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Reem Al Hashimy calls on people across UAE to contribute to shaping of Dubai Expo 2020 Logo

posted on 20/04/2015

With more than 15,000 registrants for the Expo 2020 Dubai Logo Competition to date, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State, Director General of Bureau Dubai Expo 2020, and Board Representative of the Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Committee has called on people across the UAE to contribute to the shaping of the symbol for the iconic event.

"We are on a journey to create a transformative Expo. Developing a logo, that reflects and represents who we are and is symbolic of the inclusive event we are creating, is a meaningful milestone. We invite the UAE community to join us on this journey by actively participating and sharing their talent, passion and inspiration," said Reem Al Hashimy.

Joining forces to inspire people in the UAE to discover their artistic talents are some of the country's most renowned creative minds, who are sharing their own experiences to help guide those looking to make their mark on the Expo 2020 Dubai Logo Competition, which runs until 30th April via

UAE National, Maha Amiri, who has worked with acrylic and watercolour, as well as pencil and charcoal for several years, said when creating art, it should come from the heart. Amiri, a radio personality who hosts a weekly segment interviewing arts and culture influencers in the UAE, reflects upon the relevance of commonplace images and symbols that exist in our visual environment in her art, emphasising their ability to guide moods, emotions and behaviour both consciously and subconsciously.

"The UAE is fast becoming a centre of creative excellence and I'm constantly impressed and inspired by the wealth of talent emerging from the UAE, and the number of individuals making a name for themselves on the world stage. The Expo 2020 Dubai logo design competition provides a real opportunity for anyone in the UAE to show their creative side, but also for people all over the world to see for themselves the creativity that exists in the UAE. In my view there is no specific way to present the perfect design or image, but it must be personal, one of a kind, and convey passion, creativity and flair," said Amiri.

A thoughtful logo is a key component of the success of any organisation said another expert, Noel Tabb who is a Managing Partner & Executive Creative Director at Bellwether Brand Consultancy. Bellwether is a leader in brand creation, strategy and design, with unique experience in creating Arab World brands and launching them internationally. Tabb's award winning experience includes visual identity work for Burj Al Arab, as well as for major local, regional and international companies.

Tabb said, "Few brands these days are purely local. The case of the Expo 2020 Dubai logo is a perfect example of a design that will need to resonate with global audiences."

Rashid bin Shabib is part of Cultural Engineering, which over the past eight years has participated in Research, Education and Urbanism projects that advance the identity of Dubai and the broader Middle East. The practice has taken part in global events, repurposed over ten older buildings and founded Brown book magazine, a periodical that presents the contemporary culture of the Middle East.

"Nurturing innovation and encouraging creativity is part of what has made the UAE what it is today. Developing a logo for the Expo 2020 Dubai that presents our identity is essential. Please don't hesitate to sketch and submit it," he said.

Logo competition entrants are invited to create a design that reflects the main theme of the event: Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The Expo 2020 Dubai Logo Competition will give one individual the chance for their creative interpretation of the Expo 2020 Dubai theme to be seen by millions when the UAE plays host to the six-month mega-event opening in October 2020 in Dubai. All logo design entries must be submitted on or before 30th April via Entries for any age group are allowed; minors need consent from their parents As well as the prestige of seeing their design used as the Official Expo 2020 Dubai logo, the winner of the chosen design will win Dh 100,000 plus a fantastic trip for four to three previous World Expo cities, and receive a season pass for two for Expo 2020 Dubai, including an invitation to the official opening ceremony. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE attends international space symposium in Colorado for first time

posted on 20/04/2015

UAE space industry leaders addressed international peers at the 31st Space Symposium in Colorado, USA, last week. Heads of the UAE Space Agency, Thuraya, Al Yah Satellite Communications Company, Yahsat, and the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology, EIAST, gave an overview on the developments of the space sector in the UAE and the impact it is having on the nation's economic growth and strategy for the future.

Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director-General of the UAE Space Agency, outlined the agency's objectives and progress, noting that the agency is working on raising space awareness in the UAE and on encouraging the brightest and best talent to work in the space sector. This focus on education will cover both universities as well as STEM education at high school level, and will be an important part of the agency's human capital development initiatives in the country.

Dr. Al Ahbabi explained why the UAE space agency is working with international organisations on cooperation within the space industry and how this will help build solid relationships with global space players. The Director-General emphasised the fact that the space sector will contribute to economic diversification and sustainable growth in the UAE.

Attendees to the forum were also introduced to the UAE Mars project, and its mission to be an international project from the UAE to deliver new scientific contributions to humanity. The project received great support from all those present.

As a federal government entity, the UAE Space Agency plans to encourage the advancement of small and medium enterprises that work in the space and satellite sector in the UAE. This task will play a key part in the agency's commitment to innovation and technology. The UAE panel discussion also shed light on bilateral US-UAE relations and increasing trade between the two countries.

Samer Halawi, CEO of Thuraya, provided a summary of the company's successful transformation and industry-leading performance over the last four years. He described how Thuraya leads innovation within the satellite industry with products like SatSleeve, and how it creates new market segments and distribution channels. He also referred to the success of new products in 2014, including handsets and maritime terminals, and how the market has responded positively to these new products. Finally, Halawi introduced the company's Young Innovation Internship Programme which was launched in 2014 with the aim to encourage young Emirati men and women to pursue careers in the satellite industry.

Dr. Al Ahbabi commented, "The UAE space sector contributes significantly to the development of our nation and I'm honoured to be able to communicate the advantages that this industry is bringing and our strategy moving forward. The UAE Space Agency is committed to coordinating and regulating the space sector, as well working closely with key space stakeholders on enhancing the industry in the future. We are delighted to be able to tell the story of the UAE and for the international space community to see our mission and vision."

Samer Halawi said, "We are proud to be participating alongside the UAE's expanding space and satellite industry during the 31st Space Symposium. Thuraya was the first satellite operator to be founded in the UAE and has since welcomed not only the addition of two home-grown satellite operators, Dubai-sat and Yahsat, but also the UAE Space Agency. We are proud to support the UAE's mission to be a centre for space and satellite excellence." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


United Nations Secretary General praises UAE leaders for supporting sustainable business practices

posted on 20/04/2015

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has praised the UAE's leadership for supporting sustainable business practices. "I salute HH Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his vision as the Founding Patron of the Pearl Initiative. I also thank HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, for patronising this important joint forum with the Global Compact," Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations said during his opening keynote video address to the Pearl Initiative and United Nations Global Compact Forum.

"This year is critical for people and the planet; we are aiming to adopt a new set of sustainable development goals and reach a meaningful, universal agreement on climate change. Business can drive progress but not just any business will do. Sustainable development requires principled business, and it requires strong corporate accountability. Good governance is vital, I hope the collaboration between Pearl Initiative and the Global Compact will help even more companies from the Gulf region to advance and progress," he added.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Honorary Chairman of the Pearl Initiative, has stressed the importance of good corporate governance to strengthen the UAE's global competitiveness.

Speaking at a recognition ceremony in Dubai following the inaugural Pearl Initiative and United Nations Global Compact Regional Forum held earlier that day under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Nahyan said: "Improving corporate accountability, transparency, and governance in the Gulf Region will help strengthen society. These measures will help foster future competitive economic growth, spur job creation, and enhance sustainable social development," Sheikh Nahyan said.

"Throughout our country, there is a strong conviction that we must work with both national and international organisations to guarantee the continued progress of our global-interconnected world. The Pearl Initiative and United Nations Global Compact Forum has helped propel us toward that goal," he added.

The Pearl Initiative and United Nations Global Compact Regional Forum was attended by more than 500 regional and international business leaders and representatives from UN organisations, government and civil society. The Forum included keynote address from Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Board Representative Higher Committee & Director General Bureau, Dubai Expo 2020 and Sir Mark Moody Stewart, President & Chairperson, Foundation for the UN Global Compact.

"Collaborations, such as the Pearl Initiative and the UN Global Compact are significant because they bring together governments and business to forge fundamental changes across the social spectrum in a way that advances human achievement." Al Hashimy, said during her keynote address.

During his welcome remarks, Badr Jafar, Founder of Pearl Initiative and Managing Director of the Crescent Group of Companies, said: "Corporate accountability matters; it builds trust, which in turn helps companies generate value and resilience, enabling them to grow. Growing companies create more jobs, stimulate economic activity, and provide new opportunities for entrepreneurs. All of this stimulates the economy as an ethical, transparent place in which to do business, creating a nucleus for foreign investment. And so the sustainable cycle continues."

The event highlighted the crucial role of the Private Sector in making progress towards regional competitiveness and the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals during its opening plenary session.

The Forum also marked the launch of Pearl Initiative's report titled ‘Women's Careers in the GCC: The CEO Agenda', a culmination of in-depth surveys of over 600 businesswomen across the GCC Region, the results of which was discussed during the second plenary session. The panellists discussed the key findings of the report agreeing that diversity in the workplace provides a sustainable and dynamic competitive advantage to businesses and economies alike, and that the attitude of executives at the top of organisations is critical to women's advancement to executive positions.

Following the third plenary session about integrity and transparency, the Forum concluded with three parallel roundtable discussions: Integrity through the Value Chain; Governance and Transparency in Business and Civil Society; and Governance Matters in Family Firms. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DWTC unveils 15,500 square metres expansion

posted on 20/04/2015

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the region's largest MICE venue operator, has announced plans to build a 15,500 square metre (166,800 square feet) extension to its current indoor complex space, taking the available multipurpose indoor event and exhibition capacity to over 122,000 square metres (over 1.31 million square feet).

With the continued increase in demand for new shows, and year-on-year scale up of strategic events within the DWTC calendar, the planned custom-built and flexible event space is expected to cater to the next five years of portfolio growth that will in turn support increases in Dubai's business tourism traffic.

Adjacent to the existing Zabeel Hall complex, three new halls - named Zabeel 4, 5 and 6 - will form the extension beyond Halls 1, 2 and 3. Construction is expected to commence later this month with the new space becoming operational from Q1 2016.

This infrastructure expansion will also support improved diversity within the DWTC offering, and most specifically the ability to host more events concurrently, both key pillars to fostering future business tourism growth - an important aspect of Dubai's target of 20 million international visitors by 2020.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, in his capacity as CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre said, "Dubai is already recognised as a leading events destination globally, and further development of the DWTC complex allows us to position ourselves as a dominant force in the international events delivery arena.

"At DWTC, we have witnessed strong year-on-year growth, an increase in quality visitor footfall, and rise in space demand from top-tier exhibitors across all major trade-shows and the strategic sectors within our calendar. This consistency in performance in the context of a very sluggish global economy has had an extremely positive impact, fuelling increase in the Emirate's share of the international MICE market.

"Dubai's location and connectivity infrastructure remains a strategic lever, allowing industries access to nearly two billion people in some of the world's fastest growing markets, all within a four-hour flight radius. The expansion of our venue will provide the supporting platform for home-grown local and regional businesses, as well as global corporations, to take greater advantage of commercial prospects being made available through existing events, and new entrants into the 2016 calendar."

Structurally designed to cater for both exhibitions and conferences, the three new halls will have four meeting rooms, be self-sufficient to house their own VIP Majlis spaces and organiser offices, and have a dedicated set of services and amenities like medical service zones, food & beverage outlets and others.

The location of the new halls is conveniently close to the Arena Plaza in the DWTC complex, allowing ease of access by metro, and is linked though the current Zabeel concourse for ease of internal connectivity with the rest of the exhibition complex. Accompanying the expansion will be a new 300-car park area with the flexibility to be transitioned into a 6,000 square metre (64,600 square feet) tented temporary event area, bolstering capacity when required. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE trade mission led by economy minister to explore joint investments in Czech Republic, Slovakia

posted on 20/04/2015

A trade mission organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is leaving for Prague, the first stop in a tour to Czech Republic and Slovakia between 20-24 April during which it will explore joint investment opportunities and discuss the setting up of strategic partnership in several promising sectors.

The trade mission is led by Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and includes Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber, over 20 other officials of the chamber as well as business leaders. Its aim is to discuss investment opportunities with the friendly countries, as well as to support national efforts to promote the competitiveness of UAE businesses in general and in Dubai in particular in the overseas markets.

Al Mansouri said, "We express our gratitude to Dubai Chamber officials for their efforts in organising this trade mission as the Ministry of Economy supports all outstanding national initiatives to enhance bilateral cooperation with various friendly countries in the world. This also contributes to attracting foreign direct investments to the UAE while strengthening the presence of local companies in emerging markets besides providing them unprecedented opportunities for expansion and growth in the global business arena.

"We enjoy very good friendly relations with the Czech and Slovak Republics and this trade mission with its aim to strengthen economic cooperation is in line with the strong political relations enjoyed by the three countries," said Al Mansouri.

He added, "Trade with the Czech Republic amounted to US$454.4 million in 2013, while with the Slovak Republic, it valued at US$202 million in the same year. We expect these figures to improve in the near future by exploring mutual investment opportunities and through strengthening the presence of Czech and Slovakian products in the UAE markets and vice-versa."

Buamim added that the trade mission will help explore joint investment opportunities and will lay the foundation of a strong partnership between the business communities of the UAE, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as the trade mission is also a part of the ongoing strategy of the Chamber in promoting the competitiveness of UAE businesses in emerging markets of the world.

He further stated that Dubai can be a hub for Czech and Slovakian companies wishing to enter the markets of the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the African continent due to its strategic location and logistics and infrastructural benefits offered to investors as he also stressed on the Chamber's commitment to enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai's business community by supporting their investment outreach in lucrative global markets.

The trade delegation to Czech Republic and Slovakia also includes Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, UAE Ministry of Economy; Humaid Mohammad bin Salem, Secretary-General of the UAE Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Jamal Al Hai, Chairman and Owner of Al Hai Group; Yahya Saeed bin Ahmed, CEO, S.S. Lootah Group; Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Fahim, CEO of Paris Gallery; Abdullah Sharafi, President of Gerab National Enterprises; Ahmed bin Eisa Al Serkal, Vice Chairman of Nasser Bin Abdullatif Al Serkal Est.; Ismail Akil Abbasi, Chairman of Abbasi Group of Companies; and Pavel Foubik, President of the Czech Business Council which operates under the umbrella of Dubai Chamber.

The trade delegation, which consists of businessmen from the sectors of .real estate, construction, textiles, automobile, finance, oil and gas and heavy industries, healthcare, tourism and hospitality , will attend business forums, bilateral meetings and roundtable discussions on mutual investment opportunities in promising target sectors, especially in tourism, health care, infrastructure, industry and health tourism with prominent Czech and Slovakian officials and will be followed by site visits. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE heads Arab Group at semi-annual IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington

posted on 20/04/2015

The UAE has participated in the semi-annual International Monetary Fund, IMF, and World Bank, WB, meetings, which took place from 17th-19th April in Washington, with a delegation headed by Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs.

The delegation also attended the ministerial meeting with the President of the World Bank Group.

Al Tayer was heading the Arab Group at meetings, which covered 10 elements on global economic growth, including policies to promote balanced and sustainable growth, fiscal policies, monetary policies, financial sector policies, structural reforms, IMF loans and surveillance, frameworks and early warning systems as well as discussions on ways to face global challenges by promoting growth and crisis management.

In his speech on behalf of the Arab group at the International Monetary Fund, Al-Tayer said that the global recovery is picking up in most large economies but it remains moderate and uneven across major economies and regions. He said, "The fund's outlook for Advanced Economies, AE, is improving, while growth in Emerging Market and Developing Economies, EMDCs, is downgraded compared to others. The fund's outlook is clouded by a number of forces, including investment and below target inflation in AE, rising market volatility, and some lingering crisis legacies."

He referred to the decline in oil prices and its positive impact on global growth in terms of reducing inflation, helping to create fiscal space, and improving the balance of payments of oil importing countries. However, a prolonged period of low growth, or disinflation, underscores the need for policy actions to support productivity and aggregate supply.

Through his speech, he highlighted the Arab group's appreciation of the key messages of the Managing Director's Global Policy Agenda of the IMF, which gives prominence to actions that support durable growth by improving the effectiveness of demand stimulus, implementing structural reforms, and ensuring financial stability. In addition, he confirmed the Arab group's support for the continuation of monetary accommodation by the ECB and in Japan, while the authorities remain vigilant to the build-up of financial risks and deploy macro prudential tools, as needed.

Speaking of the Arab group's countries, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs pointed out that the Member States concur with the assessment of a pick-up in overall growth during the current year. The GCC countries continue to exhibit robust growth in the nonoil sector, especially with these countries pursuing strategies to rebalance growth towards more productive public spending and to strengthen the non-oil fiscal balances to preserve the oil wealth for future generations.

As for oil importers within the Arab's group, Al-Tayer mentioned that the average growth is projected to rise in 2015 on the back of confidence gains, higher demand from trading partners and structural reforms that are nurturing competitiveness and foreign direct investment.

He said that Future Fund analysis and policy advice could provide deeper country-specific analysis of policy options that balance fiscal sustainability and job-creating growth.

He also stressed the Arab group's commitment to the fund's support for Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs) and substantial donor support from the region within the quota reform in the IMF process, taking into consideration that dynamic emerging and developing countries' in favour should not come at the expense of other emerging markets and developing countries.

Al-Tayer concluded his speech with emphasis on the importance of the fund's continued contribution to the post-2015 development agenda. He asked the Fund to adopt a new policy to achieve staff diversity and intensify efforts to address the under-representation of Arab nationalities, particularly at the level of managers and high level professionals.

The Arab Group at the IMF includes the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and the Maldives.

The Minister of State also participated in the Development Committee of the World Bank meeting, which discussed international development and ways to support it, in addition to the World Bank Group's plans to promote economic development and poverty eradication in developing countries.

Al Tayer attended the ministerial meeting which took place on 17th April, in the presence of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, along with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. The meeting highlighted efforts to reduce harmful emissions and put in place policies to finance environmental protection projects for private and public sectors. Participants also discussed innovative methods for financing purposes and the World Bank and IMF views on carbon pricing and reducing energy subsidies to protect against climate change.

The UN Secretary-General advised the Ministers of Finance to adopt financial policies to support the environment and reduce emissions. He also encouraged attendees to achieve the goal of saving US$100 billion to fund environmental programmes and support the Green Climate Fund with US$10 billion. The meeting also highlighted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that will be launched at the Paris Conference in December this year. It will also highlight financing policies and domestic and foreign investment with the private sector, and achieving "zero" rate of emissions before 2100.

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer shed light on key elements, including introducing the UAE's commitment to adopt and implement sustainable development programmes and renewable energy projects, and the UAE's rank as the world's largest donor country of official development assistance for two consecutive years 2013-2014 (1.17 percent of its gross national income).

Al Tayer also emphasised the need for the World Bank Group to commit to supporting special projects related to education, health, infrastructure, and energy in order to ensure sustainable development, create job opportunities and aid in poverty eradication in Arab countries, as well as the importance of supporting organisations under the World Bank Group for small and medium projects. He also highlighted the UAE's contributions to the World Bank's capital in 2010, which amounted to US$135.9 million, and indicated the UAE's approval to increase its contribution in 2015, by offering US$220.882 million. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DP World grooms UAE’s next generation of Carbon Ambassadors

posted on 20/04/2015

Under the direct supervision of the global marine terminal operator, DP World, four teams of 29 Emirati university students have started work on converting four 20-foot shipping containers into self-sustainable bus stops as part of the Carbon Ambassadors Programme (CAP).

The programme is an initiative of the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE) in collaboration with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to promote a culture of sustainable development among local youth by engaging them in green activities.

As a strategic partner, DP World has provided the containers, while also allocating US$10,000 per team for the construction of each project. A DP World mentor has been supporting and coaching students on ways of adapting the containers for urban use.

DP World's involvement in the initiative falls within its overall strategy for reducing the impact of its operations on the environment through innovation, new technologies and behavioural change. The organisation's strategic partnership with DCCE is a contribution to the efforts shaping the UAE's path to Green Economic Development.

DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said, "Educating future generations in sustainability practice and green technologies is an initiative we are keen to support. We all have a duty to promote measures to protect the environment and businesses can play a major role as well. By partnering together we make more resources available to help tackle the environmental issues that face the world and we are delighted to contribute to such programmes."

A green approach to the sustainable generation and consumption of energy of each bus stop is part of the design and implementation of the project. Students are using solar panels, wind turbines, motion sensors, LED lights and other low energy consuming devices and eco-friendly material in their construction. The conversion of the containers is taking place at the Dubai International Humanitarian City. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


New Zealand Prime Minister to lead trade mission to the UAE

posted on 20/04/2015

John Key, New Zealand's Prime Minister, is to lead a business delegation to the United Arab Emirates on 26th April.

"The visit is an opportunity to strengthen and grow trade and business links between the United Arab Emirates and New Zealand. A key priority for me will be talking to key figures in the region about the importance of progressing New Zealand's Free Trade Agreement with the GCC," said Mr Key.

The GCC is New Zealand's fifth largest export destination with goods exports worth US$1.4 billion in the year to December 2014. Exports of goods have grown by an average ten percent per year over the last decade.

"New Zealand has a lot to offer the UAE and a number of our businesses already have a strong presence in this market. My visit is aimed at opening doors and helping to further promote New Zealand companies," added Mr Key.

A range of meetings are scheduled with senior government leaders across the region. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Etisalat registers Dh2.2 billion net profit in Q1 2015

posted on 20/04/2015

Etisalat Group's consolidated net profit after Federal Royalty amounted to Dh 2.2 billion resulting in a net profit margin of 17% and increased year over year by 8%, according to the group's consolidated financial statement for the three months ending 31st March 2015.

It added that aggregate subscriber base reached 173 million representing net addition of 28 million subscribers during the last 12 months.

The statement said the consolidated revenues for the first quarter amounted to Dh 12.9 billion and increased year over year by 30%, while consolidated EBITDA for the first quarter totalled Dh 6.6 billion, representing an increase of 33% year on year and resulting in EBITDA margin of 51%.

Etisalat completed the sale of the six West African operations of Atlantique Telecom to Maroc Telecom. It has acquired additional equity in its subsidiary Canar and increased its stake to 92.3%.

Etisalat also won two awards for innovation at the GSMA's Global Mobile Awards: "The Best Use of Mobile for Retail, Brands & Commerce" category for its Mobile Cashier product offering and "The Mobile Connect Award for Best Authentication & Identity Solution" for Etisalat Mobile Connect service.

It was the first to launch 4G LTE, eLife services over VSAT technology in the Middle East region.

Etisalat shareholders approved Board's recommendations to increase the authorised share capital to Dh 10 billion, in addition to a full year cash dividend for fiscal year 2014 of 70 fils and a 10% bonus share at the Corporation's Ordinary General Assembly Meeting and Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting held on 24 March 2015.

Ahmad Julfar, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat commented, "The strong financial results in the first quarter of 2015 was not only built upon our strong performance in 2014, but also provides a solid foundation for the remainder of the year. Continued growth in revenue, profits and subscribers in Q1 continues a pattern of growth that we have experienced over a long period. It is this solid foundation which allows us to move forward in confidence as the leading operator in emerging markets, delivering advancements in each of the countries we operate in.

He added that "The expansion of our award winning Mobile Connect service extends our first in the region offering across all the majority of our operations, highlighting the leadership we are playing in the region. Mobile Connect empowers businesses and individuals by protecting identities both online and through mobile devices. It epitomises our approach to business; creating innovative solutions and providing advancement in each of the markets we operate in. It is services such as this which will determine that we remain ahead of the game."

Julfar continued, "Whilst our operations across the region continue to grow, our position in the UAE remains as strong as ever. Subscribers to our range of services continue to increase and we are constantly looking to bring new solutions to market. In this quarter we launched trials for advanced single carrier technology, which will bring even greater speeds to customers and we continue to support the Government's drive for Smart Cities."

"To make initiatives such as Smart Cities a reality requires innovation and investment. Our strong financial performance provides the base to move forward, as we cannot afford to stand still in the rapidly developing telecommunications industry. That's why we continue to forge strong partnerships which will help secure our future."

He elaborated further, "Data is the future and we must develop ways of making this profitable for our shareholders and of delivering the future solutions that will help governments, businesses and individuals maximise its potential. 5G, M2M and the Internet of Things open up more exciting possibilities about how governments can deliver services, how businesses operate and how individuals live their lives. Telcos are the enabler of this future and we must ensure Etisalat is at the forefront of delivering solutions that work for all.

Julfar concluded, "Quarter 1 has provided a strong start to the year, but, in line with our business strategy, we will continue to expand our service offering across our footprint in order to diversify our revenue base and cement our regional leadership position."

Etisalat Group aggregate subscribers as at the first quarter of 2015 was 173 million reflecting a 19% increase year over year. The net addition of 28 million subscribers in the year was mainly a factor of consolidation of Maroc Telecom and strong growth in UAE, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. Quarter over quarter subscribers increased by 2%.

In the UAE the active subscriber base grew to 11.4 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2015 representing a year on year growth of 4% and quarter over quarter growth of 3%.

For Maroc Telecom the subscriber base was 51.6 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2015, representing a year over year growth of 32%.

Nigeria continues to evidence strong subscriber growth with year over year growth of 19% to 22.2 million subscribers as at 31st March 2015. Quarter over quarter growth was 5%.

Etisalat Group's consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2015 was Dh 12.9 billion with growth accelerating by 30% in comparison to the same period last year. In the UAE, revenue in the first quarter grew year on year by 11% to Dh 7.2 billion and 3% quarter over quarter. This growth was as a result of strong performance in voice and data in both the fixed and mobile segments.

For international consolidated operations revenue for the first quarter of 2015 increased year over year by 69% to Dh 5.6 billion, representing 44% of Group consolidated revenue.

Maroc Telecom consolidated revenue for the first quarter of 2015 amounted to Dh 2.9 billion. In local currency revenue grew year over year by 10.2% driven by consolidation of newly acquired operations and growth in historic international subsidiaries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DEWA announces 800MW third Phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park

posted on 20/04/2015

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced 800 megawatts third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The project, which is based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, is another achievement that will put Dubai and the UAE at the forefront of the countries in the region in producing renewable and clean energy. DEWA is accepting proposals for a project consultant from 1 April to 3 May 2015. The project's tender is expected to be released in Q3 of 2015.

"DEWA's strategy for future projects is inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that nothing is impossible. We derive this spirit from His Highness to achieve the ambition of Dubai to become number one worldwide. After getting the lowest global cost of production of photovoltaic (PV) energy for the second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, and doubling its capacity from 100 to 200 megawatts, we are pleased to announce the third project with a capacity of 800 megawatts. We are on the right track to achieve the Solar Park's total capacity of 3,000 megawatts," Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

"We are determined to continue building and developing a greener economy, to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 to achieve a sustainable environment in terms of air quality, conserving water resources, more reliance on clean energy, and implementing green development. We support the long-term Green Economy for Sustainable Development National initiative to build a green economy in the UAE. We also support Dubai Plan 2021 to establish Dubai as a smart and sustainable city, whose environmental elements are clean, healthy, and sustainable. Our efforts also complement the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify energy sources to include 71% from natural gas, 15% from solar energy, 7% from clean coal, and 7% from nuclear power. We are inspired in our resolve to achieve these ambitious goals from our wise leadership who support the plan to diversify our energy mix to ensure energy security, and build a sustainable, green future, for generations to come," added Al Tayer.

DEWA manages and operated the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is one of the largest renewable energy projects in the region. The 13MW first phase became operational in 2013. The consortium led by Saudi Arabia's ACWA and Spain's TSK was selected to implement the 200MW second phase of the Solar Park, which will be operational by 2017. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is one of the largest strategic renewable energy projects in the world that is based on the IPP model. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Etihad Airways wins Crystal Cabin Award

posted on 20/04/2015

Etihad Airways has scooped the coveted 2015 Crystal Cabin Award in the Premium Class and VIP category, for its innovative Airbus A380 upper deck cabin designs and products. The ceremony was held in Hamburg, Germany, as part of the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo.

The Crystal Cabin Award is the only international award recognising excellence in aircraft interior innovation. The international judging panel is made up of more than 20 academics, engineers, representatives of aircraft manufacturers and airlines, as well as journalists specialising in the field of aircraft interior design.

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Commercial Officer of Etihad Airways, said, "This prestigious accolade is testament to the incredible work carried out by the Etihad Airways team and the members of the Etihad Design Consortium. It has brought to reality our vision of redefining travel by investing in innovation and attention to detail, allowing us to totally reimagine flying.

"By involving our guests and stakeholders in the research and design process from the very beginning of this project, we have succeeded in creating a spectacular aircraft interior tailored to the needs of the sophisticated modern traveller."

The award was presented jointly to Etihad Airways and the members of the Etihad Design Consortium, EDC, a unique grouping of three leading brand and design agencies, who pooled their combined skills to deliver Etihad Airways' ambition of revolutionising air travel by totally reimagining the flying experience. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE leads the way in airport automation

posted on 20/04/2015

The UAE is among the world's leaders in the use of sophisticated technology to streamline airport and border entry into the country, according to airport IT giant SITA.

Automated passport control (APC) kiosks have already been implemented in the Abu Dhabi International Airport, allowing nationals of 39 countries flying to the US to be processed in under 60 seconds and significantly reducing time spent waiting in queues.

Additionally, automated kiosks increase the per-officer efficiency of immigration officers by increasing the processing capacity of an airport by using the same number of staff. In the US, for example, APC kiosks have been able to deliver 400 per cent improvement in passenger "throughput” per officer.

In an interview with Khaleej Times, Hani el-Assaad, SITA's president for the Middle East, India and Africa, said automated kiosks help authorities manage the airport better and focus on potential threats.

"Apart from providing passengers with an improved overall travel experience and customer service, our APC kiosks also help border control officials maintain robust security.

"Among the benefits is a renewed focus just on the enforcement aspect of the inspection, which is the personal interview, speaking to the traveller, listening to their answers and watching their behavioural responses,” el-Assaad said.

The use of technology to speed up processes at airports and borders is likely to become increasingly important because of the UAE's role as a global travel hub.

Regionally, over two-thirds of the world's population is within eight hours flying time of the Middle East, and over 400 million passengers are expected to fly through regional airports by 2020.

"With this in mind, SITA is confident that the UAE will maintain and enhance within the global market over the years to come, including its leadership in implementing world class aviation innovations and technologies,” el-Assaad said.

He noted that the future will increasingly see automated land borders for trusted travellers, despite the challenges posed by implementing automated vehicle barriers and licence plate readers.

"When it comes to border automation in the UAE, we can't speak on behalf of the UAE Government. However, there is a clear global trend toward automation of the border crossings for passengers and travellers who are low risk and whose identity can be reliably confirmed using their biometric data. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationgeneral


ADNEC to host Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2015

posted on 20/04/2015

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC, has set the stage for the ninth edition of Cityscape Abu Dhabi to run from 21st to 23rd April, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Spread across 18,000 square metres of exhibition space, Cityscape Abu Dhabi will draw the participation of over 130 exhibitors from around the world. The emirate's largest property event will convene leading institutional investors, real estate developers, government authorities, urban planners, architects, consultants and other senior-level real estate professionals to explore opportunities in the resurgent property sector in the Middle East and beyond. Local, regional and international real estate professionals will showcase their latest offerings in the design and construction of major public and private commercial real estate developments.

In addition, the event will host a series of networking events, conferences, seminars along with a VIP networking reception and market overview forum to provide participants with the opportunity to discuss latest trends and challenges in the property sector and forge long-term joint venture partnerships.

Prominent participants at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2015 will include the Department of Municipal Affairs, Tourism Development and Investment Company, Aldar Properties, Bloom Properties, Mubadala, Al Forsan, Manazel, Reem Developers, TMKN, Wahat Al Zaweya and Ejadah Asset Management Group. Additionally, the current edition will see a strong presence of major international developers from countries like Turkey, Jordan, Russia, the UK and USA.

ADNEC offers 133,000 sq.m. of inter-connected floor space to match the expectations of a wide variety of events and exhibitions. Equipped with modern facilities and built to international standards, the venue attracted 1.6 million people across 327 events in 2014. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

RETURN TO TOP | WAM UP TO THE MINUTE NEWS, Dubai Design and Fashion Council launch annual fashion prize

posted on 20/04/2015, the Middle East's first Conde Nast fashion and beauty publication, and the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC) on Sunday announced the formation of the – DDFC Fashion Prize, an annual endowment for the Arab world's most promising fashion talents.

The Dubai Design and Fashion Council was established last year to raise the profile of the emirate as a global destination for design, and to create opportunities for emerging regional design and fashion talents. By building a framework for the industry, the Council aims to position Dubai as the emerging centre for design and fashion.

The – DDFC Fashion Prize, launched in partnership with the luxury ecommerce brand Farfetch, addresses the Council's mandate of invigorating regional talent. It will provide a global platform for emerging Middle Eastern designers to showcase their abilities while establishing the quality control, standards, mentorship, and broader visibility the nascent industry needs. Furthermore, the – DDFC Fashion Prize will facilitate the Arab world's ongoing transition from a consumer market to an active exporter of fashion.

Nez Gebreel, CEO of the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, commented, "Incubating and developing talent is a key initiative of the DDFC. We are proud to be part of the – DDFC Fashion Prize as it is a great programme for the world to see the talent we have in the region. There is a tremendous amount of creativity and positive energy in the region's industry; we are here to help support and mentor these designers to realise their potential and achieve their dreams. This prize is a wonderful initiative that meets many of our objectives for developing the industry and allowing emerging designers to thrive."

Shashi Menon, CEO and Publisher of, added: "'s vision has always been to elevate the regional fashion scene to a truly global level and to increasingly bring the world to this region. We're dedicated to supporting home-grown talents and to showcasing them on a highly visible international stage. The – DDFC Fashion Prize represents the culmination of years of effort and is another step we've taken to provide our burgeoning fashion ecosystem with the structure it needs to truly take flight."

The – DDFC Fashion Prize will be overseen by a selection committee comprising senior executives from, the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, Farfetch, and both the regional and international fashion communities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE Cabinet endorses hosting GCC Police Force in Abu Dhabi to boost cooperation

posted on 20/04/2015

The UAE Cabinet yesterday endorsed hosting the headquarters of the joint Police Force of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Abu Dhabi. By hosting the GCC Police Force, the UAE aims to foster its relations with the other Gulf countries to safeguard the region from any forms of threats. The GCC Police Force will contribute in coordinating efforts across the region; share knowledge and information among other relevant security authorities that will eventually streamline the efforts to maintain safety of the people.

The decision of setting up the GCC Police Force was adopted according to the decisions of GCC Ministers of Interiors who met in Kuwait in November 2014 as well as the Supreme Council of the GCC meeting held in December 2014.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said that joint GCC coordination has been become a necessity in our daily lives. GCC leadership is keen to provide all life requirements, ensure safety and security prevail to all people in the region. Today, we experience these and as a result, UAE will host the GCC Police Force, a first of its kind in the region and with distinguished gulf expertise.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said "UAE has become a model in safety and peace regionally and internationally. Hosting the GCC Police Force reflects such a confidence in its attractive and encouraging environment. We are fully confident hosting the headquarters will boost efforts towards gulf integration, prevalence of law, maintain safety and security to our nations."

On the other hand, the Cabinet discussed other topics on the agenda and has endorsed a set of regulations to protect consumers, ensuring the high quality standards of products in the market.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet reviewed a number of recommendations submitted by the Federal National Council on issues related housing, infrastructure and economy.

On the International level, the Cabinet endorsed a number of international agreements signed with few countries that foster UAE's foreign policy. The agreements include an agreement on double taxation avoidance with China and Luxembourg; another agreement on investment protection with Kenya; a customs agreement with South Korea as well as an agreement on aviation services with Cuba.

The UAE Cabinet held its meeting yesterday at the Presidential Palace and was attended by HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Mohammed bin Rashid issues law on Community Development Authority in Dubai

posted on 20/04/2015

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued Law No. (8) of 2015 on Dubai's Community Development Authority.

The new Law aims to enhance the quality of life in the emirate of Dubai, organising and reinforcing community development, empowering vulnerable groups including senior citizens, people with special needs, underprivileged, juveniles and delinquent, and help them reach higher levels of self-dependency.

The Law also contributes to providing social services for the targeted segments and boost innovation and development capabilities in the social service sector and overseeing fulfilment of social services goals in Dubai.

According to the new law, responsibilities of Dubai's Community Development Authority are to include: drafting policies and strategic plans for social services, most particularly those related to social development, private sector's social responsibilities, human rights, and national identity in addition to proposing legislations for social development and social services.

The Law also authorised the Community Development Authority to organise, regulate and control the licensing and registration process of non-governmental organisations other than the organisations established pursuant to special legislations or falls under the responsibility of the federal government. Furthermore, the Community Development Authority is responsible for organising and regulating the licensing process for providers of social services, social workers and organising voluntary work for individuals and groups.

Additionally, Dubai's Community Development Authority is mandated to establish and manage a special system and database for social services in Dubai, set up plans and programmes required to ensure high quality of social services and human right and submit such plans and programmes to Dubai's Executive Council for approval.

The Law also authorised the Community Development Authority to draft and implement plans to develop and empower youth.

Law No (8) of 2015 substitute Law No (12) of 2008 on Dubai's Community Development Authority and annuls any other law or legislation that contradicts any of its articles. This Law is valid from the date of issuance and will be published in the Official Gazette. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Saqr Ghobash stresses importance of harnessing Arab human resources

posted on 20/04/2015

KUWAIT: UAE Labour Minister, Chairman of the Arab Labour Organisation (ALO), Saqr Ghobash, has called for better utilisation of Arab human resources to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development that ensures a better future for next generations.

The UAE minister made his remarks while addressing the inaugural session of the 42nd Arab Labour Conference, which kicked off in Kuwait yesterday under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait.

The opening session was attended by Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah, Kuwait's Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Hind Al Sabeeh, Minister of Social Affairs and Labour and Minister of State for Planning and Development in Kuwait, Director-General of the ALO, Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs at the Arab League and others.

Ghobash noted, "The conference is held amid unfolding social, economic and political developments that require ALO to further strengthen Arab cooperation and extend its scope and prospects to meet these challenges and overcome them in the context of a serious and constructive dialogue among social partners at the level of the Arab world." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Children’s National Paediatric Cardiologist receives American Fellowship Award

posted on 20/04/2015

ABU DHABI, 20th April, 2015 (WAM)-- A senior paediatric cardiologist at the Children's National Medical Centre in Washington, DC, has received the Distinguished Fellowship Award at the American College of Cardiology's Scientific Session.

Gerard Martin, MD, Senior Vice President of the Centre for Heart, Lung, and Kidney Disease, has helped lead the Children's National's Heart Institute to become an international leader in comprehensive cardiac care for infants, children and adults, while also continuing to develop Children's National's, and his, relationship with the UAE.

The Distinguished Fellowship Award recognises an individual who has played a significant and influential role in improving healthcare.

The award was presented to Dr. Martin during the Annual Convocation ceremony for being a dedicated champion of the ACC's goal to improve clinical outcomes in cardiovascular care.

In 2013, Dr. Martin's work with the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation on the Interventional Cardiac Magnet Resonance, ICMR, project ensured world-class standards in cardiology imaging, making it safer, more effective and enhancing diagnosis and treatment for patients.

Dr. Martin's critical congenital heart disease, CCHD, research led him to the evaluation and use of Pulse Oximetry as a screening tool for congenital heart defects in newborns. It inspired him to collaborate with his colleagues on the creation of the Congenital Heart Disease Screening Programme, an advocacy and education tool for healthcare providers, advocates, regulators, and legislators.

As well as treating Emirati children at Children's National, Dr. Martin has been travelling annually to the UAE for close to 20 years, working collaboratively with healthcare professionals. In 2011, Dr. Martin trained medical staff in Abu Dhabi to implement the standardised use of Pulse Oximetry, a new technique in the country at that time.

At Children's National, Dr. Martin has been practicing and teaching since 1986. Through the years, he has endeavoured to advance the American College of Cardiology's mission. He has served on the ACC's Board of Governors and Board of Trustees.

Recognising that congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect in the United States, he helped to form the college's Adult Congenital and Paediatric Cardiology Council and Section. The section spearheads numerous education, advocacy, science, and quality congenital heart disease programmes throughout the United States. As the Section Chair for six years, he helped to position the section as a model of success for the ACC.

Children's National Medical Centre, based in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation's children since 1870. Children's National is Magnet designated, and is consistently ranked among the top paediatric hospitals by U.S. News and World Report. Home to the Children's Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Paediatric Surgical Innovation, Children's National is one of the nation's top NIH-funded paediatric institutions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Tawam Hospital unveils state-of-the-art Paediatrics Clinic

posted on 20/04/2015

Tawam Hospital, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine and the SEHA Healthcare System, yesterday opened its refurbished state-of-the-art Paediatrics Clinic to provide better care for ailing children. The facility is part of Tawam Hospital's investments to meet the gaps identified in the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi, HAAD, Gap Analysis reports in 2011 and 2012.

Mohammed Al Hamli, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, said, "We congratulate Tawam Hospital for responding swiftly to HAAD's Gap Analysis Report and improved their facilities for paediatric patients. It is crucial for us to work together and deliver not just world-class standards but the best healthcare possible to the community."

Mattar Al Darmaki, SEHA's Group Chief Executive Officer, said, "The improved paediatric clinic boosts the capacity of SEHA's healthcare network. Now more than ever, patients in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain get vital care in a pleasant and caring environment conducive to their speedy recovery."

The department covers 11 divisions including cardiology, endocrinology, general paediatrics, haematology and oncology, infectious diseases, metabolic/genetics, neo-natology, nephrology, neurology, pulmonology and a paediatric intensive care unit.

"Tawam Hospital aims to be a leader in primary and tertiary paediatrics healthcare with our constant aim of delivering cutting-edge, quality patient care. We are very proud of our upgraded clinic. With our strategic vision, Tawam Hospital will provide more programmes and services directed to disease prevention as well as advanced medical care for children. The department of paediatrics has a strong focus on improving patients' satisfaction as we deliver world-class healthcare," said Gregory Schaffer, Tawam Chief Executive Officer.

With a friendly and modern design, the 13-room clinic has two treatment areas, an open welcome reception and a dedicated children's play area. The nursing station sits in an open space, making the nurses easily accessible and within view of the waiting area.

"The renovation and expansion of the paediatric clinic was done as a part of Tawam Hospital's master strategic plan to meet the community's increasing demand for our paediatric services and to provide our patients with the ultimate level of service with a child-friendly environment. This project was designed and executed by the Tawam Hospital Facility team as a part of many ongoing projects aimed at improving the level of services provided to the community," said Chief Operating Officer, Hamad Ali Al Ahbabi. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sheikha Fatima launches her e-website

posted on 20/04/2015

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, has launched her official website, "Mother of the Nation", in Arabic and English Languages at

The website includes her initiatives, sayings, CV, principles and visions pertaining to the family and society.

Sheikha Fatima's saying comes at the top of the website, stating, "I have worked to make women to be main partners in the building and development march. I will always support women, wherever they are, as they are the key to peace in today's world. Women, without a doubt, are able to spread and instil a culture of peace in the spirits of the coming generations. In today's world, which faces much unrest and disputes, we are in a severe need to spread the culture of peace, as well as teaching them the meaning of peace and how to accomplish it. I see that educated women can achieve peace, who live in a society which safeguards equality in the rights and duties. Women's empowerment is a strategic objective to achieve peace."

The website also highlights Sheikha Fatima's role in the field of empowering women and her interest in motherhood and childhood in local, regional and global communities.

It also includes other main and sub headlines, such as: Mother of the Nation, which comprises Sheikha Fatima's CV, societies, academic centres, civil society organisations, principles and approaches. The website also includes her achievements, such as: women's empowerment, health care, older people's care, charitable and humanitarian works, conferences, seminars, gatherings, launching of encouraging awards, and the media centre. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DFWAC participates in GCF Partner Council meeting in Sweden

posted on 20/04/2015

The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, DFWAC, has participated in the Partner Council Advisory Board meeting of the Global Child Forum, GCF, held recently in the presence of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Her Majesty Queen Silva, Queen of Sweden, under the title, "Corporate Sustainability and Children's Rights," at the Royal Palace in Stockholm.

Maryam Bin Theneya, Communication Director at the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, which represented the organisation at the event, said that the meeting aimed to discuss and review the work plans of the Forum for 2015, after the success of the last forum which was in November in Dubai in collaboration with DFWAC.

She added that participation in the meeting comes within the framework of partnership and cooperation relationship between the Foundation and the Global Forum on Children which culminated in the signing of a partnership agreement between both sides, referring to the keenness of DFWAC to build bridges of cooperation with all local and international bodies which are concerned with the issues of violence against women and children, to provide more distinctive initiatives that serve the community.

Bin Theneya thanked the Global Child Forum officials for their continuing efforts in promoting initiatives to support the rights of children around the world, and for inviting the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children to participate in this meeting and contributes in this field.

The meeting reviewed a detailed report on the work of the forum in 2014, and the announcement of the objectives and plans for 2015 and the implementation of mechanisms, in addition to discussing the research initiatives that are intended to be implemented this year on a number of issues relating to children and their rights.

The meeting also discussed promoting interest in children's issues in different regions of the world, addressing topics related to children on the world stage such as child labour and its impact on the economy and the large shift in the field of children's rights in a number of countries around the world and their impact on society in general. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Expats should be more aware of UAE culture, survey respondents say: paper

posted on 20/04/2015

A UAE paper has said that expatriates should do their homework on the UAE's habits, heritage and traditions before coming to live and work in the country.

A survey, commissioned by The National and carried out by YouGov, polled 1,056 expatriates and Emiratis on social integration.

'The majority of those questioned believe that expatriates should broaden their understanding of the country before moving,' said the National on Sunday.

"I think every person can, and should, know as much as they can about another culture before they move there," says an associate professor at Zayed University. "I am surprised by the number of people who live here for so many years but don't know about the history of the country in which they live.

"We expect people to be familiar with the rules in our country, so we should respect the culture we are living in. Be it dress or culture, people often ignore rules."

Alaeddine Ghazouani, Research Manager at YouGov, said the poll showed that the majority of respondents agreed that expatriates have a responsibility to ensure an understanding of the UAE's culture. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DM to launch a virtual museum to share Dubai’s past

posted on 20/04/2015

After the overwhelming success of the #MyDubai online initiative, a new app and website to share memories of old Dubai are being planned to connect people to the traditions, culture and heritage of the emirate and create a virtual museum of early years of Dubai.

If the #MyDubai initiative helped people to share images and videos of their experiences in today's Dubai of high-rises and high life, the upcoming mobile app and supporting website will feature the everlasting memories of Dubai's distant past. They will include stories that remain fresh in the memories of senior citizens who were the children of those days and the old images available with their families.

The compilation of all these will eventually help build a virtual museum of stories and images about Dubai in earlier days, said Shatha Al Mulla, an architect with the Architectural Heritage Department of the Dubai Municipality.

The department is planning to come up with the website and app by the end of this year, she told Khaleej Times on Sunday after a seminar on Investment in Heritage held to mark the World Heritage Day that was on Saturday.

"This is a new way of cultural investment…the investment of people in heritage, promoting their involvement to keep our traditions alive,” said Al Mulla who proposed the project.

To kick off the initiative, she said, a team will be formed with the help of officials at the National Archives in Abu Dhabi. "The team will choose a group of senior citizens who can recall a lot of old stories and memories. We will record their interviews and document it online.”

Others will be invited to share their experiences after the launch.

With the online tools, the department is also looking to attract the younger generation.

When you talk about old Dubai, Al Mulla said, memories of even the 1980s — before the exponential growth and massive changes that changed the emirate's

position in the world map — can be shared.

"Even the children of late 1980s can actively take part with their memories and other youngsters can help their parents and grandparents to record and share their experiences.”

Director of the Department Rashad Bukhash said the municipality had spent about Dh250 million over the past 25 years to develop the heritage sites.

He said the recently announced project to revamp the area, that is slated to be implemented in three years, will attract more investment and visitors. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationgeneral


Black Box Cinema returns to ADIBF for second consecutive year

posted on 20/04/2015

Underlining the importance of motion pictures to the emirate's overall cultural scene, the 25th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, ADIBF 2015, will feature for the second consecutive year the Black Box Cinema project by Emirati filmmaker, Nawaf Al Janahi.

Building on the success of last year's experience which was dedicated to UAE films and screened in a mini-theatre accompanied by workshops and discussion panels, ADIBF 2015, has broadened the horizon of Black Box Cinema's programme to include movies from different Arabic countries.

"Black Box Cinema was very well received when we first introduced it in ADIBF 2014, as movie shows attracted more than 1,000 viewers and the level of interaction across all workshops and seminars was truly remarkable. Besides, Black Box Cinema's ‘Wall' feature, which enabled visitors to express what cinema meant to them, was the talk of the show. This motivated us to come back this year with a more intensive programme that offers more perspective on Arabic cinematic production, in a step that aims to promote the region's film industry and provide a platform for activating ideas and discussions about it" said Juma Al Qubaisi, ADIBF Director and Executive Director of the National Library.

Black Box Cinema's mini-theatre will this year show fourteen short movies, five of which are Emirati while the others are produced in Morocco, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon.

Five workshops will also be held throughout the event, including Emirati Cinema Facts by Nawaf Al Janahi, who offers an objective look at the Emirati film movement, ABC of Writing Film Critique by Hauvick Habechian, discussing the basics of writing a film article, and From the Book to the Screen by Marwan Hamed, director of Yaacoubian Building, who traces the journey of the story from literature to film-making.

ADIBF 2015, organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, is celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year, and is the region's fastest-growing book fair, that attracted more than 1,125 publishing houses last year with more than 100 authors and intellectuals of several nationalities participating in its seminars and discussions.

More than 248,000 people visited ADIBF 2014 and sales were up to Dh35 million.

ADIBF was launched by the late Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE, in 1981 under the designation of the Islamic Book Fair, which would, in 1986, become the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Jiu-Jitsu masters battle on beach

posted on 20/04/2015

The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2015 begins tomorrow, with elite fighters from across the world readying themselves for the showpiece event in the UAE capital, including six-time World Cup champion Rodolpho Vieira and the UAE's own World Champion, Faisal Al Ketbi.

Vieira, who is also the four-time Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion, and Al Ketbi took the opportunity to get to grips with fighting in Abu Dhabi by warming up for the championship, which runs until April 25th at the IPIC Arena at Zayed Sports City, with an impromptu showdown at one of Abu Dhabi's most iconic locations.

The two heavyweights of the Jiu-Jitsu world grappled at the luxurious St. Regis Nation Riviera Beach Club in Abu Dhabi, as they honed their skills ahead of the competition, with Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship mascot, Azzam the falcon, in close attention as the two superstars clashed.

The championship, now in its landmark seventh year, will also feature a Children's Cup for younger fighters and is free to attend. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –