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Details of first Bollywood theme park in Dubai revealed

posted on 25/10/2014

Dubai Parks and Resorts, a Meraas Holding company, announced details of the region's debut Bollywood Parks Dubai, a first-of-its-kind entertainment destination that will showcase the authentic Indian movie experience in an interactive format.

Located in Jebel Ali, Bollywood Parks Dubai will cover a total of three million sq.ft. The destination will host 16 rides and attractions within five movie-themed areas featuring content developed in partnership with Mumbai's major film studios: Bollywood Film Studios, Mumbai Chowk, Hall Of Heroes, Regal Plaza and Rustic Ravine. Each zone will capture the kaleidoscope of colour, emotion, music and visuals associated with Hindi films.

The experience will kick off at the entrance to the theme park on Bollywood Boulevard where an on-going site-wide live entertainment fixture combining dance performances, character interactions and street theatre will keep guests energised and engaged. In addition to the themed zones, Bollywood Parks Dubai will offer a variety of retail outlets and themed restaurants integrating vibrant elements that are quintessential Bollywood.

Raed Al Nuaimi, chief executive officer of Dubai Parks and Resorts, said: "The cultural impact and appeal of Bollywood is universal with a global fan base of over three billion people. For the first time ever, a theme park in the region will recreate for residents and tourists the unparalleled glamour and extravagance of Bollywood on one stage. Here guests can live, learn and immerse themselves in the delightful fantasy that they get to experience on the silver screen.”

Red Chillies Entertainments, which is owned by Shah Rukh Khan, said: "The U.A.E. is a cultural potpourri. Not only non-resident Indians but Emiratis, Arabs and people from other Asian countries living here are ardent Bollywood fans. We are sure the theme park with its spectacular rides and attractions will successfully bring the Bollywood experience to life.”

Arbaaz Khan of Arbaaz Khan Production said: "The connection between the U.A.E. and Bollywood is without doubt, very strong. Hindi films are very popular with Arabs and thus this region serves as a vital market for Bollywood.”

Aamir Khan from Aamir Khan Productions said: "I am happy to be associated with Bollywood Parks Dubai, a first-of-its-kind endeavour to recreate the magic of Hindi cinema outside of Mumbai. The U.A.E. has always been a big market for Hindi films and I am sure the theme park will prove an instant hit with visitors.” – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Abu Dhabi’s biggest mall eyes Dubai, GCC patrons

posted on 25/10/2014

The biggest mall in Abu Dhabi is set to open next month just before the Formula 1 event.

Connected to the world's largest indoor theme park Ferrari World, Yas Mall completes the Yas Island proposition, which already boasts of the world's best-known attractions such as Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Waterworld and Yas Links, along with a large choice of hotels.

Giving a tour to reporters, Talal Al Dhiyebi, executive director of asset management at Aldar, said: "The construction is complete and the building is handed over...right now tenants are preparing their stores, shop fronts and training their staff before a formal opening.”

He said the biggest mall that offers 2.5 million sq.ft. of leasable area would not only attract shoppers from Abu Dhabi, but from Dubai, the GCC and beyond.

"We're planning a lot of marketing activities to attract shoppers. We will launch promotions and package selling as well for the destination Yas,” Al Dhiyebi said.

Bathed in natural light, the wide and spacious avenues of Yas Mall will host over 370 of the most desirable retail, food-and-beverage brands and entertainment offerings, all within easy reach of the capital and only 45 minutes from Dubai.

The mall's design is integral to the visitor experience, with a strong sense of height, light and space.

Yas Mall aims to bring many distinctive brands under one roof. All the stores are being encouraged to launch outlets, which are unique in design or offering. Chalhoub Group, known for managing retail outlets and building brands, is creating its first own brand department store.

The mall will also house the largest Debenhams outside of the UK in which shoppers will have access to a personal stylist.

Yas Mall will house the first Hamley's, Hollister, Brook's Brothers in Abu Dhabi, and first Lego Store, standalone Under Armour store, two-level Go Sports store and Joe Fresh in U.A.E. and the first Geant Hypermarket in Abu Dhabi.

At the heart of the facility is the largest enclosed gathering space where a huge class roof allows ample sunshine to naturally-lit spaces surrounded by greenery and water features.

The 20 screen Vox Cinemas will boast the biggest MAX screen in Abu Dhabi at 24.5 metres wide. Along with three Gold Cinemas, its 4DX technology will engage all five senses and make audiences feel as if they are part of the feature.

There will be over 60 food-and-beverage outlets, including outdoor dining on Cascade Walk and cafes spilling out onto Town Square.

Yas Mall is a place for families to spend time together and caters to children of all ages. Offerings include the first FunWorks in the U.A.E., the region's largest adventure play system, with a 60,000 sq. ft. area dedicated to playful learning and edutainment with activities ranging from science and arts to theatre and construction. – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Abu Dhabi goes pink for breast cancer

posted on 25/10/2014

Early detection of breast cancer can save lives.

According to Dr Jalaa Assad Taher, manager of non-communicable diseases at the Health Authority — Abu Dhabi (Haad), breast cancer is a preventable disease and has a curable rate of up to 98 per cent when discovered and treated early.

The Haad statistics showed that late detection (stage 3) of breast cancer in the emirate has continually declined over the past six years — from 65 per cent in 2007 to 16 per cent in 2013. Mammogram screening has tremendously helped in the reduction of cancer presented in late stages as well as in diagnosing new cases.

Walkathon and screening

The Haad has launched its annual cancer prevention awareness campaign — ‘Live Healthily and Simply Check' — this month beginning with breast cancer.

GoYAS, Yas Marina Circuit's female-only weekly community health and fitness initiative, on Wednesday hosted the ‘Circuits on the Circuit' event, aimed at raising money for breast cancer. A giant pink ribbon was erected in front of the four exercise stations where women have to complete 15 different exercises at 20-second intervals at each station.

For every station completed, the Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Daman and Yas Marina Circuit each donated Dh25 to breast cancer charity. The event raised Dh11,000 with over 1,000 participants.

"Many women's cancers can be avoided or minimised if detected early and so the importance of these events cannot be underestimated. We are delighted to be supporting such a worthy cause and doing our part in the fight against this disease that affects so many women worldwide,” said Raysa Al Ketbi, operational manager at the Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy.

On Tuesday, women residents took part in an hour-long pink walk at the World Trade Centre Mall (WTC Mall). Participants were also offered a complimentary consultation and breast screening at Mediclinic.

A symbolic walkathon was also held at Abu Dhabi Mall on Thursday and medical personnel from Al Noor Hospital offered body mass index and blood pressure checks as well as heath tips and distributed health information material. Pink Polo also made its campus tour at Alhosn University, sharing information about early detection and treatment through its Pink Clinic.

Breast cancer is the leading cancer in Abu Dhabi and the leading cause of cancer deaths, accounting for 13 per cent in both sexes.

Majority of those diagnosed are between the ages of 40 and 54 with the youngest diagnosis at 24 years — much younger than the average age of diagnosis in the US, which was 61 years.

According to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), a good number of patients below the age of 40 have a positive family history of cancer and that majority of cancers were discovered in the second stage and 30 per cent were discovered in the third stage of the disease.

"This can be changed if women start becoming more proactive about their health. If detected at stage 1, the chances of survival are between 95 to 100 per cent,” said Dr Nabil Debouni, medical director and consultant, general surgery, at Burjeel Hospital.

"The chances of survival reduce to 86 per cent if detected at stage 2, and become 57 per cent only at stage 3,” he added.

He pointed out that the stigma associated with cancer in the region is one of the reasons for the late diagnosis. Women in the region are worried about having to go through the trauma of breast cancer tissue removal (mastectomy), so they ignore the symptoms.

According to the World Health Organisation, in 2013, the U.A.E. had a higher incident rate compared to its neighbouring countries.

Risk factors

Although breast cancer has no certain cause, there are risk factors that increase the chance of breast cancer. These include family history of breast cancer, exposure to large amounts of radiation in childhood, first menstruation period before the age of 12, menopause after 55, not having children till 35 years, overweight, use of hormone replacement therapy, use of birth control pills and alcohol.

According to experts, breast cancer is primarily due to lifestyle and not genetic. Only five-10 per cent of breast cancer is due to inherited gene mutations. They also advise to avoid risk factors such as smoking and alcohol. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationhealth


Milestone for Emaar with the launch of The Address project in Turkey

posted on 25/10/2014

Emaar Turkey, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Emaar Properties, on Friday marked the global launch in Dubai of The Address Residence Istanbul, a premium collection of five-star serviced residences, which are part of the Emaar Square integrated community, at the Emaar Pavilion in Downtown Dubai.

This marks the first full-fledged hotel and serviced residence project of The Address Hotels + Resorts, the flagship hotel brand of Emaar, in an international market. The 197 residences are fully furnished and are part of the luxury collection of serviced apartments that will appeal to investors in the U.A.E. and across the GCC region. Investors can also opt for the rental pool agreement.

Overlooking the Marmara Sea, Princess Islands and Bosphorus Strait, the serviced residences are located on levels 12 to 29 of The Address Istanbul, a 49-storey architectural marvel that is in the heart of Emaar Square, the mixed-use project by Emaar. The hotel rooms and suites are located in the first nine levels in addition to a range of restaurants, a spa, pools and health club.

The Address Istanbul is crowned by a stylish restaurant that opens to scenic views and is in close proximity to the largest of its kind shopping mall development being developed as part of Emaar Square.

Ahmad Matrooshi, managing director of Emaar Properties, said: "The global launch of The Address Residence Istanbul in Dubai highlights the strong interest among U.A.E. investors in Turkey's property sector led by the bilateral trade relations and strong tourism growth. Turkey is today the most preferred European holiday destination for U.A.E. residents according to reports, which makes the premium serviced residences desirable as second homes or long-term investments. With the project, we are also highlighting the competencies of The Address Hotels + Resorts in Turkey, the first international market for the hotel brand.”

Ozan Balaban, chief executive officer of Emaar Turkey, added: "Investors in The Address Residence Istanbul will become part of the iconic Address Istanbul hotel, which is defined by its marvellous architecture and superior lifestyle amenities. The value proposition that the serviced residences offers is unmatched, as investors become part of the thriving Emaar Square community with a strong business hub, one of the largest malls, a range of leisure attractions and all lifestyle amenities in close proximity. Additionally, investors have the opportunity to offer their homes to the rental pool system of The Address Hotels + Resorts thus assuring sustained long-term returns. Our promise is to deliver a legendary lifestyle in a legendary city.”

Designed by Foster + Partners with interiors by HBA, The Address Residence Istanbul is built to the highest quality standards that are synonymous with Emaar. The elegant interiors and high-quality finishes are designed to appeal to truly discerning clients.

Homeowners at The Address Residence Istanbul can enjoy a wide array of amenities including concierge and reception services, an advanced fitness centre, spa, pool, cafes and underground parking and storage. All homes also reflect the environment-friendly development approach of Emaar Square, with materials, electrical and mechanical instalments chosen in line with the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design criteria developed by the US Green Building Council.

Emaar Turkey had unveiled The Address Residences Emaar Square, Istanbul, also managed by The Address Hotels + Resorts, last year. A mid-rise development, the exclusive serviced residence project has only 73 homes, which received strong investor response during its GCC launch.

Located in the heart of the city and on the main arteries and link roads, Emaar Square is the second integrated development by Emaar in Turkey. The first project, Tuscan Valley houses has been handed over and is now a thriving community that also features the Tuscan Shopping Arcade and the prestigious Dolce Vita Club.

In all, Emaar Square will comprise over 1,000 luxury homes and 40,000 sqm of office space, accommodating around 5,000 professionals and The Emaar Square Shopping Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the country. A trophy asset, the world-class retail destination with a total rentable space of over 150,000 sqm, will feature high-end brands. It will also have a number of leisure attractions including entertainment centres, an ice rink, a 2,400-seat mega movie theatre complex and underwater zoo, taking inspiration from Emaar's flagship retail asset, The Dubai Mall. – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


UK’s Duke of Westminster praises U.A.E.’s contribution to global affairs

posted on 25/10/2014

The U.A.E.'s presence in the international arena – in humanitarian aid, business and foreign policy – has been a revelation, says the Duke of Westminster.

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor said the U.A.E. had risen to the challenge of helping countries and people in crisis around the Middle East and the world.

"What I find so interesting about the U.A.E. in particular is how they've risen to the challenge of becoming very international in their outlook and the way they're doing business,” said Mr Grosvenor, owner of the Cavendish Group.

"They've almost taken the West by surprise in the way they've become internationally responsible, in the way they're conducting foreign affairs. It's been a revelation to me.”

He was here seeking support for two humanitarian projects, and met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The projects are a field hospital for Syrian refugees, and a Dh1.8 billion military rehabilitation hospital in the UK, which would also help members of the U.A.E. Armed Forces.

The duke also met Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and head of the Emirates Red Crescent, and Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development and head of the Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Aid.

The situation in Syria is "not something that's going to go away tomorrow or the next day”, said the former Territorial Army major general, who was also deputy commander of the UK land forces.

"It's a long-term problem that's going to be a least a decade in solving and to do that, we must continue to provide two things to the camps – medical care and education.”

The U.A.E. has given Dh2.6bn to the world's refugees in the past five years, with Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Yemen among its biggest recipients.

"People here have been very responsive. In this part of the world, it's all Arabs together,” said Mr Grosvenor.

He said helping Syrian refugees had "nothing to do with politics. It's a humanitarian problem and it should cross all race, colour and creed”.

Mr Grosvenor has personally contributed £50 million (Dh295.6m) for the military rehabilitation hospital, the extra capacity of which will be used to help refugees and wounded soldiers from friendly countries such as the U.A.E..

"When we have spare capacity we'll be able to take people out of the camps and put them in the centre, and that's a good feeling,” he said. "With our friends and allies, we will also be able to export not only expertise but our technology to other centres.

"I also see us being able to train trauma surgeons, and we all need trauma surgeons between natural disasters like tsunamis and wars.”

Leo Docherty, a former captain with the Scots Guards, has been assisting the duke with the fund-raising project in the U.A.E..

"We have a fantastic tradition of working with the Gulf and in particular the U.A.E.,” said Mr Docherty, who was a classmate of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, at the British military academy Sandhurst.

"We've got a very warm defence relationship with the U.A.E., which is reflected in the number of service personnel we have here in the Gulf.”

Given the U.A.E.'s key role in international aid, Mr Docherty said it was natural for the two countries to work together on such projects.

"People here get these projects,” he said. "We share the idea of responsibility towards military personnel between the Gulf and the UK.” – The National -


U.A.E. committed to continuous improvement of protection for foreign workers, says Foreign Ministry official

posted on 25/10/2014

The U.A.E. responded yesterday to a recent statement issued by Human Rights Watch about the treatment of foreign domestic workers in the country by saying that it had "drawn sweeping conclusions based on a small, unrepresentative sample." The statement, issued by Amna Al Meheiri, director of the Human Rights department of the Foreign Ministry, notes that the HRW report "misses the bigger picture: the U.A.E. provides economic opportunities to people of 200 different nationalities (and that) the U.A.E. is committed to the continuous improvement of protection for foreign workers." "Given the number of foreign workers in the U.A.E., there are bound to be cases of abuse," Al Meheiri said. "Such cases do not reflect the general situation, which works to the benefit of the vast majority of employers and employees. The U.A.E. will continue to improve protections for foreign workers and engage in dialogue with their home countries to resolve issues that arise." The full text of her statement follows.

"The recent Human Rights Watch report on migrant domestic workers in the U.A.E. draws sweeping conclusions based on a small, unrepresentative sample. The report misses the bigger picture: the U.A.E. provides economic opportunities to people of 200 different nationalities, benefiting the workers and boosting the U.A.E. and home countries' economies. The U.A.E. is committed to the continuous improvement of protections for foreign workers." "The U.A.E.'s status as an attractive place of work for people from around the world has made it a major recipient of foreign labour, which is of benefit to the workers, the sending countries, and the U.A.E.. The U.A.E. has ratified nine major ILO conventions related to the rights of workers, and has adopted numerous laws to protect workers' rights, including in the areas of recruitment, pay, housing and health. We acknowledge that this area is a work in progress, which is why the U.A.E. is committed to the continuous strengthening of protections for foreign workers, including migrant domestic workers, as a national priority. " "The Human Rights Watch report on female migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates, released on 23 October 2014, by its own admission was based on a small sample which was not representative. Many of its conclusions are drawn as generalisations from this small sample. This type of sensationalistic reporting may attract media attention, but it is not a constructive contribution to making progress. Unfortunately, Human Rights Watch has a history of sensationalising issues. This is not the way forward." "Given the number of foreign workers in the U.A.E., there are bound to be cases of abuse. Such cases do not reflect the general situation, which works to the benefit of the vast majority of employers and employees. The U.A.E. will continue to improve protections for foreign workers and engage in dialogue with their home countries to resolve issues that arise." "The U.A.E. has taken many measures to protect domestic workers and provide remedies in case of abuse, in particular: * A standard form contract has been established to regulate the relationship between domestic workers and their employers. The contract specifies the rights and obligations of each party, including hours of work and days off. The employer generally bears all expenses related to sourcing domestic workers, travel costs to the U.A.E., accommodation and meals. The provision of health insurance for domestic workers at the cost of the employer is mandatory.

* To provide flexibility for domestic workers to change employers, a system has been established to transfer the temporary sponsorship of domestic workers with their approval.

* Domestic workers are also provided with important legal protections under the civil transaction law, federal criminal law, and the law on countering human trafficking.

* A number of awareness-raising initiatives by the Ministry of Interior have been implemented to inform domestic workers of their rights.

* The Ministry of Interior works with recruitment agencies to raise awareness of employers of the rights of domestic workers.

* The Ministry of Interior has established a committee to examine domestic worker recruitment agencies, detect any violations of applicable laws, and make recommendations to better protect domestic workers.

* The Ministry of Interior works with governmental and non-governmental institutions, including embassies and consulates of countries of origin, in order to find the best solutions to the problems of domestic workers.

* Specialised units have been established in the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to receive complaints from domestic workers and to assist in resolving disputes between the parties to the relationship through a permanent and open channel of communication.

* A toll-free hotline (8005005) has been established, through which workers can make complaints.

* Protection, care, and shelter are provided for domestic workers who are victims of violence or abuse. Such individuals (victims of violence or abuse) are referred by the Public Prosecution to the Ministry of Interior's social support centres to provide them with shelter and all necessary care. Domestic workers may also seek assistance from shelters provided by civil society organisations, such as the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children.

* A specialised centre, the Emirates Institution of Naturalisation and Residency has been established to train employees of the naturalisation, residency, ports and exits departments on how to handle issues related to naturalisation and residency, including those involving domestic workers.

* The U.A.E. is a leading player in the global campaign against human trafficking. The U.A.E. was the first country in the region to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law (Federal Law 51 in 2006).

* In 2007 the U.A.E. established a National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, which publishes an annual report on progress in combating human trafficking in the U.A.E..

* The U.A.E. is a member of the Bali Process and have signed numerous agreements with workers' home countries to work together to prevent human trafficking.

* In January 2013, the U.A.E. Cabinet passed enhanced legal protections for victims of trafficking, including important provisions such as security protection to witnesses and lawyers, as well as psychotherapy to victims.

* In 2013, 19 cases were registered under Federal Law 51. These involved 24 victims and led to the arrest of 50 traffickers. Notably, there were convictions in 12 cases, which reflects positively on the robustness of the judicial system in the U.A.E.. These convictions involved stiff penalties ranging from one year to life imprisonment and fines.

* The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking recently decided to establish a fund to support victims.

* The U.A.E. was pleased to host a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons in April 2013, who recognised the progress achieved by our national campaign." "The U.A.E. will remain an attractive place of opportunity and work for many people from around the world including domestic workers. The U.A.E. will continue to strive to improve working conditions and to cooperate constructively with relevant international organisations to this end." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


French Police experts praise MoI's efforts regarding human rights

posted on 25/10/2014

Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Vial, Deputy Director of Regional Security in the Alpes-Maritimes, France, praised the achievements made by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and its various police bodies. He also hailed the tangible efforts to maintain human rights, combat human trafficking, support the United Nations' global plan of action against human trafficking, as well as to organise educational campaigns to spread awareness about of the fight against human trafficking.

These remarks were made by Lieutenant Colonel Vial during the ceremony recently hosted by the Training Department at the Human Resources Directorate General at the Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters to celebrate the graduation of the specialised course on "Countering Cross-border Human Trafficking.' He also explained that the course was implemented based on the latest international methods for combating cross-border human trafficking.

The course, attended by 25 staff members from various Abu Dhabi Police directorates, was moderated by Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Vial, Deputy Director of Regional Security in the Alpes-Maritimes in France and Major Jean Luc Lessly, Head of Community Prevention and Protection Units, Regional Security Department in the Alpes-Maritimes, France. Lieutenant Colonel Saleh Saeed Al Amoudi, International Cooperation Branch Manager at the Training Department also attended the specialised course.

Major Jean Luc Lessly, Head of Community Prevention and Protection Units, Regional Security Department in the Alpes-Maritimes, France, said that the U.A.E. Ministry of Interior is leading others by example in the area of human rights and combating human trafficking, by qualifying its police and security personnel and enhancing their competencies according to the best international standards.

Majors Christian Whitling and Pierre Oberdyn of the French Police, who supervised the "Suspects Interrogation Techniques" course, stressed that the Abu Dhabi Police respects the rights and dignity of the suspects undergoing interrogation according to the highest humane standards. They also compared the similar interrogation techniques adopted by both France and the U.A.E.. These statements were made during the graduation event of a specialised course that included 14 staff members from various departments at Abu Dhabi Police. The "Suspects Interrogation Techniques" course, which spanned over the course of five days, tackled a number of specialised police topics.

German Experts: Abu Dhabi Police Achieve Outstanding Development in the field of Traffic German Traffic experts from the German Ministry of Interior praised the traffic safety levels in Abu Dhabi and the distinguished development in the efforts to achieve the highest levels of traffic safety and to reduce traffic accidents. They also expressed their admiration for the diligent efforts exerted by the police to boost the culture of traffic awareness for road users. The experts made these remarks while attending the graduation ceremony, which marks the completion of the traffic safety course they moderated. . The course, which was attended by 13 staff members from the Abu Dhabi Police, tackled "Strategic Traffic Security: Principles and Procedures" and featured a presentation of models from Baden-Württemberg, Germany; as well as an overview of the traffic security situation in Germany. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi Police Music Band to Perform at Berlin Tattoo Festival 2014

posted on 25/10/2014

The Abu Dhabi Police Music Band will take part in the Berlin Military Music Festival "Berlin Tattoo" 2014, scheduled to take place in Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany, from October 31 to November 2, 2014.

Major General Khalil Dawood Badran, Director General of Finance and Services at the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, stressed the keenness of the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ to actively participate in international festivals and introduce a realistic picture of the civilisations of peoples and cultures. "Abu Dhabi Police Music Band is the only music band from the Middle East to be chosen to perform at the Festival," underlined Badran.

Adding further, Major General Badran indicated that this year's performance will be special, as the music band will be dressed in the official traditional police uniforms worn by the officers since the founding of the force between 1957 and 1963; to highlight the progress achieved in various fields.

Colonel Saif Saeed Al Shamesi, Chief of the Cultural and Social Activity Section at the Abu Dhabi Police Clubs and Sports Activities Department, Chairman of the Committee accompanying the Police Music Band, briefed Major General Badran on the band's preparations to perform at the Berlin Festival. He said that the band will be presenting a new perspective of the U.A.E. heritage through the police music, which combines military marches and U.A.E. folklore and heritage.

He explained that the Police Music Band will perform customised music pieces inspired by the Emirati folklore including Al-Aialah and Yula. Different performances and compositions will be presented; and were chosen to reflect the skills of the band members.

The Police Music Band is keen to participate in international festivals, which earned it a brilliant reputation at both regional and global levels.

The Berlin Festival's events are very impressive due to the great variety of first-class military music bands from all over the world. Moreover, it is one of the most important musical gatherings at the level of Europe and the world, with the participation of top international bands chosen by the Organising Committee. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


U.A.E. strongly condemns terror attack in Sinai Peninsula

posted on 25/10/2014

The U.A.E. strongly condemned the terrorist, atrocious attack committed by criminal elements in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula Friday and emphasised its full support for sisterly Egypt and its Armed Forces.

'This cowardly act and heinous crime underscore once again the need for joint serious action and mobilisation of collective efforts at all levels to confront the menace of terrorism at regional and international levels,' the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement yesterday.

The statement added that this crime reaffirms that terrorism has only one goal and the method of terrorist groups, regardless of their forms, seeks to defile human values. This method, the statement said, contravenes all national and religious values and principles and only seeks to trigger chaos and spread destruction. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


First Urbanathlon in the U.A.E. sees 600 of the country’s toughest compete

posted on 25/10/2014

The first Urbanathlon to be held in the U.A.E. took place at Yas Marina Circuit on Friday and 600 of the toughest residents went along to drag themselves through almost 10 kilometres of obstacles.

A wide range of participants went along to try to earn a medal and the bragging rights for being "tough enough” – the race's motto.

Reaching the 10km point, however, is no breeze. To get to the end, competitors had to crawl under Aston Martin cars, face high-pressure water jets, leap across oil barrels and swing through monkey bars, all the while carrying a little extra weight after negotiating the mud pit at the start of the race.

The winner was 32-year-old James Buchanan, from the UK, but the biggest challenge for him was not the actual obstacles themselves.

"Definitely the obstacles were hard but it was the distance in between the obstacles in the heat that made it a more challenging obstacle race than any I have done before,” he said, after finishing in 39 minutes and 39 seconds, a very impressive time for a 10km race, even without obstacles.

He won a round-trip ticket to the US and a chance to compete in the Urbanathlon there.

The event has taken place in more than 16 cities across the world.

Also taking part on Friday, but in a less serious fashion were German father and son Gerhard and Edwin Tegtmeyer.

"We are here to compete in a great run,” said Gerhard, 57, "but we are also here to show what the old can do, compared to the young.”

Speaking ahead of the race, Gerhard, who competes regularly in triathlons, said he wanted to pit himself against his 18-year-old son and his friends.

"We have a bet, it will feel like a fight and I haven't prepared much, I just registered to try to have this fun challenge with my son and his friends.”

Teenager Edwin said: "Yeah, he challenged me and I think he's going to win, it's a lot of running and I'm honestly just better at skating. I think this will be a huge challenge but we are here for the fun.”

Running parallel to the individual part of the race was a team competition, where gyms, fitness centres, corporate teams and even just teams of friends compete for the win.

Participating as part of the team from Oryx Fitness Bootcamp, Dyala Mahboobah, 21, said that the event, for her, was to see how far she could push herself.

"I'm here to challenge myself and to see to what level I can reach,” said Ms Mahboobah. "I'm a very competitive person and I'm looking to finish strong.”

A mechanical engineering student at the Petroleum Institute, traditionally a male-dominated field, Ms Mahboobah viewed the Urbanathlon as an opportunity to prove women's prowess in endurance events.

"I want to prove that ladies are tough, it's not only the men with the muscles – anything is possible,” she said.

As someone who has helped Ms Mahboobah build up her strength, Minhal Pereira, a trainer at Oryx Fitness, said training for the event was basic.

"We've been training hard, basic cardio and trying to get some body weight exercises – it's basically keeping ourselves fit,” said the 23-year-old.

"It's a competition, of course, but it's more about us having fun and just trying to see what level we are at right now.” – The National -