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Mohamed bin Zayed, President el-Sisi discuss U.A.E.-Egypt cooperation

posted on 18/09/2014

CAIRO: His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of U.A.E. Armed Forces, and Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, discussed yesterday the fraternal cooperation between the U.A.E. and Egypt, matters of common interest for the two countries, and the international and regional situation.

The discussions took place as President el-Sisi received His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and members of his delegation at the Ittihadiya Presidential Palace in Cairo.

President el-Sisi welcomed H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and his delegation, expressing his delight at meeting with His Highness again to discuss bilateral relations between their brotherly countries.

H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed conveyed to President el-Sisi the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his wishes for progress and prosperity for the leadership and people of Egypt. He noted the depth of the historic and fraternal relations between the two brotherly counties and their keen interest in bolstering them in the service of their interests in all spheres.

His Highness the Crown Prince affirmed U.A.E.'s interest, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in remaining the best supporter of Egypt towards a new renaissance and a new start in order to enable it to confront the different challenges in a in a patriotic spirit that will enable it to continue its process of development towards the achievement of the Egyptian people's aspirations for a future full of well-being, progress and growth.

H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, in his remarks at the meeting, which was attended by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, U.A.E. Foreign Minister, added that the leadership and people of the U.A.E. stand alongside Egypt based on its strong belief in the stature of Egypt as the region's strategic lynchpin and as a safety valve for Arab countries and their peoples, as well as in the importance of its vital regional and international role.

H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed noted the constructive role Egypt plays as it supports the regional efforts to achieve stability and combat terrorism and violence. He also expressed his confidence that Egypt, with the help of the determination of its people and national institutions, will restore its vital stature and leading regional role.

The two sides discussed the excellent fraternal U.A.E.-Egypt relations and their growth and development thanks to the support given by the leaders of the two countries towards the achievement of common strategic interests of the two countries and their peoples.

They also discussed the continuance of coordination, the enhancement of economic and trade relations, as well as support for the creation of strategic partnerships between the nations' relevant bodies and institutions in different sectors.

On his part, the Egyptian President requested H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to convey his greetings and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

President el-Sisi expressed his delight and satisfaction with the advanced level achieved by the fraternal relations between Egypt and U.A.E. He also expressed his country's interest in bolstering and developing these relations for the interests of the two countries and their people.

President el-Sisi noted the development initiatives that the U.A.E. has been taking for the Egyptian people since the establishment of the historical relations between the two countries by the U.A.E.'s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The parties also discussed the regional, Arab and international developments, exchanged views on matters of common interest and stressed the need for making all efforts to achieve peace, security and stability, as well as for combating terrorism and extremism in the region.

Also present at the meeting from the U.A.E. side were Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA), Mohammed bin Nakhira Al Dhaheri, U.A.E. Ambassador to Egypt and Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouie, the Under-Secretary of the Court of Abu Crown Prince.

Those present on the Egyptian side were Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mehlab, Army Commander-in-Chief and Defence Minister, Colonel General Sedqi Sobhi, Minister of Petroleum, Sherif Ismail, Minister of Education, Mahmoud Abul Nasr, Minister of Electricity, Mohamed Shaker el-Markabi, Ambassador to the U.A.E., Ihab Hammouda, and Presidential spokesman, Ihab Badawi.

Later, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi hosted a luncheon in honour of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan which was attended by members of the Crown Prince's delegation, the Egyptian Prime Minister and senior Egyptian officials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


Egyptian President values U.A.E.'s support for Egypt's transition towards democracy

posted on 18/09/2014

CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has highly appreciated U.A.E.'s stance towards Egypt as 'critical and supportive' for Egypt's transition towards democracy and protection of values of the Egyptian State and people.

The Egyptian president made his remarks in a statement the Egyptian Presidency issued yesterday after el-Sisi held talks with His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, and His Highness' discussions with Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mehlab.

Egypt's presidential spokesman, Ehab Badawi, stated that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed conveyed to President el-Sisi the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohamed added that the stance of leadership and people of the U.A.E.

alongside Egypt embodies the true meaning of Arab brotherhood and common destiny in addition to the longstanding, strong bilateral ties.

On his part, the Egyptian president requested Sheikh Mohamed to convey his greetings and best wishes to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, emphasising that Egypt 'Highly values the U.A.E.'s stance which as critical and supportive for Egypt's transition towards democracy and protection of values of the Egyptian State and people.' The Egyptian president stated that the threat of terrorism requires mobilisation of all Arab and international efforts in order to avert mistakes of the past which helped terrorists to gather first in Afghanistan and then in Syria and Libya.

His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi has also stressed the importance of solidarity among Arab countries to rectify the image of Islam which was marred by the terrorists, stressing the vital role of Al Azhar Al Sharif as the minaret of Islamic science and civilisation and a promoter of moderate Islam in this respect.

President el-Sisi and Sheikh Mohamed shared identical views on the importance of media in raising awareness and enlightenment and conveying the truth and facts to Arab peoples and highlighting contemporary controversial issues. Scholars should also play their part to explain facts so as to further enlighten Arab peoples to differentiate between the tolerant religion and fabricated and false statements.

The Egyptian Presidency statement stated that the Egyptian Prime Minister, Ibrahim Mahlab, also received His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces. The meeting covered ways of enhancing bilateral ties for the best interest of the two brotherly countries and their peoples. Also discussed were avenues of existing joint cooperation between entities in the two countries and means of advancing them.

The statement hailed the U.A.E. as one the most Arab supporters for Egypt following the 30 June Revolution with contribution spanning many sectors like mining, investment, energy and housing apart from its significant support for education. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


U.A.E. condemns human rights violations in Syria, ISIL's crimes

posted on 18/09/2014

GENEVA: Despite several international resolutions designed to put an end to the violence, the Syrian regime has been continuing with massacres. Chlorine, a prohibited product, has been used against civilians. The international community has been called upon to ask for accountability for the authors of those crimes, said Ambassador Obaid Salem Saeed Al Za'abi, Permanent Representative of U.A.E. to the United Nations and other international organisations, in his speech before the Human Rights Council in Geneva, on Tuesday.

The U.A.E. also condemns in the strongest terms the crimes perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes according to the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, and the Human Rights Council should hold the perpetrators accountable and stop them from getting away with it, affirmed AL Za'abi in his speech before the Human Rights Council's interactive dialogue with the Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria.

Citing a recent report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the U.A.E. permanent representative said that 6.5 million Syrians were displaced within their country and 2.9 million have become refugees, making Syria the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.

UN agencies say that 10.8 million Syrians are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 241,000 people who are still under siege and 4.7 million in hard-to-reach areas.

Noting that in the past two years, the U.A.E. has pledged US$360 million to provide humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees, the U.A.E. representative also urged the enabling of international relief agencies to have unhindered access in implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 2139 and 2165 of 2014, as well as the provision of protection for hospitals, medical teams and humanitarian workers.

He also reiterated that the U.A.E. stands for the legitimate demands of the Syrian people and for the integrity and unity of Syria, and is always keen on easing the humanitarian tragedy and the suffering of the Syrians.

Ambassador Al Za'abi also reiterated the U.A.E.'s adherence to the resolution of the League of Arab States, which emphasises the need for an urgent political and peaceful settlement for the Syrian issue as the best way for fulfilling the aspirations of the Syrian people, sparing their blood and achieving their stability. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


U.A.E. signs three agreements with WFP to offer 113.8 million for Syrian refugees

posted on 18/09/2014

The U.A.E. on Wednesday signed three agreements with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) whereby it has offered Dh 113.8 million in support of the world's largest humanitarian agency's response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria. This assistance from U.A.E. will benefit about 880,000 people inside and outside Syria.

The funds announced yesterday are part of a U.A.E. overall commitment of Dh 220 million announced by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, at an international donors' conference for Syria in Kuwait in January.

Of these funds, Dh 73.4 million will be allocated to provide urgent food aid for more than 615,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), including 345,000 children and 139,000 women, inside Syria. Dh 22 million will help to fulfil the critical nutrition needs of 240,000 children under the age of five who are at risk of malnutrition, and pregnant and nursing women inside Syria. The remaining Dh 18.3 million is allocated to help ensure food security for more than 23,000 Syrian refugees, now residing in Al Za'atri refugee camp in Jordan.

Commenting on the agreements in remarks at the signing ceremony at the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, the Minister of International Cooperation and Development, said, "WFP is playing a critical role in providing food aid for Syrians affected by the crisis. The U.A.E. is pleased to be able to support WFP's efforts to respond to the plight of Syrian refugees as well as those displaced inside Syria." Sheikha Luna, who is also Chairperson of the National Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Aid, said that the U.A.E.'s effective response to the humanitarian consequences of the crisis in Syria is in implementation of the directives of the wise leadership, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and is backed and sponsored by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, with the follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of WFP, added, "At WFP, we are proud of our strategic partnership with the U.A.E. and we commend their generosity towards the Syrian people. This contribution demonstrates once more the U.A.E.'s commitment to saving lives in emergencies. It means that WFP can continue to provide life-saving food assistance to thousands of families in Syria and to refugees in neighbouring countries." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


ERC, OCHA to join forces address humanitarian challenges

posted on 18/09/2014

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) have expressed their resolve to combine their efforts in constructive partnership and coordination to address present humanitarian challenges in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The two humanitarian organisations have renewed their determination to work together in many flash points to ease the brunt of crises and disasters that millions of peoples were enduring.

In a meeting between Mohammed Al Fahim, Deputy Secretary General of Emirate Red Crescent for Support Services, and Rashid Khalikov Director, OCHA Geneva, and Saeed Hersi from OCHA Gulf Office, the two sides agreed to consolidate their work mechanism, share expertise and information on building capacities of aid worker and jointly carry out development projects in vulnerable communities.

Rashid Khalikov Director, OCHA Geneva, commended U.A.E.'s support for enhancing OCHA capacities, and praised the ERC's humanitarian efforts to alleviate suffering of victims of disasters.

Al Fahim said the visit of OCHA delegation to the ERC would open up new, wide avenues of joint, constructive cooperation in the humanitarian work.

He emphasised ERC's keenness on extending bridge of communication and collaboration with regional and international humanitarian and relief agencies for a better future for humanitarian work.

In 2006, the U.A.E. joined OCHA as a key donor, becoming the 20th member in the group and the only non-European member then. OCHA Regional Office in the U.A.E. covers 21 countries in Middle East, North Africa and Asia. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


U.A.E. to host UN Women coordination office

posted on 18/09/2014

NEW YORK: The United Arab Emirates has announced its determination to host a coordination office for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women, with the support of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, the U.A.E.'s representative to the UN Women's Empowerment entity, commended the entity's achievement in general in carrying out its functions and influence significantly in creating a supportive environment for the development plans in the field of gender equality and women's empowerment.

Al Shehhi reviewed the successful experience of the United Arab Emirates, particularly in the field of issuing decisions and legislation aiming to empower women, confirming that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the first who laid the solid foundations for policies of women's empowerment and their involvement in various development aspects in the country.

She said that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is continuing this march, highlighting the plans of women and family empowerment pursued by all national institutions, particularly the General Women's Union, headed by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Mubarak.

Al Shehhi renewed U.A.E.'s commitment to continue its support for UN Women in various fields, including the empowerment of women and promotion of gender equality within the United Nations and at the global level in general. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Al Mazrouie: U.A.E. pumps heavy investment into energy sector to raise output capacity to 3.5 mbpd by 2017

posted on 18/09/2014

The U.A.E. is planning to raise its oil output capacity to 3.5 million barrels per day by 2017 and refining capacity to 1.1 mbpd from 707,000 barrels per day, affirming its strategic vision as a major oil producer in the world, H.E. Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, said yesterday.

'The U.A.E. holds 4% of the world's proven oil reserves and 3.5% of the world's gas reserves and its oil production accounts nearly 15% of the total oil output of OPEC. Hosting a seat of the International Renewable Energy Agency in the capital, Abu Dhabi, the U.A.E. has maintained its status as a world hub for renewable energy' the minister told an high-profile audience of Sheikhs, ministers and diplomats at the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis.

Speaking in a lecture titled ' Energy Outlook and Resources Security in the U.A.E., and attended by H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Al Mazrouie noted that the U.A.E. wise leadership, led by 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, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, pay great attention to the energy sector and diversification of energy mix.

The government, he said, aims to make the U.A.E. of the world's best countries in policies of energy use and delivery of highest possible feasible investment in energy resources.

Addressing consumption patterns of water and energy in the U.A.E., the minister said economic growth and demographic expansion have driven annual water and electricity consumption to 6%, a rate that is higher the world growth average.

He stated that residential sector consumes 35% of total power generation while the commercial sector uses 31%, making the two sectors as the largest power consumers in the U.A.E..

The minister explained that per capita consumption of energy in the U.A.E.

is three time over the average due to waste and uneconomic use of water and electricity. 'Cost of these two key resources is more than Dh 35 billion a year and that Dh 3.5 bn can be saved every year if 10% of consumption is saved,' he added.

He described energy consumption in the U.A.E. as among the world's highest but underlined the government's firm resolve to rationalise consumption.

He unveiled that the government was drafting a federal law for rationalisation of consumption of water and electricity.

He called the private sector and research and academic centres to engage in the national drive to promote the culture of sound consumption of these precious resources and preserve them for the next generations.

Outlining the State's policy to secure energy to consumers, the minister said the government strategy seeks to diversify the energy mix, whereby natural gas constitutes up to 70%, nuclear energy 25%, and solar energy up to 7% of the total generating electricity.

In his lecture, the minister spelled out the U.A.E. present and future policies and strategies in regards to solar energy, nuclear energy and rationalisation of the vital water and electricity resources.

Answering a question about U.A.E.'s role in the world energy market, the minister stressed that OPEC is working to stabilise world energy markets by pumping enough supplies and ' doesn't have any say in determining oil prices', affirming that the U.A.E. has made major contributions to secure oil supplies to the market.

According to him, U.A.E., Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had played a positive role in stabilising oil markets at a time of recent geopolitical tensions in the region.

The minister ruled out any threat shale oil could pose to crude oil producers, saying' I don't think any challenge shale oil can pose on us, rather it is a complementary factor in supplying oil to world energy markets which book a demand for energy between 1-1.5 mbpd a year.' He believed that US shale oil and gas output had contributed substantially to keep oil prices at their current levels. ' If it had not been for the US shale oil production, we would have seen oil prices much higher than current ceilings.' H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, H.H. Sheikh Omar bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, and a number of Sheikhs, ministers, senior officials, diplomats and energy experts, attended the lecture. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


Expo 2020 Dubai and DP World launch industry-themed workshops

posted on 18/09/2014

Expo 2020 Dubai has held the first industry exploratory session in partnership with DP World as part of the preparation to host the international event. The session, conducted with over 30 stakeholders in the supply chain sector, was designed to explore industry trends, opportunities and potential areas of participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Reem Al Hashimy, the U.A.E.'s Minister of State and Director General of Dubai Expo 2020 Office, and host Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, joined Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, Vice Chairman of DP World, and moderator Ayesha Sultan, Director of Corporate Strategy of DP World, in the first of what will be many sessions with diverse industries that will have an impact on the future of the region.

Reem Al Hashimy commented, "Engaging with Dubai's industry leaders and seeking their insight is key to the success of Expo 2020 Dubai. We are pleased that DP World, one of our primary partners, is collaborating with us to create a platform for productive dialogue and we look forward to capturing learnings from other industries as we host additional sessions in the coming year in preparation for Expo 2020 Dubai." DP World Chairman, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said, "We were delighted to convene the inaugural meeting of leading Dubai supply chain and logistics industries to discuss plans and ideas to support Expo 2020 Dubai. Co-ordination, co-operation and partnership across industries and across Dubai and the U.A.E. will lay the foundation for the huge success we know Expo 2020 will be." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


TRA Launches #YESUAE Campaign

posted on 18/09/2014

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA, has formally announced the launch of the ‘#YESUAE Campaign' across the nation's most popular social networking platforms.

The campaign is designed to garner wide spread national support ahead of the U.A.E.'s participation in the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 (PP-14) in Busan, Republic of Korea. On September 23rd, at 10 a.m. local time, the public will also have the opportunity to pose questions, using the ‘#YESUAE ' hash tag, to the TRA about the event and its importance during a one hour open Twitter Q&A session.

"The U.A.E. enjoys a strong relationship with the International Telecommunication Union, ITU, and the upcoming Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 in Busan is a really significant event. A series of elections will be taking place at PP-14 and the U.A.E. will be running for two very senior roles, a seat of the ITU Council and a position on the Radio Regulations Board, RRB," said Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, Director-General of the TRA.

"The implications of PP-14 are so that the outcome of the event will have a substantial impact on the U.A.E. ICT sector and its increasingly digital community. With that in mind, the TRA are committed to promoting the purpose of the event and generating awareness of the U.A.E.'s participation in it. The TRA have long recognised the need to meet and inform the public where they are most active and in this case, on social media, and we look forward to engaging with the public over the coming weeks," he added.

Nasser bin Hammad, TRA's Senior Manager of International Affairs, is the official U.A.E. candidate for the seat on the ITU Radio Regulations Board and will take the lead on responding to the questions sent using #YESUAE during the Twitter session. The public are able to send questions ahead of the session and the TRA has urged the public to pose questions related to PP-14 and the U.A.E. 's participation generally.

In terms of the event itself, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2014 will take place in Busan from 20th October to 7th November. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Abu Dhabi aspires to become one of the most efficient users of water in the world

posted on 18/09/2014

In order to address the rapidly growing demand for potable water in Abu Dhabi due to the population growth which is forecast to exceed five million by 2030, Abu Dhabi is investing in wastewater reuse and wastewater recycling projects to ensure the sustainability of its water supply.

The Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC) is currently undertaking an extensive expansion of its collection network including the multi-billion dirham strategic tunnel engineering project (STEP) to increase wastewater collection capacity which is expected to be sufficient to meet anticipated growth in the coming decades.

Alan Thomson, Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company, will be providing a keynote address and an update on the progress of STEP at the upcoming WaterWorld Middle East Conference and Exhibition (WWME) to be held from 12th to 14th October in Abu Dhabi.

As wastewater reuse and water recycling will be a key theme during WWME, the conference will host a session on "Wastewater Reuse Technologies" that will focus on case studies associated with moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR), ultraviolet (UV) treatment and reed bed technology. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DEWA holds Hassyan Clean Coal Power conference for phase I bidders

posted on 18/09/2014

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) yesterday held a conference for qualifying international developers who intend to send their proposals for the Hassyan project to produce 1,200 MW of electricity using clean coal. The project underlines DEWA's efforts to meet Dubai's increasing demand for energy and support the sustainable development of the Emirate. It underscores DEWA's view that the private sector is part of Dubai's success in green development.

The project is one of the most important initiatives for Dubai Government and for DEWA. It is being developed according to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance the sustainable development of Dubai. It also supports the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which was launched by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to diversify the energy mix by 2030. Among 17 qualification documents received, eight developers were qualified to submit their bids. The first phase of the project is expected to be operational by 2020.

In his opening speech at the conference, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, welcomed the over 100 delegates at the Jumeirah Creekside hotel. He commended the developers for choosing to participate in this important project, stressing the importance of their skills and expertise that will be the cornerstone of their partnership with DEWA to build and complete this promising project.

"Dubai embodies an impressive success story with its capability and efficiency in all its operations. DEWA produces about 9,656 MW of electricity and 470 million gallons of desalinated water each day. Over 9,000 employees work at DEWA," said Al Tayer.

"DEWA continues to serve the Emirate, and focuses on implementing vital projects to upgrade its infrastructure to achieve the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, to establish Dubai's pioneering position in the region and promote its role as a global hub for trade, finance and tourism. Dubai's infrastructure is characterised by efficiency, reliability, and development, and has attracted international investments. It has also enhanced sustainable economic growth," Al Tayer added.

"The Hassyan project will produce electricity using clean coal based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model and is one of the first projects to adopt IPP. It is the biggest and first of its kind to produce electricity in Dubai using clean coal. It is implemented as a part of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030." "DEWA is committed to continue its success stories by implementing this project, which supports continuous efforts to ensure the sustainability of energy supplies by diversifying the energy mix. DEWA is adopting the IPP model, out of its belief that it is one of the developed models that will help achieve its aspirations and enhance its strategic growth," added Al Tayer.

Al Tayer noted that DEWA will not only buy the electricity produced by the station, but also that it will be the biggest partner in the project. He noted that DEWA has been upgraded lately by Moody's to Baa2, while Standard & Poor's has given it BBB classification. This is a result of the developments DEWA has made in strengthening its financial position. DEWA is committed to ensuring the success of the project in light of its strong financial position.

During the conference, participants had the chance to interact and discuss with DEWA and its consultants who answered their technical, financial, legal, and other enquiries. The tender closing date is the end of November 2014. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Financial Market signs MoU with Korea Securities Depository

posted on 18/09/2014

The Dubai Financial Market, DFM, and the South Korea Securities Depository, KSD, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, which aims to strengthen and increase cooperation to develop the infrastructure for securities trading operations in the U.A.E. and South Korea.

The MoU will ensure a periodic exchange of information, the development of new services, and the establishment of operational links between DFM and KSD, which will contribute to increasing the effectiveness of depository and settlement systems and bolster the joint effort to develop the international securities sector.

The MoU was signed by Maryam Mohammed Fikri, Head of Clearing, Settlement and Depository Division and Executive Vice President at DFM, and Dr. Jaehoon Yoo, Chairman and CEO of KSD, in the presence of a number of senior officials from both sides. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


U.A.E. banks credit growth seen at 8-9% in 2014-15: S&P

posted on 18/09/2014

The U.A.E. banking system credit growth was about 4% in the first five months of 2014 and international ratings agency Standard & Poor's expects around 8–9% credit growth for the sector in 2014-2015, in line with healthy economic.

At year-end 2012, the U.A.E. regulator tightened limits on lending to government-related entities (GREs) and local governments. Given that GREs are important borrowers in the U.A.E. market, S&P expects that the tighter limits will restrict banks from growing their local loan books meaningfully above 10% over the next two years, S&P said in a new report published yesterday, titled "Economic Recovery Spurs Solid Growth for Gulf Banks."

It expects certain Dubai-based banks to grow faster than their peers in Abu Dhabi as the former were fairly inactive in lending in 2009–2012. Since 2013, banks in Dubai have again focused on lending as most of them have significantly improved their asset quality and funding profiles.

GCC banks growth

Assets of the GCC banks are expected to reach US$2 trillion by the end of 2015 compared to US$1.7 trillion by the end of 2013, said Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in a new report published yesterday, titled "Economic Recovery Spurs Solid Growth for Gulf Banks."

Gulf banks have shown healthy earnings growth over the last year and a half despite historically low interest rates, it said.

The ratings agency anticipated strong real GDP growth from most GCC countries in 2014-2015 with overall domestic credit growing by about 10 per cent.

"Banks in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have experienced lower net interest margins, but improving asset quality and falling credit losses have generally offset this. We believe declining credit losses will continue to support GCC banks' earnings throughout 2014, although we expect this effect to be less visible in 2015,” said Standard & Poor's analyst Timucin Engin.

"Prospects for economic growth in the Gulf region remain healthy for the next few years. We expect most Gulf banks to continue to benefit from robust corporate activity and consumer consumption over the next 18–24 months. The many infrastructure projects planned in the Gulf should translate into sustained streams of corporate lending," he said.

Over the past three years, strong liquidity flows into the Gulf's deposit markets have supported the region's banks-- which traditionally rely on local deposits for the bulk of their funding - and S&P expects this to continue. Regional sovereigns and their affiliated entities are key depositors in the local markets, and their fiscal positions should continue to be bolstered by strong oil prices.

"We believe the banks in the region are well-positioned to comply with the incoming Basel III rules. Most banks already have significant levels of high-quality capital, as their reported Tier I ratios indicate. In addition, given their strong earnings generation, Gulf banks can boost their capital if needed by minimising dividend pay-outs,” S&P's Engin said.

"Our rating actions in 2014 have largely reflected the generally positive backdrop in the Gulf region, and our rating outlooks largely reflect the ongoing recovery in the GCC banking system. Of our 27 public ratings, seven have positive outlooks, and only three have negative outlooks,” he added. – Emirates 24│7 -


Dolphin Energy achieves 5 trillion SCF output milestone

posted on 18/09/2014

The Dolphin Project involves the production and processing of natural gas from Qatar's North Field, and transportation of the dry gas by sub-sea export pipeline from Qatar to the U.A.E., which began in July 2007.

The long term customers for Dolphin gas from Qatar are Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Company, Dubai Supply Authority and Oman Oil Company.

Each has signed a gas supply agreement with Dolphin Energy for 25 years.

Ibrahim Ahmed Al Ansaari, Chief Executive Officer, Dolphin Energy, termed the achievement as "a proud moment and is testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams, the support of and input from our shareholders and our strategic partner Qatar Petroleum.”

Since the project achieved full throughput in February 2008, Dolphin Energy has been delivering two billion scf of natural gas per day to the U.A.E. and Oman. It is meeting 30 per cent of the U.A.E.'s energy requirements and delivering significant volumes of natural gas to each of the country's seven emirates.

The company recently registered 100 per cent plant availability for the fifth consecutive year, helping deliver volumes of natural gas safely and reliably and in turn creating sustainable wealth, economic growth and employment opportunities for the citizens of the region.

"Utilising the skills, experience and expertise we have at our disposal has made this achievement possible as has an unstinting commitment to maintaining the highest levels of asset performance and integrity, safety and security.”

"This has allowed us to make a significant contribution to maintaining energy security for the southern Gulf region and meet an increase in customer requirements when the need arises,” added Al Ansaari.

Recently, Dolphin Energy delivered quantities of diverted LNG from Qatar, up to 300 million scf/day — between June and September, a period of high customer demand.

"This demonstrates the power of collaboration and we look forward to playing a key role in the years ahead and to another major production milestone,” Al Ansaari concluded.

Dolphin Energy is owned 51 per cent by Mubadala Development Company, on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi and 24.5 per cent each by Total of France and Occidental Petroleum of the USA. – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Cruise Abu Dhabi steps up destination campaign

posted on 18/09/2014

The first dedicated Cruise Abu Dhabi international promotion set off under full sail at the Seatrade Med Conference and Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain affirming the emirate's commitment to regional cruise development.

A seven strong Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, delegation - including Abu Dhabi Ports Company, ADPC, and a number of private sector shore excursion providers and ship handling agents - is pressing the case for the emirate's inclusion as an alternative, and preferred, winter cruise destination.

Setting the tone for the week came the unveiling of design details, via a full scale model, of the planned permanent Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal announced by ADPC, slated to become the next big Arabian Gulf cruise tourism landmark.

"Initial interest shown in the scale model of the new terminal bodes well for our expanding cruise industry, and if our combined efforts encourage more cruise operators to identify potential in Abu Dhabi as a destination, this terminal building will be a significant addition to our credentials," said Sultan Al Dhaheri, Acting Executive Director Tourism, TCA Abu Dhabi.

The concept is the result of an international design competition and input from a range of industry stakeholders and is set to open in 2016, which according to Jasem Zaiton, Cruise Manager for tour operator dnata Gulf Ventures, could lead to a multiple-hub Cruise Arabia proposition becoming the norm.

"The new terminal has the potential to transform our industry and create an environment where a cruise line operating two ships in the region could comfortably homeport at two different destinations. This would allow us to create bespoke series of shore excursions tailored specifically to different passenger interest, which is a very exciting development," he explained.

The prospect of Abu Dhabi's new facility being on stream for the 2016/17 season is significant, according to Helen Beck, Regional Director, International Representatives, EMEA, Royal Caribbean International, the world's largest cruise line operator, "We plan our itineraries well in advance, and knowing that this terminal is being designed to meet our requirements, and at a standard expected by our passengers, is an influencing factor when we decide where to call,'' she said.

For George Varghese, General Manager of Rais Hassan Saadi and Co, shipping agents for Costa Cruises and a number of other lines that make regular ports of call in the U.A.E., the new terminal brings increased business potential.

"A state-of-the-art terminal makes our job of encouraging cruise lines to consider Abu Dhabi as a port a great deal easier. We expect the new Cruise Abu Dhabi Terminal will be of great interest, and allows us to tailor our approach according to the cruise line's individual requirements," he explained. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


787-9 Dreamliner, A380 to boost Etihad’s operations

posted on 18/09/2014

Etihad Airways will introduce two new long-haul aircraft types, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and the Airbus A380 super jumbo to boost its flight operations.

"The new jumbos will deliver new, industry-leading in-flight product,” said James Hogan, the chief executive of Etihad Airways, while speaking to more than 700 delegates from the airline industry gathered in Abu Dhabi for the International Air Transport Association's, or IATA, inaugural of World Financial Symposium.

Delegates were welcomed to the conference by Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the U.A.E. Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development.

"The airline will also continue to invest in new fleet and industry-leading product,” he said. In his opening presentation, the airline's president and chief executive officer, James Hogan, said Abu Dhabi was not only one of the world's fastest-growing commercial centres, but also a growing hub for international aviation.

"The air transport industry is growing at a faster rate in the Middle East than anywhere else in the world, and Abu Dhabi is one of the strongest performers in the region,” he said.

"This city is a natural junction for emerging markets including India, China and Africa to connect with established markets, and is a major air transport hub of the future. Etihad Airways and its airline partners are major drivers of this growth, and Abu Dhabi International Airport is critical not only to our own growth strategy but also to that of Abu Dhabi. That is evidenced by the construction of the airport's spectacular new Midfield Terminal, which will open in July 2017 to accommodate continued strong growth of this city as an international air transport hub.”

Hogan said Etihad Airways would continue to grow through a mix of organic growth, codeshare partnerships and minority investments in some strategically-important airlines. The IATA World Financial Symposium, with the theme "Supporting Sustained Airline Financial Health”, will conclude tomorrow afternoon. Etihad Airways carried 11.5 million passengers, last year. From its Abu Dhabi base Etihad Airways flies to 108 existing. The airline has a fleet of 104 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and more than 200 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777-X, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s.

Etihad Airways holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways, and is in the process of formalising equity investments in Alitalia and Swiss-based Etihad Regional. – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Emirates marks 10 years of worldwide lounge network

posted on 18/09/2014

In the financial year ending March 2014, more than four million customers were served at the 36 Emirates Lounges around the world.

Over 22 million customers have enjoyed the haven of an Emirates Lounge since the airline opened its first international lounge outside of its Dubai hub, and demand is growing.

In the financial year ending March 2014, more than four million customers were served at the 36 Emirates Lounges around the world. These lounges are staffed by a 1,400-strong team who can interact with customers in over 25 languages. Emirates opened its first international lounge in Brisbane in 2004, offering the same high standard of service and quality of products that premium customers can expect on-board.

The airline has since invested over US$320 million in its lounge network, to open new facilities and refurbish existing ones.

Combined, Emirates Lounges span an area of 69,565sqm, and can seat 11,526 customers at one time, reflecting the demand from customers in tandem with the airline's growth.

"We have made significant investments to develop our network of lounges over the last decade, and we will continue to invest in this product, because we see it as an integral part of the total value proposition for our premium customers,” said Mohammed H. Mattar, divisional senior vice president, Emirates Airport Services.

He added: "Our expanding lounge network is addressing a clear need and expectation from customers. We pay as much attention to the on-ground experience, as we do to the on-board product and service. Before they even board the plane, premium customers enjoy exclusive chauffeur drive service, dedicated airport check-in counters, and luxurious lounge facilities — this is all part of the Emirates experience and we will never compromise on quality.”

Emirates operates 36 dedicated lounges around its six-continent network including lounges in Auckland, Bangkok, Beijing, Birmingham, Brisbane, Colombo, Delhi, Dubai (x6), Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester, Melbourne, Milan, Munich, New York — JFK, Paris — Charles de Gaulle, Perth, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Zurich. – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


U.A.E. retail sector surges with 33% growth forecast for 2015

posted on 18/09/2014

The United Arab Emirates retail sector is expected to grow over 33 percent by 2015, according to a September 2014 report by Ventures Middle East released in conjunction with The Big 5 building and construction exhibition.

That growth is attracting investment into other countries in the GCC, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman, and to a smaller extent Qatar and Bahrain, the report said.

Dubai is the region's leading retail destination, with the second largest number of global brands after London, according to the report. The Dubai Mall and the Dubai Shopping Festival alone attract close to 35 million visitors per year.

New developments on the horizon include Dubai's recently announced ‘Mall of the World' entertainment and hotel district, which will include the world's largest mall, spread across eight million square metres, at an estimated cost of US$ 6.8 billion.

George Kostas is the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim - Properties, a leading shopping mall, retail and leisure developer the Middle East and North Africa, which owns and operates 17 shopping malls across the region.

He says the U.A.E. has earned a reputation as successful global and luxury retail brands destination since it attracts wealthy visitors from around the world.

"We expect an even greater investment in the retail and tourism sector in the lead-up to the Expo 2020,” said Kostas, whose company will expand and refurbish its Mall of the Emirates – including two new hotels - build a new shopping mall in the International Media Production Zone and a new luxury hotel at City Centre Deira.

"A rise in consumer purchasing power and a growing young and brand savvy population have made Dubai one of the world's most attractive hubs for retailers. To meet these future demands, Majid Al Futtaim has committed to over Dh 3bn (US$ 817m) of new investment across our Dubai portfolio.”

Leading shopping projects across the region include the Vendome Mall at Lusail in Qatar, which is under construction at an estimated value of US$ 1.37 billion, the planned Al Diriyah Festival City in Saudi Arabia, which has a value of US$ 1.6 billion, and the planned Muscat Festival City Mall in Oman.

"Leading retailers from around the world are all clamouring to enter a GCC market which has huge potential,, and that's only good news for developers in the region,” said Andy White, Group Event Director of The Big 5.

"We are seeing increased activity across the entire GCC as countries continue to position themselves as destinations for major tourism events. Increasingly, visitors to The Big 5 are sourcing products for retail projects and we continue to develop our event to help professionals take advantage of this exciting opportunity.”

The Big 5 runs from 17 – 20 November at the Dubai World Trade Centre and is open from 11:00am to 7:00pm daily. – Emirates 24│7 -


New Abu Dhabi centre of excellence to produce first anti-cancer drugs in the GCC

posted on 18/09/2014

Officials from Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and LIFE Pharma have on Wednesday celebrated a ground-breaking ceremony, marking the beginning of construction of the first pharmaceutical research and manufacturing plant in the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) region to produce anti-cancer drugs.

Over the next five years, LIFE Pharma, which is part of VPS Healthcare, plans to invest Dh 587 million (around US$ 160 million) in the new Kizad plant.

The facility, which will be the first in Kizad to manufacture pharmaceutical products, will be a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical centre of excellence, combing latest technologies and world class expertise to contribute to the discovery of new cancer therapies.

By setting up a centre of excellence, LIFE Pharma - together with the Ministry of Health (MoH) - aims to establish Abu Dhabi and the U.A.E. on the world map of medical research. The centre will follow international standards in line with globally recognised organisations, such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US.

The new centre will occupy a 1.7 million-square foot plot of land in Kizad's pharmaceutical and healthcare cluster and will contain four production facilities. Alongside the cancer control and research facility, the other three will produce vaccines, sterile injections and oral solid dosage to be used in the treatment of illnesses, such as hepatitis and influenza.

"We are very pleased to see our plans for a new research and manufacturing centre progressing. The new plant will be a game changer for the local and regional pharma industry. Kizad is a perfect location to enhance our production palette and continue our ambitions to develop high quality products to drive improvements, especially in the treatment of cancer patients", said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, Managing Director, VPS Healthcare, at the ground-breaking ceremony.

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC), and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kizad added: "Today marks the beginning of a new era in Abu Dhabi's and the U.A.E.'s pharmaceutical landscape. According to Alpen Capital, the GCC healthcare market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 12% to US$ 69.4 billion by 2018 from an estimated US$ 39.4 billion in 2013.

By offering cutting edge infrastructure and unprecedented intermodal connectivity, Kizad will provide LIFE Pharma with an excellent business platform to cater for this growing market." Dev Kumar Singh, President, LIFE Pharma, concluded: "Alongside the necessary infrastructure, we were looking for a location that provides us with excellent market access. Kizad's comprehensive transportation network and close proximity to Khalifa Port will give us the opportunity to expand our brand on a local and international level." Besides the GCC region and Africa, LIFE Pharma will export through Khalifa Port to markets in Asia, Europe, as well as North and South America. LIFE Pharma has also established global marketing and distribution relationships with well-known business partners, including Sandoz, Sanofi, Waymade, Cardinal, Septa, Protek, Eurofarma, Pramit, Lupin, Jubilant and Sagent.

The oncology facility will be the first of the four facilities to be set up and is scheduled to be completed by Q4 2015 and operational in the following year.

ENDS Notes to Editors: About LIFE Pharma LLC and the VPS Healthcare Group LIFE Pharma LLC is part of VPS Healthcare, which also owns and manages various hospitals in the U.A.E., Oman and India. VPS Healthcare is an integrated healthcare service provider with primary, secondary and tertiary care clinics and hospitals in the Middle East and the Indian Sub-continent.

By providing comprehensive patient management at international quality standards across all strata of the community, VPS Healthcare reflects a brand image of excellence in healthcare delivery systems in the region.

VPS Healthcare currently includes nine operational hospitals across the region and in the Indian subcontinent. Additionally, the group holds the Master Franchise for the Medicine Shoppe brand of pharmacies in the GCC and India.

The LIFE Pharma research and production plant in Kizad will be the second LIFE Pharma facility in the U.A.E.. The first facility, which was established in 2011, produces tablets, capsules and liquid suspensions to treat diabetes and illnesses, including those related to the central nervous and cardiovascular system. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sharjah time-lapse video: Timeless beauty that moves

posted on 18/09/2014

Opening to the soul-stirring music of Marwan Anwer's Fayrouz, the first commissioned time-lapse video shows Sharjah in a totally different light.

Easing beautifully from a happening day to an equally vibrant nightlife, the almost three-and-a-half-minute-long video encompasses the beauty of the emirate that one may fail to notice in life's daily hustle and bustle.

"There are some other time lapse videos on the Internet which are from individual initiatives. However, this is the first such commissioned time-lapse video of its kind ... (in) ... Sharjah,” said Imran Ahmad Kamal, manager of Barjeel Art Foundation, which commissioned the video.

The recently released video was the brainchild of Sultan Saoud Al Qasimi, founder of Barjeel Art Foundation, who felt the city has a lot to offer to the U.A.E. residents and tourists.

Chicago-based photographer and cinematographer Eric Hines was commissioned for the project. "Eric has previously done some noteworthy time lapse videos, including ‘Cityscape Chicago', which caught Sultan's eye at the time,” explained Kamal, who was also project coordinator of the Sharjah Timelapse 2014 project.

Eric was assisted and advised by Christina Dimitrova, a Sharjah-based photographer.

"The video aims to highlight Sharjah for the beautiful city that it is; unique in its combination of modern and historic elements,” he said. "The human side is also very much present in the video, and it is what makes Sharjah the city that it is. The fact that Sharjah is the Islamic Culture Capital 2014 makes the timing of the video even more appropriate.”

There are 45 individual sequences in the video, and each sequence is made of individual photos running at 24 frames per second.

The video is made up of approximately 18,000 still photos.

The chosen frames consist of landmarks in Sharjah — historical, modern and, perhaps, just interesting. "Light was an important issue which dictated whether some shots were better to be done in the day or the evening,” said Kamal. "The timing also coincided with some rainy weather resulting in some stunning shots of the sky and cloud movements as well, which was serendipitous.”

The video was planned several months ago. Locations for the shoots were scouted ahead of time with the assistance of Gulf Photo Plus.

"Eric came in early March and we completed shooting in a record 10 days. Editing and post

processing took about a month before the final video was ready,” says Kamal.

The video is being hosted on Barjeel Art Foundation's website, as well as Vimeo and YouTube. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationgeneral


300 entries for U.A.E. drones contest

posted on 18/09/2014

The award's management focused on innovation in rendering services, its feasibility and the value it brings to the general population while selecting the entries.

The ‘U.A.E. Drones for Good Award', which was launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, earlier this year, has announced the results of the first qualifying round.

The preliminary qualifying round, which was conducted earlier this month, saw over 300 entries. Of these, 16 participants have made it to the semi-final. Details about the entries which have qualified for the semi-final can be found online on the award's website:

The award's management focused on innovation in rendering services, its feasibility and the value it brings to the general population while selecting the entries.

The semi-final round of the award will conclude by October 15. The final round will see three participants fighting it out for the Dh1 million top spot. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationgeneral


Dubai International Film Festival opens registration for 11th edition

posted on 18/09/2014

The Dubai International Film Festival, DIFF, announced yesterday that registration for the 11th edition of the festival is now open for media, industry professionals and students. This year's edition of DIFF will run from December 10th-17th.

DIFF celebrates the best of Arab and international cinema each year, with red carpet premieres, daily gala screenings, a variety of community and family-oriented events, industry workshops and informative panel discussions.

DIFF's programme is carefully curated to comprise a mix of enlightening documentaries, inspiring independent films, the best in children's cinema, crowd-pleasing blockbusters and standout Emirati and Arab films.

The Dubai Film Market, DFM, the industry arm of DIFF, continues to support filmmakers by offering a hub for Arab cinema and the ultimate destination for the sale and acquisition of Arab films and TV content. This year's edition will bring the MENA region's key industry players under one roof.

Attended by over 1,800 industry delegates from 81 countries last year, the DFM offers a series of engaging and educational workshops and panel discussions, with special talks that are open to students, the media and the public. Cinetech, DFM's video library and digital acquisition platform, will give buyers and sellers more flexible ways to view films and reach out to their rights holders.

Each year, DIFF also provides over 700 students and residents, who are passionate about the cinema industry, with an unrivalled opportunity to be part of the festival through volunteering their services.

Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing-Director, said, "The 11th edition of DIFF will be an eight-day festival of the year's most distinguished Arab and international films, inspiring discussions with filmmakers and critics, as well as a multitude of industry and community events celebrating the art of cinema. The region's filmmaking community will benefit from new initiatives such as the Dubai Distribution Programme, which secures distribution for selected Arab titles from DIFF's 2014 film programme. We are looking forward to welcoming back filmmakers and filmgoers, and meeting with those who are going to be part of the festival for the first time this year." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


2015 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award opens submissions

posted on 18/09/2014

New York University Abu Dhabi Institute has announced the opening of submissions for the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2015, which is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF).

Now in its third year and driven towards fostering local talents' artistic excellence, the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award 2015 is open to U.A.E. residents and full-time students who are currently in higher education institutions or have graduated within the past five years.

Applicants' artwork may comprise any form of media pertaining to photography, sculpture, installation, video or land art.

One of the main objectives of the Christo & Jeanne-Claude Awards is to encourage applicants to think creatively in terms of demonstrating their artwork and come up with innovative ideas that challenge the conventional demonstration of the ‘white cube' gallery space, according to the organisers.

The winner this year will receive US$5,000 alongside an additional $15,000, which will be used to fund and further promote a touring solo exhibition of the winning work in 2015. The winning applicant will also be awarded $10,000 by Christo himself at the end of the touring exhibition, to fund any future artistic projects.

Applications will be received on the NYUAD and ADMAF websites until November 1st. Students must be nominated for the award by a mentor or academic tutor, while recent graduates may apply either independently or with the support of a nominator. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Marina station is now Damac

posted on 18/09/2014

The Dubai Marina station on Dubai Metro's Red Line will now be named Damac station, has announced.

Damac Properties has joined the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) naming rights project close on the heels of a similar deal between RTA and ADCB that resulted in Al Karama station being renamed ADCB station.

A unique branding concept, the naming rights project has played a key role in generating huge revenue for RTA, while also revolutionising the traditional concept of sponsorship and branding.

The latest agreement was signed on behalf of the RTA by Abdullah Yousuf, CEO of the Rail Agency, and on behalf of Damac by Hussain Sajwani, Chairman and CEO of Damac Properties, in the presence of Abdul Mohsin Ebrahim Younes, CEO of RTA's Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector.

Lauding the move, Yousuf congratulated Damac Properties for acquiring the naming rights for Dubai Marina station.

"The Damac station is characterised by several geographical features including its strategic and touristic location in Dubai, as it serves around 100,000 people in Dubai, besides being one of the connecting stations with the Dubai Tramway when it opens later in November this year,” added Yousuf.

Sajwani said: "The Dubai Metro has proved to be a model for the success of mass transit systems in the emirate, and we pride ourselves on renaming the Dubai Marina station Damac station, given the strategic location of the station amongst key touristic and residential districts in Dubai Marina. Four of our projects — the Marina Terrace, the Waves, Ocean Heights and Damac Heights — are a short distance from the Damac station.”

As many as 14 private or public firms on both the Red and Green Lines have joined the Metro bandwagon including Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, etisalat, Gulf General Investment Company (GGICO), Sharaf DG, First Gulf Bank, Nakheel, The Palm Deira, Nakheel Harbour & Tower, Dubai Airport Free Zone, Noor Bank, BurJuman Centre, and Danube company. – Gulf News -


Leading Emirati and expat fighters set for Dubai Jiu-Jitsu Open

posted on 18/09/2014

The first day of the event under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council is dedicated for the ‘No Gi' competitions and on the second day, the full-fledged ‘Gi' competitions take place. Gi denotes the traditional hand combat robe used in martial arts.

Entry is free to this event which will see top expat and U.A.E. national team members take part. On Friday, gates open at 2pm and on Saturday at 11am, officials said. The qualifying and medal rounds are expected to be keenly fought which should by normal course take nearly four hours of highly competitive phases each day.

The event, organised by the U.A.E. Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) with the International Petroleum Investment (IPIC) company as official partners, and further supported by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and Al Wasl Sports Club, was announced at a Press conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai.

Fahd Al Shamsi, CEO of the UAEJJF, Ali Mohammed Al Muttawa, Director of Corporate Support Department at DSC and Mohammad Ali Amer, Board Member of Al Wasl Sports Club also attended.

In his message Mohammed bin Humaid bin Dalmoog Al Dhaheri, Board Member, UAEJJF, said: "Last year was the first competition the UAEJJF staged outside Abu Dhabi and following the success of the event we are very pleased to elevate this competition to an Open contest this season.”

The event has drawn the cream of the Emirati and expatriate fighters, including Faisal Al Ketbi, the Emirati gold medallist at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship and the first Emirati black belt holder and his national team team-mates Taleb Al Kurbi and Eid Rehan Al Tunaiji.

The Dubai Open will be a permanent fixture in their calendar of events. The competition was staged as the Asia Jiu-Jitsu Open Cup last year at Al Wasl Club and returns as the Dubai Jiu-Jitsu Open Championship. "We are delighted to say, jiu-jitsu has grown remarkably well over the past few years and is still growing,” Dhaheri added.

"We are honoured to be the official partner of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation,” said Khadem Al Qubaisi, Managing Director, IPIC.

"We would like to thank General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces; for his unlimited support of jiu-jitsu and Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, for his patronage of this tournament.” – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationsports