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Mohammed bin Rashid attends first meeting for UAE Gender Balance Council, approves Gender Balance Index
posted on 07/07/2015

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has affirmed that the UAE will spare no effort to create a supportive environment for women to fulfil their roles as key partners in building the future of the nation.
"Emirati women have proved their competence in all fields and we are proud of every achievement they made, and thus, we are committed to support them till they achieve the highest degrees of excellence and accomplish further achievements in line with our ambitious development vision" said His Highness.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid wished all the success for members of UAE Gender Balance Council in pursuing their objectives. Sheikh Mohammed described the formation of the Gender Balance Council as a new step toward empowering UAE women.
He also affirmed that the Council's objectives complement the valued contributions of the Mother of the Nation, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
Affirming its role in enhancing work environment by giving women equal opportunities in the public sector, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid approved the Council's launching of the Gender Balance Index for the government sector.
Sheikh Mohammed's statement came while attending part of the UAE Gender Balance Council's first meeting, chaired by President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment, H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wife of 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, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, attended the meeting.
During the meeting, Sheikha Manal announced the launch of Gender Balance Index in government entities.
President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment, H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has issued a resolution appointing Mona Al Marri as Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council.
The meeting was also attended by members of the UAE Gender Balance Council including Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, Mona Al Marri; Director-General of UAE General Women's Union, Noura Al Suweidi; Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry for Legal Affairs, Dr. Abdul Rahim Yousef Al Awadhi; Assistant Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry for Government Coordination Nasser Al Hamili of Ministry of Presidential Affairs; Undersecretary for Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry, Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh; Assistant Undersecretary for Ministry of Labour for Policies and Strategies, Dr. Omer Abdul Rahman Al Nuaimi; Secretary-General of Emirates Competitiveness Council, Abdullah Nasser Lootah; Director-General of the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources, Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Awar; Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Reem Al Falasi, and Director-General of Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation at Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, Huda Al Hashimi.
Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum started the UAE Gender Balance Council's first meeting by welcoming Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, extending her heartfelt gratitude to His Highness for offering a great care for women around the country and for the continuous support for all initiatives and projects that aim at empowering women and granting them the necessary tools and means to actively serve their community and country. Sheikha Manal stressed on the fact that the Council is keen on monitoring its entrusted tasks in accordance with the aspirations of our wise leadership and in support to UAE's overall development at all levels.
"The Gender Balance Index in government entities aims at measuring the performance of these entities in achieving balance through a series of indices which include developing policies in support of women, applying these policies optimally, ensuring equal opportunities between men and women in leadership positions and decision-making positions as well as launching initiatives that will provide excellent services in the workplace, such as, creating women's committees that serve women," stressed Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed.
Sheikha Manal commissioned the UAE Gender Balance Council to cooperate with different stakeholders at the federal level, to work on the project and present a full concept during the Council's next meeting.
Fruitful Results During the meeting, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed reviewed the overall objectives and strategy outline for the next phase of the council, along with the steps taken to activate the Council's role, in cooperation with competent entities in the UAE based on clear frameworks that ensure concrete and effective results in the shortest possible time frames. Sheikha Manal also confirmed that the Council acts as a federal entity intended to bridge the gap between genders, achieve the desired balance between them and offer both men and women equal opportunities. The Council's first index is efficiency, excellence and innovation, which contributes to achieving one of the Council's main objectives including upgrading the UAE's competitiveness level in the field of gender balance on the international level.
Sheikha Manal stressed the importance of developing federal and local strategies to deal with gender and social balance, examining existing legislations and studying the possibility of enhancing them, which will achieve the desired balance, especially that these legislations were passed several decades ago and might not fit our country's large development ambitions.
Moreover, Sheikha Manal noted that the UAE is keen to empower women and therefore the country provided equal educational opportunities and better access to health and social services. The UAE also issued legislations to preserve women's rights. Sheikha Manal affirmed that the UAE takes pride in Emirati women's achievements and is committed to provide the support they require in order for them to continue play their important role as mothers raising the new generation beside their role in the community.
"Current legislations, policies and programmes must be revised or updated, and new legislations and programmes must be developed to achieve gender balance in the workplace, as we currently need to develop legislations and policies that suit the major changes in the state, and fulfil our ambition to turn the UAE into a model in gender balance. This path will guarantee a proper and collective participation of men and women during the ambitious developmental journey which requires combining all efforts. In addition, the implementation of decisions and laws in gender balance must undergo a follow-up process, as some of them are not applied or are inaccurately applied in a way that diminishes the achievement of desired goals," Sheikha Manal she added.
Multiple Fields and Great Expectations Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed pointed out the multiplicity of the fields overseen by the Council and the pressing need to focus on sectors that are showing poor performance in international competitiveness reports, taking into consideration the fact that some reports issued by international bodies often lack accuracy.
As for the Council's focus fields, Sheikha Manal assured that the UAE Gender Balance Council will work on several areas while stressing on political participation and will strive to increase women's participation rate in the National Council, as well as achieve equal rates for their participation in diplomatic corps.
She mentioned that the leadership and decision-making entity will be concretely implemented to raise women's participation in boards of directors within public and private sectors, in cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Economy and all stakeholders so as to activate the women's representation, determine the reasons that prevent the increase in representation rates and identify the best ways to raise their participation.
President of the Council also noted the importance of adopting work-life balance initiatives through creating nurseries in workplaces and collaborating with the representative of the Ministry of Social Affairs to protest against the deactivation of decisions related to women in federal entities. The Council will also review the situation and maternity laws and work for their optimal application at the state level, as well as follow up on their implementation by governmental and private entities.
She revealed that the efforts of the UAE Gender Balance Council within the economic body will include working on increasing the participation of women in the private and entrepreneurship sectors, especially after Emirati women proved their ability to achieve excellence in various economic and business fields.
International Competitiveness For his part, Secretary General of the Emirates Competitiveness Council His Excellence Abdulla Nasser Lootah presented an overview on the UAE status in international competitiveness reports, where he highlighted the positions scored by the UAE in this regard and the aspects that require improvement. The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave an overview on women, their role in the Emirati society and the elements that the Council needs to focus on during the next phase as part of the efforts to reduce any gap between genders.
Following this, a presentation on the UAE Gender Balance Council and its objectives was shown. These objectives include reducing the gap between genders in all UAE sectors, promoting the UAE's status in international competitiveness reports in terms of gender gap and striving to achieve gender balance in decision-making centres. Moreover, innovative initiatives and projects were presented, aiming at achieving gender balance and turning the UAE into a model in gender balance and gender equality legislations.
Council's Specialisations Members of the UAE Gender Balance Council include Director of the General Women's Union, Noura Al Suwaidi; Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Reem Abdullah Al Falasi; Chairperson of Dubai Women Establishment, Mona Al Marri; and Secretary-General of the Emirates Competitiveness Council, Abdulla Nasser Lootah, in addition to representatives from the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Cabinet Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Economy, Social Affairs, Labour, and the Federal Authority for Human Resources.
Council's specialisations include reviewing current legislations, policies and programmes, suggesting or updating new legislations and programmes in order to achieve gender balance in the workplace, and activating laws, regulations, decisions and related international agreements on gender balance, to avoid discrimination against women.
The Council specialises in reviewing and following international competitiveness reports, working on establishing programmes, plans and policies to reduce the gender gap in the workplace, collaborating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to represent the United Arab Emirates in international forums, suggesting cooperation agreements and joint programmes, as well as proposing gender balance indices, presenting them to the Cabinet for approval and seeking to promote their application in the state in collaboration with federal and local authorities, in order to achieve the Council's objectives.
In addition, the Council seeks to establish a database related to gender balance in the workplace and submit periodic reports to the Cabinet to indicate the progress made and identify the projects and needs requested by the Council to achieve its objectives. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282950848.html

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Zayed Humanitarian Work Day: a milestone in the history of the United Arab Emirates
posted on 07/07/2015

The United Arab Emirates is celebrating Zayed Humanitarian Work Day, which falls on the 19th day of Ramadan every year, in memory of the founder of the state, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who passed away on this day.
This year's celebration saw the launch of further vital and high-quality humanitarian and charitable initiatives through thousands of governmental and community-led events organised by public, private, and national institutions.
This day is considered a milestone in the history of the UAE, as the event celebrates a range of achievements by the state in the field of humanitarian work by assisting other countries and peoples.
Over the past few years, the UAE has contributed to many international humanitarian initiatives that aid and support the capabilities of millions of people from target groups in many countries, in weak or marginalised regions, and in hot zones, in addition to victims of natural disasters, armed conflict, violence, wars, hunger, poverty, disease and destitution.
The UAE's leadership was keen to launch several international humanitarian initiatives, to which end President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, issued instructions to help the brotherly people of Yemen to endure their current ordeal.
So far, the total humanitarian aid provided by the UAE to Yemen in response to the recent crisis has reached a value of Dh93,840,200. This aid includes the shipment of nearly 80,000 tonnes of relief food, medical aid and fuel, transported by 5 ships, 11 airplanes, and 40 trucks.
On June 10th, 2014, His Highness the President and His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi commanded the allocation of Dh192 million as urgent humanitarian aid to support the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.
The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, under the guidance of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of ERC, oversaw the immediate administration and implementation of this aid. The ERC was also assigned to set up an integrated field hospital in the Gaza Strip and equip it to rescue and care for victims of Israeli aggression, which martyred hundreds and wounded thousands more innocent victims, including civilians, many of whom are women and children.
In a second important initiative, His Highness the President launched a programme to vaccinate millions of Pakistani children under the slogan, "Health for All ... A Better Future." The administrative committee of the UAE Project to Assist Pakistan announced that it has administered 44,082,226 doses of polio vaccination to Pakistani children in 53 districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the tribal Fateh province, and the Baluchistan and Sindh provinces.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, sponsored several initiatives, most notably providing clothing for one million children around the world, developing irrigation projects, and establishing a village for orphaned children, along with providing shelter, education, health, psychological care, and nutrition for orphans in need.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, also sponsored an initiative, donating US$120 million to support global efforts to eradicate the polio virus by the year 2018, with special focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In 2011, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership through which the two parties would donate equal shares of a sum of US$100 million for the purchase and delivery of vital vaccines for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This partnership resulted in the spending of US$34 million to provide 85 million oral doses of the polio vaccine for the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan, while US$66 million was allocated for the delivery of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and the pentavalent vaccine to Afghanistan.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also launched a campaign to vaccinate 20,000 Pakistani children against measles and polio in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where measles is most widespread among Pakistani children according to UNICEF reports and statistics. Some 1.2 million cases of measles are reported annually in Pakistan, and about 21,000 children die every year, as one-third of Pakistan's children are not vaccinated against the disease.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, reiterated that the relief aid provided by the UAE in 2013 alone exceeded US$5 billion, which ranks amongst the largest amounts of relief aid provided by any country, compared to their gross national income. He also noted that the UAE's position among the top donors of aid is a natural result of the late Sheikh Zayed's efforts to do good and his devotion to serve humanity anywhere in the world, which is the path that the UAE's wise leadership still follows.
The UAE has also provided loans, grants, and aid worth nearly Dh300 billion to many developmental projects in more than 300 countries, in addition to donating more than Dh100 billion through international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
According to the official annual report on the UAE's foreign aid for 2013, the UAE's donations for that year, reaching Dh21.63 billion, constituted a milestone, as the country had disbursed its highest value of aid payments in its history, making the UAE the top donor of official developmental aid in 2013 as a result of God's blessings and the country's prudent leadership.
Furthermore, during 2013 and 2014, the UAE's aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, reached Dh432 million.
Hazza Mohammed Falah Al Qahtani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, and Vice-President of the UAE Committee to Coordinate Foreign Aid, said that the total aid provided to victims of the Gaza crisis caused by Israeli aggression at the end of the summer reached some Dh92 million. The UAE, represented by the Emirates Red Crescent, also pledged to donate US$40.8 million to UNRWA.
Additionally, the total humanitarian aid donated by the UAE to those affected by the Syrian crisis reached Dh306.8 during 2012 and 2013, 206 million of which was provided by the UAE government.
According to the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development's indicators, the aid provided by the UAE through humanitarian institutions increased fourfold in 2013 from Dh52 million in 2012, rising to Dh254.68 million, in response to the escalating crisis afflicting the Syrian population.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is considered one of the leading development aid institutions in the world. The fund does not only provide loans to Arab countries, but also reaches African and Asian countries, and so far 69 countries have benefited from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development through some 400 development programmes with a total estimated value of more than Dh61 billion.
In October 2012, the International Organisation for Migration commended the support provided by the UAE and its high-quality relief contributions to displaced peoples around the world. On April 7th, 2014, the Development Assistance Committee, DAC, which is part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, announced that the UAE ranked first globally on a list of the top donors of relief aid for the year 2013, thus achieving a historic leap for the country in the field of foreign aid, raising it from nineteenth place in 2012 to first place in 2013.
The committee stated that the relief aid provided by the UAE in 2013 reached more than US$5.2 billion, stressing that it was the largest official amount of relief aid provided by a state compared to its gross national income, and pointing out that there was a 375 percent increase in the foreign aid provided by the UAE from 2012 to 2013.
The UAE came in sixth on a list of the most generous donors of foreign aid in the world, according to the classification of the DAC in 2012, as the amount of foreign aid provided by the UAE between the time of its establishment on December 2nd, 1971, and 2010, had reached more than US$163 billion in the form of loans or gift aid, while it had provided US$2.11 billion in 2011 and over US$1.59 billion in 2012.
Some 43 government organisations, non-governmental organisations, and humanitarian organisations are in charge of disbursing this aid to more than 137 countries and afflicted areas throughout the world; twenty-two of these organisations are federal. High quality and generous initiatives by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, have also been implemented.
The cost of humanitarian aid provided by the Emirates Red Crescent, both within and outside the country, between 1983 and 2013, exceeded Dh8 billion, benefitting up to 100 countries. The Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation has spent, since its inception in 1992, more than US$460 million on various programmes and humanitarian projects carried out in 96 countries across all continents.
The value of aid provided by the UAE to refugees and internally displaced people in 71 countries across the world from 2009 to mid-2014 exceeded Dh2.6 billion. This aid was aimed at providing support, assistance, and relief to victims and people displaced from their homes as a result of catastrophic natural disasters, armed conflicts and wars.
The UAE Project to Assist Pakistan implemented developmental and humanitarian projects at a cost of US$320 million in its early first and second stages to counter the effects of the devastating floods of 2010, rebuild the country's infrastructure, provide humanitarian aid, and start a new phase of charity and solidarity with the people of Pakistan.
Most of the funding for these early stages of the project came from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for Humanitarian Work. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282940452.html

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs' report on Zayed Humanitarian Work Day
posted on 07/07/2015

ABU DHABI, 7th July, 2015 (WAM)--The United Arab Emirates observed on 6th July 2015 for the fourth consecutive year the anniversary of Zayed Humanitarian Work Day as per the resolution of the Cabinet issued in November 2012, designating the 19th of Ramadan each year as the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day, to correspond with the death anniversary of the UAE's founding, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
This year's celebrations will see the launch of more humanitarian, charitable and quality initiatives through thousands of government and community events organised by private and public institutions and NGOs.
This is a landmark day in the history of the United Arab Emirates. The celebration expresses a range of achievements scored by the UAE in terms of humanitarian efforts and assistance to other countries and peoples.
Over the past years, the UAE launched many humanitarian initiatives that served and enhanced the capabilities of millions of people in many countries, isolated geographical areas, conflict zones and regions hit by famines and poverty.
The UAE leadership launched several international humanitarian initiatives. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, directed to help brotherly people of Yemen to overcome the plight.
The total humanitarian aid so far provided by the UAE to Yemen in response to the current situation stood at over Dh93.8 million, including the transport of nearly 8, 000 tons of food stuff items and medical devices by five ships and 11 air trips and 40 trucks.
On 10th June, 2014, the UAE President and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi ordered the allocation of Dh192 million urgent humanitarian aid to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, with follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the ERC, supervises the implementation of this aid. The ERC was also assigned to set up an integrated and outfitted field hospital in Gaza Strip to provide medical services to the victims of the Israeli aggression, which claimed the lives of hundreds of martyrs, and thousands of injured innocent civilians, including women and children.
In the second important initiative, the UAE President ordered the vaccination of millions of Pakistani children under the slogan "Health for All .. Better future." The UAE Assistance Project for Pakistan said 86 million doses were given to vaccinate children against polio in Pakistan in 53 district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the tribal region Fateh, Baluchistan and Sindh regions.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, also launched several initiatives, most notably, clothing of one million children around the world and Suqia to provide drinking water. A few days ago, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launched the initiative to set up a village for orphans. It will provide shelter, care and education, physical and mental health care as well as good nutrition for the orphans.
For his part, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, provided US$120 million contribution in support of the global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018 with a special focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 2011, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership. A total of US$100 million was provided by the two parties to purchase and deliver vital vaccines for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This partnership resulted in spending US$34 million to provide 85 million oral doses of polio vaccines for the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan, while US$ 66 million had been spent for the delivery of "pneumococcal and pentavalent vaccines" to Afghanistan.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also launched a vaccination campaign of 20, 000 Pakistani children against measles and polio in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where measles disease is widespread among Pakistani children according to UNICEF reports. In Pakistan, there are 1.2 million cases of measles reported annually and about 21, 000 children die each year because of this measles epidemic. Meanwhile one third of children in Pakistan do not get vaccinated against measles.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the ERC, stressed that the relief aid provided by the UAE in 2013 alone stood at US$5.2 billion, and deemed the largest relief aid provided by the State compared to its Gross National Income (GNI). He noted that with this record the UAE is ranked among major donor countries, adding that this is natural result, because it reflects the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, who had devoted his life to serve the humanity anywhere in the world. "This legacy is sustained by our current wise leadership."
The UAE provided loans and grants to more than 300 countries throughout the world, nearly Dh300 billion, in addition to more than Dh100 billion through the international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
According to the official annual report of UAE foreign aid for 2013, the UAE foreign aid constitutes a milestone in the history of the State, as the country achieved the highest rate in its history in terms of the total paid external assistance, equivalent to Dh21.63 billion, ranking the UAE top in the world regarding official development aid, thanks to its wise leadership.
During 2013 and 2014, the UAE aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, stood at Dh432 million, while total aid to the Gaza Strip to handle the crisis caused by the Israeli aggression, stood at Dh 92 million. The UAE represented by the ERC also pledged US$40.8 million dollars for UNRWA.
The UAE humanitarian aid directed to those affected by the Syrian crisis amounted to Dh306 million during 2012 to 2013. The government aid accounted for Dh206 million of the total value.
According to the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, the UAE humanitarian aid through humanitarian institutions jumped during 2012 from Dh52 million to four-fold during 2013, to reach over Dh254.6 million in the framework of response of the humanitarian institutions to the increasing humanitarian crisis in Syria. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, is one of the leading development aid institutions in the world, not only in terms of loans to the Arab countries, but also through its assistance that extends to African and Asian countries. The number of countries benefiting from the ADFD assistance, has so far reached 69 worldwide. It provides a set of development operations amounting approximately to 400, with a total value estimated at more than Dh61 billion.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in October 2012, commended the support of the UAE and its quality relief contributions to the displaced people in the world, while the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, announced on 7th April, 2014, that the UAE was ranked the first globally as the top donor country in relief aid for year 2013, thus achieving a historic leap in the field of granting foreign aid, jumping from19th place in 2012 to the first place in the year 2013.
The Committee stated that the relief aid provided by the UAE in 2013, stood at US$ 5.2 billion, noting that the UAE provided the largest proportion of official relief assistance provided by a single state compared to its gross national income. It pointed out that the UAE foreign aid increased by 375 percent in year 2013 compared to year 2012.
The foreign aid provided by the UAE since its establishment on 2nd December, 1971, until the year 2010, stood at US$163 billion in form of aid and loans or grants. The UAE foreign aid in 2011 amounted to US$11.2 billion and in 2012 stood at US$59.1 billion.
Such assistance, which was extended to 137 countries and geographical regions worldwide, was provided by about 43 governmental and non-governmental humanitarian and charitable agencies, including 22 federal institutions, with exception of quality and generous initiatives of the UAE President, Vice President, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Their Highnesses, Rulers of the Emirates.
The cost of humanitarian assistance provided by the ERC inside and outside the country from 1983 - 2013, stood at US$8 billion in 100 countries around the world. The Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation provided since its inception in 1992 more than US$460 million on various programmes and humanitarian projects carried out in 96 countries in the continents of the world.
The UAE provided assistance to the refugees and internally displaced people in 71 countries around the world from 2009 until mid-year 2014, more than Dh2.6 billion. The aid targeted those affected by conflicts and natural disasters, as a result of natural disasters and armed conflicts.
Meanwhile, the UAE Assistance Project to Pakistan carried out developmental and humanitarian projects at a cost of US$320 million to counter the effects of the devastating floods that ravaged the country in 2010, as well as the reconstruction of infrastructure and provision of humanitarian aid. The move reflects the UAE's solidarity with the people of Pakistan.
The total cost of the projects carried out by the UAE Assistance Project to Pakistan in the first and the second phases stood at 320 million. The ADFD and the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation incurred the bulk of the cost of these projects. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
\http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282960283.html
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282966979.html

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Abdullah bin Zayed attends Khalifa Foundation celebration on Zayed Humanitarian Work Day
posted on 07/07/2015

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, attended this evening at Emirates Palace, the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day session, held to mark the 11th death anniversary of the late Sheikh bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Among others present were Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of the Cabinet Affairs, Hussein bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Ahmed Juma Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, Deputy Chairman of the Khalifa Foundation and number of senior officials and sponsors of the Foundation's internal and external projects.
Sheikh Abdullah said, "The continuous support of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and follow up of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to the initiative of Zayed Humanitarian Work Day, made it a national landmark in the UAE's annual humanitarian agenda and occasion to compete for launching charity and humanitarian initiatives locally and externally."
He praised the agencies that had launched initiatives in and outside UAE, and contributed to enriching the sessions of the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day to make the humanitarian work a way of life for the UAE community to align with the leadership in love for charity and compete in service of community and nation.
The event commenced with the playing of national anthem followed with a documentary film on the achievements of the Khalifa Foundation in some countries.
Then Sheikh Abdullah honoured 90 sponsors who had contributed to supporting different projects of the Foundation. They included the Ministries, government agencies, banks, oil companies, charity and humanitarian bodies, and the media persons.
Sheikh Abdullah posed for memento photos with the audience and had Ramadan Iftar with them. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282971005.html

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Sheikh Zayed’s legacy lives on in the young
posted on 07/07/2015

Many young Emiratis who are barely old enough to remember the rule of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, say his life, teachings and accomplishments still inspire them.
Sheikh Zayed died 11 years ago on this day in the Islamic calendar, the 19th day of Ramadan, and in an article published by the The National daily, many students expressed their thoughts on how Sheikh Zayed's legacy inspires their lives as Emiratis.
"The younger generation should use the anniversary of Sheikh Zayed's death to reflect on the hardships their ancestors faced and how they overcame them," opined an Emirati student, Maryam Qassim, adding, "He instilled his vision in us, and young Emiratis are finding more and more ways to move forward. We must live up to his visions."
She said it was up to younger people to keep the memory of Sheikh Zayed alive. "Documentaries, biographies, and even movies can be created to reach out to the interests of the new generations."
She added that Sheikh Zayed's example had allowed Emiratis and expatriates to live in unity. "This also teaches us to accept one another, no matter what different backgrounds or cultures we come from, and how our beliefs differ," she said.
Another student said that Sheikh Zayed taught her "persistence in making a vision a reality, leading by example and modesty. Members of the community can continue Sheikh Zayed's legacy through generosity, tolerance and wisdom," said Alanoud Madhi.
Aesha Al Hammadi said, "I learnt that a dream can't be achieved easily and that I should give a lot to reach that dream no matter how big it is – just like Sheikh Zayed, who built a country that is so unique and beautiful, starting from nothing."
Dubai Abulhoul, a student and writer, recalled a quote from Sheikh Zayed that inspired her, "It is my duty as the leader of the young people of this country to encourage them to work and to exert themselves to raise their own standards and to be of service to the country".
Omar Al Owais, aged 17, said Sheikh Zayed was more like a father figure than a ruler, and had "set an example by putting his nation before himself". – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282937948.html

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Sheikh Zayed: Icon of generosity, says paper
posted on 07/07/2015

A UAE paper has said that from the desert sands of early years, the UAE has now transformed into a mighty country that stands as a model for others through exemplary achievements in various fields, but the most glittering feather in its cap is its leading role at the global level in the field of humanitarian aid for people in need, regardless of geography, race or religion.
"The great personality who laid such an unshakable foundation for humanitarian action is none other than the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose wisdom and legacy drives the nation's approach towards remarkable generosity and giving," said The Gulf Today in an editorial on Monday.
At its meeting on November 27th, 2012, the Federal Cabinet decided to mark the 19th day of the Holy Month of Ramadan each year, the anniversary of the death of the UAE founding father, as Zayed Humanitarian Work Day.
Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, declared, "We proclaim this day as Humanitarian Work Day for the UAE, to commemorate Sheikh Zayed's spirit of philanthropy and to promote the Emirati culture of giving, the foundations of which were laid by Sheikh Zayed."
This year too, as the nation marks UAE Humanitarian Day on Monday, UAE citizens and residents recall with pride the life of the founding father and his tireless efforts to promote the country as a global capital for charitable works.
The results are already reflected on the ground. The country ranked as the world's largest donor of official development aid during 2014, relative to its national income, renewing its position as the most generous aid donor in the world.
It turned out to be the second year in a row that the UAE emerged as the largest foreign aid provider, relative to its GDP.
Figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed that the official development aid provided by the country hit Dh18 billion, which is 1.17 percent of gross national income.
The country has remained generous over the years. The value of development and humanitarian aid provided by the UAE between 1971 and 2004 touched Dh90.5 billion, and more than 117 countries worldwide benefited from this generosity.
On April 18th, 2012, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees hailed the UAE's humanitarian role in the field of improving living conditions and preserving human dignity all over the world.
Way back in 1992, Sheikh Zayed established the Zayed Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works with capital of more than one billion US Dollars in the arena of philanthropy in all fields both within the country and all over the world. The foundation, since its inception 21 years ago and up to August 2013, donated more than US$460 million to various charity programmes and humanitarian projects which were carried out in 96 countries throughout the Arab world, Asia, Africa and Europe, in addition to a range of vital local projects.
Under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Zayed's generous legacy has been kept alive.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid reflected the feelings of the entire nation when he explained, "Zayed is the source of generosity and its origin, and he is the one who has instilled a love of giving in the hearts of his people, and we must remember him on this day for his humanity and generosity for all people, which made the Emirates a global humanitarian platform for giving."
The Sharjah-based daily concluded by quoting Sheikh Zayed as once saying, "We believe that the benefit of the fortune granted to us by God should spread to cover our brothers and friends." – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282921857.html

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Jawaher Al Qasimi continues to empower women leaders
posted on 07/07/2015

H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in her capacity as Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has ordered a series of promotions within her Executive Office, HHEO, Sharjah Ladies Club, SLC, and Sharjah Children's Centres, SCC. These appointments are in keeping with her belief and vision of supporting and empowering women with leadership positions to positively impact society by encouraging women leaders to build organisations that serve the community and the country with excellence.
Erum Mazher Alvie has been promoted from Advisor to Senior Advisor in the Executive Office of Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, Khawla Al Serkal has been promoted from Director to Director-General of Sharjah Ladies Club and Reem BinKaram from Acting Director of Sharjah Children's Centre to Director of SCC.
The promotions come in recognition of their respective contributions to build and develop Sharjah entities and Sheikha Jawaher's aim to encourage women and professionally develop them so they are able to contribute significantly to the development of society.
The appointment of Erum Mazher Alvie as Senior Advisor comes in appreciation of her continuous work and support of Sheikha Jawaher's organisations. She has had a distinguished career in the social sector, overseeing a variety of initiatives under Sheikha Jawaher's patronage and was awarded the Sheikha Jawaher Medal for Contribution and Excellence in 2007.
Erum joined the Sharjah Ladies Club in 1995, having graduated from Smith College with Honours, gaining a Bachelor's Degree in Art. She served as head of various departments and then as Director of SLC until 2010, when she was appointed Advisor of Management and Development at Sheikha Jawaher's Executive Office.
Her responsibilities have covered the on-going development and progress of a number of organisations, such as The Big Heart Foundation, Salam Ya Seghar, FUNN - Sharjah Media Arts, Sharjah Children's Centres, Sajaya - Young Ladies of Sharjah and Sharjah Girl Guides.
Erum has served on the board of Sharjah Ladies Club and is a board member of Sharjah Children's Centres. Her efforts in launching different initiatives that serve women, girls, and children, to achieve Sheikha Jawaher's vision for organisations and the UAE community has led to this new position.
Khawla Al Serkal achieved distinction for a variety of assignments during her career in the government sector and was awarded the Sheikha Jawaher Medal for Contribution and Excellence in 2014. She has been instrumental in developing effective systems and managing her team diligently during her tenure as Director of SLC. Al Serkal's efforts to improve the quality of services provided by the SLC, as well as in serving community members who visit the club frequently, led to her new position.
Al Serkal graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and joined SLC as Assistant Director of Marketing in 2005, going on to become Director of Business Development in 2008. In 2009, she was appointed Assistant Director of SLC, later becoming Director of the club in 2010. Khawla has managed the development of SLC, overseeing various divisions including SLC Branches, JRCC and the Women's Sports Department with excellence, leading to this promotion.
Reem BinKaram is on the board of Sharjah Tatweer Forum, STF, which is under the patronage of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, and has been actively involved in the think tank since 2006. In 2010, she became the Head of Finance at STF.
Reem graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a Degree in Interior Design in 2002 and began her career with Dubai Civil Aviation and Dubai Airports. She served in different capacities at the BinKaram Group, utilising her background and interest in interior design to deliver turnkey projects for the company, making valuable contributions in varied roles for the group.
Reem has been a Board Member for Sharjah Children Centres since 2013 and was entrusted with the title of Acting Director of SCC. She has managed positive changes and has achieved remarkable results, inspiring the team to deliver their best for SCC, and due to her outstanding management skills has been promoted to Director of SCC.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi continues to support women in the UAE to make significant achievements in a range of spheres from the social sector to business. She seeks to ensure that capable, responsible and dedicated individuals hold key executive positions in her organisations in order to contribute effectively in the social and economic development of Sharjah. This is in keeping with Her Highness' belief that active participation by women in all areas of public life is a force for progress in the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282941401.html

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Majlis of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed hosts lecture on development of UAE Foreign Aid Sector and its Future
posted on 07/07/2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, this evening attended the lecture titled "Development of the UAE Foreign Aid Sector and its Future," delivered by Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, Head of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid.
It was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs (ZHO), Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, a number of senior officials and ambassadors of Arab and foreign countries accredited to the State.
Sheikha Lubna said that the development of the UAE foreign aid sector has witnessed four basic stages: foundation, expansion, specialisation and leadership, in addition to the future stage.
She pointed out the foundation stage started from the roots of the philosophy of the founding father of the UAE late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had established the philosophy of supporting the aspirations of peoples and poor nations, citing his decision to establish the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, the same year in which he announced the establishment of the UAE Union, as token of support to the developing countries and poor communities.
She reviewed the role of the ADFD in providing the grants for infrastructure to many developing countries in the world regardless of sex, colour and religion. She noted that in many Arab and friendly countries, mosques, residential, health and educational projects were named after Sheikh Zayed. Sheikha Lubna said that the UAE supports development projects in the Kingdom of Morocco for over 40 years.
She referred to a number of humanitarian projects shouldered by the UAE at local, regional and international levels.
Sheikha Lubna noted that the UAE Office for Coordination of Foreign Aid was set up in 2009 upon the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed. It highlights and documents the UAE foreign aid.
She also referred to the humanitarian roles shouldered by the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282972239.html

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Ferrari World Abu Dhabi entertains 500 orphan children with spectacular Iftar
posted on 07/07/2015

In partnership with Emirates Red Crescent for the second consecutive year, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi invited 500 orphans to a fun Iftar at the park's popular Il Podio restaurant where they were immersed in the thrilling atmosphere of the world's largest indoor theme park.
Commenting on the initiative, Victoria Lynn, Park Manager at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, said, "It gives us great pleasure to join hands with Emirates Red Crescent to celebrate the children during one of the most blessed times of the year. Ramadan is about creating smiles and spreading joy and that is something we endeavour to do every day at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. When we see smiles on their faces, we know our mission is accomplished as we want all our guests to feel part of the magical memories created under our iconic red roof."
Berto the Mechanic and Khalil the Camel, Ferrari World mascot characters, didn't miss out on the fun with the children, surprising the guests at Iftar and posing for fun pictures. The children then challenged each other on a number of rides before enjoying the all new play area, Junior Training Camp, at the park. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395282936774.html

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Hedayah calls for promotion of concept of dialogue and values of tolerance in countering violent extremism
posted on 07/07/2015

Hedayah, the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, has conducted a weeklong series of activities on one of the most significant issues amongst the top priorities of the Counter-terrorism and Counter Violent Extremism Communities; Foreign Terrorist Fighters' radicalisation and recruitment phenomenon.
During this week, Hedayah hosted two events, "Planning Workshop for Foreign Terrorist Fighter Reintegration Training Courses", in collaboration with the International Institute of Justice and Rule of Law, based in Malta, and, "Countering Foreign Terrorist Fighter, FTF, Recruitment Workshop: Counter-Messaging and the Role of Disillusioned Former Fighters".
Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Hedayah Steering Board, stressed the crucial need for all nations now and more than ever to promote the concept of dialogue and values of tolerance in countering violent extremism at all levels. Success in this area requires working in close partnership with international organisations, institutions and experts, particularly in the light of the growing concern of foreign terrorist fighters, FTFs, returning to their home countries from the conflict stimulated by Daesh.
The week's activities highlighted the need for effective counter-narrative communication strategies to prevent the spread of violent extremism and terrorism, which is now more relevant than ever. The use of interviews, testimonials, and statements of once-inspired FTFs, who now denounce the actions of Daesh and other terrorist groups, can be potentially powerful in countering Daesh recruitment.
Government and non-government CVE practitioners and experts from more than 30 states participated in the events to share communication approaches relevant to countering FTF radicalisation and recruitment into Daesh, with a particular focus on the role of disillusioned FTFs. Over the course of the week, participants shared media activities and case studies emphasising the role of social media as a key in countering the FTFs phenomenon, as well as public outreach.
Maqsoud Kruse, Executive Director of Hedayah, delivered the opening remarks and chaired the first session on "Understanding FTF Motivations and Recruitment Mechanisms", discussing the practical steps to combat the recruitment of more FTFs through initiatives provided by Hedayah in this regard. He also highlighted the key role of traditional and social media in countering the FTF phenomenon and creating an effective alternative messaging as he mentioned the first ever CVE Global Communications Expo in Abu Dhabi, hosted by Hedayah in December last year, resulting in creating cohesive, effective and practical proposals and initiatives.
Throughout the week of activities, the topics discussed included "Counter-Messaging Lessons Learned and Good Practices", "FTF-Relevant Counter-Messaging Approaches", "Existing Former Foreign Fighter Counter-Messaging Programs", "Identifying Former FTFs as Potential Messengers", "Developing and Producing Effective Content", "Managing and Sharing Content: Developing Platforms and Networks to Share Messaging Materials Among Partners", "Marketing, Amplification and Branding in FTF Counter – Messaging". – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282930329.html

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IRENA launches new platform to support renewable energy innovation, quality and collaboration
posted on 07/07/2015

Policy makers and other energy sector players can now access the world's largest collection of global renewable energy standards and patents, thanks to a new online platform launched yesterday by the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA.
The International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform, also known as INSPIRE, is the first and most complete solution of its kind, helping users search through, locate and analyse 400 international standards and more than 2 million patents for renewable energy technology.
"The INSPIRE platform provides a strategic window into the innovation and growth taking place in the renewable energy sector," said IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin. "It consolidates vast collections of renewable energy patents and standards, which can foster collaboration between innovators, spur improvement through product comparison and benchmarking and help identify partners, matching domestic energy needs to innovative energy solutions."
Thanks to collaboration between IRENA, the European Patent Office, EPO, and the International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC, the INSPIRE platform has multiple functionalities. The standards section enables users to search through a database of more than 400 internationally used standards and generate reports as needed. It also explains what standards are, how they can be used and why they are important for quality assurance, investor confidence and technology trading. The patents section houses the world's most comprehensive global patent database for carbon mitigation technologies, the EPO's PATSTAT, which contains nearly two million patent documents.
"The INSPIRE platform demonstrates the role of the global patent system as a support for innovation in renewable energy, encouraging research and development in technologies to serve modern energy needs while addressing climate change," said EPO President, Benoit Battistelli. "INSPIRE also showcases the role of patent information, which provides valuable high-level information to advise policy makers on the renewable energy sector."
The combination of resources on INSPIRE will help users analyse various aspects of renewable energy policy and innovation. It can help indicate the effectiveness of policies to promote renewable energy innovation through the analysis of trends in patent activity. Users can also perform metadata analysis of technology trends, comparing development within, or between, different technologies. For example, the number of patents filed for renewable energy technology has increased annually by more than 20 percent in recent years, while the average increase for other technologies is around 6 percent.
"By linking the technical information in IEC international standards to practical applications in renewable energy, INSPIRE will be a precious resource for energy regulators," said IEC General Secretary and CEO, Frans Vreeswijk. "It will assist policy makers in finding relevant international standards faster and more efficiently. It will also help educate stakeholders about the strategic role of international standards and conformity assessment for the cost-efficient expansion of renewable energy generation." – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282936109.html

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First hawksbill turtle nest of the year hatches successfully on Saadiyat
posted on 07/07/2015

Tourism Development and Investment Company, TDIC, the master developer of tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has announced the successful hatching of the first Hawksbill turtle nest on Saadiyat Beach this year. Over 80 baby turtles emerged from the nest, which is located adjacent to the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas on Saadiyat Beach.
Dr. Nathalie Staelens, Head of Environmental Services at TDIC, said, "We are very happy that the eggs – which are from this season's first batch – have hatched safely. The annual return of the endangered turtles is a testament to TDIC's commitment to ensuring they are able to nest safely while more hotel developments are taking place along the beach line."
The Hawksbill turtles are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, and TDIC has taken serious steps to guarantee that they can safely return to Saadiyat to lay their eggs during their nesting season between March and June. This includes the establishment of the Saadiyat Dune Protection Zone as well as restricting resort development on Saadiyat Beach to at least 60 metres back from the seaward edge of the coastal dunes. The Environmental Services department works closely with TDIC's partners on Saadiyat to monitor the marked nests as well as record any relevant information about the turtles' nesting site, the gestation period of the eggs and how many hatchlings emerge.
Arabella Willing, Marine Biologist at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, said, "It's so fantastic that we are able to live in harmony with a critically endangered species here on Saadiyat. Watching the baby turtles hatch from their nest and run to the sea is one of the best experiences in the world, and I'm so thrilled to have seen it happen again. After the nest inventory we discovered that more 80 babies had hatched, which is more than normal and fantastic news."
After gestating for 50-70 days, hatchlings emerge from their nests and make their way to the sea. To ensure that they find their way safely, TDIC has put stringent measures in place. These include reducing lighting and the removal of any beach furniture at night. Moreover, guests and residents are asked to switch off outdoor lights when they are not outside, close their curtains at night to minimise light spill, refrain from going to the beach after dark and avoid turtle tracks so they can be recorded by TDIC.
"We are also closely observing seven additional nests located along the Saadiyat Beach stretch. Once they hatch, the number of baby turtles born on Saadiyat will reach over 1,100 since we established our Hawksbill turtle conservation programme. This would not be possible without the ongoing support and active participation of our operators and contractors on the beach," added Dr. Staelens.
Currently, the Saadiyat Beach District is home to a lively mix of residential, retail, hospitality, dining and leisure offerings, with several additional developments under construction. As a result of TDIC's continued environmental commitment, Saadiyat Beach has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification, for the second year in a row, for following strict criteria regarding water quality, environmental management, safety, site facilities and environmental education. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282935834.html

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Abu Dhabi Ports launches new Customer Service Centre at Zayed Port
posted on 07/07/2015

Abu Dhabi Ports has launched its brand new Customer Service Centre at Zayed Port, further enhancing the organisation's comprehensive service offerings while addressing the various needs of a continuously growing customer base.
With a dedicated team of highly trained service professionals, the new centre combines Abu Dhabi Ports' previous smaller service points and is the first centralised focal point of contact for the company's current and potential customers, business partners and visitors.
Equipped with an intelligent queuing and processing system, the new centre provides various service offerings to the highest professional standards, covering general enquiries, information services and complaints, as well as assistance with documents and payments.
"Abu Dhabi Ports' new Customer Service Centre is a strategic approach to continually increase efficiency and delivering excellence in our services. The new centre has been designed to further improve our customer care and to better meet their needs while being ever more responsive," said Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395282942369.html

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Hamriyah Free Zone-based ATS Terminal doubles capacity
posted on 07/07/2015

Hamriyah Free Zone-based ATS Terminal has increased its storage capacity from 22,000CBM to 42,000 CBM.
The company, which offers services like storage and transport of liquid chemicals and fuel, recently completed its phase two expansion.
"The facility, with six piggable pipelines (SS and MS) from the deep harbour and inner harbour respectively, is equipped to handle, store and distribute all kinds of Class 1, 2 and 3 products on behalf of our customers in the UAE and the GCC. After the expansion, our capacity is 42,000 CBM," said Avinash Gandhi, Managing Director of ATS Terminal FZE.
Speaking on the occasion, Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, HFZA, and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, SAIF Zone, said, "We are happy to see the growth of ATS Terminal which has been operational since 2012. We are happy to support our investors and our goal is to create a robust business environment by meeting the needs and demands of our investors, and seeing such developments show that we are achieving our goals."
Currently, ATS Terminal is utilising only 30 percent of the existing plot and have plans to triple capacity in the future.
Gandhi said that his company found HFZA to be the best place to build a liquid storage terminal and that they have plans to kick-start phases three and four in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The total investment, once all the phases are completed, will be over Dh100 million.
Hamriyah Free Zone houses over 6,200 companies from 157 countries, welcoming foreign investment from more than 500 industries in key sectors of oil and gas, petrochemicals, maritime, steel, construction and food. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395282936538.html

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Etihad airways deploys B787, latest cabins on Abu Dhabi-Zurich route
posted on 07/07/2015

Etihad Airways has introduced its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the Abu Dhabi-Zurich route, offering the airline's industry-leading First Suites, Business Studios, and Economy Smart Seats, and providing travellers with unparalleled comfort and innovation.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the departure gate to mark the occasion, attended by Etihad Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner, and Zurich Airport's Chief Operating Officer, Stefan Conrad, as well as representatives from local Swiss media. Guests travelling on the inaugural flight were presented with special luggage tags and commemorative B787 certificates.
Members of the Swiss media were also given a tour of the Etihad Airways B787 aircraft where they had the opportunity to experience the airline's new product offering.
Mr Baumgartner said, "Switzerland is one of the most important aviation markets for Etihad Airways and it is significant that we are deploying our state-of-the-art, new B787 Dreamliner on the Zurich route.
"Our latest product is setting new benchmarks in service standards and we're immensely proud to introduce it to Swiss travellers. We believe it will set us apart from our competitors in Switzerland and look forward to feedback from our guests who flew on today's first flight."
Each First Suite on the Etihad Airways B787 has a large Poltrona Frau upholstered seat and ottoman, a personal wardrobe and a chilled mini-bar. The Business Studios offer 20 per cent more personal space than the airline's current business class seats, and feature a fully-flat bed and a personal 18-inch touch screen TV with noise-cancelling headsets. In Economy Class, guests will enjoy more space and even greater comfort.
Etihad Airways' customer-oriented inflight services include Chefs in First Class, Food and Beverage Managers in Business Class, and the acclaimed Flying Nannies, who receive training at world-renowned Norland College in the United Kingdom. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282954618.html

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Nanhua USA becomes first China-headquartered clearing member of DME
posted on 07/07/2015

Dubai Mercantile Exchange ( DME ), the premier international energy futures and commodities exchange in the Middle East, yesterday announced the approval of Nanhua USA as a Clearing Member. A futures brokerage firm headquartered in Hangzhou, serving institutional, corporate and individual clients, Nanhua USA becomes the first China-headquartered Clearing Member of the DME .
The move assumes significance in light of the strong interest in DME among Chinese oil traders and the impending launch of a new crude oil futures contract by the Shanghai International Energy Exchange Corporation (INE). The DME signed an MoU with INE in 2014 to build a tighter relationship with its Asian customer base and to support the development of energy trading benchmarks within Asia.
As a Clearing Member, Nanhua USA will be entitled to clear and settle trades carried out by its regional and international customers on the DME .
"We are very pleased to have Nanhua USA join us as a Clearing Member" said Owain Johnson, Managing Director, DME . "The DME Oman Crude Oil Product has become a key benchmark for Asian traders due to its transparency and regulated price discovery mechanism. With energy trading becoming a key growth driver for countries along the crude oil corridor between the Middle East and Asia, the participation and backing of major financial players such as Nanhua will help support greater liquidity for our customers and allow DME to continue its expansion and growth momentum."
David Luo, CEO, Nanhua Futures, said, "We are delighted to be building a relationship with the Middle East's premier energy-focused commodities exchange at a time when it is receiving increasing interest from traders and global financial participants. Nanhua USA's decision to take a clearing membership of the Exchange is a well-calculated move aimed at satisfying the growing appetite among Chinese customers for the DME Oman Crude Oil Product. Besides, DME acts as an important gateway into several high-potential markets, and becoming a Clearing Member on the Exchange allows us to scale up our operations in these markets and provide enhanced market access and trading opportunities to our customers."
Since its establishment in 1996, Nanhua Futures (China) has been actively involved in both commodity and financial futures brokerage services. The company maintains full member status of Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE), Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (CZCE), and Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE); and is one of the first companies to gain general clearing member status of China Financial Futures Exchange (CFFEX). With registered capital of 510 million RMB, Nanhua Futures is now recognised as one of the top-10 futures companies in China.
Nanhua Futures aims to establish a Global Energy Trading Platform. Currently, we are now the Clearing Member of CME Group and DME , General Participant member of ICE Europe and we are applying for the Clearing membership of ICE US and INE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395282944632.html

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APICORP establishes US$3 billion Sukuk Programme
posted on 07/07/2015

The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation, APICORP, yesterday announced the establishment of a US$3 billion Sukuk programme.
Establishing the Sukuk programme marks a strategic step for APICORP, rated Aa3 by Moody's, in becoming a regular issuer of Sukuk in global markets, and will position the company's credit alongside its multilateral development bank peers.
APICORP's Chairman, Dr. Aabed A. Al-Saadoun, said, "We are delighted to have established this Sukuk Programme which, in line with the recently approved corporate strategy, will allow APICORP to diversify its funding sources, reduce the overall cost of financing, extend the company's debt maturity profile, and enhance our access to a diverse set of global investors."
Dr. Al-Saadoun added, "The lower financing costs that APICORP's are expecting to secure after this new programme will enhance APICORP's ability to foster its development mandate of the hydrocarbon and energy related sectors in Arab countries by first enabling APICORP to extend attractive financing terms to its clients and partners alike, and secondly, enhance APICORP's ability to participate in financing strategic energy related projects which may not attract the commercial banks from either a return or tenor perspective."
APICORP could issue its first Sukuk later this year, subject to prevailing market conditions, as part of its new US$3 billion programme. It is expected that this programme will support efforts to deepen the international Sukuk markets by offering Sharia-compliant investors access to high-quality Sovereigns, Supra nationals & Agencies, SSA, assets.
Standard Chartered Bank is acting as sole arranger for APICORP's programme. The programme will be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and rated by Moody's Investor Services.
APICORP is a multilateral development bank created and owned by the governments of the 10 member states of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, OAPEC. APICORP's mission is to meaningfully contribute to the ongoing development of the Arab oil and gas sector, and the region's energy sector more generally, through the provision of financial solutions, such as equity investments and loans, and research. The company seeks to make appropriate financial returns on the services it provides to the energy industry. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395282936065.html

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EGA is Middle East’s first manufacturer certified to ISO 22301:2012 Business Continuity Management Systems
posted on 07/07/2015

Dubai Aluminium, DUBAL, an operating subsidiary of Emirates Global Aluminium, EGA, is one of the first industrial enterprises in the UAE to develop and implement a full Crisis and Business Continuity Management System, and in January 2015 became the first manufacturing company in the Middle East to achieve certification to the ISO 22301:2012 Business Continuity Management Systems standard by LRQA, Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance Limited.
These milestones reflect EGA's commitment to implementing management strategies and processes that will identify and manage possible risk, emergency, crisis and business disruption events associated with all its business activities, and is in keeping both with the company's pioneering spirit and its quest for excellence.
Commenting on EGA's achievements, Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said, "Business Continuity Management is an integral pillar of EGA's business and provides the systematic approach and strategies towards operational continuity, enabling us with overall capabilities to manage and recover from an unforeseen disruptive incident without interrupting the business. This ISO 22301 certification is a testament to the effectiveness of our approach towards this area of focus." – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395282936348.html

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Empower bags two awards at 106th IDEA Conference in US
posted on 07/07/2015

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation, EMPOWER, the world's largest district cooling services provider, was presented with the IDEA Gold Space Award for the total square feet of district cooling committed, and IDEA Silver Award for total number of buildings committed to the system, at the awards ceremony of the 106th International District Energy Association, IDEA, Annual Conference and Trade Show, recently held in Boston, USA.
The awards recognised Empower's achievements in adopting world class district cooling infrastructure as well as acknowledging the company's success in expanding the use of district cooling as an ideal economic and environmental solution for residential and commercial units, offices and hotels.
Rob Thornton, President and CEO, IDEA, who presented the award to Ahmad bin Shafar, Chief Executive Officer of Empower, emphasised that Empower's high recognition at the international level represented an endorsement of the company's constant quest for innovation and efficiency in services.
The IDEA Annual Awards are considered the "Oscars" of the district energy industry worldwide. Being the most comprehensive and prestigious awards in the district energy industry, they celebrate excellence, innovation and creativity in technology, engineering and operations within the district cooling industry. The awards will help boost exchange of knowledge between key stakeholders so that these innovations can be applied across the world.
"We are pleased with IDEA's recognition of Empower's high levels of reliability and efficiency in district cooling services, which reconfirms our leadership position in this industry. Undoubtedly, district cooling services in the GCC and the Middle East in general are important services that should be reliable and efficient. We have succeeded in delivering district cooling services in accordance with highest standards of efficiency and environmental sustainability," said bin Shafar, while accepting the awards.
The ceremony was attended by decision-makers and specialists from around the world, who participated in one of the key international events in the district cooling sector. On the second day of the conference, Empower presented a case study on "District Cooling Marches on in Dubai: The Emirates Towers Case Study".
To date, Empower has won a total of 26 awards from IDEA, as well as numerous trophies and certificates from other events dedicated to the district cooling industry. The judging committee included members of the IDEA board of directors.
Empower currently operates more than 1 Million RT, providing environmentally responsible district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments such as Jumeirah Group, Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Ibn Battuta Mall, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai World trade Centre Residences, and Dubai Design District, among others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395282941684.html

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UAE banks' fee collection for e-authentication via e-dirham
posted on 07/07/2015

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) announced yesterday the launch of the fee collection phase for authentication services pertaining to certificates of origin and invoices for imported goods, which are provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The services are paid for by using the e-Dirham system for those required authentication services.
The e-dirham teams are working on currently activating this service in five banks operating within the country, following its activation across all the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' offices and diplomatic missions around the world. Standard Chartered Bank is the first bank to offer this service in the UAE, providing its customer base ranging individuals and companies, with the opportunity to complete authentication of certificates of origin and invoices in addition to all related fees electronically through the e-Dirham cards. . – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.emirates247.com/business/economy-finance/uae-banks-fee-collection-for-e-authentication-via-e-dirham-2015-07-06-1.596008

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27,962 establishments have resettled fines relating to 58,365 workers: Ministry of Labour
posted on 07/07/2015

The Ministry of Labour has announced that around 27,962 establishments have resettled fines relating to 58,365 workers registered under their sponsorships during the grace period which was approved by the Ministers' Cabinet on December 31, 2014.
The decision which ran from January until the end of June 2015, targeting 95,000 labour cards from 40,000 facilities, gave all the employers a chance to resettle labour fines by just paying Dh1000 regardless of the fined amount on each labour card.
Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry's Labour Affairs, explained, "Enterprises that have benefited from the deadline amounted to about 70 per cent of the total number of establishments in UAE, of which more than 61 per cent of their workers have resettled labour card fines. We are proud of the success we've reached remarkably, the Cabinet's decision helped stimulate the labour market and encouraged owners to rearrange personnel files and abide to the UAE's labour laws."
He praised the commitment made by most owners, something which contributed to achieving the Ministry's objectives, and also praised the important role played by the local media in spreading the word effectively.
Addressing a press conference on Monday at the ministry's Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Mr Al Suwaidi said that the final results of the fine resettlement grace period are as follows; "Enterprises that have benefited from the period amending the conditions of their employees have reached 58,365, as 43,914 labour cards have been eliminated and 13,221 have been renewed while the ministry noted that 1,230 have been reported off duty."
"All Enterprises that benefited from the grace period, achieved financial savings worth one billion and 812.5 million dirhams by just paying 37.5 million dirhams. The amount due, before the grace period, was one billion and 850 million dirhams as administrative fines on expired labour cards," according to him.
He further added, "The ministry can now spot facilities that haven't settled their fines and will keep them under the radar; around 12,038 facilities employing 36,635 workers. Inspectional visits will be carried out next week until the end of the current year to closely monitor their practices and take the necessary measures against them as per the directives of Saqr Ghobash Minister of Labour, who urged the need to report these facilities, especially since they've committed explicit violations against laws regulating UAE's labour market".
Measures will be taken against fake facilities said Bin Deemas, pointing that "They will be slapped a 50 thousand dirham fine per worker if the owner shuts down the facility without settling his employees' rights and cancel their labour cards."
The ministry will stop granting faulty facilities any work permits and other facilities belonging to the same owner especially after notifying them with the grace period, adding that the ministry has addressed all facilities, either directly or through the media, on the need to interact with the deadline which is over six months and is long enough to settle any concerns.
Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry's Labour Affairs called upon blacklisted facilities, to speed up their fine resettlement process, by paying amounted fines or cancel labour cards belonging to workers residing abroad or report the workers missing according to common procedures.
"What's next, starting July fines imposed on enterprises that did not respond to the grace period to settle labour cards' that have been fined prior to 31st of December 2014, 4000 Dh and increasing monthly by 1000 dirhams so by January 2016 those companies will face a Dh10,000 fine per card if they did not respond till the, while labour card fines which have been issued during this year, will increase by 500 dirhams each month," he pointed out.
The ministry says that it's advisable to those who did not benefit from the deadline to visit "Tas'heel" service centres, which are spread in different parts of the UAE, to complete labour cards cancellation processes or renew them (renewal of a work permits) or to report absent employees holding fined labour cards. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395282942030.html

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Why UAE, Qatar have world's highest jobs-to-population rate
posted on 07/07/2015

Everyone in the world wants a good job – a job that pays well to cover the bills, one that does not smash our dreams of a good lifestyle and where there is no stifling feeling that the employer is taking undue advantage of the employee.
With the aftermath of the global recession still being felt in several parts of the world, many in the world are clinging onto their dream of a so-called good job, only to feel dejected by the ever limited options available.
Residents in some countries fare better than others and the happiness level is higher in these places, where more people have a good job.
According to research conducted by Gallup, a research-based, performance-management consulting company, of the 7 billion people in the world, there are 5 billion adults aged 15 and older.
Of these 5 billion, 3 billion tell Gallup they desire a full-time job. Only 1.3 billion actually have a good job, which means that the real unemployment rate in the world is more than 50 per cent.
Gallup uses a Payroll to Population (P2P) metric that provides important information about the health of a country's economy and finally defines how many people in that particular country have a good job.
This P2P quantifies the percentage of workers in good jobs, rather than subsistence jobs that do little to raise the individual out of poverty or contribute to the country's economic output.
We're lucky to be in the UAE – it belongs to that elite group of countries where the P2P rates are the highest in the world. In simpler terms, most of us here in the UAE are gainfully employed, happy with our jobs and working to our potential.
The list of countries with highest P2P rates tends to include some of the wealthiest – or those with the highest GDP per capita – such as the UAE and the US.
In fact, the UAE's P2P rate of 61 per cent is second only to Gulf peer Qatar, which boasts of a P2P rate of 62 per cent – just a notch above the UAE's. Other countries that figure in the top list include Belarus, Latvia, Russia, Estonia, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and the US. – Emirates 24│7 - http://www.emirates247.com/news/why-uae-qatar-have-world-s-highest-jobs-to-population-rate-2015-07-07-1.596024





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