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THE MEDIA - MEDIA

UAE media progressing impressively on strong fundamentals
posted on 19/04/2014

The UAE media is centred on strong rules and guiding principles in its march to progress and prosperity with a focus on offering creative and high-quality content.
The Sharjah Media Corporation, or SMC, reaffirmed that the UAE media has continued to thrive and has made impressive progress, thus becoming one of the most prominent experiences in the Gulf and the entire region.
The UAE media is centred on strong rules and guiding principles in its march to progress and prosperity with a focus on offering creative and high-quality content with the utilisation of the latest global technology that cater to the needs and interests of the various sectors of the public. The remarks came after the SMC concluded its participation in the 2014 NAB show — a premier global trade show in the field of visual and audio technologies and digital media — which was held at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in Nevada.
Revolving around the theme "Where Content Comes to Life”, the five-day show was held with the broad participation of media industry leaders and technological, engineering and media companies from all over the world.
The SMC delegation included a number of officials representing financial and administrative affairs and professionals in the sports field, namely Shehab Ahmed Al Hammadi, director of the Financial Department; Rashid Al Obad, head of the Sharjah Sports Channel; Manaf Hannonah, director of the Engineering Department; and Ateej Mohammed, programme director at the Sharjah Sports Channel. The delegation made use of the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the latest advancements in the field of broadcasting equipment in order to implement them in developing the corporation's engineering strategies in line with its continued development plans to keep up-to-date and ensure cutting cost and the effective and efficient use of modern equipment to keep pace with the global technological advancement.
The delegation also learned about the new technological solutions and the best practices adopted in the development and management of human resources and engineering. On the field of sports broadcasting, the delegation familiarised itself with sports-analysing solutions to be used in developing the presentation of sports programmes, including the use of a minimum number of cameras that ensure greater coverage in the future, as well as engineering solutions for the various sports programmes.
The SMC is considering some available options identified by the delegation during its visit, to build future agreements in accordance with its approaches to update its various systems, expand the scope of television and radio broadcasting, and opening new channels in the future. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/uaebusiness/2014/April/uaebusiness_April296.xml§ion=uaebusiness

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twofour54's creative lab talent launches 3 applications
posted on 03/04/2014

Emiratis supported by the creative lab of twofour54 yesterday officially launched three gaming applications immersing local culture with the digital world.
Red Bugs, Shaheen and Unexpected games will be on hand for the public this week at its stand in Comic Con, one of the region's biggest entertainment industry events. Throughout the event, twofour54 will engage with creative talent, demonstrate animation techniques, run workshops and promote the creative lab community.
"All the efforts of creative lab and the support provided by twofour54 have resulted in a number of successful projects reflecting the passion of the young UAE talent for creativity, and I am delighted that these applications incorporate and promote the Emirati heritage in a unique and modern way," said Maryam Al Mheiri, Chief Operating Officer at twofour54.
Al Mheiri stressed on the importance of showing the Emirati culture in an innovative and contemporary fashion through the contribution of local talent, in the creation of digital content. She also added that these new applications are the result of a number of workshops, training courses, and financial support run by creative lab, and aiming to explore and develop the young talent.
Visitors to twofour54's stand will also be able to meet the developers.
The newly launched applications are available for free download on Google Play Store and App Store in English and Arabic.
twofour54 through its Creative Campus initiative partners Cartoon Network Animation Academy, Gaming Academy in partnership with Ubisoft, and SAE Institute at stand 12 - Creative Campus in Zabeel Hall 1 at the World Trade Centre between 10am and 10pm from 3 to 5 April. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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twofour54 pursues young Arab creative talent
posted on 01/04/2014

twofour54, the commercial arm of Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi, is to participate in the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) 2014, one of the region's biggest entertainment industry events, where its Creative Campus will sponsor and lead three days of workshops, meet creative talent, and demonstrate animation techniques.
"This imaginative environment is one of the best platforms for twofour54 to connect with locally based talent and grow our creative network," said Maryam Al Mheiri, Chief Operating Officer at twofour54. "twofour54 has established itself as one of the Middle East's leading gateways to creative industries and our vision is to enable the development of world-class Arabic media and entertainment content - by Arabs for Arabs." Creative Campus and its partners, the Cartoon Network Animation Academy, the Gaming Academy in partnership with Ubisoft, and SAE Institute, are joining efforts to deliver engaging and interactive sessions to young animators, game developers and movie-makers. Entertainment enthusiasts can attend free interactive sessions and learn practical new skills.
Activities at twofour54's stand will include demonstrations of digital illustration, 2D animation, and CG animation by students and graduates of the Cartoon Network Academy. Visitors will also be invited to play board games and take part in UDK Deathmatch, a fast-paced game of Unreal Tournament - a virtual world, conceived and created by students at the Gaming Academy.
At the stand, visitors will have the chance to enjoy two successful projects that were conceived at last year's event, "Karouma" and "Alladin the Bounty Hunter." "Karouma" is an animated short film about a nine-year-old boy with special needs. The story teaches that our differences make us who we truly are. "Aladdin the Bounty Hunter" is a comic book- a twist on the story of the famous "Aladdin and the Magical Lamp" in which Aladdin is a bounty hunter who hunts criminals who use jinns for crimes.
Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to learn more about twofour54 creative lab, a community with over 6,500 members where creative talent can get guidance, inspiration and advise on how to transform ideas into real businesses. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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TECOM's media cluster grows to 2, 000 companies during 2013
posted on 23/03/2014

TECOM's Media Cluster, incorporating Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and International Media Production Zone, witnessed significant growth over the course of 2013 and is now home to 2,000 business partners. New leases and expansions signed during 2013 account for 622,000 sq. ft. of space being utilised.
Part of TECOM Investments, a member of Dubai Holding, TECOM's Media Cluster welcomed 233 new business partners from across the media value chain into its portfolio, including Zawya Limited, Sidel and Thomson Video Networks. New additions include 33 production companies and 23 new media companies, highlighting the growth of these segments.
Contributing to the growth of new enterprises, 45 freelancers joined the media cluster, adding to the talent pool that services a large number of companies within the free zones.
The media hub also saw notable expansions among 165 of its existing business partners including international giants and regional leaders, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East, FRH, Arabian Radio Network and Publicis.
Over the course of 2013, various sectors within the business park saw substantial growth, including printing consumables, which has grown by 233% since 2012 and animation, which has recorded growth of 57 per cent.
At an operational level, Dubai Studio City (DSC) completed construction of its three soundstages, which are the largest of their kind in the MENA region and are specifically designed to meet the increasingly sophisticated needs of the entertainment industry, a segment with significant growth potential in the region.
Sound Stage One plays host to MBC Group, who are committed to occupy and create world class Arabic content for five years. The second and third sound stages have already been utilised for a number of productions including Dubai TV and Studio Vision's Arabic version of The Cube, a world-famous British game show which sees contestants completing challenges within a Perspex cube.
Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director, TECOM Media Cluster, commented, "2013 was a very strong year for the Media Cluster with widespread growth and expansion across our three business parks. This is testament to the growth of Dubai's wider economy, and the revival of confidence in Dubai after a positive 2013, which included winning the Expo." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Heroes in their mind at twofour54’s The Space gallery
posted on 15/03/2014

Who is your real-life hero? The question was posed to students of all ages across Abu Dhabi, who had to answer with an artwork.
The result is about 50 comic, digital and animation artworks exhibited at the twofour54's The Space gallery, as part of Abu Dhabi Festival's (ADF) education programme.
"My project is about a character named Franny, who lives in this modern world devoid of any feelings, among gigantic buildings, where people live like ghosts,” said Emily J. Wang, a first-year student at New York University Abu Dhabi.
She created a digital cartoon style art piece, presented on a computer screen, complete with music, meant to set and accentuate certain moods.
"Franny, though, is this unique character who has feelings, but because of this world he lives in, he is unable to experience his feelings, so the main conflict in this beginning sequence is him trying to figure out how to have healthy feelings; there is this scene, for instance, when he starts looking at his hands, and he's alone in his room, so there is nobody to talk to, and he is trying to devour himself so he wouldn't exist anymore, but then his cell phone rings and he is called back to reality,” she went on explaining.
Emily, who comes from Atlanta in the USA, admits her mother is her real-life hero, inspiring her to work hard and put love into what she does, even though her mother is not present in her artwork, which deals with the topics of alienation and loneliness.
Alienation is something that I personally dealt with before. I know a lot of young people think about this — the meaning of your life and what is the best way to live it as you grow older — and a lot of books I read and music I listen to reflect this feeling too. That's why I put it into this art piece,” she said.
"Franny” is unique not only in his own story, but in the exhibition too, as most of the drawings presented are light-hearted subjects, such as "mom is a hero for waking me up to go to school every morning” or "my brother won the school singing competition”.
The project, "The Hero Inside Programme”, was created by UK's Trevor Kweku Blackwood for London primary schools in 2010 as creative learning, identity and wellbeing programme. The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, organiser of ADF, liked the initiative so much that it invited Blackwood to do the same in Abu Dhabi.
"What was for me really incredible was going into different schools, primary schools, secondary schools, and the university, 'cause that's what's new — when we did London, it was just primary, but now we worked across the boards, which was very interesting experience,” Blackwood told Khaleej Times.
"Seeing it in a different culture, and seeing multiculture within the classes, it was so unique! And, you can see it for yourself, they produced excellent work,” he added.
"The Hero Inside Programme - Abu Dhabi” opened at The Space on Wednesday evening and it will continue till March 17. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/inside.asp?xfile=/data/nationgeneral/2014/March/nationgeneral_March95.xml§ion=nationgeneral

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Abu Dhabi emerges as the leading television and film production hub
posted on 14/03/2014

twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi, has participated in CABSAT 2014's NAB conference at Dubai World Trade Centre to highlight Abu Dhabi's emergence as a leading production hub.
"Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a leading regional television and film production hub," Paul Baker, the Executive Director at twofour54 intaj said.
Baker was speaking in the session, 'Developing Abu Dhabi as a leading film and TV production destination and facilitating the development of a sustainable local film industry'. He said international production companies coming to Abu Dhabi are attracted by integrated production services and facilities, a growing pool of local crew, and the Abu Dhabi Film Commission's 30% production rebate in the emirate.
Twofour Arabia, the local arm of U.K. award-winning production company Twofour and a partner at the twofour54 media zone campus, was commissioned by Abu Dhabi Media to produce eight new television programmes and utilised twofour54 intaj facilities to deliver the shows. Mr. Baker elaborated that this is an example of the collaboration between companies based in Abu Dhabi resulting in world-class productions.
"We have seen several local production companies emerging in the UAE," Baker said. "Young Emirati filmmaker, Amal Al-Agroobi, started off as a creative lab community member at twofour54. She received support, won awards and started her own production company. This is a great example of how Abu Dhabi is helping develop young talent." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Mohammed bin Rashid reviews initiatives, new projects of Media Office
posted on 13/03/2014

Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has paid a visit to the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), where he was briefed on initiatives and new programmes.
Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied during the visit by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler.
The Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, Mona Ghanem Al Marri briefed Sheikh Mohammed on the GDMO's new projects and initiatives, including those under Brand Dubai, which contributes to highlighting the unique touch, feel of the Emirate and its achievements, in collaboration with government and private sector.
Sheikh Mohammed expressed satisfaction with the innovative ideas implemented by the GDMO throughout the year, urging the media team to keep pace with the rapid development in Dubai and the world.
"You should always seek to expand your understanding and knowledge by acquainting with the latest technology and media techniques, and implement them in line with our needs and our local environment. As well, learn lessons from others' experiences and identify the best practices in this area until you reach the highest levels of efficiency," he said while addressing the GDMO staff.
He said, "I am proud of my media team and I wish you every success in your undertaking. I look forward to seeing innovative ideas and the highest level of excellence in your work in order to take our country to a leading position globally." Sheikh Mohammed stressed the importance of self-development so as to cope with the dynamics of life. He said such changes indicate the continuity of life, which is always in the state of renewal and change in various forms and moulds. "The sky changes its clouds, rivers change their water and man, in turn, must be up-to-date with life's changes -- but it is important to always change for the better," he pointed out.
He praised the role of young national staff in the Media Office, stressing his keenness to communicate with young citizens in various sectors and in all departments and national institutions.
Sheikh Mohammed pledged to heed their ideas and suggestions towards further modernisation and development, as their suggestions are characterised by self-confidence and the enthusiasm towards future.
He noted that the UAE spares no effort to support and promote young people and enable them to participate in the building of their homeland and equipping them with the skills and experience necessary to do the job perfectly.
Sheikh Mohammed posed for a group photo with GDMO staff, who highly appreciated his kind gesture and expressed great happiness and sincere gratitude to him. The GDMO staff confirmed their commitment to Sheikh Mohammed's directives and adherence to the highest professional standards that ensure compliance with duties towards the homeland.
He also posed for an exclusive photo with photographers and editing team responsible for covering news and activities related to Sheikh Mohammed and the Dubai Crown Prince in appreciation of their efforts. – Emirates News Agency,

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Sharjah Media Corporation launches new identity of Sharjah TV
posted on 12/02/2014

The Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC) has unveiled the new identity of Sharjah TV, which will be launched during the current month of February, to coincide with the silver jubilee anniversary of Sharjah TV.
SMC has combined 16 events and landmarks of the Emirate's famous contemporary milestones as part of Sharjah TV's new identity. It also announced that the colour of the TV's current logo would be changed to silver, referring to the TV's celebration of its silver jubilee anniversary.
Sharjah TV, which is set to celebrate its silver jubilee anniversary on Thursday, 13th of February 2014, has renewed its programmes and TV commercials with the use of the latest technologies with the participation of various European teams, along with Sharjah TV's Creativity Management teams.
The new technologies, set to be implemented for the first time in the Middle East, will be highlighted during the TV's anniversary celebration, and will later be broadcast along with the various programmes in a new style that is in harmony with the development and modernisation approach sought after by the Corporation. The launch of this new identity marks the passing of two and a half decades since the establishment of Sharjah TV, which officially started its transmissions on February 11, 1989.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Khalid Al Midfa, Director General of SMC, said, "Sharjah TV's excellent reputation and rich experience in presenting new and useful programmes can undoubtedly be attributed to the pioneers who contributed to developing this industry through their capabilities, which continued to evolve over time, both technically and in terms of skill. To cope with new developments, Sharjah TV has always kept abreast with these developments and has managed to come to the fore as one of the leading broadcasters in the country and region thanks to the continuous follow up and unlimited support of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah."
Al Midfa added, "We focused on portraying arches on the Corporation's and TV's logos to highlight Sharjah's cultural and scientific position, as arches constitute one's adherence to his roots and cultural communication. The domes of mosques, palm frond carvings, and folding book pages when reading a book, all together reflect the image of arches, which we are keen to highlight importance of as an informational message about the Emirate's urban, cultural, and scientific status - locally, regionally and globally." "The Corporation has been eager to include 16 major events and landmarks in Sharjah TV's new identity with a focus on a number of prominent landmarks, including the Book Roundabout, "in reference to Sharjah's cultural identity", Al Noor Mosque, "in referring to its commitment to Arab-Islamic values", and the University of Sharjah, "in referring to science, knowledge and civilisation" Al Midfa added.
Sharjah TV's new identity is also focused on featuring events taking place in Sharjah, in addition to spotlights on the Emirate's regions and cities, covering 11 locations, areas, events and focal topics, such as the mountains of the Eastern Region, the Central Region Desert, falcons, the Sharjah International Book Fair, the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, the Arabian Horse Festival, the Arabic Calligraphy Festival, Maritime Heritage, the Water Festival, Sharjah Theatrical Days, and activities related to the families and children. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE mourns loss of Dr Abdullah Taryam
posted on 31/01/2014

The UAE is mourning the loss of one of its sons who contributed to the establishment of the union and made a great impact in many of its fields such as education, law and media.
Dr Abdullah Omran Taryam, Chairman of Dar Al Khaleej Press, Printing and Publishing House passed away on Thursday morning from a stroke at the age of 66.
He is survived by his wife and four children Khalid, Ameera, Aisha and Omran.
He was honoured as Media Personality of the Year for 2009 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Born in Sharjah in 1948, Taryam finished his schooling in Sharjah and Kuwait. He then continued his higher education at Cairo University, where he received his BA in history in 1966. He later pursued his PhD in modern history from the University of Exeter in the UK in 1986.
Taryam started his career as a high school teacher in Al Oroba School for two years.
Wanting to play a role in his country's development, Taryam was part of the negotiation team responsible in laying the foundation of the UAE's union.
During his life time, Taryam became the Minister of Justice in the first cabinet formed after the federation in 1971 until 1972, making him one of the youngest minsters in the history of the UAE.
From his position as the Minster of Justice, Taryam issued many key resolutions and laws that played a great role in the development of the country. In 1972, he was appointed the Minister of Education, where he served until 1979. He was one of the main contributors to the creation of the foundation on which schools and universities were established in the UAE.
He and his older brother, the late Taryam Omran Taryam established Al Khaleej newspaper, the first newspaper in the UAE, in 1970. The newspaper has since grown to become Dar Al Khaleej Press, Printing and Publishing House, which issues six different publications.
Taryam took the leadership of the group after the death of his older brother in 2002, when he became Chairman of Dar Al Khaleej of the publishing house.
He was also the Chairman of the Gulf Research Centre that produced annual reports and various books that look into Arab and Gulf issues.
He has various publications that include books on the establishment of the UAE, education, and development, as well as numerous intellectual and political articles. – Gulf News


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twofour54 highlights promising opportunities in UAE media
posted on 20/01/2014

The UAE-UK Pioneers Forum has been launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, the First Secretary of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, in London.
22 members of the public and private UAE institutions participated in the forum aimed at giving students the opportunity to learn about career opportunities in the UAE
The forum also helps to identify the needs of the UAE market in order to help students choose the focus of their studies.
Around 1,500 Emiratis students took part in the two-day event, which is led by the UAE Embassy in London. Around 3,000 nationals currently study in the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the event, Abdulrahman Ghanem Almutaiwee, the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in the UK, said: "This initiative will support Emirati students and encourage them to achieve excellence and success. It will give them a head start to plan their careers and prepare them to achieve their academic goals.
Almutaiwee thanked all of the participants and organisations taking part in the event and encouraged students to make the most of the opportunity to exchange experiences and identify their future roles as leaders. He said the embassy was keen to run the forum regularly and attract a broad range of government institutions and private companies from the United Arab Emirates, including UK-based firms that have a presence in the country.
During the forum, Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, gave the keynote address, discussing the media's contribution to the economy and her personal experience of leading twofour54. She talked about the opportunities available in the thriving media and entertainment industry, especially at twofour54. She said the fast growth of the industry is providing more opportunities.
"Since establishing twofour54 five years ago we created more than 3,000 opportunities, and the future will bring more," Al Kaabi said. "The market is seeking Emirati talent, especially in content, video games, animations, post-production and advertising, and in law and finance related to mass media." Al Kaabi discussed the changing roles in the industry and said the appearance of new jobs that did not exist before point to a promising future. She said students should be ambassadors while in the United Kingdom and devote their time to their studies, adding that experience of a new culture is additional knowledge that will benefit their country when they return home.
"It has never been a more exciting time to work in the UAE and there is a wealth of opportunities available to young Emirati men and women," She said. "Abu Dhabi has established itself as the cultural and creative capital of the region and wining Expo 2020 will open the doors new jobs opportunities. We hope our youth will capitalise on the opportunities in this industry." The career fair held during the forum gave students the opportunity speak with business leaders from UAE and UK, learn about opportunities and identify companies seeking promising young talent.
The Forum showcased the thriving relationship between the UAE and UK, and gave students a deeper understanding of what it is like to live and work in the UAE. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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NMC honours winners of 'Best Tweet' contest
posted on 19/01/2014

The National Media Council (NMC) hosted a ceremony on Saturday at the Emirates Palace Hotel to honour winners of the 'Best Tweet' contest, organised as part of the celebration of the 42nd National Day anniversary.
Sultan Al Amimi, Director of the Poetry Academy and member of the NMC Advisory Board handed prizes to the winners, including Khalid Saeed Al Niyadi, a hearing-impaired engineer who works at Masdar, won the contest for the best video category after tweeting a video message in the sign language, expressing gratitude to the UAE's leadership.
The prize for best text category went on Fakhra Yousif Al Ketbi, a student at the Sharjah University, whose tweet read: If my country was a body and soul, I would kiss its feet in respect.
Alia Al Yasi, Director of Government Communications Department at the NMC and member of the contest's jury, said the number of followers of the NMC page at twitter jumped from 1,200 to 6,200 during the contest's two-week duration. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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twofour54 hosts George Washington University MBA students
posted on 09/01/2014

twofour54 welcomed 16 MBA students yesterday from the prestigious George Washington University in Washington, D.C. as part of their visit to the UAE this month to study best practices in different economic sectors within the country. The students were accompanied by a renowned global marketing expert from George Washington University School of Business, Salah S. Hassan, Ph.D.
Dr. Hassan said that George Washington University chose the Emirates as the destination for its MBA programme's international residency experience because of the country's growing reputation as a diversified economic centre, and the need for leading international marketers to better understand its emerging position as a global marketing powerhouse.
Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, welcomed the group of students and provided them insight into twofour54's unique position as a media and entertainment hub in Abu Dhabi, and how that is positively impacting the economic success of the Gulf region. Al Kaabi also expressed her commitment to collaborating with George Washington University and other prestigious educational institutions in the future, and to continue growing these important relationships.
The delegation is visiting several leading local and international firms based in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. In this visit, MBA teams are assigned to perform consulting projects for leading organisations like twofour54, Al Futtaim Group, Crescent Group and Leo Burnett, to identify what constitutes a successful marketing strategy in the Gulf, and to gain an in-depth understanding of marketing in the Arab World.
Dr. Hassan said, "For a number of years now, the UAE and its neighbours have been an important place for leading international firms to do business, given the stability and strong economic growth enjoyed by the region. This makes the UAE important for both local and multinational corporations to understand how to make the most of these favourable conditions, so they can boost their bottom line and improve their strategic market position in an increasingly global marketplace." Students worked with firms to design and analyse local marketing programmes, review successful regional marketing research and appreciate the unique cultural sensitivities that need to be considered when conducting a marketing campaign in this region. Four teams of students worked with leading companies to develop strategic marketing plans that address local and regional issues. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Abdullah bin Zayed honours NMC's strategic partners and outstanding employees
posted on 07/01/2014

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister '&' Chairman of the National Media Council (NMC) attended this evening the Council's first ceremony in honour of its strategic partners and outstanding employees.
Present were Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and heads of the honoured government departments.
Alia Hassan Al Yasi, Director of the Department of Governmental Communication at NMC, welcomed Sheikh Abdullah and thanked him for patronising the event. She also thanked the Council's strategic partners for their efforts and the outstanding employees who helped deliver the Council's goals, initiatives and programmes.
Sheikh Abdullah then honoured the partners and employees. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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twofour54 signs partnership agreement with 'tview'
posted on 05/01/2014

twofour54 has joined ‘tview,' the first of its kind television audience measurement system in the Arab World. The agreement with tview aims to improve the level of accuracy of TV viewership data in the UAE and to further develop the UAE's media industry by providing accurate and transparent data about television viewership. Broadcasters and media agencies and advertising spenders can benefit from the results, as the data provided will support the improvement of TV programming, scheduling and advertising.
‘tview' features a system which provides accurate and reliable data on TV viewership around the clock. The data collected reflects the demographic information of viewers over the age of four years old and includes nationality, gender, location, and socio-economic status. All data collected is confidential and used solely for research purposes.
Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, said: "This important project is in line with twofour54's objective of developing the region's media industry through setting up new standards for providing television content which is reflective of the viewers' needs. The project will also establish an interactive relationship between viewers and broadcasters, allowing viewers to influence the content delivered to them. This initiative will also provide accurate representation of viewers and the true value of the advertisements, which eventually leads to developing an industry based on clear professional and marketing standards."
The data collected will be used commercially to further develop the media industry, with research results contributing to broadcasters, media agencies and advertising spenders providing enhanced services which reflect the TV viewing needs of specific audiences, including quality and schedule of programmes and advertisements.
Christopher O'Hearn, General Manager of EMMC said: "Electronic audience measurement is the default system in more than 60 countries around the world. By introducing it to the UAE tview allows broadcasters and advertisers to make like-for-like comparison of their return on investment and ultimately will lead to significant growth in what is generally agreed to be an undervalued market."
The data is collected by monitoring the viewing habits of selected audiences which represent the entire TV viewing audience across the UAE population. Results reflect an accurate representation of viewing habits for watching specific television programmes and stations, contributing to the development of a deeper understanding of viewing habits. This research covers more than 80 of the most popular UAE and regional channels, including local, free-to-air, and encrypted channels.
The quality and reliability of the data is constantly reviewed by EMMC and the system provider Kantar Media, which operates similar systems in the UK, China, India and many other countries. In addition it is subject to external audit by an independent body, which was a key factor in twofour54's agreement to join the project and it is hoped will lead to widespread acceptance throughout the broadcast and advertising sector.
‘tview' is an initiative by the Emirates Media Measurement Company (EMMC), which is a joint venture established by the National Media Council (NMC) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). NMC chairs the Emirates Media Measurement Company and is backed by shareholders including Abu Dhabi Media, Sharjah Media Corporation, Rotana Media, Etisalat, and also supported by du. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Twofour54 boss basks in year of achievement
posted on 01/01/2014

It was a busy year for twofour54, but its chief executive Noura Al Kaabi says 2014 will be even busier.
Ms Al Kaabi says last year was about revision and renewed focus for the five-year-old company, which is the commercial arm of Abu Dhabi's media zone authority.
"[It was] the year where we successfully attracted more than 240 companies to twofour54 and that is not easy because we are in a niche market here,” she says.
"At the end of the day they can go anywhere, but the difference is what is offered and the opportunities here. We have been attracting regional players and looking at what we can do with Arabic-content creation.”
She also points to the employment opportunities the company has created.
"We have created more than 2,200 jobs that weren't available five years ago and we believe that is an achievement,” Ms Al Kaabi says. "Let it be in animation, let it be in app development or gaming and coding. We look for opportunities.”
Twofour54 has also been involved in a number of big-name productions.
The titles and opening scenes of Hollywood film Beware the Night, starring Eric Bana, were filmed in the capital using the facilities at twofour54's intaj studios and on location at the Liwa oasis.
To remember the landmark, Ms Al Kaabi keeps a prop skull from the set in her office.
Another first for twofour54 was the filming of Syrian Ramadan drama Hamman Shami at the company's studios in Abu Dhabi.
Hamman Shami was directed by the renowned Syrian director Momen Al Mulla, whose past credits include Bab Al Hara, one of the most popular television series ever produced in the Arab world.
These programmes received a 30 per cent rebate on the cost of production, a benefit to which companies working with twofour54 are eligible on condition that Emiratis can be involved and learn from the process.
For this year, Ms Al Kaabi said she was looking forward to production starting on Iftah Ya Sim Sim, the Arabic version of the popular children's show Sesame Street, later in the year.
She restated the need for more local talent to come forward and work on the programme.
But there is still uncertainty about twofour54's involvement with the filming of the next instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise.
Several scenes for the blockbuster had already been shot this year in the capital, but filming was put on hold after the death of its star Paul Walker in November.
Ms Al Kaabi says twofour54 is still awaiting confirmation from the production company and will have more news in coming weeks.
She also mentions the role twofour54 plays in championing the role of women in the media industry.
"If we look at the numbers of our students, most are women. We have set designers who are women, we have them at government desks.
"The two Emiratis who graduated from the Ubisoft Gaming Academy are females, so they are out there now.”
Ms Al Kaabi says exciting times lie ahead for the new year.
"For next year we are looking at projects that aren't just good on their own, but have a positive impact on the industry. We also will have a strong commercial focus as well as talent development,” she says.
"Whenever a graduate comes from twofour54 they become part of a cultural build. It will help them in the future and the skills they acquire will serve them for their career.
"There will be nice surprises for 2014.” – The National - Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/media/twofour54-boss-basks-in-year-of-achievement#ixzz2p7l2ASZL
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NMC holds 1st Annual Strategic Partners Gathering
posted on 29/12/2013

The National Media Council (NMC) has held its 1st Annual Gathering of Strategic Partners and clients with over 75 representatives of government and local departments and a number of services users attending the forum.
The gathering comes within the NMC's policies of keenness to boost relations with strategic clients and strategic partners, interacting with them in order to listen to their proposals on the services provided by the Council, in addition to exchanging ideas on developing them. It was also aimed at discussing future visions so as to enhance cooperation and the available opportunities to expand the provided services system to partners and clients.
Ibrahim Al Abed, Director-General of the National Media Council, welcomed the audience, pointing out that the NMC and the Emirates News Agency (WAM) aim to provide their services for all, and highlight the achievements of various departments.
Mr. Al Abed also urged the participants to send their ideas and proposals, since this has a great impact on the increase of cooperation and thus also achieve work improvement.
Alia' Hassan Al Yasi, Director of the Department of Governmental Communication at NMC, who supervised the organisation of the gathering, said that the modern interaction and communication mechanisms adopted by the department aimed to improve means of communication with various departments, the public, and service users.
She also added that the NMC has initiated a presence on social network websites in order to receive proposals and complaints from customers and clients.
Director of the Office of Strategic Planning at NMC, Ahmed Al-Shiba, made a presentation on NMC's strategic plan, 2014-2016.
Jamal Nasser Al-Swuaider, Acting Executive Director of WAM also gave a presentation on WAM's strategy, work mechanisms, media coverage for local events and the Agency's relations with various departments and institutions, noting that WAM is acknowledged as the first in the world to release news attached with photographs and video simultaneously. It also broadcasts news in three languages and provides news services through social network websites for foreign reporters. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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twofour54 partners with premium Arabic video-on-demand portals Istikana and Cinemoz
posted on 23/12/2013

Abu Dhabi's media zone twofour54 has entered into partnerships with two of the Arab world's leading video-on-demand platforms, Istikana and Cinemoz.
The partnerships will see eight films supported through twofour54's creative lab debut on these portals which each share twofour54's mission to build on the volume and accessibility of world-class Arabic content online. twofour54 creative lab is an initiative that supports the talent needed for the sustainable growth of the region's media industry.
Separately, nine films supported through twofour54's creative lab will be aired on Etihad Airways in-flight entertainment channel reaching its international audience of passengers. The partnerships represent a key commercial step for the emerging filmmaking talent that created the films. They also demonstrate the high demand for Arabic content produced in the region.
Istikana and Cinemoz offer Arabic speaking viewers around the world access to high-quality entertainment in their own language. They provide films, series, documentaries and shorts generally free of charge. Both platforms also interact with their communities through the full integration of social media.
Maryam Al Mheiri, Chief Operating Officer, twofour54, said, "Premium video-on-demand channels are a great way to reach out to new and existing audiences. The partnerships with Istikana and Cinemoz are very exciting for the emerging filmmakers we support as they will generate greater exposure for their work. It is also an important step towards commercial success. I therefore would urge all young filmmakers to upload their films to leverage these important platforms. In today's digital age there's no better way to get an audience for your work." Speaking about the nine films on Etihad Airways, Maryam, continued "Through our national airline Etihad Airways, twofour54 and its film talent is reaching the broadest possible audience of people who are keen to learn more about our region. The opportunity to showcase our work to these viewers is a valuable way to demonstrate just how much our region's film industry is growing." Karim Safieddine, Founder and Head of Acquisitions, Cinemoze, said, "Our exciting partnership with twofour54 is hard proof of the refreshing prospects that the Middle East and North Africa region's entertainment industry has to offer. As of December 2013, a diverse selection of Emirati shorts will be available for worldwide streaming, gaining exposure and remunerating its creators. It is thrilling to witness the full virtuous cycle, covering inception, production, distribution and monetization, blossoming from the digital space.
The new platforms made available to emerging filmmakers through twofour54 creative lab's own digital channels, Istikana, Cinemoz and Etihad follow awards and acclaim for numerous projects, at some of the most highly regarded regional and international film festivals in the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Emirati Media Forum: Is conventional media dead or not?
posted on 19/12/2013

The inaugural Emirati Media Forum today saw a debate on whether social or new media has killed off conventional media like newspapers and TV or has just dealt it a glancing blow.
"Newspapers in the print form are close to being obsolete - if they do not utilise electronics news," declared panellist Ali Jaber, Dean of Mohammed bin Rashid Media College at the American University in Dubai.
"In fact, conventional media - both Newspapers and Television - are facing difficulties. Even in TV, we are feeling the impact of new media. Newspapers and Magazines are behind TV in terms of adapting to new media," he stated.
Other panellists and audience members reacted immediately, stating that new media may be a challenge but it is not a threat to conventional media.
"Social media has liberated conventional media," said Dhaen Shaheen, Director-General for Publishing at Dubai Media Inc. and Editor-in-Chief of Al Bayan Arabic Newspaper.
He said social media has speeded up delivery of news. "It is a new vessel that needs to be utilised to serve conventional media. The Editorial can be a hybrid providing news through several channels - through Website, Facebook, Twitter as well as Newspaper.
"True, social media is a challenge, but it also opens up wider horizons in communicating with the worldwide community," Shaheen said.
Abdulla Al Nuaimi, New Media Specialist, however, felt that there is no need any more to read conventional newspapers.
Al Nuaimi said new media has provided him with much more than conventional media. New media can address issues immediately and get feedback quickly," he said.
Khaled Al Khaja, Dean of Mass Communication and Humanities College, Ajman University of Science and Technology, said that conventional media institutions are facing challenges from new media, but he was of the view that they will be able to overcome them.
"Conventional media can compete in terms of credibility that social media sometimes lacks.
He said conventional and new media play a complementary role.
Ahmed Al Hashimy, First Vice-President of Communication and Brand at Etisalat felt new media is not a threat to conventional media.
"I am of a generation that grew up with conventional media, but my 15-year-old son never reads newspapers because he is from the digital age.
"Today, we have media channels for different age groups." Al Hashimy pointed out that they newspapers started to adapt to social media and have started using it as a part of core business. "The challenge will be in the long run." The concluding session of the Emirati Media Forum on The Role of Social Media in Reshaping the Emirati Media Scene' was moderated by Nour Aldin Yousuf of Dubai Media Inc. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE to launch several initiatives to boost Emiratisation in media
posted on 19/12/2013

The UAE is planning to launch a major initiative to increase the level of Emiratisation in the media sector from the existing 25 per cent, although experts and senior government officials stressed on the importance of quality over quantity.
"We are undertaking a major initiative to boost Emiratisation in the media sector including holding open days for recruitment by major media organisations with the support of the journalists' associations where students could interact with the recruiters and understand their requirements," Ibrahim Al Abed, Director-General of the National Media Council, told delegates at the first Emirati Media Forum - that has focused on the challenges and opportunities in the growing media landscape in the UAE.
"As part of the initiatives, we are also planning to send journalism graduates for higher studies abroad who could then enrich the local media industry with international expertise. Additionally, we will launch incentive programmes to attract Emirati talent to the media industry with the help of the government bodies and the media institutions." He said, he did not think that the media sector is unattractive for the UAE national graduates.
"Talking is easy but doing is difficult," he said of the initiatives. "We need to coordinate with relevant government bodies to undertake these incentives to Emiratis to attract them to the media sector. We need the government departments, policymakers to work together to come up with incentive programmes." Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC), said, "The level of Emiratisation in the media sector is just 25 per cent - which is very low. Although in Sharjah, Emiratisation in the SMC is about 50 per cent and within The Sharjah Media Centre exceeds 70 per cent, we should not favour Emiratis over qualified foreign journalists.
"We need to develop quality journalists by first offering them professional training and help them develop expertise before pushing for Emiratisation," he said. "We also need the foreign journalists to train the young Emirati media graduates and infuse skills within them so that they could become good and professional journalists." He stressed on the education and the professional training aspect in their career development. "The universities should start offering practical training in addition to their academic curricula so that the students could get an idea of the real-life journalism," Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi said.
"This should be complemented with the field-level training within the media organisations." Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General of the Department of Economic Development and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Media Incorporated, said, journalism and media-related work are considered by many Emiratis as low-paying jobs.
"Should we Emiratise only the editorial positions of the media or the whole sector including administrative and technical jobs?" he asked the audience.
"We also need to talk about the quality of Emiratisation rather than the quantity. We should also look at the quality of works by the Emirati media professionals rather than the quantity." He said, he did not think that the media industry lacked incentives. "I do believe that we have incentives in the local media," Al Qamzi said.
Raed Barqawi, Managing Editor of Al Khaleej Newspaper said, Emiratisation has remained a major challenge for his organisation. "Do we want Emiratisation for the sake of it or should we look for quality human resource development programme?" he asked.
"There is also an issue of talent retention. Once we train them putting a lot of efforts, they are taken by the government departments with higher pay and the cease to become journalist. This beats the whole purpose of the Emiratisation." Barqawi said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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National Media Council signs MoU with Social Affairs Ministry
posted on 16/12/2013

The National Media Council (NMC) and the Ministry of Social Affairs have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance coordination and cooperation between them.
Naji Jamal Al Hai, Acting Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs, and Abdullah bin Bduwah Al Darmaki, Executive Director for Media Affairs at NMC, signed the agreement in the presence of senior NMC officials.
The MoU is aimed at promoting coordination between the two sides on technical, technological, legal, procedural and training spheres. Through the agreement, the two parties seek to promote the exchange of knowledge, institutional expertise, data and documents at all levels in order to ensure easy access to, and update of data.
In addition, the MoU provides a framework for understanding between the signatories on advertisements relating to children, and putting them in line with the regulations and plans of the Social Affairs Ministry. It also provides for facilitating the dissemination of the Ministry's news, statements and information as well as for giving WAM reporters easy access to them. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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twofour54 chief executive attends Foreign Policy's seminar
posted on 15/12/2013

Washington, D.C.: Chief Executive of twofour54, Noura Al Kaabi, at a Foreign Policy's seminar, has declared the need for further strategies to address the disconnect between the number of Arabic speaking internet users globally and the percentage of Arabic content online.
The twofour54 Chief Executive was speaking in Washington D.C. where she joined Foreign Policy magazine for the release of its annual 100 global thinkers list 2013 on which she was named as the first ever Emirati. At the event David Rothkopf, CEO of Foreign Policy said that although Arabic is one of the 10 most important languages in the world, online Arabic content does not exceed 3%.
Noura s dialogue was part of Foreign Policy's Transformational Trends seminar entitled Rethinking the Middle East: Finding Opportunity Amid Unprecedented Upheaval where she participated as a panel member. The event, organised by Foreign Policy magazine in collaboration with the U.S. State Department, was attended by top level decision makers from the United States of America, along with some of the world's greatest intellectuals.
Moderated by Noah Shachtman, Executive Editor for news at Foreign Policy, the panel also included James Franklin Jeffrey, former senior American diplomat and expert in political, security and energy issues in the Middle East, Turkey, Germany and the Balkans; Anne Patterson, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Vali Nasr, Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
During the panel, Noura Al Kaabi stated that the Middle East & North Africa region offers numerous opportunities supported by an existing pool of young talent that is already taking advantage of the digital revolution to develop and enrich Arabic digital content. She added that additional support is required from different entities whether they are public or private and went on to highlight the UAE s successful initiatives, including twofour54, which aims to promote the development of Arabic digital content and encourage users to participate in enriching the Arabic digital content.
Al Kaabi stressed that the growth of Arabic content is an indicator of the increasingly strong profile that Arabic heritage and culture has online globally. She went on to cite that Arabic is one of the fastest growing languages online and has grown by 2500% over the past decade. Despite this positive development, there is still untapped potential as the number of Arabic language internet users reaches only 141 million out of a population of 350 million. Furthermore, Al Kaabi added that the Arabic language is the eighth most used online language worldwide, with English coming in first followed by Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, German, and Portuguese.
Al Kaabi explained that the existing gap is owing to: delayed internet uptake in many Arab countries; a lack of tools; economic and social elements; as well as the fact that Arabs, especially young Arabs, use other languages, limiting the spread of Arabic digital content.
She added that the lack of Arabic digital content impacts our daily lives, particularly as studies suggest that the internet became a source to basic information in all areas, and that young people have come to believe that the internet is one of the most reliable sources of information at the expense of traditional media.
Finally, Noura Al Kaabi extended her gratitude to UAE leadership and governmental entities for the work they have done in the area of women empowerment. She gave a special mention of appreciation to H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak known as the Mother of the Nation because of her championing of various women s empowerment and development initiatives. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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twofour54 chief executive named leading global thinker by Foreign Policy magazine
posted on 13/12/2013

The chief executive of the local media-zone authority, twofour54, has been named as one of Foreign Policy magazine's leading global thinkers of 2013.
Noura Al Kaabi becomes the first Emirati to be featured on the list of 100 people who have made a measurable difference and which recognises the world's most distinguished "thought leaders”.
Other names on the list include Pope Francis, John Kerry, Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani, Angela Merkel, Dilma Rousseff and Mark Zuckerberg.
Ms Al Kaabi was named on the list of the Top Global Thinkers for her role in enriching online Arabic content, her contributions in supporting young creative talents and promoting digital media.
The chief executive of Foreign Policy magazine, David Rothkopf, applauded Ms Al Kaabi for promoting online Arabic content. Despite being one of the "10 most important languages in the world”, Arabic content online does not exceed 3 per cent, Mr Rothkopf said.
Twofour54 is a government initiative that supports the development of sustainable media and creative industries for the UAE and the wider region.
Ms Al Kaabi was last year named Arabian Business's media chief executive of the year and female chief executive of the year by CEO Middle East in 2012.
She was named one of Forbes Middle East's 30 most influential women in government in 2013, one of Arabian Business's 100 most powerful Arab women in 2011 and 2012 and one of CEO Middle East's 100 most powerful Arab women last year.
Ms Al Kaabi is a board member of Abu Dhabi Media, which owns The National. – The National

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Mohammed bin Rashid meets foreign and national media delegation
posted on 02/12/2013

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Sunday met representatives of media organisations of 36 Arab and other countries, currently visiting the UAE on the occasion of the 42nd National Day, and of prominent representatives of UAE media organisations, at Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa Present at the meeting were H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Chairman of National Media Council (NMC), Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gargawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Majed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and other senior officials.
At the meeting, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid spoke about a number of important topics, most notably the UAE National Day and its importance to the people for the UAE, and the success of the UAE's bid to host the world EXPO 2020 and its significance both locally and internationally as well as its positive effects for the region and the world.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid expressed appreciation of the role the media play in expressing people's ambitions and as well as in being partners to governments in observing improvement and development.

Speaking on the UAE National Day, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said, "Our joy today as we celebrate the 42nd National Day is doubled by the UAE's winning of the bid to host the world EXPO 2020." He described the occasion as the crucial day which saw the establishment of the UAE Federation, and the current celebrations of the occasion as an opportunity for Emiratis to express their love and loyalty to the historic determination and will against challenges.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed attributed the success of the UAE in hosting EXPO 2020 to the wise leadership and directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the follow-up by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces who was interested in following up all stages of work in the lead up to the U.A.E's win which is one of its most important achievements in terms of global competitiveness.
He also attributed the success of EXPO 2020 bid "to the wise policy established by the nation's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who laid the solid foundations for the country's strong and friendly international relations based on mutual respect. This policy is followed by my brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, supported by my brother Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed." "We worked hard to provide the basis of this achievement. Allah helped us to succeed. We are now thinking beyond EXPO 2020, as we are in a new phase of achievements. The future will be our main concern.... to peacefully coexist with others and to do good for all." "We thank all the countries which stood by us and voted for us, as well as the countries which did not vote for us." He described the success of EXPO 2020 bid was not only an achievement for the UAE, but also a strategic success of a vast region inhabited by two billion people. "The UAE engaged in a fierce international competition to host this global mega event to its land in order to open promising and unlimited opportunities for the peoples of this region to achieve their aspirations and find a proper position within the progress of the world." His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum praised all the relevant teams government departments and ministries for their role in making the national achievement of hosting EXPO 2020. Paying a special tribute to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) he said, " Led by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, MoFA has made exceptional efforts. All worked as one team and the positive energy was always there during all stages as all the efforts and strengths were unified for the achievement of one goal. Thank God for helping us make this achievement." "We were glad to see that all people here including nationals, residents, guests and visitors were happy when we dedicated the win (of EXPO 2020 bid) to all Arab and regional countries. During our work on the bid, we put in mind, not only interests of the UAE, but also the interests of the whole Arab region. The interests of their peoples were always on our mind. We thank our brothers for their stance for the UAE Persistence leads man to success." Answering a question by a member of the visiting media delegation on when Arabs would manufacture their own weapons, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, "We don't want weapons. We do want peace. As my brother Mohammed bin Zayed said, international relations are more important than guns and missiles." He also re-affirmed the U.A.E's commitment to promote global peace against wars.
"We want peace to prevail the whole world so all people can live in peace and safety. The people of the UAE enjoys peace and happiness under the leadership of my brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, and under follow-up by my other brother Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed." "We hope that peace will prevail all our Arab countries. We tell them that determination, will and positive attitude are important factors for the targeted positive development," His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said.
On his part, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister ( Chairman of National Media Council (NMC), affirmed that the prosperity of the nation and the welfare of nationals is among the top strategic goals the UAE is seeking to achieve under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, within the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and under follow-up by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces." Thanking His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid for his unwavering support, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said, "Any successful official looks forward to working as a member of a team led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. This is a big honour that requires more efforts and commitment on the way to achieve the successes the wise leadership of the nation seeks to achieve in the service of the country. Thanks to this vision, the UAE has succeeded in earning international respect and appreciation." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Emirates Palace hosts 100 journalists on UAE National Day
posted on 30/11/2013

Emirates Palace Hotel has hosted more than 100 journalists representing nearly 77 media establishments from 42 Arab states and other countries in collaboration with the National Media Council (NMC), as part of the UAE's celebrations marking its 42nd National Day.
On this occasion, the hotel held a dinner banquet for the delegates, attended by NMC Director General Ibrahim Al Abed and Emirates Palace General Manager Holger Schroth.
The hotel later organised a tour for the guests of its rooms, suites, the conference hall and other auditoriums. "We are pleased to welcome the media delegates on this dear occasion," Schroth said, adding that the national day celebrations at Emirates Palace would continue until Dec 5." "We want to join the U.A.E. and its people in celebrating this occasion marking the country's 42nd birthday during which it has become one of the most developed nations," he said.
He said the ceremonies include a variety of events that match this "important national occasion." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Foreign correspondents experience Emirati culture
posted on 29/11/2013

Foreign correspondents currently visiting the UAE on the occasion of the 42nd National Day at the invitation of the National Media Council were introduced on Thursday to an engaging example of traditional Emirati culture during a visit to the General Women's Union in Abu Dhabi.
Established in 1974, and chaired by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, wife of the founding father of the state, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Union's mandate is to represent women at all levels throughout the state.
Today's visit coincided with a range of celebrations for National Day, with displays of traditional Emirati crafts and folkloric heritage.
While the menfolk performed their traditional dancing and songs of the seafarers, the women worked at looms or sat weaving cloth while examples of Emirati poetry were read, demonstrating how life was in the UAE before the advent of oil.
Even the children in attendance, all dressed in their celebratory clothes, joined in the fun, dancing with their fathers and taking camel rides around the garden area.
The General Women's Union supports and promotes women religiously, culturally and socially within the Arab world in general, and in the UAE in particular, while maintaining the historical traditions of the region.
Today's displays were warmly appreciated by the correspondents, many of whom were making their first trip to the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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