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FANR presents nuclear safety report to IAEA

posted on 24/08/2016

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR, yesterday presented the UAE's third national report to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, as part of the nation's participation in the Seventh Review Meeting of the Contracting Parties, CPs, to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, CNS, set to take place from 27th March to 7th April 2017, at IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

The UAE's national report describes how the UAE has met its obligations to the convention as the state has made progress in constructing its first nuclear power plant at Barakah in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The report includes an update to the lessons learned from the 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and the measures taken in the UAE to prevent a similar incident. The report also describes the preparations underway to prepare for the first nuclear reactor to begin operations, currently expected in early 2017, pending FANR's regulatory review.

The report is the result of a collective effort of key national organisations including FANR, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority and other leading UAE institutions.

The report is now available to all 78 CNS contracting parties, who can review it and submit written questions to the UAE, which will in turn provide replies in advance of the 7th review meeting. At that session, the contracting parties will again review each other's reports in working groups and plenary sessions, as part of the convention's objective to create a "peer review" forum for nuclear safety.

"The 7th review meeting offers the UAE an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to nuclear safety and the tangible progress it has achieved in building the regulatory framework, the technical systems, and the management infrastructure needed to conduct a nuclear energy programme safely and securely," said FANR Director-General, Christer Viktorsson.

FANR has made the UAE's CNS report publicly available on its website, just as it has done for its previous reports.

The Convention on Nuclear Safety was adopted in Vienna on 17th June, 1994. Its aim is to legally commit participating states operating land-based nuclear power plants to maintain a high level of safety by setting international benchmarks to which states would subscribe.

The convention obliges its Contracting Parties to submit reports on the implementation of their obligations for "peer review" at meetings of the Parties to be held at the IAEA. This mechanism is the main innovative and dynamic element of the convention. There are currently 78 CPs to the convention, and the United Arab Emirates has been a party since 2009. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


10th World Future Energy Summit demonstrates business case for sustainability

posted on 24/08/2016

With the cost of solar energy plummeting, the World Future Energy Summit 2017 (WFES) will showcase an unprecedented range of financially profitable clean energy solutions, opening up opportunities for green tech companies as the MENA region moves to achieve ambitious sustainability targets.

Figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) show that the installed cost of utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar generation in the UAE fell around 75 per cent between 2008 – the year of WFES' first edition – and mid-2014, dropping from US$7 per watt to less than $1.5 per watt. In late 2014, bids to build a 100MW PV project in Dubai broke world records for cost-competitiveness, with the lowest bid at US5.8 cents per KWh. By June 2016, a Masdar-led consortium won the bidding for phase three of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park with a levelled cost of electricity of just US2.99 cents per KWh.

Masdar CEO, Mohamed Al Ramahi, said, "The MENA region's appetite for investment in renewables has grown with the decline in cost and advancement in technological efficiency. This has further driven the growth of the market. Renewable energy is now an efficient and commercially attractive means to address growing energy demand. Regional leaders such as Masdar, and platforms such as the World Future Energy Summit, which is held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the largest sustainability gathering in the region, have been helping to drive the industry forward and reinforce the business case behind diversifying our regional energy-mix."

WFES was created to drive the business of clean energy, offering a marketplace where suppliers of new technology can connect with buyers. Since 2008, the economics of that marketplace have changed dramatically, and WFES 2017 brings together solutions that are not only sustainable, but are increasingly the more cost-effective option. That is especially true when the long-term returns required for new-build infrastructure are factored in.

Part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) from 16th to 19th January, and hosted by Masdar, WFES 2017 will bring together ADSW's theme of ‘Practical Steps Towards a Sustainable Future', with the WFES goal, ‘Sustaining the Clean Energy Consensus, Empowering New Players'.

Deals made at WFES have been at the centre of a surge in renewables across the MENA region, particularly solar power. Some of the key projects in the GCC include a 100 MW utility-scale plant due to open in Mecca in 2018, Kuwait has signed a contract for a $385 million, 50MW plant; in Abu Dhabi the Shams concentrated solar power (CSP) project went online in 2013.

Scheduled to follow the 2016 COP 22 meeting in Morocco and annual sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, WFES 2017 will bring together the world's leading renewable energy professionals, policy makers, innovators and investors. The 2016 edition hosted 30,000 attendees from 150 countries, and 600 exhibiting companies.

Along with WFES itself, the four-day exhibition and conference programme now features five co-located events highlighting targeted aspects of sustainability. Each event makes a strong business case for innovation within its field.

Among these, International Water Summit (IWS) in partnership with ADWEA emphasises water security issues, while EcoWaste, in partnership with Tadweer, offers solutions that turn environmental waste into a valued resource. For 2017, WFES Solar Expo and WFES Energy Efficiency Expo are being expanded as co-located events, showcasing the latest in solar technology and smart building solutions. The WFES Sustainable Transport Zone will also return, offering the latest solutions in energy-efficient vehicles.

WFES, the centrepiece exhibition, will be the largest-ever gathering of renewable energy and sustainability experts in the Middle East and North Africa, hosting prominent global thought leaders from the public, private, and academic sectors.

WFES 2016 hosted a record 1,735 executive buyers from 1,322 companies and 75 countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Noura Al Suwaidi: 100,000 visit Emirati Women's Day dedicated e-website

posted on 24/08/2016

Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Women's Union, has expressed her satisfaction over the stunning results achieved by the electronic website launched by the General Women's Union on the occasion of Emirati Women's Day, which is held this year under the theme, "Women and Innovation".

She said that H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, is fully satisfied with the interaction of social institutions and individuals with the electronic platform which, in turn, reflects and confirms their support for Emirati Women.

The platform was launched in implementation of the directives of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak to mark Emirati Women's Day, which falls on the 28th August.

The electronic platform aims to open channels of communication with the community with the aim of developing social services that help empower women and strengthen the services provided to them. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, Al Ain Zoo sign MoU

posted on 24/08/2016

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium have agreed to join forces to spread awareness about the environment.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Monday by Eng. Aisha Al Abdooli, Director of Environmental Awareness and the Education Department of the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and Muna Al Dhaheri, Chief Operating Officer from Al Ain Zoo.

Also in attendance were Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Ghanim Al Hajeri, Director General of Al Ain Zoo, along with other officials from both entities.

The MoU stipulated three main areas of collaboration, including carrying out awareness campaigns and environmental initiatives, exchanging data and expertise between the two establishments to encourage positive environmental behaviour, and exchanging technical information and expertise in the field of laboratory analyses and veterinary testing.

Regarding the memorandum, Eng. Al Abdooli said, "The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment believes that raising awareness about preserving the environment and protecting the country's biodiversity is the responsibility of all individuals and establishments in the UAE. We are keen on collaborating with entities, such as Al Ain Zoo, as we work towards building a sustainable future. This is why we consider this agreement both strategic and essential."

Commenting on the agreement, Al Dhaheri noted, "We are pleased to collaborate with the Ministry when it comes to raising awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and promoting relevant positive behaviour. The agreement is in line with the values of our organisation, as we aim to establish ourselves as one of the leading national entities that support environmental sustainability. Through this agreement, we hope to succeed in raising awareness amongst individuals and organisations in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and in the UAE."

Earlier this year, the ministry launched the "Sustainability," a lifestyle initiative, which is part of the national awareness and educational strategy as well as the framework of national environmental awareness programmes.

The initiative, which will continue until 2020, aims at educating the UAE public and the business and industrial sectors about adopting positive environmentally-friendly practices. These include improving behaviours when consuming, in a bid to preserve resources and reduce the negative effects of human behaviour on the environment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE dedicated to promoting values of tolerance, positivity, says Mona Al Marri

posted on 24/08/2016

The UAE has emerged as a model for women's empowerment due to the steadfast support provided by the country's leadership in fostering an environment that provides women opportunities to actively contribute to national progress, Vice-President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment Mona Ghanem Al Marri affirmed.

'Supported by the country's leadership, the achievements and successes of UAE women have furthered the country's progress and development,' she said.

The UAE, she said, is dedicated to promoting the spirit of tolerance and spreading hope and positivity in the Arab world, despite the challenges being faced by many countries in the region. This has made the UAE a beacon of optimism and a force for prosperity, security and stability in the region.

Al Marri reiterated that the UAE leadership has high aspirations for women since it believes they have the ability to play an influential role in the country's resurgence in various fields. She pointed out to the significant progress made towards the political and economic participation of women in the Gulf, which has inspired other women across the world.

Al Marri made these remarks at a meeting with a UN Women delegation comprising Antonie de Jong, Outreach and Business Development Adviser, Hind Al Owais, Senior Advisor, and Marnie Selby Diouf, Partnerships Expert. The meeting comes ahead of the 17th October opening of the United Nations (UN) Women Office in Abu Dhabi, which will serve as a liaison office for GCC countries. Al Marri described the office as a crucial platform to promote co-operation between the UN and the countries of the region, including their various commissions and institutions for women's development and empowerment.

Held at the Government of Dubai Media Office, the meeting was also attended by several other members of the UAE Gender Balance Council.

Al Marri said at the meeting that the UAE's achievements in various fields, including women's empowerment, stem from the leadership's ambitious vision that has led to the UAE becoming a pioneer in many areas regionally and globally. She cited the example of the appointment of a Minister of Happiness, the first such position anywhere in the world.

The Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council highlighted the country's major achievements in the field of women's empowerment and gender balance, key among which being the Political Empowerment Programme of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which was launched in 2005. She noted that the programme has achieved its objectives of expanding political participation, enhancing the role of women in the Federal National Council, and empowering women across all fields.

Other key achievements Al Marri mentioned included the initiative by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in February 2015 to form the UAE Gender Balance Council aimed at enhancing the role of women as partners in building the future. She also highlighted the continued support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and his dedication to enhancing active participation of women in various fields, which reflects the country's commitment to promoting the status of women in society, complementing their roles as educators of future generations, pillars of the family and essential building blocks of society.

She also spoke of the exceptional support of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and her commitment to enhance the status of women in the UAE and the Arab world, through initiatives and projects that allow them to achieve the highest levels of participation in society.

The most important of these is the national strategy launched by H.H. in March 2015 to empower women leaders in the country through 2021, as well as provide a framework for all federal and government institutions and civil society organisations to develop plans for women's empowerment in all areas of sustainable development.

Al Marri outlined the objectives of the UAE Gender Balance Council, which have been inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. She said that the leadership's women's empowerment initiatives are part of the goal of raising the country's ranking to one of the top 25 countries in the world for gender equality by the year 2021.

Al Marri also lauded the efforts undertaken by UN Women and its effective international strategy to build women's capacities and empower them in all fields. She also commended their initiatives to promote gender equality in accordance with the principle of equal opportunities, and expressed the hope that the opening of a regional UN Women Office in Abu Dhabi will usher in a new phase of close co-operation in the field of women's empowerment in the form of joint initiatives, projects and programmes. She reiterated the UAE Gender Balance Council's commitment to co-operate with the UN in implementing such initiatives in the short and long term.

She concluded by saying that the UAE Gender Balance Council, chaired by H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is supporting the implementation of a ‘Gender Balance Index' which will provide a tangible measure of progress in women's participation in various governmental commissions and institutions, apart from inspiring similar progress among private sector institutions.

The UN delegation praised the UAE's exceptional achievements in women's empowerment in the short period of time since its founding in 1971. Hind Al Owais, the first Emirati woman to hold the position of Senior Advisor to the Deputy Executive Director of the UN, stated that the UAE has earned international recognition and respect for its progress in various fields, especially in women's empowerment. The UAE's support will help the UN Women Office conduct its mission and achieve its objectives, she said, and added that the office will help open more channels of co-operation with governments in the region.

Al Owais explained that the office will focus on developing strategic partnerships with Gulf and Arab institutions, and advising regional governments on policies that support women. The office will also help promote the status of women in the region, support governments and strengthen co-operation in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai-UK trade at AED6.7 billion in Q1 2016: Dubai Customs

posted on 24/08/2016

Dubai Customs is committed to reinforcing co-operation and co-ordination with the foreign diplomatic corps in order to boost Dubai's foreign trade.

Living up to this strategic objective, Director of Dubai Customs Ahmed Mahboob Musabih has received officials from the British Embassy with whom he held discussions on matters of mutual interest.

Attended by Faisal Issa Lutfi, CEO of Dubai Customs World and External Relations Director at Dubai Customs, the meeting aimed at exploring stronger economic and commercial ties between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Kingdom (UK).

The British delegation comprised Steve Baker, Country Manager, Fiscal Crime Liaison Office (FCLO); Alun Watkins, Fiscal Crime Liaison Officer; and Douglas Macpherson, Fiscal Crime Liaison Officer of HM Revenue and Customs.

"Expanding two-way trade with the UK is our focus at Dubai Customs," Ahmed Mahboob Musabih said.

The Dubai-UK trade reached AED29.7 billion in 2015, and AED6.7 billion in the first quarter of this year with imports accounting for AED4.6 billion, exports at AED393 million, and re-exports worth AED1.66 billion, he noted.

"In line with UAE leadership's directives, we endeavour to strengthen our commercial and customs relationships with the British counterparts to drive growth in Dubai's bilateral trade with the United Kingdom as one of Europe's largest trading markets," he added.

Faisal Lutfi said, "The regular meetings with foreign diplomatic corps are an opportunity to share rich expertise of Dubai Customs with friendly countries when it comes to enhancing customs work around the world. Strengthening customs co-operation with British Customs is part of our strategy in this regard."

The visiting British officials recognised Dubai's key position as a global hub of trade between the East and the West, and re-affirmed UK's commitment to fortifying collaboration with Dubai Customs to ensure the flow of legitimate cross-border trade. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


2nd edition of UAE India Economic Forum to take place in October

posted on 24/08/2016

The UAE Ministry of Economy and the Consulate-General of India have announced that the second edition of the UAE India Economic Forum, UIEF, is set to take place on 19th and 20th October, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

Building on the success of the event's first edition last year, the Consulate-General of India, in association with UMS Conferences, said that UIEF provides a vital platform for business leaders and government authorities to discuss key opportunities for diversifying and deepening the economic partnership between the two countries.

Jamal Al Jarwan, Secretary-General of UAE International Investors Council, UAEIIC, said, "Economic ties between the UAE and India go back hundreds of years and we are proud of the two countries' sustained efforts to strengthen this relationship further. As an initiative founded on the success of the two countries continued commitment to boost mutual bilateral ties, the UAE India Economic Forum provides members with a constructive platform to discuss challenges and opportunities concerning their investments in India."

Ravi Raman, member of the UIEF organising committee, said, "We are enthused and encouraged by the tremendous support that the second edition of the forum is receiving. The UAE and India are stepping into the future with a renewed strategy for mutual business growth and we are looking forward to contributing to this partnership with an even bigger and impactful event with a range of speaker sessions, panel discussions and participation of government entities and well-entrenched business houses."

According to a recent report on economic and trade relations between the UAE and India, India is considered to be the UAE's primary trade partner, accounting for about 9.8 percent of its total non-oil trade. Bilateral trade between the UAE and India has grown significantly from US$180 million in the 1970s to around $60 billion per annum now, and is predicted to reach $100 billion by 2020.

The event is hosted by the Consulate-General of India in Dubai, with strategic support from Ministry of Economy, UAE International Investors Council, Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Invest India. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, is the Platinum Sponsor and Dana Group and BSE Ltd. as the Associate Sponsors. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE and Estonia discuss best smart e-service practices

posted on 24/08/2016

A delegation from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA, and several other government entities yesterday began a three-day official visit to Estonia.

The visit aims to exchange knowledge and experiences regarding the UAE's recent achievements in the smart transformation of its e-services, and promote joint collaboration between the two countries.

The UAE delegation was led by Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, the TRA Director-General, together with top-level officials from the Prime Minister's Office and the Emirates Identity Authority.

The delegation reviewed the Estonian experience in transforming to e-Government services and the legal framework involved, evaluated the country's X-Road and DigiDoc projects, as well as assessed other government e-services applications for electronic identity, digital signature, and various innovative initiatives.

Al Mansoori said, "Within the framework of the UAE's National Agenda, especially those elements related to the online services index, we are working to strengthen our efforts and move closer to our vision for the country. This requires sustaining the momentum until we reach our desired goals."

Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Assistant Director General For Government Services, Prime Minister's Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said, "This visit to Estonia by a government delegation from the UAE follows the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to accelerate the timely implementation of comprehensive smart government services. We are directed to review the leading and most innovative global practices and models on smart government and benefit from those experiences in terms of providing high quality services following the UAE Government's strategy to provide a set of services compatible with the next generation of governments."

Dr. Khalid Al Awadi, Director of Information Security at the Emirates ID Authority and part of the delegation, noted that the UAE has come a long way in the field of infrastructure development in its shift towards a smart government and the provision of a safe environment through e-services. He pointed out the important role of the population register system and ID card management in achieving this vision. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE joins Advisory Centre on WTO Law

posted on 24/08/2016

The United Arab Emirates has become the 33rd developing country member of the WTO to join the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) after the Federal Cabinet's approval - upon a recommendation submitted by the Ministry of Economy - of the signing of the Protocol of Accession to the Agreement Establishing the ACWL.

Commenting on the country's ACWL membership, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, termed the move as an 'important step' aimed at maximising the benefits the UAE can draw as WTO member, deepening the understanding of Government Related Entities (GRE), about terms of references of agreements the UAE signed under the multilateral framework for trade, and boosting the UAE's ability to defend its rights and fulfil its obligations as stipulated by the WTO's agreements on trade in services, trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, trade in goods, agriculture, safeguards and others.

'Accession to the ACWL comes within the framework of the continuous efforts being made by the government to develop economic policies and legislations at par with the international best practices in line with the WTO's rules and provide the GREs with technical advice and specialised training and leverage R&D so as to gain experiences required to sharpen the country's competitive edge in international markets,' he said, and added that the move would also serve the UAE's trade interests and support national industries and their penetration to those markets.

The UAE, he further added, will be able to increase its share in international trade and this will fulfil the UAE's vision for building a competitive, diversified economy led by knowledgeable and competent experts.

On 28th January, 2016, the United Arab Emirates signed its Protocol of Accession to the Agreement Establishing the ACWL. On 22nd April, 2016, the United Arab Emirates deposited with the ACWL its instrument of ratification of the Protocol of Accession. Under its terms, the Protocol of Accession took effect on 29th April, 2016.

Following the United Arab Emirates' accession to the ACWL, 75 countries – or just under half of the Members of the WTO – are now entitled to turn to the ACWL for advice on WTO law, support in WTO dispute settlement proceedings and legal training.

Based in Geneva, near the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) advises its developing country members and least-developed countries (LDCs) on all issues relating to WTO law.

The ACWL gives free legal advice and training on WTO law and provides support in WTO dispute settlement proceedings at discounted rates. As of 31st December, 2015, the ACWL's services were available to a total of 74 countries - 32 developing countries 42 LDCs, according to the ACWL's Report on Operations for 2015.

In the context of trade facilitation, the ACWL can provide free advice on legal issues related to the Trade Facilitation Agreement, such as advice on the meaning and interpretation of its provisions.

The report said the ACWL has now provided 2114 legal opinions since its inception in 2001. These legal opinions help developing and least-developed countries to participate fully in the WTO legal system by increasing their understanding of WTO law and enables them to defend their interests in the WTO. The ACWL's legal advice also serves as an important dispute prevention function by enabling these countries to ensure the WTO-consistency of their trade-related measures. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


July passenger traffic rises at AUH by 7.9%

posted on 24/08/2016

Abu Dhabi Airports yesterday released July 2016 passenger figures, which marked an increase by 7.9% at Abu Dhabi International Airport, AUH, compared to the same month last year. July recorded 2,267,572 passengers travelling through the airport, exceeding last July's figure of 2,100,929.

Total arrivals at the airport were up by 10.4% at 1,074,022 in July, with departure numbers also increasing by 6.1% to 1,180,504. As for local arrivals specifically, arrivals to Abu Dhabi excluding transfer and transit, July saw numbers rise by 15.9% whilst local departures grew by 1.8%.

Arrival and departure transfers have both shown an increase of 8.0% and 8.6% respectively compared to July 2015. Eid and summer holidays were important factors in the increase in these figures.

The top city destinations from Abu Dhabi were London, Bangkok, Doha, Bombay and Manila respectively, representing 16% of the total traffic registered at the airport in July.

Traffic to India recorded a significant increase of 15.6% in July, whilst traffic to the UK grew by 7.7%. Traffic to Australia rose by 28.1%, while traffic to the USA has gone up by 17.2%. The US pre-clearance facility available at AUH has been a significant contributor to that growth. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DFSA and FSRA sign Memorandum of Understanding

posted on 24/08/2016

The Dubai Financial Services Authority, DFSA, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority, FSRA, of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM.

The MoU was signed on behalf of the DFSA by Chief Executive, Ian Johnston, and on behalf of the FSRA by Chief Executive Officer, Richard Teng, at the offices of the DFSA.

Mr. Johnston said, "The DFSA is pleased to engage with its counterparts in the GCC and especially with a fellow regulator in the United Arab Emirates. As regulators of financial centres, founded on Common Law principles, we embrace best practice and apply regulation which meets the requirements of the international standard-setters, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision; the International Organisation of Securities Commissions; the International Association of Insurance Supervisors; and the Financial Action Task Force. Signing this MoU demonstrates a mutual willingness to co-operate and share information to those standards."

Mr. Teng said, "The MoU with the DFSA underscores FSRA's commitment to foster greater investor protection and support the development and innovation of regulations and supervision in the UAE and wider region. ADGM will continue to work closely with our fellow GCC counterparts and global like-minded regulators to foster high regulatory standards, advance financial development and safeguard financial market integrity in our jurisdictions. As a member of the IOSCO, the FSRA will play its part to co-operate and maintain fair, efficient and responsible markets in Abu Dhabi and beyond." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirati company achieves highest rating assigned to a Takaful operator worldwide

posted on 24/08/2016

Abu Dhabi National Takaful Company (ADNTC), an Emirati company and one of the most progressive insurers in the UAE and a leading provider of Shari'a compliant insurance products, has announced that global rating agency A.M. Best has upgraded its financial strength rating to A- (Excellent) from B++ (Good) and its issuer credit rating to "a-" from "bbb+".

Distinctly, this is the highest rating assigned to a Takaful operator by A.M Best worldwide.

These significant rating upgrades reflect ADNTC's excellent risk-adjusted capitalisation, consistently strong technical performance, and niche market profile as a leading Takaful operator in the United Arab Emirates.

In addition to being accredited with the highest rating by A.M Best out of all Takaful operators worldwide, it also prominently stands among the highest rated conventional insurance companies in the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Twenty outstanding Eritrean students enrol at ZU

posted on 24/08/2016

Twenty distinguished Eritrean students, 14 males and six females, have been awarded Bachelor degree scholarships at the Zayed University (ZU) in the UAE to study Information technology.

Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of ZU, Dr. Marilyn Roberts, Acting Provost, and Dr. Fatima AlDarmaki, Assistant Provost for Student Affairs, met the students on the Abu Dhabi campus and welcomed them to Zayed University.

"Welcome and congratulations on joining Zayed University to complete your undergraduate studies. I wish all of you a bright future. Zayed University offers a wide range of options and challenges, and I encourage all of you to optimise and maximise your potential to make your experience at the university as personally enlightening as it is academically rewarding," Professor AlMehaideb said.

Dr. Roberts advised new students to regularly meet their professors and get in deeper contact with them. "Their doors are wide open for your requests," she added.

She also encouraged students to share ideas and start discussion with faculty members at Zayed University as well as colleagues. "These discussions and insights will strengthen your personality," Dr. Roberts said.

During the meeting, students expressed their gratitude for the warm welcome and support they received at Zayed University.

Zayed University welcomed a total of 2,098 freshmen students and around 61 international students, who bring with them their experience, background, and cultures to its campuses. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC initiatives in Mali hailed by ministers

posted on 24/08/2016

BAMAKO: A number of Malian ministers have hailed the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, initiatives to enhance living conditions and alleviate the suffering of people in areas affected by conflict in northern Mali.

This came when an ERC delegation, led by Saeed Suhail Al Mazroui, Director of International Aid Management, held separate meetings with Mali's Minister of Energy and Water, Minister of Women, Children and the Family, Minister of Religious Affairs and Worship, Minister of National Reconciliation and Minister of Solidarity, Humanitarian Action and Reconstruction of the North.

The ministers highlighted the ERC's efforts to enhance human solidarity with the victims and the affected people which emphasises the charitable objectives and the noble values, as well as the humanitarian approach established by the UAE's wise leadership.

They also lauded projects implemented by the authority and their direct impact on enhancing development fields in Mali. The delegation briefed the ministers on the future projects planned by the authority in cooperation with the Mali Red Cross in Timbuktu and Kidal in the north of Mali. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sharjah Book Authority announces 35th SIBF in November

posted on 24/08/2016

The Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, has announced that the 35th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, SIBF, will take place in November at the Expo Centre Sharjah.

This year's edition of SIBF has a special significance as it is not only marking 35 years since its inception, but also celebrates 2016 being declared as the UAE's Year of Reading.

"The SIBF exemplifies the wise vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to make reading a means to nurture minds and build human culture and knowledge. The forthcoming event will be particularly significant as it takes place during the nation's Year of Reading," said Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the SBA.

He noted that the Ruler has always strived to ensure that Sharjah remains a global beacon of culture, a goal that SIBF has contributed to throughout its previous 34 editions.

"SIBF's prestigious stature is further evidence of the leading cultural role played by the Emirate of Sharjah and the UAE, with the fair being an invaluable asset that places the Emirati nation among the most successful in the world. SIBF is a tangible example of the cultural renaissance enjoyed by the UAE thanks to the support and guidance of our wise leadership," Al Ameri added.

The 11-day fair attracts numerous visitors to Sharjah to buy books, meet with their favourite authors and celebrities and participate in its extensive programme of activities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Warsaw hosts 10th round of Sheikh Zayed Purebred Arabian Horses Cup

posted on 24/08/2016

WARSAW: Sluzewiec Horserace Track in the Polish capital, Warsaw, hosted yesterday the 10th round of the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup for Purebred Arabian Horses for the third category - the third and final round of the European Triple Crown of Zayed Cup, and the 14th and last round of H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR), held under the umbrella of the eighth edition of the H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

Following the conclusion of the competitions, Dr. Youssef Issa Hassan Al Sabri, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Poland, presented the prizes to the winners in the presence of Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

The event was also attended by senior diplomats from sisterly Arab and foreign countries, as well as Polish officials and businessmen, and a large audience of Arabian horses' fans. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -