The UAE will host Expo 2020!
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UAE woman remains strategic partner in sustainable development: Hind Al Maktoum

posted on 23/08/2016

HH Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum Al Maktoum, wife of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has stressed the indispensable role of the woman as an active driving force in the nation's sustainable development.

'As that UAE is marking the second Emirati Women's Day on 28th August, I would like to highlight three main pillars demonstrating the authenticity and value of the UAE woman as a strategic partner to man in achieving the sustainable development. First, woman in our beloved Emirates have delivered remarkable successes thanks to God and the encouragement by the loyal leadership and support by H.H. 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, to woman's issues and aspirations. Second, Emirati woman have proved their merit in the professional, political, health, security, social, economic and educational spheres and other fields with strength and excellence. Third, UAE woman are willingly and certainly ready to offer sacrifice, and show loyalty in the service of the nation out of their loyalty to the leadership and the homeland,' Sheikha Hind said.

In a statement today ahead of the event, Sheikha Hind extended warm congratulations to Sheikha Fatima (Mother of the Nation) on while the country braces to mark the second Emirati Women's Day under the theme 'Woman and Innovation'.

Sheikha Hind said, 'The UAE woman has become a key partner in leading the sustainable development and is now assuming senior leadership role in the sovereign, executive and legislative authorities including the presidency of the Federal National Council. The UAE women boast of having the highest representation in ministerial portfolios in the Arab region.' Thanks to their qualifications and leadership skills, she noted, the UAE women have competently taken jobs in the judiciary, public prosecution as well as other sectors that require highly educated and trained professionals such renewable energy, space, engineering, civil and military aviation, air defence, ministry of interior to name a few.

'There gold chapters in the wall of humanity that shows that highest, exceptional standing the UAE women reached thanks to God and the wise and loyal leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces,' she further said.

She noted that this year's theme of the celebrations fits well into the government's strategy to promote the values of quality, innovation, creativity and excellence.

August 28 was declared Emirati Women's Day. The date marks the creation of the GWU in 1975, and is considered a chance to celebrate Emirati women's achievements since the union was founded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


First-of-its-kind 'Cyber Security Centre' in UAE launched

posted on 23/08/2016

Smartworld and The Kernel have announced the launch of UAE's first-of-its-kind 'Cyber Security Centre', which will train UAE nationals in cyber security and provide round-the-clock advanced security monitoring along with cyber threat management to companies across the government and private sector in the UAE.

A strategic partnership for setting up the centre was signed between the two companies by Abdulqader Ali, CEO of Smartworld, and Dr. Mounes Kayyali, CEO of The Kernel.

The initiative is in line with the vision and development strategies of the UAE and Dubai especially toward technological advancements in all areas and supports the most critical component of security for organisations.

Dr. Saeed Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Smartworld, said, "Smartworld is proud to partner with The Kernel for this unique initiative, which will cater to the rapidly-rising demand for cyber security and local talent in this area. With this initiative we re-affirm our commitment to support the UAE leadership's vision to excel in every sphere."

Advisor Dr. Saif Al Ketbi said, "UAE and Dubai are making tremendous progress in adopting the world's latest smart technologies. These advancements bring with them the responsibility to ensure safety from external threats. Particularly as we witness the launch of several mega projects and hosting the Expo 2020, the progress in the area of smart technology is set to be massive. The ‘Cyber Security Centre' rightly caters to the growing need for protection and threat monitoring as it adopts a holistic approach of developing local talent in the area of cyber security along with identifying and protecting organisations against external threats."

Worldwide, cyber threats have been increasing in sophistication as well as in number of attacks, exposing organisations to threats of losing sensitive information as well as competitive advantage.

Al Ketbi said, "Most organisations pay greater attention to developing and implementing projects. However, they need to include security right at the planning stage of a project. A security breach could jeopardise all their efforts. With the opening of the Cyber Security Centre within the UAE, companies across the government and private sector can rest assured as the centre will monitor and respond to any form of threats to their security round the clock, alert them about any potential risks they could be exposed to and also help them secure from those."

"To cater to the rapidly-rising need for cyber security, we also need to ensure a sufficient availability of local pool of talent. The Cyber Security Centre, for the first ever time in this region, will be offering sophisticated training in this arena, with special focus on UAE nationals," Al Ketbi said.

Dr. Mounes Kayyali, CEO of The Kernel, said, "We have been specialising in the software and security industry since 1987. When we established The Kernel in 2008 in Dubai, the UAE became our home and the base for our permanent HQ." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


TDIC : Enabling works progressing on Saadiyat Lagoons District

posted on 23/08/2016

The Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) announced today that the enabling work is under way for Phase 1 of the Saadiyat Lagoons District.

The contract was awarded to Western Bainoona Group for General Contracting L.L.C. and covers ground improvements, in addition to site clearance. Officials noted that it is progressing on schedule, to be completed by the end of 2016.

Commenting on the work, Sufian Hasan Al Marzooqi, Chief Executive Officer at TDIC, said, "We launched this project back in April of this year, and works are on track in preparation for the main construction of the project. The contractor has mobilised on site for the enabling works and we expect to announce the main construction works contract before the end of this year. Saadiyat Lagoons District is a unique residential project within Saadiyat Island and we anticipate interest to only increase moving forward."

Saadiyat Lagoons, the largest district on the island, is a premium residential community. Phase 1 of the Saadiyat Lagoons District includes 820 townhouses set in a gated community. The townhouses will include two to four bedroom units featuring a contemporary design.

Homeowners will also have access to a range of community facilities, such as community swimming pools and children's playgrounds, as well as a convenience store and access to a neighbourhood lagoon. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


New Dubai theme park eyes 4.5m visitors in first year

posted on 23/08/2016

IMG Worlds of Adventure could be the theme park you never had growing up in the Middle East.

The new 1.5 million-square-foot theme park, which is gearing up to open in Dubai on August 31, is targeting tourists that come from countries that don't have large-scale theme parks, says its chief executive, Lennard Otto.

"It is key for us to focus on markets that don't have these types of attractions. So instead of people flying to the West or Far East, they could focus on flying to Dubai,” he told Gulf News in an interview at IMG Worlds of Adventure on Monday during a media preview.

The indoor theme park, owned by Dubai-based Ilyas and Mustafa Galadari (IMG) Group, is located along Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road (near Arabian Ranches, next to Global Village). It is expected to attract 4.5 million visitors during its first year of operations and more than 30,000 per day, with an equal split between residents and tourists.

It will stay open all year round, even during the summer months, when Dubai traditionally sees a lull in tourism. But IMG Worlds of Adventure hopes to change that.

"We will drive tourism in the summer months,” Otto said.

Dubai is known for having glitzy shopping malls and hotels, but not for large-scale theme parks, the likes of Disneyland or Universal Studios. But Otto thinks that will change as more theme parks open in the city.

Another major theme park coming to Dubai is Dubai Parks and Resorts, which will consist of Bollywood Parks Dubai, Motiongate Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park. It is scheduled to open on October 31 and will be joined by Six Flags by 2019.

Nikola Kosutic, research manager at global consultancy Euromonitor International, said the theme parks market in the UAE was valued at Dh1.8 billion in 2015. That's expected to hit Dh2.8 billion by the end of this year and over Dh7 billion by 2020.

"All of the UAE's theme parks, including IMG Worlds of Adventure, will contribute 0.43 per cent to the country's economy by 2020. However, their indirect impact is larger as they are expected to increase [the] average stay of tourists, increase average daily spend and contribute to the development of the accommodation and transportation sectors,” Kosutic said.

What's there to see?

IMG Worlds of Adventure costs more than Dh1 billion, paid for by a mix of internal equity and Dh1.8 billion in bank loans. IMG Theme Park expects to generate around Dh1.5 in revenues during the first year of operations, with an annual growth rate of 7 per cent until 2020, according to Otto.

The theme park features more than 20 rides and attractions based around dinosaurs and Marvel and Cartoon Network characters, as well as a 12-screen Novo Cinemas facility, The Haunted Hotel, 28 food and beverage stores and 25 retail outlets. It consists of four themed zones: Cartoon Network, Marvel, IMG Boulevard and the Lost Valley-Dinosaur Adventure.

Some of the major rides at the park include Avengers: Battle of Ultron, which is an interactive ride, allowing visitors to fight alongside Avengers characters and Spider-Man Doc Ock's Revenge, a 400-metre spinning coaster.

IMG Worlds of Adventure currently has over 100 actors and entertainers to keep visitors entertained. Many of them come from the UK, France, Italy, South Africa and Eastern Europe, Otto said.

Tickets to the theme park are available on the IMG Worlds of Adventure website. Adult tickets are priced Dh300, while tickets for children under 1.2 metres in height cost Dh250. Prices of fast-track passes start at an additional Dh125. These will allow visitors to stand in special queues and cut down queue time by 90 per cent, Otto said. Prices of the VIP ticket will be announced a day before the park's opening, he added.

IMG Worlds of Adventure was scheduled to open in 2014 but it was delayed a number of times. In April, IMG Group said the theme park would open on August 15 but pushed the date back to August 31 because it is "currently fine-tuning the last remaining details.”

The theme park has space for further expansion, Otto said in April, adding that the company is looking to launch several new attractions over the next five years.

The standard opening times are from 10am to 10pm from Sunday to Wednesday, and until midnight from Thursday to Saturday. – Gulf News -


Ajman launches new classification criteria for desert camps and tourism villages

posted on 23/08/2016

The Ajman Tourism Development Department, ATDD, has announced the launch of two classification programmes for desert camps and tourism villages, the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates.

Desert camps are divided into two types, day use and overnight, but will fall under one category, while tourism villages will have different categories of 5-star, 4-star and 3-stars based on the facilities and services that they will offer to tourists and residents.

According to Sara Alsuwaidi, Head of Classification Section at ATDD, the new classification criteria is in line with Ajman Vision 2021 to promote the emirate's growing tourism industry.

"We want to create sustainable tourism and offer a diverse range of attractions for both tourists and residents visiting the emirate. This is the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates and the result of a thorough analysis of the desert camps and tourism villages across the Emirates," added Alsuwaidi.

She said that the department's working group visited a number of camps and tourism villages in Abu Dhabi and Ras al-Khaimah and compared them before they develop the new classification criteria programme.

The Licensing and Tourism Standard Department previously introduced classifications for motel, guest houses, and furnished apartments, in addition to hotels, hotel apartments, restaurants, travel and tourism agencies and tourist transportation companies. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Passenger traffic at Dubai World Central up 95.4 per cent in H1

posted on 23/08/2016

Passenger traffic at Dubai World Central (DWC) increased by more than 95 per cent in the first half of 2016, according to a report issued by Dubai Airports.

The first six months of the year saw passenger traffic reach 410,278, up 95.4 per cent compared to 209,989 passengers recorded during the corresponding period in 2015.

Passenger traffic at DWC is mainly driven by flydubai airlines, which operates 35 weekly flights to five destinations from DWC.

Further, the airline will increase its weekly flights from DWC, according to the upcoming winter flight schedule.

DWC is currently served by 17 passenger carriers, operating an average of 174 flights weekly to 39 international destinations, and is home to 34 scheduled cargo operators that fly to as many as 141 destinations worldwide.

The surge in passenger operations at DWC contributed significantly to aircraft landings and departures, which totalled 18,126 in the first half of the year, up 4.8 per cent, compared to 17,302 movements recorded during the first six months of 2015.

During the period under review, freight volumes at DWC totalled 430,132 tonnes, a decline of 2.9 per cent compared to the first half of 2015 when the airport handled 443,011 tonnes of freight. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


National Archives, British Archives sign MoU

posted on 23/08/2016

The National Archives and the British National Archives have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to coordinate the translation of important historical documents, including digitising and making them available to decision-makers and researchers, as well as using the documents in preparation of the nation's curricula at various educational stages.

The cooperation is in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Archives.

The MoU, signed by Dr. Abdullah Mohammed Al Rayes, Director-General of the National Archives, and Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of the British National Archive, aims to support the activities and programmes of mutual interest and cooperation in archival source research, digitisation and sharing digital documents, according to the laws and legislation of each party over the next three years.

During his visit to the British National Archive in London, Al Reyes said that the National Archive seeks to take advantage of the MoU in preparing history and civics curricula in various educational stages, including the government and higher education, as well as enhancing its collection of historical documents.

James hailed the strong and distinguished relations between the two sides, stressing that he is highly optimistic about the results of the MoU, in terms of exchanging expertise and cooperation in activities that promote the cultural exchange and joint projects that the two sides look forward to implementing. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi's STEP one of UAE's most important infrastructure projects: Minister

posted on 23/08/2016

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, described the Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme (STEP), as one of the UAE's most important infrastructure projects aimed at providing sustainable and environment-friendly solutions to population growth and urban expansion.

He was speaking during a visit to the Al Wathba Independent Sewage Treatment Plants (ISPTs), where a huge pumping station is being built for final treatment.

STEP is a huge gravity-driven hydraulic wastewater network tunnel currently being constructed by the Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC).

Tripling the existing sewerage network of Abu Dhabi Island, the mainland and surrounding islands, the system will provide for an average wastewater flow of 1.9 million cubic metres a day by 2030.

Costing AED5.7 billion, the project includes a 41-kilometre long sewer tunnel and also 45 km of smaller diameter new link sewers.

The tunnelling project is aimed at reducing the carbon footprint by de-commissioning some 35 sewage treatment plans in Abu Dhabi city.

Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company, Abdullah Al Ahbabi, accompanied Minister Al Zeyoudi who was briefed about the company's projects in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain City and the Western Region.

The minister praised the national human resources taking part in the project and stressed that the leaders of the UAE take a keen interest in providing a sustainable future based on their insightful vision. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Empower introduces mobile chiller trailers

posted on 23/08/2016

Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation, Empower, has launched mobile chiller trailers to ensure 24/7 uninterrupted district cooling service for the company's customers.

Ahmad bin Shafar, CEO of Empower, said, "This innovative project is part of our relentless efforts to continuously enhance our customer service principles and standards. It also demonstrates our innovative strategy to adopt world's best technologies and practices implemented in the district cooling industry."

He continued, "Due to the unprecedented success of this pilot project, Empower made a plan to increase the number of the chiller trailers to be used in cases of network modification, network emergency repair work, temporary service during building finishing and fit-out work as well as temporary plant emergency shutdown."

Empower currently operates more than 1.1 million RT, providing environmentally responsible district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Senaat posts AED 946m in profit for H1

posted on 23/08/2016

Senaat, a leading industrial investment holding company in the UAE, has announced a 6 percent increase in net profit and 2 percent increase in EBITDA for the first half of this year despite a challenging business environment, compared to the second half of 2015.

After a challenging 2015, the group's EBITDA remained steady at AED946 million (US$257.54 million) for H1 2016 (H2 2015: AED932 million ($253.7 million) and net profit grew to AED341 million ($92.8 million) (H2 2015: AED321 million).

Additionally, the group's revenues in H1 2016 were AED6.4 billion ($1.74 billion) in line with management expectations (H2 2015: AED7.3 billion ($1.99 billion), it said.

A challenging business environment, both in the UAE and globally, affected the group's revenues, including pressures linked to the impact of oil prices, downturn in the global steel industry with overcapacity driving down prices, and a general retrenchment in core economic activity in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, a company press statement said.

In spite of these adverse fundamentals, Senaat achieved solid financial results driven by the strong performance of its portfolio companies, prudent financial management including rationalisation of costs and its sound corporate strategy. In comparison to the six months ended June 30, 2015 Senaat's profit was slightly down and the margin decreased by 1 per cent, it added.

Jasim Al Nowais, chairman of Senaat, said, "In spite of the challenges faced both domestically and globally, our company remains confident in its financial position."

"The strong performance of our portfolio companies, as well our senior management's strategy of implementing internal cost controls have enabled us to remain in a strong position as we enter the second half of the year," he added.

"Looking ahead, we will continue to pursue opportunities to optimise its portfolio, maximise value for its shareholder and share wealth with citizens of the nation. This includes realising and re-investing profits, and growing its existing portfolio and creating new industrial leaders. We look forward to what the second half of the year will bring for Senaat as we work to achieve these goals," he said in conclusion.

Senaat's portfolio companies reported strong earnings for H1 2016. Amongst the portfolio are two companies that are publicly listed on the local stock exchange.

ADX-listed food and beverages company Agthia Group was a standout performer, reporting a 16 per cent increase in net profit to AED145 million ($39.4 million) for H1 2016.

Arkan Building Materials PJSC, also listed on ADX, demonstrated resilient performance in an oversupplied market and recorded a commercial performance below last year due to a weather-related incident that had a negative, but limited impact on operations at one of the company's cement plants.

H1 2016 also saw the progression of major projects for the group, including the April 2016 ground-breaking of the Al Gharbia Pipe Company plant, a joint venture between Senaat and Japanese partners JFE Steel Corporation and Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc.

The facility will be the first sour service capable, welded steel pipe plant in the UAE, and will have expected production capacity of 240,000 tonnes annually, it added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


National Bonds website now offers up-to-date financial planning advice

posted on 23/08/2016

National Bonds, a Sharia-compliant savings and investment company in the UAE, has started providing financial planning tips and tools via its website as part of its continued efforts to spread financial literacy among the UAE population and the wider region.

Launched by the Financial Advisory unit at National Bonds, the new financial planning section offers valuable insights and information, in both Arabic and English, to help customers achieve their financial objectives.

Topics cover planning for retirement and children's education, debt management, investment solutions, takaful (Islamic insurance), and estate planning. In addition, the website offers practical financial planning tips on goal setting, cash management and budgeting, financial health, and the rule of 72 (a shortcut to estimate the number of years required to double your money at a given annual rate of return).

The portal also includes handy online calculators for accurately computing expenses, commitments, and budgets for customers to assess how best to save for a secure retirement or consolidate their debts, as well as fine-tune their educational savings strategy. One of the calculators can even help determine when a savings plan will turn a regular saver into a millionaire. The website dedicates a full page to the latest publications, books and global research in the field of savings and investment.

Speaking on the new services, Mohammed Qasim Al-Ali, CEO of National Bonds, said, "Financial planning is the only way for individuals, corporations, and even governments to achieve financial security. Since the launch of our company, we have worked relentlessly to enhance financial literacy among citizens and residents of the UAE. Leveraging our extensive experience in savings and investment, we help web users improve their financial conditions. Our new online tool will save time and effort for those looking for simple and straightforward financial planning based on a scientific approach and expertise."

The 2015 National Bonds Savings Index has revealed that 48 percent of savers who participated in the survey let information they read on websites influence their savings and investment decisions, while only 11 percent said they relied on TV, and 12 percent resorted to magazines and economic newspapers. As for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries, the Savings Index has indicated that as many as 77 percent of the participants consider the internet to be a reliable source of financial knowledge. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Peruvian gold exports to UAE top US$233m in H1 2016

posted on 23/08/2016

The value of Peruvian gold exports to the UAE reached $233 million in the first half of 2016, a 155-fold increase compared to the same period in 2015.

Total gold shipments jumped from 42 kilogrammes in 2015 to reach more than 7 metric tons in 2016, making the UAE the fourth largest destination for Peru's gold exports, after Switzerland, Canada and USA, according to figures from the Trade and Investment Office of Peru in the UAE.

Peru ranks as the world's sixth biggest producer of gold and is the largest producer of the commodity in Latin America. Gold is the second most exported product for Peru after copper ore.

The country is a global leader in the mining industry, ranking among the world's top producers of silver, tin, zinc and molybdenum as well as gold and copper.

In a press release, Director of the Trade and Investment Office of Peru in the UAE, Alvaro Silva-Santisteban F., attributed the rise in gold exports to the UAE to recent commercial activities undertaken by Peruvian office.

He said: "Gold counts as one of the major re-exports for the UAE so demand for the commodity has always been high.

"The work of our office in generating the correct links and supporting commercial missions, and the appropriated international procedures Peruvian exporters follow, has likely influenced recent trade results."

He added: "Peru's mining capabilities are top class. Although we are world leaders in the production of base and precious metals, only 13 percent of our territory has been explored and only half of that has been mined. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Khalifa University new campus will boast four story fitness facility

posted on 23/08/2016

Khalifa University has announced that its new campus, scheduled for completion later this year, will feature one of the largest fitness facilities in the UAE in an academic institution.

Housed over four stories, the gymnasium will consist of separate two-level men and women's facilities featuring cardiovascular and weight lifting equipment, as well as studios for yoga and others for martial arts such as boxing and taekwondo. There will also be multi-use courts for basketball, squash, volleyball and badminton.

The new gym highlights the importance of sports and exercise for an overall healthy lifestyle and in combating lifestyle diseases common in the UAE, such as Type II Diabetes.

Dr. Arif Al Hammadi, Khalifa University's Executive Vice President, said, "Khalifa University strongly believes in promoting a healthy lifestyle among its student body, faculty and staff. We hope that our new amenities inspire our community to get active and take care of their health, which in turn will contribute to their efforts in excelling in productivity and innovation." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


TRA concludes 2nd Summer Innovation Camp

posted on 23/08/2016

Over 2,000 students have participated in second Summer Innovation Camp of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA, which was organised to support an innovation culture and urge youths to find innovative solutions as well as encourage them to speak out on their creative ideas in more than 24 activities.

Most activities were focused on technical and IT skills, in addition to creative life skills for daily living, sports activities, and personality evaluation. The camp also organised special sessions to promote ‘UAE Sanea' (traditional Etiquette), or the ethical values practiced in UAE society.

Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA Director General, said, "The Second Summer Innovation Camp reflects TRA' social role and faith that real development starts and ends with human beings, so focusing on our nations' young generations is our priority to promote the culture of creativity and innovation in various sectors, especially in ICT, during their early years. We are proud of the results achieved by this year's camp in terms of its contribution to building a generation of UAE nationals capable of driving the nation's future and achieving our wise leaders' vision as embodied in the UAE Vision 2021 of steering towards a knowledge-based economy. We can only achieve it by encouraging innovation, research and development, and fostering a culture of business leadership in the next generation."

"This year we organised two camps for girls for the first time. The number of registered students exceeded our earlier expectations, so the TRA decided to expand the camp further to take in as many of the applicants as possible. The ICT sector is the most conducive for further enhancing innovation and creativity, so discovering the students' talents and building their abilities is a priority under the TRA's social responsibility strategy," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi's institute launches training programmes

posted on 23/08/2016

The Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ACTVET) on Sunday launched a new cycle of its "Life Skills 2016", an initiative consisting of 20 training programmes, in collaboration with 19 educational institutions from across the UAE.

The move is in line with the recent call of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to use military, educational and cultural activities to help build capabilities of the students and instil patriotism, values and ethics in them.

Director-General of the ACTVET, Mubarak Saeed Al Shamsi, said the centre is developing its 2016-2020 strategy and all future plans of its affiliate centres following directives from the country's top leaders to build the capabilities of the youth and empower generations for global competitiveness and meeting the demand of labour market and existing and future projects in the UAE.

Students from grades 6 to 12 are involved in the new programmes which encompass areas like robotics, car and jet engine maintenance, jewellery design, fashion design, photography, web design and others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAEBBY highlights Emirati efforts in support of children's literature

posted on 23/08/2016

The UAE Board on Books for Young People, UAEBBY, the national branch of the International Board on Books for Young People, IBBY, has highlighted Emirati efforts in support of children's literature at the 35th edition of the IBBY International Congress and General Assembly, which concluded recently in Auckland, New Zealand.

Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board, headed the congress's UAE delegation, which included Meera Al Naqbi, the UAEBBY's General Coordinator, and Joshua Dunning, Executive of its International Projects.

During the four-day congress, the UAEEBY delegation held talks with professionals and experts in children's literature from around the world. The representatives highlighted the efforts made by the UAE to support children's books and to promote reading in the UAE and beyond, through its initiatives and activities conducted in collaboration with various bodies. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Registration opens for 7th season of ‘Prince of Poets’ competition

posted on 23/08/2016

The Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee - Abu Dhabi has announced that registration for participation in the "Prince of Poets" competition, in its 7th season (2016-2017), will be open until the 30th of September.

Those willing to take part in the competition can submit their requests via e-mail at: [email protected] The date and the procedure for taking part in the preliminary interviews, which will bring together the nominated poets and the members of the jury, will be announced shortly after the end of the registration process.

Organised every two years, alternating with the "Million's Poet", the Prince of Poets, a 10-week competition for classical Arabic poetry, is held at Al Raha Beach Theatre.

Over 6 seasons from 2007 to 2015, poets from the United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Saudi Arabia won the title.

Issa Seif Al Mazrouei, Director of the Department for Policies and Special Projects at the Committee, said, "Considered as one of the most influential TV programmes in the Arab region, the Prince of Poets is inspired by the entrenched Arab heritage. It aims at restoring great works of Arab poetry and literature. The programme also seeks to revive the Arab cultural heritage while stimulating creative production on the contemporary poetry scene in the Arab region."

Sultan Al Amimi, Director of the Poetry Academy at the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee - Abu Dhabi, said, "The age of admissible candidates is limited to those from 18 to 45. Each submission must consist of one poem that is composed in classical Arabic. All submissions must be exclusively typed and sent by email as an attachment."

Over six seasons, the programme has revealed the talents of 165 gifted poets. The creative productions of these poets have been assembled and acknowledged by the Academy in outstanding poetry collections. The participation of young poets in the programme stands out as clear evidence of the ongoing appeal and popularity of poetry as a form of expression. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC delivers more food assistance to Mukalla, Yemen

posted on 23/08/2016

MUKALLA: The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) today launched the second phase of its food assistance programme in Mukalla, Governorate of Hadhramaut, as part of the UAE's initiative to alleviate the suffering of the people of Yemen and enable them to grapple with difficult daily living conditions.

Mattar Al Kaabi, head of the UAE relief team in the Governorate of Hadhramaut, said this is the second phase of the food assistance programme the ERC has launched since the liberation of Mukalla from Al Qaeda last April.

He revealed that 40,000 food baskets would be distributed to the population in the city.

Riyadh bin Taleb, Secretary of the Governor of Hadhramaut, thanked the UAE for providing the much-needed food items. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai creates new world record for collecting clothes for donation

posted on 23/08/2016

Dubai has created another world record by collecting 295,122 items of clothing for donation as a part of an annual initiative that took place in the UAE and Qatar from the start of Ramadan until July 6.

The campaign ‘Share a touch of love', was organised by fabric cleaning brands OMO and Comfort with the aim of donating clothes to those in need around the world, through the help of Emirates Red Crescent.

The record was set at 293,623 items, which was collected in India last year. The new record was made official by Guinness World Records during a ceremony at Armani Hotel, Dubai on Monday.

The collection drive encouraged residents in the UAE and Qatar to make a donation by dropping off their clothes at any of 63 locations, which include dozens of in-mall stands.

Residents also had the option of calling the chauffeur cab booking service, Careem, to arrange for collection from their home free of charge.

"This is the seventh year we have run the campaign in the UAE and every year we witness a remarkable increase in the number of people giving back. We would like to thank the people of the UAE who have supported the campaign passionately and helped us break the Guinness World Record title three years in a row,” said Ageel Angawi, Homecare vice-president for Unilever North Africa and Middle East.

The campaign has reached over 800,000 people in need around the world over the last seven years, with donations this year going to five refugee camps in Iraq and two camps in Jordan.

"This campaign truly embodies the spirit of giving in Ramadan and is another proof of the great values rooted in the people living in this country. Those donations will help several people in need and we will continue with the help of our partners to support the nations that require our attention and focus on reaching to as many people as we can,” said Mohammad Abdullah Al Haj Al Zarouni, general manager of the Dubai branch of Emirates Red Crescent.

He confirmed the campaign will take place next year, and will focus on another humanitarian aspect. – Gulf News -


UAE offers $1 billion deposit to Egypt's Central Bank for six years

posted on 23/08/2016

The UAE has offered a financial deposit worth US$1 billion to the Arab Republic of Egypt at the Central Bank of Egypt for a period of 6 years.

The deal was signed by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and Tarek Amer, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, in the presence of Juma Mubarak Al Junaibi, UAE Ambassador-designate to the Arab Republic of Egypt and the UAE's Permanent Representative to the Arab League; Rashid Al Kaabi, Director of Investment Management at the ADFD; Fatima Khamis Al Mazrouei, Ambassador and Extraordinary Plenipotentiary at the UAE Embassy to Egypt, and Deputies of Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt.

This support comes within the framework of strategic co-operation and co-ordination between the two countries, and out of the UAE's unwavering stand in support of Egypt and its people to promote the development process, as well as the recognition of Egypt's central role in the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Al Jarwan warns about Israeli plans in Jerusalem

posted on 23/08/2016

CAIRO, 23rd August, 2016 (WAM) – The Arab Parliament Speaker Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, has warned of serious hatched plots against Jerusalem by the Israeli occupation government, which backs the Zionist settlers to attack worshipers daily at Al-Aqsa Mosque and demolish Jerusalemite houses.

He added that the settlers daily pursue and arrest the people of Jerusalem, as well as execute them in cold blood at Al-Aqsa Mosque and the streets of Jerusalem, especially the children and women.

In a statement marking the anniversary of the burning of Al Aqsa mosque, Al Jarwan called on the UN Security Council, particularly the permanent members, to shoulder their responsibility to stop this dangerous aggression, which affects international peace and security. "They should compel the Israeli government to implement the UN Security Council Resolution on the abolition of all the procedures and changes in Jerusalem," he added.

Al Jarwan also called for UNESCO and all relevant organisations to assume their responsibilities to stop the continuous aggression on Jerusalem and the holy sites through practical and effective measures.

He noted that the representatives of the Palestinian people have been calling for sending a fact-finding committee by the UN Secretary-General to assess the situation in Jerusalem, especially the excavations taking place day and night under Al-Aqsa Mosque, which threaten its structure.

Al Jarwan said that the Arab Parliament urges Arab states to fulfil their obligations by implementing its resolutions regarding Jerusalem so as to bolster the steadfastness of Jerusalemites to protect this great Islamic edifice.

In conclusion, the Arab parliament speaker greeted the Jerusalemites for their defence of Jerusalem, and the protection of Al-Aqsa Mosque on behalf of the Arabs and Muslims. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Federal Court refers three supporters of terrorist ideology to counselling centres

posted on 23/08/2016

Three men accused of embracing terrorist ideology were sent to counselling centres, the State Security Division of the Federal Supreme Court ruled today.

The court also banned them from travel for six months from the date of issuance of the verdict.

The three suspects were arrested after State Security investigations found them adopting extremist, and terrorist ideology, and suspected that they might commit terrorist crimes.

Investigations confirmed that the first suspect, a 27-year-old government employee, was embracing al Qaeda's thought which he took from a Gulf friend. The second suspect, a 25-year-old unemployed man, was found supporting the Daesh ideology after being affected by a promoter of the extremist ideology espoused by the terrorist groups.

The third suspect, a 21-year-old unemployed man, was affected by the Daesh ideology and planning to join the group and urged his friends to do so. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Zayed Sports City announces ZSC Academy for Tennis and Ice Skating

posted on 23/08/2016

The Zayed Sports City has announced the opening of ZSC Academy, starting with coaching for tennis and ice skating, marking another addition to the complex's growing portfolio of community programmes and events.

ZSC Academy, starting 6th September, will offer year-round coaching through a series of programmes for sports enthusiasts and elite athletes. Registration, which is now open, can be carried out by visiting the ZSC Academy page on the Zayed Sports City website.

Barry Bremner, General Manager of Zayed Sports City, said: "Our track-record of delivering impactful and memorable experiences around sports and entertainment and a growing public demand for high quality coaching has led us to launch ZSC Academy. Projects such as the Abu Dhabi Wilson Tennis Cup, Learn to Skate and our community-focused sports programmes, including National Sports Festival and TrainZSC, allow us take on this venture with confidence. I have no doubt that like these other projects, ZSC Academy will also deliver excellent programmes."

Tennis Academy will provide up to 800 coaching sessions each month, serving over 250 players. The academy will offer high performance squad, private and semi-private lessons, group lessons, cardio sessions (fitness related), ladies-only sessions and lessons specially designed for children as young as three years old.

ZSC Skating Academy will build on the success of the ‘Learn to Skate' programme, working with the prestigious Ice Skating Institute of Asia to certify coaches and develop the curriculum. The academy will provide up to 160 sessions each month, serving more than 300 individuals. These programmes will be categorised into private, semi-private and/or group lessons with maximum of eight participants. Lessons will be available for children from five years old and above. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -