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Supported by the UAE National Media Council

GCC Days resume activities in Japan

posted on 24/04/2015

TOKYO: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Days resumed in Tokyo yesterday their second day of activities with a seminar entitled 'Strengthening relations and understanding between the GCC states and Japan'.

Assistant Secretary General for Cultural and Information Affairs at the GCC General Secretariat Khalid bin Salem Al-Ghassani was quoted by the Saudi Press Agency, as saying in a speech delivered on behalf of the GCC Secretary-General Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, that the Japanese capital represents the tenth leg of the GCC Days in Europe and Asia, which was launched from Paris, followed by Brussels, Berlin, The Hague, Madrid, Rome, London, Seoul, and Stockholm.

He stressed, "GCC Days aim to provide a suitable environment for interactive dialogue for reviewing cultural, economic and information issues to enhance building bridges of understanding between our countries and friendly countries in various fields of culture and civilization."

GCC Days, is a three-day event commenced on April 22 and includes economic, political and media seminars and aims to consolidate cooperation, friendship and open dialogue between the GCC countries and Japan. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sultan Al Jaber visits New Suez Canal

posted on 24/04/2015

ISMAILIA: Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the Coordination Office of the UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt has visited the new Suez Canal.

He was briefed on the on-going digging work in the canal and the latest developments in the dredging marine scheme.

Dr. Al Jaber was accompanied by Vice Admiral Mohab Mamish, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, Major General Yassin Tahir, Governor of the Egyptian Governorate of Ismailia and other officials.

On the occasion, Dr. Al Jaber conveyed the greetings of the UAE leadership to brothers in Egypt. He hailed the vision of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Egypt, who launched the New Suez Canal as well as the staff working on the project.

""I wish to express my appreciation to all the operating companies and individuals in the project, especially the UAE National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) which works in close coordination with the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority and receives unlimited support. I also extend my thanks to the Egyptian Armed Forces for the efforts provided towards the projects." Al Jaber said.

The UAE Minister of State congratulated the Egyptian people on the completion of a huge phase of this vital project.

He said, "The project will be the gift from Egypt to the whole world thanks to its positive results on marine movement, since it would contribute to promoting trade and sustainable economic growth by increasing the new canal's capacity along with its revenues." - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Hedayah participates in UN high-level thematic debate on promoting tolerance and reconciliation

posted on 24/04/2015

NEW YORK: Hedayah, the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, CVE, has attended the United Nations General Assembly Sixty-Ninth Session High-level Thematic Debate on Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation: Fostering Peaceful, Inclusive Societies and Countering Violent Extremism at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, the Chairman of the Hedayah Steering Board, affirmed the importance of globally promoting the culture of dialogue and tolerance in countering violent extremism as part of the international engagement of all organisations, institutions, and experts under the auspices of the United Nations. Dr. Al Nuaimi also highlighted the participation of Hedayah as a part of the strategic partnerships and collaboration between the Centre and the United Nations agencies and institutions in supporting common areas of cooperation, and particularly furthering international efforts in countering violent extremism.

At the thematic debate, Maqsoud Kruse, Executive Director of Hedayah, delivered the opening remarks at the first session on "Promoting Tolerance, Reconciliation and Countering Violent Extremism" as he discussed the most important practical steps in countering violent extremism through concrete initiatives conducted by Hedayah.

Mr. Kruse emphasised the vital role of the development of national strategies in countering violent extremism through mutual strategic cooperation at the international level. He also highlighted the fact of how education can be a key in preventing violent extremism through promoting critical thinking skills as mentioned in the "Abu Dhabi Memorandum on Good Practices for Education and Countering Violent Extremism" prepared by Hedayah and adopted by the Member States of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, GCTF. Mr. Kruse stressed the crucial role of families and their stability in CVE, as well as the vital role of women and communities.

Mr. Kruse concluded his remarks by underscoring the pivotal role of media and particularly social media in countering violent extremism. He pointed out that Hedayah organised the world's first "Global CVE EXPO 2014", in Abu Dhabi in December last year, which vastly contributed to developing practical initiatives and generating suggestions in this regard. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


AmCham Abu Dhabi supports UAE ERC efforts to help Syrian refugees

posted on 24/04/2015

The Emirates Red Crescent Authority (ERC) has received a donation from AmCham Abu Dhabi, in support of its humanitarian efforts to assist the Syrian refugees.

Rashid Mubarak Al Mansouri, Deputy Secretary-General of the ERC for Local Affairs received the cheque from AmCham Abu Dhabi Chairman, Matthew E. Byrd, at the ERC headquarters, in the presence of Dr. Elias B. Sayah, AmCham, Deputy Chairman of AmCham Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Saeed Al Rumaithi, Director of the ERC branch in Abu Dhabi and Mohammed Ahmed Al Yamahi, Director of the Department of Fundraising at ERC.

The two sides reviewed the current humanitarian situation in the neighbouring countries, focussing on the situation of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

Mathew hailed the ERC humanitarian initiatives in the international arena, citing its significant role in alleviating the suffering in a number of regions. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Ghobash strengthens cooperation with Jordanian, Moroccan and Somali Labour Ministers

posted on 24/04/2015

KUWAIT: Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Labour and Chairman of the Arab Labour Organisation, has reviewed prospects of cooperation between the UAE and Jordan, Morocco, and Somalia, in the labour market field by exchanging best practices and experiences.

On the sidelines of the 42nd Arab Labour Conference held in Kuwait, Ghobash and the Jordanian Labour and Tourism Minister, Nidal Katamin, expressed their keenness on boosting cooperation by implementing the Memorandum of Understanding between both sides.

The UAE Labour Minister praised Jordan's decision to withdraw its candidate for the ALO General Director position, with the aim of nominating Fayez Al-Mutairi, Chairman of the Kuwait Workers Union, who was chosen by Arab states for the role which occurred after the withdrawal made by other participating candidates from Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon.

During Ghobash's meeting with Abdul Salam Siddiqi, Moroccan Minister for Employment and Social Affairs, the two sides emphasised the importance of promoting bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the labour field.

Abdul Wali Modi, and Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Somalia praised the labour legislations in the UAE and the practices applied by the UAE Labour Ministry in various fields related to the labour market.

The meetings were attended by Mubarak Saeed Al Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, and a number of officials. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


UAE Parliamentary Division of the FNC to participate in fifth session of Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in Djibouti

posted on 24/04/2015

DJIBOUTI: The UAE Parliamentary Division of the Federal National Council, FNC, will participate in the standing committee meetings of the fifth session of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union and 3rd session of the first legislative term, which will be held between April 24th-26th at the headquarters of the Djiboutian Parliament.

The UAE Parliamentary Division delegation comprises the Speaker of the Arab Parliament, Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, Misbah Belajeed Al Ketbi, Member of the Legislative, Legal Affairs, and Human Rights Committee, Salem bin Mohammed bin Huwaiden, Member of the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee, and Dr. Sheikha Issa Alari, Member of the Commission for Social, Educational and Cultural Affairs Committee.

During the session, the Foreign and Political Affairs and National Security Committee will discuss the standing items on its agenda, concerning the three UAE islands occupied by Iran, Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa, the Palestinian cause, Arab national security, the occupied Arab land of Golan, and the latest developments in Yemen, and will review the draft recommendations of the Arab national security symposium held last year. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE Ambassador to Poland meets President of Polish - UAE Parliamentary Group

posted on 24/04/2015

WARSAW: Asim Mirza Al Rahmah, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates in Poland, has met with Alicja Olechowska, President of the Polish - UAE Parliamentary Group. During the meeting, held at the Embassy in Warsaw, the parties discussed the fruitful cooperation between the UAE and Poland, especially in the parliamentary field.

Olechowska hailed the distinguished relations between the two sides, which have been witnessing continuous development in various fields, particularly in the economic domain. She expressed her appreciation of the major role played by Al Rahmah in enhancing the bilateral relations.

The Polish official also indicated that the UAE-Polish ties are distinguished, especially in the economic and tourism fields.

On his part, Al Rahmah expressed his satisfaction regarding the strong relations between the two countries, highlighting the active role played by the Polish - UAE Parliamentary Group in the field of boosting bilateral relations.

He also emphasised that the Embassy will exert all efforts to safeguard the continuity of bilateral relations between the two sides in various domains. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


National Media Council discusses cooperation with China Radio International

posted on 24/04/2015

Ibrahim Al Abed, Director-General of the National Media Council, NMC, and a delegation from China Radio International, headed by its Director-General, Wang Gengnian, yesterday discussed aspects of cooperation between media institutions in the UAE and China.

Mr. Al Abed gave an explanation about the work of the National Media Council, its functions and role of the media landscape in the country, in addition to the legislation and the regulations of the Council, during the meeting held at the Council's headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

He also briefed the delegates about the services provided by the Council to customers, which can be accessed through the website and smartphones.

The Director-General of the NMC stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation between the media organisations in the two countries through training and access to the best practices applied in order to exchange experiences, news articles and media delegations.

For his part, the head of the Chinese delegation, expressed his happiness at visiting the UAE and spoke of the remarkable progress in the media sector, stressing China Radio International's keenness on activating joint cooperation and enhancing news exchange between the two countries.

The China Radio International delegation also met with a number of heads of departments and divisions in the Council. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


NBF records 29.6 per cent increase in net profit inQ1 2015

posted on 24/04/2015

The National Bank of Fujairah has recorded a 29.6 percent increase in its net profit of Dh149.5 million during the first quarter of 2015 compared to Dh115.3 million in the corresponding period of 2014.

In a statement issued yesterday, the bank also noted the increase of operating profit by 24.3 percent to Dh188.3 million compared to Dh151.5 million in the corresponding period of 2014, and net impairment losses were Dh38.8 million compared to Dh36.2 million in the corresponding period of 2014.

The bank's total provision coverage improved to 133.1% from 121.7% at 31st March 2014, while operating income experienced a growth of 22.9%, net interest income grew by 19.1% and foreign exchange and derivatives income marked a growth of 42.0% compared to the corresponding period of 2014.

Reflecting on-going investment in the bank's business and service platforms, operating expenses of the banks also increased by 20.5% during the period, and Cost-to-Income ratio improved to 36.2% from 36.9% in the corresponding period of 2014.

Loans and advances of Dh17.7 billion were up by 8.5% from Dh16.3 billion at 2014 year end, and up by 20.9% from 31st March 2014, customer deposits of Dh18.5 billion were up by 2.9% from Dh17.9 billion at 2014 year end, and up by 16.1% from 31st March 2014.

Shareholders' equity of the bank went up by 16.4% to Dh3.9 billion compared to 2014 year end. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Rotana Jet announces new flight destinations

posted on 24/04/2015

Rotana Jet yesterday announced its aggressive expansion plan by introducing new destinations and increasing frequencies to its existing destinations, which includes launching flights between Abu Dhabi and Beirut starting yesterday.

Beirut is Rotana Jet's first destination in the Levant, and its 11th worldwide, and the airline has plans to operate daily flights to Doha and Egypt in the near future. The company also said that flights to existing destinations of Salalah and Kuwait have increased.

Dr. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, the Chairman of Rotana Jet Aviation, said, "Being a UAE owned national company, Rotana Jet is aware of its responsibilities and committed to work towards achieving the vision of UAE's leadership. Rotana Jet has received full support and cooperation from the relevant officials and authorities in the country since its inception."

Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Al Nahyan also said that the already significant demand for air travel services between Abu Dhabi and other cities is expected to grow further in tandem with the many developments in the UAE, and that Rotana Jet will contribute in connecting Abu Dhabi with other cities, be they domestic, regional and international.

"The air connectivity that Rotana Jet introduces to Abu Dhabi has a positive impact on trade and comprehensive development of Abu Dhabi. It also increases tourism, provides choice for consumers, and supports air cargo shipments to and from regional and international centres," he added. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE organic and natural products market is growing says free zone director

posted on 24/04/2015

Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, HFZA, and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, SAIF Zone, has said that the shift of consumer preference for organic products in the Middle East, and the UAE's position as the second largest market for organic food in the region, has made the sector integral to the UAE free zones.

Saud Al Mazrouei made the comments during his participation in a two-day Natural and Organic Products Europe exhibition in London recently.

The Director of HFZA, who led a delegation to the event, said, "The gradual shift of the consumer's preference for organic food and products in the Middle East and the current position of UAE as the second largest market for organic food in the Middle East, has made this sector integral to us and it is our goal to promote and become one of the major pillars for the organic sector in the coming years."

"HFZA's participation in this year's Natural and Organic Products is a start for us to understand the sector further and interact with potential investors," he added.

Quoting a report by Frost and Sullivan, Al Mazrouei said that organic farming in the GCC is set to reach US$1.5 billion by 2018, driven by evolving consumer tastes and a change in health habits.

In the UAE, the number of organic farms rose to 39 at the end of 2013, covering a total of 3,920 hectares, compared with just 218 hectares in 2007, he said. In general, the demand for organic food in the Middle East and North Africa is increasing.

"HFZA is facilitating the set-up of more food industries in the zone to increase their growth in the MENA region, because of the strategic position and advantages it has to offer, in addition, the UAE is emerging as a major food re-exporting hub in the world, making HFZA all the more attractive as a destination for investors to expand there business and tap in to new business opportunities through the region," he said.

The Natural and Organic Products Europe exhibition that took place at ExCeL London on April 19th-20th, featured 600 exhibitors showcasing thousands of natural and organic brands, including supplements, botanicals, superfoods, THR mark herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies, personal care and beauty, eco-household, and food and drink. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sultan Al Qasimi witnesses Sharjah Book Authority identity launch

posted on 24/04/2015

H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, witnessed the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) identity launch, held at Sharjah Expo Centre, on the sidelines of the 7th Sharjah Children's Reading Festival.

Other dignitaries present at the ceremony included Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Community Development, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and CEO of Kalimat Group, Dr. Lana Mamkegh, the Jordanian Culture Minister, and Egyptian Culture Minister Dr. Abdul Wahid Al Nabawi, as well as a number of heads of government departments and media representatives.

In his speech, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SBA Chairman, said, "The Emirate of Sharjah has a rich cultural heritage - with historical monuments and landmarks that stand as living testimonies to its prolific history and cultural legacy being passed on from one generation to another, thanks to its outstanding leaders throughout the past; the builders of the UAE's renaissance who have sculpted the Emirate of Sharjah into a choice destination of writers, poets, intellectuals and all lovers of the written word."

Al Ameri revealed that Al Qasimiya Library, which is located in Al Hisn City, was established in 1925 and is one of the most significant historical landmarks that documented Sharjah's cultural history, reflecting the interest of the first generation of Sharjah's rulers in culture and philosophy, as well as their devotion to develop cultural and literary works and support authors and intellectuals.

"The Ruler of Sharjah has established educational institutions, research centres, cultural monuments and museums which embrace the heritage of his ancestors. He has collected an array of valuable manuscripts which has been carefully revised and rearranged to become a wellspring of knowledge and reference for researchers and people interested in different fields of knowledge," Al Ameri added.

The SBA Chairman pointed out that the launch of the identity of Sharjah Book Authority falls within the translation of the vision of the Ruler of Sharjah, who believes that the journey towards knowledge begins with nurturing one's mind with culture and knowledge with the main source being literature.

Al Ameri highlighted that the Sharjah Book Authority would be a substantial platform for the book and publishing industry in the UAE, and for the region as a whole.

The SBA Chairman divulged that the Authority's new identity involves the launch of Sharjah book city, which will be the first publishing free zone in the world that will offer all professionals and stakeholders in the book and publishing industry the opportunity to benefit from package privileges to boost the publishing sector and help develop it further.

The Sharjah Book Authority will also establish the first international distribution company in the Middle East offering services that cover both the Arab and African markets. Besides possessing its own printing press, the SBA will additionally set up a special Department for research and academic studies. All public libraries in Sharjah will be categorised within the Department of Libraries that fall under the umbrella of the SBA, so as to be a fountainhead of renewed knowledge for researchers and students in the UAE and other countries.

SBA is presently the umbrella for most publishing activities in Sharjah, most notably the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) which most recently won the Market Focus Achievement Award as part of the 2015 International Excellence Awards at this year's London Book Fair. It will also preside over the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival and the SIBF Translation Grant, and will furthermore organise the Professional Programme for publishers (the first free training programme for Arab publishers), as well as a joint conference with the American Library Association (ALA).

Al Ameri recalled the inspiring incident when the Ruler of Sharjah, at 12 at the time, pledged his beloved gold dagger to buy a book in his search for knowledge and science. He emphasised that Sharjah's ship will continue to sail to shores of knowledge and science, captained by the first patron and advocate of culture and intellectuals - the Ruler of Sharjah.

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) was established by Emiri decree No.13 of 2013, issued by the Ruler of Sharjah. Under that decree, SBA is a corporate body with personal autonomy and enjoys full legal capacity that mandates it to carry out all kinds of legal actions necessary to achieve its objectives.

The Sharjah Book Authority aims to develop the regional printing and publishing sector and support the significant role of writers who bring to light technological advancements and the availability of various source. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


AbuDhabi Taxi mobile apps bags the Excellence in GIS Implementation Award

posted on 24/04/2015

In recognition of its best road map for geographic information systems, The Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars has received the Excellence in GIS Implementation Award, one of the highest international awards for the Middle East and North Africa in the field of geographic information systems.

The award, which is given to parties that excel in their innovation and leadership by making use of this technology, was presented in Dubai during the 10th edition of the annual round of Geographic Information System, GIS, workshops and exhibitions, specifically organised for users of systems developed by Esri, GISWORX 2015.

The centre won the award for its innovative mobile application AbuDhabi Taxi, which uses GIS technology. The mobile app achieved great success amongst taxi service users in Abu Dhabi in terms of time, effort and cost, increasing the quality of passenger transport services by taxi in Abu Dhabi, and raising the efficiency associated with managing taxi booking operations.

Mohamed Darwish Al Qamzi, General Manager of the centre, said, "We are delighted to have received this prestigious award in the field of geographic information and technology, where using the latest international technology is one of the main strategic objectives of the centre and our way of improving services in line with the ambitious vision of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and ensuing from the enlightened policy of our wise leadership.

The mobile AbuDhabi Taxi app aims primarily to improve the taxi booking via smart devices without the need to talk to the Call Centres' Agents or entering information about their locations by using GPS coordinates. GPS technology is employed on several different levels between the Base and the Street Map and Aerial Map and from it the location of the customer is determined.

Through the GIS, the cost of the trip is calculated based on the specified location, and the use of known "points of convergence" registered with the centre to guide the driver to reach the customer in a record period of time ranging from 7 to 10 minutes. This reflects the centre's willingness to provide an integrated service to meet the expectations of users whilst maintaining quality, sustainability and excellent worldwide standards. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare says UAERF is the only recognised governing body for rugby in the UAE

posted on 24/04/2015

The General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, GAYSW, yesterday stated that the UAE Rugby Federation, UAERF, is the sole recognised and official governing body for the sport of rugby within the UAE.

GAYSW decreed that only those tournaments and teams that are endorsed and recognised by the UAERF can be played under and named ‘National' ‘National Team' or use the term ‘UAE Rugby' in conjunction with any event or team playing domestically, regionally and internationally. As it currently stands, the endorsed and recognised National Teams are UAE Rugby (Union)'s National XV's, National 7's and the U20 sides.

To date, no other rugby code which includes League and Touch, have been endorsed by the Federation, or the GAYSW, to represent the country or play under the ‘National Team' title, or use the term ‘UAE Rugby' at any level of competition, whether in or outside of the UAE. This, alongside organising and managing any domestic rugby activity is considered as falsely representing the country of the UAE by the relevant government sporting authorities.

Any code under the sport of rugby that continues to use such terms, or conduct and promote, through any and all media outlets and social media channels, any such rugby activities without seeking the relevant permissions or consent of the authorised sporting authorities, will be considered as acting outside of the authorities guidelines, whereby action may be taken. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Trolley beckons tourists to Downtown

posted on 24/04/2015

Looking for a leisure trip around Downtown Dubai? Dubai Trolley beckons you.

The world's first hydrogen-powered, zero-emission street trolley tram opened for public service earlier this week.

Travelling a distance of a kilometre in the first phase, Dubai Trolley rolls along Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard, offering tourists and residents easy access to Dubai Mall, Souq Al Bahar and several iconic hotels.

A convenient and user-friendly ‘hop-on hop-off' transit system, the all-new Dubai Trolley will add value to Downtown Dubai residents and visitors by offering them an attractive commuting service at the iconic locality.

"Dubai Trolley is another innovative addition to Downtown Dubai that also redefines the concept of urban mobility. By integrating the unmatched aesthetics of a trolley tram with a state-of-the-art locomotive system, Emaar is presenting a sustainable transport mode for visitors and residents in Downtown Dubai,” said Ahmad Al Matroushi, Managing Director of Emaar Properties.

Operational from 4pm to midnight on weekdays and from 3pm to 11pm on weekends, the driver operated trolley tram can carry 50 passengers and runs at a leisurely speed of 10km/h. However, it can go up to a speed of 80km/h if required.

First of its kind in the region, the new transport service will redefine smart urban mobility for short journeys and could pave the way for more such systems in other parts of the city.

"Dubai Trolley is a smart urban mobility service that further builds on the trolley tram systems that are in use in several cities across the US and Europe. While they were a game-changer in public transport when first invented in the 1880s by introducing a new concept to urban mobility, they are now largely used as tourist attractions,” said Al Matroushi, speaking to Gulf News in an earlier interview.

The double-decker trams have the provision of open-deck and air-conditioned seating. The trams are elegantly designed to complement the Arabesque architectural features of Downtown Dubai.

"In a polished design, they are resplendent in bright red with aesthetic gold pinstripes and green trim colours. During winter, the glass window panels of the trolley tram will be removed for the added comfort of the passengers,” said Al Matroushi.

The network is currently served by three stations along with a Trolley Terminus near Old Town Island that also serves food and beverages.

When fully operational, Dubai Trolley will eventually span 7km across the entire breadth of Downtown Dubai. – Gulf News -


New tree line on Sheikh Zayed Road revealed

posted on 24/04/2015

Dubai's high-profile Sheikh Zayed Road will be lined with Conocarpus trees that will act as windbreakers stopping sand encroachment on the road.

More than 5,000 of them will be planted on both sides up to the Abu Dhabi border on the highway that runs through Dubai city. This will also beautify the road and reduce the carbon footprint.

The work involves planting two tree lines and bushes on either side of Sheikh Zayed Road for a length of up to 12km.

The project is part of Dubai Municipality's Dh14 million greening plan that will also see the planting of more than 17,100 shrubs alongside the trees. There will be 22km of irrigation main lines and 28km of lateral lines, water pumps and tanks to support the green line.

The project, taking shape in phases, is expected to be ready by early September.

The major traffic artery is already lined with greenery for a good part of its stretch.

The new landscaping project, which will include beautifying interchanges, will extend the greenery all the way to the road's end at the Abu Dhabi border, said Taleb Julfar, Director, Drainage and Irrigation Department, Dubai Municipality.

The wall of trees and bushes block sand from encroaching on the roads, which can be a safety risk for motorists, Julfar said.

Dubai city is surrounded by sand which blows onto the roads, especially during sandstorms which can dump a significant amount of sand, worsening driving conditions on the roads.

He added the greenery will also help reduce the impact of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, a pollutant from cars and industries that is widely blamed for contributing to global warming.

Work is ongoing between Interchanges 5 and 7, with soil and flowers slated to cover an area of 20 hectares. – Gulf News -


Free Wi-Fi Smart Palms sprouting in Dubai

posted on 24/04/2015

Dubai is rolling out dozens of new Smart Palm stations that provide free wireless internet access in parks, beaches and other locations.

The UAE-made stations, standing six metres tall in the shape of a palm tree, also have fast mobile phone charging stations and screens displaying information on Dubai's attractions.

The first Smart Palm was installed at gate six of Zabeel Park on Wednesday and there are plans to fix over 50 more of them in other parks, beaches and other locations over the course of the year.

The initiative has been made possible through cooperation between Dubai Municipality, Smart Palm creators D Idea Media, Du, Sun Tab Solar Energy and Promo Tech Gulf Industry.

It comes in line with the UAE Cabinet's decision to make 2015 the Year of Innovation. Each Smart Palm runs entirely on solar power and offers high-speed Wi-Fi up to a range of 53 metres, supporting up to 50 users at a time. It also has several phone and tablet charging points offering two-and-a-half times faster charging speeds than a regular plug.

What's more, two screens on each palm offer weather information, local news, a navigation application, general Dubai information — and even a selfie camera.

The Smart Palm will also sprout up in Dubai Creek Park, Al Mamzar Park and Al Barsha Pond Park.

Dubai Municipality Director-General Hussain Lootah said: "Under the guidance of our leaders, Dubai has developed an international reputation as a place for technology and innovation. Through Smart Palm, the public will be able to benefits from free direct access to the internet while providing valuable public information covering a range of topics including weather forecasts and orientation guides. Most importantly, these structures are entirely self-sufficient thanks to their mono crystal solar panels, which provide up to 21 per cent efficiency.”

The Smart Palm project took just ten months from conception to delivering the finished product. After receiving its patent, Smart Palm began working with its partners who each contributed towards the overall functionality of the product. – Gulf News -