Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dubai approaches Expo 2020 with holistic Smart City initiatives

(My article in The Gulf Today-posted for my reference)
DUBAI: As Dubai gives a vigourous push to its Smart City initiatives so as to be well prepared for the Expo 2020, residents can reap the benefits of an assortment of high-tech services that have a direct impact on their daily lives. 
In fact, Dubai is galloping its way to be the first city in the Middle East to adopt a holistic approach to the Smart City concept.
“We are highly encouraged by the government approach through public-private partnership,” says Dilip Rahulan, executive chairman of Pacific Controls, which works closely with Dubai’s Civil Defence department, providing “city management” for the authorities. This  means the company traces and handles alarms in private and public buildings on behalf of the authority.
The main operating hub is Dubai, where Pacific Controls currently has 60,000 buildings connected to its own control network, supervising emergency, power, cooling and energy, elevators and other mechanical and electrical infrastructure in those buildings. 
Microsoft Gulf recently announced its partnership with Pacific Controls Cloud Services (PCCS) to offer an exclusive SaaS portal providing range of PCCS products and software based on popular Microsoft applications. “In the future, information technology will primarily be in the cloud,” informed Rahulan.
By implementing the 24x7 monitoring system for safety alarms, the Dubai Civil Defence (DCD)-Pacific Controls National Life Safety system has already achieved a number of benefits for residents.
“Every day we deal with at least 10 critical alarms; elevator failure of systems or real fires. In a smart city, for the government infrastructure as a whole the cost is shared by residents and the benefits are returned at low cost,” says Rahulan.
According to officials, fire incidents in Dubai have been reduced by 54 per cent in the first four years of operation, from around 600 a year in 2007 and 2008, before the project was launched, to only 290 in 2011.
The reason has been attributed to accurate, timely and early notification of emergencies.
“The direct alarm system not only assists in monitoring life and safety alarms but also alerts the Civil Defence about possible faults in the fire alarm and firefighting systems. The system monitors the fire alarm control panels, water tanks, elevators and pumps and in case of failure a notification is received at the command control centre,” explains Rahulan. 
The 24x7 DCD team notifies the building owner in writing to carry out the maintenance on the system, and continues to follow up with the owner until the issue is completely resolved.
It is stated that more than 50 per cent of firefighting systems were not working in the buildings before the direct alarm system was implemented. 
However, after installing the direct alarm system, owners have started fixing their fire alarm and fighting systems, causing a significant improvement in overall compliance. Till date more than 59,600 direct alarm systems are said to have been installed in Dubai. 
There have been gains on environmental protection too. Etisalat partnered with Pacific Controls to launch the Emirates Energy Star (EES) programme in 2011. 
Since November 2011, the UAE’s National Energy Efficiency Programme has eliminated more than 39,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions till date, which is equal to planting 8,400 trees.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Perils of multitasking

During my college days, when a neighbour used to enter a restroom with a newspaper on hand, his brother would mock him saying, “One thing at a time, stupid.”
Talk about multitasking, things seem to have come a long way.
The other day, I noticed a woman taking her morning walk while reading a book and earplugs on.
My friend just shared with me his latest experience.
It was the weekend. His wife switched on the television to watch her favourite serial and also kept milk on the stove to prepare tea. It was then that her sister called on the phone.
The gossip session began, when a relative of my friend entered with his wife and naughty child.
In minutes, the house turned into a war zone with the child throwing things around.
The parents would “admonish” the child in a loving tone, “Don’t do that baby.”
But which baby ever cared if “reproached” in such loving tones?!
A cartoon show replaced the wife’s favourite serial.
The overheated milk spilt.
By the time, the guests left, the wife had completed her much-awaited sentence, “All your relatives are like that.”
Yes, one thing at a time is best, but may not be a norm anymore.
Despite the repeated warning by authorities not to speak on the cellphone while driving, I often find motorists risking their own lives and others’ by doing so.
I recently saw a motorist driving with a burger on one hand and earplugs on. A cute woman was also passing by, distracting his attention.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

‘Breathtaking’ idea

What is green economy to you?
A private company posed this question to visitors at the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (Wetex 2014) in Dubai.
The visitors were asked to write down their views on a notice board.
It elicited varied and interesting reactions, highlighting a growing awareness among people about environmental challenges and green solutions.
“Retain comfort but use less resources,” “Bring back Chipko Movement” (Hugging trees to protect them from being felled), “We cut trees for paper and write in it, save trees,” “Close AC in afternoon summer,” Reduce traffic by changing school timings” and “Solar schools” were among the suggestions.
An Emirati national who was writing on the board in Arabic told this correspondent, “If we do not care about the environment, who will?”
There were others who recommended, “Start from the base, start from the children, they are the base of the future,” “Use blackboards in office than white boards,” and “Stop technology and increase manual work.”
One had a scary suggestion: “Breathe less – generate less CO2.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Editorials: The Gulf Today

Here are some of the recent Editorials I wrote for The Gulf Today. (Posted for my records).
UAE, a humanitarian
role model for world
It is a matter of pride for every citizen and resident of the United Arab Emirates that the country is now the largest donor offering $5.2 billion aid, making it the number one humanitarian capital worldwide.
The UAE made a record leap in the history of foreign aid from its 19th position in 2012. It increased the aid rate to 1.5 per cent of GDP, the highest in the 34-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Among the first ones to share the good news was His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who posted his response on social networking websites, by tweeting, “According to the OECD, the UAE’s aids exceeded $5bn in 2013, making it the number one humanitarian capital worldwide. The culture of giving is deeply rooted in our society, and it has been always nurtured by UAE leaders since the inception of the UAE.”
The UAE has been actively supporting many countries with generous aid packages. It was the first to sign a $ 4.9 billion framework agreement with the Arab Republic of Egypt to support its development programme and aimed at improving the living conditions, lives and human development of the Egyptian people through a number of projects.
In response to the United Nations plan to address the Syrian crisis, the UAE allocated Dhs220 million, of which Dhs183 million were allocated for UN plan inside Syria and Dhs37 million allocated for the UN regional plan for Syria in Jordan.
Touched by the UAE leadership’s generous outlook, David Ignatius, a writer and political and strategic analyst who writes for the “Washington Post” newspaper recently mentioned that the wise leadership of the UAE represents a humanitarian role-model for the world.
The late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE, had made his views on the subject very clear when he declared: “We believe that the benefit of the fortune granted to us by God should spread to cover our brothers and friends.”
Sheikh Zayed's successor, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has continued on the same path based on his conviction that: “Humanitarian diplomacy is one of the main pillars of our foreign policy, and our country will continue to support international efforts to respond to disasters and answer the call for relief.”
Israel’s arm-twisting
tactics will not work
Israel just refuses to learn lessons. At a time when the US-backed peace process was gaining momentum and the Palestinians tried their best to make it a success, Israel scuttled the efforts by refusing to carry out the fourth and final promised prisoner release last month.
It is not just that. Israel continued to make new attempts to expand settlements in occupied east Jerusalem.
Left with no alternative, the Palestinians responded by signing letters of accession to join 15 international conventions. The treaties include the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, the convention on the rights of the child, the convention against torture and an anti-corruption accord.Now, in a major boost to the diplomatic drive by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority has also signed up formally to the Geneva Conventions, which set down the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in conflict zones. This was registered formally by Switzerland on Thursday making it “a historic day for the Palestinian people," as Abbas put it.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation first asked to join the Geneva Conventions on June 21, 1989. At the time, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said it was not in a position to decide on the bid "due to the uncertainty within the international community as to the existence or non-existence of a State of Palestine." The UN General Assembly passed a motion on Nov.29, 2012, upgrading Palestine to a "non-member observer state" of the global body.
Unable to digest the latest diplomatic victory for Palestinians, Israel is resorting to arm-twisting tactics by imposing a series of sanctions on the Palestinians — halting high-level contacts and blocking the transfer of advanced mobile-phone equipment to the Gaza Strip.
Israel also imposed economic sanctions against the Palestinians by declaring that it would deduct debt payments from tax transfers which the Palestinian Authority routinely receives, and limit the self-rule government's bank deposits. The revenues which Israel collects on goods bound for the Palestinian market amount to about $100 million a month and accounts for about two thirds of the Palestinian budget.
What Israel repeatedly forgets is that such actions could be counter-productive. Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo has said it right and straight: "These sanctions will not scare Palestinians and they're evidence to the world that Israel is a racist occupation state that has resorted to the weapon of collective punishment in addition to other practices including settlements and their expansion and the denial of Palestinians’ most basic rights as a people.”
Dubai continues
to dazzle tourists
From the timeless tranquillity of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for visitors from around the world and it is little wonder that the Emirate has figured in the world's top 25 destinations of the TripAdvisor's sixth annual Traveler's Choice awards.
Dubai is a unique destination that is both a dynamic business centre and a tourist paradise, offering shopping, fine dining and quality hotels. According to CNN, The Traveler's Choice awards sliced and diced its users' reviews and ratings over 12 months into lists of its most highly recommended global and regional destinations. Hence the selection is apt and adds to the highly credible image of Dubai.
It is not just the regular tourists, but even the corporate sector in different countries is taking note of Dubai’s varied attractions. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, posted on his Twitter page this week that a Chinese company rewarded 16,000 of its employees with a vacation in the United Arab Emirates. The company is chartering 77 flights and has booked 40 hotels and over 400 tourist guides.
In what is considered to be one of the biggest vacations organised by a company for its staff in history and the biggest group tourists to visit Dubai, the staff from the Nu Skin company have started arriving. The company is transferring its staff in seven batches, 2,000 tourists each. The trip costs millions of dollars. The company has booked 39,514 rooms in 40 hotels and 409 tourist guides. The tour also includes cultural sites in Sharjah.
Dubai’s hotels enjoyed a busy first nine months of last year, welcoming over 7.9 million visitors between January and September 2013, a 9.8 per cent year-on-year increase. During the first nine months of the year, guest numbers across all hotel establishments (hotels and hotel apartments) reached 7,941,118, a 9.8 per cent increase year-on-year.
Last year, Dubai won the bid to host Expo 2020, a six-month global exhibition that is expected to attract 25 million visitors. Expo-related infrastructure development and operations will cost around Dhs32.39 billion.
Under Dubai’s 2020 vision, the number of visitors in the emirate is projected to double from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million by 2020. In order to accommodate the visitors, the number of hotels in Dubai is expected to double. No wonder, Dubai has turned out to be a dream destination for tourists.
Global warming
a ticking bomb

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has presented a rather grim picture of global warming, warning that it poses a threat to the health, economic prospects, and food and water sources of billions of people. The report has cautioned that no one will be left untouched, the poor will suffer most and that the effects of warming are felt everywhere, fuelling potential food shortages, natural disasters and raising the risk of wars.
The report is the second in a four-part IPCC series meant to guide governments that have promised to agree a pact in 2015 to slow climate change. The first, in September, raised to least 95 per cent the probability that most global warming is man-made, from 90 per cent in 2007. The panel's credibility faces scrutiny after one of its reports, in 2007, exaggerated the melt of Himalayan glaciers, but experts say the error does not undermine key findings.
Negotiators are seeking to sign a new, global pact in Paris next year, to take effect in 2020. The aim is to contain warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, though even this level would require adaptive measures for a changed climate.
As per the report, countries like India and China will not only have to face more extreme weather events but also experience severe stress on drinking water and food-grains by middle of this century. It has predicted that both India and China will have to see negative impacts on aggregate wheat yields, impacting the overall food security in the continent.
Glaciers are considered among the most sensitive indicators of climate change. As temperatures warm, glaciers retreat unless snow precipitation increases to make up for the additional melt; the converse is also true. Glaciers worldwide have been found to be shrinking significantly, with strong glacier retreats in the 1940s, stable or growing conditions during the 1920s and 1970s, and again retreating from the mid-1980s to present.
There are already more weather-related mega-disasters such as heatwaves and storm surges occurring under climate change. The number of natural disasters between 2000 and 2009 was three times higher than in the 1980s.  There is strong, credible evidence that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. There are opportunities to respond to the risks within a timeframe. The governments should take responsibility and act or the future generations will not judge them kindly.
It’s time ballots
replaced bullets
The merciless attack by a gunman on two international female journalists working for the Associated Press, which left one dead and the other wounded, has underscored the perilous conditions under which members of the media and other professionals perform their duties in Afghanistan.
Photographer Anja Niedringhaus and reporter Kathy Gannon were shot in the Khost province. Niedringhaus died, while Gannon sustained injuries. The two journalists have spent years in Afghanistan covering the conflict and the people and were merely performing their duty. The attack is outrageous and can only be seen as a huge loss for Afghanistan itself as the two were effectively highlighting various issues and developments in the country.
Kabul has been rocked by a string of high-profile attacks in the run-up to Saturday's election, which will see the first democratic handover of power in Afghanistan's turbulent history.
Anja is the second Western journalist killed during the election campaign, after Swedish journalist Nils Horner was shot dead in Kabul on March 11. Horner, a veteran of Swedish national radio, was killed while researching a story about a January attack on a restaurant that killed 21 people, including 13 foreigners.
AFP's senior Afghan reporter Sardar Ahmad, his wife and two of his three children were killed on March 20 when gunmen smuggled pistols into Kabul's Serena hotel and shot dead nine people, including four foreigners.
Afghan security officials have vowed not to let militants derail the election process. More than 400,000 personnel including police, army and intelligence services have been deployed to ensure security around the country. Nevertheless, question marks about safety and security remain as the killing of the innocent journalists has proved.
It is not that all is lost for Afghanistan. One of the drivers for the current economic recovery is the return of over 5 million expatriates, who brought with them fresh energy and entrepreneurship as well as funds to start up businesses. For the first time since the 1970s, Afghans have involved themselves in construction and major projects are underway in several cities.
While such positive developments ring in hope, militant attacks and killing of innocent people imply an opposite story.
A repeat of the bloodshed and fraud that marred the 2009 election would damage claims by international donors that intervention in Afghanistan has made progress in establishing a functioning state system. Whoever wins the race to succeed Afghan President Hamid Karzai faces a testing time especially in regards to stability and security.
‘Cold War’ rhetoric
heats up Ukraine crisis
There seems to be no let-up in the violent clashes sweeping eastern Ukraine over the past few days and the crisis will only deepen unless intensive efforts are made by all sides to defuse the situation.
Russia has publicly stated that it would be forced to act if Kiev were to use force against demonstrators in the east.
The situation has reached such a point that Ukraine's interim president Oleksandr Turchynov invited the United Nations to join his army's "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Kremlin militants who have seized buildings in the ex-Soviet state's Russified east. Such a joint operation would allow what he called "professionals and observers" to ensure all actions taken were lawful and legitimate.
UN monitors on the ground have cited armed civilians on both sides, as well as militiamen armed with AK-47's and sniper rifles among the well-armed and organised groups that consistently reinforced barricades along roads in the cities where the uprisings had occurred.
Media reports indicate that large numbers of Russian troops have been deployed along the border with Ukraine, especially in Slavyansk where a police station was seized. Protesters in the city demanded a referendum on autonomy similar to the poll in Crimea last month, in which voters opted to secede from Ukraine.
The reactions have been on expected lines. British Foreign Secretary William Hague argues that the well-coordinated actions of armed pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine during the previous 48 hours left no real doubt that this is something planned and brought about by Russia.
European Union (EU) foreign ministers are deploring what they say is more Russian interference in Ukraine, but are hoping an end to the crisis can still be peacefully negotiated. While they may add more names to a list of Russian officials whose assets in EU member nations have been frozen, a dramatic ratcheting of the trade bloc's sanctions against Russia is unlikely.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon echoed the sentiments of the international community when he declared: “The problems over Ukraine are reverberating far beyond this region. They are causing divisions in the international community at a time when we need countries to unite to tackle global problems.
All sides involved should resist yielding to provocations, exercise maximum restraint and adhere to international law. There is little doubt that if immediate action is not initiated to resolve the crisis, not only would Ukraine and Russia bear the brunt, European nations and the wider international community would be affected as well.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pants on fire

I was walking on Al Wahda Street along with a friend when his phone buzzed. 
“I am in a meeting. Call later,” he replied abruptly. 
Surprised, I asked why he should utter a lie unnecessarily. 
“The woman who called is a pest. She will nag me for half an hour,” he replied and moved off. 
That kept me wondering why people indulge in falsehood. 
My father repeatedly warned me never to tell a lie. It is not easy though. After his advice, I decided never to lie and once confessed to him that I got the lowest marks in my class. The instant reaction was a tight slap in my face. 
Well, telling the truth was worth it though. My dad regretted his action that same day and cajoled me with ice-cream and mangoes. 
I have stuck to the dictum and never ever try to tell a lie. 
What is amazing is the way politicians and celebrities get away with lies.  
Remember George W. Bush who insisted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and launched a war that claimed thousands of innocent lives?
Who would have dreamt of a cycle of lies by Lance Armstrong, who had won the Tour de France seven times before being disqualified and banned from competitive cycling for doping offences?
The list of liars is huge. 
Funnily, it seems being a liar was easier before Google.
During my college days, I had a friend who reeled out wrong statistics on any subject at the drop of a hat. Now I can just press a few keys and Google will search and expose such people instantly. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

‘Know plastic, do not say no to plastic’

(My article in The Gulf Today, April 8, 2004)
Sharjah: A huge number of companies from the plastics industry has descended on Sharjah to take part in the region’s only multi-industry trade event at Expo Centre, and the one loud message that echoes from most participants is: “Know plastics, do not say no to plastics.”
The Plastivision Arabia, Arabia Mold, Print Pack Arabia, and the International Conference for Plastics Conversion were jointly inaugurated on Monday by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Saud Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Central Finance and Indrajit Pal, IAS, Secretary, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, India.
The growth opportunities for the Indian plastics industry in the UAE is robust, says Jayesh K. Rambhia, Chairman of Plastivision Arabia 2014 and representative of the All-India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association.
Insisting that plastic is not an enemy of the environment, Rambhia says it is all about how it is disposed of and recycled that decides the ecological impact. “Plastics reduces the weight of packaging and saves fuel. Plastic replication system saves 90 per cent water. In fact, plastics in healthcare saves health. Everywhere there is plastics.”
Though “Say no to plastics” is a slogan imported from America,  the US itself uses 100kg plastic per head per year, argues Rambhia. While India is using only 8kg, the Gulf average is said to be 25kg. “Instead of saying no to plastics, know plastics, use it well, dispose of responsibly and grow economically.”
Rambhia says even in countries like Germany, Japan and US, it is not banned. “In Germany, there is zero wastage thanks to stringent rules.
Asked about the advantageous for the UAE, Rambhia points out that the UAE is moving from oil to polymer manufacturing to plastic processing. “This will bring opportunities to the SME sector, create jobs for thousands and will lead to inclusive growth of population and the entire country.”
Praising UAE’s approach on the matter, the Plastivision Arabia official says that the UAE is a meeting hub from Africa, GCC and the Indian subcontinent.
“This is a place where we had visitors from 66 countries. People find it easier in terms of logistics. The infrastructure is fantastic and the industry is growing here nicely as the government is encouraging through many incentives. There is great scope for the UAE and India to partner and compliment each other.”
What about ban on plastic products in several countries?
“When they say ban, they only mean one product - thin plastic bags - it is a small portion of plastic and that too littering is causing problem. In advanced countries, they do not ban plastics. They teach citizens and educate them on how to dispose of plastics responsibly. They create waste management systems and waste segregation at source,” Rambhia elaborates.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade, exports of plastics from the UAE grew by 127 per cent ($2.2 billion) from H1 2011 to H1 2012, eight times larger than the growth rate achieved during the whole of 2011.
“Can you live one day without plastics? If the answer is no, then accept it, use it wisely and grow,” sums up Rambhia.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Two in a million

(Interviewed two dollar millionaires about how life changed for them overnight- - http://gulftoday.ae/portal/a44aada5-7996-4969-891f-a9917f725024.aspx)
How would you react if $1 million were legally transferred to your bank account as a prize and you became an overnight dollar millionaire?
“Life has not changed a bit,” says 36-year-old Indian national Salil Sethunath, who hit such a jackpot in June last year after winning Dubai Duty Free’s (DDF) Millennium Millionaire draw.
Shant Boghosian, 35, a Syrian national from Sharjah, on whom too similar Lady Luck smiled in December 2011, suggests that everyone should have a gambler’s heart and not regret spending Dhs1,000 or Dhs2,000 monthly on lottery tickets. “One million is not enough… and I am still ‘investing’ my money in Dubai Duty Free draws.”
A casual look at 36-year-old Salil Sethunath will make anyone think that he is just another one in the crowd. Clad in a simple black T-shirt and jeans, he flashes a ready smile and talks a common man’s language.
“People will never believe such things happen, until it actually happens,” says the father of two, who did his engineering degree in India and MBA in the Netherlands and works for a private company in the capital that makes grass yarns.
When DDF officials initially dialled Salil to pass the good news, he thought it was a bogus call. “I disconnected the line. The third time a woman official called and asked me whether I had indeed bought a DDF ticket. I replied yes. She asked for the number, but I did not know where I had kept the ticket. I had to run to my office and retrieve it from my drawer,” he says.
Salil’s friends always believed he was a lucky guy. His colleagues once prodded him to buy a ticket on their behalf, but it was touch and go as the prize was missed by only two numbers. “It was then that I decided to try my own luck and I won.”
The DDF officials sent him a mail notifying his win, but it landed in the junk box. “I was curious after the phone call and retrieved their letter from my junk mail,” laughs Salil. His wife, who works for Etihad Airways in the capital, refused to believe the news and suspected the calls as prank. Nevertheless, it all turned out to be a dream story for the couple.
Salil believes that one should not think too far, but live in the moment. “Most definitely people should try their luck as these kind of promotions in the UAE are very genuine. It is amazing. I have seen it myself as I was invited to the airport. I take tickets now also,” he says.
But luck or no luck, there is no alternative to hard work, according to Salil. He works for the same company for the past 10 years and insists that he has no intention to leave as he enjoys his work. “My boss, a German national, is a brotherly person who has taught me the values of humility. We have been working together for a decade.”
The millionaire is all praise for the UAE. “This is the best country in the world. Everything one wants is here. Also, the lifestyle here is so addictive,” he says, adding in a lighter vein, “They have also created all avenues to spend. I love it.”
On charity, he says he helps quite a few people but does not want to talk about it. “I was helping people before and I continue to do the same, wherever I feel there is a genuine need.”
Has big money spoilt his kids? “They are too young, at 4 and 6, to understand. All they asked for was a Lego toy, which I purchased happily.”
The “lucky man” that he calls himself did not splash the money. He says he has invested in real estate in India, kept some cash for “a rainy day,” and has made a substantial investment in UAE stocks.
Unlike the conventional approach of Salil, the other winner, Shant Boghosian, is a person who looks at gambling or taking risks as a project or investment.
“I guess I always was a bit of a player gambling and since 2000, every month I invested Dhs1,000 to Dhs2,000 in this ‘project’, as I consider this as a ‘project’ and not ‘luck’,” he points out.
How was life before and after winning the DDF million? “Well, life before was hard and after winning the DDF million, it became harder,” he laughs.
Shant, who was running a personal business before winning the DDF million and still runs the same in the UAE, says the most interesting part after winning the prize is that he is now gambling more in casinos abroad.
Did he take up charity work in a big way after the win? “Yes I did, but I count that one million is not enough, so please I want to win once more to pay my liabilities.”
Shant’s advice to people who are in two minds about their luck is, “Have a gambler’s heart and do not regret to spend monthly Dhs1,000 or Dhs2,000 on lottery tickets.”
He discloses that his one principle in life is “to have 1 dirham in the pocket instead of Dhs1,000,000 in the sky.”
Do nagging relatives or friends bother him after his victory?
“I told my nagging relatives, that I am investing monthly in this lottery since 2000, so if any one of you spent just Dhs1,000 in these 10 years for this lottery, I am ready to gift my million dollars.”
The millionaire sums up, “One million is not enough...and I am still investing my money with you, my lovely Dubai Duty Free.”
Launched in 1989, the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Promotion to win a luxury car is the longest running duty-free promotion in the world. With tickets on sale for $139 and limited to 1,300 coupons, the ticket holders have a chance to win a luxury car: a BMW, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Porsche and Audi.
To complement the Finest Surprise to win a car, the motorbike promotion was introduced in 2002. 
The ticket is lower and priced at $28 so it gave everyone a chance to enter and win. The Finest Surprise was added in 1999 – the Millennium Millionaire – which offers a one-in-5,000 chance to win $1 million. This promotion has already created over 150 dollar millionaires where two winners have won twice! “