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First U.A.E. 3D documentary screened at Korean International Film Festival

posted on 22/10/2014

Desert Superstars 3D is the first 3D documentary from the United Arab Emirates that was screened during the 3D Korean International Film Festival in Seoul recently, Anasy Media Production, Abu Dhabi, announced on Tuesday.

The festival held its 6th edition of 3DKIFF and screened for three days including an Award Ceremony, at Lotte Cinema Broadway branch, Seoul City, Republic of Korea.

Many countries participated in this festival including Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Canada, Russia, Japan, Cyprus and United Arab Emirates from the Arab region. Among all participating films, Desert Superstars 3D was the only film that reflected the unique culture of the United Arab Emirates.

The 29-minute documentary Desert Superstars is produced under the patronage of Sheikh Diab Bin Saif Al Nahyan, depicting his journey as a top camel breeder at Al Dhafra Camel Festival. It was developed in coordination with the Canadian film production group 3D Camera Company and is directed by the Dubai-based Pierre Abou Chakra.

"In the GCC, there are certain elements that are present from birth in one's life — such as camels and the Bedouin life,” Abou Chakra said.

"The film's main stars are Sheikh Diab's three favourite camels. This has been his hobby since childhood, so it's through his point of view that the story is told.”

For centuries, camels have held an important status in the Gulf's heritage. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the majestic animals' "beauty and value”.

The camera captures the most important moments of the annual festival, which draws large tourist crowds and features more than 20,000 camels.

Also highlighted in the film are the Heritage Village and traditional market (souq) that takes place during the festival, and the Million Street, which annually hosts thousands of camel owners.

The producers and filmmakers hope the project will move more people outside the region into wanting to experience the festival first-hand.

"I want this 3D movie to show the world what the Dhafra Festival is,” said Sheikh Diab in an earlier interview. – The Gulf Today - http://gulftoday.ae/portal/dfdcf25a-459b-46e2-956a-adaa08512422.aspx


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Downtown Design to unveil ground-breaking innovations from London's Royal College of Art

posted on 22/10/2014

The London-based Royal College of Art, RCA, is unveiling three ground-breaking projects featuring some of the world's most promising new technologies at the upcoming Downtown Design, the Middle East's platform for original design, from October 28th to 31st.

The event, which will take place in The Venue, Downtown Dubai, is held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and is sponsored by Emaar, and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

The theme for this year is, 'Original Design', and will introduce visitors to cutting-edge, pioneering concepts that have yet to go into production, highlighting the importance of innovative, design thinking, leading to breakthrough discoveries.

Recognised as the world's most influential post-graduate art and design institution, the RCA has produced many of the best-known contemporary names across multiple disciplines including Sir James Dyson, Tracey Emin and David Hockney. It has chosen Downtown Design to premiere three ground-breaking projects in the region: "Silk Leaf", a revolutionary technology that mimics the natural process of photosynthesis, "Stay Plastic" investigates an architecture completely built from recycled plastic, and "Gravity Sketch", a device that uses augmented reality to provide designers and architects with an extraordinary tool that allows them to view their drawing in 3D.

Each of the three projects has the potential to revolutionise the broader design industry as well as applications transferable into the medical and bio-physics fields. In addition to the exhibition, the RCA's head of the Interior Design Programme, and one of the UK's leading designers, Ab Rogers, will be one of the headline speakers at Downtown Design's talk series programme that will run alongside the exhibition.

"We are now using design and technology to build responsive solutions to change the way environment responds with its user. There is real potential to create digital inventions that work as part of intelligent, sustainable spaces to offer the occupant an immersive and multi-sensory interior landscape, which they can influence and control," said Rogers.

The exhibit is one of the innovation initiatives taking centre stage at Downtown Design this year, as part of the event's efforts to highlight new talent and technologies and underline Dubai's role as a global hub for innovation and creativity. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271178207.html


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TDIC announces completion of installation of Louvre Abu Dhabi dome

posted on 22/10/2014

The Tourism Development and Investment Company, TDIC, yesterday announced the full installation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi dome structure, which consists of 85 super-sized steel elements and weighs 7,000 tonnes.

Back in December 2013, the first super-sized element was lifted and put into place. Today, work on the last of the 85 pieces has finished, completing the dome's complex puzzle shaped structure. The dome sits on top of 120 temporary support towers, which later on will be dismantled and removed, leaving the dome, as initially designed, resting on four main piers only.

Work has started on the cladding of the dome, whereby a total of eight layers of aluminium and stainless steel inserts will be placed in a clockwise direction, above and below the steel frame. To achieve the ‘rain of light' effect within the museum, these cladding pieces have been carefully engineered in specific sizes and orientations, forming approximately 8,000 stars in both the upper and lower layers. These star-shaped pieces range from 3.5 to 13.5 metres wide depending on their position and location within the cladding design.

Ali Al Hammadi, TDIC Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are very pleased that Louvre Abu Dhabi's dome structure installation has now been completed and that the work is progressing as planned. This is a major milestone in the museum's development, and great achievement for everyone involved because the execution of the design is very complex and one that is unprecedented in the architectural world." Elsewhere, great strides have been achieved across Louvre Abu Dhabi's construction site. To date, a total of approximately 144,000 cubic meters out of 145,000 cubic meters of concrete has been poured. A total of 33,000 tons of reinforcement steel has been used and over 18,500,000 man hours completed on site. The construction of all the galleries has been completed structurally, along with the concrete work for the museum's basement levels as well as the security screening facility, a highly secure seven-metre deep basement through which authorised vehicles will transport all the artwork of the museum. Work is progressing on the 1.2 kilometre Saadiyat Tunnel which will be the main entryway for the artworks as they are transported to their destination.

Mock-up galleries of Louvre Abu Dhabi, which have been constructed for finalisation and sign off, sit a few metres off site yesterday. This mock-up building is by and large a testing ground to verify, evaluate and, ultimately, seek approvals for the architectural quality and aesthetics of works for the museum – both internally and externally.

Jassim Al Hammadi, Director of Infrastructure at TDIC, said, "The dome is the museum's most prominent feature and has been by far the most challenging element to construct on site. However, we are working around the clock to meet our deadlines and make sure that the project is delivered on schedule. We will soon start the marine excavation process, which will see the revetment, or breakwater area, surrounding the museum's temporary platform removed in a strategic process. As work progresses, flooding will start to take place, resulting in Louvre Abu Dhabi's final floating appearance." Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200 square metres of art galleries. The 6,681 square metre Permanent Gallery will house the museum's permanent collection taking the visitor through a universal journey from the most ancient to contemporary through art works from different civilisations. The Temporary Gallery will be a dedicated space of 2,364 square metres presenting temporary exhibitions of international standards.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, when completed, will be one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District. These feature Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, both also designed by world-renowned Pritzker-prize winning architects. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271174860.html


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ADFF 2014 honours Rachid Bouchareb, Edward Pressman with Career Achievement Awards

posted on 22/10/2014

Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF 2014), powered by twofour54, yesterday announced that this year's Career Achievement Awards will go to French-Algerian director, Rachid Bouchareb, and American producer, Edward Pressman, for their outstanding contribution to world cinema.

Meanwhile, Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar has been chosen for the Variety Arab Filmmaker of the Year Award.

Abu Dhabi Film Festival Director, Ali Al Jabri, said, "ADFF 2014 salutes the French-Algerian filmmaker and producer Rachid Bouchareb, whose three films Dust of Life (1995), Days of Glory (2006) and Outside the Law (2010) were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Since the beginning of his career, Rachid Bouchareb has explored the complex relationships between France and its former colonies. Young filmmakers can take a cue from this master storyteller to convincingly portray the yet uncaptured perspectives on their life and society and project them onto the world stage." "This year, we also take the opportunity to honour the prolific American film producer Edward Pressman, who was involved in the making of over 80 motion pictures, each influenced by his wide and eclectic cinema experience. Over the course of a 30 year career in film, his deliberate choice of working with new filmmakers has led to priceless discoveries of fresh talent, he is known for fostering the careers of the young and inspired. We honour both these legendary filmmakers with the ADFF 2014 Career Achievement Awards." Both ADFF 2014 Career Achievement Awards will be presented at the Festival's opening event on October 23rd at Emirates Palace. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271189595.html


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At ADFF 2014, Emirates Film Competition’s student shorts turn the spotlight on women

posted on 22/10/2014

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival is not just concerned with A-listers from established filmmaking nations – Emirati talent is also nurtured and given a spot in the limelight during the event, courtesy of the Emirates Film Competition (EFC).

Launched in 2001, it is one of the region's first film contests and has quickly established itself as a key platform to show off the U.A.E.'s burgeoning film talent.

The student strand of EFC, which is open to students from the U.A.E. and GCC countries, offers a snapshot of the issues affecting the youth of the region.

"It's a very important event to the overall film festival,” says Saleh Karama, the EFC director. "I have been seeing some great developments in terms of the technique and storytelling of young filmmakers from the region, particularly from the U.A.E..”

Part of that development is the increase in Emirati women filmmakers. This year, they are out in force as they compete in the EFC's Student Short Film Competition stream.

"It is an important opportunity and I felt that I had to take it,” says Aisha Abdullah, one of the entrants. "I love using film to express myself.”

The 27-year-old is rounding off a big year, during which she graduated from Zayed University with a degree in communications, by screening her latest short documentary, The Blind Side.

The film deals with the often neglected topic of health among Emirati women. Through a series of interviews, The Blind Side explores the need to create initiatives that encourage Emirati women to exercise.

"There is not enough encouragement from society and families themselves,” says Abdullah. "The film speaks to sportswomen and it shows how they achieved, despite the lack of encouragement from those close to them. I wanted the film to be a message that such conditions need to change.”

Fatma Al Ghanim's film is a more personal affair. The 22-year-old Abu Dhabi resident's documentary, Dates, follows the experiences of her mother who, after marrying early and raising children, decides to go back to school to learn handicrafts.

"It's not easy to direct your mother,” says Al Ghanim. "But we worked hard and we are happy with the result.”

Al Ghanim is studying multimedia at Zayed University and Dates was the result of a class project.

"I wanted to tell a traditional Emirati story,” she says. "I wanted to give a glimpse of traditional life that perhaps others didn't see before and may find interesting.”

Like The Blind Side, Al Ghanim's film has an overarching theme of Emirati female empowerment – this time through education.

She says the message of Dates is that it is never too late to learn.

"If you have a passion then go for it,” she says. "Sometimes life can make things difficult but don't lose hope, you can always go back to the things to enjoy.”

Karama describes the strong involvement of Emirati filmmakers in the EFC experience as "inspiring”.

"This is very important for me,” he says. "They have the avenue to tell us new stories and discover new ways of thinking. I am so happy that we are showing their talent to the people.”

• For details of the Emirates Film Competition screenings, visitwww.abudhabifilmfestival.ae. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/abu-dhabi-film-festival/at-adff-2014-emirates-film-competitions-student-shorts-turn-the-spotlight-on-women


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Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival celebrates children’s creative works at FAME

posted on 22/10/2014

FUNN, the organiser of the Sharjah International Children's Film Festival, hosted the FUNN Annual Mediaart Exhibition (FAME), on the side-lines of the 2nd edition of the festival which opened last Sunday.

The exhibition showcased works of students, and attracted a great deal of interest and attention from visitors who were happy with the works of children and young people who participated in FUNN's range of workshops.

The works included mobile photographs of tourist and leisure landmarks in Sharjah taken by children as well as films and videos displayed on the exhibition's wall screens.

Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, FUNN Manager and Director of Sharjah International Children's Film Festival, commented, "The workshops organised by FUNN throughout the year aim to enrich children's experience in filmmaking." Last August, the FUNN concluded activities of its summer camp – FUNN-tastic, which targeted children from 10 to 18 age group and aimed to provide its participants with foundation skills in filmmaking and film critique. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395271200241.html


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Emirates ID launches robot for services

posted on 22/10/2014

Emirates Identity Authority has given life to Hamad - the virtual assistant that web visitors have so often dealt with.

Even as 'Ask Hamad' services proved to be a major success with nearly 10,000 questions being answered every day on its website that the Authority decided to bring Hamad from his virtual existence to real existence and is in the process of deploying his services at the customer service centres across the U.A.E. before the end of this year.

"Dressed in U.A.E. national dress and proficient in three languages at present, Robot Hamad can not only handle queries on the ID Card Status and track ID applications but also provides information on the service centre locations.

"He can interact with the customers to renew their ID card as well. Little Hamad can even accept payments and send a confirmation of the receipt. Hamad will be able to assist the customers in updating profile information on ID cards,” Emirates ID said in a statement.

In the endeavour to provide enhanced customer experience and empowered self-service with a human touch, process automation has been bundled into an interactive robot. Hamad is the live robot who speaks, understands and interacts with the customers.

"Hamad can sense the presence of a customer and start to greet the customer when approached. He knows the time of the day and greets customers accordingly.

"Currently he provides three critical services - providing status of the ID card and ID card application, locating and directing the customer to different services centres, provide information of the queue status in a given centre, and process applications for ID Card renewal.

"He accepts payments by credit cards and mails a receipt. He is currently being trained for many other services and as he acquires more skills and knowledge, he will be delivering more,” Eida explained.

Emirates ID Services today are available across different channels and with the introduction of the robot; automation is now being taken to the next level.

Rather than just allowing customers to process their service requests themselves the humanoid robot provides a near-human experience while interacting with the machines. It is the first government entity in the world to deploy such robots in providing front office customer services. It is also the first robot in the world to process a payment for service delivery.

The authority underlined that launching ‘Robot Hamad' is part of its initiatives that aim to elevate its customer service centres to the 7-star ranking in what meets the requirements of the Emirates Excellence Programme through offering innovative and creative services that exceed customers' expectations and focus on quality, efficiency and effectiveness.

The move is also in line with the smart transition in the country, the efforts to build knowledge economy and society and the Emirates ID's commitment to realising of the U.A.E. Vision 2021 for the U.A.E. to become on the best countries in the world by its golden jubilee.

It also strengthens its efforts to gradually transform its services centres into ‘smart centres' over the coming five years by eliminating human role in operations and services that can be automated, thereby optimising its human resources.

Emirates ID added that ‘Robot Hamad', who will be deployed in various sizes, is currently being empowered to perform eye-attracting movements as well as to acquire more skills and knowledge that will help him deliver more professional and social tasks in the future. – Emirates 24│7 - http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/emirates-id-launches-robot-for-services-2014-10-22-1.567208


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MI, MIT join hands to fund research projects

posted on 22/10/2014

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI), announced on Tuesday that it is collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to fund four research projects run jointly by faculty members at both institutions.

The grants are the first under a new programme, the MI and MIT Innovation Programme (MMIP), which is focussed on developing commercial applications of technology research.

The MMIP helps bring MIT and Masdar Institute faculty and students a step closer to commercialisation by reducing the technology risk, and exploring possible market applications, of promising research results.

Successful projects may result in the formation of start-up companies or license agreements.

The MMIP grants are administered at MI by the Institute Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation), and at MIT by the Deshpande Centre for Technological Innovation.

In a unique collaboration that combines the innovation strengths of two universities, every MMIP project is formed of two teams, one at Masdar Institute and one at MIT, each with a faculty Principal Investigator (PI). The projects reflect the value of research being undertaken by Masdar Institute and MIT as well as the strong collaboration that exists between the two research universities.

The four selected early-stage MMIP projects include a project to develop novel low-cost on-chip sensing devices for continuous water monitoring that could provide early warning of algal blooms, a novel wastewater treatment system for the removal of heavy metals, organic contents, and microbes from water, a scalable and renewable energy-driven technology for handling different quantities of feed waters and high salinity levels and a digital transmitter platform to reduce the footprint and power consumption in wireless radios.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said, "The MMIP grants testify to the collaborative partnership we have with MIT that is focused on guiding and inspiring innovation in the U.A.E.. With the support of the U.A.E. leadership, we have ensured the development of an innovation ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, now linked to the robust ecosystem at MIT, to assist local entrepreneurs with early-stage technologies. We believe awarding such grants will help researchers intensify their efforts to obtain solutions that benefit the wider community.”

The project for the low cost rapid algal bloom sensing device is being led by Dr Anuradha Agarwal, Principal Research Scientist at MIT's Microphotonics Centre and Dr PrashanthMarpu, Assistant Professor, Water and Environmental Engineering, Masdar Institute, with Zhaohong Han and Vivek Singhcontributing to the research.

The wastewater treatment project is led by Dr Jing Kong, ITT Career Development Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, MIT, and Dr Shadi Hasan, Assistant Professor, Water and Environmental Engineering, Masdar Institute, with Wenjing Fang and Sungmi Jung contributing to the research. – The Gulf Today - http://gulftoday.ae/portal/272994c7-619b-4697-9f50-1c9cc8a9540f.aspx


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World's largest 'crystal panel' coming up in Dubai

posted on 22/10/2014

Swarovski, an Austrian producer of luxury cut lead glass (crystal), is working on the world's largest crystal panel cladding in Dubai, a senior company executive told Emirates 24|7.

"We are doing one of the largest crystal panel installations in the world at Hyatt Regency in Dubai Healthcare City,” Ondrej Patka, Regional Director – Asia, Africa and Australia, Swarovski Middle East, told this website.

"It will be a 150-sqm special crystal panel cladding and will open by year-end,” he added.

The company has already worked on special installation of crystal panels in Burj Al Arab and has supplied special crystals to the Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi and Grand Mosque, Muscat.

Growing demand

Markus Langes-Swarovski, Executive Board Member, Swarovski, revealed that the company was witnessing "tremendous” growth for tailor-made products had from the Gulf.

"We are happy to see special crystallised projects growing which is great because it is great thing for us… these made-to-order projects are seeing a tremendous growth from the Gulf,” he said, without revealing details of their clients.

Crystals ‘super sustainable'

Swarovski said their ‘super sustainable products' could withstand high and low temperatures.

"All our tests we did on some outdoor crystal installations in Austria we saw crystals can get to very high temperature as well as to very low temperatures without being affected,” he disclosed, adding, "it can be cleaned quickly as well.”

Swarovski has tied up with Tebyan, a Dubai-based developer, to build Sparkle Towers in Dubai Marina.

The project comprises two residential towers connected by a podium. The first, consists of 29 stories, while the second is a 14-floor building connected by a four-storey residential podium. The project is expected to be completed in December 2016.

Though the tower will be ‘sparkling' at night using lightning solutions, the façade of the towers are unlikely to be adorned by crystals.

"All the public areas will be crystallised and we, at least, hope that some of the owners of the apartments will also design their way through and use some crystals. Yes there will be millions of crystals, but currently on the façade,” Swarovski told Emirates 24|7.

"There will be no Swarovski crystals in the façade for now, however, the canopy above the entrance will have Swarovski crystals,” confirmed Tariq Ramadan, President of RichVille Real Estate, the sales consultants for the tower. – Emirates 24│7 - http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/world-s-largest-crystal-panel-coming-up-in-dubai-2014-10-21-1.567061


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Mohamed bin Zayed meets Italian President

posted on 22/10/2014

ROME: His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, discussed with President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, the bilateral relations and ways to enhance them.

The two sides also discussed other issues of mutual interest.

Napolitano received Sheikh Mohamed and his accompanying delegation at the Quirinal Palace "Palazzo del Quirinale." Upon his arrival to the Palace, Sheikh Mohamed was accorded an official reception, inspected a guard of honour and shook hands with the Italian President and his accompanying official delegation.

Giorgio Napolitano welcomed Sheikh Mohamed's visit, expressing his happiness at meeting him in order to discuss ways to support joint work in the light of the developments in bilateral relations in all domains.

The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince conveyed the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Italian President, and his best wishes of further progress and welfare to the Italian people.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister attended the meeting.

The two sides also reviewed the existing cooperation in various fields and discussed the importance to boost these in order to fulfil the aspirations of the two friendly peoples, especially in the economic, investment, trade, cultural and air transport fields.

Sheikh Mohamed expressed his happiness at visiting Italy and said he was satisfied with the level of friendship and cooperation between the two countries in various political, economic, trade and cultural fields, noting that exchanging bilateral visits is one of the prime factors in ensuring continuous development of the relationship.

He added that the U.A.E. and Italy have the potential for establishing partnerships at the multiple levels for the benefit of both sides, pointing out the importance of exchanging constructive ideas to boost bilateral relations and open horizons of further development.

"We are happy to meet you Mr President in order to work together to enhance cooperation to the advantage of our countries as well as exchanging ideas with you to bolster the existing relations between us, evolving into a better future."

On his part, the Italian President expressed satisfaction at the development of relations between his country and the U.A.E., which enjoys a good reputation at the international level, in addition to its sophisticated economic capabilities and pioneering initiatives in the developmental and humanitarian domains.

He also wished that the relations would witness more constructive co-operation and continuous co-ordination for the benefit of the two countries and the world.

He also tackled the issue of Italy hosting the Expo Milano 2015 and the U.A.E.'s successful bid to host Dubai Expo 2020, discussing the two countries' capabilities to host these international events, co-operation and co-ordination opportunities between the two sides, as well as ways to derive benefit from the joint expertise and capabilities to make the events successful.

Sheikh Mohamed and Giorgio Napolitano commended the agreement signed between Etihad Airways and Alitalia last August to enhance capabilities of Alitalia and its competitiveness in the global aviation market.

The Italian President asked Sheikh Mohamed to convey his greetings to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and wished further progress and welfare to the people of the U.A.E.

During the meeting, they exchanged views on various international developments and issues of mutual concern. At the end of the meeting, the two sides expressed their willingness to continue enhancing the existing friendship and co-operation in areas of common interest, in addition to having better ties at all levels.

Among those who attended the meeting were Mohammed Ahmad Al Bawardi Al Falasi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Defence; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA); Saqr Nasser Al Raisi, U.A.E.'s Ambassador to Italy; and Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court.

From the Italian side were, apart from Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Labu Bastyli; Italian Ambassador to the U.A.E. Giorgio Starace and a number of advisors of the Italian President. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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Mohamed bin Zayed, Italian Prime Minister discuss cooperation ties

posted on 22/10/2014

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, yesterday held talks with the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, on bilateral relations, issues of mutual interest, and the latest regional and international developments.

On an official visit to Italy, Sheikh Mohamed and the delegation accompanying him met the Italian PM at Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi Palace in Rome.

Renzi welcomed the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, stressing that the visit would further strengthen the mutual friendship and boost the bilateral relations between the U.A.E. and Italy, and their two peoples as well.

During the meeting attended by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the U.A.E. Foreign Minister, the two sides discussed ways to enhance the bilateral relations in all fields in the light of distinguished friendship, joint interests, joint coordination and cooperation on issues of mutual concern.

The talks also focussed on cooperation ties, especially in the areas of economy, investment and trade, and the outcome of the successful visit of the Italian PM to the U.A.E. in February. The visit had promoted a common vision to push forward the bilateral relations to realise the aspirations of the two countries and their friendly peoples.

Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the interest of the U.A.E. in furthering the ties and building stronger partnerships with Italy in all sectors, noting that the U.A.E., led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, based its foreign policy on building stronger and balanced relations with friendly countries in accordance with the principles of mutual respect and friendship.

Addressing the Italian PM, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, "Your recent visit to the U.A.E. was fruitful, given your interest in pushing forward the economic cooperation between the two countries. We in the U.A.E. share with you the same interest in giving an opportunity to strengthening of the bilateral relations."

The Italian Prime Minister described the visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi as 'vital' and reflects the growth of relations between the two countries in all fields, and provides a strong motive for development of joint projects.

Renzi reiterated the interest of Italy in strengthening the ties with the U.A.E., adding that this meeting "represents an opportunity to discuss joint cooperation on the areas of politics, economy, investment and industry, as well as exchange views on a number of issues of mutual concern." The two sides also exchanged views on the latest Arab, regional and international issues.

They stressed at the end of the meeting their satisfaction on the growth of relations between the U.A.E. and Italy in the light of keenness of the leaders on continuous development of the relations and joint vision on international cooperation to ensure peace, security and stability in the region and world at large.

Among those who attended the meeting were Mohammed Ahmad Al Bawardi Al Falasi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Defence; Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority (EAA); Saqr Nasser Al Raisi, U.A.E.'s Ambassador to Italy; and Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, and Italian Ambassador to the U.A.E. Giorgio Starace.

The Italian Prime Minister hosted a banquet in honour of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi attended by a number of ministers, senior officials and Italian businesspersons.

Renzi took Sheikh Mohamed in a tour to historic Palazzo Pallavicini-Rospigliosi. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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Mohamed bin Zayed meets Italian Defence Minister

posted on 22/10/2014

ROME: His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, on Tuesday met Italy's Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti, as part of his visit here.

During the meeting, attended by the U.A.E. Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the two sides reviewed a number of areas of military and defence coordination and cooperation, and the progress of joint action on exchanging expertise between the U.A.E. and Italy in light of their growing ties of friendship and cooperation.

H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and the Italian defence minister also discussed matters of common interest and the regional and international developments. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271225209.html


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Mohammed bin Rashid receives Duke of Westminster

posted on 22/10/2014

Mohammed bin Rashid receives Duke of Westminster

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Tuesday received Britain's Duke of Westminster.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, were present.

Sheikh Mohammed and the Duke had cordial discussions on cultural and tourist relations between the U.A.E. and UK in general and the cities of Dubai and Westminster in particular.

The Duke congratulated Sheikh Mohammed on the U.A.E.'s winning the bid to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, saying that Dubai deserved the win, given its prominent international profile. He also praised the progress of the U.A.E. under its wise leadership, which, he said, had provided its people with all amenities of comfortable life and happiness, and had built cultural, economic and humanitarian bridges with other nations of the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271210147.html


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U.A.E.-UK Taskforce holds 12th meeting in Abu Dhabi, issues joint communique

posted on 22/10/2014

The U.A.E.-UK Taskforce has held its 12th meeting in Abu Dhabi and issued the following joint communique.

-- Communique of the U.A.E.-UK Taskforce meeting: "The twelfth meeting of the U.A.E.-UK Taskforce was hosted on 21 October in Abu Dhabi by Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, the U.A.E.'s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. The UK was represented by FCO Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Tobias Ellwood.

The Taskforce was established in July 2010 following the visits of British Prime Minister David Cameron to the U.A.E., and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the U.A.E. Foreign Minister to the UK, with the intention of further strengthening ties between the two countries. It remains an important mechanism in the bilateral relationship.

The Taskforce discussed the strong commercial relationship between the two countries, including significant Emirati investments in the UK agreed over the last few months.

Representatives of the U.A.E.-UK Business Council, Nasser al Suwaidi and Richard Oliver, updated the Taskforce on the outcomes from the Business Council meeting held the day before and highlighted the ongoing success of the Council since its establishment in 2011. This includes making progress towards the joint target of increasing bilateral trade to Dh 71.2 billion by 2015. The Taskforce also discussed the Double Taxation Agreement, explored opportunities for partnership in renewable energy in the developing world, and saw the signing of an Air Services Agreement.

The ministers acknowledged the success of the electronic visa waiver system for Emirati citizens launched by the UK in January 2014 and discussed ways to further streamline the system. Also discussed was cooperation in tackling crime, in particular the repatriation of criminal proceeds.

Educational cooperation was on the agenda, with agreement reached on the need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Higher Education; the recognition of UK qualifications in the U.A.E. and a Memorandum of Understanding on the British Council were also discussed.

The Ministers agreed to improve coordination between the two countries on development and humanitarian issues.

The two Ministers also discussed regional issues and ways to confront the common threat of ISIL throughout the region. The Ministers agreed that both countries must work together to combat extremism. The Ministers confirmed that in both Iraq and Syria, the UK and U.A.E. are determined to support those who are committed to inclusive, non-sectarian government and the rule of law, and who are on the front line in resisting terrorists and extremists.

Speaking after the Taskforce Dr Gargash said, "The U.A.E. values its relationship with the UK and our Taskforce meetings have been instrumental in helping to maintain an open and sustained dialogue between our countries." Mr Ellwood said, "The UK and the U.A.E. enjoy a close partnership based on deep historical links and shared interests. The Taskforce, now in its fourth year, is important to both our countries. I am pleased that we were able to agree to strengthen our partnerships across education, renewable energy and investment. We also agreed the vital importance of our shared endeavour in tackling the threat posed by ISIL." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271226013.html


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U.A.E. leads other countries by example in combating human trafficking: UN human rights official

posted on 22/10/2014

A United Nations Human rights official on Tuesday praised the U.A.E.'s record on combating human trafficking and noted that victims of the crime receive the best treatment, shelters and services from the U.A.E. concerned authorities based on the country's effective anti-human trafficking legislations that guarantee the rights of all of the victims and punish the perpetrators.

Obaid Ahmed Al Obaid, Director of the United Nations Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region, said the U.A.E. is leading others by example in the area of combating human trafficking, and expressed his hope that other countries in the region would follow in this reliable model that the U.A.E. provides for anti-trafficking efforts, especially in terms of providing relevant legislations and facilities.

Al Obaid was speaking during the opening of the three-day inaugural training workshop on "International Cooperation and Victims of Human Trafficking", organised by the UN centre and Dubai Foundation for Women and Children at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel.

The workshop is aimed at strengthening efforts to investigate human trafficking cases, bring traffickers to justice, and train law enforcement personnel on identifying and protecting victims he noted.

On her part, Afra Al Basti, Executive Director of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, said choosing U.A.E. as the host of the workshop recognises its success in combating human trafficking and providing the best care for the victims over the past years.

"Human trafficking was cut by 60 percent in U.A.E. in the past year alone while the rate was going up in other courtiers. The success of the U.A.E.'s anti-human trafficking experience is attributed to the keen interest of the country's wise leaders in protecting human rights and dignity," added Al Basti.

The UN Human Rights Training Centre was established by the General Assembly in 2005 "to undertake training and documentation activities according to international human rights standards and to support such efforts within the region by governments, UN agencies and programmes, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organisations". The Centre was by the High Commissioner in May 2009. The main objective of the Centre is to strengthen human rights knowledge and skills within its region of operation.

The geographical mandate of the Centre covers 25 countries, the majority of which are situated in the Arab region and three are situated in South-West Asia.

Within its specific training and documentation mandate, the centre works in close coordination with regional representatives in the field, heads of country offices, human rights units of peace missions and coordinators of regional units at Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR, headquarters. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271231175.html


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Egyptian Defence Attaché: U.A.E. is Egypt's biggest supporter

posted on 22/10/2014

Colonel Yasser Sabri Shalabi, Defence Attaché at the Egyptian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, has acclaimed the U.A.E.'s stance towards Egypt, saying that the U.A.E. has been and remains one of the biggest supporters of Egypt and of the world.

These comments were made during a speech given by the Egyptian Defence Attaché to the U.A.E. during a reception in Abu Dhabi yesterday evening to celebrate Egyptian Armed Forces Day and the 41st anniversary of the October War Victory in 1973.

"The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the U.A.E., was one of the biggest supporters of Egypt, its people and its army," he remarked. Quoting the late father of the nation's words, "Egypt is the heart of the Arab Nation," Shalabi pointed out that this approach has been continued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Egypt's Defence Attaché also praised the generous stance of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, towards Egypt, noting that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, visited Egypt on a regular basis and that Egypt remains in their hearts.

He also praised the position of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Foreign Minister, for his pro-Egyptian stance, saying, "We will never forget the lion of Arab foreign policy, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, when he stood before the UN General Assembly, explicitly announcing that the safety and security of Egypt goes hand in hand with the security of all Arabs and that it is indisputable that no one has the right to interfere in Egypt's internal affairs, under the context of the distinguished relations between Egypt and its brotherly Arab countries." Shalabi expressed his thanks to the U.A.E. for its diplomatic and economic support of Egypt, saying, "I would like to give thanks, appreciation and respect on behalf of the people of Egypt and its army to the U.A.E. - a country of generosity, peace and security - and to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his diplomatic and economic support of Egypt, as well as to Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates and the Crown Princes of the Emirates." He went on to say that the memory of the glorious October War - a war of pride and dignity - will continue to be celebrated. He then took the opportunity to pray to God Almighty to keep victory on the side of the leaders of the Egyptian Armed Forces, the people of Egypt, the Egyptian army, and all Arab and Muslim nations.

The event was attended by a number of state officials and ambassadors of Arab and foreign countries accredited in the state, military attaches of Arab and foreign countries, including Ihab Imam, Egyptian Ambassador to the U.A.E. and a number of journalists and members of the Egyptian community in the country. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271194232.html


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Khalifa Foundation distributes 50,000 school bags to disadvantaged students in Palestine

posted on 22/10/2014

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for humanitarian work has implemented part of its programme to support the education sector in the Palestinian territories, where it has distributed 50,000 school bags to students in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The initiative is part of the foundation's humanitarian aid programme to provide assistance to students in the Palestinian territories, given the current humanitarian crisis being experienced by the Palestinian people.

Some 30,000 school bags were distributed to students in the Gaza Strip, and 20,000 bags were distributed in the West Bank.

Palestinian families extended their thanks and appreciation to the U.A.E. and to the Khalifa Foundation for the various annual programmes it has implemented in the Palestinian territories, especially in camps and villages. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395271192970.html


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Sharjah's environment sector set to grow by 15 percent

posted on 22/10/2014

Sharjah's environment sector is expected to grow by 15 percent to almost Dh1 billion by 2016, up from this year's Dh780 million, powered by a portfolio of ground-breaking eco-tourism projects currently under way.

According to a study by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, the environment sector is one of the emirate's four key sectors identified as major areas of potential growth. The three other sectors are travel and tourism, healthcare, and transport and logistics.

Highlighting the sector's promising future, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, said, "Although the environment sector is now worth Dh780 million, the Sharjah government is keen to expand further in this field, through attracting foreign direct investment into solar energy generation plants and water desalination projects." Al Sarkal indicated that the environment sector is set to grow by 15 percent, up to almost Dh1billion by 2016, as he outlined the immense potential that the Emirate of Sharjah has in the eco-tourism industry, especially with the diverse range of eco-friendly projects currently undertaken by Shurooq to leverage this potential.

"The environment sector is composed of three sub-sectors, namely renewable energy, waste management, and energy efficiency. The U.A.E. has one of the highest per capita waste levels in the world, with environmental challenges very much on the federal government's agenda, and Sharjah has carved out its niche as the U.A.E.'s pioneer for renewable energy alternatives," the Shurooq CEO clarified.

"With the U.A.E. leading the renewable energy charge in the Gulf region, the U.A.E. market potential is expected to reach Dh183 billion by 2020, with annual growth of 15 percent during the period from 2012-2020," Al Sarkal said.

With regards to energy efficiency, the U.A.E. is adopting an ambitious renewable energy plan as it aims to boost investment in clean energy technology over the next few years and expects to attract Dh367 billion of investments in alternative and sustainable energy projects by 2020, including renewable energies, biofuel, urban development projects and wastewater recycling, the Shurooq CEO outlined.

He said that solar power technologies have the highest potential for the U.A.E. and Sharjah, which is a good renewable energy components manufacturing platform for the MENA region, due to its strategic location, logistics infrastructure, cheap labour costs, and developed manufacturing base with ready availability of various components.

"We abide by eco-friendly standards in our tourist and leisure projects, and we have also initiated a host of eco-tourism projects and green initiatives in line with the emirate's eco-friendly approach aimed at preserving the environment and ensuring a better life for generations to come," Al Sarkal said.

Among these projects are the Kalba Eco-tourism project, the Sir Bu Nuair Island project, Al Jabal Resort, The Chedi Khorfakkan, Al Majaz Waterfront, and the newly opened Al Montazah Amusement and Water Park.

"Shurooq aims through the development of the Kalba eco-tourism initiative, which is being implemented in collaboration with the Environment and Protected Areas Authority, EPAA, in Sharjah, to curb the environmental degradation that accompanies the destruction caused by killing animal and plant life, and to preserve biodiversity, re-habitat some endangered species, as well as the development of the eco-tourism sector," Al Sarkal added.

Speaking on this unique project, Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Sharjah EPAA, said, "The project is the largest of its kind in the development of eco-tourism facilities in the U.A.E. and the region. It boasts of natural reserves rich in their bio-diversity, natural resources and topographical characteristics that will help rehabilitate and re-introduce rare and endangered animals." Khalid Al Huraimel, CEO of Bee'ah said, "Being at the forefront of positive environmental change, we launched a number of programmes to educate the public about sustainable waste management. This approach stems from our responsibility to work with the community and educate our society in the simple ways they can adapt and thereby contribute to turning waste into recycled resources, which can later be re-used by both the community and economy.

"Our aim is to lead the development of sustainable and economically viable solutions for waste management. We are working to tackle waste in the region and invest heavily in advanced waste management infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies, to reach our ultimate goal of leading the Emirate of Sharjah to become the first city in the Middle East to achieve Zero-Waste-To-Landfill by 2015," he said.

"By 2015 everything in Sharjah is going to be recycled, and that will make it the first Arab nation that recycles everything. This is a huge area that is going to be developed through a range of single-minded initiatives, so as to attract more companies that would like to work with us, Al Huraimel emphasised. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271192629.html


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Mubadala announces winners of Youth Award

posted on 22/10/2014

Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi based investment and development company, has announced the winners of its inaugural Youth Award during the Mubadala Youth Forum.

Hamad Al Kaabi, Mishal Al Marzooqi and Alia Al Hazami were recognised for their inspirational achievements and positive impact on the community.

Commenting on the Mubadala Youth Award, Nadine Saleh Hassan, Head of Social Development and Partnerships at Mubadala, said, "We are delighted with the response the Mubadala Youth Award received. It is amazing to see the passion that people have for their community and their drive to contribute to its progress and we are very pleased to be recognising these inspirational individuals." Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Education Council, delivered the keynote opening address highlighting the importance of having a global outlook to sustain the U.A.E.'s development.

Under the theme, "Our Future, Your Ambition", the Youth Forum was attended by hundreds of students from across the U.A.E.. It offered students the opportunity to interact with Emirati business leaders and role models as they consider the varied career opportunities at the heart of Abu Dhabi's economic development. The event concluded on a high note with students attending a workshop that provided practical experience with interview skills and emphasised the importance of teamwork and interpersonal skills to productivity in the workplace.

Commenting on the additions to this year's Youth Forum, Mubadala's Nadine Saleh Hassan said, "From the Mubadala Youth Award and ADMAF Comic Arts Awards to the practical workshops and the Mubadala asset stations, our aim was to make the forum as engaging and informative as possible. We understand young people's appetite for learning and we hope that we've given them a balanced and rich experience that will help them as they enter the professional phase of their lives." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271197798.html


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Mohammed bin Rashid approves Education Ministry's plan for 2015-2021

posted on 22/10/2014

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has endorsed the 2015-2021 plan of the Ministry of Education, that stresses innovation as a key factor in the coming years.

He also directed speeding up the plan's implementation, stressing the importance of developing the educational process in the U.A.E. widening its concept and bringing it on par with modern scientific ideas, thus leading to innovation in the sector to attain the objectives of the national agenda indicators as given in the U.A.E. Vision 2021.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, while launching the strategy, said, "Thanks to the keen interest shown by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the field of education, the coming years will witness a complete change in the educational system, which would basically be built on innovation and will be aligned with the national strategy of innovation." He added that the strategy focuses on knowledge integration in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and other fields, all of which contribute towards strengthening the knowledge economy.

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs; and Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education were present.

Sheikh Mohammed added, "We do care about the future of the Emirati citizens and need to see their educational contributions, which would add to the country's march towards renaissance, thus making a quantum leap in this sector inevitable." "We look forward to acquiring the latest 21st century skills and are preparing a generation of innovators and talented persons through encouraging a national culture that encourages innovation," he added.

He also pointed out, "I feel happy when I see the Emirati students' achievements, not only in case of university students or graduates, but also of those in primary stages. We wish that every U.A.E. student becomes a model of innovation and invention for the benefit of the U.A.E.'s people and society." Sheikh Mohammed affirmed, "I am directly supervising and following up the educational process, and the government will ensure all kinds of support. Everyone should shoulder his or her responsibilities." He also underlined the importance of developing national evaluation tests at par with international standards, preparing unified educational standards in order to move towards collaborative education which is based on innovation and best utilisation of modern technology.

He also urged educators to pay extra attention to talented students at all schools and stages, stressing that educational plans should keep pace with developments in other sectors and must help build a national knowledge-based economy. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271209864.html


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Emirates Consumer Price Index increased by 0.93 percent in September 2014

posted on 22/10/2014

The overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.93 percent in September 2014 compared to August 2014 on the rise of major consumer groups, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday.

'The CPI rose to 122.33 in September 2014 from 121.20 in August, up 2.91 percent year-on year on the base year (2007 =100),' the NBS said in its monthly CPI report for September.

The report noted that Education was the major contributor to the CPI rise in September, increasing 3.84 percent.

The findings of the CPI for September 2014 at the national level indicated increases in the major expenditure groups: Food and Soft Drinks 0.92 percent, Beverages and Tobacco 0.02, Textiles, Clothing and Footwear 0.95, Housing, Water, Electricity and Gas 1.51, Culture and Recreation 0.02 percent, Education The report noted that other groups whose CPI saw down trend included; Furniture and Household Goods at 0.01 percent, Health 0.06 percent, Transport 0.09 percent, and Communications 0.01 percent.

At the Emirate level, the CPI surged 0.97 percent in Abu Dhabi, 0.76 in Dubai, 0.55 in Sharjah, 0.66 in Ajman, 0.23 in Ras Al Khaimah, 0.15 in Fujairah and 0.47 in Umm Al Qaiwain. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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Federal Supreme Court to issue verdict on Al Nusra Front and Ahrar Al Sham Brigade case in December

posted on 22/10/2014

The Federal Supreme Court, headed by Judge Mohammed Al Jarah Al Tunaiji, will issue its verdict on the case of 15 people accused of joining two terrorist organisations - Al Nusra Front and Ahrar Al Sham Brigade - on the 9th of December.

The court yesterday heard pleas of four defence lawyers who demanded the acquittal of their clients.

The public prosecutor has accused 15 people of enrolling and joining, and of collecting and transferring funds to, two terrorist organisations outside the country, Al Nusra Front and Ahrar Al Sham Brigade. Both entities are affiliated to the Al-Qaeda terrorist organisation.

Of the 15 accused, 11 appeared in the court where some of their relatives, representatives of the media and members of civil society organisations in the country were also present. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395271198776.html


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U.A.E. clinch four medals at Asian Para Games

posted on 22/10/2014

The U.A.E. opened their account with four medals which included three silver and a bronze at the 2nd Asian Para Games for the physically challenged. The U.A.E. lie fifth in the medal count. China top the table with 29 gold.

It was a great start for the U.A.E. paralympians in the South Korean port city of Incheon where the Games continue till October 24.

First to hit silver was Abdullah Al Aryani, who was edged out into second place in the 10m air rifle shooting event. This was followed by another silver elsewhere when an impressive second attempt saw Ahmed Al Hosni with a heave of 24.69 metres stand on the podium following the men's discus in his category, the official U.A.E. team media statement said.

Reliable Mary Matrooshi landed silver for the third time for the U.A.E. when she powered her javelin to a distance of 30.96 metres.

Mary's solid show inspired her colleague Aisha Al Khalidi who finished in bronze spot in the shot put with a distance of 3.49 metres in the Games which sees over 4,500 athletes taking part. Elsewhere from the main stadium, the highly favoured U.A.E.'s men's wheelchair men's basketball squad went down fighting in their opening rounds. Mohamed Fadel Hamli, president of the Federation of the U.A.E. Disabled Sports Federation and member of the International Paralympic Committee, praised the support and technical staff who make it possible for the physically challenged U.A.E. sportspersons to do well in international competition.

On Aryani's show, he said: "Aryani's was another great performance after his London Olympics and the Fazza Championship medals. We dedicate the achievements to our wise leaders.” The U.A.E. contingent of 58 participants have another tight schedule facing them in the coming days.

The cagers have to play plucky Chinese Taipei in their qualification game, while the archers have to take on the might of the Chinese from the mainland and Taipeh, South Korea and Japan.

Mohammed Al Shehhi has been shaping up well in the men's archery competition while fencer Mohammed Al Habsi runs into strong opposition early in his category of competition. Sarah Kaabi, M. Ali., Y. Rashidi, Aisha, Abdulaziz Shukaily, Sara Sinani, Abdullah Mesbahi and Hassan Mlaleih are all medal contenders in the various discus, shot and javelin categories.

It's been smooth sailing for Rashid, Yahya Al Balushi, Nawara Ketbi Slujan, Salem Shehhi and Mohammed S. in the early rounds of the men's 100m categories while 400m sprint ace Marwan Dahmani is a strong medal prospect. – Khaleej Times with inputs from U.A.E. TEAM Media. - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?xfile=/data/nationsports/2014/October/nationsports_October140.xml§ion=nationsports


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Zayed Marathon aims for 50,000 runners in Cairo

posted on 22/10/2014

The Zayed Marathon in Cairo hopes to attract 50,000 runners this year to support paediatric cancer patients in Egypt, organisers said on Monday.

Donations from the December 5 event will go to the Children's Cancer Hospital 57357 in Egypt, said Lt Gen Mohammed Al Kaabi, chairman of the board of directors of the Armed Forces Officers Club.

The hospital, which depends fully on donations to treat all children with cancer, is one of the largest of its type in the world.

Currently, the facility has more than 20,000 cancer patients and 8,000 under treatment.

The 10km race is held in memory of the U.A.E.'s founding President, Sheikh Zayed, who underwent a kidney transplant in the United States in 2000.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, established the marathon in New York and Abu Dhabi to raise awareness about kidney disease, from which Sheikh Zayed suffered.

"After helping thousands in need of treatment for kidney disease Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed decided to organise the third leg of the Zayed Marathon in Cairo to support children suffering from cancer,” Lt Gen Al Kaabi said.

The total prize money is 1 million Egyptian pounds (Dh513,000).

The run has four categories: professional male and female runners, a general race for male and female runners, children below 17 years, and people with special needs.

The event coincides with this year's National Day celebrations.

Arabic and western performers will entertain competitors and spectators alike at the entertainment village.

Other attractions include a national heritage booth that will be organising entertainment and educational activities.

It is being organised by the Armed Forces Officers Club in coordination with the U.A.E. Embassy in Cairo and the Children's Cancer Hospital 57357.

Donations can be deposited directly into hospital's bank account at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi in Khaleej Al Arabi Road. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/zayed-marathon-aims-for-50000-runners-in-cairo


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