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Zayed’s legacy comes alive through sustainable projects

posted on 25/06/2016

Founded in honour of the principles held by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Zayed Future Energy Prize has helped to support several environmental initiatives around the world — benefiting more than 202 million people — with the winners of the prize voicing their gratitude for the occasion of Zayed Humanitarian Day.

Zayed Humanitarian Day, which falls on the 19th day of Ramadan — the day Sheikh Zayed passed away — is to honour the memory of Sheikh Zayed and the humanitarian work and policies he made during his lifetime.

Key among those policies was the protection of the environment. As such, the Zayed Future Energy Prize was announced in 2008 to uphold and preserve that legacy of Sheikh Zayed.

"The UAE leadership wanted to create an international prize that would continue the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed. And, through its five categories, the prize reflects Sheikh Zayed's belief that all sections of society must be involved if we are to achieve a sustainable future for all,” said Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

"One of the things that stands out about the Zayed Future Energy Prize is the transformative platform that it offers the winners. Not a week goes by without one of our former winners gaining more recognition for the work they are doing, and this says a lot about the positive impact of the prize,” she added.

Al Hosany noted that the Zayed Future Energy Prize was playing a critical role for the future when it comes to clean and sustainable energy.

"The prize is the UAE's international award for pioneers of a sustainable energy future and it really is unique in that it requires impact, innovation, leadership and long-term vision from its winners. This uniqueness is, in part, driven by the UAE's commitment to achieving sustainable global development — a commitment that is driven at its core by a desire to take action now for a more prosperous tomorrow.

"Through the prize, the UAE is rewarding demonstrated solutions that address energy security, energy access and environmental sustainability, while fostering a community that encourages sustainable energy innovation among current and future generations,” she added.

Al Hosany also mentioned that the organisation was looking to expand its reach and impact.

"We want the prize to continue to inspire the next generation of thought leaders and entrepreneurs through its Global High Schools category. Already, young people are responsible for leading the change towards a sustainable future. So, supporting them and aiding their development is very important and reinforces another critical component of the legacy of Sheikh Zayed,” she said.

How the winners of the Zayed Future Prize are transforming lives

Ewa Wojkowska — Founder and Managing Director

Kopernik (Indonesia): 2016 Non-profit Organisation Winner of the Zayed Future Energy Prize

"Since winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize in January, Kopernik has expanded its Wonder Women technology distribution programme into five new locations, making more clean energy technologies available to people living in remote parts of Indonesia.

"Our Wonder Women programme actually places women at the centre of that mission. We recognised that women were in a perfect position to distribute these technologies to a larger network of communities. Women are the main users and advocates for the technologies — mainly household products like solar lights, water filters and biomass cookstoves — so they are invaluable in sharing the benefits of the technologies. So, the Wonder Women programme provides the technologies and necessary training such as account keeping, marketing and sales to the women so they are empowered to run their own businesses selling the products to their peer, family and community networks.

"We have also expanded our technology offering to include clean energy agricultural processing tools to serve smallholder farmers who currently lack access to technology. The farmers currently sell raw produce at a very low price. The clean energy agricultural processing technology will enable the farmers to add value to their produce and sell it at a much higher price.”

Dikirani Thaulo — Student

Nkhata Bay School Authority (Malawi) — Global High Schools Winner 2014 (Africa Region)

"Winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize and the establishment of the Zayed Solar Academy have given me the opportunity to be trained as a solar technician and as a solar teacher and to interact and learn from experts in the renewable energy field both in Malawi and internationally.

"The Zayed Future Energy Prize has enabled me to travel and speak at the United Nations SE4ALL (Sustainable Energy for All) conference in New York, the COP21 (Conference of Parties or the Paris Climate Conference in 2015) and the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Energy Week in Abu Dhabi.

"The prize has given me opportunities I could never have had, has given me a means to support myself and my mother. The Zayed Future Energy Prize has changed my life and the possibilities for Malawians forever.

"My aim for the future is to go further with my education on renewable energy so that I can have an impact throughout Africa. Sheikh Zayed is an inspiration to me and to the whole of Malawi, his vision of changing the world and his good leadership and promoting renewable energy is a model of what is possible for Malawi and for all developing countries.”

Graham Smith, Vice-President of Business Development

Off Grid Electric, Tanzania, 2016 SME Winner

"The award has been transformative in our growth as a company — helping to drive us forward and highlighting our work in an entirely new way. It will allow us to continue creating new jobs for Tanzanians, to continue training our staff to better serve our customers, and to continue expanding our reach towards every corner of the country.

"In January, alongside winning the Zayed Future Energy Prize, we officially launched commercial operations in Rwanda. In addition to our continued growth in Tanzania, the entry into a new market is an incredible milestone for Off Grid Electric. After completing a pilot towards the end of 2015, this became our first expansion and (it is a) concrete proof that the model can be translated and transported from Tanzania to other countries.

"The Zayed Future Energy Prize has given us a global platform to share our vision of bringing modern energy to those most in need.”

Mike Doyle, Teacher

Waterford Kamhlaba — 2015 Global High Schools Africa Region Winner (Swaziland)

"We are able to demonstrate energy efficiency, energy reduction, solar thermal and PV, wind power and biomass. While all of the projects are small scale, they are highly visible and have a created excellent awareness among the student body and wider Waterford community. We have also been able to establish a community service group that educates other learners on climate change and renewable energy.

"Going forward, we have tabled a proposal to our Governing Council for a full carbon neutrality project. This is part of the Global 1,000 Schools Project which I developed last year, by which we aim to make 1,000 schools carbon neutral, without any expense to the schools. Understanding that the primary focus of a school is education and not business means, surplus funds are generally invested into education of learners.

"Winning the Zayed Future Energy prize has also allowed us to interact with bodies such as the European Union and the UNDP. Currently, we are looking at developing scale-up programmes with them for other schools in Swaziland.”

The biggest standout things on Sheikh Zayed are that he had the long-term vision and that his family has continued the legacy, Doyle said. – Gulf News -


Abdullah bin Zayed attends evening in memory of benevolent Sheikh Zayed

posted on 25/06/2016

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, attended this evening a gathering held at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to mark the Zayed Humanitarian Day, in memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The gathering, which was held under the slogan 'In loving memory of benevolent Zayed', was organised under the supervision of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, in collaboration with the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre and the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Awqaf (GAIAA).

The evening was attended by Sheikh Abdullah bin Bayyah, President of the Muslim Council of Elders, Dr. Mohammed Matar Al Kaabi, Chairman of the GAIAA, the scholars who are the guests of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan during the holy month of Ramadan, ambassadors of Arab and Islamic countries and a number of senior officials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE generosity a Sheikh Zayed legacy, says UAE daily

posted on 25/06/2016

As the nation marks Zayed Humanitarian Day, which coincides with the death anniversary of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan on the 19th of Ramadan, it is heartening to note that the UAE has shot to the global forefront as a leader of humanitarian activities at regional and international levels.

"To this day, Sheikh Zayed's generous legacy has been kept alive, crossing all borders and barriers to touch the hearts of people in almost every country," said a UAE editorial.

It added that the UAE has been contributing to many international humanitarian initiatives that aid and support the capabilities of millions of people from target groups in many countries, in weak or marginalised regions, and in hot zones, in addition to victims of natural disasters, armed conflict, violence, wars, hunger, poverty, disease and destitution.

"Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has rightly described Sheikh Zayed as an exceptional Arab leader who realised aspirations of the UAE and led its progress in all fields," The Gulf Today said in its editorial on Saturday.

Dr. Maytha Bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, recently highlighted at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul that the UAE will increase its humanitarian contributions to 15 per cent of its projected budget for the next four years.

She also mentioned that by 2020, the nation would double its contributions to humanitarian actions.

The paper added that the UAE has drawn repeated applause from the international community for initiating efforts to build effective regional and global partnerships to counter various humanitarian challenges facing humanity.

"Zayed Humanitarian Day undoubtedly epitomises the values of giving and love instilled by the great leader," it added.

This day is considered a milestone in the history of the UAE as one recalls a range of achievements by the state in the field of humanitarian work. "Sheikh Zayed will forever be remembered for his humanitarian and charitable deeds," the paper said.

Nothing sums up the UAE's culture of giving better than the words of UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who earlier said, ‘'Sheikh Zayed is the source of generosity and its origin, and he is the one who has instilled love of giving in the hearts of his people. We must remember him on this day for his humanity and generosity for all people, which made the UAE a global humanitarian platform for giving." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE participates in panel discussion on combating extremism

posted on 25/06/2016

GENEVA: The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, under the chair of Dr. Hanif Hassan Al Qassim, Chairman of the Board, in conjunction with the Algerian Permanent Representative Mission in Geneva, organised a panel discussion titled "Getting Rid of Militancy or Ways to Defeat Violent Extremism."

The discussion was held on the sidelines of the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council currently meeting in Geneva.

Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other Organisations in Geneva, stressed, "Violent extremism is one of the most dangerous phenomena facing all countries. What happened last week in Britain reminds us that violence is not only fuelled by religion, but also by terrorism with multiple roots and causes that engulfs the world."

He noted that the UAE was one of the first countries that adopted a comprehensive and multi-pronged counter-terrorism and extremism strategy.

Ambassador Al Zaabi said the UAE has issued laws and legislation on combating terrorism and violent extremism, including the Federal Law No. (1) for the year 2004 on the fight against terrorist crimes, Federal Law No. (39) of 2006 on international judicial co-operation in criminal matters, Federal Law No. (7) for the year 2013 on setting up the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (Hedayah) The recent legislative measures to strengthen the fight against extremism and terrorism were issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. They called for penal action against contempt of religion and holy sites, and the fight against all forms of discrimination. These laws also reject hate speech.

Al Zaabi said the country has, in cooperation with the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, instilled moderation, co-existence and tolerance values in society, which is a shield in the face of extremism, with the aim to promote religious consciousness and Islamic culture, and restore the tolerant image of Islam to counter extremism and radicalism that some elements try to impose on religious discourse.

At the regional level, he continued, the UAE hosts the Muslim Council of Elders established in 2014 to promote peace in Muslim societies and enhance the tolerant teachings of Islam through a group of moderate, just, and independent scholars.

Al Zaabi also emphasised that the UAE gives utmost attention to media and social aspects, deeming them successful and effective tools to raise awareness and moderate thought.

He added that the country also adopts a number of strategic initiatives that harness social media in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, most notably, " the Hedayah (Arabic for Guidance) Centre," which is an interactive initiative in co-operation with the United States to utilise the social media in order to correct misconceptions, and provide a wider space for moderate voices in the framework of strengthening the efforts of the international coalition to fight Daesh.

Al Zaabi expressed his pride at the Ministry of Tolerance, created with a view to spreading tolerance and promoting peaceful co-existence in the country, and said that the UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities living in harmony, tolerance and in a peaceful atmosphere. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


American University in the Emirates Establishes Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre

posted on 25/06/2016

As part of the UAE National Innovation Strategy American University in the Emirates (AUE), has announced the opening of its Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (IEC) in April, which is set to adhere to UAE's aim of making it the most innovative nations in the world.

Equipped with the latest technology of 3D printers, MAC Laboratories and latest cinema software such as the Maxon 4D Training Course, the only one of its kind in the GCC region, the IEC at AUE aims to graduate leaders with high employability focusing on creativity, critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills.

The Maxon 4D Training Course, which will soon be available to all, will offer both beginners and product switchers a comprehensive and in-depth introduction into the basics of 3D visualisation and animation. With 19 sub-courses to complete the training, students will be able to come away with enough knowledge needed to bring all their audiovisual imaginations to life.

The IEC is also attempting to provide in-depth and high quality study, practice, research and teaching in design. It will benefit all students but more specifically students from both the College of Fine Arts and Design and the College of Media and Mass Communication.

With Dubai Film Festival's continuous support of GCC and MENA filmmakers and its secured position as one of the leading film festivals in the world attracting unprecedented international attention, AUE's IEC is set to ensure greater standards in graphic, animation and visual design communication in the UAE and the wider GGC region, while providing high quality training that continues to be passed on at all levels of design education and practice. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Al Qamzi opens Ramadan Night Market at Dubai World Trade Centre

posted on 25/06/2016

Sami Al Qamzi, Director-General of Dubai Department of Economic Development has opened the fifth edition of the Ramadan Night Market at the Dubai World Trade Centre at Zabeel Hall 5.

The inauguration was attended by Ali Ibrahim, the Deputy Director-General of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Export Development Corporation and officials of Somanza Exhibitions, the organiser of the event, and a number of visitors.

More than 300 exhibitors are taking part in the 10-day long event expected to draw over 100,000 visitors. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE economy can absorb 'Brexit shock'

posted on 25/06/2016

The UAE economy will absorb the 'Brexit shock' and will not face any major impact in short to medium-term period, experts say.

Analysts and leading corporate leaders said UAE-UK bilateral trade and investment relationship continues to be strong and mutually beneficial and will remain on track despite the historic decision to leave the European Union trade bloc on Friday.

They were of the view that UAE-UK bilateral trade and investment target of £25 billion by 2020 will not be affected due to Brexit and both the nations will continue to explore new avenues of cooperation apart from enhancing existing relationships in energy, SME development, health, education, infrastructure, financial and professional services, they added. The annual bilateral trade hit £12 billion in 2015.

Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, said Britain has decided to leave the European Union and this will have far-reaching global repercussions, including for the UAE.

"There are pros and cons as always. It means that for those expats who send money to the UK, they will need less dirhams for the same amount of sterling," Green told Khaleej Times.

DeVere Group is one of the world's largest independent advisors of specialist global financial solutions to international, local mass affluent, and high-net-worth clients. It has a network of more than 70 offices across the world - including a large presence in the UAE, over 80,000 clients and $10 billion under advisement.

To a question, Green said Brexit may have an impact on travel business due to dwindling pound against the major currencies.

"It also makes visiting the UAE for people in Britain more expensive and this could, naturally, negatively impact the economy, especially tourism and property," he said.

Atik Munshi, partner at Crowe Horwath, UAE, said Brexit is now a reality.

"The results of the referendum were rather unexpected and heads have started rolling with the resignation David Cameron. The market have reacted strongly and the British pound has taken a beating," Munshi told Khaleej Times.

He said the impact of Brexit to the UAE economy and even the world wide economy will be both short term and long term.

"Short terms impact is apparent from the market reaction, though the long-term impact will be known only in a couple of months' time after the Article 50 of EU exit will be triggered," he said.

"UK's central bank role will become more important as to how it manages the change and the rates. The effect of Brexit in UAE in my view will only be temporary as far as economy and currency is concerned though the political and visa related effect will be more long term as a lot of matter linked with EU would need resolution," Munshi said.

Shailesh Dash, chief executive of Dubai-based Al Masah Capital, said this is a historic moment and it's impact on the future of Europe and the rest of the world will be of enormous importance.

"I am sure the economic impact will be mixed in the short term more negative than positive and one has to see how the phenomena of single markets and collaborations and trading blocs pans out from here onwards.? This has significant importance to European Union as a single trade bloc and other economic matters.

"Impact on the GCC if any will be very short term particularly the financial markets and currencies. But in the mid and long term it would have no impact on the GCC markets including UAE," Dash concluded. – Khaleej Times -


DEWA ready for largest-ever WETEX

posted on 25/06/2016

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is ready to launch the 18th Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment Exhibition (WETEX 2016) from 4-6 October 2016 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

DEWA organises WETEX under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and President of DEWA.

DEWA's 18th WETEX will be the largest exhibition so far in terms of display area, number of exhibitors, and anticipated number of visitors. This year, WETEX is expected to attract 1,900 exhibitors from 46 countries, and 22,600 visitors from 65 countries will take part in the exhibition, which will cover 63,700 square metres.

"Year after year, WETEX consolidates its position as one of the largest specialised exhibitions in the world. This year, a large number of international companies will take part in WETEX. They see it as an ideal platform to display their green solutions and products at a time when the UAE and Dubai Government continue to launch promising projects to support the green economy and sustainable development," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, and President and Founder of WETEX..

"With the accelerated growth in solar energy in the region, DEWA is organising the inaugural Dubai Solar Show in conjunction with WETEX 2016. It will occupy 13,000 square metres, and will attract a number of the largest international solar energy players. The exhibition is an ideal platform for the public and private sectors to make deals and build partnerships. It will feature the latest solar-energy technologies, as well as present and future projects in the region. It will enable participants to learn about market needs and the available opportunities in solar-energy projects and programmes."

Al Tayer added, "Organising WETEX, the Dubai Solar Show, and the World Green Economy Summit concurrently is an opportunity to meet exhibitors, and decision-makers from the UAE, GCC, and the Middle East. Participants can take advantage of the busy agenda of the event, which includes seminars, workshops, and specialised activities and expert lectures and specialists from around the world. They will discuss the development and use of solar energy in the region to achieve sustainable development, to ensure a sustainable future both for us and for generations to come."

He urged companies and organisations from the energy, renewable energy, water and environment sectors to take part in the 18th WETEX and the first Dubai Solar Show to present their products and services. They will benefit from the promising opportunities offered by the UAE and the region in these sectors.

For the third consecutive year, DEWA is organising WETEX 2016 under the umbrella of Green Week, which also includes the first Dubai Solar Show and the third World Green Economy Summit (WGES). – Emirates News Agency, WAM -