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Sir Bani Yas grows into international destination for adventure travellers with new exciting offerings

posted on 28/11/2014

Sir Bani Yas Island, the nature-based island destination in the Western Region that is developed by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), is growing more popular with the launch of several new exciting activities for its guests.

The 87-square kilometre island, located off the coast of the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, is home to over 13,000 free-roaming animals and three award-winning luxury resorts managed by Anantara where visitors can come and experience a world full of wildlife and adventure. Six years since the start of its tourism operation, Sir Bani Yas has welcomed over 250,000 visitors from around the world, reflecting its growing status as an international island destination. It's a complete hospitality destination that enjoys luxury resorts, a conference centre and a water sports centre.

Among the new activities on offer yesterday is a daily falconry demonstration that offer visitors a glimpse into a rich feature of Emirati heritage and allow them to get close to these majestic birds of prey.

Guests will also be able to get their adrenaline pumping by joining a land-sailing session, whereby they navigate the terrain of Sir Bani Yas with a three-wheeled vehicle powered by wind through the use of a sail. Moreover, for those who wish to experience a truly memorable night under a blanket of stars, a camping excursion can be arranged with the Desert Islands Watersports Centre, who will select the perfect place in an area nestled between the lagoon and hills of Sir Bani Yas.

Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of TDIC, said, "It's been six years since Sir Bani Yas has been open as a tourism destination to the general public. Today, we're proud of what we have achieved on the island, making it one of the most attractive places to visit in the region. It has become a destination of choice as it brings a different kind of travel experience to Abu Dhabi, and one that puts the emirate alongside top leading tourism destinations in the world." In addition to these new activities, the island currently offers a range of land and water-based adventures. The more popular excursions currently available are a Nature & Wildlife Drive in the heart of the 4,100 hectare Arabian Wildlife Park, home to over 13,000 free-roaming wildlife that includes Oryx, gazelles, deer, ostriches, giraffes and cheetahs, to Nature & Wildlife Walks, mountain biking and horseback riding that allow participants the opportunity to get up-close to the animals and birds as well as the Island's unique landscape.

For guests who prefer more water-based adventures, there are kayak tours through the Island's mangrove lagoons while the Desert Islands Watersports Centre offers a wide range of ocean activities that include snorkelling and diving in various areas under Sir Bani Yas' glittering waters, deep sea fishing, sea kayaking, Stand Up Paddle boarding, and much more.

"Provision of unique experiences is at the core of the Anantara offering on Sir Bani Yas Island, whether it be a romantic escape, family vacation, conference, destination wedding or away day for school students," explained Wael Soueid Anantara Area General Manager.

"The exotic flora and fauna of the Arabian Wildlife Park, is in itself, a world class conservation effort and Anantara Hotels & Resorts are very privileged to be the resort operator on the Island. We want our visitors and guests to feel enriched by their time at Sir Bani Yas, and to get a glimpse into the heritage and traditions of the U.A.E. through the broad range of activities and excursions available," he added.

Guests interested in visiting or staying on Sir Bani Yas can enjoy short direct flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai or can avail of boat transfers from Jebel Dhanna in the Western Region. For guests who wish to travel to Sir Bani Yas with their personal boats, they may dock their crafts at the Royal Bay Moorings. With space for boats up to 50 feet and a range of high-end services and facilities, owners can be reassured that their crafts will be well taken care of while they enjoy their stay and explorations of Sir Bani Yas.

Discerning travellers can choose from the Island's three five-star resorts - the Desert Islands Resort and Spa by Anantara, the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, and the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort – each offering unique hospitality experiences. Launched in December 2013, Al Sahel is located within the celebrated Arabian Wildlife Park, offering guests a luxury island-stay experience in any of its 30 villas that offer an incomparable glimpse of natural beauty up close. For those staying at the beachside Al Yamm, guests may choose a villa with a relaxing sea view or a view of the island's lush green mangroves and the glistening sea beyond. While Desert Islands Resort and Spa by Anantara is the preferred choice for families with its luxurious amenities, top-quality services, kids club and beachside location.

Sir Bani Yas is also an ideal location to host corporate events, team building workshops and private gatherings with the Desert Islands Conference Centre offering flexible packages designed to suit a wide range of needs. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


DMCC welcomes leading global diamond mining company ALROSA – Arcos East DMCC to Free Zone

posted on 28/11/2014

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), one of the world's leading commodity hubs for trade and enterprise and the largest and fastest growing Free Zone in the U.A.E., welcomed ALROSA, the Russian world leader in diamond mining, and its subsidiary Arcos East DMCC to Dubai, as the company opened their new office in Almas Tower.

Alexander Efimov, Russian Ambassador to the U.A.E., Andrey Polyakov, Vice President, ALROSA and Dmitrii Chizhov, General Director, Arcos East were welcomed by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC; Gautam Sashittal, Chief Executive Officer, DMCC; and Peter Meeus, Chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange and other senior DMCC officials.

The ALROSA move further highlights the significant role Dubai is serving as one of the world's leading diamond hubs for trade and its connectivity to producing countries in Africa, cutting and polishing markets in Asia and consuming markets in Europe, North America and China.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC, said, "The ever increasing number of large corporates and leading market participants such as ALROSA – Arcos East DMCC choosing to operate out of Dubai and the DMCC Free Zone continue to make a significant impact on the rapid growth of the diamond trade in the U.A.E..

"ALROSA is one of the world's leaders in diamond mining accounting for approximately 97 per cent of all Russian production, and we wish their subsidiary Arcos East DMCC every success as they expand and access new markets here in Dubai and beyond." Andrey Polyakov, Vice President, ALROSA, said "ALROSA's decision to operate out of Dubai and in the DMCC Free Zone is another step in a long term expansion plan.

"Dubai connects all major diamond production and consumption centres globally. From a logistics perspective the Emirate has unrivalled ability to support the growth ambitions of global traders and its international transport links makes doing business here convenient and efficient. Dubai is no doubt one of the most efficient places for the trade which is one of many reasons why we are opening an office here." ALROSA, the Russian world leader in diamond mining, joins over 180 Russian companies currently based in the Free Zone, including Smolensk-Kristall - the manufacturers of the prestigious Dubai Cut Diamond and Lukoil - one of the world's largest oil and gas companies. The DMCC Free Zone is home to over 9,700 member companies in total. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DIFC Courts, Kenyan judiciary sign enforcement guide

posted on 28/11/2014

The DIFC Courts, Dubai's established English-language, commercial common law judicial system, yesterday signed a landmark enforcement document with their counterparts in the High Court of Kenya (Commercial and Admiralty Division) that further reinforces the U.A.E.'s position as an economic gateway to Africa.

The signing of the DIFC Courts' first Memorandum of Guidance (MoG) with an African country took place in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the U.A.E. Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, during the "Africa: Bridging the Gulf" conference in Dubai, organised by the Africa Legal Network Dubai's non-oil trade with Africa has increased by 700 per cent over the last decade, according to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. During that time, Kenya has emerged as a major hub for East Africa, with non-oil trade between Dubai and Kenya estimated to be worth Dh4.5 billion in 2013, making the African country the emirate's 50th biggest trade partner.

The MoG adds an additional layer of certainty for companies operating in both the U.A.E. and Kenya by defining for the first time the procedures for mutual enforcement of money judgments between the DIFC Courts and High Court of Kenya. The document was signed by Michael Hwang, SC, Chief Justice of the DIFC Courts, and Githu Muigai, the Attorney General of Kenya.

Chief Justice Hwang said, "With trade between Africa and the U.A.E. at record levels, it is essential that international commercial courts work together to support the growing number of businesses operating across borders. This memorandum provides guidance on how the DIFC Courts and Kenyan Courts would enforce each other's money judgments, thereby giving additional clarity and certainty to investors and businesses active in both jurisdictions. Being the first we have signed with an African nation, this memorandum is a landmark document for the DIFC Courts and also indicative of Kenya's emergence as a major regional economy." Githu Muigai said, "The U.A.E. continues to be one of Kenya's leading bilateral trade partners. As trade between our two countries continues to flourish, it is important that our respective judicial systems support and protect cross-border commerce. The Kenyan Judiciary therefore welcomes the signing of the Memorandum of Guidance between the DIFC Courts and the Kenya Judiciary which will enhance understanding of judicial procedures for foreign judgment enforcement in our respective courts. It is our desire and belief that the co-operation demonstrated by signing this Memorandum of Guidance will improve understanding among the business community in both countries and enhance certainty and confidence in entering into cross-border contracts." Since their jurisdiction was opened to businesses worldwide in October 2011, the DIFC Courts have established one of the world's strongest enforcement regimes. DIFC Courts' judgments can be enforced internationally through treaties such as the GCC Protocol and Riyadh Convention; treaties with China, and France; and reciprocal arrangements with many common law courts overseas, including the Commercial Court of England and Wales and Commercial Courts of Australia. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Steel companies in Jafza Free Zone record over 20 percent growth in 2013

posted on 28/11/2014

The steel industry in Jebel Ali Free Zone, Jafza, has seen a robust growth of over 20 percent in 2013, which is more than the rate of industry growth in the U.A.E..

Steel manufacturers and traders in the Free Zone expect the growth momentum to pick-up further in the current fiscal year. The upswing comes on the back of rapid economic development in the region and fast revival of real estate and infrastructure projects in Dubai and other parts of the U.A.E..

Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza and Chief Commercial Officer of Economic Zones World, EZW, parent company of Jafza, commenting on the impressive growth in the steel sector in Jafza, said, "The remarkable growth is largely driven by robust recovery in the real estate industry and planned infrastructure projects in the U.A.E. and other GCC countries. Expo 2020 is going to provide a further boost to the construction sector in general and steel industry in particular, across the region. Jafza accounts for almost 40% of the steel produced in the country, therefore, the growth in the sector reflects the economic resurgence in the region." The U.A.E. produced almost 3 million tonnes of steel in 2013.

Jafza-based Conares Steel, the second largest steel manufacturer in the country, reported growth of 40 percent in 2013. The company expects similar growth in 2014.

Qatar Steel Company FZE reported more than 300% growth in the last five years.

Duke International, a leading player in structural steel expects to maintain a yearly growth of 20% for the next couple of years.

Nimr Steel, a leading stockist and dealer in structural steel, hopes to see a sustained double digit growth in the coming years.

Jafza based AB Metals, who is the exclusive dealer of Abu Dhabi based Al Ghurair Iron and Steel's GI coils and sheets for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, expects more than 30% year on year growth in its sales in the Kingdom. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles enhance connectivity with new Abu Dhabi-Seychelles schedule

posted on 28/11/2014

Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles yesterday announced changes to their flight schedules on the Abu Dhabi-Seychelles route, offering guests more choice and greater flexibility when travelling to and from Mahe in the Republic of Seychelles.

Effective from 1st December, the new schedule will see Etihad Airways add one service per week and Air Seychelles a further two services per week, raising the combined number of weekly return flights to Seychelles from 10 to 13.

The new schedule will provide an additional 217 weekly connections to key destinations across the Gulf region, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, North Asia, and Australia, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul. Excellent connectivity will be maintained to and from Europe via Etihad Airways' hub in Abu Dhabi.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways' Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said, "The change in flight schedule comes as part of the airline's efforts to move towards a consistent double daily service between Abu Dhabi and Seychelles in cooperation with our equity partner, Air Seychelles.

"The new schedule will greatly benefit business and leisure travellers, ensuring they have more convenient travel options when flying between the U.A.E. and Seychelles, and better onward flight connections on our global network." Etihad Airways commenced services between Abu Dhabi and Mahe in the Seychelles in November 2011, while Air Seychelles began operations in March 2012. The airlines operate a combination of two-class Airbus A330 (18 Business Class and 236 Economy Class) and A320 (16 Business Class and 120 Economy Class) aircraft on the route. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohammed bin Rashid receives President of Portugal

posted on 28/11/2014

Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, received Dr. Anibal Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal and the delegation accompanying him.

During the meeting, attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed and the President of Portugal held official talks, which covered bilateral relations and a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern.

The U.A.E. Vice President and the President of Portugal stressed on the historic ties between the U.A.E. and Portugal, and the importance of enhancing fruitful cooperation ties, forging investment partnerships and establishing stronger communications between the two countries and peoples in line with the aspirations of the leaders of the two countries. They also emphasised the need for cooperation in the areas of alternative energy and health.

Sheikh Mohammed and President Silva attended the signing ceremony of the Letter of Intent between the U.A.E. Armed Forces General Headquarters and the Portuguese Ministry of Defence, on military cooperation and exchange of expertise between the two sides. Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs signed on behalf of the U.A.E., while Jose Pedro Aguiar-Branco, Portuguese Minister of National Defence, signed on behalf of his country.

The U.A.E. Vice President and the President of Portugal welcomed the signing of the Letter of Intent, deeming it a message for peace and love between the two countries and peoples.

Among others present were Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaiv Al Nuaimi, Minister of Public Works, head of the honorary mission accompanying the Portuguese delegation, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director-General of the Protocol and Hospitality Department in Dubai, Najla Al Qasimi, U.A.E. Ambassador to Portugal and Jimmy Van Zeller Laitau, Portuguese Ambassador to U.A.E.. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Hamed bin Zayed meets with President of Portugal

posted on 28/11/2014

H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, met with Dr. Anibal Cavaco Silva, President of the Republic of Portugal, who is paying an official visit to the U.A.E..

During the meeting, the two sides discussed bilateral relations between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Portugal and ways to support and develop these in the best interest of the two countries and peoples.

The meeting also reviewed mechanisms of cooperation and joint action and invest resources of both countries to serve the growing friendship relations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


U.A.E. sees dialogue, regional cooperation as means for tackling challenges, says Saqr Ghobash

posted on 28/11/2014

KUWAIT: U.A.E. Labour Minister Saqr bin Ghobash has underlined the country's firm conviction over regional dialogue and cooperation that could address challenges associated with the contractual employment cycle in the region by taking into account first and foremost religious, ethical and societal values, as well as national legislation regarding respect of basic human rights.

Addressing the third consultative ministerial meeting of Abu Dhabi Dialogu-3, attended by the Labour Ministers and senior officials from 18 labour importing and exporting states, Ghobash said, "We also recognise that dealing with these challenges through bilateral government negotiations and multilateral cooperation eventually serves developmental objectives of the countries of the region and their pursuit of economic and social progress, and building of a modern state." He noted that the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, which was launched in 2008, availed joint initiatives and programmes to develop good governance of the contractual employment cycle, including taking into account the interests of all concerned parties to achieve a success.

The U.A.E. minister expressed the appreciation of hosting of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue-3 by Kuwait under the aegis of Emir of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah.

He also expressed his confidence in Kuwait's Minister of Social Affairs and Labour, Hind Al-Sabeeh, who chaired the Abu Dhabi Dialogue-3, to promote relations between the labour importing and exporting countries to ensure an appropriate work environment, legal protection and decent living conditions.

The Abu Dhabi Dialogue-3 welcomed the proposal of the International Migration Organisation (IMO) to conduct a survey in the GCC and Asia on the labour recruitment industry. It also welcomed the proposal of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on reduction of the labour transport expenses and eradication of labour exploitation during the recruitment process. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


U.A.E. calls upon the international community to protect the Palestinian people

posted on 28/11/2014

NEW YORK: The United Arab Emirates has called upon the international community to take effective measures to protect the Palestinian people, especially in East Jerusalem, from the daily aggressions committed by the Israeli forces and settlers.

In a statement given at the United Nations' General Assembly on the Question of Palestine, Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, U.A.E.'s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, reiterated the message of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, sent to the UN on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

The letter conveyed the continued support of the government and the people of the United Arab Emirates for the Palestinian people until their legitimate aspirations to establish an independent sovereign state are realised.

In her statement, Ambassador Nusseibeh said, "The time has come for the international community, especially the Quartet and the Security Council, to act in accordance with the provisions of international law and the relevant resolutions of international legitimacy, including taking effective measures for the protection of the Palestinian people." She referred to the systematic Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque as provocative to Muslims all over the world, and hailed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan's position regarding the administration of the Holy Islamic sites in Jerusalem, and its recent endeavours to reduce tension resulting from the unacceptable Israeli practices. She also welcomed the Secretary-General's recently-formed internal investigation committee to investigate Israel's attacks on buildings, schools and UN facilities in the Gaza Strip, in order to identify those who are responsible for these crimes and hold them accountable under international law.

Ambassador Nusseibeh rejected the justifications given by Israel to maintain its security in the region through flagrant and repeated violations of international humanitarian law, and emphasised that Israel's security will be achieved when it fully complies with its obligations as an occupying power, demonstrates a genuine political will towards achieving a real peace in the region, and cooperates in achieving the two-state solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative. She also stressed the urgent priority of demanding that Israel immediately cease all its settlement activities, remove all barriers and restrictions preventing freedom of movement, lift the unjust siege imposed on Gaza, and release Palestinian prisoners, including those under administrative detention.

The U.A.E.'s Permanent Representative to the UN welcomed the important role played by the Arab Republic of Egypt in its continuous support to the Palestinian cause and people, and called upon the international community to strengthen its political and development support to the Palestinian National Authority to enable it carry out its responsibilities.

Ambassador Nusseibeh concluded her statement by welcoming the commencement of the operations of the temporary Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism earlier this month, and expressed the U.A.E.'s support for the important role played by UNRWA and other international organisations in the implementation of this mechanism. She also confirmed that the U.A.E. would continue to fulfil its commitment of contributing US$200 million in aid to Gaza, as part of its direct and indirect financial, humanitarian and development aid programmes. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


MoFA's statement on decision of Ireland's Employment Appeals Tribunal

posted on 28/11/2014

The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has issued the following statement: "The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of the decision of Ireland's Employment Appeals Tribunal in a case involving the alleged ill-treatment of domestic staff by the U.A.E. Ambassador to Ireland and his family.

The U.A.E. takes this matter seriously, and accordingly has decided to recall him to Abu Dhabi while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs investigates the issue further, in line with existing procedures." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Iraqi civilian causalities, patients arrive in Abu Dhabi for treatment at U.A.E. hospitals

posted on 28/11/2014

A number of Iraqi wounded and sick civilians arrived last night at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi to receive medical treatment at the U.A.E. hospitals in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces.

The Iraqi civilian casualties are victims of the ongoing conflict in their country and will be treated in the U.A.E. as part of a humanitarian initiative of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa that furthers the ties between the peoples of the U.A.E. and Iraq.

The Iraqi wounded and sick children, women and men were transported from Erbil Airport in Iraq's Kurdistan to Abu Dhabi aboard a U.A.E. aircraft. They suffer from partial disabilities, bone marrow failure and physical disfigurement, while some had their limbs amputated.

The Iraqi guests were greeted at the airport by a number of U.A.E. health officials and volunteers from the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) with flowers before they were transported to hospitals where they will benefit from quality medical equipment and procedures.

The leadership of the U.A.E. is following with great concern the developments in Iraq where the grievous consequences have affected the lives of all segments of the population which has been suffering from conflicts and crises. It is a continuation of the country's efforts to alleviate the suffering of Iraqis and improve their living conditions.

Jamal Abdul Naser, 17, who hails from the town of Dhuluiyah, and suffers from cranial factures and brain damage, said the U.A.E.'s initiative in these critical circumstances is not unusual for the Emirate. He said he was confident he will receive the best treatment .

Malak Majed, 14, from Diyala Governorate, expressed her thanks and appreciation for the initiative of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which will enable her to receive treatment in the U.A.E..

Ahmed Ismael Khalil, 26, also from Diyala Governorate, lost a part of his skull and some portion of his brain in a car explosion in his village. He said many Iraqi cities are being targeted with car bombs and mines that kill and maim a large number of civilians in markets and residential areas.

Sabhan Raed, 6, said he was playing with other children in his backyard when an artillery shell exploded near them and fractured his joints. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


MICAD, UNICEF sign Dh18.4 m agreement to fight Ebola in severely-hit West African nations

posted on 28/11/2014

The U.A.E. Ministry of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD) on Thursday signed an agreement with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), under which it supported the international organisation's Ebola outbreak response with Dh 18.4 million (US$ 5 million). The funds will support UNICEF in fighting Ebola in the severely-hit West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone with a focus on the direct and indirect risk to children.

The agreement was signed by Hazza Mohammad Falah Al Qahtani, the Undersecretary of MICAD and Ibrahim el-Ziq, UNICEF Gulf Area Representative, at MICAD's headquarters in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development (MICAD).

The U.A.E.'s contribution, which was announced on 2 October, will support a number of key interventions in the fight against Ebola. These include community awareness campaigns focusing on changing behaviours that can drive the transmission, nutritional care for Ebola affected people, support for orphaned children and training teachers on prevention in schools. The agreement will be implemented over a period of six months and will benefit around 150,000 people across the three affected countries.

"The U.A.E. is keen to work with international organisations in the fight against Ebola to ensure that these countries can be declared free soon. We must ensure that everything we do now is not just with the aim of ending the outbreak, but to ensure that we come out with a stronger and efficient healthcare system that will be capable of containing any future outbreak of the infectious disease," commented Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi.

"Ebola is an unprecedented public health emergency that is having a dramatic impact on children's lives, as schools are being closed, children are being orphaned and health facilities are under tremendous strain", said Ibrahim el-Ziq, UNICEF Gulf Area Representative.

"The U.A.E. has been a staunch supporter of UNICEF's work for children in many parts of the world. This latest contribution comes at a critical time as we are seeing signs of hope as new cases have stopped appearing in some countries and it is absolutely crucial to continue to push forward with our work to be able to win the battle against this disease," el-Ziq added.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Media Incorporated launches subscription OTT-TV service

posted on 28/11/2014

Dubai Media Incorporated, DMI, Middle East and North Africa's leading media organisation and TV broadcaster, has announced the launch of its new subscription OTT service for registered users to access its Dubai Sports Premium TV channel.

Ahmed Saeed Al Mansouri, Director-General of TV and Radio Channels at DMI, spoke about the company's success through the implementation of best practices and digital applications to create media content that respects the Arab and Emirati social and cultural values, in line with the strategic objectives of the government of Dubai in applying the highest quality of international standards in all fields, as well as its ongoing quest for excellence and a commitment to provide best media services with high quality and excellence in all areas.

Heba AlSamt, Director of Digital Media for TV and Radio in DMI, said, "The new service launch is a real addition in the context of DMI's pursuit of providing advanced levels of cutting edge digital services to improve the level of interactivity between the public and DMI diverse media channels to degrees not seen in the region before." AlSamt stressed that the Digital Media Department for TV and Radio in DMI is always keen on keeping up with latest developments and the leap of the digital world, where subscribers are able to sign up for the service using their mobile phone provider billing and, upon subscription, will be able to gain live access to televised league matches, and many other televised non-sporting events, on their desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, including iOS, Android and Blackberry tablets and smartphones.

"The Digital Media Dept. will run the monthly subscription OTT service during the 2014-2015 football season, with the ambition to add additional new subscription OTT-TV channels and VOD [video-on-demand] services in 2015." Heba AlSamt added, emphasising the synergy between media and digital media which has become one of the attributes of this century. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Al Ain Dairy bags SIAL Innovation Award for camel ice cream

posted on 28/11/2014

Al Ain Dairy, a U.A.E.-based diary company, has won the SIAL Innovation Award for their healthy alternative ice cream, "Camelait Pemium Camel Ice Cream".

Organised by SIAL Middle East in conjunction with Etihad Airways, the award was presented to the Al Ain Dairy Company at a special ceremony in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

The healthy alternative to regular ice cream was recognised as a ground-breaking product reflecting global trends and it was a case of second-helpings for Al Ain Dairy as it won the award before at the augural ceremony in 2011 for its cardamom flavoured vitamin A and D enriched milk.

Kingston Fernandes, Head of Sales for Al Ain Dairy Company, said, "We are thrilled to receive the SIAL Innovation Award, it gives us great confidence and belief that this delicious, healthy and unique product will be a global success. SIAL Middle East has once again provided us with a fantastic platform to bring our products to an international audience." Out of the original 142 food and beverage products entered for the awards, 42 were shortlisted, out of which ten finalists were selected, five of which were produced in the U.A.E.. Acquacedri Natural Mineral Water, Helmig's Curcumin Effervescent, Constant Energy Shot and two products from the eventual winner, Al Ain Dairy.

The awards are based on stringent criteria and cover an array of food values including health, taste, ethics, convenience and appearance, as well as the level of innovation involved in developing the product, including the manufacturing process and ingredients.

This year, the SIAL Middle East exhibition featured winning products from other regional competitions held in China, Brazil, Canada, Paris and the Philippines.

Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director of Communication and Community Service Division at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) and Chairman of the SIAL Middle East organising committee, said, "The SIAL Innovation Award provides ongoing encouragement to all food companies in the U.A.E.. Not only to react to market trends or to anticipate them, but to try and create demand by producing innovative products that can appeal to what is fast-becoming a transient global audience." Held under strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, SIAL Middle East is part of the world's largest network of professional food events, which include SIAL Paris, SIAL China, SIAL Canada, and SIAL Brazil. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Second Dubai Desert Triathlon to build on success of inaugural event

posted on 28/11/2014

Dubai Sports Council yesterday announced that the second Dubai Desert Triathlon will be held on 5th of December as part of the National Day Celebrations.

The inaugural Dubai Desert Triathlon, held in April this year, proved a resounding success and the second edition is set to build on that momentum.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the event showcases a unique combination of two of the traditional triathlon disciplines, running and cycling, in combination with an endurance horse ride.

With more than 120 teams and 400 athletes taking part in the first edition, the event was hailed as ground-breaking and surpassed all expectations. The inaugural event was won by the President of the Bahrain National Olympic Committee, H.H. Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, with a time of 02:15:56 hours in the men's division, with Moroccan Maha Khalid taking the women's division.

Nasser Al Rahmah, Director of the Sports Events Department at Dubai Sports Council, said the Dubai Sports Council is looking to build on the great response to the first event.

"The Dubai Desert Triathlon is a unique and innovative concept, and the hundreds of participants in the first edition were thrilled with their experience of taking part in such an exciting event. Our goal is to develop the Dubai Desert Triathlon into a permanent fixture on the Dubai sporting landscape. The success of the first event has led to a huge amount of interest in this new sport, and we look forward to staging another world-class event." The Dubai Desert Triathlon will take place at the Dubai International Endurance City, and is expected to attract entrants from around the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -