The UAE will host Expo 2020!
  • Arabic
Supported by the UAE National Media Council

UAE and India are natural partners: paper

posted on 11/02/2016

A UAE newspaper has highlighted the official visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India, which began yesterday.

"Over the next three days, Sheikh Mohamed will meet India's senior leadership in Delhi, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee. The leaders are expected to sign 16 economic agreements worth billions of dollars across energy, information technology, aerospace and transport sectors," said The National in an editorial on Wednesday.

"This visit will be Sheikh Mohamed's first official trip to India and it comes on the heels of Mr Modi's fruitful visit to the UAE last August.

"India and the UAE have a long and positive history as allies that has been accentuated by the large Indian presence in the country. Nearly 2.6 million Indians – the largest UAE expatriate community – make their home here. They form a physical bridge between the countries. According to the World Bank, remittances from Indian expatriates in the UAE account for approximately US$13 billion (Dh47bn), while bilateral trade is about US$60bn. Moreover, many Indians have spent large portions of their working careers in the UAE, bringing with them traditions that have been woven into the country's unique cultural framework.

"India is one of the world's most powerful emerging markets. Economically, the country is a crucial area of trade for the UAE. Politically, India is a crucial link in geopolitical affairs across Asia. Under Mr Modi's leadership, India's economy has been robust. As The National reported yesterday, India has outpaced China in terms of GDP growth.

"Given our long-standing and close relationship with India, Sheikh Mohamed's visit is a reminder of the partnerships we have built together. As the global economy transforms and moves beyond its reliance on hydrocarbons, our economic partnership will take on new urgency with deeper cooperation.

"As such, the alliance between Abu Dhabi and New Delhi is part of the foundation of our regional economic security," concluded the Abu Dhabi-based daily. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Khalifa approves the new 12th Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates

posted on 11/02/2016

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, approved the new cabinet of the federal government. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the twelfth government of the UAE as part of the largest structural change in the country's history. The announcement impacts organisational structure and functions of key ministries, and includes the support of several new Ministers of State to meet the ongoing demands of an evolving economic and social landscape.

The new government includes eight new ministers, five of whom are women. The average age of the new ministers is only 38 years, with the youngest minister is a 22 year old female.

The new government has seen the addition of ministers for Tolerance, the Future, Youth, Happiness and Climate Change. Supporting the education sector will be two new minsters in addition to the current minister, as well as the formation of the Supreme Council for Education to oversee their work, as well as the formation of the Youth Council and the Council of UAE Scientists.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the new government and 12th Cabinet was announced after consultation with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and after the approval of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE. He affirmed that the new team would lead in achieving the future aspirations of the nation.

Following is the list of the new cabinet:

1. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Prime Minister and Minister of Defence

2. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior 3. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs

4. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Cabinet Member, Minister of Finance 5. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Cabinet Member, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

6. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan - Cabinet Member, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development

7. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi - Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Tolerance

8. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi - Cabinet Member, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future

9. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri – Cabinet Member, Minister of Economy

10. Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed bin Nasser Al Owais – Cabinet Member, Minister of Health and Prevention

11. Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash – Cabinet Member, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation

12. Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

13. Obaid bin Humaid Al Tayer – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Financial Affairs

14. Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for International Cooperation

15. Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Al Mazroui – Cabinet Member, Minister of Energy 16. Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Education

17. Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif AlNuaimi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Infrastructure Development

18. Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Justice

19. Najla bint Mohammed Al Awar – Cabinet Member, Minister of Community Development

20. Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Defence Affairs

21. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Climate Change and Environment

22. Jameela bint Salem Al Muhairi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for General Education

23. Dr. Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul AlFalasi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Higher Education

24. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber – Cabinet Member, Minister of State

25. Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi - Minister of State

26. Dr. Rashid bin Ahmed bin Fahad – Minister of State

27. Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi – Minister of State for Happiness

28. Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs

29. Shamma bint Sohail Faris AlMazrui – Minister of State for Youth Affairs

New Minister Profiles Najla Mohammed Al Awar – Cabinet Member, Minister of Community Development Najla Mohammed Al Awar is the Secretary General of the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and The Future. She oversees the General Secretariat of the Cabinet, which supports decision making and implementation at the Cabinet. She supervises the launch and operation of government initiatives and programmes, revision of government policies, and coordination to organise Cabinet Retreats that address vital issues to the government.

Al Awar played a vital role in setting up the Bureau of Legal Affairs in the General-Secretariat, responsible for drafting Cabinet decrees and laws, preparing legal studies, and providing legal support and knowledge for federal government.

Al Awar was involved in the establishment of the Executive Office of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the establishment of the Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai.

Al Awar is also on the boards of the General Authority for Pensions and Social Security, the National Election Committee and The Higher Committee for the National Curricula.

Najla Mohammed Al Awar holds a Bachelor Degree of Science in Information Technology from the UAE University. She has received extensive academic and professional training in the fields of management administration from the London Business School.

Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Defence Affairs Mohammed Al Bowardi is Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defence, UAE, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee and the Committee for Developing and Implementing the Water and Agriculture Strategy for Abu Dhabi, Vice Chairman of Dolphin Energy and a board member of Tawazun Holding.

He has served as Chairman of the executive committee and board member at the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi. He is also a member on the board of trustees of Abu Dhabi University.

He is also the Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency and Deputy Chairman of the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation. In 2015, he received the Environmental Personality Award by the Emirates Appreciation Award for the Environment.

Al Bowardi holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Sciences and History from the Lewis & Clark College in the United States.

Dr. Thani Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi – Cabinet Member, Minister of Climate Change and Environment Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi is currently the Ambassador Extraordinary Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He is also the Director at the directorate of Energy and Climate change at the Ministry of Foreign affairs since 2010. He also represents the UAE in the meetings of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

He serves as the Vice Chair and Member of Review Committee of Zayed Future Energy Prize, as well as a member of the Selection Committee. Dr. Al Zeyoudi is also the IRENA liaison officer at MASDAR, the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi holds a PhD in Strategy, Programme & Project Management from SKEMA Business School at Lille, France. He has also earned a Master's in Project Management from the British University in Dubai, an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology in Abu Dhabi, and a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa, USA.

He is a member of the Environment Agency (Dh) in Abu Dhabi.

Jameela Salem Al Muhairi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for General Education Jameela Al Muhairi has a 20-year experience in the field of education management, which has been working towards the development of a world-class school performance management system for schools in Dubai through her post as the Chief of Dubai Schools Inspections Bureau at KHDA.

Her aim is to develop the education system in the UAE and help parents find appropriate schools for their children.

A graduate in Management from the UAE University in Al Ain, Al Muhairi has spent a number of years working with the Ministry of Education following which she was appointed as Director for Dubai Knowledge Village.

She also held the position of Executive Director for the Private Education sector in Dubai Education Council. She is a current a member of the Dubai Education Council, and a member of Dubai Cares.

Dr. Ahmad Abdulla Humaid Belhoul AlFalasi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Higher Education Dr. Ahmad Belhoul is Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, overseeing the company's strategic direction and development at the leading edge of the renewable energy and clean technology sector.

He was formerly Vice President at Mubadala, where he managed multi-billion dollar investments and stakeholder relationships in the metals and mining sector.

Prior to joining Mubadala, he worked as an advisor with McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Ahmad Belhoul has earned a masters' degree in telecommunications engineering from the University of Melbourne, and a PhD from Monash University.

Ohood Khalfan Al Roumi – Minister of State for Happiness Ohood Al Roumi is Director General of the Prime Minister's Office of the UAE. She oversees multiple strategic projects and initiatives such as the UAE Vision 2021, The National Agenda, the UAE Government Strategy, The Government Summit, Government Performance Management System "Adaa", Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre For Government Innovation, Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Program, Mohammed Bin Rashid Government Excellence Award, UAE Government Leaders Program, Emirates Government Service Excellence Program, Global Star Rating System for Services, Best M-Government Service and Mohammed Bin Rashid Policy Majlis.

The United Nations Foundation recently announced the selection of Ms. Al-Roumi for membership to the Global Entrepreneurship Council (GEC), making her the first Arab member in the council. Mos. Al Roumi also made the Young Global Leaders (YGL) list at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the year 2012 and is a board member of Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation.

Al-Roumi holds an Executive Master's in Business Administration (EMBA) from the University of Sharjah and a Bachelor's in Economics from the College of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University.

She is also a graduate from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Program for Leadership Development.

Noura Mohammed Al Kaabi – Cabinet Member, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs Noura Al Kaabi is the Chief Executive Officer of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54, and a committee member of the UAE's Federal National Council and the Economic Development Committee.

Noura Al Kaabi is also member of the Economic Committee in the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Media Company, Image Nation, Flash entertainment, Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, United Arab Emirates University, Scientific Authority of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, National Archive Centre, and Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Award.

She is also Chairwoman of Emirates Media Measurement Company, and an advisory member of Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation.

Noura Al Kaabi is the first UAE national to be ranked on Foreign Policy magazine's ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers List'. In 2014, she was named among Forbes Middle East's 30 Most Influential Women in Government, and was awarded Business Woman of the Year at the Gulf Business Industry Awards.

Shamma Sohail Faris AlMazrui – Minister of State for Youth Affairs Shamma al Mazrui has obtained her Masters of Public policy with distinction from the University of Oxford. She was the first UAE Rhodes Scholar. She is also holder of a diploma of coursework on multi-sector partnerships at New York University. Her Bachelor of Science is in Arts and Economics from New York University in Abu Dhabi.

Shamma currently works at one of Abu Dhabi's Sovereign Wealth Funds. She has previously worked as a public policy analyst with the UAE Mission to the United Nations. She has also worked as a Ministry Policy Analyst with the Prime Minister's Office and participated in the Youth Lab Innovation Think Tank.

Shamma received the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed (Scholarship Coordination Office) Distinction Award in 2015, and the Coutts Future Leader 2015 Award. She also was an Academy of Achievement Delegate Scholar at the San Francisco Summit 2014.

Shamma participated in a number of leadership activities as she was the external relations liaison officer of the Oxford Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies forum (OxGAPS).

She was also the Alumni Relations Class Representative at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. She was also a co-founder and member of the NYUAD Al Nahda Institute. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Colombian President receives Abdullah bin Zayed

posted on 11/02/2016

BOGOTA: President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, last night received H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, in Bogota.

During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah and the Colombian President discussed boosting cooperation relations between the two countries in various political, economic, investment, and trade fields as well as renewable energy, agricultural, and oil fields, in a way to achieve the common interest of both sides.

The two sides also exchanged views on current developments in the region.

The Colombian President welcomed the UAE Foreign Minister and his accompanying delegation, pointing out that his visit to Colombia reflects the keenness of UAE and Colombia's leaderships on exchanging visits and meetings, and further develop their bilateral relations to serve the interests of both countries and their friendly peoples. In this regard, President Santos stressed his country's keenness to strengthen bonds of cooperation with the UAE.

President Santos commended the economic developments achieved by the United Arab Emirates, expressing his hopes that the relationship between the two countries would witness further progress and prosperity.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the UAE has succeeded in creating an enabling, economic and political environment geared towards achieving a global standard of human and economic development, which contributes to making the UAE one of the leading countries in the world to attract foreign investment.

The meeting was attended by Khalid Ghanem Al Ghaith, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, and Mohammed Issa Alqattam Zaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Colombia. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abdullah bin Zayed chairs first meeting of UAE-Colombia Joint Committee

posted on 11/02/2016

BOGOTA: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, and Maria Angela Holguin, Colombian Foreign Minister, have chaired the first meeting of the UAE-Colombia Joint Committee.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed ways to strengthen economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Colombian Foreign Minister welcomed Sheikh Abdullah, stressing that his visit to the country will open up new horizons for bilateral cooperation in various fields. She also highlighted the UAE's outstanding stature on the global level.

The two sides discussed the progress and development witnessed by the cooperation between the two countries in various areas, in addition to reviewing ways of boosting them to serve the common interests of the two countries. They also exchanged views on a number of issues of common concern.

His Highness stressed the UAE's keenness to extend bridges of cooperation and strengthen relations with the Republic of Colombia to encourage investment and diversify areas of cooperation to serve the common interests of both sides.

The Colombian Foreign Minister commended the outstanding economic and trade partnership that combines the UAE and Colombia, wishing the UAE further successes in various fields and called for strengthening the partnership between the two countries.

At the end of the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah and his Colombian counterpart signed a number of agreements and MoUs, including the exchange of information for tax purposes, cultural cooperation, educational and sportive cooperation, in addition to a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of environmental protection, climate change and energy along with the signing of the minutes of the first meeting of the Joint Committee.

Sheikh Abdullah and Mos. Holguin also attended the signing of two MoUs in the tourism field, small and medium enterprises and innovation, in addition to a Memorandum between the Federation of UAE Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Business Association of Colombia.

During a joint press conference with his Colombian counterpart on the occasion of the first meeting of the UAE-Colombia Joint Committee, Sheikh Abdullah expressed his pleasure at visiting Bogota.

He added that the UAE considers Colombia a trustworthy partner in Latin America, expressing his happiness on the outstanding bilateral relations, which have developed significantly in various fields.

He also commended the Colombian President's keenness to strengthen bilateral relations between Colombia and the UAE, pointing out that the signing of agreements between the two countries will contribute to the development of bilateral relations in the field of trade in addition to a number of areas.

The UAE Foreign Minister pointed out that he and his Colombian counterpart discussed cooperation opportunities in the aviation, tourism, agriculture, sports and energy sectors, stressing that the UAE appreciated Colombia's vision pertaining to sustainable development and its effective role in the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA.

He expressed confidence in the continuing development of the relations between the two countries, looking forward to working with Colombian partners toward a more prosperous future for both countries.

The UAE delegation accompanying the Foreign Minister also held a number of meetings with the Colombian side. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE has given Dh1.64 billion aid to Yemen

posted on 11/02/2016

Two million Yemenis have benefited from Dh1.64 billion in humanitarian aid from the UAE.

The Ministry of International Cooperation and Development says the focus of the aid has been food, energy, health, education and water. Funds were also used to rebuild and repair infrastructure.

The assistance has reached nine Yemeni governorates. Aden, Taiz, Lahj, Al-Dalea, Shabwa, Abyan, Hadramaut, Al-Mahara, and Marib were the main beneficiaries in addition to the island of Socotra.

Eleven hospitals and 154 schools were supported by the UAE's assistance, as well as ports, airports, power stations, water facilities and medical centres. More than 100 wells were drilled to provide residents with clean water.

The UAE has also announced it will provide an extra US$20 million (Dh73.6m) to support humanitarian operations run by UN agencies and the International Red Crescent working in Yemen.

Emergency power stations were also provided by the UAE to restore the electricity in Aden. This have significantly contributed to the return of electricity and return of life back

to the city, the ministry said.

The UAE is backing its humanitarian assistance with action towards supporting recovery and rehabilitation of all sectors and institutions that are key to the war torn country's stability.

An increasing number of people are affected by the crisis in Yemen and it is posing a serious challenge to the international community due to damage to essential infrastructure in many cities of the war-torn country, the ministry said.

Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai this week, Yemeni prime minister Khaled Bahah said efforts are underway to end terror attacks in the country, with the military focused on liberating the city of Taez. He said the country has a vision to reconstruct after the war. - The National -


Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of Creative Governments innovations Award

posted on 11/02/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has honoured winners of the Creative Governments innovations Award, one of the main events accompanying the World Government Summit, which concluded yesterday under the motto 'Shaping Future Governments.

Sheikh Mohammed honoured representatives of Mozambique and Tanzania, which are conducting a project utilising rats in explosives detection and diseases in cooperation with the Belgian non-governmental organisation APOPO.

Sheikh Mohammed said, 'Creative innovations are one of the most important ways to improve services and make great leaps in them."

"We wish to make a positive impact by highlighting such experiments and displaying them before all governments and the World Government Summit platform is the best as its main mission is to explore the future."

The Creative Government Innovation Award aims to shed light on the successful and innovative government experiences and represents an opportunity to exchange knowledge, expertise while empowering officials to try innovative and technical equipment which would contribute to preparing for the future and manage their governments in accordance with their huge budgets.

The event aims to highlight the UAE expertise and enhance the role played by the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) to support the efforts aimed at achieving the UAE Vision 2021 and the national innovation strategy. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of best M-government services

posted on 11/02/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, yesterday honoured the winners of the awards to recognise the best government services on smartphone.

Sheikh Mohammed said the massive number of contestants has shown how the world realises the importance of improving m-government services and of transforming into smart governments.

"The award reflects the UAE's keenness to set a ground-breaking example. It also highlights the UAE's pioneering role in providing excellent government services," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed said that governments' success is measured by the quality of services offered to their peoples.

The award ceremony was attended by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC), H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Chairman of the World Government Summit.

Sheikh Mohammed honoured winners of the award's ten categories, including: T Jacket from Singapore was announced the winner in the Smart Wearable Technology category.

T Jacket is a body system used in special needs education for kids with autism.

At the national level in this category, Dubai Police's app that allows for traffic fines to be paid online was adjudged the winner.

In the One-Stop app category, mobileOne from India was adjudged the winner.

mobileOne brings together services of multiple state and central government departments as well as private service providers.

At the regional level, Kuwait's Egovkw was announced the winner. Its E govt gate provides government services data in Arabic and English.

At the national level in this category, DubaiNow, Dubai's smart government app was adjudged the winner. The app provides comprehensive smart government services.

In the health sector, ForceFit from New Zealand was adjudged the winner at the international level. The app prepares recruits for a fitness test.

On the regional level, Rendezvous from Morocco bagged the award in this category. The app manages hospital rendezvous, appointment schedules, etc.

On the national level in this category, Haad Abu Dhabi was adjudged the winner. The app allows users to find out about services in the field of health.

In the economy and commerce sector, the international winner was Occupation Outlook from New Zealand. It allows students to make career choices.

In the environment sector, the international winner was Energy Watch from Sweden. It allows users to control energy levels as well as provides information on payment of bills and services.

In the transport sector, the international winner was ID Pass from France while AdM mobile from Morocco was adjudged regional winner. AdM Mobile helps drive on highways.

At the national level in this category, RTA was adjudged the winner.

In the education sector, the international winner was School A to Z from Australia. The regional winner was Safeer from Saudi Arabia. Its app gives higher education follow-ups. At the national level, Wajehni, the app from Ministry of Labour, was adjudged the winner.

In the Social Affairs sector, National Relay Service from Australia (app for the hearing impaired) was adjudged the international winner.

On the regional level, ‘How do I pay Zakat' from Oman was the winner. The app helps calculate Zakat. The national winner was Awqaf, Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments for direction of Qibla.

In the Safety and Security category, Spain's AlertCops was adjudged the winner. The app allows users to report security issues to police stations. The regional winner was Royal Oman Police whose app provides services about traffic, fines, etc. The national winner was the Dubai Police app.

In the Tourism category, the international winner was My Hong Kong Guide while Visit Jordan was the winner at the regional level and DTCM's Visit Dubai bagged the award at the national level.

In the University apps, the national level winner was NYU Abu Dhabi Road Watch, an interface to know situation of roads and traffic and warnings. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sheikh Ahmed: We are working to redesign the airspace of the UAE

posted on 11/02/2016

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, has announced that Dubai is prepared to help other countries with their air traffic navigation as part of its policy, Speaking at the 2016 World Government Summit, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed said that redesigning airspace is good for "cost and efficiency".

"If we manage our airspace, it is in the best interest I think; we can save another 12% from our cost," he said. "Many aircraft are going round and round and circling for almost half an hour or so. That shouldn't be the case."

But for the Middle East to open up more airspace, "it is always [up to] government" he explained.

"We are working to redesign the airspace of the UAE. I must say, on a military side, they've been very helpful. Also, this problem doesn't exist only within the UAE. You always have to look at your neighbour. Do they have the capacity to manage aircraft pushed on them? "It's a business case at the end of the day. We of course will help neighbours with their air traffic system problems if need arises." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Al Tayer: We are endeavouring to raise RTA global profile

posted on 11/02/2016

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has said the sponsoring of the 4th World Government Summit 2017 by the RTA is part of efforts to enhance RTA's standing at the global stage.

There is no better platform to showcase the RTA other than the World Government Summit, the most important global event for shaping the future, enhancing cooperation between public and private sectors, and developing visionary & creative solutions for an array of common challenges facing governments worldwide.

"The World Government Summit is an important platform for debating and sharing ideas in a bid to step up the performance efficiency across the board. Over the past years, the RTA had embarked on boosting cooperation and partnership with a number of global organisations. In this regard it has made an agreement with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) whereby MENA Centre for Transportation Excellence has been established, and the MENA Transportation Congress & Exhibition is being held in Dubai biennially for ten years," he added.

Al Tayer said in collaboration with the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, Emaar Properties, and the PMI, The RTA held the Dubai International Project Management Forum; the second edition which has witnessed the launch of the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Project Management Innovation Award.

"The Award, which carries a purse of US$550,000, aims at identifying, rewarding, motivating, and promoting innovation in project management. This can best be realised through developing an innovative project management methodology, providing databases comprising the best practices & business models of project management, setting up a platform for sharing innovative ideas, and offering training on project management skills," explained Al Tayer. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


International Cooperation in Building Cities of Future

posted on 11/02/2016

The population of Dubai is expected to increase to five million by 2030. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, stated that as a consequence of increasing population and depleting natural resources, there is a parallel increase on demand on education, energy, employment, housing and all the other issues.

Mayors and key representatives of sister cities and organisations gathered to sign the ‘Dubai Charter of Sustainable Development Cities Alliance' seeking to collaboratively achieve the vision of building a sustainable future for Dubai.

Participants came together on the final day of the 4th World Government Summit to primarily discuss about sustainable development of future cities in a roundtable session entitled "Shaping Future Cities."

Hussain Nasser Lootah highlighted the challenges that governments face when planning a sustainable city that not only places people's welfare at the forefront, but also preserves the natural resources. Representatives shared views on the aspect that international conventions and covenants would be essential in building cities that would preserve natural resources and achieve balanced sustainability. The experts concurred that prioritising welfare of the communities and natural resources is equally important for the benefit of future generations.

Mayors of Ankara, Casablanca, Amman, and Al Maddinah exchanged successful experiences in building sustainable communities that reduce utilisation of traditional energy and focus on renewable energy or alternative sources of energy.

Manvita Bardai, Director of International Capital Market Association-India, also added that in order for cities to remain on the correct path of prosperity and sustainability and ensure leaders take the right steps to achieve high standard of quality in cities, data needs to be assembled and shared with global communities.

Whether it be improving the traffic congestion, managing waste, or promoting environmental awareness to communities, Hussain Nasser Lootah added that the current model of cities would not be sufficient to realise future requirements of the community. To prepare for a brighter, sustainable future, he reiterated the importance of developing institutional partnerships and exchanging of information with other countries.

The discussion was attended by Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality; Musabah Mubarak Al Marar, General Manager of Abu Dhabi Municipality; Ahmed Al Subaih, Secretary General of Arab Towns Organisation; Dr. Bilal Hamad, Mayor of Beirut; Melih Gokcek, Mayor of Ankara; Akel E. Biltaji, Mayor of Amman; Alain Claude Galliano, Vice President of Metropole de Lyon; Dr. Khalid Taher, Mayor of Al Maddinah Province; Gauthier Claude Jacques Dupont, Director of Clean Energy & Sustainability Services; Dr. Thikra Mohammed Alwash, Mayor of Baghdad; Abdullah Emadi, Deputy General Manager of Kuwait Municipality; Mohammed Ahmed Sultan Al Khalifa, Director General of Al Manama Municipality; Mohamed Sadiki, Mayor of the city of Al Rabat and Manvita Baradi, Director of ICMA, India. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Disruptive technology could radically reshape cargo industry, DP World Chairman tells World Government Summit

posted on 11/02/2016

The use of drones and high speed transport systems such as Hyperloop to move and deliver cargo could radically impact large ports like Jebel Ali with cargo going straight to customers, as cargo handlers increasingly adopt smart technological solutions to facilitate trade across the globe.

Speaking at the World Government Summit, in Dubai, Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and Chairman of Dubai's Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said he foresees a day when seaports either move inland, or become obsolete, as a result of disruptive technology reshaping the cargo industry.

In response to growing competition and to meet the twin challenges of moving cargo quickly and efficiently as global trade expands, Bin Suleyam said DP World will continue to invest in the latest technology to fully automate its work.

"It used to be said that if you hired two hands you got the brain for free. Today, we live in the age of the brain and we are using people's brains to transform our business into smart business," bin Suleyam said. "Instead of being dockside, our staff is more likely to be found in offices, driving the growth of the business."

In 2016, Jebel Ali Free Zone and its container port accounted for 20 per cent of Dubai's GDP. By 2025, this will grow to 50 per cent of Dubai's GDP. "Such rapid growth creates challenges but where there are challenges there are opportunities," Bin Sulayem noted.

"A crane operator can only work for three hours at a time due to the physical demands of the job. So we decided to automate the work," said bin Sulayem. "Then we found that many young female UAE nationals wanted to be crane operators. But, when they started work they asked why they had to be in Jebel Ali. So, we decided to build a crane operating centre in Port Rashid that will handle all crane operations at Port Rashid and Jebel Ali."

DP World, which has operations in 31 countries, enables trade in 50 per cent of the global economy, Bin Sulayem told the summit. Among its operations are the London Gateway, Europe's largest logistics park in the United Kingdom, and the highly automated Rotterdam World Gateway in Holland. DP World, has also invested in 51 start-ups as part of its Terminal Infinity innovation strategy, after looking at over 8,000 potential investments in the past two years.

The World Government Summit has convened over 3,000 personalities from 125 countries. The summit aims to explore more than 70 topics through keynote speakers and major interactive sessions, drawing the participation of world leaders, ministers, decision makers, CEOs, innovators, officials, experts, entrepreneurs, academics, and university students. A number of initiatives, reports and studies are set to be launched during the summit and throughout the year. WGS 2016 concluded yesterday (February 10) at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


du and SAP launch cloud services in UAE

posted on 11/02/2016

UAE government enterprises will soon gain access to some of the world's smartest applications in 2016, thanks to a strategic partnership signed yesterday by du and SAP software company. during the World Government Summit.

The partnership works to support the commitment to nationwide digitisation and innovation. The UAE Vision 2021 aims for the country to become one of the Top 10 in the world in INSEAD's Global Innovation Index and in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index over the next five years.

Combining du's Infrastructure as a Service with SAP's Software as a Service creates a unique off-the-shelf product – helping the UAE evolve to a cloud-based model, in line with global market trends.

In line with the UAE Vision 2021, and as a result of this strategic partnership, du will support UAE federal and local government agencies, and private enterprises, with SAP's innovative private cloud-based applications hosted on a state-of-the-art data centre in the UAE.

With real-time private cloud applications, organisations can become more efficient and agile, scale up more easily with their business growth, and gain in-depth insights into operations, employee productivity, and the user experience. UAE organisations can also save money, as the cloud solutions are pay-as-you-go without additional capital investment needed in hardware, infrastructure, applications, or licenses.

Carlos Domingo, Senior Executive Officer, New Businesses and Innovation, du, said: "We're doing all we can to equip the UAE to become a global leader in innovation. This partnership fast-tracks the adoption of world class digital services in the UAE by making them more cost effective and easier to attain. Now customers won't have to face a massive up-front investment to increase their productivity with these services - they will only pay for what they use."

Organisations using these applications will be able to leverage the advanced network infrastructure of du, combined with the real-time analytics capabilities of the SAP S4/HANA business suite, which runs on the real-time SAP HANA platform.

Steve Tzikakis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SAP South Europe, Middle East, and Africa, said: "With the market demand for private cloud applications growing in the region, SAP is further driving our co-innovation partnership with du to support the UAE's digital agenda. By leveraging global best practices and solutions, SAP is committed to using the power of the cloud to allow employees and customers to more easily engage with organisations." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ADNOC distribution announces further reduction on retail price of unsubsidised LPG cylinders

posted on 11/02/2016

ADNOC Distribution has announced the new retail price of unsubsidised LPG cylinders for February 2016.

As per the announcement that is set on the 10th of every month, the new retail price is as follows: Dh42 per 25lb cylinder down from the earlier marked retail price of Dh44, and Dh83 per 50lb cylinder from the earlier marked retail price of Dh88.

Khalid Hadi, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications Division at ADNOC Distribution, said, "The new prices reflect the global surge in the pricing of the product. ADNOC Distribution is committed to monitoring the markets as well as following up with all relevant stakeholders in the UAE to guarantee fair implementation of the new pricing. The company wishes to reiterate its priority to provide best-in-class products and services at the most fair prices to its loyal customers."

For holders of Rahal e-Gas cards, ADNOC Distribution offers LPG cylinders at subsidised prices - Dh20 for 25lb cylinders and Dh30 for 50lb cylinders, across Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


International experts discuss key issues concerning people with disabilities

posted on 11/02/2016

Early Intervention is the key to help children with specific disorders. The government has introduced a host of initiatives that will not only enhance the lives of people with disabilities but also integrate them into the society, according to a Dubai government official.

Dr. Hussain Ali Maseeh, Expert – Programme and Social Services Sector, Community Development Authority, Dubai Government, was speaking at the inaugural session of Knowledge Centre, part of the three-day AccessAbilities Expo 2016 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Experts from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE will talk about issues concerning disabled people and the latest practices, with a view to presenting effective, implementable measures and benefitting over 50 million people having disabilities across the Middle East, in line with the ‘My Community a city for everyone' initiative of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai executive Council, aimed at inclusion and empowering people with disabilities.

AccessAbilities Expo is being held under the patronage of under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.

The Expo is being organised by Reed Exhibitions Middle East and Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said, "The Knowledge Centre has brought in international experts to talk about every possible area touching the lives of the people with disabilities. The discussions are educative as well as thought-provoking and the valuable insights from these experts from all over the world will result in effective and implementable strategies, that can benefit millions of people with disabilities in the region."

Highlighting the need to create a supportive environment, Maseeh, who is an expert in the Social Development and Care sector in Community Development Authority, said: "Creating an optimum environment is vital and Early Intervention helps do that. The services are conducted in regular setting where people with special conditions are provided services in natural settings. This will help them a smooth integration process," he added. Natural setting includes home, school, playground, parks, outings, etc.

He said inspired by the Vision 2020, many departments are already actively using technologies that make transactional procedures accessible for people with disabilities. Systems have been put in place to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce and also into the society.

Sabine Mokbel-Hammoud from Stars for Special Abilities, UAE, said if a child was not meeting the required development stages in the first three years of birth, it would be time parents acted and sought help or consultation. Her talk was illustrated with helpful hints for parents. "Family is key to Early Intervention," she said.

"With their support we can help individuals to cope with their disabilities faster," she added.

If the child with disabilities has siblings, they should be invited to join them in sessions as it will only encourage the child further, she advised. Children with disabilities should be given the chance to express their imagination and creativity. For example, let them get involved in daily activities such as shopping, eating or playing by themselves. "This will help them get responsible and confident," she said.

According to Sabine, parents should set realistic expectations. "Though we want the best for them, the goals should be achievable and realistic," she said, otherwise there are chances that they will get frustrated. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Global Women’s Forum Dubai will explore social initiatives, ideas and new innovative approaches to ‘give back’ to communities

posted on 11/02/2016

Strategic Partner of Global Women's Forum Dubai, du, is set to explore innovative approaches to supporting the community during five key sessions at Global Women's Forum Dubai this month.

Co-organised by Dubai Women Establishment and the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society, Global Women's Forum Dubai will take place on 23-24 February 2016 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and led by H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

du will lead the ‘Social Impact' hub at the Global Women's Forum Dubai Discovery exhibition. The Discovery, which is the signature creativity space at the heart of Women's Forum for the Economy & Society meetings, will provide a unique opportunity for delegates to meet, share, learn and be inspired through interactive sessions and workshops.

The ‘Social Impact' hub will build on one of the Forum's five pillars, Giving, and one of the main plenary topics, ‘Creating Lasting Social Impact', which will explore the importance of social projects in yielding new approaches to social impact, and serving up new models for making change.

du's sessions will showcase how the mobile communications and technology provider is supporting the community through innovative Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and enhancing the role of women in the communications and technology industry. The sessions will explore a range of topics, from the positive impact of du's BabNoor app, the first Arabic cloud-based app enabling easy and effective communication for children with autism, and equality in business, to measuring the social return on investment. A session will also be hosted by Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong, Founder and CIO of OphtalmicDocs, New Zealand, who has pioneered a low-cost solution to diagnosing and monitoring eye disease.

Hala Badri, Executive Vice President of Brand and Communications at du, said, "du is deeply committed to encouraging and supporting female participation in the workforce and Global Women's Forum Dubai will provide a vital platform for driving that goal forward, on a global scale. Giving back to the community is an important responsibility for all businesses and during Global Women's Forum Dubai, we will be exploring du's innovative approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility and how we can all create a lasting social impact within our communities." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


National Media Council launches Call Centre

posted on 11/02/2016

In line with the National Media Council's strategy aimed at ensuring the provision of all services that meet high standards of quality and efficiency, the NMC announced yesterday the launch of a unified call centre for customer service (600 535558) to create an integrated platform for responding to customer inquiries, while providing quick and transparent information.

NMC's initiative is in line with the vision and directives of the leadership, which call for promoting customer satisfaction.

Through the call centre, NMC aims to increase awareness of its role and to facilitate procedures, providing high quality, reliable and quick services to save customer time and effort. The centre has a highly qualified and dedicated team able to meet the requirements of callers and respond to their queries. The staff have completed training to reach the objective of the call centre, which is to respond to inquiries and customer requirements with high standards of accuracy and quality, in order to achieve customer satisfaction.

NMC communicates with its clients through its offices distributed across the UAE and customer service centres in Dubai and Al Ain, and in implementation of its development strategy, NMC provides its services and responds using an integrated platform including social networking sites (Twitter: @nmcuae and Instagram: NMCUAE), in addition to the customer services centre.

The Acting Director-General of National Media Council, Mansour Al Mansouri, said, "The launch of the call centre reflects the National Media Council's keen interest in providing the best services to its clients using the most advanced methods, where the centre provides a dedicated and qualified cadre to answer enquiries and questions, as well as open channels to receive proposals to improve the performance of various departments of NMC to ensure provision of the best possible service."

He added, "The launch of the centre enhances quality, speed and availability of the services offered through communication channels with the public. This affirms that organisational and technical measures in NMC have been taken to advanced stages as part of its relentless efforts to provide all procedures and methods to serve our customers."

Mr Mansouri said that NMC works to develop comprehensive plans to strengthen communications with all customer segments, and the launch of the centre is part of these plans to promote continuous and rapid communication with the public.

The call centre receives enquiries during official working days, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..

The National Media Council provides a wide range of services, notably the issuing of licenses to media and advertising organisations in the state, as well as issuing permits for printing, publishing and distribution, and press license cards for foreign reporters working in the UAE, among others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Qasr Al Hosn Festival brings to life seven cultural Emirati practices recognised by UNESCO

posted on 11/02/2016

The Qasr Al Hosn Festival, organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, is presenting intangible cultural heritage elements that have been recognised by UNESCO on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as part of its public engagement programme.

Offering visitors a complete immersive cultural experience, the Qasr Al Hosn Festival programme is currently hosting live exhibits of Majlis, (or place of sitting); ‘Gahwa' (Arabic coffee); Al Razfa, a traditional performing art that combines music, chanted poetry and rhythmic movement originally used in victory celebrations in the UAE; Falconry; Al Taghrooda, a form of chanted poetry that is considered a traditional performing art and a symbol of cultural creativity of the UAE; Al Ayyala, Emirati traditional performance which is represented by two rows of men facing each other holding bamboo sticks as they chant poetry and move rhythmically to the beat of a drum; and Al Sadu, a distinctive form of weaving and involves the making of fine furniture, as well as decorative accessories featuring lines and geometric patterns in bold traditional colours.

All these cultural practices are integrated in a range of interactive activations and workshops throughout the Festival in the different popular zones - Desert, Oasis, Marine and Abu Dhabi Island, as well as in the Cultural Foundation and Qasr Al Hosn Fort.

Reem al Mansouri, Public Engagement Programmer at TCA Abu Dhabi, said, "We take pride in the fact that Qasr Al Hosn Festival is the embodiment of our effort as a nation to preserve our heritage. Conservation specialists are working tirelessly to safeguard the Qasr Al Hosn Fort and the Cultural Foundation Building. In parallel, a wide programme curated by cultural and heritage specialists is reflecting our intangible heritage and by passing essential knowledge to generations who will carry this nation's legacy into the future."

UNESCO's Representative List recognises intangible cultural practices as important traditions such as music, poetry and dance that need to be preserved. The List includes what is referred to as "intangible cultural heritage"- the cultural traditions, practices, and expressions that are passed down through generations within a culture. The List serves to raise awareness of the importance of these cultural practices as well as to protect these traditions against the ever-growing globalisation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


More than 1670 kg of waste collected in EAD clean-up campaign

posted on 11/02/2016

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, along with BP, sponsor of the Sustainable Schools Initiative, SSI, organised a clean-up campaign yesterday at the area around Al Wathba Wetland Reserve for the initiative's participating students. The campaign was planned to mark the UAE's 19th National Environment Day, which is being held this year under the slogan, "Green Economy, Innovation and Sustainability."

The 2-hour clean-up saw the participation of 105 SSI students and teachers and 69 members of governmental and private organisations in Abu Dhabi, where they cleared the litter caused by neighbouring residents. The two-hour clean-up campaign resulted in removal of 1,676 kg of waste, mostly plastic, wood, metal, glass and paper.

Ahead of the clean-up, the students were given a brief and provided with information on the roles and responsibility of the campaign and about the different measurement tools used in collecting data. Also gloves, bags and water were distributed.

Kicking off the campaign, Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director of the Environmental Science, Information and Outreach Sector, EAD, addressed the participants and highlighted the importance of changing our behaviour and attitudes towards waste disposal and management within Abu Dhabi.

"Such campaigns aim to protect the environment from pollution, as well as directing school children towards positive attitudes in maintaining a clean and sound environment through promoting awareness by practice and participation," he said.

Baharoon added, "The Sustainable Schools Initiative continuously encourages students to become involved in activities that will benefit their environment and community. SSI regularly attracts all Eco-clubs from registered schools to annually participate in projects that promote sustainability to the wider community. The SSI initiative embarked the implementation of their second phase in 2013 and decided to coordinate the initiative's first clean-up campaign for 2014. The clean-up campaign provides a platform where SSI students, teachers and directors from different schools, along with partners and stakeholders, can collaboratively participate towards making concrete actions toward promoting sustainability in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi."

"We at EAD are keen to ensure that such natural treasures are accessible to the students, where this campaign enticed them to experience Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, one of Abu Dhabi Emirate's rich natural heritage while educating them about how they can contribute to the environmental conservation."

Abdul Karim Al Mazmi, President and General Manager for BP UAE, said, "Schools Clean Up campaign is an excellent way to educate students about the negative impacts of litter on the environment and how they can help to make a difference in their community. Engaging the students at this age in such activities will make a bigger impact on the long term on them, their families, relatives and the wider community. This demonstrates the necessity of preserving the environment by maintaining cleanliness, recycling and making this an integral part of the daily culture of the UAE community."

The Sustainable Schools Initiative encourages students to not only reduce their ecological footprint but also to increase their 'ecological handprint', by participating in the different activities organised by EAD and other environmental related organisations, that lead towards achieving sustainability. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -