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UAE to observe Earth Hour today from 8.30pm
posted on 28/03/2015

The biggest landmarks of the UAE will be plunged in darkness from 8.30 as part of ‘Earth Hour', today. The UAE has been observing the event since 2008, with involvement of all the seven emirates. The global movement which began in 2007 now sees participation of 7,000 cities in 162 countries across the world.
In Dubai, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) spearheads the event along with Emirates Wildlife Society (EWS-WWF). Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dewa, said there are no specific energy-saving targets this year but he hopes the Emirate can collectively save up to 300,000kWh during the Hour. Last year's savings was 255,000kWh.
Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy said the country's wise leadership has given extra care to the welfare of the citizens and sustainability of resources through launching a number of pioneering initiatives and projects, particularly at the regional and international levels.
Al Mazrouei said the main objective of celebrating the Earth Hour is to raise awareness on the adoption of such practices, which would contribute significantly to reduce wastage of energy and water consumption and consequently help mitigate the resulted harmful emissions. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/inside.asp?xfile=/data/nationgeneral/2015/March/nationgeneral_March298.xml§ion=nationgeneral

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Sheikh Mohammed meets Princess Astrid
posted on 28/03/2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai received at the Jumeirah in Dubai on Thursday Princess Astrid, the representative of King Philip of Belgium, who is on a visit to the country heading a 7 minister and 400 businessmen official delegation.
The meeting was also attended by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammad welcomed the Belgian princess, who heads a delegation of seven ministers, including the minister of foreign affairs and minister of foreign trade.
The delegation also comprises of more than 400 businessmen and heads of giant Belgian firms and companies.
Sheikh Mohammed praised this royal visit to the UAE which has come for the first time at such a high level, thus reflecting the importance of relations between the UAE and Belgium, and reflects the desire of the two countries in both the public and private sectors to build a broad economic, trade and technical cooperation base.
Sheikh Mohammad stressed that the UAE leadership, government and people are keen to establish humanitarian and cultural links and the formation of economic, investment and commercial companies with various countries and peoples across the globe based on friendship, mutual respect and common interests.
Princess Astrid expressed her amazed at the size and quality of the development in the UAE on more than one level, referring to the infrastructure and how important it is to build a modern state with all the necessities of a stable and secure life such as that achieved in the UAE.
She added that the UAE is considered to be her country's biggest partner in the Arab region where the trade between the two countries is US$7 billion annually. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Country's wise leadership has given extra attention to sustainability of resources: Energy Minister
posted on 28/03/2015

Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, has said that country's wise leadership has given extra care to the welfare of the citizens and sustainability of resources through launching a number of pioneering initiatives and projects, particularly in the regional and international levels.
In his statement on the occasion of the Earth Hour, which will be marked tomorrow (Saturday, March 28th), Al Mazrouei said that main objective of celebrating the Earth Hour, is to raise awareness among all individuals on the adoption of such practices which would contribute significantly to reduce wastage of energy and water consumption and consequently help mitigate the resulted harmful emissions.
He added that it is a clear message about the need of awareness on the dangers and impact of excessive and irrational consumption of energy and water resources, as well as the importance of acting with responsibility to adopt a rational approach.
He also reiterated that energy consumption is one of the most effective factors to achieve objectives of the green economy in the UAE and to secure a sustainable environment and protecting natural resources for the coming generations.
The Minister also brought attention to the importance of spreading and adopting rational culture and promoting initiatives which would contribute to reducing waste of energy, increase cooperating and coordinating with the competent authorities on the usage of electricity and water.
He hailed the efforts of the country's institutions and their positive interaction towards the rational consumption initiative, particularly the community participation, which according to him shows the awareness in the UAE society. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278523975.html

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Fujairah Ruler arrives in Sharm el-Sheikh for 26th Arab Summit
posted on 28/03/2015

SHARM EL-SHEIKH: H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, who is leading the UAE delegation to the 26th Arab Summit, has arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh, where Egypt is hosting the summit on 28th and 29th March.
The UAE delegation to the Arab Summit includes H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister; Dr. Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Chairman of Fujairah Culture and Media Authority; Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Mohammed Ahmed Al Bawardi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defence, and Mohammed Nakhira Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of the UAE to Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi received H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed at the VIP Lounge at Sharm el-Sheikh Airport where they had friendly exchanges and discussed the bilateral relations between their two countries.
Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab received H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed earlier upon arrival at the airport.
Earlier yesterday, H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed left the UAE for Sharm el-Sheikh. He was seen off by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah; Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed Al Sharqi; Sheikh Saif bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Chairman of Fujairah Free Zone, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Saif Al Sharqi, Director of Fujairah eGovernment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278538286.html

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Jordan: participating in Al Hazm aims to support legitimacy in Yemen
posted on 28/03/2015

AMMAN: Jordan has affirmed that its participation with the Arab countries in the Al Hazm initiative, aims to support government legitimacy in Yemen.
The Jordanian News Agency, PETRA, quoted a Jordanian official source as saying, 'The participation comes in line with the security and stability support for Yemen and an embodiment of the historical relations between Jordan and the GCC countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, in which we consider its security and stability a high strategic interest.' – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/international/1395278477649.html

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Muslim World League backs Operation Decisive Storm against Houthis
posted on 28/03/2015

The Muslim World League (MWL) has voiced its backing for the Saudi-led coalition's on-going Operation Decisive Storm launched early Thursday against the Houthi rebels in Yemen with the aim of restoring legitimacy to the country.
In a statement, Secretary-General of MWL, Abdullah bin Abdulmohsen Al Turki, said that the League which represents the world's Muslim peoples and Muslim minorities voices the support of Muslims in various countries for Operation Decisive Storm launched by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia on behalf the coalition of Gulf, Arab and other countries in support of legitimacy in Yemen and in response to the call of the country's legitimate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the people of Yemen to protect Yemen from the Houthi rebels who are serving foreign agendas and have gone too far in their aggression and violation of international law and charters and sound dialogue.
He said that MWL and Muslims are delighted at forming the Arab and Muslim coalition according to Islam's mandate to champion the oppressed and fight the oppressors and aggressors.
Al Turki added that Muslim hope that the military operation would "achieve its goals and spare Yemen from turmoil and sectarian intervention."
The coalition carrying out Operation Decisive Storm consists of 10 countries, including five member states of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and was backed by Saudi Arabia on Thursday said that five Muslim countries including Egypt and Pakistan want to participate in the Gulf-led military coalition against Shiite Houthi rebels who have seized large swathes of Yemen.
Together with Jordan, Morocco and Sudan, they have "expressed desire to participate in the operation" against the Houthi rebels, Saudi Press Agency, SPA, said.
Saudi Arabia and four other GCC states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, announced earlier a decision to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen, its people and internationally recognised Yemeni government from the aggression of the Houthi militia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview with FRANCE 24 on Thursday, said that Turkey supports the Saudi-led mission to rout the Houthi rebels from Yemen. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/international/1395278530710.html

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Lubna: DIHAD supports UAE's international humanitarian stature
posted on 28/03/2015

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and Head of the National Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Aid, on Thursday described the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) as a big boost for the UAE's stature as an active humanitarian actor.
During her visit to the 12th edition of DIHAD (DIHAD2015), the minister said that it also proves that humanitarian action in the UAE has become a strong commitment and an integrated system through which the wise leadership, namely President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 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, extends support to the international community's humanitarian response to crises and disasters across the world.
She noted that the UAE harnessed its capabilities as a logistic hub for humanitarian supplies and operations between the East and the West through Dubai's International Humanitarian City (IHC).
During her tour to the venue of the conference, Sheikha Lubna met with heads of humanitarian agencies to discuss ways of bolstering humanitarian cooperation.
The Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) is showcasing its humanitarian efforts at DIHAD. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278515709.html

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Sultan bin Tahnoun receives South African Tourism Minister
posted on 28/03/2015

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has discussed with visiting South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, steps the two sides could take to enhance joint cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Pretoria.
The South African minister is a leading a delegation on a visit to Abu Dhabi to explore opportunities for boosting joint strategic partnerships and exchanging expertise in tourism and culture.
Sheikh Sultan said UAE-South African cooperation and exchange in tourism, culture and air traffic were growing rapidly.
A presentation on tourism exchange conducted during the meeting showed the increasing flow of South African tourists to Abu Dhabi over the last five years thanks to the additional air capacity by Etihad Airways and South Africa Airways.
TCA Abu Dhabi also shed light on the latest opening of the South African office, which brings to 11 the number of overseas offices marketing destination Abu Dhabi worldwide. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -
http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278501667.html

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UAE Parliamentary Division participates in 271st meeting of IPU Executive Committee in Vietnam
posted on 28/03/2015

HANOI: Rashid Mohammed Al Shreqi, representative of the Arab Group in the Executive Committee of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and member of the UAE Parliamentary Division at the Federal National Council (FNC), yesterday participated in the 271st meeting of IPU's Executive Committee in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The meeting was presided over by Saber Chowdhury, President of the IPU in the presence of Abdul Rahman Ali Al Shamsi, FNC's Assistant Secretary General for Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs.
Al Shreqi told WAM that UAE Parliamentary Division has effectively contributed to the development of cooperation agreement between IPU and the UN, and always presented considerable recommendations and proposals.
"UAE Parliamentary Division has affirmed the objectives of the strategic partnership aim to accomplish the UN and IPU charters as well as contribute effectively in promoting international peace, democracy, human rights, basic freedom and enhancing the role of parliaments in making national and international policies," he said.
Al Shreqi also pointed out that the UAE has led the Arab group's successful efforts in this regard, stressing the cooperation agreement is a continuation of the previously signed agreements between the UN and IPU in 1996. He also reiterated that the UAE is renowned by its distinguished efforts in the field of preserving the environment and energy.
Referring to the visit of IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong to Syria in January, he said that the Syrian issue is very important to many countries especially the refugees issue as well as its impact on the peace and security in the Middle East. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278522955.html

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DIFC Courts signs alignment accord with New York court
posted on 28/03/2015

DIFC Courts has signed an agreement with the influential federal District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), paving the way for easier enforcement of US commercial judgments in the Dubai free zone.
The agreement will provide companies operating in Dubai and New York additional contract certainty by setting out procedures for the mutual enforcement of money judgments.
"Much of the trade between the US and UAE originates from, or is routed via, New York and Dubai, so there is an imperative for the courts systems of both jurisdictions to work together to support the needs of business,” said Dubai International Financial Centre Courts' chief justice, Michael Hwang.
"This memorandum with one of the world's premier commercial courts builds on our existing comprehensive enforcement regime, and brings additional certainty to investors during a time of rising economic confidence in both the UAE and United States.” SDNY is one of oldest and most influential courts in the world, with jurisdiction over both Wall Street and the wider New York finance community.
"Because commerce is now so international, it is more necessary than ever for judgments rendered in one court to be easily recognised in other countries,” said the chief judge at SDNY, Loretta Preska.
The agreement with SDNY follows similar arrangements that DIFC Courts holds with international bodies including the Commercial Court of England and Wales, the Supreme Court of Singapore, the Federal Court of Australia and the New South Wales Supreme Court. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/difc-courts-signs-alignment-accord-with-new-york-court

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Sharjah Charity International spends Dh60.8 million on humanitarian efforts outside UAE
posted on 28/03/2015

Sharjah Charity International spent more than Dh60.8 million in 2014 in support of the poor around the world.
Director of the Department of Projects at Sharjah Charity International, Mohammed Hamdan Al Zari, said that more than Dh37.2 million of the total funds spent last year were used for building 1,257 mosques in a large number of Arab and other countries in Asia and Africa.
He said that the charity acted on directives from H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikh Essam bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the charity's board of directors, to support the poor regardless of their race or colour.
The charity also spent more than Dh7.8 million to dig 3,700 fresh water wells and provide drinking water to underdeveloped communities in a number of Asian and African countries.
More than Dh2.2 million of the charity's funds for last year were used to build and equip 111 school classrooms and pay salaries to teachers in these communities.
The charity's other humanitarian efforts last year included the funding of seven healthcare centres, 161 housing units and 54 shops run under endowment funds, orphanages, and Iftar banquets during the Holy month of Ramadan. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278535927.html

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Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visits UAE pavilion at Bangkok International Book Fair
posted on 28/03/2015

BANGKOK: The UAE pavilion at the Bangkok International Book Fair, one of the largest book fairs in South and East Asia, attracted a large number of visitors from members of the public and participants on the first day of the event. The UAE is participating as a guest of honour in the fair.
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visited the UAE pavilion following the opening of the fair on Thursday, and was received by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of the Emirates Publishers Association, and head of the UAE's delegation to the Bangkok Book Fair, and Saif Al Shamsi, the UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand.
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn highly appreciated the UAE's participation as guest of honour at the fair. She praised the detailed information about UAE culture and history at the pavilion and said that this participation serves as a great opportunity to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of the UAE.
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi accompanied the Princess of Thailand in a tour of the pavilion and in taking part in the cultural activities organised by the participating institutions. Sheikha Bodour presented a commemorative plaque engraved with Arabic calligraphy as a souvenir to Princess Maha.
Further, Abdulaziz Musalam delivered a brief about the exhibited handicrafts and heritage artefacts that highlight genuine Emirati heritage, and Hisham Al Mathloum discussed the art exhibitions which showcase a collection of pieces of Arabic calligraphy, artistic decoration and inscriptions that reflect the superb beauty of Arabic and Islamic culture.
Additionally, Princess Maha visited the Arabic Calligraphy stand where artist and calligrapher Khalid Al Jallaf, Chairman of Emirates Arabic Calligraphy Society, displayed some of his creative Arabic calligraphy. She also attended shows by the Sharjah Folklore Band and admired the folk songs and dances which highlight the diversity of UAE culture.
Speaking about the UAE's participation as a guest of honour, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said, "The UAE's participation in the Bangkok International Book Fair is part of our constant endeavour to share our culture with the international community.
The fair serves as a great platform to present Emirati folklore and heritage to the Thai people and to visitors from different countries. The cultural ties between the UAE, Thailand and South and East Asian countries continue to grow on the basis of mutual cultural respect and cooperation."
In celebration of the UAE's selection as a guest of honour at the Bangkok International Book Fair, the Emirates Publishers Association hosted a cocktail reception at the UAE Pavilion. The party was attended by a group of Arab and international publishers, headed by Richard Charkin, President of the International Publishers Association, Trasvin Jittidecharak, IPA Executive Committee Member and a number of representatives of national publisher associations in the region and beyond.
The gathering was an opportunity to promote the third Arab Publishers Association Conference (APAC), which will be hosted in Sharjah next November under the theme Prospects and Challenges of the Digital Age, and will address a range of topics related to the publishing industry, including libraries, education, intellectual property, copyright & piracy, digital distribution, freedom to publish, translation and the Arabic language, innovation in publishing, and content development.
The UAE's delegation to the international book fair included Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority; Abdulaziz Musalam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage; Hisham Al Mathloum, Chairman of the Sharjah Collections of the Art; Mohamed Khalaf, Manager of Sharjah TV and Radio; Rashid Al Kous, General Manager of Knowledge Without Borders; Jamal Al Shehhi, President of the Emirates Publishers Association; Amani Al Ali, Manager of the Executive Office of Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi; Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Members of Emirates Publishers Association's Board of Directors and a number of senior officials from various cultural institutions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395278525836.html

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Sheikha Manal Art Exchange Programme hosts exhibition celebrating Young Emirati Artists
posted on 28/03/2015

The Cultural Office of H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bint Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday unveiled a special art exhibition for the public at BOXPARK by Meraas on Al Wasl Road, Dubai, celebrating the talents of promising young Emirati artists.
Held as part of the Sheikha Manal Art Exchange Programme, the exhibition features the works of 10 female Emirati arts students who had recently visited Hong Kong as part of an enriching art programme centred on the world-renowned Art Basel fair.
"This exhibition serves as a further expression of H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's commitment to provide budding Emirati artists the opportunity to reach out to the world and gain valuable exposure for their artwork. As the foremost patron of arts in the UAE, she has been a pioneer in her efforts to transform the country into a vibrant centre for artistic and cultural excellence, and developing a strong local talent pool is central to realising this vision," said Mona Bin Kalli, Director Cultural Office.
"The Sheikha Manal Art Exchange Programme has been instrumental in shaping the arts and cultural landscape in the UAE, creating a vibrant network of promising Emirati artists who constantly strive to push the boundaries of creative excellence. Providing them an opportunity to put their art in front of a wide audience brings to a logical culmination the creative and cultural journey these young talents undertook as part of the programme."
"The unique aesthetic experience created by the artistic works on display, each bristling with verve and imagination, gives enough indications that these students will be at the forefront of creative arts in the UAE in the years to come," she added.
The art exhibition will run until 4th April. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395278519742.html

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First butterfly garden in region opens in Dubai
posted on 28/03/2015

Thousands of brightly coloured butterflies are the latest attraction at Dubai Miracle Garden.
The first butterfly garden in the region has now opened at the green oasis, just off Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.
The circular garden features nine domes covering 1,800 square metres and it has a capacity for 300 people.
Each dome is decorated with flower displays and are home to a range of butterflies in various colours, sizes and species.
The domes are climate-controlled, giving the butterflies a comfortable environment and allowing the domes to be open year-round.
As well as the garden there is also a butterfly museum and a butterfly flower park built around a theme linked to the creature.
Dubai Miracle Garden is open 9am to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 11pm on Friday and Saturdays.
Regular admission is Dh30 per person. Entry is free for people with disabilities and children three and under.
For more details visit www.dubaimiraclegarden.com. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/uae/tourism/first-butterfly-garden-in-region-opens-in-dubai

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Vice President attends pre-Dubai World Cup dinner
posted on 28/03/2015

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, attended a dinner banquet on Friday evening hosted by Falcon at Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa, along with the owners, trainers and guests attending the 20th Dubai World Cup horse race, taking place on Saturday at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.
Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Hamdan and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, welcomed the guests.
Princess Haya noted that under Sheikh Mohammed's directives and followup, Dubai is set to host another successful edition of the international horse race, which symbolises peace and harmony throughout the world.
The banquet was also attended by Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai Protocol and Hospitality Department, Hilal Saeed Al Marri, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai World Trade Centre and Director General of Dubai Tourism and Commercial Marketing Department, John Fergusson, Director General of Falcon, and over 400 guests. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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