and retail establishments that comply with the health and safety protocols for post COVID-19 era; this will be renewed on a bi-weekly basis.

“This is a phenomenal approach to tell you how focussed Dubai is in ensuring that you and your colleagues are safe within the country,” Fubara-Obinwa said.

She said that the global mega event of “Expo Dubai 2020” would now hold from Oct. 1 2021 to March, 31 2022, for six months.

The director said visitation to Dubai for educational pursuit has a lot of benefits for individuals, ranging from scholarships, easy study visa, earn as you learn initiative, post-graduate opportunities and more.

“We have focussed on education recently as a channel to attract tourists into the country, and we have partnered with educational consultants to do this.

“Visit to Dubai is not only limited to leisure and business but education and medicals can also be explored,” she said.

Earlier, Mrs Susan Akporiaye, NANTA President, advised Nigeria travel agents to keep themselves abreast of the right information.

“Let us get ourselves empowered with the right information; we need to go extra mile to get the right information and desist from spreading fake news.

“Most travel agents want to be spoon-fed at all time; this is bad, we are professionals, let us behave as such,” she said.

 

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German union, Greenpeace slam Amazon’s Black Friday

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German union, Greenpeace slam Amazon’s Black Friday

The large German services trade union Verdi and environmental organisation Greenpeace held protests to express opposition to online retailer Amazon’s Black Friday discount campaign on Friday.

Verdi is reiterating demands for improved pay for workers and for Amazon to recognise the deals it reaches with other employers in the retail sector.

However, Amazon and Verdi have long been at loggerheads over recognising the trade union in the company’s distribution centres.

Meanwhile, Amazon has rejected Verdi’s criticism, pointing to starting wages including bonuses of at least €13.00 ($13.50) per hour.

Greenpeace has accused Amazon of incentivising excessive consumption, refuse from packaging and the waste of resources.

Demonstrators held up a banner reading: “Black Friday: Destruction of Nature as Business Model,’’ at the company’s headquarters in Munich.

Amazon points to its efforts to cut pollution and CO2 emissions by shifting to electrically powered delivery vehicles among other measures. 

– dpa

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Terrorism: Accra Initiative Member States to Operationalise MNJTF to Tackle Spread

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Terrorism: Accra Initiative Member States to Operationalise MNJTF to Tackle Spread

Member States of Accra Initiative have agreed to operationalise a Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) within a month to tackle the spread of terrorism and other transnational organised crimes.

In a communique issued on Tuesday at the end of their meeting in Accra, Ghana, the members agreed to be innovative and provide operational tools to tackle the security challenges.

The Accra Initiative countries are Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo.

They “expressed their deep concern for the dramatic expansion of terrorism, violent extremism, transnational organised crime and transhumance consequences in their countries.

“Expressed their sympathy and full support to the Member States and their populations who face violent extremism and terrorism on a daily basis.

“Took note of the commitments by partners to support the Accra Initiative in the fight against terrorism in the sub-region.

“Reaffirmed their commitment to mobilise the necessary indigenous resources to operationalise within a month, the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Accra Initiative (MNJTF/AI).”

The summit recommended that concrete actions, including fundraising, be taken to support the countries severely affected by terrorism.

The Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Accra Initiative was held under the chairmanship of President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.

The summit agreed to operationalise the MNJTF which would conduct Operation Enhanced Koudanlgou after it received a briefing from the Chief of Defence Staff of Ghana, Vice Adm. Seth Amoama.

The communique also said that the summit took note of the will of Nigeria to designate representatives to the Headquarters of MNJTF/AI.

“At the end of the Summit, the Heads of State and Government welcomed the idea of organising an International Conference on the Accra Initiative and are pleased with the good progress of the activities.

“They took note of the report of the activities of the Ministers of the Member States of the Accra Initiative of Nov. 21 in Accra

“They congratulated the Ministers of the Member States of the Accra Initiative and the Non-State Actors for the quality of the conclusions of their work.

“Expressed their deep appreciation to the European Union for its support in making the International Conference on the Accra Initiative possible.”

The communique also said that they expressed deep appreciation to President Akufo-Addo, for his leadership in making the summit a success.

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Girl, 16, gives birth after Judge approves Caesarean against wishes

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Girl, 16, gives birth after Judge approves Caesarean against wishes

A 16-year-old girl with mental health difficulties has given birth after a judge in London gave doctors the go-ahead to perform a caesarean section without her consent, lawyers said.

Justice Cobb said it would be lawful for specialists to operate on the teenager, who is in council care, if necessary.

The judge made a ruling at a public hearing in the Court of Protection in London on Friday but embargoed reporting until the baby had been born.

Lawyers representing hospital bosses responsible for her treatment and care said the girl has given birth.

Cobb was told that the girl had a “history of sexual exploitation,” post-traumatic stress disorder and an anxiety disorder.

He said she could not be identified in media reports of the case.

Bosses at the Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which is based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, had asked the judge to decide what moves were in the teenager’s best interests.

Specialists said they thought the teenager’s mental health difficulties made delivery by caesarean section the only “realistic” option.

They said efforts to induce had been unsuccessful because of the youngster’s problems.

Barrister Peter Mant, who led the trust’s legal team, told the judge that the youngster’s views on giving birth had changed repeatedly recently.

Mant said specialists thought it was in the girl’s best interests to have a caesarean section.

He said there was “a significant risk of stillbirth.”

The teenager, who was represented by barrister Mungo Wenban-Smith, said she wanted to deliver her baby naturally.

She told the judge that she had a strong wish to give birth with the least intervention and to be awake and aware when her baby was born.

Judges in the Court of Protection consider issues relating to people who might lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Evidence indicated that the teenager’s capacity to make decisions “fluctuated,” the judge was told.

Cobb said doctors should make one last attempt to induce but ruled that performing a caesarean section would be lawful if necessary.

The judge embargoed reporting after lawyers raised concern about the girl recognizing herself in reports and behaving in a way which might put her and the baby at risk. 

-dpa

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