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Passenger traffic at Kuwait airport increased by 4% in 2019



Passenger traffic at Kuwait International Airport increased by four percent last year from a year prior, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said. Some 15.448 million passengers used the airport in 2019 compared to 14.813 million in 2018, it explained in a statement.This includes 7.715 million arrivals compared to 7.425 million, with departures recording 7.733 million compared to 7.387 million. Planes traveling through the airport reached 122,358 compared with 118,133, including 115,420 passenger flights compared with 112,971 flights. As for cargo, around 243.4 million kilograms exchanged hands compared with 249.5 million kilograms. – KUNA


Residencies of drivers will not be renewed if they drive small old model vehicles



In a move aimed to control drivers in transportation companies, the Labor Department in Public Authority for Manpower has launched procedures to reject renewal of work permits for drivers of small vehicles of old models.The department declared that the residencies of drivers registered under transportation companies will not be renewed if they drive small vehicles of models earlier than 2011.The residencies of drivers of heavy vehicles and machinery will not affected by this decision. This is because most of such heavy vehicles and machinery are often not new, which usually costs very high.-A.T.


One of the Middle East’s longest serving ruler Oman’s Sultan Qaboos passes away



Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, one of the Middle East’s longest serving rulers who maintained the country’s neutrality in regional struggles, died on Friday and his cousin Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said was named as his successor in a smooth transition. With his death, the region loses a trusted and seasoned leader, seen as the father of modern Oman, who balanced ties between two neighbors locked in a regional struggle, Saudi Arabia to the west and Iran to the north, as well as the United States.Oman and fellow Gulf states declared three days of official mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast for Sultan Qaboos.

HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent yesterday a cable of condolences to Sultan Haitham, lamenting the death of Sultan Qaboos. He expressed great grief over the passing of Sultan Qaboos, expressing his deep condolences to the Omani leadership and people. HH Sheikh Sabah said that the late Sultan Qaboos was a brother and a personal friend with whom he shared admiration and respect, affirming that the world as well as the Gulf, Arab and Islamic nations had lost a very important figure and leader who dedicated his life to the causes of the Arab and Islamic countries.-K.T.


Biometric access control for teachers from next school year



The Ministry of Education will start implementing the fingerprint biometric access control system in public schools at the beginning of the next school year, said official sources, noting that the decision has been made despite objections. The source elaborated that Kuwait Teachers Society is totally against making teachers use the new system in view of their work burden, which requires some leniency in occasionally arriving late if they do not have the first period on the timetable.

Further, the sources said that in doing this, the ministry complies with Civil Service Commission regulations to implement the system that is already being used for employees in various government bodies and that the project had been delayed for budgetary reasons. “A tender was offered for public bidding and the process will take more than one company to install the devices in over 900 schools,” the sources explained.-K.T.


130,000 passengers returned in 4 days after spending the New Year holiday outside the country



Approximately 130,000 passengers returned to the country in the last four days after spending the New Year holiday outside the country.The travelers spent their holidays at several destinations.

The preparations at the airport were integrated through the airport’s operating authorities from DGCA, Ministry of Interior, and other bodies which were in full preparation, as well as the supporting staff teams that were formed for this purpose.The officials at Kuwait International Airport had prepared a plan for receiving travelers by organizing and establishing barriers for arrivals and preventing non-passengers from entering areas reserved strictly for passengers.

There were a total of 1,740 scheduled flights at Kuwait International Airport, and the total number of passengers and arrivals were approximately 256 thousand.-A.T.


Blaze in Mahboula building extinguished by firemen



Firemen from Manqaf and Fahaheel fire stations battled a blaze reported in a Mahboula building consisting of seven floors. The building was evacuated before firemen extinguished the fire which had started in a fourth floor apartment. No casualities were reported and an investigation was opened to reveal the cause of the fire.K.T.


Ministry closed a number of money exchanges that engage in money laundering



The Ministry of Trade and Industry said yesterday that it has closed a number of money exchanges that engage in serious and grave money transfers.This came during an inspection campaign by a team from the Money Laundering Department in cooperation with the Commercial Control Department in the context of monitoring markets and making sure that the business is practiced to determine the extent of its commitment to law and regulations.The money laundering team recorded during its tours the violations by the shops that are bound by the commercial license granted to them and the decision was taken to close them according to the law because of the severity and gravity of the violations.



After the success of online renewal of driving licenses, plan to renew residencies online soon



After the launch of online renewal of driving licenses, General Traffic Department succeeded in renewing 17,000 driving license within one month.The department launched this service mid-November 2019 whereby Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates could apply for online renewal of their driving licenses on the website of Ministry of Interior and then receive the licenses from the machines installed in Avenues Mall, Al-Kout Mall, the service centers of Ministry of Interior, and the investigation department in Capital and Hawally governorates.The applicants can submit their old licenses and receive the new ones from these machines after paying the fines for violations, if any, at the location.The General Traffic Department is planning to launch electronic system for issuing new driving licenses, replacing damaged licenses and issuing learners’ licenses.

Meanwhile, the sources said the General Department for Information Technology at Ministry of Interior is working on the system of online renewal of expatriates’ residency.They said a total of 9,000 domestic workers renewed their article 20 residence permits online.-A.T.


Kuwait ranked 57 worldwide and second most powerful Arab passport



Kuwait ranked 57 on the Henley Passport Index, a global classification that tracks countries according to their most powerful passports in terms of the freedom of movement of their citizens according to the number of destinations that the passport holder can travel without a prior visa.The index showed that the Kuwaiti passport allows its holder to travel to 95 countries without a prior visa and to be the second Arab passport after the UAE, which ranked in the 18th in the world with 171 countries, as it jumped 47 centers during the last 10 years, followed by Qatar in the 58th in 93 countries .

For the third year in a row, Japan maintained its top spot - based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), with a visa waiver / visa on arrival score of 191. And Singapore ranked second with 190 degrees, while South Korea fell to third place next to Germany, as it provides access to 189 destinations.

Meanwhile, the United States of America and the United Kingdom continued the path of decline. Although the two countries remained on the list of the first ten countries, they participated in the eighth position, which is a noticeable decline from the first position in which the two countries participated in 2015. Within the first ten list, Finland and Italy are in fourth place, with 188 degrees, while each participates From Denmark, Luxembourg, and Spain in fifth place, with 187 degrees.On the other hand, Afghanistan continued to bottom the index, reaching only 26 destinations around the world.


PACI denied rumors of new civil IDs



The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) has denied rumors that new IDs must be issued to expatriates who still have residence stickers on their passports.In response to the news circulating in this regard, the sources stated “the residence permit is valid as long it is printed on the passport however those who have stamped the residence after the decision was issued to do away with the sticker and have renewed the residence must have the civil ID to enable them to travel.” PACI have warned residents against applying for the civil ID which should be done within 30 days so as not to pay the fines.-A.T.


3 pharmacists arrested for selling prescriptions and three days sick leave for 10 dinars



Personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have arrested three expatriate pharmacists working in a hospital for selling false prescriptions and falsifying sick leaves.The men were arrested when CID men put the suspects under surveillance and sent a secret agent and caught one of the pharmacists red-handed while selling prescriptions and three days sick leave for 10 dinars.During interrogation the pharmacist admitted to the charge and gave the names of two other men. Police found in the car of the pharmacist sick leaves letters. The three men have been referred to the authorities-A.T.


One million dinars wasted in a day due to smoking



The Secretary of the Standing Committee of the National Program to Combat Smoking, Dr. Amal Al Yahya, warned of the spread of the smoking scourge among adolescents, noting that the rates of consumption of tobacco derivatives in the country are increasing, resulting in direct and indirect costs, confirming that Kuwait is the first in the Gulf in terms of use The consumption of tobacco derivatives reached 25% among adult men, and 3% among adult women, while among adolescents the proportion was more, reaching 26% among young males from 13 to 15 years old, and 8.3 % among young females aged 13 to 15 years.She pointed out that the cost resulting from the scourge of smoking amounted to one million dinars, which is wasted on a daily basis in the country due to smoking.These costs include direct related to the purchase and consumption of smoking materials, while indirect costs are represented in the chronic health effects that result from the diagnosis and treatment of diseases caused by tobacco, in addition to the loss of productivity and incidence of disabilities as a result of diseases and interruption of work.



Jleeb cleaning work mechanism is proceeding as per the plan



The Joint Ministerial Committee headed by the Director- General of Kuwait Municipality, Eng. Ahmad Al-Manfouhi is following up the situation in the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh region.Al-Manfouhi has called on sponsors of workers in the region to transfer their address of residence to his (sponsor’s) residence area since it has been discovered that most of those workers residing in these areas are domestic workers.

Al-Manfouhi told that the initial reports received from government agencies confirm that the work mechanism in the region is proceeding as per the plan and the procedures are continuing to close down the stores which violate the laws in addition to cancelling more than 12 government contracts for employees housing in the area.He added, the Municipality is coordinating with the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) and Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) and the structural plan management to develop the perceptions and solutions related to the region.Recently, the supervisory teams from the Auditing and Follow-up Department of the Municipal Services of Farwaniya Governorate branch, in cooperation with the General Cleaning and Road Works Department, administratively closed 7 stores and issued 8 citations to violating stores, in addition to cleaning public squares, removing waste and lifting ‘abandoned’ cars.-A.T.



UAE launches multiple-entry visa scheme valid for five years for all nationalities



The United Arab Emirates yesterday introduced a multiple-entry visa scheme valid for five years for all nationalities, with the aim of turning the Gulf state into a tourism hub.The UAE currently attracts 21 million tourists a year.Travellers from Africa, some South American countries, Arab states outside the Gulf, and European states from outside the European Union and former Soviet Union previously needed visas. In October, Dubai is to host Expo 2020, a big-budget global trade fair.


Indian ordered for deportation as he threatened to commit suicide



The Director General of the Jahra Security Directorate has ordered the deportation of an Indian who threatened to commit suicide by jumping from a pedestrian bridge in Al-Naeem at dawn on Jan 1. Acting on information police and paramedics rushed to the spot, and talked to the young man into giving up the idea of committing suicide, arrested him and took him to the Al-Naeem Police Station.-A.T.


Panel .rejected proposal to make the health insurance fee 10 % of expatriates’ salaries



The National Assembly’s health and labor committee yesterday rejected a proposal calling to make the health insurance fee 10 percent of expatriates’ salaries as stated in the official labor contract. The proposal was first submitted by former MP Waleed Al-Tabtabaei and later adopted by MP Mohammad Hayef. Regardless of the amount of the salaries of expatriates, the proposal calls to fix the annual health insurance fee at 10 percent of the salary in a bid to help low-paid workers.At present, expatriates pay around KD 50 annually in health insurance, in addition to additional charges for various medical services. According to reports, the government is planning to raise this amount to KD 130 per year.-K.T.


Welcome to Sanjeev Suri, Air India-the New Country Manager

Welcome to Sanjeev Suri, Air India-the New Country Manager


Sanjeev Suri, has taken over as the new Country Manager of Air India, Kuwait and Cyprus. He joined India’s national carrier in 1992 after his post graduation.

Mr. Suri has built an illustrious career while working for 27 years in various departments of Air India, including Finance, Commercial, Marketing, Hajj Operations and others, as well as at various stations in different capacities.

With his experience in working in different departments and handling various functions, Mr. Suri is  cofident of improving AI's  performance in Kuwait, and to serve Indian community with their travel plans.

IFL welcomes and wishes  Mr.Suri for  achieving  his goal!

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Kuwait to import LNG for a period of 15 years from Qatar under long-term agreement



High-level oil sources revealed that Kuwait will sign today (Sunday) a long-term agreement with Qatar to import LNG for a period of 15 years starting from 2022 to the end of 2036.The sources said that a high-level Qatari delegation from Qatar Gas will attend the signing of the agreement for the new contract to import liquefied natural gas for the coming years in Kuwait in flexible quantities ranging from 0.3 to 3 million tons per year.The sources said that Kuwait signed two contracts during the last period with both the Shell Company and Japan's Mitsui Corporation to supply quantities of natural gas, but the two contracts extend for only ten years.

She pointed out that the three new contracts aim to provide Kuwait with part of its needs for LNG during the summer periods that witness a large consumption of electricity generation.She added, "The agreement supports the positive trade relations and common interests between the energy sectors in both Kuwait and Qatar, and it also strengthens Qatar's position as a safe and reliable supplier of clean energy throughout the world."

It is agreed that the supply date will be between March and November of each year, in order to meet the growing energy needs of Kuwait during the summer months.It should be noted that "Qatar Gas" has supplied the largest share of Kuwait's needs of LNG over the past five years, through the conclusion of joint deals between "Qatar Gas" and the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.

The sources praised the historical agreement with Qatar Gas, Shell and Japan's Mitsui in terms of competitive offers and flexibility in supplying according to Kuwait's gas needs during the next fifteen years, taking into account the development of Kuwait's production of free gas.A lAnba


Al-Durra failed to recruit domestic workers at competitive prices



Despite attempts being made by the government to solve the crisis of recruiting from overseas domestic workers through the establishment of Durra Company three years ago, the company has failed to meet the aspirations of the citizens by recruiting sufficient number of domestic workers at competitive prices.Most of the citizens do not know where the office of Durra Company is located. This is due to the ignorance of the company and its delay in marketing its services especially on social media and mobile apps.

The company had promised citizens to provide domestic workers at a cost of KD 400 but nothing has been achieved on the ground amid its failure to compete with the domestic labor offices.The figures provided by Al-Durra monthly to recruit Filipino domestic workers is only about 15 contracting requests, while the current commercial offices hire at least 150 per month.Also, the company has not benefited from Kuwait’s foreign relations to recruit skilled workers, but it only recruits from India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.-A.T.


Bag full of gold ornaments worth thousands of dinars found near garbage bin



The Mubarak Al-Kabir police are looking for the owner of gold ornaments which were found near a garbage container in Abu Hassaniya and also looking for the person who might have left the gold there in a bag and why.According to security sources an unidentified Kuwaiti informed the area police about the bag but did not see anyone leaving it there. When police took possession of the bag, they saw it contained gold ornaments worth thousands of dinars. Police are trying to check the CCTV footage of the cameras installed nearby.Police suspect someone might have stolen the gold and later panicked and fearing arrest might have left the bag near the garbage container. Security sources also say there are so many instances when gold and other valuables are stolen by domestic workers which are then left at some landmark to be collected by gangsters or taxi drivers as the case may be.-A.T.


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