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Hamdan bin Mohammed launches new initiative to boost Dubai Innovation Strategy


posted on 30/01/2015

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has launched a new 'Dubai Innovation Partners" with the aim to boost cooperation with a number of leading international companies.
This cooperation is expected to develop and introduce creative ideas and innovative solutions inspired by the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to enhance quality of life in the emirate.
Sheikh Hamdan asserted that the new initiative is part of an array of foreseen initiatives set under the umbrella of the previously launched Dubai Innovation Strategy that ultimately aims to position Dubai as hub for innovation and creativity for over two billion people around the globe.
He said, "We are optimistic that we will achieve this objective, and we will keep streaming the project with number of new programmes and initiatives that will stimulate Dubai's innovation energy and assure its excellence in various sectors." The Crown Prince of Dubai added that the new initiative reflects Dubai's belief in strategic partnership and cooperation with global industry pioneers, affirming that the directives of Sheikh Mohammed encourage collaboration between public and private sectors. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275791388.html

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Abu Dhabi safest city in Middle East


posted on 29/01/2015

Abu Dhabi is the safest city in the Middle East and one of the 25 most secure places on the planet, a new report found.
The latest Economist Intelligence Unit's Safe Cities Index 2015 - which takes into account digital security, health security, infrastructure safety and personal safety - ranked the UAE capital ahead of Milan, Rome, Shanghai and Moscow, among other 50 cities.
Abu Dhabi took the 25th position in the overall list. It is the only Middle Eastern city who made it into the top half of the index, beating Doha, at number 29 and Riyadh at number 46.
The UAE capital scored strongly in digital security and infrastructure safety, making it into the top 10 in these categories.

Overall, cities in developed markets dominated the top half of the index, while the bottom half is mostly occupied by cities in the developing markets.
Tokyo, the most populous city in the world with more than 13 million residents as of 2014, took the first spot, followed by Singapore, Osaka, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Sydney, Zurich, Toronto, Melbourne and New York.
In the bottom of the list are Istanbul (41st place), Delhi (42nd), Moscow (43rd), Mumbai (44th), Mexico City (45th), Riyadh (46th) Johannesburg (47th), Ho Chi Minh City (48th), Tehran (49th) and Jakarta (50th).
In ranking the countries, the researchers also looked at each city's frequency of vehicular accidents, policy measures and levels of spending, among other indicators. In-depth interviews with experts in the field were also taken into account.
However, the index focused only on 50 cities, based on regional representation and availability of data, so it doesn't mean a city appearing in the bottom of the list is the world's most dangerous city to live in. – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/government/abu-dhabi-safests-city-in-middle-east-1.1448395

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Sharjah Ruler approves 2015 General Budget


posted on 28/01/2015

H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has approved the general budget for the emirate of Sharjah, with total expenses amounting to some Dh17.7 billion.
The budget, which is the largest in the history of the emirate, has adopted many strategic objectives and indicators that are expected to be achieved through fiscal year 2015, marking an increase of 12 percent for 2015 compared to the 2014 General Budget.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Central Finance Department, said this year's budget underpinned Sheikh Sultan's directives to stimulate the emirate's economy so as to post economic growth rates that consolidate Sharjah's place at the regional and global economy landscape.
The budget, he added, was planned to enhance financial stability of the emirate in consistence with international financial standards regarding inflation and, sectorial spending and other macroeconomic indices as well as delivery of best health, social and cultural services to ensure welfare and happiness of the local community.
According to him, the budget also aims to advance the emirate's strategic approach towards development of world-class basic infrastructure facilities and towards conservation of the environment, protection of public health and safety and expansion of the green acreage as part of the emirate's green economy strategy.
Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of the Department, explained that the economic development sector took the lion's share of 45% of the Dh 17.7 bn budget. Allocations increased 4% to 22 over the 2014 figure, reflecting the great attention lent to this sector and its role in sharpening Sharjah's competitive edge globally. The sector percentage importance He said that the infrastructure sector received 34% of the 2015 total budget, a growth of 1% in allocations compared to 2014 budget.
The budget, he noted, had taken into consideration Sharjah's standing as the capital of the Islamic and Arab Culture with allocations slightly rising 1% to 17%. Allocations for the governance sector went up 8% in the 2015 budget over that of 2014.
He revealed that the budget would generate 1000 job opportunities to Emirati citizens in the public sector.
A breakdown of expenditures showed that operational expenditure (OPEX) took a whopping 45% of total government expenditures, a rate that is higher than recognised international benchmarks. In the second place was salaries and wages at 28% than followed by capital expenditures (CAPEX) on infrastructure at 22%.
Payments of loans stood at 3%, he said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395275700395.html

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Sharjah Ruler represented UAE President for Saudi king’s funeral


posted on 24/01/2015

Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, represented Sheikh Khalifa, the President, to the funeral of the late Saudi king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Sheikh Sultan joined the procession to the king's final resting place Friday afternoon.
Sheikh Sultan led a high-level delegation comprising Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman; Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah; Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah; Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development; and other UAE leaders. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275490856.html

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Mohamed bin Zayed: Islamic, Arab nations lost a superb leader


posted on 24/01/2015

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday sent a cable of condolence to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, following the sad demise of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
In his cable, Sheikh Mohamed offered sympathy to King Salman and prayed to Allah the Almighty to reward King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz for the good deeds he offered to his people and his nation.
"The Islamic and Arab nations today lost a superb leader who stood as an advocate for Arab causes and rights and who helped spread peace, tolerance, justice and benevolence. The achievements made by the late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people, are the best testimony to his devotion and generosity," he added.
Paying tribute to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Sheikh Mohamed recalled the wise vision, as well as the brave and honest stands taken by him towards crucial issues and his profound awareness of the challenges facing the nation and the region.
"The UAE has lost a true brother and a loyal friend who, along with his brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had contributed in furthering fraternal ties between the two countries," noted Sheikh Mohamed.
Sheikh Mohamed also praised King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's stance to strengthen solidarity among the GCC countries and cooperation among all Arab countries in facing a variety of challenges.
He went on to say the GCC countries would never forget King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's historic stances and his keen and wise efforts to maintain the GCC as a strong and cohesive entity.
Sheikh Mohamed offered condolences to the people of Saudi Arabia and expressed his confidence that the new Saudi leadership will follow King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz's path to guard the welfare of Saudi Arabia, as well as his wise approach in serving the Arab and Islamic nations and in confronting the challenges posed to the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-arab-international/1395275497493.html

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Princess Haya of Dubai honoured with Hunger Hero Award


posted on 23/01/2015

Princess Haya bint Al Hussain, the wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has been honoured by the United Nation's World Food Programme with the 2015 Hunger Hero Award.
She received the award on Thursday during the World Leaders Dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
A former WFP Ambassador Against Hunger, Princess Haya is now a United Nations Messenger of Peace as well as the chairwoman of the International Humanitarian City in Dubai.
During her time as WFP Ambassador, she supported UN operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Gaza and Sub-Saharan Africa through field visits, fund-raising and publicity.
She also visited WFP operations in many countries, including Malawi, Syria and Cambodia.
To address hunger in her native Jordan, Princess Haya created the first food assistance non-government organisation in the Middle East called Tikiyet Um Ali. She expanded it so Jordanian families that cannot afford to pay for food now receive a monthly ration.
WFP executive director Ertharin Cousin said: "Princess Haya's steadfast support for our expanded capacity and operations out of Dubai as well as her advocacy for the people we serve throughout the world are greatly appreciated.
"She is a true champion of WFP's mission, and I look forward to continuing our work together in the future.” – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/uae/princess-haya-of-dubai-honoured-with-hunger-hero-award

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UAE ranks first in the world in public trust in government, business, and innovation


posted on 21/01/2015

A 43 year long journey of progress, initiated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and pursued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brothers Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Emirates, culminated in the United Arab Emirates ranking at the top when it comes to public trust in government, in business and in innovation drivers, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has said.
Commenting on the results of the Edelman Trust Barometer for 2015, as per which the UAE climbed five ranks from last year to top the world with 85 percent trust index, covering trust in government, business, media and non-government organisations (NGOs), Sheikh Mohammed said he welcomed the new ranking. He said the journey of progress had become an action plan for the government to provide decent living to all, to achieve economic success for the UAE and to bring about happiness for the UAE community.
"We are proud to be part of a government that has earned the trust of the whole world," he said.
The UAE topped the government trust index with 90 percent, two percent more than last year. It also came first in business trust with 85 percent, compared with 82 percent last year.
The UAE ranked first in the trust in business innovation.
In a statement on the occasion, Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE has a different and unique model of development, where all sectors work in accordance with a single vision and clear national priorities, adding that it has enhanced the mutual trust between the government and all sectors in the society.
Sheikh Mohammed added, "The current report proves that the government's efforts in improving innovation sectors have started to achieve fruitful results. The efforts culminated last year in President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announcing 2015 as the year of innovation.
The government's efforts have resulted in the UAE being ranked on the top globally in the government's ability to promote innovation in the economic sector, which proves the efficacy of the federal government's approach and rightfulness." Sheikh Mohammed underscored that public trust in the government is due to its continuous work and achievements over many years, adding, "In order to maintain the achievements, we must double these achievements and efforts and harness the potentials in the best service of the people as well as for meeting their expectations." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395275386747.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid’s Instagram account verified


posted on 18/01/2015

Instagram, one of the world's most popular social media platforms, has verified the official account of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai to become the first Arab leader and the first Arab user to acquire this verification. Instagram launched recently the accounts' verification service for leaders, VIP's, and public figures aiming to protect their identity online.
Instagram verification endorses the distinguished position of His Highness as one of world's leaders that are most active on social media platforms. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is keen to utilise his official Instagram account to connect directly with public and share his day-to-day activities by posting photos and videos.
His Highness's activities on Instagram are not limited to posting personal photos and videos. He has used his account to promote national campaigns and humanitarian drives.
Sheikh Mohammed posted over 485 photos in addition to many exclusive video clips. The average likes for each new photo reach 15,000 likes on the first day alone.
The account's followers are about 758,000 from all over the world, and the average increase in followers is about 1,000 new followers per day.
Some of the photos His Highness Sheikh Mohammed posted in his page registered record number of likes. His Highness's photo with UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan collected 58,550 likes, his photo with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan collected 47,299 likes.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid's photo with his son, Crown Prince of Dubai HH Sheikh Hamdan, in Dubai Tram during trial run of the project collected 60,930 likes. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed's photo with his youngest son Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed bin Rashid collected 56,800 likes and His Highness's photo with an expat family in the desert collected 53,170 likes. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395275217824.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid approves Dubai’s budget for 2015 with no deficit


posted on 03/01/2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved Dubai's budget for the year 2015 based on a set of core principles, namely: - 41 billion dirhams, up 9% from the balance of the fiscal year 2014 - Provides 2,530 job opportunities - Continues to stimulate economic growth - Accentuates the social services sector - Has an operating surplus of Dh 3.6 billion The budget directly applies directives as set by His Highness to focus on a prudent fiscal policy that provides the stimuli necessary to economic growth in the emirate, raise the efficiency of government agencies to provide the best health and social care services for all citizens and residents.
Abdulrahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director General of Government of Dubai's Department of Finance, said: "Dubai managed to move beyond the budget deficit, but kept on increasing expenditure by 9% for fiscal year 2014, which pushes the principality's macroeconomic growth to be in line with the planned levels".
"The benefit of the budget has reflected the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, who emphasised the need for attention to the social aspect and development of investment incentives, which contributed to the high ranking in global competitiveness".
"The break-even point between government revenues and expenditures has come as a result of strict financial policies of the Supreme fiscal Committee, chaired by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Committee, which focused on increasing spending for the development of the sectors of the economy, infrastructure, communications, security, justice and safety, government services and excellence, and social development," Al Saleh added.
Government revenue figures show Dubai's success in increasing public revenues for fiscal year 2015 by 11% compared to revenues for the fiscal year 2014.
Revenue from government services, which represents 74% of total government revenue, increased by 22% compared to 2014. The increase reflects the projected growth rates for the principality, and the evolution and diversity of government services. This increase is due to the remarkable real economic growth by 2014 budget, with limited increments on certain government services, and other increments designed to regulate the real estate market.
Tax revenues increased by 12% of the total government revenue compared to fiscal year 2014, and came to represent 21% of total government revenues, which include customs and taxes of foreign banks, according to the development outcome of the customs by the Emirate's economic growth.
The net estimates of oil revenues accounts for only 4% of government revenue, decreasing by 5% from the fiscal year of 2014. The budget accordingly does not rely on oil revenues. The government revenues rose 11% for the fiscal year 2014, despite lower net oil revenues. The Emirate has cut down the budget allocation from the government investment returns to support the increased allocations reinvested, to contribute to the development of the Emirate's economic growth.
Distribution of government expenditure figures shows that wages and salaries represented 37% of total government spending, underscoring the government's desire to support recruitment and human resource support in the emirate, as well as provision of 2,530 new jobs for citizens by working to balance the fiscal year 2015. This is a continuation of the settlement policy and creating new job opportunities for citizens, the Dubai government has adopted 1,650 posts in fiscal 2014.
General and administrative expenses, capital expenditures and grants and subsidies accounted for 44% of total government spending in 2015. The government is keen to keep the development, advancement and support of government institutions to provide better government services for citizens and residents on its territory, as well as government support for housing bodies and institutions, sports and public welfare associations, charities and the media to achieve the well-being of citizens and residents and raise the rates of happiness community.
On the other hand, the government continues to support infrastructure projects by allocating 13% of government spending to infrastructure, and the hard work of building excellent infrastructure contributes to making the emirate always attractive to investments. Dubai is planning to maintain the size of its investments in infrastructure over the next five years.
Figures contained in the budget for the year 2015, as well as the interest of the government of Dubai to continue dealing with loans seriously across routing 6% of total spending for debt service, in support of the government's financial sustainability.
The government's interest in human, guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who says "the human being is the wealth of the nation", clearly appears in the review of the distribution of government expenditure in key sectors. The expenditures on social development in the areas of health, education, housing and community development, 35% of government expenditure, the government has taken to support social services through continued support for public benefits fund to support families with children, and maternal and child welfare, disabled persons, youth and sports clubs.
The budget of 2015 re-stressed the great support to the security, justice and safety sector, being one of the most important authorities for the community. The budget has allocated 22% of government spending to support this vital sector.
Maintained sector of economy, infrastructure and transport in 2015 to the attention of the government, which has been monitoring the 36% of government expenditure to this sector, which will contribute to realizing the aspirations of the Principality to establish distinct infrastructure are constantly evolving and attracting investment.
"The government's success in achieving no-deficit balance is a result of applying prudent fiscal policies," said Arif Abdulrahman Ahli, Executive Director of budget and planning in the Department of finance. "The 2015 balance has been prepared in accordance with rule of using recurrent revenues to finance recurrent expenditures, which is one of the sound scientific bases of fiscal policy. The operating surplus of 3.6 billion dirhams will contribute to the financial sustainability of the principality".
Jamal Hamed Al-Marri, Executive Director of Central Accounts in the Department of Finance, said: "Department of Finance is working hard with the government to prepare an implementation plan for the budget and provide the necessary funds in accordance with the priorities of the government. The government's cooperation with the Department of Finance in this regard will enable a smooth and hassle-free implementation of the 2015". – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395274621010.html

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Vice President dedicates accession day to armed forces


posted on 31/12/2014

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has called on all organisations to dedicate the celebrations of his accession day to the UAE Armed Forces, asking all individuals and organisations to share a message of thanks and support to the brave sons and daughters of the UAE.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the UAE, under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been enjoying years of safety and security, and comfort and stability, because of those who sacrifice, "So we can live and prosper.” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed also said that the brave Armed Forces personnel work silently and selflessly "to protect every inch of this land, and that's why they deserve our deepest gratitude and most sincere thanks.”
Sheikh Mohammed said, "Our Armed Forces are one of the strongest and most advanced in the region, they are some of the best trained and best equipped, and I need to thank all those involved in such development and improvement, in particular His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his role in leadership and inspiration, developing and pushing our Armed Forces to be one of the best in the world.”
The Ruler of Dubai went on to say, "Thank you, guardians of our nation, for being a shield for the UAE. Thank you for answering the call of duty and for putting the country before yourselves. Thank you for giving us your absolute dedication, time and effort, night and day.” It has been the custom of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to dedicate his accession day, the 4th of January, redirecting its celebrations to thank members of the community that deserve recognition, asking all citizens and residents to join in and express their thanks however they see fit. For this occasion, Sheikh Mohammed has launched a wide social media campaign to allow all to express their love and send their thanks to the Armed Forces on Twitter and Instagram using a newly created hashtag. – Emirates News Agency,

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Ajman okays Dh1.61b budget


posted on 30/12/2014

His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of Supreme Council and Ruler of Ajman, has approved the general budget of the Ajman government for the fiscal year 2015, with a total expenditure of about Dh1.61 billion and estimated revenues reaching Dh1.61 billion.
Sheikh Humaid issued Emiri Decree No. 14 of 2014 which takes effect on January 1, 2015.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Ruler's Representative for Administrative and Financial Affairs, said:
"The budget is a translation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Humaid and Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, to dedicate special care and attention to infrastructure projects and development in the emirate.”
He added that this is the first budget following the approval of Ajman's strategy and vision 2021, aiming to achieve sustainable development and the well-being and happiness of the citizens and residents.
Sheikh Ahmad stressed that the 2015 budget is 23.44 per cent larger than the 2014 budget, explaining that the growth in expenses was a result of the government's interest in the emirate's developmental projects. He added that the increase in revenues is a result of opening new channels for investments in the emirate.
The budget includes 33 per cent for the Economic Affairs sector, 32 per cent for housing and community facilities, 22 per cent for the public services sector, and 13 per cent for system and public safety affairs sector.
Sheikh Ahmed commended the directives of Ajman's Ruler and Crown Prince and their support for the government of Ajman which, in turn, had a significant impact and positive role on the citizens and residents of the emirate. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395274452859.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid: UAE will benefit most from global transformations in 2015


posted on 15/12/2014

Transformations and changes the world will witness in 2015 will produce positive outcomes for the UAE, given its diversified and vibrant economic base which benefits from international trade, strong confidence in the stability of the State and rich accumulated experiences in handling various events and changes, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has stated.
Sheikh Mohammed made his remarks while attending the Arab Strategy Forum (ASF 2014) yesterday in Dubai, which explored possible political and economic prospects in the region in 2015.
Commenting on the sessions, Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE had earlier prepared itself to face many world economic scenarios and had devised its domestic and foreign policies so that they might respond and adapt to all social and technological changes, and even political changes, through diversification of its economy away from relying upon oil exports.
The UAE, he continued, had also built balanced relations with other world economic powerhouses, far from narrowed alliances, and established a transparent foreign policy that is based upon active cooperation with all countries to pursue its interests.
Further, HH said he remains optimistic that positive political indices would emerge in our region in 2015, despite the formidable challenges the region is currently facing, noting that Egypt had strongly begun to regain its economic and political stability, the impact of which will be seen next year. There are also many positive signals regarding Iran's nuclear file, whose the start of its closure could be in 2015.
Additionally, he said a strong international alliance to counter terrorism indicates that a state such as Iraq could witness more stability.
On the economic plane, Sheikh Mohammed predicted that many Arab economies that import oil could benefit from low oil prices in the next year, positively impacting on the development, stability and market movement. HH also expected that several development projects in the Gulf countries would be launched and strong economic partnerships with some countries, such as Egypt and Jordan, would be forged.
Concluding his outlook for 2015, Sheikh Mohammed said, 'Despite the many challenges we are living through every day, and those we are going to live through in the future, we must always look at the positive aspects in our region, work to develop and take the best of them, avoid exaggerated media analyses which paint a bleak future for the region, because good is always on the side of the optimistic, who work for it and vice versa.
In attendance were H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, and an elite of media persons, along with others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395273806472.html

Mohammed bin Rashid: Arab world braces for rapid changes
The Arab world will experience economic, political and social changes that require governments to adopt flexible and wise policies to cope with them, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had said.
In a statement made ahead of the opening of the Arab Strategy Forum, Sheikh Mohammed said that politicians, economists and intellectuals were also required to look for answers to the future and the changes it will bring.
"part of investing in the future is to invest in foreseeing it and to prepare the tools and plans for it," he said.
In order to succeed in this rapidly changing world, Sheikh Mohammed went on, we need a clear, long-term vision and flexible and short-term evolving plans.
Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE had become an economic and political force in the region and the world "because we had a head start in studying the future and its implications. We are part of an extremely complex region, a well connected global economy and a fast changing world of technology and therefore, there is more need to invest in the future." The Arab Strategy Forum, beginning tomorrow, will host, among others, political expert Francis Fukuyaman, author of End of History and Paul Krugman, holder Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and a number of experts in a bid to draw a map of the state of the world and the state of the Arab world in 2015.
The forum will discuss the main expected political and economic changes in addition to mapping the main influential powers and major economic trends. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395273762970.html

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UAE fiscal strength ‘very high’


posted on 11/12/2014

The UAE, which has the highest rating in the GCC along with Kuwait and Qatar, has been ranked at "very high” by Moody's in terms of fiscal strength, reflecting the sound capacity of the government to mobilise resources to repay its debt.
The global ratings agency said in its latest credit analysis that such a very high score is shared only by countries including Luxembourg (Aaa stable), Hong Kong (Aa1 stable) and Switzerland (Aaa stable). "The outlook on the UAE's Aa2 foreign and local-currency government issuer ratings has been stable since we upgraded it by one notch in 2007,” a Moody's Investor Service report said.
The UAE's ranking is supported by large consolidated fiscal surpluses, a moderate level of consolidated direct government debt and the public sector's sizeable stock of offshore assets, mainly held by Abu Dhabi, it said.
"We expect low oil prices to considerably reduce the surplus this year, but not dent overall fiscal strength. Absent structural reforms, however, a protracted period of low oil prices would weaken the UAE's buffers,” Moody's said.
The UAE's consolidated government debt is low and stable at 26 per cent of the gross domestic product in 2013. "This takes into account the direct government obligations of the governments and official entities. About 75 per cent of debt is domestically held, primarily by local banks. However, this figure does not take into account debt incurred by state-owned enterprises and masks disparities between Abu Dhabi and Dubai,” it said.
In 2014, government debt is scheduled to increase in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. The government of Dubai issued a $750 million sukuk in April 2014, while Sharjah issued a debut $750 million sukuk in September 2014.
Moody's noted that vast hydrocarbon reserves and the robust balance sheet of the combined emirate and federal governments underpin the UAE's fiscal strength. With the exception of 2009, it has recorded 10 years of consolidated surpluses that have enabled it to accumulate large external reserves, most of which are in the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the third-largest sovereign-wealth fund in the world. Other credit strengths include the UAE's sound policy framework, a primary driver of the UAE's rapid non-oil growth and resilience to past oil price shocks, the ratings agency explained.
Moody's argued that the recent oil price decline did not dent the UAE's fiscal strength as the country benefits from several buffers. The country's fiscal breakeven oil price has fallen back below $80 and Abu Dhabi's reserves will continue to smooth the impact of oil price cycles.
"However, the country's non-oil economy is relatively leveraged and exposed to a regional slowdown, given Dubai's focus on logistics, trade and transport,” it said.
The report pointed out that there are two constraints on the UAE's rating. First, transparency is limited in the government-related institutions sector and in the public dissemination of economic and fiscal data. Second, geopolitical dynamics pose low-probability, high-impact risks for the Gulf. Current causes for concern include destabilising violence in Iraq and tensions surrounding Iran's nuclear programme.
Moody's credit analysis elaborates on the UAE's credit profile in terms of economic strength, institutional strength, fiscal strength and susceptibility to event risk.
"We assess the UAE's economic strength at very high, based on its high per capita income, competitive non-oil sectors and hydrocarbon reserves that are both large and accessible. With a GDP per capita of $63,180 per capita PPP, the UAE ranks similarly to Norway [$64,363], Switzerland [$53,976] and the United States [$53,001].
Moody's noted that the UAE's economy is particularly diversified relative to Kuwait and Qatar and benefits from developed capital markets and a benign business environment. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/uaebusiness/2014/December/uaebusiness_December133.xml§ion=uaebusiness

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UAE yet again proves its credentials in transparency


posted on 06/12/2014

Being voted as the least corrupt nation in the Mena region bears testimony to its clean governance, an Emirati newspaper has said, referring to the UAE.
The English language daily 'Gulf News' said in a commentary yesterday as a watchdog of the stumbling blocks to every country's national interests, the Corruption Perception Index organised by Transparency International, a global coalition service against corruption, flags up the bad guys and the good in its scrutiny of 175 countries every year. A swathe of sectors such as governments, police and the bureaucracy follow the index's findings keenly and for countries that get a clean bill of health, it is an acknowledgement of their commitment to transparency.
"The UAE enjoys an enviable place on this list and this year, it has been voted as the least corrupt country in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena). On a scale of 100, with 100 being the best, the UAE scored 70. For a country that is only 43 years old, this is a tremendous feat. It is a testimony to the UAE's commitment to good governance, its inclusive policies and its concern for the welfare of its people the latter truth upheld by the range of government initiatives that encourage them to actively participate in enabling a more dynamic governance," the paper said.
"Given that some of the biggest and most populous countries in the world India, China, Russia and Brazil have been indicted by the index is telling on the conceit of big nations that fail to uphold ethics at the cost of beleaguering their people. The UAE, with its clear-headed vision and emphasis on results, is proving how placing the nation's interests above all is a sure-fire formula for success," it added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395273446275.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid awards 43 Emirati Top Achievement Medals


posted on 02/12/2014

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has emphasised that the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has global ambitions to be the first in the world in innovation, economy, tourism, energy and other sectors, and the most important matter for the UAE leadership is to be the first in ensuring happiness for the UAE people.
This came when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed granted the Medal of Top Emiratis to 43 Emirati persons, who have had a head start in various educational, health, economic, military, sports and other fields in the country, in addition to a group of Emirati achievers in the fields of distinguished innovations, inventions and initiatives.
The ceremony was attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and other ministers, where H.H. Sheikh Mansour received a Medal of Top Emiratis on behalf of "The Mother of the Emirates".
Speaking on the occasion, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed said that, "The late Sheikhs Zayed and Rashid were the first to state that they would do well not be satisfied without achieving first place and they noted that the UAE people love the first rank."
Commenting on honouring of H.H. Sheikha Fatima, Sheikh Mohammed said, "She has set an example in the women empowerment field through developing their capacity building to keep pace with the international development in this respect. Through her perseverance she supplied the country with efficient women cadres capable of contributing effectively to the UAE's nation-building".

Sheikh Mohammed expressed his satisfaction about the volume of societal participation in nomination of 137, 000 candidates over 15 days.

"The strength of the Union lies in the strength of Emiratis. And the future of the Union depends on excellence of Emiratis. The excellence of Emiratis in all fields is the key to success among other nations," he added, noting that the honorary occasion is to highlight the success of outstanding Emiratis so as to set an example for others.

He added that the UAE ambitions to score top positions could not be attained unless each Emirati youth, ministry, department and institution aspire to score top position. Sheikh Mohammed underlined that the future of UAE will be realised by top achievers equipped with the excellence and innovation.

The ceremony was also attended by Lt. General Misbah bin Rashid AI Fattan, Director of the Office of the Vice President, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director- General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed honoured 43 Emirati personalities by awarding them Emirati Top Achievement Medals. Their names will be archived in the UAE memory in the Government Year Book.

The list of honorees of year 2014 includes the following: The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.

First Emirati college graduate: Sheikh Mohammed bin Saeed bin Ghobash.

First Emirati woman teacher in the formal education: Sheikha Na'ama bin Majid Al Qasimi.

First Emirati woman teacher in the formal education: Amina Salim Al-Hajri.

First Emirati Doctor with university degree: Dr. Ahmed Kadhim.

First Emirati martyr: Corporal Salem Suhail Khamis.

First Emirati to join the Armed Forces: Colonel Mohammed Saleh Al Qayedi.

First Emirati woman to join the Armed Forces: Brigadier doctor / Asmaa Sultan Al Mughairi.

The first Emirati university professor: Dr. Rashid Abdul Rahman Al Saeed.

The first Emirati woman to hold a PhD Degree: Dr. Aisha Al Al Sayar.

The first Emirati Editor -In-Chief of a daily newspaper after the establishment of the Union: Khalid Mohammed Ahmed.

The first Emirati radio anchor : Hessa Al Asali.

The first Chairman of Supreme Federal Court : Abdul Wahab Abdoul.

The first Emirati woman to join the judiciary: Kholood Joua'an Al Dhahiri.

The first Ambassador of the UAE after the establishment of the Union: Dr. Ali Al Humaidan.

The first Emirati woman Ambassador: Sheikha Najla Al Qasimi.

The first Emirati policeman: Mohammed Saeed Buhumaid.

The first Emirati novel writer: Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi.

First Emirati banker: Essa Saleh Al Gurg.

The first elected woman to the membership of Federal National Council: Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi.

The first Emirati national team coach: Juma Ghareeb.

The first Emirati to win the Olympic gold medal: Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Hasher Al Maktoum.

The first Emirati nurse : Hussein Qa'ed.

The first Emirati woman photographer: Sheikha Al Suwaidi.

The first Emirati to win the global medal in the para-Olympic: Humaid Hassan Murad Al Mazem.

The first Emirati woman to win the Olympic medal: H.H. Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The first captain of the national team: Ahmed Essa.

The first Emirati international referee: Abdullah Al Sai.

The first Emirati inventor: Saqr Majid Al Marri.

The first Emirati child selected among 8 most genius children in the world according the CNN: Adib Suleiman Al Baloushi.

The first Emirati nuclear engineer: Amani Al Hosni.

The first director of project for launching the UAE satellite: Salem Humaid Al Marri The first Emirati to invent artificial livre from hollow fibre in the world: Professor Ali Al Naqbi.

The first Emirati who invented DNA male profile for criminal use in the world: Rashid Hamdan Al Ghaferi.

The first Emirati woman to make a genetic map for prevention and early detection of diabetes: Dr. Habiba Al-Saffar.

The first Emirati woman to invent a device to introduce catheter tube through a vein for crucial heart operations: Dr. Hawaa Al Mansouri.

The first Emirati to invent a mechanism for generation of biofuels with industrial quantities using genetically-modified algae: Ahmad Al Harethi.

The first international Emirati robotics expert: Mohammed Mattar Al Shamsi.

The first Emirati inventor to win the gold medals at the World Inventions Exhibition: Ahmed Majan.

The first Emirati to invent the automatic detection of toxic gases in the oil and gas fields through thermal reading: Dr. Mohammed Marzouqi.

First blind Emirati to obtain a PhD: Dr. Ahmed Al Omran.

First Emirati to score Asian achievement in special need sports: Thuraya Ahmed Zaabi.

First policewoman: Salem Khamis Al Hamedh.


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U.A.E. Government launches its official Instagram account


posted on 19/11/2014

The United Arab Emirates Government has launched its official account on "Instagram" in order to raise awareness about its work and activities among various segments of the community.
The new account, @UAEGOV, is an official platform to introduce and share federal government activities with the public in an innovative manner. It reflects the leadership growing interest in employing latest technologies to engage with various segments of the community.
The federal government official account on Instagram includes a library of exclusive photos of officials and behind the scenes of work in government entities. It gives the viewers a glimpse of a working environment that fosters innovation and creativity.
It includes on-the-spot information on meetings of the U.A.E. Cabinet and the Ministerial Cabinet for Services to make the public aware and engaged about various topics of concern to them. It also has a documented historic archive of the Cabinet as well interactive questions about the U.A.E., achievements and progress.
The U.A.E.'s official Instagram account, @UAEGOV, is the second channel for the Federal Government after the U.A.E. Government "YouTube" which was launched in June by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, U.A.E. Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. The channel is an official and exclusive source of news related to the federal government's activities which are broadcast with the highest technical quality. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395272632285.html

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Sharjah Ruler meets media personalities


posted on 17/11/2014

His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, met last night at Al Badee Al Amir Palace with chief editors and representatives of the U.A.E.-based local and foreign newspapers and radio and television channels.
At the beginning of the meeting, organised by the Sharjah media centre, Sheikh Sultan welcomed the guests and spoke about the establishment of the U.A.E., thanks to the founding fathers' dedication and resolve.
"We were young at that time and we were inspired by the founding fathers, including the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum and their brothers the rulers, who did not go to universities, but realised very well that none can serve a nation but its own people," he recalled.
Sheikh Sultan also talked about the day when the late Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed Al Qasimi asked him to become a minister in the new government shortly after his return from Egypt.
"When we started to serve in the government, everything was literally lacking, but thanks to the determination of our leaders, the U.A.E. has become what it is today. The most contributing factor was that there no barriers between the rulers and the people." Sheikh Sultan gave an insight into the journalistic code of ethics in the U.A.E. and emphasised the need for journalists to adhere to objectivity and stay away from controversial reporting.
Answering a question on protecting education from destructive thoughts, Sheikh Sultan said the U.A.E. was quick to realise the need for raising the young generations on the basis of tolerant teachings of Islam to guarantee efficient educational outputs.
"When your home catches fire, the first thing you think about is to put the fire out. This is exactly what the enemies want us to do. In other words, they have this sinister plan of keeping us busy with our own infightings," he said.
He referred to the strong stand taken by the U.A.E. and other GCC countries for Egypt to assume its leading role in the Arab world and stressed that the security of Egypt is integral to the GCC's security.
He also highlighted the pioneering political participation process in the U.A.E. which is evident in the election of Federal National Council members. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395272524296.html

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Fifth Annual Sir Bani Yas Forum concludes in Abu Dhabi


posted on 17/11/2014

The fifth annual Sir Bani Yas Forum, organised by the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), concluded on Sunday in Abu Dhabi.
The annual high-level retreat is the initiative of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister. The aim of the Forum is to create a space for action-oriented discussions among leading policy and opinion-makers about critical issues of relevance for peace and security in the Middle East.
The Forum, which ran from 14 to 16 November, featured discussions around central issues confronting regional and world leaders in the Middle East, including the crisis in Iraq and Syria, the role of Islamist movements, the changing political and security landscape in North Africa, the Middle East Peace Process, the role of Iran in the Middle East, and the shifting interests and actions of Great Powers in the region.
Current and former foreign ministers from the Middle East, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia, as well as a select number of international policy experts, convened to share their knowledge and understanding.
In this context, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, said, "Solving the challenges in the Middle East and around the world today requires partnership, frank exchanges, and a foundation of mutual respect and understanding. This year's Forum once again provided a unique opportunity for policymakers and experts to find common ground for addressing the immense challenges we face and to identify new opportunities for collaboration." CSIS President and CEO Dr. John Hamre said, "I can't think of a more important time to bring together senior officials and experts to devise creative solutions to the problems we all face in the Middle East today. We were pleased to have an opportunity to work with the U.A.E. Government on this important initiative." Reflecting upon proceedings at the Forum, Jordanian Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, said, "The openness of the beautiful desert provides the perfect setting for decision makers and opinion leaders to have an open, analytical, and objective-driven discussion." Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd observed, "In a time of great regional peril, this conference is not only an opportunity for current and former officials to share analysis, but also a tremendous opportunity to help shape solutions." The Forum also featured exclusive polling, conducted by Dr. James Zogby, which surveyed thousands of people across the region on their attitudes toward key issues, including how they viewed the outcome of the Arab Spring and their perceptions of different governments and political groups.
The Forum was held at the Qasr Al Sarab desert resort in the Liwa Desert of Abu Dhabi.
As in past years, all proceedings were conducted under the Chatham House Rule of non-attribution; there were no prepared statements, no communiques, and no reporting media. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395272518220.html

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Government of Dubai repays Dh7.1 billion liabilities


posted on 04/11/2014

The Government of Dubai, represented by the Department of Finance, yesterday announced repayment of Dirham Sukuk worth Dh2.5 billion and dollar Sukuk worth US$1.25 billion, due on 3rd November 2014 and issued on 28th October, 2009.
The Department said it has recovered all Sukuk by repaying the amounts required by holders of Sukuk with due revenues through the agent.
Abdul Rahman Saleh Al Saleh, Director-General of the department, said the repayment in time reflects the government's commitment to repay all liabilities as per schedule.
He added that the government was keen to pay all the financial liabilities in accordance with the schedule, noting that "it is a huge step, which highlights the clarity of vision of the government about the future. It also reflects great confidence reposed by regional and international business communities on the Emirate of Dubai." http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395271852393.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid launches National Innovation Strategy


posted on 20/10/2014

The U.A.E. will become one of the most innovative countries in the world through a focus on seven sectors: renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, launched a National Innovation Strategy yesterday that aims to make the U.A.E. among the most innovative nations in the world within seven years.
The strategy will stimulate innovation in seven sectors where innovation is key to excellence: renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space. Its first phase includes 30 national initiatives to be completed within three years. These include new legislation, innovation incubators, investment in specialised skills, private-sector incentives, international research partnerships, and an innovation drive within government.
"The UAE is already the most innovative Arab nation. Our target is to be among the most innovative nations in the world. The competitiveness race demands a constant flow of new ideas, as well as innovative leadership using different methods and tools to direct the change," HH Sheikh Mohammed said at the launch of the strategy.
"This innovation strategy is a national priority for our programme of development and progress. It is a primary tool to achieve Vision 2021 and an engine for the growth of distinctive skills and capabilities across the nation. We have always called for creativity in every field: this strategy is a concrete step to implement that vision. These initiatives around innovation will enhance quality of life in the UAE and take our economy to new horizons," HH Sheikh Mohammed added.
H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs were present at the launch ceremony.
The strategy works along 4 parallel tracks.
The first track will anchor a stimulating environment for innovation in the form of supportive institutions and laws. It will shape specialised entities such as innovation incubators as well as technological infrastructure to fuel innovation in all sectors. It will also focus on research and development in various innovation fields.
The second track will develop government innovation by institutionalising innovative practices with the support of an integrated system of modern tools. The strategy requires all government entities to reduce spending by 1% and to dedicate the savings to research and innovation projects. National training and education programmes on innovation will also be launched.
The third track will encourage private sector innovation by stimulating companies to establish innovation and scientific research centres, to adopt new technologies, and to develop innovative products and services. The U.A.E. will attract pioneering international firms in key innovation sectors, establish innovation communities and zones, and support applied research in areas of national priority. It will also enhance the UAE's position as an international centre to test new innovations.
The fourth track will qualify individuals with highly innovative skills by concentrating on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including the creation of educational material for schools and universities. The aim is to establish a national culture that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship through partnerships between the public, private and media sectors.
"Innovation today is driven by effective institutions, strong policies, specialised skills, and an economy where all sectors work together to discover new ways to conduct business. A flexible and creative economy based on a national culture of innovation is the fastest and most sustainable way to reinforce the U.A.E.'s competitiveness on a global level," HH Sheikh Mohammed said.
Current annual investment in innovation is worth Dh 14 billion in the U.A.E., of which Dh 7 billion goes to research and development. Innovation spending will rise significantly in the years to come.
The National Innovation Strategy includes 16 indicators to measure progress. Government-sector indicators include the percentage of innovative ideas and the proportion of budget allocated to innovation. Private-sector indicators include R&D investment and the knowledge profile of the workforce. Global indicators include an overall measure comparing countries' innovation capabilities, as well as indicators for the protection of intellectual property, the creation of patents and the availability of scientists and engineers.
The strategy contains practical initiatives in each of its seven priority sectors.
In the field of renewable energy, the strategy will establish a new organisation to facilitate decentralised power generation projects such as small-scale solar installations. The strategy will also encourage innovation in the renewables industry while also supporting applied research in clean technology.
In transportation, the strategy will stimulate innovation in air and sea travel as well as logistics. The aim is to provide new products and services, make procedures more effective, and save time. The strategy will also focus on innovation in the field of unmanned drones.
In education, the strategy will establish innovation labs in schools and universities as part of a drive to equip students with targeted skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, perseverance and adaptability.
In health, the strategy will promote advanced technologies in healthcare services. It will stimulate the growth of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries while also working with strategic partners to support medical research.
On the topic of water, the strategy will seek innovative solutions to the challenge of water scarcity.
Finally, the strategy will support space technology for the purpose of exploration as well as satellite communications and specialised research on terrestrial applications. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271086315.html

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U.A.E.’s growing openness


posted on 16/10/2014

The nation has taken a strong position against religious extremism and is standing up for the values of open thinking and stability
The U.A.E. is achieving growing global and regional influence by focusing on being an active part of the global community and working towards the transparent values that allow individuals the security of the rule of law. This is in sharp contrast to some other Middle East countries that have got lost in predatory authoritarian governance and are now stuck in sectarian or military struggles, which have dragged them backwards into chaos and despair, rather than offering their populations hope that their ambitions can be fulfilled.
The U.A.E. is a small country that cannot hope to be a regional power as traditionally defined through large populations and military authority. Instead, it is using its wealth to build the necessary infrastructure and social and business environment that will make the country one of the world's major business hubs.
The work for this has been going on for a long time, but it is now becoming more globally recognised. For example, in August, Forbes magazine rated Dubai as the seventh most influential city in the world. It was also the only city from the developing world to make it to the top 20. The magazine attributed this to Dubai's strategy of focusing on prosperity and globalisation. The list was topped by London, followed by New York, Paris and Singapore, which Forbes pointed out signalled a shift of power to "savvy” cities, as it added that the cities to watch are Houston, Seoul, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. This high-tech environment is exactly where the cities of the U.A.E. are heading, as illustrated by this week's rollout of hundreds of free Wi-Fi hot spots in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as a start towards making U.A.E. cities fully connected at all times.
The question is what will the U.A.E. do with its growing influence? For decades, it has made its own internal development its major priority, because in 1971, the country started with very rudimentary facilities and very limited education. Four decades of hard work has lifted the country into a totally different league and has allowed it to look ahead with a lot more confidence and vision.
This is why it is seeing what is happening in the region and offering some alternatives to the current chaos. The U.A.E. has taken a strong position against religious extremism and is standing up for the values of open thinking and stability, which are designed to reject the nihilism of radical terrorists, and find a way to help end the civil wars and social collapse in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Defeating Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) requires both military and political strategies, which is why His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, recently spelt out three long-term social and developmental points with which to combat extremism, based very much on the fundamentals of governance that have succeeded in taking the U.A.E. this far.
Shaikh Mohammad's first idea was to counter malignant ideas with enlightened thinking, open minds and an attitude of tolerance and acceptance. His second was to support the governments' efforts to create stable institutions that can deliver real services to the people; and the third element was to address the black holes of human development, which include poverty, lack of education and poor health care, as well as lack of economic opportunities. These kind of priorities as put forward by Shaikh Mohammad combine the growing authority of the U.A.E. as an important emerging global hub with the country's own experience in fostering tolerance and the rule of law as the basis of building a new economy in which its people can succeed in achieving ambitions.
The U.A.E.'s success in becoming a hub linking Asia, Africa and Europe has been noticed in several forums. While most of the attention has been on how the U.A.E. is looking to its new partners in Asia and the Far East, a new paper by Afshin Molavi of Johns Hopkins University has looked at how Dubai is becoming a gateway to Africa for many multinationals as they use their operations in the city to build a new Africa strategy.
The 54 states of Africa have gone from a modest joint gross domestic product of US$600 billion (Dh2.2 billion) in 2000, to close to US$2.2 trillion today. This extraordinary growth has forced the world to take a new look at the emerging prosperity and power of African states. U.A.E. companies like etisalat and DP World have led the way in direct investment, while U.A.E. airlines like Emirates and Etihad are expanding their networks across the continent. In addition, Dubai's successful bid to host the World Expo 2020 will also give the country greater respect as more people will visit it and realise how it is a key nexus of commerce, investment and tourism.
What emerges from all this will be a combination of more domestic prosperity for the U.A.E., as well as a much increased influence in the region and the world at large, using the key principles of tolerance and openness that are part of the U.A.E.'s Arab and Islamic identity. This readiness to help define the matrix that will support a more secure world is as important as any short-term military activity. By Francis Matthew | Editor at Large – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/uae-s-growing-openness-1.1399359

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Mohammed bin Rashid honours former ministers of education, justice and former Governor of Central Bank


posted on 13/10/2014

The U.A.E. will never forget those who offered small or large contributions and that work and accumulated experience in the service of the nation will always be highly appreciated and used by federal and local governments, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum affirmed yesterday.
'We have nothing called retirement in the U.A.E., and the service of the nation is a whole life as we are all dedicate our lives for the service of the U.A.E.,' Sheikh Mohammed said at a ceremony to honour former ministers of education and justice and former governor of the U.A.E. Central Bank in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and a number Sheikhs and ministers.
HH expressed, on behalf of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the U.A.E. people, profound thanks to the honourees for the efforts and time they spent in the service and glory of the nation and its people and urged them to continue their contribution to the government work through communication, advice and work, emphasising that he had spent during the last years a time that was full of work and achievements within the umbrella of the Council of Ministers or working together to enhance the national economy.
'Today, your brothers take up the torch and they will complete what you have started and add to what you have built like what you did with your predecessors. This is the cycle of life where each team completes what others started,' Sheikh Mohammed concluded.
The honourees were Obeid Mohammed Al Qattami, who served as minister of education from 2006 to 2009 and as minister of education from 2009 to 2014, Dr. Haded Al Dhehri who served as minister of justice from 2008 to 2014 in addition to Sultan Nasser Al Suwaidi who took the portfolio of the Governor of the U.A.E. Central Bank from 1991-2014. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395270758798.html

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UAE hails Malala Yousafzai on winning Nobel Peace Prize


posted on 11/10/2014

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the

UAE Armed Forces, has congratulated Malala Yousafzai for winning the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 along with Indian child activist Kailash Satyarthi.

During a telephone conversation with Malala, Sheikh Mohamed expressed his pleasure at her winning the Nobel prize, the official news agency WAM reported.

He pointed out that the prize is a tribute to her courage and perseverance in standing up against ignorance and obscurantism and her insistence on the path of tolerance, love and peace.

He also said: "Your determination in seeking to address the advocates of ignorance and extremism is an exemplary model which is inspiring for peace lovers aspiring towards a better future for mankind."
 
He also stated that her strong will to ensure that women have access to education instilled confidence and determination in many others.

His hope was that the prize would contribute to increased global awareness for the importance of women's education, and give women everywhere the best opportunities for development and growth.

Malala is the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In May 2013, Sheikh Mohamed welcomed Malala to Abu Dhabi and praised her determination to overcome difficulties, and encouraged her to continue her noble mission, adding that it was a duty of all people to stand by Malala, as she spreads the message of love and peace. Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/uae-hails-malala-1.1396944

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Mohamed bin Zayed receives phone call from U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden


posted on 06/10/2014

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, has received a phone call from U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden.
In the phone call, Joseph Biden apologised to U.A.E. for any implications in his recent statements that were understood to mean that U.A.E. has backed the growth of some of the terrorist organisations in the region.
Biden added that the United States appreciates the U.A.E.'s historic role in combating extremism and terrorism as well as its advanced position in this respect.
Mr. Biden also hailed the U.A.E.'s close cooperation with the international community on bolstering the foundations of stability and safety in the region.
In the phone conversation, His Highness Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the U.S. Vice President discussed the bilateral relations between U.A.E and the United States and ways of supporting and enhancing the strategic cooperation between the two friendly countries.
The two sides emphasised the common view of the two countries on combating and confronting terrorist organisations and their deviated and extremist ideology, which demands a regional and international effort to combat, besiege and eradicate them and dry out their financial resources.
They also emphasised the importance of international cooperation and all efforts that would put an end to these organisations and their terrorist practices, and that at the forefront of this cooperation comes the current international coalition which is fighting these organisations and foiling their goals of spreading chaos in the region.
The two sides also exchanged views on the other developments in the region and their two countries' positions on them. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395270537130.html

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President, VP and Mohamed bin Zayed congratulate el-Sisi on 6th October War Victory Anniversary


posted on 06/10/2014

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has sent a congratulatory cable to the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, on the occasion of the anniversary of the glorious 6th October War Victory.
Sheikh Khalifa expressed his best wishes to the Arab Republic of Egypt on this historic occasion, when the Egyptian people offered sacrifices which restored confidence among all Arab citizens.
He added, "This glorious occasion has drawn a path filled with hope and high national spirit among the Egyptian people and the Arab nation, which also inspired them with lessons regarding current challenges facing the Arab nation and requires all of us to unite to face them, particularly terrorism, which has become an international phenomenon, in addition to preserving the Arab world's capabilities and people from its surrounding threats." Sheikh Khalifa also hailed the vital role of the Arab Republic of Egypt in hoisting the Arab flag high and confronting all challenges, pointing out that Egypt is restoring strongly its natural position amid these challenges. "A strong and prosperous Egypt represents the Arab's biggest strategic strength," he said.
Sheikh Khalifa recalled the historic role of the founder of the U.A.E., the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his support during 6th October War, stressing that the U.A.E.'s leadership and people are pursuing the approach to support Egypt, due to the vital and important role of that country in the historical events being witnessed in the Arab world.
'On this national occasion, we pray to Allah Almighty to have mercy on those martyrs during the war of dignity and pride, who provided the best meanings of glory and sacrifice, we also wish you Mr. President all good luck to continue achieving the aspirations of the Egyptian people for more progress, welfare and prosperity in order to attain prestigious stature among countries of the world." Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces also dispatched similar cables of congratulations to the Egyptian President on the occasion. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395270532174.html

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