posted on 05/12/2013
The UAE is the only country from the Arab world to win a Gold medal in the show.
The Emirates Philatelic Association (EPA) has won a number of laurels for their entries during the Brasiliana 2013 World Stamp Exhibition. Exhibitors from 65 countries participated in the show held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last month.
Ahmad bin Eisa Alserkal won the Gold medal for his exhibit ‘A Postal History Study of Airmail from Iraq 1919-1945'. Nasser bin Ahmad Alserkal won the Large Vermeil medal for ‘Sharjah Postal History' and Silver medal for his literature class entry of ‘Stamp Collecting: a New Vision'.
Eisa bin Ahmad Alserkal won Vermeil medals for his exhibit ‘Dubai Errors and Verities'. Ummer Farook won a Silver medal for ‘Mahatma Gandhi', and Rana Farook won a Bronze medal for her collection ‘Jawaharlal Nehru'.
The UAE is the only country from the Arab world to win a Gold medal in the show. These achievements have enhanced the UAE's prestige in the world of philately. The EPA said it is a "great honour for the country to achieve these successes”. – Khaleej Times
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As the winter season approaches, Al Ain Zoo kicks off an interactive themed month to celebrate Arabian wildlife and culture, allowing visitors to explore the region's rich history through traditional performances, culinary treats, and art work.
Each week will spotlight a different group of countries from the region, promoting the conservation of arid wildlife. Visitors can expect to see traditional cuisine, folklore and arts and crafts each week, showcasing the strong relationship between Arabian culture and Arabian wildlife, said a spokesperson of the zoo.
This week looks at the Arabian Gulf, with traditional harbiya dance performances, Al Haban music, saluki shows, and more.
Beginning on December 8, a tribute will be paid to Egypt and Sudan with performances focusing on the Nubian region and Alexandria. The week from December 15 will spotlight Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. In the final week, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan's culture will be highlighted.
The zoo is home to one of the largest collections of Arabian wildlife in the world. "Such an initiative pays homage to the countries that these species hail from, promoting awareness and also allowing guests to learn the region's rich history and culture,” said the spokesperson.
These activities are key facets of Al Ain Zoo's efforts to educate the public on wildlife in a fun and entertaining yet engaging manner, aimed at nurturing the next generation of scientists and environmentalists to continue driving conservation initiatives, particularly for arid wildlife, said the spokesperson.
Arabian Month takes places from December 1 to December 31. Al Ain Zoo is open daily from 9am to 8pm. – Gulf News
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The world renowned Aqua Circus, performing high dives and mind-boggling acrobatics over the water, is just one of the several new, world-class attractions that will highlight this year's Sharjah Water Festival (SWF).
Kicking off on December 11 at the Al Majaz Park next to the Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah, some 10,000 visitors are expected to flood the gates daily before the shows conclude on December 21.
Director-General of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, said this year's edition of SWF has new activities for all ages, unlike in the past where entertainment and recreational events were tailored mostly toward children.
Aside from the Aqua Circus, a 360-square metre outdoor Ice Rink — considered the largest of its kind in the UAE — a Roaming Carnival with musical stilt performers, unicyclists, jugglers, ribbon dancers, mimes, musicians and street entertainment with theatre performers sourced from around the world, are some of the features of the Water Festival this year. The Public Skate Park is another big attraction this year, which appears for the very first time in the region.
The Sharjah Water Festival 2013 promises to be a completely new and exciting experience at Al Majaz Park, which is divided into three areas: Adventure Zone, Fun Zone and Kids' Zone, according to age groups.
Some of the attractions on offer this year include the Climbing Wall, Bungee Trampoline, Skate Park, Skate Park Competition, Bag Jump Show, Heritage Area, Roaming Musicians Shows, Mouj Meet and Greet and above all, the hugely popular Carnival.
Al Midfa said the festival coincides with the much-awaited UIM H20 Formula One World Powerboat Championship at the Sharjah Grand Prix, to be held on December 12 and 13, in the waters of the picturesque Khalid Lagoon — one of the most celebrated sporting events in the region that attracts thousands of sports enthusiasts and spectators to the emirate each year.
In the press conference, he said SCTDA's top priority is to keep the visitors, particularly the kids and families, secure and safe inside the fun ride area. "We have taken measures and increased safety measures, including an agreement with the fun rides operator to deploy more security men at the entrance and exits points. We have also selected the rides. Dangerous rides are not allowed at this year's edition,” he added.
Present at Wednesday's launch will be Abdulla Al Zari, Director General of Sharjah Transport; Colonel Ali Seif Al Naddass, Director of Public Relations at Sharjah Police; Hasan Yaqoub, Sharjah Radio Manager at Sharjah Media Corporation; Engineer Tariq Rashid Demas, Deputy Director for Technical Affairs at SEWA; Haji Al Hajiri, Director General of Zulal Water Factory; Mrs Nada Al Suwaidi, Director of Corporate Communications at Sharjah Municipality; Yazan bin Hamid Al Mikhawi, Head of Public Relations at Directorate of Public Works; Ali Al Mutawwa, Public Relations Officer, Department of Seaports and Customs; Khalifa Salem, Key Account Manager at Airarabia; and, Manal Abu Khater, Tutor at Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign. – Khaleej Times
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Up to 200 regional and international cinematic leaders are gathering at the inaugural Cinematic Innovation Summit today and tomorrow in Dubai.
The first-of-its kind event will feature visionaries from Hollywood, Silicon Valley and academia dedicated entirely to the future of cinema.
Held in association with Dubai International Film Festival, produced by Centre for New Cinema and naseba, the summit will discuss the future of cinematic entertainment and aims to encourage filmmakers and producers to be part of it.
Co-founder of Pixar and recipient of two technical Academy Awards Alvy Ray Smith said, "I helped create the future of cinema once before. I want to be part of creating the next future of cinema. That's why I'll be in Dubai.”
Award-winning actor Andy Serkis, acclaimed by critics and audiences for his work in a range of memorable roles, will be speaking about performance capture technology and the future of cinema.
He noted, "I am very excited to be attending the summit, with my business partner Jonathan Cavendish. We have set up The Imaginarium at our studio in London to concentrate on Next Generation Storytelling, and we're thrilled to meet like-minded people and discuss the future for innovation and new technologies in the world of cinema.”
DreamWorks Animation's producer and the producer of The Croods Jane Hartwell took a nostalgic approach and highlighted how much the industry had evolved since she started at DreamWorks, "From my beginnings at DreamWorks on Antz and Shrek until now on The Croods, the evolution of what's possible to produce in computer animation has dramatically changed our abilities to push the boundaries as storytellers and artists. I look forward to sharing our processes and discovering new ones in Dubai.”
Known for his HDRI and Image-Based Lighting techniques utilised in films such as The Matrix sequels, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Terminator: Salvation, District 9, and Avatar; and a shared recipient of the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award, Paul Debevec will highlight how technology will revolutionise human interaction with movies.
Explaining the importance of sharing experiences, he said, "Tomorrow's filmmakers will tell stories set in any time and place working with teams across the world. I can't imagine a better place to experience that spirit than at the Cinematic Innovation Summit and Dubai International Film Festival.”
The former chairman of Universal Pictures and the current CEO of Lava Bear Films, David Linde, is no stranger to commercially successful films.
He emphasised providing the best experience to the movie-goers by saying, "As the quality of films continues to progress, we, as filmmakers, must find every way to deliver our best to audiences worldwide who deserve the best cinematic experience when they go to the theatre. The summit provides a platform to gather and share ideas that will allow us to continue the evolution of film production.”
David will lead discussions on evolution of film financing and bridging the gap between East and West.
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In partnership with Cleveland Clinic in the United States, Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) inaugurated "Three Generations," the first-ever group exhibition of United Arab Emirates contemporary art in a healthcare setting on 2nd December 2013, which marked the 42nd National Day of U.A.E.
Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative of the Western Region, the arts will be exhibited until March 31, 2014, in Cleveland Clinic's art exhibition area, Ohio, USA.
Curated by ADMAF together with Cleveland Clinic Arts '&' Medicine Institute (AMI) and supported by Mubadala Healthcare's Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the exhibition supports an on-going commitment to cultural diplomacy. To enrich society and enhance cultural immersion across borders, the exhibition at Cleveland Clinic features the works of 16 emerging and established Emirati artists, illustrating the importance of art and creativity in the U.A.E.
The joint efforts of ADMAF and AMI have been guided by a shared vision to integrate art into the community. The collaboration emerged in 2009 during the sixth edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival where Iva Fattorini, M.D., Chairwoman of the Cleveland Clinic Global Arts '&' Medicine Institute, was invited to discuss "Music '&' the Brain." Since then, ADMAF continues to explore programs which focus on art in a hospital setting, including Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in the UAE capital, which has been managed by Cleveland Clinic since 2007. "Three Generations" is an extension of continued efforts to explore the healing effects of music and art in medicine.
The exhibition opening, occurring on the UAE National Day, reinforces the cultural connection with the United States, next year's Abu Dhabi Festival Country of Honour. The exhibition also illustrates an institutional commitment to sharing Emirati culture with Cleveland audiences.
Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, said: "Music and art is able to unite people from different backgrounds through the commonality of emotion '&' artistic expression - allowing the exchange of ideas, values, traditions and other aspects of culture and identity, whilst help the healing process through changing the state of one's body and mind. Our partnership with Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and the global promotion of Emirati art marks ADMAF's commitment to cultural diplomacy, the expression of art within unique community spaces, and the exploration of the healing power of music and art within healthcare." Talking about the exhibition itself, Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo added: "The Three Generations exhibition provides a window into the cultural currents of the UAE through the eyes of some of its established and emerging creative minds." The featured works span the creative practices of three generations of Emirati artists. The range of artistic media throughout the exhibition reveals an expression of contemporary cultural identity - rooted in tradition while focusing on the present and future. "Three Generations" was previously shown at Sotheby's London.
"The intersection of cultures and experiences is where the future of progress happens, in arts as well as medicine," said Dr. Fattorini. "Our collaboration with ADMAF has shown the transcultural power of arts in connecting people regardless of where we come from. Art can take us into new worlds, cultures, and state of mind." The featured works span the creative practices of three generations of Emirati artists. The range of artistic media throughout the exhibition reveals an expression of contemporary cultural identity -- rooted in tradition while focusing on the present and future. Three Generations was previously shown at Sotheby's London. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, this evening received at his palace Emirati, Abdul Rahman Al Rabia Al Mansouri, who walked 380km in 11 days from Fujairah, passing in other Emirates until arrival in Abu Dhabi, to mark the 42nd national day anniversary.
Sheikh Nahyan commended the initiatives of Emirati youth in their interaction with the national occasions, among others, the initiative of Al Mansouri.
Al Mansouri thanked Sheikh Nahyan and other Sheikhs for their encouragement to the youth. He presented a sword gift to Sheikh Nahyan in recognition to his support to the youth in all fields. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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A Falconry competition was held yesterday in Bani Yas as part of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival. The Sheikh Zayed Cup for Telwah Category was won by K, a falcon owned by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trained by Mohammed Sultan Matar Al Ketbi. The competition was organised by the Abu Dhabi Sport Council, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Falconers Club. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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New York: Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates Mission to the United Nations, yesterday hosted a reception on the occasion of the 42nd Anniversary of the National Day of the United Arab Emirates, in the presence of Sheikh Dr. Hazza bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.
The reception, which was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, was attended by Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. John Ashe, President of the General Assembly, Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, and the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, David Miliband.
Also present were a number senior UN Officials, as well as ambassadors accredited to the UN and the diplomatic and consular corps represented in New York, senior New York City Government Officials and prominent personalities from various sectors and institutions, such as NYU and Guggenheim.
In her remarks, Ambassador Nusseibeh welcomed the attendees and outlined the U.A.E.'s achievements since its foundation in 1971. Ambassador Nusseibeh also celebrated the U.A.E.'s successful bid to host EXPO 2020 and expressed her gratitude for the support Member States had given the U.A.E..
She re-affirmed the U.A.E.'s commitment to the United Nations and its principles and said, "The U.A.E. is a firm believer in the importance of multi-lateralism and the benefits of a strong and effective United Nations. The UN is the embodiment of a global collective interest and my country is a believer in that ideal". She reiterated her commitment to continue deepening the relationship between the U.A.E. and the UN, especially in the areas of humanitarian assistance, gender equality, development and the promotion of international peace and security.
Speaking at the reception, Ambassador Nusseibeh congratulated President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, 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, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and the people of the U.A.E.. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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London: The strong relationship between the UAE and Britain was emphasised at a National Day event in the heart of London.
Ambassadors, business leaders, politicians, bankers and military top brass were among the guests at one of the British capital's grandest hotels, the Dorchester, to celebrate 42 years of nationhood.
The occasion offered a fitting climax to 2013, in which the ties between the countries were highlighted by the successful state visit of Sheikh Khalifa in April, which included a banquet at Windsor Castle hosted by Queen Elizabeth.
Abdulrahman Ghanim Al Mutaiwi, the UAE Ambassador to Britain, said the visit celebrated "our many decades of friendship. Since then, we have gone from strength to strength.”
In his speech, he listed a range of achievements and initiatives including: Britain's support for the successful Dubai bid to host Expo 2020; 100,000 Britons living and working in the UAE; 5,000-plus UK-owned businesses operating in the country; 3,000 Emirati students on courses in the UK; plans for a £1 billion (Dh6 billion) investment by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, in Britain's green business plan; Masdar support for London Array, Europe's largest offshore wind farm; DP World's London Gateway port project, the first phase of which opened last month.
Mr Al Mutaiwi said the links would be demonstrated again in January at the UAE-UK Pioneers Forum, a two-day careers event billed as "a unique experience bringing together the most prestigious UAE and UK businesses with bright undergraduates from universities in the UK”.
Both the ambassador and Britain's minister for North Africa and the Middle East, Hugh Robertson, also reflected on mutual efforts on defence and conflict resolution.
Mr Al Mutaiwi made particular reference to attempts to secure a peaceful settlement in Syria, scene of "one of the worst conflicts in our time”, as core members of the Friends of Syria group.
"There are many in this room who have worked tirelessly to advance our cooperation in those seemingly intractable conflicts and to enhance our relations,” he said.
Mr Robertson, who began his new role only six weeks ago having previously been the minister in charge of the 2012 London Olympics, spoke of troops from the two countries serving "side by side” in Afghanistan.
As well as monitoring developments in Iran and Syria, the UAE and UK were encouraging the "more positive horizons of the Arab Spring”.
Since 1974, he said, 200 Emiratis had graduated from Britain's army officer training centre, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the second highest rate among the UK's defence partners.
"I cannot think of any time when our ties have been closer than now,” said Mr Robertson. "We have achieved the real trick of really strong relationships by not depending on one field alone.
"It goes beyond economic links, which work both ways, and the unbelievably thriving defence relationship. The leaderships of our two countries simply get on extraordinarily well.”
He cited two examples: big orders placed for Airbus aircraft, especially by Emirates, at last month's Dubai Air Show and the British prime minister David Cameron's enthusiastic support for Dubai Expo 2020 bid.
Mr Al Mutaiwi agreed. He said Expo 2020 would be more than a trade fair. "It is an opportunity for cultural exchange, a showcase for innovation,” he said.
"Dubai is ideally placed to hold the fair. Although famed for its glimmering skyscrapers, it is also one of the Middle East's art hubs and the home of the region's burgeoning technology startup scene.
"A UAE city holding the expo comes as no surprise - it is our cosmopolitan open society that makes the UAE the most inspiring place for ambitious young Arabs to emigrate to, and attracts over a million British visitors a year.” – The National
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Vienna: The OPEC Secretariat issued the following release on its ministerial meeting yesterday: The 164th Meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was held in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, 4 December 2013, under the Chairmanship of its President, Mustafa Jassim Mohammad Al-Shamali, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil of the State of Kuwait and Head of its Delegation.
The Conference congratulated Bijan Namdar Zangeneh and Mustafa J.M. Al-Shamali on their appointments as Minister of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Minister of Oil of the State of Kuwait, respectively, and thanked their predecessors in office, Rostam Ghasemi of Iran and Hani Abdulaziz Hussain of Kuwait for their contributions to the work of the Organization.
The Conference elected Dr Abdel Bari Ali Al-Arousi, Minister of Oil and Gas of Libya, as President of the Conference for one year, with effect from 1 January 2014, and Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke CON, Minister of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and Head of its Delegation, as Alternate President for the same period.
The Conference reviewed the Secretary General's report, the report of the Economic Commission Board (ECB) and a number of administrative matters. The Conference also exchanged views on developments in multilateral environment negotiations, including: the outcome of COP19/CMP9 held in Warsaw, Poland, in November; the status of the Organization's ongoing energy dialogue with the European Union (EU); its continued cooperative work with various other international organizations for the G-20; and its energy dialogue with the Russian Federation.
The Conference reviewed the oil market outlook, as presented by the Secretary General, in particular supply/demand projections for 2014. The Conference also considered the global economic outlook, again noting: the high sovereign debt in the Euro-zone; high unemployment in the advanced economies, especially the Euro-zone; and slow growth, coupled with inflation risk, in the emerging economies. Indeed, the biggest challenge facing global oil markets in 2014 is this global economic uncertainty, with the fragility of the Euro-zone remaining a cause for concern. It was also noted that, although world oil demand is forecast to increase during the year 2014, this will be more than offset by the projected increase in non-OPEC supply.
Nevertheless, in the interest of maintaining market equilibrium, the Conference decided to maintain the current production level of 30.0 million barrels a day. In taking this decision, Member Countries re-confirmed their readiness to swiftly respond to developments which could have an adverse impact on the maintenance of an orderly and balanced oil market.
Agreeing on the need to be vigilant, given the uncertainties arising from the enduring weaknesses in the world economy, the Conference directed the Secretariat to continue its close monitoring of developments in supply and demand, as well as non-fundamental factors such as speculative activity, keeping Member Countries well informed of developments.
The Conference appointed Dr Ali Obaid Al Yabhouni, the United Arab Emirates' Governor for OPEC, as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the year 2014, and Dr Bernard Mommer, Venezuelan Governor for OPEC, as Alternate Chairman for the same period, with effect from 1 January 2014.
The Conference decided to extend the tenure of Abdalla S. El-Badri as Secretary General for a period of one year, with effect from 1 January 2014.
The Conference approved the Budget of the Organization for the year 2014.
The Conference decided that its next Ordinary Meeting will convene in Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, 11 June 2014.
Finally, the Conference reiterated its appreciation to the Government and people of the Republic of Austria, as well as the authorities of the City of Vienna, for their warm hospitality and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) the master developer of ports and industrial zones in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and container terminal operator, Abu Dhabi Terminals (ADT), recently celebrated a record number of containers handled through Khalifa Port in its first year of operation.
One million TEUs, or containers, have now been handled by Abu Dhabi Terminals at Khalifa Port, since its commercial opening at the end of 2012.
In October of this year, more than 100,000 TEUs passed through the port in just one month. These are very significant figures for Khalifa Port and the highest number of containers ever handled in a single month in the Emirate.
Mohamed Al Shamisi, Acting CEO ADPC, said, "One million containers is an important record for Abu Dhabi, not just Khalifa Port. It's a great achievement for everyone working at the port, demonstrating that the container terminal operations are efficiently and effectively handling the growing import and export volumes that the port was designed for." Martijn Van de Linde, CEO, ADT, commented, "We are very proud of what we have accomplished over the past year. Surpassing the one million TEU mark is very a significant milestone in the development of Khalifa Port and a clear testament to the efforts and hard work of our teams but even more so, the strong and loyal support we have witnessed from our ever growing customer base." Khalifa Port began commercial operations at the end of last year when all container traffic was transferred from the city centre Port Zayed to the new state-of-the-art flagship facility, Khalifa Port. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Drydocks World yesterday signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Offshore Innovation Management Ltd., to build a series of AJ 62-X135 series of multi-purpose (accommodation '&' construction) Jack-Up rigs.
The projects will commence in 2014 and the first rig is expected to be delivered in 2016.
Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman Drydocks World and Maritime World has said, "This is an extension on winning "Expo 2020". Congratulations to our leadership on achieving this landmark event which is bound to have a significant impact and will substantially boost returns for the economy of the UAE.
"We are delighted to have signed this LOI to construct these high performance rigs which can provide a broad range of services including the provision of accommodation and construction services, heavy lift support for hook-up and commissioning activities during installation of new topsides or in the installation of subsea structures.
"We have considerable experience in catering to the specialized requirements and exacting quality standards of the offshore oil and gas industry and have made deep and meaningful inroads into these rapidly evolving sectors in recent months. This is in line with our business strategy to target this market segment aggressively with added value services. "Oddgeir Indrestrand, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Offshore Innovation Management Ltd said, "Let me first congratulate Dubai and its leaders on winning "EXPO2020", that will put substantial positive impact on the UAE economy. At the time of such a momentous occasion, we are very excited to start this journey in partnership with Drydocks World. Their success will be our success. Their proven track record for quality and efficiency in delivery has led us to reach this noteworthy milestone. We have close and personal interactions with the top management of Drydocks World and their drive to professionalism, excellence, transformation and innovation is one that we share. This common objective is something that we are grateful for as this ensures a long and fruitful relationship between our two organizations." The 86m X 95m AJ 62-X 135, standing a towering 185m in height and weighing 26,000 tonnes is a three legged jack up rig which will provide accommodation and facilities according to NORSOK European Standards for between 208 and 490 people in single cabins depending on rig configuration. The rig which can operate in waters up to 135m with a 25m air gap will have a 100 percent up-time in any weather conditions unlike semi-submersible accommodation and construction rigs. The rig will also be equipped with a 3000 ton Huismann crane for offshore heavy lifts; a large free working deck will full crane coverage, a heli-deck for use by AW 101 helicopters and a full helicopter crew of 21 and safety equipment for all personnel onboard. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –
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Jorf Lasfar Energy Company (JLEC), TAQA's wholly owned Moroccan subsidiary, has received approval to be listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange.
JLEC, which operates Morocco's largest power complex, is authorised by the Conseil D'ontologique des Valeurs Mobilieres (CDVM) to create a total of 2,234,638 new shares, offered at a price of MAD 447.5 with a nominal value of MAD 100. These shares represent 9.47% of JLEC and will be floated on the exchange. In addition to that, 4.74% of shares were offered and fully subscribed through private placement to key Moroccan institutional investors prior to the initial public offering. TAQA will retain 85.79% of JLEC.
Carl Sheldon, TAQA's Chief Executive Officer, said, "The IPO will allow the Moroccan people and institutions to invest in their largest electricity generator. TAQA is committed to supporting Morocco's strategy of securing the supply of energy while diversifying its fuel mix." Abdelmajid Iraqui Houssaini, Chief Executive Officer of Jorf Lasfar Energy Company, said, "JLEC is the leading energy operator in Morocco and we feel that this new step will allow us to anchor our business in the Moroccan economy by opening up our capital to institutional investors." TAQA has almost completed a USD1.6 billion expansion of the Jorf Lasfar power complex, which will increase its generation capacity by 700 megawatts (MW) to 2,056 MW. Two new units are scheduled to be commissioned next year.
Jorf Lasfar supplied 38 per cent of the Kingdom's electricity in 2012, and the expansion is vital to enabling national economic growth and job creation. TAQA is also developing alternative energy projects for Morocco, including wind power.
Electricity consumption in Morocco is expected to double by 2020 and quadruple by 2030. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Bali: Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, has affirmed that the U.A.E., as part of the world's developing countries, believes in the multilateral trading system, and that focus on the development dimension will boost ambitions of reaching a balanced deal that serves the interests of the developed, the developing and least developed countries alike.
Al Mansouri delivered a speech at a plenary session of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference, or the MC9, which is being held on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, before ministers and heads of 159 member states, in which he said that there is an urgent need for a very global community, more than ever, to maintain the rules of the global trading system that has served the international community during the financial crisis.
He emphasised that the U.A.E. will work with everyone in a constructive manner to reach a successful transaction and results of interest to all the Member States of the Organisation to advance the way for future completion of the Doha Round.
Al Mansouri, who led the U.A.E. delegation to the meetings of the WTO Ministerial Conference, was accompanied by Ahmed Abdullah Al-Musalli, U.A.E. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the U.A.E. Ministry of Economy and Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Economy.
The Minister of Economy added that the draft Trade Facilitation Agreement, which is on the negotiating table at the Bali conference, will provide the global economy with more than a trillion dollars, 1000 billion dollars annually, and the total cost of trade will reduce to 10 per cent annually, which will positively affect small and medium enterprises.
He stressed the importance of speeding up and facilitating the process of accession of countries which are seeking to acquire membership of the organisation, especially developing countries, noting that there are a large number of Arab countries that seek to achieve that.
Al Mansouri shed light on the progress made by the U.A.E. in the economic field and he said that the U.A.E. as a young nation focused on the development of international trade, as the percentage of growth during the years 2010 and 2012 reached about 15 per cent after overcoming the global financial crisis.
He added that the U.A.E. ranked in 19th position in its competition on a global level and topped the rankings in the Middle East and North Africa regarding terms of facilitating business.
The session was also attended by a number of senior officials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Lisbon: Rita Araujo, Director of Aicep Portugal Global, a Trade and Investment Agency operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, has recognised the U.A.E. as Portugal's key trade partner in the Middle East given its trade and economic weight in the Gulf region.
In a statement to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Ms. Araujo expressed her hope for accelerating pace of trade, economic and investment cooperation with the U.A.E..
She stressed the importance of the current visit of Paulo Portas, Deputy Prime Minister of Portugal, to the U.A.E., which will focus on ways of boosting trade and economic ties, and exploring new avenues for joint investment in areas like renewable energy, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing and real estate.
She said that she will inform senior officials and businessmen on the promising business opportunities that Portugal offers, notably in the ongoing government privatisation programme.
She lauded the efforts both countries were making to energise bilateral relations, referring to the Portuguese parliament endorsement of the agreement on avoidance of double taxation, paving the way for its implementation.
As for trade relations, she said Portugal's exports to the U.A.E. grew in 2013 by 11%, thanks to the agreements signed between the two countries for boosting economic and trade cooperation.
Last year, she noted, trade exchange between the two countries surged 23% to US$6.6 billion with Portugal's exports accounting for $2 billion.
Araujo said that the U.A.E. is Portugal's main trade partner in the GCC region, with Portugal-UAE non-oil trade dominating 24.8% of Portugal's total non-oil foreign trade with the GCC in 2012.
She added that the U.A.E. controlled 15.5% of Portugal's non-oil imports from the GCC in 2012 and 29.2% of Portugal's total exports to the GCC.
Aicep Portugal Global - Trade '&' Investment Agency is a government business entity, created in 2007, focused on encouraging the best foreign companies to invest in Portugal and contribute to the success of Portuguese companies abroad in their internationalisation processes or export activities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
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Improvements in the business environment along with faster recovery in the real estate and construction sectors and an expected surge across tourism and retail have seen business sentiments rising remarkably in Dubai during the third quarter of 2013.
The composite Business Confidence Index (BCI) stood at 141.6 points in Q3 2013, compared to 122.7 points in Q2 2012, in the quarterly business confidence survey conducted by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai. A quarter-on-quarter comparison shows that the Q3 index is 17.3 per cent up from the Q2 index due to rising demand and improved economic activity expected during the next quarter (Q4) owing to the festival season and seasonal tourist inflows.
The overall business outlook for the final quarter of 2013 has also improved remarkably compared to the previous quarter with 58 percent of respondents expecting an improvement in business conditions as against 40 per cent in Q3, 2013.
Anticipating increase across sales volumes, revenues, profits and hires many businesses are planning to invest in new capacity upgrades over the next 12 months as well. Moreover plans to upgrade technology have intensified as 60 per cent of firms revealed such intentions over Q3 compared to 53 per cent only in the previous quarter.
"A highlight of the observations and outlook gathered in the third quarter survey is the impact generated by the overall business atmosphere. Over and above seasonal upswings in economic activity there is a high level of confidence resulting from the steady improvements in the ease of doing business in Dubai," commented Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.
Apparently, businesses are willing to spend on growth and expansion, with economic activity across traditional non-oil sectors such as tourism and logistics bound to rise and recovery across other critical sectors such as construction gaining pace. This optimism and upward momentum will further create opportunities and new demand," added Al Qamzi.
Real estate and construction companies are expecting new projects or contracts in local and regional markets, which would boost overall business activity. Driven by higher demand from all major sectors, 57 per cent of the transportation companies also expect better business in Q4 2013.
Almost 95 per cent of businesses expect either an increase or no change in sales volume during the next quarter (as against 83% in Q3 2013 and 90% in Q4 2012). Those who expect higher sales in Q4 have also grown in strength from 44 per cent to 61 per cent between the last two quarters.
The positive outlook is underlined by strong sales revenue expectations, with 64 per cent companies expecting better revenues in Q4 and another 32 per cent confident of stable sales, driven largely by real estate activity and rising prices. Selling prices are expected to remain stable with 73 per cent expecting no change in their prices while 22 per cent expect higher prices in Q4.
Exporters are more optimistic compared to the overall business community on sales volume, but relatively less optimistic on selling prices. Profitability expectations are also in line with the overall sales expectations, with 58 per cent expecting better profits based on higher volumes, new contracts with better margins and strong demand.
Consistent with the positive expectations on sales, 57 per cent of trading businesses are also planning to increase their new purchase orders in Q4 hopeful of acquiring new projects and in some cases to back their plans of launching new products over the coming quarter.
Continuing the trend from the previous quarter, larger firms are more confident compared to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) mainly due to relatively high expectations of volumes, hiring and profits. Businesses in the services (58%) and manufacturing (59%) sectors are more optimistic on sales volume, profitability and hiring, with service firms comparatively more optimistic on prices.
The outlook for employment also appears stronger with 26 per cent planning to increase their workforce in Q4 2013 compared to a 16 per cent in the last quarter and six per cent in Q4 2012. Reaffirming a brighter outlook, 72 per cent respondents stated their intention to invest in capacity expansion during the next 12 months and the percentage was higher (82%) amongst large firms.
Growing competition remains the key challenge for 34 per cent of the respondents while 66 per cent cited no such challenge, as against 22 per cent in the previous quarter, thus underlining an improving sentiment. Slowing demand, rising rental '&' leasing costs and the adverse impact of government fees and regulations on margins and cash flows are among other major concerns.
DED conducts the quarterly surveys to measure the perceptions of the business community and capture the business outlook for the future. The survey serves as an effective tool to measure the pulse of the business community and allow the government and the private sector to track and analyse major trends and issues that have a bearing on economic activity in Dubai.
A total of 508 companies in Dubai were covered in the survey. The companies were asked to indicate if they anticipated an increase, decrease, or no change in key indicators such as sales revenues, selling prices, volumes sold, profits and number of employees.
Conducted in collaboration with the global consultancy firm Dun '&' Bradstreet (D'&'B), the quarterly survey uses a rigorous sampling approach that ensures adequate representation of small, medium, and large enterprises across the manufacturing, trading, and services sectors, while giving due attention to the perceptions of the exporting firms in Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 05/12/2013
Overall, real GDP increased by 4 per cent in Ajman, placing the emirate's growth rate close to the UAE's overall rate of 4.4 per cent in 2012, according to the report issued in Arabic and English languages by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Ajman.
The report refers to the economic indicators of the Emirate of Ajman in 2012 compared to the previous years to document the development in the Emirate as per official statistics.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid, chairman of Ajman's department of economic development, said, "The economy of the Emirate of Ajman has so far avoided the repercussions of the global financial crisis." He commended the efforts exerted by the DED in Ajman in the implementation of the directives by H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman and the follow up from H.H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman.
The report shows the number of occupied hotel rooms in Ajman, a measure of tourist activity in the emirate, increased from 186,500 in 2009 to 602,033 last year. The Emirate boasted nine hotels in 2005, but now has 27. The revenue of Ajman hotels grew at an average rate of 14 per cent annually across the period.
But tourism accounts for less than 6 per cent of the Ajman economy - compared to the 37 per cent share of the local economy constituted by the manufacturing industry.
The report said the food prices increased by 8.51 per cent, contributing significantly to overall inflation of 3.5 per cent. Meanwhile, the employment in Ajman banks was 48 per cent for Emiratis, suggesting the success of the Emiratisation process.
Earlier, the Ministry of Public Works announced that hundreds of millions of dirhams would be spent on construction projects in Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 05/12/2013
Under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Expo Centre Sharjah is organising the first edition of the Made in the UAE Exhibition and Conference from December 9th to 12th.
The U.A.E. efforts to focus on its manufacturing sector to boost its non-oil exports will expect to receive a big push when the country's leading manufacturers get together for the upcoming exhibition, according to the organisers.
The details of the show were unveiled during a press conference yesterday at Expo Centre Sharjah, which was addressed by Mohamed Ahmed Al Nuaimi, Assistant Secretary General, U.A.E. Federation of U.A.E. Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah, Sultan Jemei Obaid, Deputy Director General and Exhibitions Committee Chairman of FCCI, Mohammed Ali Al Kamali, Director of Export Markets Development, Dubai Export (Dubai Economic Department), Ahmad Al- Gaizi, Assistant Committee Chairman and Economic Department Manager and Ms. Hana Shabaneh, Managing Director, Success Steps Seminars and Conferences.
"The manufacturing sector is the direct beneficiary of our country's diversification programme, with the second largest chunk of investments going to the sector. This has helped the sector in obtaining latest technological innovations to boost the quality, quantity and cost-effectiveness of its products, which will be showcased to domestic and international buyers during the Made in the U.A.E. Exhibition," said Mr. Midfa.
Of the nearly US$84 billion spent on development projects in the U.A.E. by both public and private sectors in 2012, manufacturing received the second biggest chunk of 14.7 per cent, behind real estate (17.8 per cent), according to latest statistics.
"We are bringing together more than 100 exhibitors from sectors like foodstuff, building materials, furniture and home decor and industrial products. Made in the U.A.E. will also feature a conference component, which will help participants gain better insight into market dynamics and how to promote their products to a bigger audience," he added.
"The Made in UAE show is the result of the country's policies aimed at helping reduce our dependence on oil income and ensure sustainability through initiatives that promote the manufacturing industry. The exhibition is offering local manufacturers a sure-shot platform from where they can target both the regional as well as international markets, especially emerging economies," according to Mohamed Ahmed Al Nuaimi.
Economies in Asia accounted for about 77 per cent of the U.A.E.'s exports of manufactured goods in 2012, with a further 10.4 per cent going to Africa. The nearly 40 free zones in the country are the key drivers of the manufacturing sector, with the majority of the industrial units operating out of them, luring foreign direct investments to the tune of US$8.2 billion in 2012, up from US$7.68 billion the year before.
"Continuing government support, mega deals like the ones signed recently by Mubadala with the world's leading aeroplane manufacturers to expand their aero parts production and events like World EXPO 2020, will propel the growth of the manufacturing sector in the country in a big way," said Sultan Jemei Obaid.
"As in the past, we are also focusing on SMEs for the Made in U.A.E. exhibition," he added. "The Made in the U.A.E. exhibition is an important marketing and sales platform for SMEs, which account for 92 per cent of the country's total registered companies, 86 per cent of the workforce in the private sector and 40 per cent of the GDP." The show will display food and beverages, textile and readymade garments, leather, wood, woodwork and furniture, paper and paper products, chemical and chemical products, oil, rubber and plastic products, metal and non-metal raw materials, machinery and other manufacturing equipment, ceramics and tiles, cement and concrete and other building materials.
Apart from industrial units from across the country, the show will also bring together free zones, municipalities and government establishments. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 05/12/2013
Etisalat, the leading telecom operator in the Middle East and Africa, on Tuesday announced it has won the prestigious industry award as the Best Middle East Product and Service, at Capacity Global Carrier Awards 2013 in Amsterdam.
Etisalat was recognised for its outstanding core international network capabilities, reach, broad service portfolio, continuous commitment to technology innovation, quality and strategy.
"The award was well deserved as the SmartHub platform took considerable strides in 2013 to become the largest-capacity content, internet and data hub in the Middle East. This year, etisalat launched the region's largest-hosted CDN, attracting partnerships with the likes of Limelight, Level 3 and CDN Networks. Meanwhile, etisalat's SmartHub IX and SmartHub IPX are providing an integrated platform for mobile operators, ISPs and content providers,” said Capacity Magazine.
Ali Amiri, executive vice-president for Carrier and Wholesale Services at Etisalat UAE, said: "I would like to thank our dedicated team and global partners who contributed towards this success. It is inspiring to be recognised by our peers for the work we do. Etisalat's commitment is to deliver the highest quality, innovative international services, making the UAE one of the best connected countries in the world.”
The finalists were compiled by a panel of analysts, industry experts and a senior Capacity Magazine editorial team. – Khaleej Times
posted on 05/12/2013
Hussein Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, has announced that the municipality is to begin to implement five projects of residential parks and public squares in the Emirate of Dubai at a total cost estimated at 17 million Dirhams.
It comes as a complement to the policy of expanding green areas and in order to distribute them and provide entertainment services in a balanced manner to all areas of the emirate. The contracts have been awarded and the projects are currently in the preparation stage," Lootah said.
He said that the Dubai Municipality aims to make the city of Dubai one of most beautiful and green cities of the world through its current and future projects, based on its strategic objectives and vision to build an excellent city that provides the essence of success and comfort of sustainable living.
Lootah said the civic body has been striving to provide all the requirements of social and family life in the city of Dubai. "We are serious about moving forward according to the expectations of the world, in line with the directives of our wise leadership." Taleb Abdul Karim Julfar, Director of Public Parks and Horticulture Department, said that the total number of parks and public places in the Emirate of Dubai is now 103, including six major parks, two open beaches, four pond parks, 33 residential parks and 58 public squares.
Dubai parks are the most important and busiest places in the country in terms of the number of visitors and events organised by various community groups on special occasions such as holidays and celebrations.
The department says that it is proud of its excellence in providing unique services ensuring the highest standards of comfort and cleanliness as well as maintaining the environment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 05/12/2013
The Abu Dhabi General Services (Musanada) has recently signed a contract to implement the Dh4.309 billion new Al Ain Hospital. The contract involves a consortium between Arabtec Construction L.L.C. and Constructora San Jose SA - Abu Dhabi.
The decision regarding the new consortium came following the approval of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, at a meeting held recently under the chairmanship of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council. The Council approved Dh4.309 billion to fund the New Al Ain Hospital project.
The contract was signed by Mohamed Khalifa Al-Fahed Al-Mehairi, CEO of Musanada, and Tareq Abu Shreehah and Miguel Angel Bravo on behalf of the consortium of Arabtec Construction L.L.C. and Constructora San Jose SA - Abu Dhabi, respectively. The contract signing was held at Musanada's headquarters in Abu Dhabi and in the presence of a number of officials from all parties.
The CEO of Musanada stated that the contract for the new Al Ain Hospital comes within the framework of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is keen for balanced development in all parts of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The contract signing also coincides with the UAE's forty-second National Day celebrations.
"The new hospital will provide integrated medical services to the people of Al Ain City in accordance with the latest international standards and practices in the field of health facilities. The hospital will thus contribute to the strengthening of the healthcare sector in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi in general, while addressing the needs of the growing population in the area," said Al-Mehairi.
Saif Fadhel Al-Hameli, Executive Director - Health Projects, Musanada, had the following to say: "The New Al Ain Hospital has been designed according to sustainability criteria that significantly reduce energy and water consumption, and which also make full use of energy from the sun's rays. Furthermore, the design employs the latest international medical standards that provide an ideal environment for healing and comforting the sick, while simultaneously taking into account the privacy and traditions of the UAE. In addition, the design incorporates features to meet future healthcare needs, such as expansions, in order to provide patients with high-quality healthcare services for years to come." The Group Facilities Development and Maintenance Director - Corporate Facilities '&' Construction, at the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), Mohammed Hassan Al-Za'abi extended thanks to Musanada's team for their efforts and keenness to commence immediately with the process of building the New Al Ain Hospital, which comes in accordance with SEHA's vision of providing healthcare services to the people of Abu Dhabi according to the best international standards. SEHA intends primarily to develop the infrastructure system that is necessary for its health facilities in order to support and achieve world-class standards.
Al-Za'abi stressed that the wise Abu Dhabi Government places great importance on the health sector both in terms of improving the level of health services provided to patients and the expansion in the construction of public hospitals and health centres.
"The new projects of SEHA's health facilities such as hospitals, clinics, health and dialysis centres will reshape the concept of higher-end health services in the coming years, so that quality outcomes of public healthcare services will be consistent with the visionary Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. This plan envisions an efficient delivery of public healthcare services to the residents of Abu Dhabi in accordance with the highest international standards," affirmed Al-Za'abi.
The new 719-bed hospital will provide for general medicine, surgery, a dedicated children's ward, maternity, ICU, medical rehabilitation, VIP patients and royal suites. It will also include 104 advanced specialised clinics, 17 radiology rooms for X-ray, CT Scan and MRI services, as well as 22 specialised rooms for endoscopy procedures and diagnosis.
Designated bed arrangement in the new hospital comprise 484 for general medicine, surgery, children's ward and maternity, 67 for ICU, 142 for medical rehabilitation, and 26 for VIP patients and royal suites.
The New Al Ain Hospital extends over an area of 358,000 square metres. It consists of the main hospital, a central morgue that will serve the needs of the Eastern Region, a mosque, a centre for logistics services, and a 60-MW power station, in addition to an underground parking lot accommodating up to 1,500 cars.
The New Al Ain Hospital's features include the latest state-of-the art medical technologies and devices, which will contribute to the provision of world-class medical care to patients and prepare for the expected population increase in the coming years. The new hospital is designed to minimise maintenance costs and support a large hospital's need for flexible administrative support services, including meeting rooms and expanded parking areas.
It is worth mentioning that the design of the New Al Ain Hospital was presented with a Highly Commended Award in the category of Best Hospital Design (Built '&' Future) at the Hospital Build Middle East 2010 Exhibition '&' Congress, as the hospital's unique design creates the community feel of an oasis of healing, thus constituting a landmark in Al Ain City. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 05/12/2013
Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of the Committee on Follow up of President's Initiatives, has expressed his gratitude and thanks to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his great care of the healthcare sector for its direct impact on the health wellbeing of the community, being the driving force for comprehensive development in all walks of life.
He said that delivery of welfare, comfortable, decent life, social and family stability, health insurance and basic services to the citizen are the top priorities of the President.
'The world-class Sheikh Khalifa hospital in Umm Al Qaiwain, which was inaugurated today, speaks volume for the President's true care for his citzens,' he said in a statement on the occasion of opening the Sheikh Khalifa general hospital in Umm Al Qaiwain, adding that the hospital is a qualitative addition to the health and medical sector in the state for the top quality health services it will provide to patients.
The hospital, he said, would significantly contribute in providing premium health care services and ease pressure on other health facilities.
Al Za'abi noted the opening of the hospital by H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, underscored the care of the wise leadership in all the state to secure amenities for safe and stable life and support all community development projects.
He also praised H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, for his close follow up of implementation of the President's initiatives.
Total cost of the 50,000 square metre and 203 bed hospital, he added, was Dh 557 million of which Dh 123 million were allocated for purchasing medical equipment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 05/12/2013
His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of Supreme Council of the National Defence College, officially inaugurated the college on Wednesday.
Present at the opening ceremony were H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, a number of members of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the UAE Armed Forces, a group of top Armed Forces commanders, diplomats and VIP guests.
Sheikh Mohamed hoisted the college's flag at the parade ground and unveiled a memorial plaque, declaring the opening of the college.
Sheikh Mohamed said: 'It's our great pleasure and pride to open today this ambitious scientific research institute, coinciding with our celebrations of the 42nd glorious national day. We believe in the message of our educational and academic institutions and in their vital role in promoting thought and keeping pace with rapid changes to address challenges and explore future approaches, so as to work closely and collaboratively with other national agencies for the service of issues concerning the Emirati community and our national security, both taking top priority for our wise leadership.' Sheikh Mohamed was then briefed by the commandant of the college , Air Vice Marshal Rashad Mohammed Al Saadi, about the college, its departments, academic and research resources and advanced curricula, and the competence of trainers and faculty, as well as its close cooperation with other national education providers, including UAE University and Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research.
Sheikh Mohamed expressed his delight at seeing a group of Emirati citizens joining the college to enrich their scientific knowledge and practical and professional expertise and gain basic skills so as to participate effectively in serving their homeland.
He added that the college would serve as a new source for sustaining development, training and building the capacity of Emiratis to whom President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan gives proper support.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi added that the country's wise leadership gives great care to the qualitative training and capacity building of Emiratis to enable them to respond in a professional and positive method to unfolding developments and changes and to identify and assess future challenges, mainly those regarding national, regional and international security, as well as to understand the basics and requirements for managing state resources to protect national interests and achieve strategic objectives.
The commandant said in his opening remarks that 'Today is yet another day of giving and progress, a day full of absolute loyalty to our dear leadership and a generous nation ... we meet today at a new site of dignity and pride and of the building of the Emirati citizen.' He expressed his hope that the college would produce more achievements for the UAE and be another fitting platform of excellence in academic and strategic thought which would empower future leaders to keep abreast of the modern age and analyse and read its needs by using diverse, creative intellectual methods and developing national strategies for decision-making to serve national interests.
He said that the first batch of 30 students had joined the college in August. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 05/12/2013
A late night fire that caused the closure of Al Wahda Mall in Abu Dhabi yesterday (Tuesday) has prompted authorities to warn warehouses and shops on fire safety measures.
Although there were no casualties, injuries or major damage to the properties, the mall was closed for the day, according to a spokesman of the mall. A decision on reopening would be taken by late evening (Wednesday), he said.
The fire erupted in a warehouse for textiles and plastic items late on Tuesday and was immediately doused by the civil defence. The investigations to determine the cause of fire are progressing, a statement issued by the General Directorate of Civil Defence in Abu Dhabi said yesterday.
Even after dousing the fire, the firelighters conducted an extensive cooling process to prevent any furthers eruptions, Captain Abdullah Al Tamimi, head of public relations and customer service at the directorate, said.
He urged owners of warehouses and shops, especially those who deal in textiles and plastic items, to strictly follow fire safety regulations. He reminded them to install smoke detectors and fire extinguishers at their premises and ensure that they are always operational.
Doors and windows must be free from any obstacles. The buildings must have proper ventilation, especially those storing flammable materials and chemicals that may catch fire in high temperature, the official warned.
An employee at the mall said the entire floor where the fire erupted was flooded with water used by the civil defence. "The whole floor was totally wet; nobody could walk. I think that's why shops could not be opened.”
The spokesman of the mall management told Gulf News there was thick smoke inside the mall, which disrupted the operation of the mall on Wednesday morning. "We did not want to take any chance considering the safety and security of staff and customers, and the mall was closed for inspections,” he said.
Although the incident happened on Tuesday night, the mall was cordoned off by the police and civil defence on Wednesday morning, witnesses said.
"No one was allowed to enter the mall. There was a traffic bottleneck in the area due to the presence of civil defence trucks,” an employee said.
A staff member at a shop in the mall said the fire erupted around 12.30am. "Some clothes were burned but the civil defence reached the spot and doused the fire immediately,” he said. – Gulf News