posted on 12/03/2014
In a celebration held at Emirates Palace this evening, seven extraordinary individuals were recognised for their generous and worthwhile deeds at the seventh Abu Dhabi Awards ceremony.
Held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, HH Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice Chairman of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, presented the Awards and congratulated each recipient.
Sheikh Hazza underscored the commitment of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi to the Abu Dhabi Awards, highlighted the support of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and expressed gratitude that the program continues to preserve the legacy of the nation's father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The Abu Dhabi Awards is designed to celebrate compassionate individuals who have selflessly given their time to build and support the community of Abu Dhabi.
During the Awards Ceremony, recipients and their families were joined by members of the Royal Family, Ministers, VIPs and Government officials to honour the outstanding contributions they have made to society through their work. Video biographies were shown during the ceremony, showcasing the recipients' good deeds and achievements within the community.
¬¬_The seven recipients were recognised for a wide range of achievements including philanthropy, health, and preserving the culture and history of Abu Dhabi. They are: Dr. Falih Handhal, from the Republic of Iraq, is a historian, author and co-writer of more than 35 books on the history and culture of the UAE as well as the region. He came to Abu Dhabi more than 40 years ago, and in 1977 began working in the oil and gas industry where he developed a unique interest in capturing the UAE's local dialects and poetry. His hobby became a passion and led to one of the UAE's most important historical works, A Dictionary for the Arabic Dialect and Spoken Words of the UAE,' which preserved the linguistic riches of Bedouin oral culture. Even as the traditional ways of life and reliance on the spoken word continue to change, the vibrant expressions and poems of the past have a way to live on through his invaluable research.
Dominik Vugrinec, from the Republic of Croatia, is a 14-year old student at Al Raha International School who developed and led a public service campaign that screened students for scoliosis, a spinal curvature that typically arises during adolescence and can cause severe deformities if left unchecked. Motivated by his own positive diagnosis in 2012, Dominik's initial efforts revealed 14 students from his school who showed the early signs of this spinal curvature. By drawing attention to the importance of early diagnosis, Dominik's screening campaign was soon adopted by other schools, and now hundreds of other children have been screened a meaningful example of a simple idea being carried forward by one brave individual.
The late Mouza bint Mroshed Al Subousi, from the United Arab Emirates, was a beloved member of her community, and a respected healer who used traditional herbal remedies to soothe and cure hundreds who came to her for relief, free of charge. A true pioneer, Moza was an Emirati women who lived through the end of the pre-oil era and independently provided for her family after the death of her husband. She earned the respect of her entire community, serving as a role model for women of her generation and those to come in Emirati society. Her son, Khadem Al Romaithi received the award on her behalf.
Peter Hellyer, a UAE National originally from the UK, is the author of many books on the fragile ecology and rich archaeological legacy of the UAE, and has lived in the UAE for 40 years as a journalist, a historian as well as an advisor to the petroleum industry. A passionate amateur archaeologist, Hellyer co-founded and led the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeology Survey (ADIAS), which has since uncovered some of the most significant historical sites in the region, revealing the UAE's forgotten past. He was intimately involved in the excavation of the 1400-year old monastery on Sir Bani Yas Island, which received global recognition for its historical importance. A self-taught jack-of-all-trades, Hellyer's devotion to this land and its people is expressed through his commitment to protecting the country's fragile ecosystems and history in a time of rapid development.
Jumaa Manea Al Ghuwais, from the United Arab Emirates, is one of the UAE's most well-known poets, beloved by the nation for his exceptional poems that warmly capture the nation's patriotism. Recited by all people - young and old alike - as part of the UAE's National Day celebrations, This is our Country,' and Zayed's Home' reflect the national pride of this country's people. His poems, which have had a significant impact on Emirati culture, commemorate the values and vision held by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, and honour his spirit of the union.
Roger Upton, from the United Kingdom, is an author and passionate falconer who has pursued the sport for more than 50 years, both in the UK and the Arabian Peninsula, where he hunted with his friend, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Roger's travels across the Middle East in search of the best trappers, hunters and artisans in the field led to his book, Arab Falconry: History of a Way of Life'. As Bedouin traditions continue to fade, Roger's book preserves an essential Bedouin custom that is not only a craft or a sport but a way of life that bridges cultural divides between Arab and Western falconers. Mark Upton received the Award on behalf of his father.
Abdulla Mohamed Al Masaood, from the United Arab Emirates, is recognised for his tireless charitable efforts in the Emirates, and for his long-standing service to the government of the UAE in the field of foreign service. He has been a committed advisor to the UAE government in his position as Chairman of the National Consultative Council, an important bridge between the public and the country's leadership, and has deepened valued relationships with other countries through his support of cultural, social and business initiatives, both abroad and at home in the UAE. Al Masaood's own charitable activities have particularly benefited the country in hard times, as well as, its children with countless initiatives devoted to education. He is the Chairman of Abdulla Al-Masaood and Sons, one of the UAE's oldest and most respected family businesses. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood received the Award on behalf of his uncle.
Before the start of the official ceremony, Sheikh Hazza also met the five winning students of the 2013 Musahamati competition.
Abu Dhabi Awards ran the Musahamti initiative for the first time in 2013. It is designed to engage the youth throughout the emirate to develop their own enduring vision of goodness in the community by providing an innovative and sustainable idea that addresses an issue or opportunity to create a positive change in a community. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
The Dubai Art Season, a month-long arts initiative from March 14 to April 15, will showcase over 150 creative activities underlining the city's status as a global creative hub. Launched by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), Dubai Art Season will unite the city's premier arts events including Art Week, the Middle East Film & Comic Con and Gulf Film Festival.
The art season will begin with the Art Week that celebrates three flagship events, SIKKA Art Fair, Design Days Dubai, and Art Dubai. It will also feature Arts Night at the DIFC, where Dubai Culture has commissioned renowned British 3D artist Julian Beever for a live installation called ‘Anamorphic Illusions,' a special distortion that creates a three dimensional experience, depending on where the viewer is standing.
Several panel discussions, workshops, performances, outdoor art projects and exhibitions will be held as part of the initiative.
All the art events will be hosted in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, The Dubai Mall and Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai, The Walk at JBR, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), The Beach, and the Cultural and Scientific Association in Al Mamzar.
Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director-General at Dubai Culture, said: "The inaugural Dubai Art Season showcases the talent of our emerging artists, providing them a robust platform to engage with the community through a culturally enriching roster of events. Residents and visitors to our city can witness the creative potential of artists across all disciplines, further enabling them to develop a genuine appreciation for the arts.”
The Dubai Mall, The Beach, The Walk in JBR will host an array of musical and multidisciplinary performances, while outdoor art installations will animate Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, and The Walk in JBR.
Live mural paintings by local artists, and 3D artist paintings, will be showcased at The Walk, JBR. DIFC and Al Serkal Avenue will host ‘Galleries Nights,' featuring music, art, and live entertainment. The American University of Dubai will be the venue of the ‘Art Project' by students from the university. – Khaleej Times – Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/todayevent/2014/March/todayevent_March12.xml§ion=todayevent
posted on 12/03/2014
Aiming to attract many investors from around the world, Al Hamra Real Estate launched its latest flagship project, Falcon Island in Ras Al Khaimah, with Dh1 billion of investments.
The Falcon Island development features 150 villas and waterfront mansions with private beaches, canals and parks.
Construction of the project will start in June, with all properties to be handed over in December 2016.
"It will be our signature development,” said Barry Ebrahimy, the head of sales and marketing at Al Hamra.
"Our target market is buyers from the GCC who are familiar with our development and community. We are targeting buyers from other emirates, KSA, Qatar, Russia and other commonwealth countries,” said Mr Ebrahimy.
Unlike the man-made islands in Dubai, Falcon Island is natural, and each property will have direct access to the Arabian Gulf.
During the project's launch on Friday, 40 villas were offered of which 25 units were booked, according to Mr Ebrahimy. Prices of the villas start at Dh5.2 million.
The project features 11 mansions built over 1,600 square metres. At the launch three mansions were booked. Prices start from Dh23m.
Built to be environmentally friendly, all of the electricity for homes, street lighting, water desalination and cooling will be generated on-site by solar power.
"We are studying providing the cooling systems of the buildings with solar energy,” said Mr Ebrahimy. "This has not been done anywhere else yet. It will be revolutionary.” He added that there was one project in Saudi Arabia that cools 15 homes with solar energy, but nothing on the scale of 150 homes.
A decade ago, Al Hamra Village, a residential and leisure development that includes a mall, restaurants golf courses and hotels, was built in RAK.
Now, as property prices have surged in Dubai, many people have considered moving to the emirate to enjoy a peaceful lifestyle at a lower price.
RAK is becoming particularly popular among airline pilots, as their unusual working hours make traffic congestion less of a concern. The Emirates Road to Dubai International Airport, a distance or 50km, takes an average of 45 minutes to drive from RAK.
The northern emirate also became attractive after the opening of Hilton's luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel in August, which brought a number of repeat visitors. Some of those visitors have chosen to buy property in the emirate rather than keep spending money on hotels.
Tourism also remains an important means for drawing people into the emirate.
International hotel chains in RAK, including Banyan Tree, Hilton and Rotana, attracted more than 1 million visitors in recent years.
Property prices in the emirate increased by an average 10 to 15 per cent by the end of 2013 compared with a year earlier, with the improving global economy encouraging people to buy. – The National – Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/property/sun-powered-falcon-island-development-launched-in-ras-al-khaimah#ixzz2vj3AvEeK
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posted on 12/03/2014
Sharjah Media Centre (SMC) has announced that the construction work for the Al Majaz Amphitheatre, with a total cost exceeding Dh 140 million, has reached 90 per cent of completion.
The amphitheatre will stage the epic oratorio "Clusters of Light” on March. 26 .The outdoor venue, built over an area of 7,238 square metres, emulates the style of the ancient Roman theatre.
It will feature a vast viewing platform through which artists can ascend, and it is equipped with a high-quality and accuracy-advanced audio system that has never before been used in the region.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, chairman of Sharjah Media Centre and chairman of the Executive Committee for the Sharjah Capital of Islamic Culture 2014 Celebrations, said, "The Al Majaz Island Project's many luxurious facilities, which include VIP Conference Rooms, galleries, and a number of shops, restaurants and green spaces, are combined to make a truly spectacular destination.
"The venue – an open-air semi-circular theatre that can accommodate up to 4500 spectators – is the ideal stage from which to present such a landmark. "
An ideal venue
"The project aims to ensure Al Majaz Island remains a prominent tourism site, as well as providing an ideal venue for future artistic, cultural and tourism movements in the UAE in general and Sharjah in particular.
"It will also contribute to securing infrastructure that promotes the global theatre movement, which will entrench the position of the UAE and the Emirate of Sharjah as a hub for international tourism. It will be a tourist destination that is culturally integrated,” Al Qasimi added. – The Gulf Today – Read more: http://gulftoday.ae/portal/686c6817-f23f-4ad4-bfea-992227ce23f5.aspx
posted on 12/03/2014
Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and Chairman of Board of General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA, has praised the infrastructure projects being implemented by the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC).
He added that the expansion of the Abu Dhabi International Airport is in line with the growth of civil aviation in the UAE in the light of prosperity being experienced by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as cultural and tourism destinations, as well as a venue for businesspersons, noting that the expansion project backs the UAE vision 2021, being an international challenge to implement one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the world.
The minister made the remarks yesterday, while touring the Abu Dhabi Airport. He was accompanied by Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA and other senior officials. He toured the premises and got the first hand briefing about the services.
Al Mansouri noted that the UAE would invest about Dh500 billion over next 10 years to complement the aviation and transport sector in the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
Drydocks World and Maritime World yesterday announced that it has reached an agreement with DNV GL and appointed the classification society to provide re-certification services for its Quality Management Systems. DNV GL will be reviewing and auditing Drydocks World and Maritime World Quality Management Systems as per the agreed plans to verify compliance with the ISO 9001:2008 standard and to identify potential process improvement opportunities.
The contract was signed by Ali Bin Towaih AlSuwaidi, Vice President - Business Development, Commercial and Project Management and Alireza Ramin Majid, Country Manager of DNV. The certification covers all processes related to product and service creation associated with Drydocks World and Maritime World operations, update processes to accommodate rig building and offshore construction, reduce costs and improve the efficiency cycle in line with clients' and customers' recommendations. This will also cover operations undertaken by its state-of-the-art Global Offshore Services facility.
Ali Bin Towaih AlSuwaidi said, "This is a valuable partnership in line with our strategic direction towards 'a broad vision to a new horizon' and enhancing the core values of change and risk management cycle to serve the core business. We have been making sustained efforts at cultivating business excellence to reinforce best-in-class business practices to ensure the optimum utilisation of available resources and maximising the opportunities for building our market share in our business areas including our strategic foray into the offshore rig building market. This strategic co-operation would lead us further in this direction/orientation and enhance our reputation to new heights within global industry. The approach will help meet both global players' expectations and standards requirements and prioritise areas that are most relevant to our business success. We can continually manage areas of improvement to create more value while building leadership in the industry." Currently, Drydocks World & Maritime World Management Systems are certified to ISO 9001:2008, API Specification Q1, API TS 29001, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 and ASME "R", "U" '&' "NB" Certification of Authorisation. The merger of DNV and GL in September 2013 led to the creation of DNV GL, a world leading ship and offshore classification society and one of the world's top three certification bodies. DNV GL has a long standing history of cooperation with Drydocks World and Maritime World. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
The commercial aviation partnerships between UAE and US is playing a central role in the success of record trade numbers between the two sides totalling US$26.9 billion in 2013.
According to the US-UAE Business Council, transportation equipment, including Boeing aircraft and GE engines was the largest subset of US exports to the UAE in 2013 at US$9.4 billion - making up 38% of the total US exports to the Emirates last year.
Danny Sebright, President of the US-UAE Business Council, said, "Commercial aviation is a key pillar of the US-UAE relationship. This has been recently highlighted by increasing number of investments and partnerships, including Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline placing the largest orders for Boeing aircraft and GE engines ever in 2013 and advancing with plans for further expansion to US gateways." On the training and research side, the council pointed out the importance of Boeing's new partnership with Etihad Airways, Honeywell UOP, and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. The council believes that the launch of the Sustainable Bio-energy Research Consortium (SBRC) will provide an excellent forum for American, Emirati and global engineers to research the comprehensive viability of bio-fuel technology.
"American companies, both large and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are increasingly looking for long-term sustainable business and investment opportunities globally, namely toward the Middle East and Asia. Demand is growing at a rapid pace and a common thirst for innovation and expansion is supported at the highest levels of government and industry. Global platform suppliers are also more closely aligning with their supply chains in key markets around the world, like the UAE," added Sebright.
In April, the US-UAE Business Council, in partnership with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), will co-lead a delegation of senior executives representing civil and defence aerospace firms to the Global Aerospace Summit 2014. The delegation is poised to increase the presence of American SMEs and supply chain companies at the Summit.
The council will also host a networking reception and facilitate a "How To Do Business in the UAE" briefing for American companies attending the Summit in the Emirates for the first time.
The US-UAE Business Council facilitates closer coordination between industry and government and provides a platform for public and private sector aerospace and defence thought leaders to exchange ideas. The council also acts as a clearinghouse for industry to voice concerns or interests key to the advancement of US-UAE commercial aerospace and defence trade.
The Global Aerospace Summit will run from 7th-8th April 2014 at the St. Regis Hotel, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. It will focus on the challenges of driving industrialisation and growth while adapting to global socio-economic change.
The wide ranging themes covered by the Summit will include new events for CEOs, dedicated, sector-specific strategy seminars, Defence Industry Closed Door Briefings and a Military, Satellite and Communications session. It will bring industry experts together to answer the challenges faced by the sector and shape future growth strategies.
Leaders from companies in both established and emerging markets will share their experiences of supporting industrialisation, improving supply chain standards and creating value-added jobs for highly skilled individuals. The inaugural Summit in 2012 attracted more than 900 top executives from 52 countries. The 2014 event will also include delegates from emerging markets such as Russia, China, India, Eastern Europe and South America. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
posted on 12/03/2014
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and the US Chamber of Commerce have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting investment, trade, technical and economic cooperation, enhancing exports, and the exchange of visits by investment delegations between the United States of America and Sharjah.
The MoU was signed by Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and David C. Chavern, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the US Chamber of Commerce, in the presence of a number of officials from both Shurooq and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Under the terms of the MoU Shurooq and the US Chamber of Commerce, the MoU will encourage, promote, and facilitate investment and development cooperation among their respective business communities, in addition to establishing, coordinating, and expanding a business network that facilitates the circulation of the business opportunities available in both countries.
The deal will also encourage the exchange of statistics in the form of economic and business data to facilitate investment and activate joint venture projects, as well as joint research activities. The agreement also makes provision for the participation of each party in conferences and trade shows organised by the other, working to overcome any obstacles facing the growth of investments and businesses, exchanging expertise and training, and encouraging reciprocal investments.
Al Sarkal said, "The relationship between the UAE and the USA is longstanding and highly mutually beneficial, and as economic, cultural, and artistic exchange between our countries continue to grow, so do our mutual ties. In this respect Sharjah plays a key role due to its strategic positioning and because of the well-established track record of the numerous US entities, organisations, and corporations who have been present and successfully operational in Sharjah for many years now. As an emirate, Sharjah has a great deal to offer American businesses looking to find a home base in the Middle East and our aim with this agreement is to create awareness about Sharjah's extensive offering and unique advantages amongst the American business community." The Shurooq CEO went on to emphasise Sharjah's ideal positioning as an investment hub in the Middle East, pointing to its strategic location - it is the only emirate with direct access to the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, its incentive and flexible legislative structure, its state-of-the art facilities and sophisticated logistics infrastructure, as well as its friendly investment environment and its cultural, educational, and artistic offerings.
He further underlined that this agreement forms part of Shurooq's establishing open and reciprocal communication channels with influential investment parties, with the aim of driving bilateral cooperation forward in various fields and ensuring broader collaboration in the future.
Chavern said, "Today is a milestone in the relationship between the US Chamber of Commerce and Shurooq. It speaks to our commitment to promote Sharjah as a leading investment destination, as well as our shared desire to take the US - UAE trade relationship to new heights. At the US Chamber, we are very focused on expanding the economic relationship between our two countries. We believe our new relationship with the Shurooq will help us strengthen and grow our commercial ties to the mutual benefit of businesses in both nations." According to recent figures issued by the American government, the UAE is one of the fastest growing trade partners of the USA. Total bilateral trade between both countries has grown from about US$ 4.5 billion in 2002 to US$ 24.8 billion in 2012. In the first nine months of last year, the total value of trade between the UAE and the USA rose by 12.5 per cent to US$20,56 billion (Dh75.46 billion), compared with US$18.27 billion (Dh67.05 billion) in the first nine months in 2012 - a strong growth that reflects the desire of both countries to further expand their bilateral relations.
The signing of this MoU follows the Sharjah Roadshow in the USA that was organised by Shurooq, and took place from 30 September to 4 October under the slogan Sharjah - Promising Opportunities, Global Horizons'. Led by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation and Sharjah Media Centre, the Roadshow saw the participation of over 20 entities and organisations from the emirate's public and private sector participating with the aim to promote Sharjah's investment, business, and cultural offerings while exploring means of cooperation and enhancing bilateral commercial relations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
The Institute Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation) at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology yesterday launched the BP Innovation Scholarship programme. The first two scholarships under the new programme are expected to be awarded in September 2014.
The BP Innovation Scholarship is a two-year, fully-funded merit-based scholarship to be awarded to graduate students in any one of Masdar Institute's engineering concentrations.
As a central part of their work, the BP Innovation Scholars will develop a business plan for a new sustainable technology business based either on their own ideas or ideas they adopt at the Institute. When possible, BP Innovation Scholars are encouraged to participate in forming a start-up company before graduation. Based on review of the business plan, a grant or other financial support toward the cost of forming a new company may be awarded by the Institute.
The scholarships are funded in part under the new US$7 million collaborative innovation agreement that Masdar Institute and BP signed earlier this year. Scholarships include full tuition, housing, living expenses, insurance, travel costs and certain patenting expenses. The last date for submitting applications for students entering this September is 31 May 2014.
Details of the BP Innovation Scholarship programme were announced during an Open House organised by iInnovation in conjunction with BP to mark the launch of the iInnovation Lab (iLab).
The iLab provides faculty and students with facilities, training, mentorship and other resources to explore the commercial potential of their research.
Held at the Masdar Institute campus, the Open House attracted a large number of innovators, angel investors, finance sector professionals and other stakeholders in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Dr. Issam Dairanieh, Managing Director, BP Ventures, and Dr. Katherine T. Moortgat, former Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures, spoke at the event.
Dr Issam Dairanieh commented: "This is an opportunity for BP to bring to Abu Dhabi its expertise and resources in creating pockets of innovation and in developing human capital. Our goal is to help to commercialise locally-developed technologies and to contribute to Abu Dhabi's objective to build a diverse and sustainable economy.
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: "This initiative from BP further strengthens our collaboration for developing new entrepreneurs with the right project concepts and the commitment to succeed. The continuing support of the UAE leadership helps us to launch new programmes through our partners and we hope the BP Innovation Scholarship will help encourage enthusiastic students to fulfil their entrepreneurial dreams." AbdulKarim AlMazmi, BP's General Manager and Chief Representative in Abu Dhabi, said: "The BP Innovation Scholarship programme indicates BP's willingness to invest in human capital to ensure that youth remain committed to innovation. The programme offers interested students an opportunity to establish their creative skills and, we hope, to develop successful technology start-ups." Professor Bruce Walker Ferguson, Head of iInnovation, commented: "These novel scholarships recognise the tremendous educational value of technology entrepreneurship. By strengthening the pre-graduation link between academic study and technology translation, BP Innovation Scholarships provide students with invaluable hands-on experience, help to reduce entrepreneurial risk, and increase the commercial potential of inventions in renewable energy and other sustainable technologies." BP Innovation Scholarships will be awarded to applicants with outstanding academic records who demonstrate initiative and creativity. Successful applicants will possess superior quantitative and analytical capabilities that prepare them for the Institute's rigorous engineering programme. Further information on the scholarships is available at the Institute's on-line application site, http://www.masdar.ac.ae/admissions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi's (NBAD) shareholders approved the distribution of cash dividend of 40 per cent and stock dividend of 10per cent for the financial year ended 31 December 2013 at the annual general meeting (AGM), held yesterday in Abu Dhabi.
Shareholders registered in the Bank's share book on 23 March 2014 shall be eligible to receive the dividends approved by the annual general meeting.
The AGM, convened under the chairmanship of Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, the Chairman of NBAD, reviewed and approved the directors' report, auditor's report and the financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2013.
NBAD's shareholders ratified the appointment of Dr. Al Taher Musabah Al Kindi Al Marar as a Board Member representing Abu Dhabi Investment Council as a successor of Late Dr. Jauan Salem Al Dhaheri.
The board of directors has selected Dr. Al Taher as Deputy Chairman of NBAD.
Addressing the Bank's shareholders, Alsowaidi said: "NBAD performed well in 2013 despite challenging conditions. This strong performance in uncertain times reflects the strength of the Bank's global diversified business model as well as the quality of the staff, our single most valuable asset".
"NBAD's net profits grew 9.3per cent to Dh 4.7 billion for the full year 2013. The Bank continued to grow its balance sheet and build upon its strong capital and liquidity positions". "In 2013, NBAD was once again ranked as one of the "World's 50 Safest Banks" and the safest bank in the Middle East by Global Finance. Following the upgrade of NBAD's long- and short-term counterparty credit ratings by Standard '&' Poor's to AA- from A+, the Bank was ranked the Safest Bank in Emerging Markets. The Bank was also awarded the "Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award - Diamond Category 2013," he added.
"We have laid out a robust, 5-year growth strategy which will enable NBAD to grow its presence in the UAE whilst also expanding internationally. The Bank will focus on growth driven by trade and investment flows across the geographic area spanning from West Africa to East Asia," Alsowaidi said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
Emirates Reit, the United Arab Emirates-based real estate investment trust, will sell shares on Nasdaq Dubai in the first initial public offering (IPO) in at least five years.
The company is seeking a minimum of Dh500 million (US$136 million) for acquisitions and investments, it said in Dubai Tuesday.
Books will open in two weeks and build over 10 days, according to Karim Schoeib, chief executive officer of investment banking at Shuaa Capital PSC, one of the bookrunners on the deal.
Drake & Skull International was the last company to raise funds on one of Dubai's two stock exchanges, listing in March 2009.
Emirates Reit wants to capitalise on resurgent interest in real estate in Dubai, where economic growth and property prices have rebounded since 2009. Home prices may jump as much as 40 per cent this year, according to the emirate's Land Department and the economy may expand 4.7 per cent after recording the fastest growth in six years in 2013.
Nasdaq Dubai, established in September 2005 to encourage international investment into the Middle East, has struggled with a lack of listings and low trading volumes and has 10 companies listed. The Bank of London & The Middle East Plc, the largest Islamic bank in Europe, in October listed on the exchange but didn't raise any capital.
Emirates Reit, which is based in the Dubai International Financial Centre considered listing on other exchanges but decided on Nasdaq Dubai because "liquidity is coming very soon,” Sylvain Vieujot, the company's executive deputy chairman, said at a press event. As a Shariah-compliant company focused on investing in Dubai it also made more sense to list in the emirate, he said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
Abu Dhabi's Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 2.6% in February 2014, compared with the same period of 2013, as shown by the increase in the CPI from 123.2 points in February 2013 to 126.3 points in February 2014,Abu Dhabi Statistics Centre (SCAD) monthly data showed. .
Abu Dhabi's inflation rate in consumer prices for the first two months of 2014 was 2.3%, compared with the same period of 2013, as shown by the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to 126.2 points during the first two months of 2014, up from 123.3 points during the same period of 2013, the report said.
This report provides an analysis of the results of the CPI for the month of February 2014 with the base year 2007. In addition, the report provides the results of the CPI by household welfare levels and by household type. The main findings of this analysis are outlined below: An overall rise of 2.3% in consumer prices during the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013, has led to an increase of 2.1% in consumer prices for households of the bottom welfare quintile over this period of comparison. As for the other welfare levels, consumer prices grew by 2.4% for the middle and 2.2% for the top welfare quintile.
The rise in consumer prices for the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013, pushed up consumer prices for citizen by 2.4% while the non-citizen and share households increased by 2.3%.
The rise in consumer prices for the first two months 2014 compared with the same period in 2013, pushed up consumer prices by region for Abu Dhabi region by 2.1%, Al Ain region and Al Gharbia by 2.3% "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" group accounted for the largest rise in the index during the first two months 2014 compared with the same period of 2013, contributing 29.7% to the change. The rises in the "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" group came as a result of increases in the prices of most subgroups included in this group. The prices of the "Fish and seafood" subgroups rose by 21.5%, "Vegetables" by 11.4%, "Coffee, tea and cocoa" by 8.4% and "Food products " by 5.6%.
The second highest contributor to the overall increase in the CPI over the first two months of 2014 was the "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" group with a 25.0% contribution to the rise in consumer prices for the periods compared, while its prices increased by 1.5%.
The "Clothing and footwear" group, contributed for 13.6% of the increase to CPI over the comparison period. This contribution resulted from an increase of 4.0% in the prices of this group The prices of "Restaurants and hotels" rose by 5.1% during the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013. This group contributed 9.4% of the total increase achieved by all groups.
The "Furnishings, household equipment" group accounted for 8.9% of the overall increase occurring during the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013. This contribution resulted from an increase of 4.2% in the prices of this groups.
Among the main groups that slowed down the rise in consumer prices during the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013, was the "Communication" group, which contributed -0.6%.The prices of this group decreased by 0.2%.
CPI of February 2014: Comparing the CPI of February 2014 with the CPI of February 2013 The average consumer prices increased by 2.6% in February 2014 compared with February 2013, with the CPI at 126.3 points in February 2014, up from 123.2 points in February 2013. This increase in prices is due to the net movement (increases and decreases) of consumer prices during these months.
The most significant groups, which experienced increases in prices during February 2014 compared with February 2013, were the groups of "Restaurants and hotels" by 6.6%, "Miscellaneous goods and services" by 4.5% ,"Clothing and footwear" by 4.2%, and "Food and non-alcoholic beverages", "which increased by 4.1%, Meanwhile the prices for the "Communication" group decreased by 0.2% over the period.
The average consumer prices increased by 0.2% in February 2014 compared with January 2014. This overall increase in prices between the two months reflects the net movement (increases and decreases) of consumer prices during the periods compared.
The most significant groups, which experienced increases in prices during February 2014 compared with January 2014, were the "Miscellaneous goods and services" which increased by 4.0%.
CPI by household welfare level: Comparing the average CPI by household welfare level for the first two months of 2014 with the same period of 2013 The rise of 2.3% in consumer prices during the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013, resulted in an increase of 2.1% in consumer prices for households of the bottom welfare quintile for the same period of comparison. The corresponding rise for other welfare levels was 2.4% for the middle quintile and 2.2% for the top quintile.
Comparing the average CPI by household welfare level for February 2014 with February 2013: The rise in consumer prices in February 2014 by 2.6% compared with February 2013 caused a rise in consumer prices for households in the bottom welfare quintile of 1.9%, while prices increased for households in the middle quintile by 2.7%, and the top welfare quintile by 2.6%.
Comparing the average CPI by household welfare level for February 2014 with January 2014: In February 2014, consumer prices increased by 0.2% compared with January 2014. This caused increases of 0.2% in consumer prices for households in the middle quintile and 0.4% in the top welfare quintile.
CPI by household type: Comparing the average CPI by household type for the first two months of 2014 with the same period of 2013 The 2.3% rise in consumer prices for the first two months of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013, pushed up consumer prices for citizen households by 2.4%, while non-citizen households and share households increased by 2.3%.
Comparing the average CPI by household type for the month of February 2014 with February 2013: The 2.6% rise in consumer prices in February 2014 compared with February 2013 caused a 2.8% rise in consumer prices for citizen and 2.4% for non-citizen households during the same period.
Comparing the average CPI by household type for the month of February 2014 with January 2014: The 0.2% increase in consumer prices in February 2014 compared with January 2014 caused a 0.4% increase in consumer prices for citizen households and 0.1% for non-citizen households during the same period.
CPI by Region: The 0.2% increase in the CPI in February 2014 compared with January 2014 resulted in an increase of 0.2% in the CPI for Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia region. The increase in the CPI in Abu Dhabi Region contributed 66% of the total increase achieved during the two months, Al-Ain Region contributed 26%.while Al Gharbia region contributed 8% of the total increase achieved during the period.
Consumer Price Index - Abu Dhabi Region: The inflation rate in the Abu Dhabi region was 2.1% in the first two months of 2014, compared with the same period of 2013.
The inflation rate in the Abu Dhabi region increased by 2.5% in February 2014, compared with the same month in 2013.
The CPI increased by 0.2% in February 2014, compared with January 2014. The major groups that increased in February 2014 compared with January 2014 were "Recreation and culture" by 3.8%, "Miscellaneous goods and services" by 3.2% and "Restaurants and hotels" with an increase of 2.7%.
Consumer Price Index- Al Ain Region The inflation rate in the Al Ain region was 2.3% in the first two months of 2014, compared with the same period of 2013.
The inflation rate in the Al Ain region increased by 2.6% in February 2014, compared with the same month in 2013.
The CPI increased by 0.2% in February 2014, compared with January 2014.The major groups that increased in February 2014 compared with January 2014 were ""Restaurants and hotels" by 1.6%, "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" by 0.5%, and "Miscellaneous goods and services" with an increase of 0.4%.
Consumer Price Index, Al Gharbia Region: The inflation rate in the Al Gharbia region was 1.6% in the first two months of 2014, compared with the same period of 2013.
The inflation rate in the Al Gharbia region increased by 2.0% in February 2014, compared with the same month in 2013.
The CPI increased by 0.3% in February 2014, compared with January 2014. The major groups that increased in February 2014 compared with January 2014 were "Miscellaneous goods and services" group by 3.1%, "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" by 0.3%, and the "Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance" with an increase of 0.2%. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
Vice-President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, has issued a law to protect the rights of people with disabilities in the Emirate of Dubai.
This law supports Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 concerning the rights of people with special needs. It confirms the attention given by Dubai to this important segment of the community and its leading role in the process of continuous building and development.
The new law brings together cooperation among all concerned authorities in Dubai to provide health care services, therapeutic services, habitation and rehabilitation for people with disabilities, in addition to providing educational opportunities that are equal to those provided to their peers.
The law stipulates providing full public services to people with special needs, including the use of roads, public transport, police and judicial services to ensure their integration within the community.
The law aims to implement the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, to make Dubai a role model in promoting the participation of people with disabilities, by providing them with all the services necessary to strengthen their position as an effective element of the society.
It contributes to deepening integration among concerned authorities to create eligible infrastructure and services, which allow citizens with special needs easy access to all facilities and services. It also aims to provide them with quality health care and social services support, in addition to creating broad community awareness that contributes to integrating them in society and confirms their participation in the development and evolution of the state.
The law aims to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy all their rights, enhance their respect, preserve their dignity and protect them from all forms of discrimination or abuse , negligence or exploitation. It is effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
As per the provisions of the new law, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, has issued a resolution to form a higher committee for the protection of the rights of people with disabilities in the Emirate of Dubai.
The higher committee is to be chaired by Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Members of the Higher Committee include the Secretary General of the Executive Council Abdullah Al Shiebani, as Vice-Chairman with the membership of Dubai Police Chief Major General Khamis Mattar Al Muzainah; Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Mattar Al Tayer; Director General of Dubai Municipality Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah; Dubai Health Authority (DHA) Director General Isa Al Maidour; Director General of Dubai Department of Economic Development and Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI) Sami Al Qamzi; Director General of the Community Development Authority in Dubai Khaled Al Kemda; Chairman and Director General of Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) Dr. Abdullah Al Karam; Secretary General of the Dubai Sports Council Dr. Ahmed Al Sharif; with the participation of members representing the category of people with disabilities.
The resolution is effective from the date of issuance and shall be published in the Official Gazette. "We look to the category of people with special needs as an active and instrumental partner in building our society, our achievements and assuming advanced positions we aspire for together," said Sheikh Hamdan, on the issuance of the law.
"We aim to promote community empowerment for them by providing them the opportunity to unlock their potential and prove their ability to give through a qualified and flexible environment in which we all interact as one community, each complementing the other," the Dubai Crown Prince added.
Sheikh Hamdan pointed out that Dubai, as a cosmopolitan city, provides unparalleled opportunities for its residents and visitors. "Through this initiative, we will be able to harness these opportunities to make Dubai a city for all. We will also work together with our brothers and sisters with disabilities to contribute in the development of various aspects of life through creating a society that preserves the rights of people with disabilities now and for generations to come." The resolution to form a Higher Committee for the protection of the rights of people with disabilities is complementary to My community a City for Everyone' initiative launched by Crown Prince of Dubai in November 2013.
The resolution aims to empower people with disabilities and maximise the participation and integration of this category into the community. It will also create new opportunities through which to overcome obstacles that may stand in the way of positively engaging and integrating this segment into the social environment as individuals who possess productive and creative capabilities.
The Higher Committee will deal with several tasks to implement the new law, including the endorsement of policies, plans and initiatives to protect the rights of people with disabilities, adoption of rules and regulations as well as priorities related to the basic needs necessary for the care and rehabilitation of people with disabilities and their integration in the society.
In addition to the adoption of frameworks of cooperation and coordination between authorities concerned with people with disabilities, the Higher Committee will activate a mechanism of communication between authorities and the Committee, develop a framework to oversee the implementation of the decisions and recommendations issued by the committee, as well as build the necessary partnerships with the private sector in the emirate to ensure people with special needs obtain the rights and benefits allocated to them. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
In order to reduce the traffic accidents involving taxis in the city by at least half, the Centre For Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars in the occasion of "Gulf Traffic Week" has launched a "Traffic Safety and Security" initiative for 2014. The initiative comprises a set of additional laws and regulations to be observed by all taxi operators and drivers in the city. It is a result of a series of studies on the traffic scenarios conducted by the Centre.
In line with the collaborative efforts between the Centre and Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, several rules and regulations have been issued to reduce traffic accidents involving taxi drivers, including the administrative decision No. 64 for the year 2013 which states that taxi operators must terminate the service of taxi drivers who cause traffic accidents and exceed their black points limit according to the traffic and licensing system. Other violations which result in the termination of the driving license include jumping a red light, driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or similar substances, not stopping after causing an accident, in addition to reckless driving.
Furthermore, the Centre is also holding taxi operators accountable for installing Parking Assistance/Reverse Sensors in all taxis; this is based on the fact that 10% of taxi traffic accidents were caused while reversing. Also, the maximum working hours of taxi drivers will be electronically set as to not exceed 8 hours per day as "Hired" status. When exceeding the speed limit, there will only be one warning/alert per day to the driver before getting fined. If a driver exceeds the speed limit by 20 km/h, the meter shuts down immediately and the driver gets a "call for investigation".
The Centre has set numerous strategies geared towards encouraging and supporting taxi operators and drivers, whereby the Centre honours distinguished drivers from the various operating companies on a monthly and yearly basis, according to a set of criteria, on top of which is traffic safety. The Centre will also be setting a special index for traffic accidents which will now be included in the performance matrix of taxi operators in addition to launching campaigns to encourage customers to pre-book taxis so that the mileage travelled as well as potential traffic accidents by taxis are reduced.
It is worth mentioning that all rules and regulations issued by the Centre have contributed in decreasing the number of traffic accidents involving hire cars as the kilometres travelled have also decreased. The Centre is committed to conducting studies and research that will help in achieving excellence and sustainability. In addition the Centre will coordinate with all relevant entities in Abu Dhabi to improve the quality of services offered. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 12/03/2014
Amman: Hussein Hazza Majali, the Jordanian Interior Minister, has commended the UAE's efforts in the food, health and educational and services fields, being provided for Syrian refugees in Jordan .
During his visit to the UAE-Jordan Camp for Syrian refugees at Mreejab Al Fohood, Jordan, Mr. Majali expressed appreciation and deep gratitude to the UAE for its relief efforts for the Syrian refugees.
He said that the efforts of the UAE come as part of its fraternal and humanitarian duty and as a culmination of the joint fraternal cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, including contributing to supporting and helping Jordan to bear the burdens of hosting Syrian refugees. – Emirates News Agency, WAM