The UAE will host Expo 2020!
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DSF: 20 years of contribution to Dubai's growth, success, records

posted on 25/01/2015

Dubai is today a year-round tourist destination, thanks to the several marketing campaigns it has launched. But Dubai Shopping Festival, popularly called DSF, which has been running for two decades now, is the prime attraction, drawing millions of tourists from all across the world.

Year 2015 marks a special moment for DSF: It celebrates 20 years of success, becoming "the longest running and the largest shopping festival in the world.” It contribution to economic growth has been mindboggling; attracting 56 million visitors to date and leading to a total spend of over Dh145 billion in retail, hospitality and entertainment.

Starting with a few malls in 1996, there are over 70 malls and 6,000 retail outlets participating, offering discounts of up to 75 per cent on everything ranging from cars, haute couture fashion brands, electronics, gold, etc.

The Dubai Economic Council has said that retail is one of the most important sectors in the emirate's economy and in terms of value it is about the same size of the financial sector, the real estate and the construction sector.

Besides, the emirate has retained its position as the second most important international retail destination globally for the third consecutive year, according to CBRE, a global consultancy.

"Dubai's success in retaining its position as the second most important city in terms of international retailer presence underpins its status as a regional hub for business and tourism. The retail sector remains one of the most vital streams for economic activity in the emirate and the industry is likely to witness significant growth in the lead up to Expo 2020,” says Nick Maclean, Managing Director, CBRE Middle East.

Retail spend is expected to increase to Dh204 billion in the coming seven years with the Expo 2020 set to give a strong boost to the sector. Contributing to this growth for certain will be DSF, which will celebrate its "Silver Jubilee" in 2020 when the government expects over 25 million visitors.

Perfect partners

The festival is based on three pillars - shopping, entertainment and winnings – and exhibits the success of public-private partnership model.

Abdul Rahim Al Zarooni, Chairman of the Al Zarooni Group of Companies, says that the impact of DSF has been very positive especially on the retail, tourism, hospitality, entertainment and other related sectors.

"Because of all the unique initiatives that were launched under the directive of Dubai ruler, analysts predict a bright future for the city, which has resulted in businessmen investing billions of dirhams in various projects that now stand tall as iconic landmarks.”

Hussain Moosa, Associate Director for Shopping Malls, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, asserts: "Over the past two decades, DSF has transformed from a modest family-oriented shopping and entertainment event, to the world's largest and longest running shopping festival. It remains a contributor of Dubai's economic and tourism aims, driving millions of people here.”

Tawhid Abdullah, Chairman, Dubai Gold & Jewellery, Group (DGJG), states: "The festival is definitely one of the international events that people from all over the world look forward to and it definitely adds substantial value to all segments including retail, hospitality and aviation sectors. The non-oil economy owes a great deal to inbound tourists during the festive seasons.”

This year, DGJG is giving away 100 kilograms of gold and 40 carats of solitaire diamonds through the raffle draws.

Abijeet Sen, who is doing master's in business administration in one of India's top Institute, says the unique aspect of the event is the long success of public-private partnership.

"I believe it should be a case study as it reflects how the public and private sector have joined hands for 20 years and have they have worked to make the event a global one giving a strong boost to businesses' here.”

Shopaholics' paradise

Suresh Kumar, an Indian businessman, visits the emirate every year, but his family accompanies him during DSF.

"We love to be here in January… it's special as the kids love to be part of DSF entertainment, while we do our shopping. Every year, they bring something new to amaze tourists. Running the event successfully for 20 years shows the importance the government gives to the event.”

Catherine Levy, a Canadian citizen, is visiting the emirate for the first time with her family.

"We are enjoying our time here and it is amazing to see the entire city gearing up as a single unit to host the shopping event. We do plan to come here again and see what is planned for the future, especially for Expo 2020,” she adds.

Boon for businesses

To say the least, DSF has led to an upsurge in economic activity with retail, aviation, hospitality and ancillary services such as money exchange houses and travel agencies reporting brisk business.

"The successful first two weeks of the DSF has given retailers a confident start for 2015 and also highlights the emirate's position as a leading family tourism destination,” says Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, an agency of the DTCM, adds: "People have always found Dubai an attractive place for shopping with the festival further consolidating our status as the best shopping and entertainment extravaganza in the region.”

During the first half of DSF, Dubai Shopping Malls Group, an umbrella organisation of malls, reports number of mall visitors gone up by 18 per cent.

Majid Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Shopping Malls Group, says, "So far the promotions have led to a sharp increase in footfall in our malls and we are expecting the final phase to exceed our expectations as well.

The 2015 DSF, under the theme "20th Anniversary – A Journey of Celebrations,” will continue until 1 February. – Emirates 24/7 -


Abu Dhabi International Airport sees record traffic

posted on 25/01/2015

Abu Dhabi Airports on Saturday reported that in 2014 it welcomed 20 million inbound, outbound and transfer passengers, representing an annual growth of 20 per cent — the highest in Abu Dhabi International Airport's history

The airport handled 154,821 traffic movements, up 14.5 per cent compared to last year. Cargo throughput rose 12.8 per cent year on year, reaching 797,069 million tonnes.

Commenting on these numbers, Ali Majid Al Mansouri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: "The continuing growth in passenger numbers ... strengthens Abu Dhabi's position as a growing global transportation hub.”

In 2014, two new airlines joined Abu Dhabi International Airport; the Greek Aegean Airline and Nikki Airways from Austria, and a further 12 new destinations were added during the year. The top five destinations from Abu Dhabi were India, Germany, United Kingdom, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Figures for the month of December 2014 show that the airport ended the year on a high note. Passenger traffic was up 21.7 per cent with 1,833,868 travellers compared to December 2013. Cargo tonnage was up 5.6 per cent to 69,736 tonnes. The number of aircraft movements went up by 17 per cent to 14,105. December was the airport's second busiest month of the year following August 2014. – Gulf News -


Dubai sees 13% rise in business licences in 2014

posted on 25/01/2015

Investors continued to pursue new opportunities in Dubai during 2014 as the emirate recorded more than 13 per cent growth in business licences issued last year compared to 2013, the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai announced on Saturday.

The total number of licences increased to 21,358 in 2014 as against 18,848 in 2013, with industrial licences showing the biggest increase (27 per cent) followed by commercial and tourism licences at 16 per cent each and professional licences at five per cent.

The strategic guidance provided by Dubai's leadership in stimulating diversification and removing barriers for entrepreneurs and investors in vital sectors is contributing to accelerated economic development. The latest figures on business licensing proves the investor focus on Dubai and the emirate's regional and global competitiveness.

The business registration and licensing sector aims to consolidate and enhance the sustainability of economic development in Dubai through targeted initiatives and the application of best practices, such as ease of starting and doing business.

The DED's report on 2014 shows the number of amended licences reached 85,548 in 2014 compared to 74,859 in 2013, an increase of 14 per cent, while the total licences renewed increased four per cent to reach 118,953 from 114,218 during the same period. The number of total transactions completed in 2014 was 577,400.

The number of reserved trade names in 2014 was 83,599, an increase of 12 per cent over the 74,750 names reserved in 2013, while initial approvals increased 14 per cent from the previous year and reached 38,580.

In terms of licences classified under the legal form, Limited Liability Companies (LLC) accounted 14,701 of the licences in 2014 compared to 12,549 in 2013, a growth rate of 17 per cent. Sole proprietorship licences rose six per cent, from 5,375 in 2013 to 5,090 in 2014.

Licences issued to branches of free zone companies in 2014 showed a 129 per cent increase — from 45 in 2013 to 103 in 2014 — while number of private shareholding companies increased by 43 per cent, public shareholding companies by 36 per cent and branches of foreign companies licensed increased 15 per cent.

LLCs accounted for 67 per cent of the total licenses issued in 2014, followed by sole proprietorship companies (27 per cent) and Civil Works companies (four per cent).

The top 10 among activities licensed accounted for 15,383 licences in 2014, with an increase of 24 per cent compared to 14,484 licences in 2013.

Sector-wise, general trade (2,664 licences) led the list of top 10 activities licensed in 2014 compared to 2,293 licences in 2013, a growth of 11 per cent followed by dyes and paints (1,638 licences in 2014 as against 1,594 in 2013) and tiling of floors and walls (1,620 licenses in 2014 compared to 1,526 in 2013, a growth of six per cent). - Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Led by Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE delegation offers condolences of Khalifa and UAE people to Saudi King

posted on 25/01/2015

RIYADH: A UAE high-level delegation led by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, conveyed the condolences of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and those of the government and people of the UAE to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, on the death of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The high profile delegation of mourners, which arrived at Riyadh Air Base yesterday, comprised H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President, and a number of Sheikhs, ministers and senior civilian and military officials.

The UAE delegation was received at the airport by HRH Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Riyadh, and HRH Prince Majid bin Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.

The delegation expressed heart-felt condolences and sympathies for the death of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, praying the Almighty Allah to bless his soul with his mercy, make paradise his final abode and grant the Saudi royal family and the Saudi brotherly people patience and solace.

The UAE officials also highly valued the stances of the late king towards Arab and Islamic causes, and his efforts to enhance peace and development in the region and to safeguard and preserve the unity of the GCC house. They also praised national achievements Saudi Arabia made under his leadership.

The UAE leaders also expressed their full confidence in the ability of Saudi Arabia to pursue its honourable approach under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince, Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and the Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. They added that the Saudi leaders enjoy wise leadership and clear vision for pushing inclusive development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, achieving glory and progress to its people and taking solid stances towards challenges facing the Arab and Muslim Nations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Under Khalifa's directives, UAE launches Phase 2 of polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan

posted on 25/01/2015

ISLAMABAD: Upon the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, (May God protect him) to provide humanitarian and development assistance to the friendly people of Pakistan, and implementing the initiative of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to eradicate polio globally, the administration of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) announced launching of the second phase of "EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN" in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan targeting 17 million children, around 51 million vaccination dose under the slogan "HEALTHY AND BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ALL".

The administration of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) pointed out that the EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN for polio eradication is a true interpretation of His Highness the UAE President's directives to boost efforts in support of health awareness plans in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, control epidemics, put an end to the negative health implications on the children in the affected areas. The campaign is, moreover, emblematic of UAE's humanitarian commitment to helping the poor nations, develop human development programmes and focus attention on the children in need of preventive health care.

His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, earlier made a personal AED 440 million (US$ 120M) contribution in support of the global efforts to eradicate polio by 2018 with particular emphasis on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His Highness noted that saving children from curable diseases is a great humanitarian enterprise that can be only done by teamwork and collaborative efforts. His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, (May Allah protect him), is always seeking international partnerships to sort out these sensitive global issues.

This is the second contribution by His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed to make vaccinations and serums available to all children of the world. In 2011, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a strategic partnership offering a $100 million contribution –on 50/50 basis- to purchase and deliver vaccinations to the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) pointed out that the launch of the second phase of the Emirates vaccination campaign comes an investment breakthrough achieved by the campaign and the culmination of practical success in grafting 13,000,283 thousand and 701 Pakistani children against polio in the first phase.

Al Ghafli referred to the extraordinary role and the particular importance of "EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN" in supporting the global initiative endorsed by the General Assembly of the World Health to eradicate polio by the end of 2018 and to support the national emergency plan launched by the Pakistani government to eliminate the polio virus, where the campaign include a geographical coverage of 53 area, 15 of them in the territory of the region's tribal areas and 25 district in the districts Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 12 regions in the province of Balochistan, as well as Karachi district in Sindh province, and the field's efforts to vaccination teams will include application of a plan to give three consecutive vaccination doses for 17 million children a plan to give the three vaccination doses in a row to 17 million children, through the implementation of 282 fixed and mobile vaccination campaign during the months of January, February and March of 2015.

Al Ghafli said that the UAE Pakistan Assistance Programme (UAE PAP) completed all the preparations for the implementation of EMIRATES POLIO CAMPAIGN in various Pakistani regions, where it began the implementation of an advertising campaign in various media to raise the population awareness of the seriousness of the polio epidemic and encourage them to receive vaccination team and cooperation with them, and it will also have direct supervision to follow up on the implementation of the campaign in various cities and villages, and at all dedicated centres for vaccination, pointing out that the UAE vaccination campaign will be carried out in cooperation with the Pakistani military leadership and the Ministry of Health of Pakistan and ministries of health in the provincial governments and the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF and under the supervision and participation of medical staff specialist of those authorities.

Al Ghafli extended his thanks and appreciation to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and to His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces on their directives and their initiative to launch this humanitarian initiative to protect Pakistanis children from epidemics of dangerous diseases that threaten their health and safety and well-being, which is record a new addition to the permanent humanitarian initiatives of our leadership to help the world's children and to protect them, as well as to ensure a bright future for them.

He also expressed his thanks and deepest appreciation to the Government of Pakistan, Pakistani Army, the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF organisation, representatives of provincial vaccination committee, field teams and to all those who planned, prepared and executed the UAE polio eradication campaign.

It is worth mentioning that the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports indicated the seriousness of the increase in the number of cases detected in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 2014, where 303 child affected by epidemic of polio, it is the highest number of cases of the disease in a decade, as the total number of cases recorded at the global level reached 339 case, where about 90% of children who fell victim to polio through 2014 are Pakistanis children.

The polio is a highly contagious viral disease attacks the nervous system, and most people exposed to the disease are children under the age of five, and a child out of every 200-400 children affected by polio exposed to paralysis or death, where according to government reports and international organisations that lack of health awareness about the dangers of disease and erroneous beliefs hinder the campaigns of eradication it.

The 2013 Global Vaccine Summit held in Abu Dhabi announced a five-year ( 2013-2018) strategic plan to wipe out polio which will cost $5.5 billion, where a scientific study estimated that efforts of the global initiative to eradicate polio could save as much as $ 40 to 50 billion dollars. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Khalifa Foundation team distributes winter aid to 3, 000 families in two Tunisian governorates

posted on 25/01/2015

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan team has distributed new winter aid to 3,000 Tunisian families in the governorates of Jendouba and Tozeur, hit hard by the cold wave that swept across Tunisia over the past few days.

An official source at the Foundation said the move follows the directives 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 General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to assist the Tunisian families affected by the cold weather.

It added that the campaign will target 37,000 families in 12 Tunisian governorates, noting that the team, in conjunction with the UAE Embassy in Tunisia and the Tunisian Union for Social Solidarity, distributed the winter aid to the beneficiaries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Nahyan bin Mubarak receives Harvard Kennedy School's Centre and ELI students

posted on 25/01/2015

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development has received students from Harvard Kennedy School's Centre and of the Emirates Leadership Initiative (ELI) who recently made a week-long tour of the UAE.

Addressing the students, Sheikh Nahyan said their visit to the UAE was a clear evidence of the success of the Emirates Leadership Initiative and the wisdom of its founder, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

"His Highness Sheikh Mohamed has long concentrated on the future of our country and the absolute necessity for developing educated leaders. The Crown Prince has declared that (and I quote) "Education is a country's single most important priority and investing in the educational development of the individual represents the only real investment." I am gratified to note that our guests from Harvard Kennedy School come from many nations and will surely constitute a notable part of the leadership of those countries," Sheikh Nahyan said.

He went on to say: "The United Arab Emirates is a global society of many cultures – a country where people from nearly 200 nations work and live in peace and harmony. Outside observers marvel that the UAE has become and remains productive, exciting, peaceful, prosperous, and inviting despite its mélange of cultures, religions, economic classes, and languages. For millennia our region of the world has been a crossroads of cultures and trade and I am pleased to say that this characteristic continues into the 21st century. In the United Arab Emirates, we are experiencing the privilege of understanding and appreciating the many cultures, ethnicities, and nationalities that live and work peacefully and harmoniously in our country. We have developed a global perspective that will be enhanced by our contact with all of you from Harvard Kennedy School.

In fact, as you get to know the UAE, you will quickly realise the pivotal role it plays in regional and world affairs. This role has many important elements. We are committed to sustainable development. We play a key role in regional and global security. We are engaged in the global energy situation. We are a regional and global centre of trade and investment. We are building and strengthening the institutions that make economic cooperation with our neighbours and friends possible. And the UAE is very active in promoting socio-economic development in the region and the world." Sheikh Nahyan urged the students, as they focus in particular on topics of energy and the environment, to remember that future success depends on our collective ability to innovate and create new knowledge, new technologies and new products and processes and to apply them to improve the quality of life of the world's citizens. He further said success depends on building relationships across boundaries and borders and strengthening cooperation in all regions of the world.

"Your school, the Harvard Kennedy School, has always been an important source of ideas, talent and leadership that helps shape economic and policy trends, not only in the United States, but also around the world. My review of your ambitious and demanding schedule for this week leads me to imagine that already you may know more than I about my own country's actions regarding energy and the environment. All of us in this country must exert ourselves to stay abreast of the many promising national initiatives for preserving and improving our environment and for doing our part in properly providing the energy needed for the growing world economy.

The World Future Energy Summit, to which the Harvard delegation so brilliantly contributed today, exemplifies the commitment by His Highness the President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, as well as the deep-seated dedication of the Crown Prince, the patron of the Energy Summit, to confronting the challenges of global warming, greenhouse gases, water shortages, agricultural realities, and demands for energy. Only global cooperation and accommodation can solve our global problems. The innovative work of our Ministry of Environment and Water, the breath-taking achievements at Masdar, and the wonders of Dubai's solar park, for example, will realise their greatest success as a part of a much larger set of actions accomplished around the world, I believe that such actions will occur. I am confident because I have read the biographical sketches of you twenty-seven guests from Harvard Kennedy School. Your achievements fill me with awe. Your interests range far beyond the sixteen nations that you represent. As a group you symbolise my hope for our global future. I know that hope is not a plan. But no plan will succeed in the absence of intelligence, vision, understanding, and ambition. I see those qualities in you, and I firmly believe that you will conceive and execute the plans that will justify my hope." Sheikh Nahyan concluded by saying as graduate students at one of the world's premier universities, the students should understand that true leaders are predominately change makers.

"At the same time, your enrolment in the Emirates Leadership Initiative is a noble declaration that understanding leadership and the development of leaders is more important now than ever before as we take advantage of the many opportunities for change. We must, however, reaffirm our commitment to work together to create and preserve a world order that promotes peace, hope, understanding, stability, cooperation and prosperity, he said.

The tour enabled 30 post graduate students to get a first-hand knowledge of the UAE's pioneering role in energy and environment. They met during their tour with Emirati officials and visited organisations concerned with sustainable and clean energy, including Masdar, Environment Authority - Abu Dhabi, Shurooq, and the ministry of energy. They also made a visit to the office of the Prime Minister.

At the launch of the ELI last year, Yousuf Al Otaiba, UAE ambassador to the US said: "We must also do a better job of providing an alternative to extremism. This means better economic opportunities and, most of all, education. This is the real antidote to extremism: education and empowerment." ELI is funded by a gift from the government of the UAE. to deepen HKS's engagement with the peoples and countries of the Middle East through a wide array of new leadership, research, executive education and fellowship programmes. The initiative also supports Harvard faculty research on the Middle East and student research and internships in the region.

The initiative is co-chaired by former US Ambassador Nicholas Burns and Professor David Gergen, Co-director of Centre for Public Leadership. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sharjah Ruler sets up Sharjah Centre for Space and Astronomy Sciences

posted on 25/01/2015

H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah, has issued an administrative resolution No. (3) of 2015, on setting up the Sharjah Centre for Space and Astronomy Sciences.

According to the article number one, the Centre will be part of the Sharjah Centre for Space Sciences and Astronomy at the University of Sharjah in the academic, technical, administrative and financial fields.

The article No. (2) states that the Centre will promote and spread awareness about the astronomy and space culture in the Arab world in general and Sharjah in particular. According to the article (3), the administrative, scientific, technical and financial staff of the centre will be appointed under the supervision and directives of the Chancellor of University.

Meanwhile, the article 4 of the resolution says Dh2 million will be allocated by the Emiri Court to the centre under the supervision and directives of the university.

The resolution will be effective from the date of issuance and shall be published in the Official Gazette. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


ADP urge workers to use bridges, underpasses or dedicated zebra crossings

posted on 25/01/2015

The Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police has organised a traffic safety awareness exhibition at Emirates Steel Industries in the Abu Dhabi emirate. The exhibition falls in line with the unremitting efforts to enhance awareness of workers and encourage them to cross the road safely by using pedestrian bridges, underpasses or dedicated crossings – zebra crossings.

Colonel Jamal Salem Al Ameri, Chief of Public Relations Section at the Traffic and Patrols Directorate, explained that the awareness exhibition marks the "Safety and Environment Day" initiative. "The initiative is part of the comprehensive traffic awareness plan that was launched earlier this year. It aims at reinforcing partnership with civil society organisations, in a bid to boost traffic safety culture among all society segments," he noted.

Adding further, Colonel Al Ameri said: "As a part of the exhibition, workers watched an awareness-raising documentary film, warning them against the major causes of traffic accidents, and received brochures about pedestrian crossing rules and safe passage." Workers interacted with the traffic safety awareness guidance offered by the mobile traffic education patrol, which would ultimately contribute to reducing the key causes of run-over accidents.

In the same context, he called upon drivers to reduce speed when approaching places designed for pedestrian crossing and to give pedestrians right of way. He also urged pedestrians to use pedestrian bridges, underpass walkways or safe passageways. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Pharmaceutical and Healthcare sector in Jafza records 29 per cent growth

posted on 25/01/2015

The pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), the flagship free zone of Dubai and the UAE, has seen robust growth consistently in the last several years.

The sector generated trade worth Dh 10.1 billion in 2013 posting an impressive increase of over 29 per cent over the trade it generated in the preceding year. The Free Zone expects similar growth in the current fiscal and also in coming years.

Jafza will be participating in the Arab Health 2015, which is going to be held from January 26-29 in Dubai, and will be highlighting rapidly expanding opportunities in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in the region and the Free Zone's key offerings as the hub to serve these markets most efficiently, at the exhibition.

Ibrahim Mohamed Aljanahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza and Chief Commercial Officer of Economic Zones World (EZW), parent company of the Free Zone, commenting on Jafza's participation in Arab Health said: "Continued focus of governments in the region on the betterment of healthcare infrastructure and facilities and rapid increase in the healthcare spending opens huge opportunities not only for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies but also companies engaged in developing healthcare infrastructure. Jafza participation in the Arab Health aims at highlighting the huge prospects for global healthcare majors in the region and underlines the position of Jafza as the hub for multinationals to serve the diverse needs of these markets efficiently. The Free Zone seeks to attract more companies interested in the region to join the Free Zone's thriving business community in the sector" According to Business Monitor International, the healthcare expenditure in the MENA region will cross USD 200 billion in 2018 posting a 5-year CAGR of 9.2 per cent. Investment bank Alpen Capital estimates healthcare spending in the UAE alone to expand by more than 13% annually in the next four years.

Jafza is home to more than 270 leading multinationals in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors including Johnson and Johnson, Roche Group, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Quest Vitamins, Carl Zeiss, Nihon Kohden, Sodexo and GE Healthcare among others.

Arab Health is the second largest healthcare exhibition and congress in the world and the largest in the Middle East. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


MoH reduces prices of 280 types of innovative pharmaceutical products

posted on 25/01/2015

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Health for the public health sector and licensing policy, has announced the fifth initiative of the Ministry of Health (MoH) to reduce the prices of innovative medicines, and ease burden on patients.

According to the fifth initiative, prices of 280 pharmaceutical products will be reduced by 6-55 per cent with effect from 1st February with the participation of 26 international companies.

This initiative falls within the framework of the strategic partnership between both the MoH and the private sector, and all the international pharmaceutical companies operating in the country. It also comes under the guidance of Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health.

Al Amiri commended all the efforts of international pharmaceutical companies in accepting the initiative of the MoH to reduce the prices voluntarily, given the strategic partnership between the two parties and the close relationship that binds the Ministry of Health and the international companies operating in the country.

He pointed out that the initiative aims to support patients, especially those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol, infectious diseases, intestinal diseases, arthritis, gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases, skin diseases, viral diseases and others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Public transport ridership in Dubai hits 531m riders in 2014

posted on 25/01/2015

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), revealed that public transport means of the RTA, have lifted 531.350 million riders in 2014 compared to 440.672 million riders in 2013, and 367.657 million riders back in 2012.

Accordingly the average daily ridership of public transport means in Dubai (the Metro, tram, buses and marine transit modes (abras, ferry, water taxi, water bus) in addition to taxis (Dubai Taxi and franchise companies), clocked about 1.475 million riders; which compares well with the average of 1.3 million riders recorded in 2013 and about one million riders in 2012.

"The public transport network in Dubai, which is almost complete in terms of modes with the launch of the Dubai Tram on 11/11/2014, has become a key element in the mobility of people in various parts of the Emirate of Dubai. RTA's efforts in this regard contributed to the rising numbers of public transport means riders across the board,' Al Tayer said.

'The share of public transport in the mobility of people has leapfrogged from 6% in 2006 to 14% in 2014 and the RTA is endeavouring to push it to as much as 20% by 2020.' Moreover, he added the RTA has managed to transform the culture of various segments of the community and their attitudes towards using public transport. People have started to grasp and feel the benefits associated with the use of mass transit means such as the physical comfort, peace of mind, financial saving, high safety, lower expenses of car usage in terms of fuel and maintenance among others.

"The RTA is proceeding with the efforts to make public transport systems the first choice for people, be it citizens, residents or visitors, in their daily mobility to work, home or have a time out,' he explained.

The RTA, he continued, has ambitious future plans for upgrading roads infrastructure as well as the composition and efficiency of public transport system, and delivering smart services to the public. There are more than 35 mega projects in hand highlighted by the designing and undertaking public transport means for the hosting of Expo 2020 including the extension of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, upgrading roads and junctions leading to the site of Expo, and procuring new trains to keep up with the sustained growth in the number of metro users in the lead up to 2020 such that passengers can have better services.

"The RTA is also planning to broaden the coverage of bus network to reach 16 new areas, improve services in 19 areas by 2020, and uplift the water transport means which is anticipated to experience huge growth with the launch of the Dubai Water Canal linking the Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf,' the RTA chief added.

"The Dubai Metro, both the Red and Green Lines, lifted last year 164.307 million riders compared with 137.759 million riders in 2013 and 109.491 million riders in 2012. The number of riders using the Red Line of the Dubai Metro saw a considerable growth compared to 2013 and 2012 with the ridership rising steadily from 71.914 million riders in 2012 to about 89 million riders in 2013 and shot to around 104 million riders in 2014. The ridership of the Green Line grew from 37.576 million riders in 2012, to 48.873 million riders in 2013 and continued the upswing in 2014 to hit 60.289 million riders. Thus the average daily ridership of the Dubai Metro last year exceeded 450 thousand riders and the figure went past the half million mark during holidays.

"Since launched on 11/11/2014 till the end of December last (50 days),the Dubai Tram has lifted about 531 thousand riders. The public bus ridership last year hit 135.5 million riders compared with 115.67 million riders in 2013 and 107.8 million riders in 2012. The average daily ridership of public buses was 371 thousand riders compared with 321 thousand riders in 2013, and 299 thousand riders in 2012.

"The public bus route users accounted for the lion share of the total number of users of buses serving 91.888 million riders, followed by metro stations feeder bus service which accounted for 24.432 million riders, inter-city bus service lifted 12.89 million riders and corporate bus rental service served about 5.8 million riders.

"Marine transit means, comprising abras, water bus, water taxi, and Dubai Ferry have lifted about 13.26 million riders last year recording a slight increase from 2013 level which was 13.223 million riders. Abras accounted for the largest share of marine transit mode users serving about 12.613 million riders and the rest is shared by the Water Bus, Water Taxi, and Dubai Ferry.

"Taxis in Dubai (Dubai Taxi, Hala Taxi and franchise companies) lifted last year 108.875 million riders in more than 217.751 million trips compared to about 174.018 million riders in 2013, and 137.39 million riders in 2012. Dubai Taxicabs of the RTA have alone made 46.675 million trips in which it lifted 93.35 million riders. The ridership of Hala Taxi service which was launched by the Dubai Taxi Corporation last May clocked about 2.355 million riders whereas the ridership of franchise companies (Cars Taxi, National Taxi, Metro Taxi, Arabia Taxi, Hala Taxi Cars, and City Taxi) lifted about 122.45 million riders served in 61.022 trips," said the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.

Al Tayer was delighted with these indicators which depict the effectiveness of plans and programs undertaken by the RTA in providing a variety of options for moving people in Dubai.

"The strategic and executive plans for roads and transport pursued by the RTA based on the principle of integration i.e. achieving smooth and accessible mobility in the Emirate, hinges on the provision of integrated solutions comprising improving and broadening roads network and crossings, upgrading various components of mass transit systems such as the metro, tram, buses and water transport means, enhancing the technology used in traffic and transport systems to ensure the optimal utilisation and highest efficiency of the roads and mass transit system, adopting policies capable of reducing the semi total reliance of the public on private vehicles and increasing peoples' reliance on other transit systems including public transport, and encouraging journey-sharing practices especially in a city like Dubai where the ownership of private vehicles is as high as one vehicle per two persons among residents," he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Fazza International Para-Archery qualification underway

posted on 25/01/2015

World-class para-archery athletes from nine different countries began competing at the qualification round of the 1st Fazza International Para-Archery Competition 2015 at the Dubai Club for the Disabled on Friday.

A total of 23 athletes from the UAE, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Romania, France, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic aimed their bows and arrows at the target to qualify for the final round on Sunday at tournament hosted by the Dubai Club for the Disabled and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre in cooperation with the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare, Dubai Sports Council and the UAE Paralympic Committee.

The inaugural edition of the event is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, as part of the Fazza Championships calendar, aimed at promoting international camaraderie and competitiveness among disabled athletes. After the Friday's qualifying round action, Philippe Horner (FRA) topped the compound men's open category with 685 points, followed by Jiri Klich (CZE) and Eric Pereira (FRA) with 679 and 665, respectively. In the distaff side, lone competitor Wurood Al Murshedi (IRQ) pulled in a total score of 643.

Shortly after topping the qualifying round, an ecstatic Horner said: "It was a good result for me today. Although in the beginning it was very difficult for me, I managed to play well so it is a very good outcome and I will try to do my best in the final rounds tomorrow.”

In the recurve men open category, Martin Chaloupsky (CZE) topped 11 other para-archers with 603 points, followed by joint second and third Stephane Gilbert (FRA) and Siraj Alsaqer (IRQ) who both scored 597 points.

Chaloupsky said he initially had trouble with his first 36 arrows, but he managed to find his groove in the second half. "The weather was very cold this morning, but after the second half it got better with the sun shining and that helped me a lot,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Recurve Women Open category saw current world number two Zahra Nemati (IRI) dominating the competition with a score of 634, followed by Brigitte Duboc (FRA) with 563 and Aynur Rustamova (AZE) with 354.

The night before qualifying round, the Dubai Club for the Disabled hosted a gala dinner for all the athletes and the organisers where Thani Juma Berregad, chairman of the Dubai Club for the Disabled and head of the Organising Committee for the Fazza Championships for People with Disability, welcomed all participants, saying, "We hope you enjoy your stay here at Dubai, which is hosting the tournament for the very first time. More than the competitive aspect of the competition, we hope your experience will be filled with wonderful memories of camaraderie and sportsmanship.”

Archery action resumes on Saturday at the Dubai Club for the Disabled with the team competition. Podium places and medals will be awarded on Sunday. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationsports