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Barjeel Art Foundation announces launch of Sharjah Time-lapse video

posted on 01/09/2014

Barjeel Art Foundation has announced the launch of its video, "Sharjah Time-lapse 2014". It will be launched on the Barjeel official website on the 8th September, followed by other social media networks. Shot in a number of locations, the video highlights both new and old scenes in the city of Sharjah, including the Al Majaz Waterfront, the historic Central Souq, the busy streets of Rola, and many other memorable areas of the city.

This is the first commissioned time-lapse photography project of its kind in the emirate. It highlights Sharjah as a destination to the world in celebration of it being the Islamic Culture Capital of 2014.

Photographer Eric Hines was invited by Barjeel Art Foundation to fly in from the U.S. and work on the production. While Eric has worked on a number of similar projects before, this was his first in the Middle East. Earlier preparation work and site research was done with assistance from Gulf Photo Plus. The music track, ‘Fayrouz', which accompanies the video, was composed by renowned composer and musician, Marwan Anwer, exclusively for the project.

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, the founder of Barjeel Art Foundation, said, "It is my hope that this venture further highlights Sharjah as a destination worth visiting for its unique combination of history, culture, museums and above all, its people. It is a truly unique location and a visit to the U.A.E. is certainly incomplete without it." Barjeel Art Foundation is an independent, United Arab Emirates-based initiative established to manage, preserve and exhibit the personal art collection of Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi. The foundation's guiding principle is to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region by building a prominent, publicly accessible art collection in the U.A.E.. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Emirati team in the top list of international innovation

posted on 01/09/2014

GENEVA: PatentScope data collected from the World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, reveals that an Emirati independent team of inventors, Wasfi Alshdaifat (Jordan), Ms. Eida Almuhairbi (U.A.E.) and Farah Kassab (Lebanon) accomplished 45 inventions between July 2010 and July 2014, and the data reveals that no inventive team in any university around the world has accomplished a number equal to or greater than this during the same period, during which WIPO published 29,075 international patents for all universities.

The Emirati team has patents in six out of eight of the main international classifications recorded by WIPO, a fact that makes them the only team in the world achieving this variation. The team also got very high positive results according to the international search reports and opinions which are published by the International Search and Examining authorities.

In the Arabic world, the team is ranked as the top inventor team, and fifth inventive body after Saudi Aramco, Saudi Sabic second, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology third and the Qatar Foundation in fourth, while in the U.A.E. the team is the top inventor body. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sultan Al Jaber attends launch of renovation project of Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo

posted on 01/09/2014

CAIRO: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Chairman of the Coordination Office of U.A.E. Funded Development Projects in Egypt, has announced that a renowned Emirati personality who plays greater role in supporting culture, education and preservation of heritage, incurred the expenses of face-lifting the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo.

Dr. Sultan made the remarks here yesterday, while attending the launch of project to renovate the museum, deemed the biggest Islamic museum in the world. It includes 1,000 antique pieces. The event was attended by Egyptian Minister of Archaeology, Dr. Mamdouh el-Damati and Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Najla Al Ahwani.

The renovation project, which aims to conserve the Islamic heritage, comes in line with a string of the U.A.E. funded development projects in Egypt.

Dr. Sultan said the U.A.E. leadership issued the directives to provide all forms of support to Egypt, including preservation of the unique heritage enjoyed by Egypt.

El-Damati hailed the U.A.E. the material, technical and art support to Egypt, citing that the U.A.E. has extended its hands to renovate and restore the museum. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Lubna Al Qasimi commends Hamdan bin Rashid during Al Maktoum College graduation ceremony in Scotland

posted on 01/09/2014

DUNDEE: Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development and President of Zayed University, has praised the efforts of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and U.A.E. Minister of Finance, in promoting and developing the Al Maktoum College of Higher Education in Scotland and turning it into an exemplary international institution, and for equipping future generations of Emirati girls about multiculturalism and leadership, through a programme which the college has now been implementing for ten years.

Sheikha Lubna made these comments on the side-lines of a graduation ceremony of the last batch of female students from the Multiculturalism and Leadership Programme, in the Scottish city of Dundee. Sheikha Lubna said, "I am proud to be a part of this educational effort that is a product of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's ideas and generosity in finding a college that is a beacon of civility, education and human connections." Sheikha Lubna also praised the programme for giving the students a chance to leave the family and home life to travel and gain vital life and professional experiences. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Celebrating centuries of Al Nahyan poetry

posted on 01/09/2014

379-page book contains poems from Abu Dhabi's ruling family over the course of five centuries — from the 16th to the 20th century.

A collection of verses from 17 poets from Al Nahyan family has been published by the Poetry Academy under the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee umbrella.

The 379-page book contains poems from Abu Dhabi's ruling family over the course of five centuries — from the 16th to the 20th century.

The editors of the collection said the selected works is a "social contribution” to a literary genre that constituted an important part of the local identity and the region's culture and history.

It records the oldest versions of Al Wanna poetry, a form of poetry that characterised the Abu Dhabi society, dating back to Sheikh Dhiab bin Issa Al Nahyan, the first ruler of the emirate to establish a settlement on Abu Dhabi island.

The collection also records the oldest versions of Al Taghrouda poetry, which dates back to Sheikh Sultan bin Shakhbout Al Nahyan in the 19th century.

The Al Nahyan poetic experience also provides an insight into the lifestyle, personality and ideology of the members of the ruling family, who created verses for various purposes — from wisdom and advice to politics, love and enthusiasm.

Al Nahyan poets knew very well that poetry had a huge impact on communicating with all groups and was a perfect channel to explain many social, humanitarian and political affairs. In political poetry, the ruling Sheikhs were actually practicing politics through poetry. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a master of this genre.

The collection, which comprises 132 poems with text and vocabulary explanations, is available at the Poetry Academy, National Library and bookshops across the country. - Khaleej Times -§ion=nationgeneral


Hotel occupancy in Abu Dhabi hits 55% as guest arrivals up 26% in July

posted on 01/09/2014

Hotel revenues for the month were Dh317 million, with food and beverage accounting for Dh126.416, which is up nine per cent year-on-year.

Abu Dhabi's hotel occupancy nudged three points to reach 55 per cent in July.

The industry achieved a 26 per cent growth in guest arrivals last month compared to July 2013, with guest nights climbing 20 per cent year-on-year. Revenues rose 14 per cent, in the month. Figures released by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show that 215,286 guests checked into the emirate's hotels and hotel apartments in July, delivering 653,165 guest nights with occupancy coming in at 55 per cent.

Hotel revenues for the month were Dh317 million, with food and beverage accounting for Dh126.416, which is up nine per cent year-on-year. Occupancy varied considerably throughout the month reaching 52 per cent for Ramadan and rising to a peak of 81 per cent during Eid AlFitr.

"A full programme of Abu Dhabi Summer Season and cultural events along with the Eid breaks helped build the figures,” said Jasem Al Darmaki, deputy director general of TCA Abu Dhabi. "We still have an issue with average-length-of-stay, which dipped by five per cent this July compared to last, and we are looking closely at initiatives which will address this concern. Though there is still additional ground to cover, we have to see the advances made against the backdrop of a destination which has seen a 10 per cent increase in hotel room inventory this year compared to last.”

Abu Dhabi now has 157 hotels and hotel apartments offering a total of 27,928 rooms.

"If we can maintain this momentum we will achieve, if not surpass, our guest target for this year of 3.1 million,” explained Al Darmaki. "We are quietly confident of reaching the target given that the remainder of the year features a packed calendar of events including the huge oil and gas conference ADIPEC, Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the World Cup of Sailing and, of course, the hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in December.” India remains the emirate's most productive overseas market. Year-to-date 124,912 Indians have stayed in Abu Dhabi's hotels which is a 35 per cent hike.

"We see further potential in the Indian market particularly given the plans by Etihad Airways to launch daily flights to Abu Dhabi next February from the West Bengal capital of Kolkata,” added Al Darmaki.

The UK is the emirate's second largest overseas market with 108,456Britons checking into Abu Dhabi from January to July, which is an increase of 26 per cent year-on-year.

"Again there is further potential waiting in the UK with Etihad's planned flights from the Scottish capital of Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi due to begin next June,” added Al Darmaki. "We are also seeing considerable improvement in arrivals from the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Canada, Russia, Kuwait and the Netherlands.” - Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Expo Centre posts strong H1 performance

posted on 01/09/2014

After reporting extraordinary growth in first half of the year, the region's premier exhibition organiser and events venue, Expo Centre Sharjah, is gearing up for a busy second half, presenting some of the most sought-after consumer and trade exhibitions in the region and the world.

Expo Centre had a phenomenal start to 2014, when the first show in its events calendar, SteelFab 2014, added 50 percent more exhibition space to accommodate a 25 percent rise in the number of exhibitors. The increase in visitor turnout too saw a significant surge of 25 percent, an unprecedented rise in the 10-year history of SteelFab.

"The impressive growth continued with the next event, the International Education Show, which recorded a 34 percent rise in the number of visitors, and the other shows that followed. Now, after the summer break, we are ready for the new season, when some of our flagship events will be held," said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.

During the first half, Expo Centre hosted 12 trade and consumer events, attracting over 380,000 trade and general visitors.

The key events were SteelFab, International Education Show, National Career Exhibition, Perfect Wedding Show, Middle East Motor Tuning Show, Arabia Mold, Plastivision Arabia, Print Pack Arabia and MidEast Watch and Jewellery Show.

With the U.A.E. economy being propelled by rising GDP growth and accelerating activity in trade, tourism, property, manufacturing and logistics, Expo Centre is expecting better exhibitor and visitor interest in its upcoming events.

"The new season will start with the biannual MidEast Watch and Jewellery Show, which broke all previous records in terms of total number of buyers as well as percentage rise in visitor turnout for its spring show earlier this year. Most of the remaining shows too are major events for their respective industries and consumer base and are expected to perform well," said Midfa.

The events line-up, which also includes MidEast Watch and Jewellery Show, International Automobile Show, Sharjah International Book Fair, Chinese Commodities Fair Sharjah, Halal Middle East and Kitchen Equipment Middle East, has generated immense interest within the country and the region, prompting Expo Centre to look forward to phenomenal growth in existing and new shows in the coming season. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Int'l passenger traffic slips 2.9pc in July

posted on 01/09/2014

Passenger traffic at Dubai International dropped 2.9 percent to 5.15 million people in July from 5.31 million passengers in July last year, because of construction work on its two runways, operator Dubai Airports said on Sunday noting that traffic remained above the 5-million mark for the 19th straight month in July while maintaining its growth trend for the year so far.

Dubai International reduced flights by about 26 percent for a period of 80 days from May 1 as both its runways were consecutively refurbished and upgraded. The airport's two runways resumed normal service on 21 July.

"For the month of July, passenger numbers slipped 2.9 per cent to 5,155,771, from 5,310,361 passengers in July last year. Traffic was impacted by Dubai International being reduced to single runway for a period of 80 days from 1 May as the airport's two runways were consecutively refurbished and upgraded. Both runways were reopened on 21 July," said Dubai Airports.

Passenger numbers rose to within a whisker of 40-million in the first seven months of the year, climbing 4.9 per cent to 39,831,861, up from 37,972,464 passengers recorded in the same period last year.

Cargo volumes, monthly and year-to-date, at Dubai International registered a downturn. In July, cargo volumes reached 184,720 tonnes, down 10.7 per cent from the 206,945 tonnes achieved in the same month in 2013. Year to date cargo volumes reached 1,367,967 tonnes, down 3.1 per cent from 1,411,896 tonnes recorded in the first seven months of 2013.

"July was a story of two distinct halves. As anticipated, traffic continued to be impacted by the runway refurbishment programme in the first part of the month. But, crucially, July also marked the successful reopening of both Dubai International's runways, just in time to accommodate the holiday rush in the last week of the month when we experienced some of the busiest days on record. We are back to business as usual at Dubai International," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

"Looking forward, with two newly upgraded runways which are able to accommodate even more aircraft, the airport is well placed to resume the growth we saw in the first four months of the year," Mr. Griffith added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Duty Free sales at Al Maktoum International touches US$14.8m

posted on 01/09/2014

Dubai Duty Free (DDF) sales at Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai totalled to more than US$14.8 million (Dh54.36 million) year-to- date, according to a statement from the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) on Sunday.

Sales recorded at the airport accounted for 1.3 per cent of the airport retailer's revenue, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of DDF, was quoted as saying in DFRE's statement.

The categories that have posted double digit growth include perfumes (14 per cent) , cosmetics (26 per cent), ladies fashion (21 per cent) and handbags (40 per cent), he said. – Gulf News -


Demand for sustainable developments rises as U.A.E. residents vote for greener lifestyle

posted on 01/09/2014

Emaar's Community Management programme will be at the forefront of sustainable developments on show at Cityscape Global next month, as U.A.E. residents reveal their desire to adopt a greener lifestyle, both at work and at home.

A recent poll conducted by showed that 72.5 percent of respondents considered going green as something very important to their lifestyle, with 80 percent also stating that environmental issues and conservation of natural resources concerned them "to a large extent".

Honoured with the first Green Facility Management Organisation of the Year award by The Emirates Green Building Council, Emaar Community Management will be echoing their sustainability working patterns at the three-day event, which takes place from 21 – 23 September at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Sameer Kulkarni, Director of Emaar Community Management said, "We are handling budgets of more than US$750 million and the numbers are only growing with the addition of new communities, such as the expansion of Arabian Ranches including Alma 2, La Avenida 2 to name a few, The Opera District, Reem, Dubai Hills Estate and many more.

Sustainable principles, strategies and practices are fundamental to how we maintain our communities. Some of our initiatives include a drive to remove invasive Damas trees, an edutainment event for younger residents, as well as campaigns and community projects to conserve water and energy. These efforts are complemented by our focus on renewable energy initiatives, recycling and waste management." Organised by Informa Exhibitions and supported by the Dubai Land Department, Cityscape Global is the annual meeting point for key real estate investors, developers, investment promotion authorities, architects, designers and real estate professionals, to drive growth in real estate investment and development across emerging markets globally.

Continuing the environmentally friendly theme at the 13th edition of Cityscape Global, Union Properties PJSC, the first company to introduce the concept of community into the U.A.E., will be launching an Dh 800 million high-rise residential development in Motor City.

Ahmad Khalaf Al Marri, General Manager of Union Properties PJSC, said, "We are constructing developments that are in line with people's demand for change. Residents are looking for a greener lifestyle, therefore we need to focus on sustainable retail and residential projects to ensure we generate investors and satisfy clients' needs, with a focused eye on quality.

"Sustainability is gaining momentum globally and areas such as the U.A.E. have the opportunity to be the flagship of sustainable development. The region is at the forefront of environmental policies, procedures and regulations and each developer has to now take responsibility of going that extra mile and pushing the boundaries of sustainable development," Al Marri added.

Damac Properties, Meydan Group, Nakheel, Dubai Properties Group and TDIC are among the 250 exhibitors at Cityscape Global this year, showcasing their latest developments and environmentally friendly concepts.

The Middle East's largest and most influential property show is co-located with three dedicated and expert-led conferences, the Global Real Estate Summit, Future Cities and the Real Estate Brokers Summit, which are expected to bring together more than 1000 senior real estate professionals.

Also featuring alongside the exhibition is the Cityscape Awards for Emerging Markets, which has attracted hundreds of entries from developers and architects across the world. A short list of nominees has now been drawn up and winners will announced at an elaborate ceremony taking place at the Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa on 22 September in Dubai.

Cityscape Global 2014 returns with support from Foundation Sponsors Emaar, Dubai Properties and Nakheel; International Strategic Partner, Property Solutions; Gold Sponsor Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC); Project Marketing Sponsor Aqua Properties; Official Architect Architecture & Planning Group (APG); Official Broker Trisl Real Estate; Official Mortgage Provider Abu Dhabi Finance; Silver Sponsors Apex Real Estate Development L.L.C. and Tecom Investments; and Property Registration Trustee Partner Tamleek Property Transfer. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Masdar, Tadweer to research biodiesel production from waste cooking oil

posted on 01/09/2014

Abu Dhabi's Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and Tadweer, the Centre of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi, have signed a two-year research agreement focused on improving the process for the production of biodiesel from waste cooking oil.

The research will focus on achieving fundamental improvement of the process of converting waste cooking oil to biodiesel through further experimentation and sensitivity studies. Processing and reusing waste cooking oil as fuel is an environmentally friendly sustainable energy solution that can contribute to targets for renewable energy uptake in U.A.E. and abroad. Biodiesel is bio-renewable, carbon-neutral and rapidly biodegradable.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, and Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager of the Tadweer (CWM) in the presence of officials from both the institutions.

Dr. Isam Janajreh, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Head of the Waste to Energy (W2E) Laboratory at Masdar Institute, will be the principal investigator (PI) of the project, while Dr. Ahmed Aljabri will be the co-principal investigator. As per the research project agreement, the principal investigator and the co-principal investigator will design, plan, and formulate the modelling and experimental investigations with assistance from two Masdar Institute Master's degree students.

Dr. Moavenzadeh said, "The research agreement with CWM illustrates U.A.E.'s commitment to facilitating the production of clean energy and minimisation of waste. With the support of the country's leadership, we will continue our contribution to the development of clean energy technologies and ensure faster adoption of sustainable measures. We are confident that the outcome of this collaboration will encourage the community to support such green technologies." The two institutions will be assisted in this project by Australia's Laboratory for Turbulence Research in Aerospace and Combustion, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Sydney. Dr. Assad Masri, Australian Research Council-Australian Professorial Fellow in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, at the University of Sydney, and Chairman of the Australia and New Zealand section of the Combustion Institute, will lead the collaboration from the Australian side. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


ENOC joins hands with government stakeholders to ensure usage of green diesel

posted on 01/09/2014

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has joined hands with governmental stakeholders to implement the U.A.E. Federal Cabinet decision No. 37 of 2013 on making the use of the environment-friendly green diesel mandatory across U.A.E.

A stakeholder meeting led by ENOC Industrial Products Marketing (EIPM) at ENOC Headquarters was attended by representatives of Emirates Authority for Standardisation & Metrology (ESMA), Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Municipality and Emarat. The meeting resolved to promote awareness on the importance of the new greener fuel standards. The stakeholders emphasised the need to take concerted action to ensure the security of supply and usage of the new 'Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel,' which is more environment-friendly and helps in reducing toxic vehicle exhaust emissions.

The stakeholders agreed on a roadmap and timelines to take collective action to promote 'Ultra- low Sulphur Diesel' usage, which is a far cleaner fuel than the diesel used in the region.

Saeed Khoory, Chief Executive Officer of ENOC, thanked all governmental agencies and ENOC's key stakeholders for their support in ensuring the implementation of U.A.E. Federal Cabinet decision number 37 for year 2013 regarding making the use of environment-friendly 'Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel' compulsory in the U.A.E.

"We have been working with the authorities to implement a mechanism to regulate the diesel market to limit irregularities and illegal activities. The use of low-standard diesel, often sourced from illegal vendors, not only impacts the economy negatively but also leads to environmental degradation and health & safety hazards," Mr. Al Khoory added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DEWA begins work on new Dh170 million water pipeline project

posted on 01/09/2014

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, has announced that work on a new Dh170 million water pipeline project, which will supply water through a group of networks extending 25 kilometres into various parts of the emirate, has begun.

The project will see17 water distribution sites installed, which the government body says will expand water transportation between the main lines, increase water flow to the city, and ensure a continuous water supply.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, DEWA MD and CEO, said, "The implementation of the strategy and its ambitious plans come to meet the need of the overall development of the power and water supply to meet Dubai's Strategic Plan and the current and future needs for water in Dubai." Al Tayer went on to say that the authority plans to raise the efficiency and capacity of its water and electricity infrastructure to provide a more efficient service to its consumers, including developers and businesses, which continue to grow in Dubai.

The project is due for completion by the end of 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Emaar Properties announces intention to list Emaar Malls Group

posted on 01/09/2014

Emaar Properties PJSC yesterday announced its intention to proceed with the sale of existing shares in Emaar Malls Group (EMG) via an initial public offering (IPO) on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

The IPO will be made available to individual investors (30 percent), as well as qualified institutional investors (70 percent), with 10 percent being targeted for preferential allocation to existing Emaar Properties shareholders as at 10th September 2014. Emaar Properties expects to sell at least 15 percent of EMG as part of the IPO.

Emaar Malls Group, the developer of the iconic Dubai Mall, recorded revenues of Dh 1.250 billion (US$ 340 million) during the first six months of 2014. This is 13 percent higher than the H1 2013 revenue of Dh 1.106 billion (US$ 301 million). The Q2 2014 malls revenue is Dh 650 million (US$ 177 million), 11 percent higher than Q2 2013 revenue of Dh 584 million (US$ 159 million).

Whilst valuation will be dependent upon the book building process, Emaar Properties will earmark approximately Dh 5.3billion (US$ 1.44billion) from the IPO proceeds to be paid as a dividend. This amount aggregated with the dividend received from EMG prior to the IPO of Dh 3.7billion (US$ 1.01billion) will allow Emaar Properties to pay a dividend of approximately Dh 9billion (US$2.45billion) to its shareholders.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said, "The intention to generate proceeds for Emaar Properties by listing EMG shares on DFM will continue the established trend of returning funds from the group to shareholders. This underlines Emaar Properties commitment and gratitude to our shareholders for their dedication and loyalty since 1997. Additionally, the IPO of EMG is a milestone for the development of the U.A.E. capital markets as, for the first time, it combines institutional and retail shareholders in the same offering on the DFM. This further demonstrates Emaar Properties pioneering role in the U.A.E. capital markets, having been the first company to list on the DFM in the year 2000.

"Emaar Malls Group has delivered strong growth and profitability in the last six years that has enabled it to make substantial investments which are expected to increase its GLA by around one million square feet by 2016 and enhance the group's revenue and margins. As the owner of EMG, Emaar Properties is excited about the future growth of the Group and will do its upmost to ensure that the business continues to flourish in this new stage of its development." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Festival City Mall begins 2nd phase expansion

posted on 01/09/2014

Dubai Festival City Mall on Sunday launched phase two of its retail expansion project which will feature more space to house new fashion, lifestyle and unique dining choices overlooking the iconic Dubai Creek.

The project will deliver an enlarged Festival Square connecting with the unique waterfront dining locations creating a stunning environment for guests to meet, shop and dine overlooking the back drop of Dubai's skyline and Dubai Creek.

"Dubai Festival City Mall provides families, residents and tourists with the most appealing shopping, leisure and dining options. Responding to the wants and needs of our guests and retailers underpins all that we do,” said Murray Bell, Managing Director, Retail, Al-Futtaim Group Real Estate.

"Launching the second phase of the mall's expansion is testament to our commitment towards our stakeholders and Dubai's growth and marks a significant milestone in our forward thinking expansion plans,” he added. – Emirates 24│7-


American University of Dubai welcomes new students

posted on 01/09/2014

The American University in Dubai (AUD) welcomed its new students for Fall 2014 during "Orientation Week” that kicked off on Sunday to start the new academic journey over a week full of activities.

During orientation, AUD President, Dr Lance de Masi and Provost/Chief Academic Officer, Dr Jihad Nader, and the Student Services' Team addressed the students.

Dr Lance de Masi welcomed the new students, and spoke of the twelve "musts” for success at AUD and beyond: "Do your best, Listen, Develop self-reliance, Stand out, Respect others, Seek balance, Be open to change, Develop thick skin, Assume responsibility, Consume books, Learn to laugh, Dream, and Have fun! If you already have a dream, we'll help you turn it into reality; and if you don't have any dreams, we'll help you get a few! Make every day count”.

Rachel Baldwin, Dean of Student Services at AUD, greeted the new students saying: "Your college years at AUD are extremely valuable to the many years ahead. This is a crucial time to gain independence and autonomy, experience personal growth, and explore your life and career goals. The greatest benefit to you begins by getting involved in campus life.” She also explained the significance of the Student Services Office in providing guidance and support for students as they explore, understand, and adjust to university life.

AUD distinguishes itself with a unique student orientation programme planned and orchestrated by AUD Student Orientation Leaders (OLs). During orientation, OLs acquainted new students with the campus environment and the city of Dubai, clarified policies and procedures; explained AUD's Honour Code, and conducted a variety of activities to introduce the students to the university experience.

New students also visited their respective schools, and departmental meetings were also held, where students were given the opportunity to hear from the respective Deans and Chairs.

Parents Orientation also took place the same week. New student residents and their parents met the Student Services Team and the Resident Assistants (RAs). During the session, Raya Al Barazi, AUD Housing Manager, welcomed the new student residents and their parents, as well as presented her duties, and the housing rules and regulations. "AUD strongly believes that well informed and supportive parents are one of the keys to students' success.”

In line with AUD's traditions, the Student Services Office has put together a calendar full of entertaining events for the week, in order to foster a sense of community and encourage new students to get involved in campus life. – The Gulf Today -


Shinya Aoki retains ONE FC world title

posted on 01/09/2014

Shinya Aoki retained his ONE FC Lightweight World Championship while Ben Askren and Narantungalag Jamdambaa emerged as new world champions in the welterweight and featherweight divisions respectively in the ‘Reign of Champions' mixed martial arts (MMA) extravaganza at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Friday night.

This was Singapore headquartered ONE Fighting Championship's (ONE FC) inaugural venture here and the biggest ever MMA championship programme in the region.

Aoki showed Dubai what his grappling skills are all about in his first defence of his crown against former Iranian wrestling ace Kamal Shalorus.

Aoki's suffocating positional control allowed him to wear on Shalorus before taking the wrestler's back and tightening a rear naked choke, causing Shalorus to tap out, a post bout analysis from the organisers reflected.

"Before the fight, I was aware of Kamal's strength's as a wrestling and I after a few uncomfortable seconds initially in the first round got around for the hold,” Aoki told the cage presenter.

Wrestling school owner and former Olympian Askren of the US gave Nobutatsu Suzuki absolutely no quarter, taking less than two minutes of Round One to finish his opponent and dethrone him as ONE FC Welterweight World Champion.

Askren used his unparalleled wrestling to take Suzuki down right from the opening bell. He blitzed Suzuki with a barrage of unanswered punches while pinning his opponent down causing the referee to stop the fight and award Askren the TKO victory and the title.

"From here, I move on to the higher stages of ONE FC and I do not take away any credit from my opponent as I was able to grab hold of the opportunity early.”

Battle hardened Mongolian Jadambaa's superior skills proved to be the difference in the ONE FC Featherweight World Championship bout against Japan's Koji Oishi.

Both gutsy Oishi and Jadambaa began the bout tentatively until the Mongolian landed an impressive slam in the first round.

A striking combination by Jadambaa dropped Oishi in the second round but Oishi with a swollen left eye and a bleeding nose hung on despite a relentless barrage of strikes.

Both Oishi and Jadambaa landed powerful punches in the third round, as they battled on to the delight of the sold out crowd.

Jadambaa was the more offensive striker in the fourth round, landing several punches and kicks. He then landed with even more precision in the fifth round and was deemed the winner by all three judges.

Roger Huerta returned to the ONE FC cage in emphatic fashion by knocking out Christian Holley in the first round. Holley threw a head kick that landed but Huerta caught the leg and took Holley down.

After a brief grappling exchange, Huerta landed in side control and unleashed several knees. Huerta then transitioned to his opponent's back, unloading a barrage of punches which resulted in a stoppage victory.

Londoner James McSweeney proved once again why he is one of the deadliest strikers in the world by clinically knocking out Brazil's Cristiano Kaminishi.

McSweeney landed a straight punch that had Kaminishi reeling. As Kaminishi stumbled backwards, McSweeney followed up and landed a devastating kick to the head. McSweeney demonstrated sportsmanship in holding back another kick as referee Oliver Coste jumped in to stop the bout.

The grappling prowess of Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Herbert Burns proved to be too much for Hiroshige Tanaka of Japan to handle, allowing the Brazilian black belt to clinch a unanimous decision victory.

Burns quickly asserted himself in the first round with kicks and takedowns from the clinch. Burns came close to finishing Tanaka with a rear naked choke but Tanaka managed to stave off the attempt and get back to his feet.

He managed to take Tanaka down again in the second round, and landed a crushing knee while Tanaka was trying to stand back up.

Tanaka landed a flurry of punches while Burns was pinned up against the cage in the third round, but Burns quickly recovered and took Tanaka down. Burns landed several knees in the closing seconds to end the bout, picking up the decision victory.

In an all-U.A.E.-based fighter card, Mohamad Walid of Syria and Vaughn Donayre (Philippines) put on a fast-paced bout that ended with Walid securing the submission.

Both mixed martial artists kicked off the action by swinging wildly with hard punches. Walid then jumped guard as Donayre decided not to engage. Once the fight restarted on the feet, Walid quickly shot for the takedown, and from full mount position along the cage locked in a quick armbar that forced Donayre to tap out.

"Fighting in front of the home crowd was the best thing to happen in my launch fight in ONE FC. I could give my best in front of my fans who were great in the support they provided. ONE FC is just great.” said Walid

The bout between striking specialist and Muay Thai expert Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (Thailand) and Ali Yaakub (Malaysia) began with an exchange of devastating leg kicks and hard punches before Amnuaysirichoke elected to demonstrate his newfound grappling skills. Amnuaysirichoke quickly took Yaakub down and secured a rear naked choke submission to end the bout slightly over two minutes into the first round.

In the night's only women's bout, Ana Julaton of the Philippines and Malaysian dynamite Ann Osman kicked off the show in spectacular fashion. Osman dominated the first round with her superior wrestling skills and had Julaton in an armbar submission attempt as time expired. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationsports


Hosszu, Gyurta set world records

posted on 01/09/2014

Hungarian swimmers Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta ruled the pool smashing world records on the first day of the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup held at the Hamdan Sports Complex Dubai on Sunday.

Gyurta set a new world record in the men's 200m Breaststroke with a time of 2:00:48 while Marco Koch of Germany claimed the silver clocking 2:01:28 and Yukihiro Takahashi bagged the bronze with a time of 2:05:00. Reigning World Cup champion Hosszu of Hungary lived up to her ‘Iron Lady' image setting a new world record in the women's 200m Individual Medley clocking 2:02:13.

Caitlin Leverenz of US emerged second clocking 2:07:30 while Lisa Zaiser claimed the third spot with a time of 2:06:76.

Hosszu was earlier shy of smashing yet another record in the women's 200 Freeestyle. She lost steam after the third lap losing her grip on world record. She progressed clocking 1:52:25 to clinch the gold followed by Lisa Zaiser of Austria claiming the silver with a time of 1:54:25 and Evelyn Verrasztro of Hungary the bronze with a time of 1:55:99.

Honshu, lived up to her expectations clinching her third gold in the women's 50m Backstroke clocking 26:10 while Ukrainian Daryna Zevina swam in second with 26:45 and Poland's Aleksandra Urbanczyk emerged third with a time of 26:70.

The ‘Iron Lady' bagged her fourth gold in the women's 200m Backstroke clocking 2:01:17. Daryna Zevina of Ukraine bagged the silver with a time of 2:03:76 and Carolina Colarado Henao bagged the bronze clocking 2:06:96.

"It feels really good. The amazing part is that last year and the year before I was swimming four or five races in the afternoon and I was just so tired. But I felt really happy to be on the podium in some of them but today I am like in all four of them,” said a beaming Hosszu.

Thomas Fraser Holmes of Australia set a new championship record and Commonwealth record in the men's 400m Individual Medley clocking 3:58:69.

Holmes held on to his lead to claim his first gold with Hungarian David Verrasztro emerging second with a time of 4:02:52 and Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia came in third.

Holmes claimed his second gold in the men's 400m Freestyle clocking 3:38:22 with Velimir Stjepanovic of Serbia claiming the silver with a time of 3:38:32 and Ahmed Mathlouthi claiming the bronze with 3:41:43.

South Africa's Chad Le Clos bagged the gold in the men's 100m Freestyle with a time of 46:24 and surged ahead to claim his second gold in the men's 50m Butterfly clocking 22:02.

"It been a good run for me. I am very happy. I usually win and I like to keep up the winning streak,” said Le Clos. – The Gulf Today -