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

DBS Bank Singapore receives approval to issue letters of credit for Trading on Dubai Mercantile Exchange

posted on 30/06/2015

The Dubai Mercantile Exchange ( DME ) yesterday announced that the DBS Bank's Singapore office has been approved to issue Letters of Credit (LCs) for trading crude oil on the Exchange. DBS is the first Singapore bank to receive such approval and will be able to issue LCs directly from Singapore on behalf of its clients to guarantee deliveries of Oman crude oil through the DME.

Owain Johnson, Managing Director, DME, said, "We are pleased to announce that DBS is the first Singapore bank with regional Asia presence to be awarded this status. As a major bank in Singapore with a strong credit rating, we believe DBS would play a significant role in contributing to higher trade volumes conducted by over 400 commodity players based on Singapore. DBS ' support is a significant step that will further enhance the trading environment offered by the Exchange and allow our customers to manage risks more effectively."

John Laurens, Managing Director and Head of Global Transaction Services, DBS said, "Growing our Global Transaction Services franchise is one of the bank's strategic priorities and we have made significant progress on this front over the past few years. As a leading trade finance partner for corporates in Asia, receiving this endorsement from DME enables DBS to provide this valuable risk management tool, while leveraging Singapore's position as Asia's leading oil pricing and trading hub[1]. We look forward to building the trade finance business actively with our clients and playing a more active role in facilitating trade between the Middle East and Asia." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates Metrology Institute to add leap second to UAE Standard Time

posted on 30/06/2015

The Emirates Metrology Institute, EMI, the reference body for measurements in the UAE, has announced that a leap second will be added to UAE standard time just before 4 a.m. on July 1st, when clocks will read 03:59:60.

The move aims to conform with other timing centres around the world, which will also add a leap second at the same time (11:59:60 pm UTC on June 30th) to adjust for the slight differences in time between highly accurate atomic clocks and the rotation of the globe.

Dr. Helal Al Kaabi, Executive Director of Emirates Metrology Institute, QCC, said, "EMI is closely monitoring all major metrological activities internationally to ensure active participation of the UAE in the development of metrology. Our latest move to add a leap second to UAE standard time follows a decision by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, based at the Paris Observatory, in January 2015 to add a leap second to Coordinated Universal Time, UTC, at the end of June this year."

Until 1968, the length of the second was based on the rotation of the Earth by observing mean solar time at astronomical observatories. However, the rotation speed of the Earth fluctuates unpredictably, and has been found to even slow down due to friction caused by the ocean tides.

Today, more than 400 atomic clocks in around 70 institutes are combined to form the international time scale, called Coordinated Universal Time or UTC. These atomic clocks are significantly better at keeping time than the rotation of the Earth. The variations in the Earth's rotation cause the mean solar day to diverge gradually from the extremely stable UTC time scale. To prevent this difference from building up to more than 0.9 seconds, UTC is adjusted occasionally with a one-second step known as a 'leap second'.

Since the leap second procedure was introduced on 1st January 1972, a total of 25 leap seconds have been needed. The leap second at the end of June 2015 will be the 26th.

The Emirates Metrology Institute was launched by Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, to enable accurate measurements within manufacturing, research and environment sectors in the UAE. EMI's role is to maintain and disseminate the National reference standards, necessary to assure traceability of measurements, to international standards and the International System of Units, SI. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mubadala and Trafigura create joint venture to invest in base metals

posted on 30/06/2015

Mubadala Development Company, Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, and Trafigura Beheer), a market leader in the global commodities industry, yesterday announced the signing of an agreement to create a 50/50 joint-venture company to invest in the base metals mining sector, including copper and zinc.

As part of the agreement, Mubadala is acquiring a 50 percent share in Trafigura's flagship mining operation, Minas de Aguas Tenidas, MATSA, which owns the Agua Tenidas, Sotiel and Magdalena mines in southern Spain, which produce copper, zinc and lead concentrates.

"MATSA has a strong competitive position and excellent expansion potential, with capacity expected to more than double over the next two years," said Ahmed Yahia Al Idrissi, Chief Executive Officer, Mubadala Technology and Industry. "Investing in MATSA is a key step in growing and diversifying our existing metals and mining portfolio."

"This builds on our existing sector strategy and partnership with Mubadala. We are identifying new opportunities and investing thoughtfully together, in ways that complement our existing portfolio," said Jeremy Weir, CEO, Trafigura.

A two-year investment and expansion plan by Trafigura for MATSA is nearing completion and included a new treatment plant which has close to doubled annual processing capacity to 4.4 million tonnes per annum.

Under the joint venture, day-to-day operations at MATSA will continue as usual, including existing terms and conditions for employees, contractors and suppliers. This agreement is subject to relevant regulatory approvals. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Jebel Ali Port wins top industry award

posted on 30/06/2015

DP World's flagship Jebel Ali Port has been recognised for Excellence in Container Terminal Operations at the first ever Navis Inspire Awards 2015.

Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World said that the sought after industry prize underlined the global marine terminal operator's customer-centric approach, innovation, process excellence and the commitment of its employees.

Bin Sulayem's comments were made during a special event held in Dubai to celebrate the award and to congratulate DP World's UAE Region team for the achievement. Some of the DP World senior management in attendance included Vice Chairman, Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, Group CEO, Mohammed Sharaf, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for the UAE Region, Mohammed Al Muallem, and UAE Region's Chief Operating Officer, Mohammed Ali Ahmed.

Navis, a provider of operational technologies for terminal operators, revealed the winners of the awards in a special ceremony in San Francisco, USA. The trophy for Excellence in Terminal Operations was received by Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer, DP World, UAE Region and Pedro Caballero, Director for Terminal Planning and Performance.

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem said, "Winning this global award is a top honour. Our vision for the business, strategy, customer focus and engagement are all key features integral to the success of our operations at Jebel Ali where an inspired, skilled and experienced team is delivering first class performance.

"Providing excellent customer service coupled with motivated employees are among our top priorities alongside a continuous drive for innovation and process excellence. These factors have combined to bring about this success.

"The award also reflects the achievements of Dubai. We are fully supportive of Dubai's strategic plan in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to turn the emirate into a leading economic and trading hub."

Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, added, "Customer service is at the heart of everything we do and we ensure we stay ahead of demand so our customers can maximise the efficiency of the supply chain and improve their competitiveness."

The Navis Inspire Awards recognise excellence in container terminal operations and highlight companies who use the Navis Terminal Operating System (TOS) and optimisation modules to innovate, optimise and deliver value at their terminal facilities and in their broader communities. Categories for the Awards include Terminal Operations Improvement, Innovation, Customer Impact and Community Impact. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


EGA participates in Europe's largest aluminium exhibition

posted on 30/06/2015

Emirates Global Aluminium, EGA, one of the world's largest primary aluminium producers, successfully strengthened ties with the European market and pro-actively sought opportunities to take advantage of potential growth in the region by participating at GIFA 2015, which took place in Germany earlier this month.

Walid Al Attar, Chief Marketing Officer, EGA, explained that the four-yearly trade exhibition was leveraged to showcase EGA's industry leadership, specifically its high quality aluminium products, proprietary in-house developed technologies, exemplary operating practices and commitment to sustainability.

"GIFA is a well-established platform for industry networking as well as showcasing innovations that will shape the future of the sector. It is the largest aluminium exhibition in Europe and the most important trade fair in the world for foundry technology," said Al Attar.

Al Attar reiterated that Europe is a key region for EGA, both currently and for the future, saying, "EGA metal has been shipped to Europe since 1996, with consistent growth in volumes over the last 19 years. In 2014, about 23 percent of EGA's total annual production was exported to about 24 countries in Western and Eastern Europe – making Europe our second largest market region."

"Looking ahead, the European Union as a whole needs to import approximately 60 percent of its primary aluminium requirements. This translates into ample opportunity for us to achieve continued growth in sales to Europe," added Al Attar.

Evidencing a deep corporate commitment to the region, EGA has well-established offices in Zurich and Milan and has developed an extensive transport and logistics infrastructure to facilitate door-to-door delivery of products, which are shipped via about 44 ports across Europe. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE’s concentration of air pollutants within permissible national limits: Ministry of Environment and Water

posted on 30/06/2015

Fahad Mohammad Hareb, Director of the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water's Air Quality Department, has said that country's Atmospheric Particulate Matter, also known as particulate matter, PM, or particulates, PM 2,5 levels as per the latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA), annual study via satellite did not exceed an annual concentration of 30mg per m3 comparable to the World Health Organisation guidelines.

The WHO's Regional Strategy for Health and Environment 2014-2019 for the Eastern Mediterranean noted that the UAE has very low mortality resulting from environmental consequences compared to other countries in the region. The results confirm that the country has undertaken significant efforts to improve the ambient air quality as an important component associated with quality of life. It also highlights the UAE National Agenda which will advances UAE Vision 2021's goal of ensuring high quality of life for its citizens and residents in a sustainable environment.

According to the Ministry of Environment and Water, Hareb said that air quality is one of the leading priorities under the UAE's National Agenda because it is associated directly with human health, the environment and its impact on the economy. The country attaches great importance to improving air quality by achieving 90% of the WHO Air Quality guidelines as a target by 2021. Therefore, efforts have been taken to properly monitor and regulate emission levels throughout the UAE at federal and local levels.

He added, "We continue to strengthen both human and financial capacities in the field of monitoring and controlling through a large network of stations. There are currently 46 air quality monitoring stations in addition to a range of dust monitoring stations in crusher and quarry sites and cement factories. The UAE has directed special attention towards the development of legislative frameworks necessary to reduce pollutants and emissions in order to improve air quality."

The minister said that the UAE's air quality is exposed to many natural and manmade pressures as a result of development factors such as the increase in the number of industrial facilities, the rise in energy and water consumption, and growth in the number of vehicles due to the population's growth and demand. Electricity consumption for air-conditioning consumes over 51% of a buildings annual electricity consumption, needed to ensure comfortable living standards within the region, but even though consumption levels are over 90%, the fuel for the production of this energy is natural gas, the cleanest and most efficient form of producing electricity from a carbon based fuel.

Vehicle exhaust emissions are the next biggest contributor to the air emissions in the UAE followed by heavy manufacturing industries. While all measures are being undertaken by authorities to reduce emissions and improve air quality, it must be noted that the natural environment in the region is also a big contributor to the air quality, from naturally airborne dust particles to major sand storms, as well as high humidity and naturally emitted minerals from coastal areas.

In the context of promoting environmental sustainability, Hareb said that the Ministry is implementing all measures to transform the national economy into a low-carbon and green economy. It has accordingly launched a series of initiatives aimed at reducing pollutant concentrations, including the National Strategy for Green Development, promoting broader public transport, use of cleaner fuels such as unleaded gasoline, low-sulphur or green diesel and natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles, and the use of renewable and nuclear energy for generating electricity.

In addition, it promotes Green Building Standards and green applications in government buildings such as district cooling technology which cuts down electricity usage by approximately 75 per cent while raising the efficiency of the air-conditioning system to improve performance and consequently reduce the environmental footprint. In cooperation with the federal and local authorities, the Ministry is encouraging all sectors to adopt initiatives and implement programmes to improve air quality and reduce emissions to secure a healthy environment and reduce the rate of pollution.

He also added that the UAE is exerting great effort in monitoring ambient air quality, noting that data provided by monitoring stations on ambient air quality measure all the criteria required to calculate the air quality index as per the National Agenda. Air Quality National limits and permissible levels have all been previously set in accordance with the Council of Ministers Decree No. 12 for 2006 concerning air pollution, and Hareb said, "Currently, we are working on a study to develop a national standard for PM 2,5."

In line with its ongoing efforts to improve the quality of ambient air, the Ministry recently signed an agreement with seven governmental agencies for the launch of the UAE Air Quality Network. Hareb revealed that the Ministry has signed a contract with Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to study the relationship between fine particles, in addition to air quality monitoring via satellite.

Another project for reducing emissions from the transport sector is the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel. Technical regulations, standards and guides for vehicle conversion to natural gas were planned and developed, with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company converting around 2,900 buses and taxis in Abu Dhabi and opening 16 refuelling stations. Additionally, Emirates Transport has converted over 1,600 taxis to operate on natural gas, and work is currently under way to introduce hybrid vehicles as well as plug-in electric vehicles to the UAE market to greatly reduce traffic emissions within city streets.

Hareb also highlighted that with regards to improving the quality of fuel used in the transport sector, the Council of Ministers had issued a decision in 2013 to update product specifications related to diesel to reduce the percentage of sulphur from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 10 ppm or below, this is now in effect, and is required that all diesel fuel used in the country conforms to this standard. This will greatly contribute to the reduction of emissions of sulphur dioxide from diesel engines and thereby improve the air quality. The UAE is the Middle East's first country to support this type of diesel. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Nakheel appoints Van Oord for Dh550 million, 23.5km coastal work at Deira Islands

posted on 30/06/2015

Master developer Nakheel has appointed marine engineering contractor Van Oord to deliver 23.5 kilometres of coastline and breakwaters at Deira Islands, its new, 15.3 sq. km waterfront city in Dubai.

The Dh387 million contract, signed yesterday (Monday) with Van Oord Middle East Limited Dubai Branch, includes beaches, quay walls, rock edges and breakwaters at Deira Islands, which is set to transform Dubai's Deira district into a world-class hub for tourism, living, retail and entertainment. The overall cost of the coastal work is around Dh550 million.

The two-year contract - stage one of Nakheel's water edge delivery programme at Deira Islands - includes 8.5 km of beaches, 3.5 km of quay walls and 9.5 km of rock revetments at two of the four Deira Islands. The work includes a 4km stretch of waterfront, big enough to accommodate more than 500 yachts and boats, at the 4.5 million square metre south island. Van Oord will also build 2 km of breakwaters to protect the newly-created basin and beachfront.

Nakheel has previously engaged Van Oord for dredging and coastal work on its world-famous waterfront projects in Dubai, including Palm Jumeirah and The World which added 300 km to Dubai's coastline. Deira Islands will add another 40 km, including 21 km of beachfront.

Deira Islands, one of several Nakheel developments underway in line with the Government of Dubai's tourism vision, paves the way for hundreds of new hotels, serviced apartments, mixed-use buildings and marinas. Nakheel itself is developing a significant chunk of the south island with a host of new attractions including Deira Islands Night Souk, Deira Mall, and Deira Islands Towers and Boulevard. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


‘Green Deal’ adds momentum to Dubai’s green economy drive

posted on 30/06/2015

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai in collaboration with the Dubai Green Economy Partnership (Dubai GEP) and Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of DED, launched ‘Green Deal', the region's first crowd sourcing platform entirely focused on verifiable green initiatives.

The announcement was made by Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED; Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Chairman of DGEP, and Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; Fahad Al Gergawi, Secretary General of Dubai GEP and CEO of Dubai FDI; and Jamal bin Ghalaita, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Islamic in the context of the World Green Economy Summit 2015.

Green Deal is part of DED's strategy for stronger participation in community initiatives through providing innovative services and products. Observing a green philosophy, the campaign carefully screens products in terms of its economic viability, its impact on the environment and its strategic fit to the Dubai Demand Side Management 2030 through a purposely convened high level committee of experts.

"The Green Deal initiative is aimed to support the community at large as well as business owners, academics, individuals and families through improved awareness on reducing energy costs and promoting sustainable services and smart applications in line with the directives of the leadership in Dubai. It is an innovative model that enables people in the UAE to have a smooth transition towards green products and allows end users to review eco-friendly products or services, and purchase them from a single source," said Al Qamzi.

Al Qamzi also linked DED's participation in the initiative to its role consumer protection, whereby it can enhance the transition to green products and services.

The Dubai Green Economy Partnership is an initiative of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, bringing together top tier stakeholders to consolidate clean energy programmes and initiatives. Dubai FDI will be the leading facilitator responsible for designing and implementing the programme. The initiative is supported by Emirates Islamic.

"Green Deal is a collective platform which will allow users to view and buy pre-verified energy and water consumption products and services. Crowd-sourcing will allow for economies of scale to extend economic benefits to end users, while ensuring that proper due-diligence and a fast track approach facilitate early adopters of new initiatives within Dubai' strategic vision," commented Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.

Fahad Al Gergawi said Green Deal will facilitate market adoption of green technologies and products amongst UAE residents by removing as much complexity as possible from the procurement exercise and by leveraging the collective bargaining power of larger communities. "As a one stop shop, Green Deal will result in a hassle free alternative that will encourage a faster adoption of green products in the region and invite numerous new providers to the marketplace. Crowd sourcing has been successful nationally and internationally, hence a green focused platform is expected to further enhance the success potential."

Jamal bin Ghalaita said, "Emirates Islamic is proud to be part of the Green Deal initiative, highlighting our commitment to support innovations that bring about improvements in the quality of life in the UAE. Building a platform for green sourcing will not only offer residents easy access to environmentally responsible products, but also help in boosting the UAE's green economy. This partnership demonstrates how collective collaboration can bring about social and economic change in our communities." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Etihad Airways and Pakistan International Airlines announce new codeshare agreement

posted on 30/06/2015

Etihad Airways and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have signed a codeshare agreement which will provide travellers with enhanced connections between the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and beyond.

Etihad Airways will place its EY code on PIA flights between Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Abu Dhabi.

In return, PIA's PK code will be placed on Etihad Airways' flights between Abu Dhabi and Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore and PK code will also be added to Etihad Airways' flights from Abu Dhabi to many of the global destinations operated by Etihad Airways.

Flights can be booked from 30 June 2015 via travel agents or through the airlines' sales offices and contact centres. The first travel date will be 27 July 2015. This will facilitate travellers with a choice of more than 70 destinations.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways' Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: "Our unique partner strategy has been highly successful and we are pleased to add Pakistan International Airlines to our growing list of successful code share partners.

"There is a long and proud history of travel between Abu Dhabi and cities across Pakistan, and this new codeshare agreement – between the national airlines of the UAE and Pakistan – will make that experience, as well as travel onwards to Africa, Europe, and the United States, that much easier."

Khurram Mushtaq, Director Marketing of Pakistan International Airlines, said: "This is indeed a great opportunity for PIA to join hands with Etihad Airways, connecting Pakistan to UAE and around the globe, expanding reach to more destinations for the convenience of valued passengers." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE firm installs coloured solar panels on Swiss building

posted on 30/06/2015

Dubai-based Emirates Insolaire LLC, a pioneer in unique solar technologies, has created history with the successful installation of the world's first KromatixTM coloured solar panels on a building façade in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Emirates Insolaire is a joint venture of Dubai Investments PJSC [DI] and Swiss INSO Holding Inc.

The entire installation is capable of generating sufficient electric power annually for two families of four people each. Each coloured solar panel can generate above 150 watts electric power per square metre on the roof, or above 110 watts per square metre on façades.

The building, boasting a unique blue façade with the Emirates Insolaire glass panels, has the unique recognition of having the first coloured, photovoltaic solar panel façade in the world worth Dhs850,000.

Two other similar projects in Basel, Switzerland, and Austria have also been completed.

Emirates Insolaire continues to receive enquiries for its coloured solar panels from the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, as well as from Europe, Asia, the US, and Brazil, among others.

Going by the projects on hand, demand and enquiries across the globe, Emirates Insolaire expects sales over 50,000 square metres for coloured solar panels in 2015 alone.

Globally, the photovoltaic market has grown 40 per cent year-on-year and the number of installations foreseen for 2015 is 160 GW – approximately 800 million square metres of glass.

Rafic Hanbali, managing partner of Emirates Insolaire, said: "The completion of Emirates Insolaire's first project in Lausanne is a major milestone for the company. With the KromatixTM technology, the company has ushered in a paradigm shift in solar applications because of its aesthetic appeal to any building façade and efficiency due to its power generating attributes. The company sees significant growth opportunities going forward not only in the Europe but across the globe.”

KromatixTM solar panels can supply between 20 to 60 per cent of the needed energy for a building. One of the important advantages of the Emirates Insolaire technology is that the coloured KromatixTM solar panels, photovoltaic or thermal, offer high efficiency. – The Gulf Today -


Dubai Land Department: No increase in Real Estate Registration Fees

posted on 30/06/2015

Dubai Land Department has confirmed that real estate registration fees that are currently set at 4% will not be increased. It has also stated that it does not plan to raise the charges, which are collected from dealers to complete their real estate transactions, in the near future.

The Department stressed that decisions to increase the various fees relating to real estate are issued by Dubai Executive Council. The Council issued resolution No. (30) of 2013 to determine the value of real estate fees, including real estate registration charges.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, discounted what he said were rumours relating to a real estate registration fee increase.

"A number of market players are talking about alleged reports that Dubai Land Department will be increasing real estate registration fees from 4% to 8%. This is a baseless rumour and only serves to encourage the return of speculation. It confuses buyers and needlessly compels them to speed up their purchasing decisions," he said.

Bin Mejren advised those in the market with an interest in selling property to follow professional methods on a competitive basis when promoting their properties, such as focusing on price and quality. He also added that the real estate market in Dubai is stable and is enjoying sustainable growth, meaning that there is no requirement to revisit the fees for various activities and servicing in the near future.

In September 2013, Dubai Land Department implemented Dubai Executive Council's resolution to increase the real estate registration fees from 2% to 4%. The charges are paid by the seller and the buyer equally unless otherwise agreed between the two parties. Through implementing this resolution, the Department succeeded in eliminating speculation that was challenging the market. The decision was seen as being instrumental in preventing speculators reap quick profits and threatening the interests of investors and the market in general.

The real estate market and investors welcomed the decision for its positive effect in increasing the attractiveness of property investment in Dubai. In spite of the tax increase to 4%, it still remains less than 110 real estate markets around the world.

Bin Mejren also confirmed a deadline extension for real estate developers and investors to register their properties in the Dubai Land Registry up until the end of October 2015. He said that this would enable all parties to complete the registration requirements, which document their contracts and protects their rights. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE envoy presents copy of credentials to Secretary General of Jordan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

posted on 30/06/2015

Bilal Rabea Al Bedour has presented a copy of his credentials to Mohammad Taisir, Secretary-General of the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, as ambassador of the UAE in Jordan.

During the meeting, the two parties discussed ways to boost bilateral ties in various fields. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohamed bin Zayed attends seminar entitled "Every last child-eradicating polio"

posted on 30/06/2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, today attended, a discussion session under the title "Every last child-- eradicating polio" at his Ramadan Majlis.

The seminar examined the International and UAE's efforts to combat polio across the world and particularly in Pakistan.

Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (PAP) disclosed the successful results of the second phase of the Emirates Polio Campaign in Pakistan in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is aimed to provide humanitarian an development aid, support health sector and its preventive programmes in Pakistan which came in the light of the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to eradicate polio across the world.

He added that final successful results were successful through immunization of millions of Pakistani children with more than 73.2 million polio vaccines from January to May 2015.

He reiterated that success the humanitarian efforts and initiatives which came in implementation to the directives of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa proves for the whole world that the UAE's efforts are effective and distinguished, adding these efforts and initiatives are aimed to enhance human health and societies as well as achieve their humanitarian objectives.

He also highlighted the initiative of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is aimed to eradicate polio in the most difficult areas of the incubator of the disease across the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Federal Supreme Court sentences accused in Al Reem Island case to death

posted on 30/06/2015

The State Security Circuit of the Federal Supreme Court, chaired by Judge Falah Al-Hajri, yesterday sentenced to death the defendant identified as A.B.A. in the case known in the media as "Ghost of Al Reem."

The court cited the charges against her and ordered confiscation of materials seized at the scene of crime, as well as the closure of the convict's website.

While issuing the verdict, the judge said the UAE has been and continues to be home of security, peace and stability, and a role model for social cohesion and peace. Of late, he continued, certain forms of unfamiliar crimes in the UAE society have been emerging, adding that these crimes are characterised with violence and use of force, threats and spread of terror.

"These crimes, whether committed by an individual or a group, have exposed public security and safety to danger. They also threaten the constitution and laws, and therefore, it is necessary to tackle such actions," he said.

Justice Al Hajri noted that such acts require a special law to combat terrorism, citing the law No. / 7 / for the year 2014 regarding combating terrorism crimes.

Earlier, the public prosecution charged the accused with murdering Ibolya Ryan, an American citizen, whom the defendant deliberately stabbed to death, with an intention to kill and stir up fear among those living in an apartment in one of the buildings along the Abu Dhabi Corniche. The accused tried to detonate a homemade bomb near the door of the apartment to kill all the tenants, but it did not explode.

She was also accused of illegally collecting prohibited explosive materials and of having assembled these without a licence. The convict also established and managed the e-mail account with a false name to disseminate activities of the terrorist organisations. She also published information with an intent to harm the reputation and prestige of the State and its symbols. She also provided funds to a terrorist organisation with the prior knowledge that the funds would be used in committing terrorist operations. The accused committed these crimes to spread terror and with an intent to cause death and provoke terror among the people and threaten the State's security.

The Federal Supreme Court also sentenced to three years imprisonment the accused identified as N.M.A. on charges of spreading rumours to create hatred, disturb public order and damage the reputation and prestige of State's institutions. He was fined Dh500,000. The court also confiscated the seized electronic devices and ordered the closure of the private electronic website of the accused.

In the third case, the Federal Supreme Court heard the case of a 19 year-old Emirati, identified as S.Y.M., accused of seeking to join Daesh, the terrorist organisation, with prior knowledge. The court set September 7 as the date to hear the plea of the defendant's defence lawyer.

Earlier, the state security prosecutor demanded punishment to the accused under Federal Law No. 7 of 2014 on combating terrorist crimes, in keeping with their indictment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Ministry of Labour allows enterprises to complete transactions at any Tas’heel centre across the UAE

posted on 30/06/2015

Starting this Wednesday, July 1st, the Ministry of Labour has decided to allow facilities to print and complete transactions through any Tas'heel service centre deployed in any emirate, regardless of its registry location.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, said, "The ministry's decision came after completing the last phase of limiting labour services provision to Tas'heel centres, concluding with Abu Dhabi on the 15th of June."

"The ministry's move comes in line with the directives and aspirations of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that all government services must reach customers according to the highest degree of quality and excellence," he said.

Al Suwaidi explained that, "The ministry's decision would reduce costs for employers and saves their time and effort, especially since most of them have several offices in different areas and cities. Now, public relations officers can cut down on the hassle of roaming between different cities to complete transactions, and choose the closest centre to do so."

"For example, employers in the Emirate of Dubai, have 8 centres to choose from for transaction completion, however, starting Wednesday, they can choose any of the 40 centres across the UAE which are supervised by the Ministry of Labour," he added.

Al Suwaidi said that the ministry had informed all service centres of the decision to make sure all the centres prepare accordingly and avoid confusions and errors, plus ensure highest level of customer satisfaction. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


RTA adds new services to Salik app as users hit half a million

posted on 30/06/2015

The Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, has announced that new services had been added to the Salik smart app, offering more benefits and features at a time where the number of app users has reached 451,880.

"Introducing new services to the Salik smart app is intended to save customers time and effort by enabling them to use their smart gadgets in communicating with the Call Centre of Salik via the app, minimising the need to visit customer service centres," said Maitha bin Udai, CEO of RTA's Traffic and Roads Agency. "The new services added include search, submit and follow-up of objections to Salik offences, registration of Salik card, update of personal details for a new or current mobile phone number, annual trips list, and the recharging of Salik accounts."

"Recording 451,880 users indicates that we are heading in the right direction and edging closer to satisfying the needs of our clients through this app as it provides them with services matching their expectations. The initial bundle of Salik services includes inquiring about account balance, and displaying trips made through Salik toll gates for a specific period per vehicle. It also includes inquiring about offences or vehicles by using the tag number or number plate, listing all vehicles entered in the user's account, opening a new e-Account, topping up the account using e-Pay, recharging an account of a friend, and adding a new vehicle to a registered account," explained bin Udai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirati Charity Works Authority organises Zayed Humanitarian Work Day in Palestine

posted on 30/06/2015

AL QUDS: The Emirati Charity Works Authority office in Palestine has launched the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day, which includes establishing Ramadan banquets in Al-Aqsa Mosque and the distribution of thousands of Iftar and Suhoor meals, commemorating the death of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which coincides with the nineteenth day of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The day also saw the implementation of the UAE Suqia Water Aid campaign, as well as the honouring of around 3,000 orphans. Ibrahim Rashid, Director of the Human Appeal International Office in the West Bank, said that the in memory of the late Sheikh Zayed, the authority provided 10,000 Iftar meals to worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Rashid added that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had a generous heart for all, and his humanitarian work extended far beyond the UAE borders to reach all corners of the globe, whether through building a school, mosque, hospital or residential city, or feeding the hungry. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Bridging the Middle East and North America through art

posted on 30/06/2015

Contemporary works of artists from across the Middle East are expected to dispel ignorance in how people view the Muslim world when they go on display at the first museum dedicated to Muslim Civilisations in North America.

More than 20 diverse works of 12 artists, all united by the theme of migrations and geographical displacement, including the struggle of having to cope with an ever-shifting world, will be on display at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto from July 25, 2015 to January 3, 2016.

The works of the artists from the Barjeel Art Foundation from Sharjah, which was established by Sultan Sooud Al Qasimi, will range from photography and video to installation, sculpture and painting and will give the audience in Toronto a better understanding of the type of work coming from this part of the world.

The exhibition, Home Ground: Contemporary Art from the Barjeel Art Foundation, will help link two global cities and create a mutual understanding, said Al Qasimi at a press conference held at the Ismaili Centre in Dubai.

"This exhibition is opening at a time of great importance in which we are all in need of more understanding and sharing of values not only between the Middle East and North America but across the world,” he said. A city like Toronto resembles Dubai in the sense that they are global cities with many people who have migrated in search of better opportunities.”

Al Qassimi said the artwork reflects this reality. "The exhibition is not only sharing with people those artworks but is creating a network by connecting the audience there with the artists.”

Arif Lalani, Canada's Ambassador to the UAE, believes that during this critical time, culture can be a tool to help others understand the Islamic world and Islamic principles in depth, including the diversity in Islamic civilisations and their contribution to humanity.

Suheyla Takesh, Curator and Exhibitions Manager of the Barjeel Art Foundation, said the artists are expressing their years of travel, the challenges of migration and what is it like building a home abroad.

"Through works of art these contemporary artists have also been able to describe what is it like to live abroad. The stories are very specific to the artists, but they have a universal relevance and many people will relate to them,” she said.

On the sidelines of the exhibition there will be music and dance from the Arab world as part of the overall programme, confirmed Henry Kim, Director and CEO of Agha Khan Museum, in a videoconference call. He also said a catalogue will be produced in Arabic and English. – Gulf News -