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Mohammed bin Rashid attends crowning of Hamdan as champion of FEI World Equestrian Games

posted on 29/08/2014

NORMANDY: Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday attended the crowning ceremony of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, as champion of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France.

Sheikh Hamdan clinched the gold medal in the individual championship in the world's biggest equestrian event, which drew 173 finest riders from 47 countries.

Commenting on the U.A.E.'s victory in the WEG for the second year running, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said :'Ascending to the peak can only be achieved by diligence and good planning and staying at the helm requires determination and persistence for success.' 'U.A.E. riders have become a hard figure in international competitions given their long experience and high ability which enable them to compete in toughest challenges and win professionally and this is what we experience in the Emiratis who recognised that the first place is only reserved for hard workers and loyal achievers,' Sheikh Mohammed added.

HH praised Sheikh Hamdan for good planning which enabled him to gain high skill and competence to win the race successfully.

By this win, the U.A.E. kept the gold title which was earned by HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship at Euston Park, UK, and will retain the title until 2016, thus adding a new feather in the U.A.E.'s endurance cap.

Sheikh Hamdan finished first with a time of 08:80.20 hours competing other international riders though he was facing tough time after withdrawal of four U.A.E. knights.

Meydan Chairman and CEO Saeed Humaid Al Tayer congratulated the Crown Prince of Dubai for a well-earned victory.

Also attending the race were Director of Dubai Ruler's Office Lt. General Musabbah Rashid Al Fattan, Dubai Director of Protocol and Hospitality Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Meydan Chairman and CEO Saeed Humaid Al Tayer and a number of officials and endurance race enthusiasts. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum presents 200 iPads to children at Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation

posted on 29/08/2014

The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, AMAF, yesterday distributed 200 iPads on behalf of H.H. Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum to the boys and girls under its care.

Led by Tayeb Al Rais, Secretary General of AMAF, a special celebration was held to mark the occasion in the presence of AMAF's managers, department heads, the minors and their mothers.

The celebration was organised by the Caring and Rehabilitation Department, which is responsible for implementing the financial, educational, residential, health and social development programmes for the Foundation's minors.

Tayeb Al Rais expressed his gratitude for the generosity and patronage of H.H. Sheikha Hind. He applauded her keen interest in caring for the U.A.E.'s underprivileged sons and daughters. He said such a gesture would contribute to elevating their quality of life and education.

Addressing the attendees, he said, "This celebration is testimony to our commitment to meet Dubai's aspiration to help our sons and daughters to further understand the concepts of a smart city with the help of modern technologies. Providing iPads to the Foundation's minors will significantly aid their learning process. Such efforts will go a long way towards integrating the Foundation's minors in the U.A.E.'s success story." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Solar team awaits its day in the sun

posted on 29/08/2014

Alataqa Al Hanai says the biggest challenge in building a solar-powered car was not the mechanics, it was "keeping the team as one”.

"If you were to ask me what was the most difficult thing, I'd probably say solidarity,” said Mr Al Hanai, 22, a senior mechanical engineering student at the Petroleum Institute.

The team on Thursday inaugurated their workshop at the institute after a two-month workshop in Japan ended last month.

They are working with students and faculty from Japan's Tokai University to assemble the one-seat, 150-kilogram solar-powered car that they will use to compete in the Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge in January.

The students are the first U.A.E. team to enter a car in a national event.

More than 20 university teams will compete in the four-day event to see which car can finish the 1,200-kilometre, cross-country route in the shortest time.

The local team members felt positive about their chances on their home turf, and hoped to attend the World Solar Challenge in Australia later next year.

"The car is really good. We have to manage our energy well,” said Asad Saeed, 20, a mechanical engineering student from Pakistan.

The three-wheeled car can hold an 80kg driver and, in theory, can drive at up to 150kph, said Mr Saeed, the engineering director. The car is 4.9 metres long and 1.6 metres wide.

The team is still waiting for the tyres, which are in Customs, and delivery of the solar cells from the US.

The car's body will have 390 solar cells in 16-part modules, with each cell measuring 125 millimetres by 125mm.

Students will have to predict the weather before the event and estimate how much energy will be needed throughout, said Mr Saeed.

Seventeen core members of the team, all mechanical or electrical engineering students, worked on the project.

Nine of them travelled to Japan to work on the design under the Tokai team's supervision.

This included making the carbon-fibre parts for the car chassis and body, and the car's electrical and battery systems.

They visited solar-car teams from institutions including Kanagawa Institute of Technology, Ashiya University and Osaka Institute of Technology, and with the University of Michigan team from the US.

The Japanese team is staying in the U.A.E. to work with the Petroleum Institute students for a month.

"It's actually really interesting to have such different cultures working on the same project,” said Abdulrahman Al Khatib, 26, a Saudi chemical engineering student at Tokai University.

"It was tough in the beginning, but overall, the experience is really helpful for both teams.”

Team members were selected through interviews.

After an introductory course, they assigned roles, evaluated them and reassigned if necessary, said Fahad Almaskari, adviser and assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the institute.

They had to create the structure of the team and boost their knowledge about solar-powered cars, said Mr Almaskari.

"We managed to build a very strong team both in terms of team structure and mechanical skills,” he said.

The Petroleum Institute is affiliated with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc). The Tokai University students' visit was sponsored by Japan Oil Development.

The world's first solar car was developed in the US in 1955. – The National -


Ras Al Khaimah attracts over 300,000 visitors, nets US$118m in revenues in H1

posted on 29/08/2014

Ras Al Khaimah earned around US$118.7 million in tourism revenues from a total of 330,048 visitors during the first half of this year, according to the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAK TDA).

The emirate saw a surge in visitors from all its top five tourism source markets: the U.A.E., Germany, Russia, England and India.

"The driving force behind RAK's tourism confidence is affordable luxury," said Steven Rice, CEO of RAK TDA.

"The emirate's diverse nature and unspoiled beaches are one of its main selling points, especially for tourists looking for a good time.

Ras Al Khaimah's hotels also recorded healthy occupancy levels during the first six months of this year, the tourism authority said.

Hotel occupancy in the northern emirate reached 64.11 per cent while the average daily rate amounted to US$69.85, generating revenues worth US$14.9 million.

"The RAK government set up Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (Ras Al Khaimah TDA) in 2011 as part of its effort to shore up tourism. It had also targeted to invest US$500 million in tourism development projects," he said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


Etihad Airways launches new ambulance service for employees

posted on 29/08/2014

Etihad Airways yesterday launched an ambulance service to provide an emergency medical response facility for its employees in Abu Dhabi.

Based at the Etihad Airways Medical Centre in Etihad Plaza, the high-tech ambulance provides a 24/7 emergency medical service for the airline's employees in the capital.

Operated by Abu Dhabi's National Ambulance, the service is staffed by professionally trained and experienced emergency medical technicians.

Ray Gammell, Etihad Airways Chief People and Performance Officer, said, "The launch of this unique service is part of our expanding employee healthcare programme, aimed at providing our employees with the right care at the right time.

"The new ambulance joins a range of best-in-class services for our employees, which support their health and wellbeing, and include fitness programmes, family visa application assistance, children's education assistance and an on-site nursery." The ambulance is fitted with modern medical emergency equipment and supplies, including heart defibrillators, oxygen cylinders, intravenous drips, spinal and traction splints, foldable stretchers and medicines.

Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Etihad Airways Vice President of Medical Services, said, "In a medical emergency, we recognise the importance of providing a rapid response. Treatment starts as soon as the patient is on-board the ambulance and continues on the journey to the hospital." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates and Arik Air sign Memorandum of Understanding

posted on 29/08/2014

Emirates Airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Arik Air, West Africa's leading airline, to develop and expand their existing commercial relationship and explore further areas of co-operation.

Emirates and Arik Air currently have a one-way interline agreement, whereby Emirates passengers are connected throughout Nigeria and West Africa via Arik Air's current domestic and regional network.

The MoU was signed earlier this week by Adnan Kazim, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Planning, Aero-political and Industry Affairs, and Chris Ndlulue, Arik Air's Managing Director, at Emirates Group Headquarters in Dubai.

"Both Emirates and Arik Air have expressed interest in exploring ways to expand our existing commercial relationship and to look at different areas in which we can cooperate that will be mutually beneficial to both airlines, including seamless connectivity for our customers on our respective networks. We also intend to explore the potential of code-share arrangements as passenger traffic flows mature between both parties' networks," said Kazim.

"Arik Air is delighted to partner with Emirates. Both airlines share a similar vision of convenience and safety for our customers. While Arik Air is happy to open its network in Nigeria and West Africa to Emirates passengers, we are excited at the vast worldwide network of Emirates being made available to Arik Air's passengers. The invaluable cooperation between the two airlines offers a lot of synergy to both airlines in achieving their objectives," added Ndlulue.

Emirates and Arik Air will also explore other areas of cooperation for the future, including frequent flier programmes, passenger and cargo handling.

Nigerian Arik Air is the largest airline in Western and Central Africa and has developed and successfully operates an extensive domestic route network in Nigeria, and regionally across Western Africa from its twin hubs in Lagos and Abuja, and to Johannesburg in South Africa and inter-continentally to New York and to London from its Lagos hub.

Emirates is one of the world's leading international airlines and flies to more than 140 destinations in 81 countries across six continents. It operates the world's largest fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft and Airbus A380s. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


flydubai reaches milestone 80 destinations with addition of three new routes in East Africa

posted on 29/08/2014

Dubai-based flydubai on Thursday announced the addition of three new East African routes, bringing the total number of destinations in the carrier's network to 80. With the launch of flights in September 2014 to Bujumbura in Burundi, Entebbe in Uganda and Kigali in Rwanda, flydubai will fly to nine destinations in Africa.

"The launch of three new East African destinations also sees flydubai become the first national carrier from the U.A.E. to fly to Rwanda and Burundi, underlining our commitment to opening up underserved markets," said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai.

flydubai's operation to these emerging markets will provide passengers with a reliable, direct and high-quality service. Business Class, which is made available for the first time between Dubai and Burundi, will give passengers travelling to these new destinations a more comfortable and personalised travel experience.

"We have announced 17 new destinations since the start of 2014, matching the total number of destinations flydubai launched last year. We look forward to continuing to expand our network as we remain committed to supporting Dubai's trade and tourism sectors," continued Al Ghaith.

In addition to operating between Dubai and these three new cities, flydubai has obtained the rights to carry passengers between Uganda and Burundi.

Rwanda and Burundi are home to some of the most biodiverse places. Filled with numerous volcanoes, nature reserves and the second deepest lake in the world, the two countries also have one third of the world's remaining Mountain Gorillas and one third of Africa's bird species. While tourism is the largest contributor to Rwanda and Burundi's economies, Uganda is considered one of Africa's most progressive economies and is emerging as one of the leading commercial centres within Africa.

Within Africa, flydubai currently operates flights to Alexandria in Egypt, Khartoum and Port Sudan in Sudan, Juba in South Sudan, Ethiopia's Addis Ababa as well as Djibouti's capital Djibouti. – Emirates News Agency,WAM -


Foreign investors purchased DH 2.5 bn worth of shares on Dubai Financial Market

posted on 29/08/2014

Dubai Financial Market (DFM) announced that the value of shares bought by foreign investors, or non-U.A.E. nationals, from 24th to 28th August, 2014, reached about DH 2.5 billion, while value of stocks they sold stood at DH 4.45 bn, with net foreign investment on the market reaching DH 47.4 million during the period, as aggregate buy.

Value of shares bought by foreigner investors comprised 38.7 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the last five days, while value of stocks sold by foreign investors during the same period represented 38 per cent of stocks traded during the period, a DFM press release said.

The value of stocks bought by institutional investors during the week reached DH 1.1 bn, comprising 17.5 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period. The value of stocks sold by institutional investors during the period reached DH 1.4 bn, representing 21 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period.

Net institutional investment on the market stood at DH 227 million during the period, as an aggregate buy. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi's Tadweer, Japan's JICA to discuss collaboration in waste management technologies development

posted on 29/08/2014

The Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi, Tadweer, and Japan International Cooperation Agency, (JICA) are set to discuss ways of promoting greater collaboration in the development of waste management technologies and the development of an integrated and sustainable pest control system in Abu Dhabi, at a forthcoming meeting early next week.

The meeting which will take place on 31 August as part of JICA's five-day official visit to Abu Dhabi which follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Tadweer and JICA in early 2014. Under the MoU, the two Tadweer and the JICA, the independent government agency that promotes international cooperation for the government of Japan, aim to share expertise and explore best practices and latest technologies in integrated waste management.

Headed by Ryutaro Yatsu, Senior Advisor, Ministry of the Environment of Japan, the Japanese visiting delegation will tour Tadweer's waste management facilities including construction and demolition waste facility, engine oil recycling plant, tire and plastic recycling plant, fertiliser plant, the medical waste incinerator and dead animal incinerator. The team from Tadweer will brief the delegation on its projects and top-notch technologies used in waste transportation, collection, processing and safe disposal based on globally accepted environment, health and safety standards.

During the meeting, the Public Health Pest Management Service in Tadweer will outline its efforts to develop an integrated and sustainable pest control system in Abu Dhabi, in line with the highest possible environmental and safety standards.

The discussions will explore and identify ways to support Tadweer's pest control operations through the creation of laboratories that help classify pests and test the efficiency of pesticides. This will support Tadweer's efforts to stem the proliferation of insects that can resist pesticides. Discussions on setting up an insect museum will also be conducted during the meeting.

The visit will also include a joint meeting focusing on Tadweer's future projects in hazardous waste management and municipal solid waste management, especially public health pest management.

In early 2014, Tadweer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JICA to promote mutual cooperation in the development of technologies to treat hazardous wastes, installation of electronic tracking systems in waste containers to provide accurate data on the volume and type of wastes, the efficient management of waste dumpsters, and conversion of waste into energy. The MoU also mandates collaboration in capacity building in waste management towards developing the skills and competencies of Tadweer's employees.

Tadweer is the key government entity responsible for all aspects of integrated waste management in Abu Dhabi including the development of systems as well as collection, maintenance, transportation, operation and processing of waste in a safe, efficient and economically viable manner. Using sustainable and integrated systems that comply with the best international standards, Tadweer seeks to align its core objectives to support the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DP World's like-for-like profit grows 41pc in H1 2014

posted on 29/08/2014

Global marine terminal operator DP World on Thursday announced strong financial results from its global portfolio of marine terminals for the six months to 30 June 2014, delivering profit attributable to owners of the company before separately disclosed items of US$332 million, 40.8% ahead of the first half of 2013 on a like-for-like basis.

DP World's revenue for the six months ending June 30 was up 9.9 per cent to US$1.659 billion, which DP World said explained the 12 per cent increase in containerised revenue and 10.2 per cent increase in non-container revenue.

- Revenue of US$1,659 million;(1H2013 revenue of US$1509 million) - Like-for-like revenue increased 11.6% driven predominately by containerised revenue growth of 12.0% on a like-for-like basis - Containerised revenue per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) grew0.8% on a like-for-like basis - Adjusted EBITDA of US$778 million; adjusted EBITDA margin of 46.9%; (1H2013 adjusted EBITDA of US$689 million; adjusted EBITDA margin 45.6%) - Adjusted EBITDA margin improved due to strong throughput growth at higher margin locations coupled with cost control measures - Profit for the period attributable to owners of the Company of US$332 million; (1H2013 attributable income of US$264 million) - Strong adjusted EBITDA growth resulted in a 40.8% increase in like-for-like profit attributable to owners of the Company before separately disclosed items.

- Strong cash generation and balance sheet remains robust - Net cash from operating activities increased to US$551 million - Leverage (Net Debt to adjusted annualised EBITDA) stands at 1.6 times - Continued investment in quality long-term assets to drive long-term profitable growth - US$350 million invested across the portfolio in the first half - Jebel Ali (U.A.E.) will add a further 2 million TEU capacity in the fourth quarter of 2014as it operates at over 90% utilisation - By 2015 we expect to have approximately 85 million TEU of capacity globally and over 100 million of TEU of capacity by 2020, subject to market demand.

DP World Chairman, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem commented, "DP World is pleased to announce another strong set of first half results. The addition of new capacity and a pick-up in global trade has resulted in a return to robust volume growth, which has translated into an impressive financial performance. Our portfolio is well positioned to capitalise on the significant medium to long-term growth potential of this industry and we continue to seek new opportunities in the faster growing markets." Group Chief Executive Mohammed Sharaf commented, "We have reported an excellent set of financial results for the first six months of 2014, delivering 11.6% like-for-like revenue growth. Encouragingly, earnings continue to significantly outpace revenue growth with 19.1% EBITDA growth and 40.8% EPS growth on a like-for-like basis.

"The substantial investment programme that we initiated in 2012 is starting to bear fruit as new capacity aids in the delivery of stronger top and bottom line growth. We have made good progress at our recently opened greenfield projects in Embraport, Brazil and DP World London Gateway, UK and we look forward to adding a further 8 million TEU of capacity to our portfolio over the next two years, providing further opportunity for growth. Crucially, our balance sheet remains strong and we continue to generate high levels of cash flow, which gives us the ability to invest in the future growth of our current portfolio, and the flexibility to make new investments should the right opportunities arise as well as delivering enhanced returns to shareholders over the medium term.

"The near term outlook remains encouraging, however continued geopolitical issues may result in challenges as the year progresses. Overall, we believe our business is well positioned for medium to long-term growth and we expect to continue to outperform the market. We remain focused on delivering relevant new capacity in the right markets, improving efficiencies, containing costs and handling higher margin containers to drive profitability. Our strong first half performance gives us confidence in meeting full year market expectations.” – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohamed bin Zayed, Saudi Foreign Minister discuss bilateral relations, GCC joint action

posted on 29/08/2014

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, on Thursday received Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Intelligence Chief, Prince Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud, and Saudi Interior Minister, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

During the meeting, the Saudi foreign minister conveyed greetings from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, as well as their wishes for good health and welfare for His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and for continuous progress and glory for the people of U.A.E.

On his part, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed asked Prince Saud al-Faisal to convey regards from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and from himself to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, as well as their wishes for further progress and prosperity for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed valued the vision of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz for the future, stability and development of the region in this critical time of its history.

Welcoming Prince Saud al-Faisal and the members of the accompanying delegation, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his pride in the fraternal relations between the two brotherly countries and the strategic evolution these historic relations are witnessing thanks to the keen interest of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouie, Undersecretary of the Court of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, and a number of other officials attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways of enhancing and developing the close relations between U.A.E. and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in different spheres towards the achievement of the common strategic interests of the two countries and their peoples in light of their leaders' efforts to enhance cooperation, collaboration and consultation in the service of the interests of both countries.

They also reviewed the march of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and the keen interest of the two countries in supporting GCC joint action, adopting the positions that are in the interest of a united GCC and the peoples of GCC states, in the present and the future, in order to empower them to face the looming dangers and challenges.

The two sides also discussed the current developments and the avenues of joint and collective action for supporting the security and the stability of the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Lubna attends Zayed University's new faculty welcome reception

posted on 29/08/2014

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) and President of Zayed University, has attended a welcome reception for 63 new faculty members who have joined the Abu Dhabi and Dubai campuses of the University for the new academic year which starts next Sunday.

In her remarks at the reception, Sheikha Lubna emphasised that the professional and academic performance of teachers is the cornerstone of the process of education and represents a gauge of excellence of universities.

She also emphasised that teachers' performance can be optimised by their keen interest in helping students choose their majors and future careers.

"You contribute to the building of new generations of future makers in U.A.E. Put this in mind, motivate them to compete with peer students of the other universities and be very close to them," Sheikha Lubna said addressing the new university teachers.

Sheikha Lubna cited her personal experience as a student at California State University of Chico (CSU, Chico) who still maintains close relations with the her teachers who inspired in her a passion for excellence and a keen interest in quality and discipline. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


University of Dubai launches new programmes

posted on 29/08/2014

The University of Dubai recently advanced its educational resources by launching the first and only PhD programme offered by a private university in Dubai, which will benefit 15 local students.

The university has also aligned its business programmes to management qualifications from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) to become the first university outside the U.K. and the first university in the Middle East to offer ILM Level 5 and Level 7 certifications to its graduates in BBA Human Resources Management and MBA in Leadership and Human Resources Management.

For the first time, the university has integrated Islamic economic courses into its curriculum to help achieve the economic requirements of Dubai and all the emirates, and to transform Dubai into the global capital of Islamic economy.

The University of Dubai has also renewed its AACSB international accreditation until 2019. With this, the university has become one of 85 business schools which have extended their accreditation in business education. AACSB Accreditation, a hallmark of excellence in business education, has been earned by less than five percent of the world's business schools.

As part of the LLM (Masters in Law) programme, the university has started teaching Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (ADR) courses and Financial Crimes and Money Laundering (FCML), which again is a first for a university in the U.A.E..

"The University of Dubai PhD prepares candidates both for research and teaching careers," said Dr. Issa Bastaki, President of the University of Dubai.

Dr. Bastaki added, "The University of Dubai is the first university in the U.A.E. to integrate Islamic economy courses into its curriculum in view of the increasing role of Islamic economy in the development of the country. The new programme supports Dubai's economic goals. The education sector must be involved in the efforts to transform Dubai into the global capital of the Islamic economy." In other major initiatives, the University of Dubai has signed more than 10 partnership agreements with various business and governmental organisations in one year, including Dubai Courts and Dubai Land Department.

The university has also automated its entire customer service and enterprise resources as part of preparations to move to its new campus in 2015. The new premises are capable of accommodating 1,500 students.

The building, which has been designed adhering to green building standards, also offers a range of modern facilities, including a hall of studies, a conference hall, a modern library, language labs and seminar rooms.

The university has also announced plans to establish a Smart Cities Centre in partnership with IBM. The centre will be a venue for businesses, universities and city-administrators to develop and test solutions for future urban demands and Smart City challenges. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Expansion of Rashid Hospital’s Trauma and Emergency Centre to be complete by July 2015

posted on 29/08/2014

The expansion of the Trauma and Emergency Centre at the Rashid Hospital Dubai will be completed by July 2015, according to a top Dubai Health Authority, DHA, official.

"The expansion will add 160 beds and will cost DH 161 million. The project has been designed after detailed consultation with specialists from the Trauma Centre and the DHA engineering department. The design elements take into consideration all the requirements needed for a hospital with a high volume of patients," said Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the DHA.

Al Maidoor, added, "The Trauma Centre caters to the most critical cases in the emirate and therefore designing the expansion in a manner that is convenient to doctors and helps enhance patient care was of pivotal importance. The construction began in June this year, using the pre-engineering concept and the project will be completed by July next year." The pre-engineering concept means the Trauma Centre will continue to function as usual.

Last year 166,000 patients were treated at the centre, with demand almost doubling since the centre began operations in 2006. On average, medical staff at the centre treat between 480 and 550 patients a day and this number is only expected to grow in the years to come.

The expansion of the Trauma Centre is the first phase of the Rashid Hospital master plan that was announced by the Authority in May 2013.

The DH3 billion master plan includes six new specialised health centres, one four-star and one five-star hotel, villas and flats for staff accommodation, a mosque, lake way and landscaping and open spaces for children and families. The main hospital will be rebuilt and will have three towers. Each tower will have seven stories and will have 300 beds, bringing the total capacity to 900 beds. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Increasing organ transplantation capability to drive U.A.E. medical tourism leadership

posted on 29/08/2014

As the United Arab Emirates moves to facilitate a burgeoning medical tourism sector, the increasing capability of organ transplantation within the country is likely to enhance it, according to the senior advisor of Spanish pharmaceutical company, Cinfa.

Cinfa says while renal dialysis is now a measure to prolong life while waiting for a new organ transplant, the long-term solution for these patients is organ transplantation.

"Transplantations were sometimes seen as a radical option years ago, but today, with high quality medicines which highly increase the success rate of this kind of operation, it's a step that allows people to enjoy much better quality lives," said Dr. El Hakim, senior advisor to Cinfa, which produces immunosuppressant drugs required to protect transplanted kidneys.

"The U.A.E.'s increased transplant services and capabilities will surely help keep patients in the country, as well as bring regional and international medical tourists here," he added.

As recently as March of this year, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) spokespeople announced that it will build 22 hospitals as part of plans to attract 500,000 medical tourists per year, and boost its economy by up to DH2.6 billion by 2020.

The U.A.E.'s Ministry of Health predicts that over a million medical tourists will visit the country every year by 2020, aided by announced visa rules in Dubai offering medical tourists a special visa with a choice of travel and accommodation packages, in coordination with healthcare facilities and depending of the specialty of the treatment.

According to the DHA, 107,000 medical tourists visited Dubai in 2012, with the numbers expected to increase to 170,000 by 2016.

The DHA also recently unveiled its Kidney Transplantation Clinic at Dubai Hospital, where as many as 300 patients are undergoing regular dialysis. Previously, only Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi had a transplantation service available to patients, and just last year completed the first ever cadaveric kidney transplant.

Local doctors also continue to call for a national register of organ donors in the U.A.E. to improve the quality of lives of patients currently undergoing medical intervention for failed kidneys. The goal of the register, according to media reports, is to relieve the burden of regular dialysis which has numerous negative side effects. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ADP Traffic and Patrols Directorate Calls for boosting community-based efforts to reduce accidents

posted on 29/08/2014

The Traffic and Patrols Directorate at the Abu Dhabi Police has called for increasing community-based efforts to reduce traffic accidents.

Colonel Hamad Nasser Al Bloushi, Head of Peripheral Regions Traffic Department at the directorate, stressed that ensuring traffic safety is a significant challenge for police entities, who are in charge of enforcing the laws enacted to protect the lives and safety of all road users; motorists, passengers and pedestrians alike. Colonel Al Bloushi also called for mobilising efforts in collaboration with the various sectors of society in order to reduce accidents and their resulting fatalities, and achieve the highest levels of traffic safety.

These remarks were made by Colonel Hamad Nasser Al Bloushi at the ceremony organised by Al Ain Traffic Section on Wednesday. The ceremony was held to honour individuals, partners and collaborators, in recognition of their valuable cooperation in the traffic awareness activities and events organised during the Traffic Week events.

Colonel Al Bloushi indicated that this accolade is an acknowledgement from the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ of the efforts and support provided by the various institutions, companies and schools to promote traffic awareness. "They were role models to emulate in their cooperation and coordination with the Al Ain Traffic Section to ensure the success of the various awareness-raising activities, namely the exhibitions, lectures and traffic villages," he indicated.

Adding further, Colonel Al Bloushi said that this accolade represents an incentive to encourage these entities to exert further cooperation and interaction. It also motivates others to follow in their footsteps to achieve the common goals, notably traffic safety for all, as well as to promote traffic awareness among all segments of society. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Al Ain Zoo staff undergo training by Jersey's Durrell Conservation Academy

posted on 29/08/2014

As part of a joint development and training programme, Al Ain Zoo has welcomed top trainers from the Durrell Conservation Academy in Jersey, Channel Islands, to oversee a training course for the zoo's senior keepers.

Al Ain Zoo personnel will have the opportunity to better understand the basic principles of taxonomy, animal husbandry requirements and healthcare for reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.

Commenting on the training session, Ghanim Mubarak Al Hajeri, Director General of Al Ain Zoo, said, "Al Ain Zoo has a strong partnership with the Durrell Conservation Academy to assist us in the training of our staff in animal management best practices, wildlife conservation and sustainability, which is invaluable to the success of wildlife conservation at a global level. The Durrell Conservation Academy is recognised as a world leader in this specialised field of training and we are delighted to welcome the trainers for the commencement of the second module." Zoo keepers will be educated on the importance of animal hygiene, sanitation, good enclosure design, bio-security, sensible work practices and correct food preparation and handling, in an effort to minimise infectious diseases, as well as tactics required for early detection of problems through regular monitoring of the animals' health.

The second of six training modules, which will be taking place over a period of eight months, will be a combination of lectures at the Al Ain Zoo Education Centre, as well as practical sessions that will take place in various parts of the zoo.

Al Ain Zoo works in partnership with entities around the world, such as the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, to share best practices in animal management and wildlife sustainability. The zoo is also strongly involved in areas such as captive management, conservation research, captive breeding, propagation and the reintroduction of endangered species in to the wild, whenever possible.

Al Ain Zoo is also a member of the World Association for Zoo and Aquaria, and is actively involved in several internationally coordinated conservation projects, working with other like-minded organisations such as Durrell Conservation Academy, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, the Species Survival Commission, and International Union for Conservation of Nature, San Diego Zoo, and the Sahara Conservation Fund. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


One FC hope to tap UAE’s MMA boom with Dubai event

posted on 29/08/2014

The Singapore-based mixed martial arts organisation One Fighting Championship (One FC) may be breaking new ground on Friday, but vice president Rich Franklin is confident that the "Reign of Champions” event in Dubai is the first of many this region will host.

Franklin is a UFC middleweight champion, but he is now experiencing the workings of the MMA industry from outside the cage.

"This is the first time I have been on the executive side of the organisation, so it's difficult to compare [to UFC],” he said.

"We have a much more difficult job at One FC. Every time we put on a show, we are in a different country with different cultures and consolidating this into one organisation.”

The American, 39, says that despite the huge popularity of MMA in the Middle East, it may take more for the sport to reach the level of popularity it enjoys in the United States. "The fans in Asia and the Middle East are similar to the fans in the US 10 or 15 years ago,” he said. "One FC will have to go through the process of educating the fans.”

While there is scope for improvement across the region, there is one area where the Emirates already compare with the best.

"There are some amazing facilities in the UAE, but I am not surprised because there has always been an interest in grappling and wrestling here,” Franklin said. "MMA is a natural transition from these sports.

"The exposure One FC is creating is effective. We took Ana Julaton to a restaurant to eat, and she was nearly mobbed by fans.”

The Filipina fighter is expected to have a huge following among a crowd expected to reach 5,000 at the World Trade Centre tonight.

Other card highlights include the lightweight world championship bout between Kamal Shaorus of Iran and Shinya Aoki of Japan, as well as the welterweight world championship match-up between the American Ben Askren and the Japanese champion Nobutatsu Suzuki.

A successful event, helped by a stellar fight card, will likely mean a return for One FC to Dubai in the near future. "We are excited to be here, and our business plan is long-term,” Franklin said. – The National -