posted on 09/03/2014
During a private weekend safari with his young daughter, Al Jalila bint Mohammed, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, joined a brainstorming session held by a team of Chinese employees under a Ghaf tree in the desert.
Much to their surprise, the team of employees found the Ruler of Dubai interacting with them and admiring their choice to seek inspiration in the tranquil ambience of the desert. Sheikh Mohammed listened to the team's personal experience as expats living and working in the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Mohammed welcomed the team of employees to the UAE, asserting that this generous homeland welcomes visitors with open arms. He added that the UAE strives to nurture creativity, sustain prosperity and happiness for all residents and visitors alike.
On his Twitter account, Sheikh Mohammed expressed joy over meeting the Chinese employees saying, "I was surprised by a group of employees brainstorming while on a morning desert safari with my daughter, Al Jalila. They are from a Chinese company. We spent a good time chatting about their experience in the UAE." The Chinese team of employees expressed their happiness with this unforeseen surprise and the chance to meet one of the most influential Arab leaders; a leader who humbly joined their desert brainstorming session and engaged with them in discussion.
The team members were keen to document this surprise with group photos with Sheikh Mohammed and his young daughter Al Jalila. They all raised Sheikh Mohammed's famous hand gesture salute that symbolises Victory, Triumph and Love. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 09/03/2014
Visitors are trickling into the new Geological Park as word spreads of the UAE's first-of-its-kind facility at Al Jahili Garden in Al Ain.
The new park is an outdoor natural history museum of sorts, and visitors can now take in the unique experience as authorities prepare to officially declare it open later this year.
A newly built pavilion is on display featuring 12 stones of different origins as the park gears up for the big opening.
"The park has yet to be fully operational,” said an official from the Environmental Unit at Al Ain Municipality. The park will shortly get more geological specimens from different parts of the Emirates, along with a team of dedicated tour guides who will serve visitors at the park to answer their queries.
Blessed with a beautiful landscape, the UAE has diverse geological characteristics that inspire scientists and students to get into the nature to study and enjoy.
"The park is an initiative to blend education with leisure and shape up yet another tourism hot spot in Al Ain,” said Engineer Abdullah Sultan Al Deri, Head of Research and Development Section, at Al Ain Municipality.
Al Dari said tour guides constitute the first Emirati group that has received a tailor-made training at the UAE University (UAEU).
Nine-member squad has completed a theoretical course and will now get practical training at the Geological Park to provide visitors with information on each of the stone and its composition and natural forming process.
All of the newly trained tour guides are employees of Al Ain Municipality and they have volunteered to serve as tour guides, he said. They will work in groups of two during morning and evening shifts in addition to their regular job responsibilities at the municipality.
Engineer Suhail Al Muhairi, Executive Director of Infrastructure and Assets Sector at Al Ain City Municipality, said the park, which reflects the UAE's environmental and natural diversity, would set a new trend by blending education and leisure. The park has brought under one roof some of the country's major geological features in the form of 22 carefully selected rocks.
For setting up the park, four organisations such as Al Ain Municipality, UAEU, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and NAEL Construction collaborated. The park's mural was unveiled by Shaikh Hazza bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, General Manager of the Office of the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region, as part of the UAE's 42nd National Day celebrations in December last year.
He commended the efforts of collaborating organisations for the project.
Speaking on the occasion, Shaikh Hazza said that Al Ain is moving fast towards providing distinctive services and facilities based on the best international standards.
Dr Mattar Al Nuaimi, General Manager of Al Ain Municipality, said: "The Geological Park forms a natural museum that disseminates information concerned with UAE nature and its geographical diversity.” Al Ain Municipality had been following the directives of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and implementing new ideas in the current construction boom in the oasis city, he said.
According to Engineer Al Deri, the park is a natural scientific landmark and its design is done in collaboration with Emirati students. A competition was held for the design of the park that was won by Muna Abdullah Saeed, Alia Juma Salem, Nahed Ahmad Khamis and Reem Mattar Abdullah — all students of the College of Engineering at the UAEU.
The students expressed their happiness as their ideas are transformed into landmark reality.
"The design reflects the geological nature of the UAE displaying its desert, mountains, hills and oasis, [by] taking into consideration the sun, shadows, air movement as well as the design of fountains to cool the location in summer,” said Muna. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/tourism/visitors-flock-to-the-first-geological-park-in-uae-1.1300951
posted on 09/03/2014
It was a mistake that cost Reem Al Marzouqui an important grade in a university case, but it also led to the development of a unique vehicle to help disabled people.
The foot-controlled vehicle that Reem, a 23-year-old Emirati architectural engineering student, built can enable people with arm and upper torso disabilities to drive a car with relative ease.
"My course had required that I find out how everyday items had been modified to help people with special needs, but I misunderstood this and thought I had to make the modifications myself,” she told Gulf News.
After watching a documentary about an American female pilot with arm disabilities who found it easier to fly a plane than drive, Reem decided she had to develop a car that for such people. It took her three months and a lot of learning via the Internet, but at the end, Reem had made a car, which people could control with their feet.
"When I took it to my professor, he said he could not give me a grade because I had not understood his instructions. But he said it was a ‘beautiful mistake' that I should try to make available for people who might need it,” Reem said.
She is now participating in Innovator 2014, an exhibition by the Technology Development Committee, which hopes to encourage innovation among residents in the UAE. The final year student at UAE University said she hopes to meet investors who can help her take her idea to the next level.
"I have already developed a prototype, and would love it if anyone could show me how I make this development marketable. It would really help people with disabilities in both arms, because most people that I have come across in such a condition do not even imagine that they can drive, and I want to make it possible for them,” she said.
The vehicle's steering wheel, which can be operated with the feet, uses an air pressure pump in place of the hydraulic mechanism most cars use.
"The steering faces more surface friction, but it makes it easier to control when using your feet. The prototype can reach speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour,” the young inventor explained.
Reem has also got in touch with the American pilot whose documentary inspired her, and she hopes to demonstrate the vehicle to her soon.
"In the documentary, she said that it was easier for her to fly a plane than drive, and this felt wrong to me. This is why I worked on making the car,” Reem said.
The student also hopes to inspire people to work on their ideas.
"There is so much information available online today. If you have an idea, all that is needed is some research to make it work,” Reem said.
Innovator 2014, which is open to the public on Saturday, March 8, will see nearly 200 innovators like Reem display their projects at the Zayed Sports City. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/general/emirati-student-develops-unique-vehicle-for-the-disabled-1.1301114
posted on 09/03/2014
Over 400 UAE-based creative talents gathered on Saturday to participate in the first edition of Innovator 2014, an event that aims to foster creativity and innovation.
Held at the Zayed Sports City First Gulf Bank Arena, the event saw residents aged 12 to 60 showcasing their projects and prototypes developed across a spectrum of subjects such as science, technology, engineering, and art. The innovators displayed around 160 projects.
"Innovator is among TDC's (Technology Development Committee) various strategic initiatives that aim to support and build a talent base in science, technology, and innovation in line with Abu Dhabi's 2030 vision,” said Majid Al Mail, senior manager at TDC and Head of the Innovator initiative.
Among the innovators, a group of four pupils from New York University Abu Dhabi presented their prototype for a T-shirt that detects the emotional state of autistic children.
"We collaborated with a [hospital for autism] in Ohio, and noticed that they didn't know how the kids are feeling. What we're trying to do is to help with a medical condition that has no cure,” said Oliver Heyn, one of the creators of the project titled E-Motion.
Illustrating his work, Heyn showed how the shirt detects a rocking motion, which autistic children perform when they feel anxious. A signal is then transmitted to a clock, which shows the signals over a 24-hour period so parents can better monitor their children.
"We already have schools interested in our design. If we win a prize, we will use it to make [the shirt] more polished, and include a less bulky detector. We will also try to test the project and collaborate with schools,” he told Gulf News.
The event also invited sponsors and investors to visit, and discuss business opportunities with participants. There were also workshops and speeches by renowned innovators such as Mohammad Saeed Hareb, director of popular cartoon series Freej.
Aside from showcasing their work, participants were competing for a reward of Dh60,000.
The Innovator initiative is set to become an annual event to strengthen DIY ideas in Abu Dhabi. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/400-uae-based-talents-showcase-projects-at-innovator-2014-1.1301001
posted on 09/03/2014
The walls of Maryam Al Qassimi's temporary studio in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood are covered in the pages of textbooks that teach children etiquette, including how to eat and drink.
The childlike animated figures are central to the Emirati artist's installation set to be unveiled at Sikka Art Fair, which runs from Saturday to March 25.
"These images are not generally considered cultural images, but I think they are because everyone recognises them and gets that sense of nostalgia,” she explains. "My work is an exploration of what constitutes culture and specifically my own culture.”
Al Qassimi, from Sharjah, is one of three Emiratis taking part in the annual Artists in Residence (A.i.R) programme run by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Tashkeel, Delfina Foundation and Art Dubai.
For three months – it started in January and runs until the end of March – she is given a studio space inside a house in Al Fahidi, along with the other Emiratis and two international students. They are working towards two art pieces, one to be installed at Sikka and one for Art Dubai, which takes place from March 19 to 22.
The idea is that all the artists will benefit from a cultural and artistic exchange that will be reflected not just in the work that they will display at the fair but also as they move forward with their practice.
Supporting them in the position of curator-in-residence is Ipek Ulusoy Akgül, a Turkish curator and public-arts programmer who recently moved to Dubai.
"My role is that of a mediator. I support the development of the artist's work over this time by sharing research and engaging in constant conversation about their practice,” she explains.
Ulusoy Akgül will complete her residency with a curatorial essay about the artist's work as well as create a programme for Sikka, where the five artists will display part of her work.
In addition to the pieces that they're putting together under her guidance, the artists are also working on Art Dubai Projects, a non-profit programme that commissions a variety of artists each year to create site-specific pieces that will be displayed within the grounds of the fair.
Al Qassimi is working on the instructional behaviour man¬uals for Sikka; for Art Dubai, she's creating an installation around the giant artificial incense burners at Madinat Jumeirah, where Art Dubai will take place.
Fawz Kabra is the curator for the Art Dubai Projects, where she guides the five artists-in-residence as well as seven other international artists scattered all over the world, for the art¬¬works that will be presented through¬¬¬¬out the grounds of Art Dubai.
"In terms of selecting artists, we did so in terms of those whose practices were really interesting when thinking about the space of the fair,” explains the writer and curator, who lives in New York.
"The prompt that I got from Art Dubai was to intervene in the fair, so for me it was thinking about what that word means and what does it mean to invite someone to intervene.”
Alongside Al Qassimi is Maitha Demithan, who will be using a technique called live portraiture. Throughout the course of the fair she will work on impulse and, by the end of the four days, create a portrait of Art Dubai.
Then there is Sunoj D, an Indian artist who has tackled the perception in his home country that Dubai is equated with money. He will be installing a three-channel sound-art piece of spoken numbers in three languages.
"I thought the idea of money works well at the art fair,” he explains. "But in the end, you forget the idea of money and you move into another level.”
Also in the A.i.R residency are Sara Al Haddad and Nadia Ayari; the other artists in the Projects programme include Youmna Chlala, a Lebanese artist based in New York, Amina Menia, from Algiers, and Mounira Al Solh, who lives in ¬Amsterdam.
"When they come across their works in the fair, I want people to take a moment and stop and pause,” says Kabra.
"That should be the result of this dialogue.”
• Art Dubai takes place from March 19 to 22 in Madinat Jumeirah. For more info, visit http://www.artdubai.ae. – The National – Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/art/the-emirati-and-international-artists-working-on-site-specific-projects-for-sikka-art-fair-and-art-dubai#ixzz2vRZmyEbn; Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook
posted on 09/03/2014
The Engineering Collage at the UAE University celebrated the launch of the Aerospace Engineering Program under the Mechanical Engineering Department as the first sub program the collage launches, supported and financed by Mubadala Aerospace, Communications Technology '&' Defence Services.
The Chief Executive Officer for Mubadala Aerospace Homaid Al Shemmari, Mohamed Albaili, the University Deputy Vice Chancellor For Academic Affairs, Professor Reyadh Abdel Latif Almehaideb, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, Professor Amr S. El-Dieb, Dean College of Engineering, attended the ceremony, in addition to faculty and management staff and students.
During the ceremony Dr. Albaili conveyed the greetings and congratulations of Dr. Ali Rashid Al Noaimi, University Vice Chancellor, for this important scientific step, stressing the important strategic partnership connecting the University with the Mubadala Aerospace company, supporting aerospace industry and preparing qualified national staffs that are able to lead this vital field.
Hameed Ashammarui said that Mubadala Aerospace seeks, through the joint cooperation agreement with the UAE University signed in (2012), to train, develop and support the University students so that the graduates shall have important positions and functions in the company, and that the UAE has a clear vision and strategy based on global aviation leadership and global standing in the aircraft industry and this is achieved through the company and its affiliates.
Dr. Salah Al Omari, head of the and Mechanical Engineering in the College, said that the students can register in the program within the last two academic years so as to completing (18) hours to receive the certificate of the program, (9) hours of which are joint between the Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering and (9) for aviation exclusively.
He also added that the results of the questionnaire conducted prior to initiating the launch of the program demonstrated positive and encouraging feedback from the students, with the first semester seeing the registration of 27 male and female students and 40 in the second semester, the indicators suggest growing numbers of students wishing to register in the program. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 09/03/2014
Biomedical research is booming at Khalifa University, which is carving out a niche for itself as a regional centre for innovation in the field.
Prof Tod Laursen, the university's president, said it had encouraged its first batch of undergraduates to get more involved in research through various initiatives, such as travelling abroad and working alongside active academics at the institution.
"We've really had the students in places where great medical research is being done around the world,” he said. "Now, as a result, a lot of them are really turned on to research.”
He said this was a priority because a planned medical school at the university has been delayed, and could take a few more years to launch.
"I didn't want them to be disadvantaged by the fact the MD programme has been delayed,” he said.
Biomedical engineering is still an emerging field and Prof Laursen said there was still work to be done to educate future students as to its value in medical device development and genetic research.
"Hospitals are thinking of them as technicians so it's typical of the challenge we have here with some new fields.” he said. "At least before the medical school starts, we will have some research results. We've built a good faculty in a short period of time and have a new chair coming from Ireland.”
The university has support in other areas of research from companies including Etisalat, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.
"These relationships continue to be important,” said Prof Laursen, who is in talks with the likes of Advanced Technology Investment Company relating to semiconductor research.
"There will be a dedicated lab on the new campus for nuclear research paid for by the federal authorities,” he said. Partnerships with the aerospace companies Boeing, Cassidian and Lockheed are vital for students who had been interns at those companies and worked on projects that interested them.
There were still many misconceptions about what biomedical engineering is, said Dr Kinda Khalaf, head of the department.
"People still don't know enough about it and the majority of hospitals still think our graduates are going to be technicians, but that's not what it is. We do everything from genetics to robotics and are very multidisciplinary – sitting between engineering, medicine and science.”
Because of the misperception, just 3 per cent of the undergraduates are men.
"We are looking at current health challenges, with a particular focus on the UAE, so everything from type 2 diabetes to neuromuscular deficiencies from the likes of consanguinity,” Dr Khalaf said. "We plan to look at stroke victims, patients with movement or rehabilitation challenges, Parkinson's disease and children with cerebral palsy. We want to devise strategies to help these people with technological devices.”
Dr Habiba Al Safar is one of the academics focusing on the genetics of diabetes. She and her team have discovered two gene types which prove that treating Arabs with the conventional Caucasian-researched protocols can be ineffective. While the genes of each are similar, there is too much variation for a singular treatment to be effective.
"Also, drug efficacy will vary from one person to another so we are looking at a more individualised means of drug delivery,” she said.
Dr Al Safar has been working on her project since 2008, and has interviewed 28,000 Emiratis and taken samples from 4,500. Until now, only two studies have been done on the genetics of type 2 diabetes in the local population, one in five of whom suffers from the condition.
"This gets down to both treatment and prevention,” Dr Khalaf said. "We can't treat it if we don't know which genes are responsible.”
There is still much public education to do, Dr Al Safar said.
"Most of the people I interviewed think they got it from their family and they can't do anything about it. But for most, it comes down to an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle.” – The National – Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/khalifa-university-a-site-for-biomedical-innovation#ixzz2vRahXUqA
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posted on 09/03/2014
The UAE dominates the international school market, a study conducted by the International School Consultancy Group (ISC) has found.
Research and data collected and analysed by the consultancy found that the UAE had the highest number of international schools both in the Middle East and globally with 433 international schools.
ISC defines international schools as those that deliver a curriculum wholly or partly in English outside an English-speaking country.
The study found that the world's leading city for international schools is Dubai where growth has been dramatic in recent years. There are currently 233 international schools in Dubai alone. ISC predicts that Dubai will see continued strong growth for several years to come.
Student enrolment at Dubai's international schools has risen by 40 per cent since 2009 to 191,000. Total annual tuition fee income has increased by 55 per cent since 2009 and for the 2012-2013 academic year was $1.2 billion (around Dh4.4 billion).
According to ISC market intelligence, Dubai's schools are currently at 90 per cent capacity and its premium schools (the most sought after and typically larger international schools) are operating at, or near, full capacity with waiting lists. The growth in student enrolment is in part due to the recent increase in the number of Emiratis making international schools their education choice — an increase of 34 per cent within a decade.
The Knowledge and Human Development Authority predicts that student enrolment in Dubai will grow by 7 per cent per annum for at least the next five years. Sixty school developments (both new schools and expansions) are planned, several of which will be accepting students in September this year including The Safa British Academy, GEMS Winchester and Cambridge International Schools, Dubai English Speaking School and Nord Anglia International School.
According to the very latest ISC data that was presented at the Gulf Educational Supplies and Solutions Exhibition and Gulf Education Forum, there are currently 1,213 international schools in the Middle East teaching over 1 million students. This is 30 per cent of all international pupils worldwide. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/uae-dominates-the-international-school-market-1.1300925
posted on 09/03/2014
Meet Shehab Al Awadi — an Emirati comedian who's pushing the boundaries in promoting performance art among the youth.
While the field of comedy among Emiratis is relatively new and has only been picked up by local talent in the last two years, a great deal of work needs to be done as there are only a handful of people that do stand-up comedy in venues around the city.
"There needs to be more representation from Emiratis, and we all have to work together as a society if we want home grown stand-up comedy. There are about five Emiratis but we need more. People should realise that they do not have to limit themselves and [should] pursue the interests they are passionate about,” said Al Awadi, who performs in English.
As 32-year-old Information Technology project manager at Emirates Airline, Al Awadi is trying to convert his passion for comedy into something more than a hobby, and also trying to inspire Emiratis to venture into any field they like, even if it is not a conventional one.
"With our government's support, we can take advantage of the opportunities that were otherwise unavailable before. With all the new ventures across the city, I was able to challenge my personal potential, especially my breadth of knowledge,” he said.
One of the most significant contributions to the comedy scene was Comedy Dubai, a group founded in April 2012 armed with the idea to build a comedy scene in the UAE and provide performers with a chance to be on stage. Al Awadi has been part of Comedy Dubai for more than one year, and through them, has been able to make regular performances at multiple venues, as well as at the Pavilion Downtown.
One of the few mainstream performance artists who are breaking the cultural barrier include comedian Ali Al Sayyed, and film director Ali Mustafa, who is best known for his box-office hit City of Life.
"I talk about everyday life and [life] from different perceptions, as that is the best place to find humour. Observational humour is one where we can all relate to, and what comedians have to realise is that humour is not about the joke's punch line, but about its structure. And that's what first-time comics forget,” he said.
When Al Awadi performs, he always maintains a level of professionalism and respects all cultures, so as not to offend anybody who may misunderstand it. The ethical approach he takes is to is to use humour that brings people together, rather than excluding certain segments of society and separating them.
"I enjoy making people laugh but it's a challenge. Part of the reason I do [comedy] is to challenge my own limitations, as opposed to restricting myself in them. If you have your mind made up and know what your passion is, then there is nothing to hold you back. Otherwise, Dubai wouldn't be the city it is today,” he added. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/general/comedian-wants-more-emiratis-to-spread-laughs-1.1300608
posted on 09/03/2014
Berlin: Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) is leading an official delegation to the ITB-Berlin, with a number of top Ajman hospitality sector representatives as members to support efforts to promote Ajman as a unique tourist destination in the UAE and the Gulf region.
Yamina Aoucher, Director of Tourism Licensing and Standards at ATDD said the organisation, officially responsible for the development of the tourism sector in Ajman, is "constantly striving to upgrade and improve promotion and support mechanisms for the Ajman hotel establishments through effective strategic partnerships and continuous innovation Michele Frignani, the General Manager of the new five-star Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort and Starwood's latest Middle Eastern hotel, said the group was "proud to introduce its newest Middle East product in Ajman, lauding the attitude of major German travel agents who welcomed Ajman Saray at ITB-Berlin and signed a number of major deals that were added to more than 80 contracts signed since the opening of the hotel in Ajman one month ago. He voiced belief that the hotel's participation in the official delegation, led by ATDD, would be fruitful, expecting the increase of German tourism inflow to Ajman within a few months.
Laurent A. Voivenel, CEO of HMH - Hospitality Management Holdings, that manages The Ajman Palace, said that despite the early stages of operation, the hotel was already beginning to gain a solid reputation for quality and value among European clients.
"Being the first hotel in Ajman classified as five-star by the Ajman Tourism Development Department, The Ajman Palace is a flagship that defines the emirate's push to win recognition as a new destination in the Arabian Gulf," he said.
"With several new luxury hotel names opening up soon, there is no doubt that the destination has the assets to be flagged up as a viable alternative for those looking for sunshine and a taste of exotica, and we are delighted to help the ATDD in its efforts to market Ajman to the discerning trade audience at ITB Berlin." Iftikhar Hamdani, the General Manager of Ramada Hotel and Suites Ajman, said it participates in ITB-Berlin, along with ATDD to promote Ajman as a rising tourist destination in the UAE. "We took the opportunity to meet our business partners in the region and sign a number of deals, the most important of which was with the German J T Touristik with 50 daily rooms and another contract with EGT-Groups focusing on cultural tourism in Ajman," he added.
Kempinski Hotel Ajman shares ATDD in efforts to increase awareness of the emirate as a unique tourist destination in the UAE, Maria Dakova, a Public Relations Executive said, adding that ITB-Berlin was a great opportunity to talk to the international media outlets and set up new partnerships with the aim of introducing Ajman tourist products to tour operators from around the world.
Al Zorah Resorts Ajman, a freehold development by Solidere International, is also present in the Ajman delegation to the ongoing ITB-Berlin, Karim Nasr, from the Communications and Public Relations Division, said, adding that travel professionals, investors in leisure and tourism industries and tourists are all invited to discover a distinct life style and a refined tourist's experience at Al Zorah. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 09/03/2014
Dubai's dynamic mix of year-round events and world-class infrastructure drew considerable interest from global travel and tourism industry professionals at ITB 2014 in Berlin, Germany, many of who warmly welcomed the United Arab Emirates recent announcement granting visas on arrival for an additional 13 EU nationalities.
The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing's (DTCM) participation at ITB 2014, the world's largest annual travel trade show, was to both showcase and highlight the Emirate's growing reputation as a compelling and vibrant choice for leisure incentive travel. News of the UAE's new visa exemptions will further strengthen Dubai's competitive advantage in the field internationally, allowing incentives and event organisers to offer packages to a wider range of nationalities with greater ease.
As a result of the decision, citizens of all 28 EU member states can now enter Dubai and the UAE without having previously applied for a visa. According to the UAE ís Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the new exemptions apply to citizens of Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria from March 22, 2014 onward.
With 50% market share of the business events sector within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Dubai Convention and Events Bureau (DCEB), a division of DTCM, believe incentive travel will play a key role in further growing international market share of business tourism.
Speaking ahead of ITB, Hamad Mohammed Bin Mejren, Executive Director Business Tourism at the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), said: Dubai's profile as a business events destination and compelling leisure destination is well known. DCEB's presence at ITB Berlin focuses on a segment that utilises and showcases both our business and leisure credentials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 09/03/2014
The free zone operation of Economic Zones World, or EZW, recorded a 28 per cent year-on-year growth in new companies as 613 multinationals joined the free zone last year.
Jebel Ali Free Zone, or Jafza, on Saturday reported that 2013 was its best year in the last six as it registered the highest growth in the number of new joiners.
The free zone operation of Economic Zones World, or EZW, recorded a 28 per cent year-on-year growth in new companies as 613 multinationals joined the free zone last year.
Jafza is currently home to more than 7,300 world's finest companies including over 120 Global Fortune 500 enterprises. These companies are estimated to have generated trade worth over US$90 billion in 2013.
Last year, 30 per cent of the new companies came from developed and developing economies of Asia, 29 per cent from Europe and Americas and remaining from the GCC and the Middle East. In terms of countries, the largest number of foreign investors came from India followed by China, the UK and the US.
"Jafza's remarkable growth in 2013 cements the free zone's status as the gateway and hub of the greater Middle East. It also reinforces Jafza's role as a key driver of attracting foreign direct investment into the country and the region,” EZW chief executive officer Salma Hareb said in a statement.
The free zone witnessed robust upswing in its revenues, as well as gross earnings in the year. In 2013, its revenues increased by 7 per cent while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation grew by 12 per cent. The free zone's achievements are largely driven by growth in new leases, having achieved the increases of 19 per cent in land and six per cent in warehouse leases in the year.
Jafza plays a key role in Dubai and the UAE's economic development and growth.
It accounts for more than a half of Dubai's non-oil exports and a quarter of the Emirate's total non-oil trade. Jafza contributes 21 per cent to the emirate's GDP year-on-year.
"Winning the right to host Expo 2020 has provided further boost to growth momentum in Dubai and the region. We have launched an array of initiatives in the year not only to prepare ourselves to meet the upcoming growth challenges efficiently but also to support and catalyse Dubai's growth over the next decade and driving commerce into the region through the free zone,” Hareb added.
In 2013, Jafza has taken several strategic initiatives to enhance its capabilities and offerings to enable its new and existing customers to increase their operating efficiency and profitability and in the most effective and efficient way. The Jafza App, launched late last year, is one such initiative Jafza has taken in the digital space.
One of Jafza's key achievements in 2013 in the infrastructure and facility segment includes the announcement of the completion of the phase one of its iconic Jafza One project. The completion of the first phase of the complex makes available an office tower offering approximately 43,000sqm of prime leasable space, a 22-outlet food court and two levels of car park with over 1,000 spaces on each level.
Jafza has taken several initiatives in the year to support small and medium enterprises in the free zone such as building two more business centres at the Business Park, located in TechnoPark, that provides ready-to-use, fully-furnished and equipped offices, with no set-up cost, designed for customer's short- or long-term use.
New companies in 2013
The new firms include a large number of leading market leaders such as Japanese electronics major Casio, leading Japanese construction company Dai Nippon Construction, Korean Steel Industry market leader Hyundai Welding, China's leading integrated oilfield service solution provider COSL International, Shanghai-based largest automobile manufacturer Saic Motor, leading Italian manufacturer of security gates Nice Gulf, pre-eminent UK manufacturer of fire sprinkler systems Rapidrop, prominent German intelligent scaffolding solution provider Layher, leading Canadian company dealing in electrical equipment Tornatech and Houston-based leading oil and gas field machinery company WWT International, among others, from across the world. – Khaleej Times – Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/uaebusiness/2014/March/uaebusiness_March137.xml§ion=uaebusiness
posted on 09/03/2014
The United Arab Emirates has occupied a pioneer role in the empowerment of women in the region. They occupy the leading posts in the public and private sectors in the UAE. The two thirds of students in the government universities are women.
Emirati women also play a greater and effective role in the development process in the UAE in all fields through the empowerment programme launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said in a statement on the World Women's Day, that the MoFA has taken a step to appoint three woman ambassadors abroad in Sweden, Spain and Montenegro, as well as UAE Permanent Representative to UN and UAE's Consul General in Milano.
It added that the woman diplomats at the MoFA are 148, while the woman diplomats at the UAE missions abroad are 30. "This reflects the shrewd vision of the UAE leadership to back women, being essential component of Emirati community, whose efforts are on equal footing with men in the comprehensive development being experienced by the UAE. The women are also in the leading and decision making posts.
The UAE President is keen on empowering the women in all fields and levels so that they become effective partners in the nation-building. "The state since its inception on 2nd December, 1971, focused on the women development by empowering them to play their natural role as effective partners in the sustainable development process", Sheikh Khalifa said.
He said on 9th December, 2009, that "We look at women as main component of the UAE community. They are partners of men in all work places. What has been attained by Emirati women was not accidental development, but a culmination of long efforts outlined by the late leader and UAE founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had encouraged and empowered women to exercise her rights in the equal footing with women." Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, "We have exceeded the phase of the women empowerment, as we enable the community through women and our economy to strengthen the women to play greater role in the development of our government services as they occupy the leading posts." Sheikh Mohammed said in his book, "Flashes of Thought" that "We launch the development projects run by women. We develop our infrastructure, health and education services even our military forces, depending on the women in all these fields." The existence of women in all these fields is logical as about 70 per cent of the graduates from the universities today are women.
Sheikh Mohammed said, "Women constitute over 65 per cent of the total staff in the Cabinet. 30 per cent of them occupy the leading posts. Even my daily work depends mostly on women, as 85 per cent of team work in my office are Emirati women." For his part, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said the UAE is well ahead in the empowerment of women to play their social role, a legacy chalked out by the late Sheikh Zayed by Sultan Al Nahyan. He noted that Sheikh Zayed had persevered to provide all the facilities and remove the impediments to encourage Emirati women to play their role in the development of the community- a move that reflected on the UAE's humanitarian and social role at the world level.
Sheikh Mohamed underlined that the equality, solidarity and cohesion themes do not distinguish between man and woman.
H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the Mother of the Nation, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has become a symbol of giving, determination and is seen as one of the most important woman leaders in the world, due to her outstanding and leading role in the field of empowering women and defending their cause not only in the UAE, but also regionally and internationally.
The effort that has been exerted by Sheikha Fatima in the field of supporting Emirati women since the establishment of the General Women's Union in August 1975, has become obvious in the light of the prestigious stature of the UAE women.
Emirati women become ministers, FNC members, judges and diplomats, in addition to their effective and prominent role in contributing to the overall development in the country through full participation alongside men in various work places.
Sheikha Fatima has also added other humanitarian dimensions to the general women's work through her important initiatives, which aim at protecting women and providing all kinds of comprehensive care, in addition to safeguarding the women's dignity in various regions in the world.
In his speech while addressing the UN General Assembly in 2013, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, pointed out the successes that have been achieved by the UAE women in building the society.
Sheikh Abdullah said that the UAE has achieved a host of outstanding successes in the field of women empowerment. He recognised their vital role in the societies, noting that protection of women from the discrimination in various areas, "is a necessity and should be given care by the international community." He added that the UAE is proud of its serious steps in this regard, citing that the country has acquired an outstanding rank among the countries in the region in this field.
Sheikh Abdullah also said in a previous speech that the UAE's constitution guarantees equal rights for men and women, where women enjoy the same legal status, as they have the right to get education and work on equal footing as men.
He added that the constitution prohibits any discrimination in salaries between women and men, pointing out that the UAE has joined a number of international agreements on human rights, including the "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against". He also emphasised support to the international efforts in women's empowerment issues.
It is noteworthy that the UAE cooperates with international mechanisms for human rights, adding that the UAE is ranked 38th according to the Woman's Empowerment Index. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 09/03/2014
Cairo: Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, Speaker of the Arab Parliament has called for observing the women's rights, citing that Islam has granted women prestigious status in the community and rights not less than those of men in any form and fields.
He added, "We in the Arab world are quite aware about the effective role of women in making a difference through writing history and success whether at political level or economic or social," noting that the Arab Parliament is working on the document on Arab women rights." Al Jarwan said the issuance of Arab Document on the women rights would be the first legislative activity of the parliament, adding that the step reflects the status of women in the Arab world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – Read more:
posted on 09/03/2014
Geneva: Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva has appreciated the cooperative approach by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and welcomed her work on combatting discrimination.
The United Arab Emirates agreed with the annual report that the fight against poverty and the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights deserved improvements.
In his statement before the Human Rights Council within the interactive dialogue on the annual report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UAE representative expressed his support for the High Commissioner's concept which says that the technical cooperation programmes and capacity building are the most effective means to assist countries wishing to develop its economic, social and political infrastructure, stressing his support for upgrading the programme.
He indicated that the report has focused on the initiative of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, pertaining to the work plan entitled 'The Rights First" which aims to improve work in order to protect human rights all over the world. He also deemed the initiative as an additional step.
Al Zaabi encouraged the Higher Commissioner and her office to step forward in this approach, stressing the importance of constant and precautionary efforts even if they are long and expensive instead of easy and non-viable solutions in the long term.
He expressed UAE's happiness over Higher Commissioner's initiatives to send human rights groups to Myanmar's Rakhine state in 2013 to monitor the situation and give their feedback in connection with the sectarian violence and the handling of internally displaced persons, IDPs.
Commenting on the situation in Syria, the ambassador expressed UAE's regret over the intransigence of the authorities in Syria to prevent teams of the High Commissioner for Human Rights from entering in the area for carrying out their mission in the framework of their UN mandate.
At the end of his statement he wished that the Higher Commissioner would give more attention to the sufferings of the Palestinian People, as the Israeli occupation in itself is a violation of all human rights. He said, "I am seizing this opportunity to encourage the Commissioner to continue to work with all peace-loving people to help the Palestinians achieve their right to self-determination and an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 09/03/2014
The United Arab Emirates has commended Saudi Arabia's decision to list a number of organisations, including the Muslim Brotherhood Group, in its terrorism list.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) expressed in a statement the UAE's full support to Saudi's stance, deeming "these groups as terrorist".
It praised the issuance of this decision in an important time in history of the nation amid turmoil that threatens its stability and aspirations for unity of its peoples.
The statement said, "The UAE will not spare any effort to bolster the cooperation with brothers in Saudi Arabia to tackle those terrorist groups through liquidating all forms of material and moral support in all circumstances." The MoFA said, "The significant step taken by the KSA in this critical moment requires concerted efforts and joint collective work to address the security and stability challenges that threaten the destiny of the Arab and Muslim nation," calling for solidarity and cooperation of all states to reinforce this decision to keep the sedition at bay and stop fragmentation that faces the nation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 09/03/2014
The Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation (AMAF) yesterday announced the construction of the first eco-friendly mosque in the Islamic world is 85 percent complete and is set to open doors to worshippers shortly.
Suspended ceilings have been installed in the Awqat and Ladies Hall. Marble-inlay work on the walls of the Prayer Hall has been completed. Additionally, exterior plastering on the facades of the mosque, as well as wooden doors and cabinets in the kitchens of the Imam block have been installed. Meanwhile, Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA) has deployed transformers to the site. The contract for granite works at the entrance of the mosque has been awarded, while the installation of the crescents, ablution chairs and handrails has also concluded.
Tayeb Al-Rais, Secretary General, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation, said: "We are delighted to announce the imminent opening of the Islamic world's first green mosque to worshipers. The mosque will be the largest of its kind in Dubai spread across 105,000 square feet with a built-up area of 45,000 square feet that can accommodate 3,500 worshippers. Through this mosque, we hope to inspire many more such eco-friendly initiatives that are in line with Dubai's vision for a sustainable future." Integrated with the standards and specifications mandated for green buildings, the project aims to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for conformance to the sustainability requirements of the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
Mohammed Hassan, Director - Investment, AMAF, said: "We have utilised latest green technologies available in the region's first eco-mosque project. The installation of mixers that are in line with the specifications of green buildings will help reduce water consumption. Care has been taken to moderate the speed of water flow from taps in the ablution areas. Used water will be recycled and utilised in washrooms and for plant irrigation.
"The mosque integrates renewable energy solutions in its design. This is illustrated in the exterior lighting poles that are fitted with solar panels, battery storage system that is powered by solar energy, and the use of solar panels instead of energy draining electric heaters for the purpose of water heating." The use of energy-saving LED lights over regular bulbs, and a control system that automatically switches the lights on to correspond with prayer times or in the presence of an individual in the hall are some of the other eco-friendly solutions integrated into the design of the mosque. In addition to daylight sensors in the extension of the mosque, a climate control system has also been installed for regulating the air-conditioning units according to prayer times and number of worshippers.
Among other solutions used are the techniques of thermal insulation in the building material for roofs and exterior walls to reduce heat transfer, and double-glazing windows with metal coating to minimise the intensity of solar radiation into the mosque. Technologically advanced equipment has also been installed for improving indoor air quality and the performance of the air-conditioning system. – Emirates News Agency, WAM