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Some countries fasting for more than 17 hours during ramadan this year

 As Muslims prepare for the holy month of Ramadan, fasting during daylight hours is one of the five pillars of Islam. The duration of fasting varies across different parts of the world, with the number of hours dependent on sunrise and sunset times. Healthy Muslims are expected to fast from puberty, but those who are unwell, traveling, or menstruating are exempt from the fast.

Countries that are closer to the equator have shorter fasting hours compared to those farther away, where the difference between day and night is greater. For instance, in places like Nuuk, Greenland, and Reykjavik, Iceland, the fasting time is 18 hours. In contrast, the shortest fasting hours are observed in cities like Singapore, Nairobi, and Luanda, where the fast lasts for 13 hours.

Other cities with 14-hour fasting times include Tehran, Baghdad, and Cairo. Meanwhile, places like London, Hong Kong, and Muscat observe 16-hour fasts. Muslims in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Doha, Qatar, have 14-hour fasting hours, while Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay, have a 12-hour fast.

Ramadan fasting hours vary across different parts of the world. However, the essence of Ramadan remains the same, as Muslims observe a month of prayer, reflection, and giving back to the community.

These are the cities with the longest fasting time this year:

Nuuk, Greenland - 18 hours
Reykjavik, Iceland - 18 hours
Helsinki, Finland - 17 hours
Stockholm, Sweden - 17 hours
Glasgow, Scotland - 17 hours
Here are some other cities:

London, UK - 16 hours
Islamabad, Pakistan - 14 hours
Kabul, Afghanistan - 14 hours
Tehran, Iran - 14 hours
Baghdad, Iraq - 14 hours
Beirut, Lebanon - 14 hours
Damascus, Syria - 14 hours
Cairo, Egypt - 14 hours
Jerusalem - 14 hours
Kuwait City, Kuwait - 14 hours
New Delhi, India - 14 hours
Hong Kong - 14 hours
Dhaka, Bangladesh - 14 hours
Muscat, Oman - 14 hours
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - 14 hours
Doha, Qatar - 14 hours
Abu Dhabi, UAE - 14 hours
Aden, Yemen - 14 hours
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - 13 hours
Dakar, Senegal - 13 hours
Abuja, Nigeria - 13 hours
Colombo, Sri Lanka - 13 hours
Bangkok, Thailand - 13 hours
Khartoum, Sudan - 13 hours
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 13 hours
Here are the cities with the shortest fasting hours:

Singapore: 13 hours
Nairobi, Kenya: 13 hours
Luanda, Angola: 13 hours
Jakarta, Indonesia: 13 hours
Brasilia, Brazil: 13 hours
Harare, Zimbabwe: 13 hours
Johannesburg, South Africa: 13 hours
Buenos Aires, Argentina: 12 hours
Ciudad del Este, Paraguay: 12 hours
Cape Town, South Africa: 12 hours
Montevideo, Uruguay: 12 hours
Canberra, Australia: 12 hours
Puerto Montt, Chile: 12 hours
Christchurch, New Zealand: 12 hours


In Farwaniyah, a tuberculosis clinic has opened


The Ministry of Health (MoH) on Sunday opened tuberculosis clinic at Manahi Al Osaimi Health Center in Farwaniyah Governorate to combat the disease. In a press statement Tuesday, Dr Abeer Al-Bahwa, head of health enhancement department at the Ministry, said tuberculosis is still one of the deadliest diseases in the world.

She added that international efforts have saved about 74 million since 2000, 10.6 million others were infected with the disease in 2021, 1.6 million of whom died and about 4,400 individuals pass away daily, she noted. Marking World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) on March 24, Al-Bahwa called for concerted efforts to eradicate this disease by 2030 to reach the sustainable development goals.

Meanwhile, head of Manahi center Dr Dhahia Al-Enzi said the WTD aims to raise awareness of individuals in the society on this disease and reduce the number of cases. For her part, head of public health in Al Farwaniyah Dr Sali Al-Khaldi said tuberculosis is one of the most common diseases in the world that should be eradicated as part of the sustainable development goals. The tuberculosis clinic will offer early detection services to the high-risk categories, she elaborated. – KUNA


Supervisors and employees with 30 years of service will be recommended for retirement


Government institutions recently received an official instruction to refer all supervisors and employees, who have been in service for more than 30 years, for retirement, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting sources. Sources explained that the directive is aimed at “pumping fresh blood into supervisory and administrative positions and generate job opportunities for citizens registered in the recruitment system of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).”

In a related development, the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) has referred 75 employees for retirement, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to sources, the decision covers employees with different job grades; including those occupying supervisory and leadership positions. Sources added the authority is expected to issue several decisions in the coming days to fill up vacancies.


In Kuwait, the first day of Ramadan is March 23rd


Kuwait’s Moonsighting Committee has announced that Thursday after tomorrow will be the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan Chairman of the Moonsighting Committee Justice Mohammad bin Naji made the announcement after the committee meeting on Tuesday evening. Consequently, Ramadan of the Hijri or Islamic calendar of 1444, will commence on Thursday, March 23, he pointed out.

On the occasion, Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Endowments and Islamic Affairs Abdulaziz Al-Majed greeted His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s political leadership, citizens and residents as well as the Arab and Muslim nations (KUNA)


Covid-19 Health Risks Are Expected To Decline, According To WHO


As of 2023, WHO expects to declare an end to the global emergency, stressing the world is increasingly anticipating the end of the pandemic.

During a press conference, WHO Emergencies Director Michael Ryan said, “We’re getting to the point where we are starting to look at COVID-19 in the same way we do seasonal flu, as a health hazard and as a virus that will continue to claim lives, but also as a virus that doesn’t disrupt our society.”

During the pandemic, the Director-General of the organization also confirmed that the world is in a better place than ever before.

This year, we will be able to say that COVID-19 has ended as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, he said.

According to a local Arabic newspaper, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency on January 30, 2020, when fewer than 100 cases of the virus and zero deaths were reported outside China.



Academic Certificates Are Required for Expatriate Work Permits


The Public Authority of Manpower in Kuwait has implemented a new mechanism to verify the academic qualifications of expatriates and link them to their work permits. This new mechanism is aimed at preventing job title manipulation and tackling marginal labor. The system will enable the verification of job titles listed on certificates and link them to job titles issued for private sector workers by adopting the qualifications and academic certificates sent to the Professional Safety Center affiliated with the Public Authority of Manpower.

This new system will ensure that specialized job titles in the financial and banking sector, as well as jobs related to financial and administrative affairs, are directly linked to academic certificates. As a result, residents will not be allowed to obtain a professional job title without obtaining a certificate in the same field of specialization.

This new mechanism is a significant step towards regulating the job market in Kuwait and preventing the exploitation of workers. It will ensure that expatriates are qualified for the jobs they are applying for and prevent job title manipulation, which has been a prevalent issue in the country for many years.

In addition to this, the report issued by the Public Authority of Manpower revealed the cancellation of 17,000 work permits for expatriates in the private sector during the past year. This cancellation is part of the government's efforts to regulate the job market and tackle marginal labor.

Overall, the implementation of this new mechanism is a significant step towards regulating the job market in Kuwait and ensuring that workers are qualified for the jobs they are applying for. The linking of academic qualifications to work permits will prevent job title manipulation and ensure that specialized job titles in certain sectors are only held by those with the appropriate qualifications.


More than one million people have downloaded the Sahel app

Last week, Youssef Kazem, the spokesman for the unified government application for electronic services (Sahel), announced that the number of users of the application has reached more than one million and 108,000 users within a year and a half after its launch on September 15, 2021, reports Al-Rai daily. Kazem explained that Sahel is one of the digital products that the Council of Ministers is proud to launch in order to provide a distinctive experience that contributes to the completion of government transactions electronically.

Until date, it has recorded the participation of more than one million users, according to the statistics of the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI). More than 10.6 million transactions have been implemented through it during the aforementioned period. The number of government agencies that joined Sahel has risen to 29. It initially had only 12 agencies at the time of its launch.

The number of main services included in the government application increased from 123 to 284 services available to citizens and residents today. Kazem stated that the most demanded government services through Sahel are the civil card renewal service (the Public Authority for Civil Information) in the first place, followed by release of the high school results (Ministry of Education), inquiry about the certificate (Civil Service Commission), the service of the results of transportation classes (Ministry of Education), and inquiries about the absence of a student (Ministry of Education).


KOC declares an emergency due to an oil leak

 A state of emergency was declared as an oil leakage occurred in a location west of Kuwait, said an official at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) Monday. In a statement to the press, Deputy CEO for Administrative Affairs and official spokesman of the KOC, Qusai Al-Amer said that the leakage had caused some injury to personnel.

No poisonous gas leakage was detected at the site of the incident, he affirmed. KOC teams are currently handling the situation, taking the necessary procedure to contain the situation, added Al- Amer


There was no price increase before Ramadan


The commodities price monitoring team affiliated to the technical apparatus for supervising commodities and setting their prices at the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Sector at the Ministry of Commerce inspected a number of central markets and markets selling meat and dates in the Shuwaikh area, to determine their commitment to pricing commodities and supplies before the start of the month of Ramadan, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The head of the team, Faisal Al-Ansari, told the daily that the team has not found any discrepancies in prices before the start of the month of Ramadan, indicating that the inspectors have taken an undertaking from the owners of shops and markets to adhere to the prices that are currently displayed, and in the event of any artificial price increases, legal measures will be taken against violators.

He stated that the intensive tours aim to monitor prices and commodities in anticipation of their rise, explaining that the ministry has a program that stores the prices of commodities and products in 67 cooperative societies and 8 central markets, where inspectors have copies of invoices to match and inspect the prices that have been displayed, to ensure there is no artificial rise in the prices of commodities. He said that there is coordination with the Department of Commercial Control in the Ministry of Commerce to prepare a record of seizure and transfer of the company or the violating entity to the Commercial Prosecution.


MoH will depart Mishref at the end of March


The CEO of the Kuwait International Exhibition Company, Abdul Rahman Al-Nassar, revealed that the features of the strategic plan for the next five years will focus on sustainability, business development and facilities, in addition to creating indirect investment activities within its site, reports Al-Jarida daily. Al-Nassar added, in a statement after the company’s Ordinary General Assembly, which was held with 100 attendance rate, that the strategic plan includes adding activities that include entertainment and entering the field of organizing conferences, pointing out that it will see the light during the next six months, and its implementation will start from September next.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Health will vacate all its sites in the fairgrounds by the end of March, after which the company will take 6 months to rehabilitate those sites to return them to service, expecting that the performance of the “Kuwait International Fair” in 2023 will be better than last year. He stated that the company’s operational financial indicators for the year 2022 came to express the success of its operational policies by developing several plans for the gradual return of full operational activity within the international exhibition grounds, indicating that «the company was able to achieve a good growth rate in the volume of business and rise to technical and administrative levels.

He indicated that as a result of high performance, demonstrated financial and operational stability, continued maintenance of the quality and specifications of our exhibitions, and commitment to satisfying the needs of the organizers and participants and as a result of that policy and the efforts of the company’s employees to achieve those positive results and the best possible returns for shareholders, the company achieved net profits of 3.03 million dinars for the year 2022, with a profit of 101.03 fils per share. For his part, Wael Al-Ibrahim, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company, said that the financial results for the year ending on December 31, 2022 are good, and indicate the company’s competitive ability within the local and international market to achieve this performance, and this comes in implementation of the policies set by the Board of Directors despite the challenges arising since the end of The pandemic affected the sector of organizing exhibitions and events, but the company was able, in a short period of time, to return to full operational activity.

Al-Ibrahim praised the effective role of the executive management and all employees of the company in implementing these plans with professionalism that preserved the company’s reputation and distinction, hoping for success in the coming year and continuing to implement the aspirations and aspirations of shareholders through the development and development of operational activities and services provided inside the exhibition grounds.


Proposal to suspend work for the final ten days of Ramadan


The parliamentary Human Resources Committee has approved the proposal of MP Hamad Al-Obaid to suspend work in the public sector during the last 10 days of the holy month of Ramadan. The committee pointed out this will give the public sector employees more time for worship, prayers and performing rituals.

Meanwhile, MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf has submitted a proposal to prevent the slaughtering of female livestock such as sheep, cows and camels. He explained that the proposal is aimed at preserving livestock by setting aside the female animals for breeding purposes.

In another development, the Constitutional Court will rule Sunday on appeals regarding the constitutionality of the last parliamentary elections, the relevant urgent decree and the decree on voting according to the address in the citizens’ civil identification cards. Several candidates in the last elections filed a total of 21 appeals on the constitutionality of the electoral process, in addition to their objection to the results of elections in their respective constituencies.

On the other hand, MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf urged His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to exclude ministers subjected to grilling motions from the new government lineup. He said these ministers disrupted parliamentary work and this has negatively affected the citizens’ interests. He warned that he will push through with filing a grilling motion against Minister of Finance Abdulwahab Al-Rashead in case he gets reappointed.

Moreover, MP Osama Al- Shaheen forwarded queries to Minister of Public Works, Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy Amani Bugamaz about the explosion in Salmiya power station, which resulted in injuries to four Kuwaiti engineers — one of whom is still in the intensive care unit (ICU). He asked if the ministry has investigated the incident, results of investigation if the reply is in the affirmative, steps taken in this regard, safety and security regulations enforced in power stations, and if the workers are covered by health and hazard insurance. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff


Smart recruitment and expat nationality ceiling limits


The Kuwait government has announced new regulations to address demographic imbalances in the country, which came into effect after the official publication in the “Kuwait Alyawm” gazette. The regulations include measures to restrict employment in security agencies and jobs to citizens only, as well as the introduction of a point system for expatriate workers regarding violations of laws and regulations.

The regulations also call for the determination of appropriate nationalities of workers based on the numbers of expat workers when issuing decisions related to the implementation of the law, and the classification of workers based on factors such as education and age, as well as the labor market’s need for specific professions occupied by expatriate workers.

The regulations aim to stop recruitment in certain sectors, expand the recruitment of national workers, link education outputs to the requirements of the labor market, and coordinate between government agencies related to demographics, reports Al Rai. The government also seeks to attract skilled expatriate workers through professional tests, as well as increase the percentage of national workers employed in government contracts.


The Sultanate of Oman now allows visa-free travel to 103 countries


It can be off-putting to deal with paperwork when traveling.

Oman now allows travel from more than 100 countries without requiring a visa.

You might also like: Oman announces new visa-free entry rules for all Dubai residents

Those eligible can now enter Oman for up to 14 days without a visa, sure to attract tourists from around the world.

A list of countries whose nationals are eligible for this new policy has been published by the Royal Oman Police (ROP).

Travellers from countries able to make the most of visa-free travel to Oman now include:

- Argentina
- Australia
- Austria
- Belgium
- Brazil
- Bulgaria
- Canada
- China
- Colombia
- Croatia
- Cyprus
- Czech Republic
- Denmark
- Finland
- France
- Georgia
- Germany
- Greece
- Hungary
- Iceland
- Indonesia
- Iran
- Ireland
- Italy
- Japan
- Luxembourg
- Malaysia
- Malta
- Monaco
- Netherlands
- New Zealand
- Norway
- Paraguay
- Poland
- Portugal
- Romania
- Russia
- Serbia
- Singapore
- Slovakia
- Slovenia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Spain
- Sweden
- Switzerland
- Taiwan
- Thailand
- Turkey
- Ukraine
- United Kingdom
- Uruguay
- Venezuela
- United States of America

If tourists from the 103 countries wish to spend longer than 14 days in Oman, they can extend their visa-free stay for an additional 14 days but have to pay a fee.

The new update also includes that some Indian tourists can also obtain a visa on arrival in Oman.

They must have an entry visa from the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Schengen countries, Japan, or have a resident permit of one of the GCC countries, and work in a profession approved by the Oman government.

Planning to visit Oman? There are several must-visit spots to see in the Middle Eastern country.

Need some inspiration? Jebel Akhdar, the so-called Green Mountain, is one of the most spectacular destinations in the entire Gulf region, especially when viewed from the summit.

Another place to check out is the capital city, Muscat. Packed with lots of museums and historical homes it is a place for culture vultures who love to explore.


Rainfall varies - hottest year on record in '21


Official statistics showed that 2021 recorded the highest average temperature during the past ten years, reaching 35.6 degrees Celsius, while it was 34.5 degrees Celsius in 2020, and 34.4 degrees Celsius in 2019, while the average temperatures during the last ten years 34.4 degrees Celsius, reports Al-Rai daily.

According to the figures, the year before last was the lowest in the amount of rain, at a rate of 30 millimeters, while the average in 2020 was approximately 100 millimeters, while in 2019 it reached about 62 millimeters. In terms of hazardous waste, the figures for the year 2021 were also remarkable, as the highest rate of hazardous waste was recorded compared to the past ten years, with 73,491 tons, while the amount in the previous year was 60,316, and in 2019 it reached approximately 64,356.

Likewise, the quantities of population waste were record in 2021 compared to the years 2020 and 2019, as the amount of this waste last year was 19,827,692 tons, while in 2020 it was about 1759,844 tons, and in 2019 it was about 18,578,400 tons.


Gazali Street will be closed for 5 days


Starting from tomorrow morning, Saturday, the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport has announced the closure of Al-Ghazali Street from both directions for a period of five days until Wednesday morning.

Gazali street will be closed from 1:00 am to 5:00 am and is being carried out in cooperation with the General Traffic Department.


Concerns about an increase in flu cases


 Following the increase in the number of visitors to hospitals and health centers during the past few days due to seasonal flu infection, health sources reassured that the epidemiological situation in the country is stable, that the majority of patients’ symptoms are mild, and there is no cause for concern, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The sources explained that the current period is witnessing an increase in the cases of seasonal flu infection as a result of weather fluctuations, change of seasons, the tendency by many to wear light clothes, the use of air-conditioning devices in homes, at work, and even inside vehicles, and frequent contact with people infected with respiratory diseases. Hundreds of citizens and residents visited health centers and hospitals during the past week due to symptoms that may be similar to those of COVID-19.

However, initial tests and smears proved that the COVID- 19 pandemic is receding inside the country. The majority of patients are able to improve their health with some painkillers and simple medicines. People who have taken the seasonal winter vaccinations have less symptoms of flu.

These vaccines are more necessary for children from ages to six months to five years, people over the age of 65 years, pregnant women, workers in health facilities, and those suffering from chronic diseases. The sources affirmed that COVID-19 is under control, and fl u cases are within the normal rates in the country.


Imports of cars are prohibited.


First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Interior and Acting Minister of Defense Sheikh Talal Khaled Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah directed today, Wednesday, to activate a decision on Council of Ministers No. (78) of 2015 ending the immediate procedures for all vehicles imported from abroad at the Nuwaiseeb port at the present time before entering Kuwait from next Sunday.

The General Department of Relations and Security Media at the Ministry of Interior said in a press statement that Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled ordered the implementation of the decision, in cooperation between the Ministry of Interior represented by the General Department of Traffic Authority , Ministry of Commerce and Industry, General Administration of Customs, Public Authority for Industry, Kuwait Municipality, Environment Public Authority and Ministry of Communications at the same time. The statement added that the decision will be implemented at the Salmi port and Shuwaikh port within two months and operate around the clock, in order to facilitate citizens to complete all procedures for clearance of their vehicles as quickly as possible.


The MoH and the MoI have partnered to issue a 'Good Conduct' certificate via e-mail


Director of the Special Contracts Department at the Ministry of Health Maryam Al-Shehab announced coordination with the Ministry of Interior for establishing electronic link between the two parties for the issuance of a “Good Conduct” certificate for the newly-recruited medical, technical and nursing staff members who were contracted from abroad, reports Al-Anba daily.

In a press statement, she indicated that this link aims to develop work, speed up completion, save time and effort, cancel the paper system, and adopt an “electronic fingerprint” to facilitate procedures for new contractors. Al-Shehab revealed about the creation of a website dedicated to the implementation of the “electronic fingerprint” mechanism for new appointees, in coordination with the Director of the General Department of Criminal Evidence Colonel Saadoun Al- Barghash.

She praised their efforts to overcome all obstacles in this regard. Al-Shehab explained that the previous system used to take time and effort, as it involved giving the contracting person an official letter issued by the Ministry of Health to give the General Department of Criminal Evidence for taking the person’s fingerprint and then providing the ministry with his criminal record, which should be clean, so that he can complete the contracting procedures and be granted government residency.

This used to take a lot of time and effort and required the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior to hesitate several times in order to complete the procedures. This step comes within the framework of the Ministry of Health’s direction to activate e-government and coordinate between state ministries and all competent authorities electronically. Regarding the local contract, Al-Shehab stressed that the “Good Conduct” certifi- cate can be obtained through the Sahel app without the need for any letters from the Ministry of Health.


Kuwait to toughen driving license and vehicle inspection rules


The Traffic Department at the Interior Ministry is reportedly preparing new regulations for granting driving licenses to expatriates in Kuwait. These new regulations are expected to be submitted to the Interior Minister for approval after the formation of the new government.

According to sources, the new regulations will include an increase in the minimum salary requirement for expatriates applying for a driving license. Additionally, only certain professions will be allowed to obtain a driving license. These measures are intended to reduce traffic congestion on the streets, which has been attributed to the large number of expatriate motorists.

The sources also noted that many expatriates working in basic professions have been benefiting from lenient conditions for obtaining a driving license compared to neighboring countries. By limiting the issuance of driving licenses to certain professions and increasing the minimum salary requirement, the new regulations aim to ensure that only qualified and responsible drivers are granted licenses.

In addition to the changes in driving license regulations, the Traffic Department is also expected to issue decisions related to the technical inspection of vehicles. This may include preventing the registration of more than 20,000 vehicles over 15 years old, as the department has found many loopholes in how these vehicles obtain technical inspection approval.

To address this issue, the Environment Public Authority is expected to participate in the examination of vehicles with the Traffic Department. If implemented comprehensively, this could permanently remove such vehicles from use. Otherwise, their owners will be subject to traffic fines, and insurance will not be granted for them.

Overall, these new regulations and decisions are part of Kuwait's ongoing efforts to improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion on its streets. While these measures may pose challenges for some expatriates, they are expected to benefit the community as a whole and improve the overall driving conditions in Kuwait.