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ENOC reduces diesel retail price by 20 fils to Dh 3.50 per litre

posted on 24/10/2014

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) has reduced the price of diesel by 20 fils to Dh 3.50 per litre, effective as of October 21, 2014. The revised price is applicable across the entire service station network of ENOC and EPPCO.

Burhan Al Hashemi, Managing Director of ENOC Retail, said: "The reduction in the price of diesel reflects the decrease in oil prices in international markets over the recent weeks and following our discussions with petroleum retailers.

"It highlights our commitment to pass on price efficiencies to our customers, which in turn will benefit the entire business community. We focus on adding value to our customers and consistently seek ways to ensure that they benefit from the favourable trends in the global markets." ENOC has also been at the forefront in implementing the UAE Federal Cabinet decision No. 37 of 2013, which mandates the usage of environment-friendly ‘Green Diesel.' Set by the European Union, the Euro 5 standard ‘Green Diesel' ensures that emissions from vehicles are limited and are significantly less than emissions from the diesel used in the region.

As of July 1, ENOC is the first organisation in the region to commence the sale of ‘Ultra-low Sulphur Diesel' across its retail and commercial networks. The service station staff members also advise customers on the benefits of the new diesel fuel.

As part of its commitment to the community, environment, health, safety and quality, ENOC is currently absorbing the additional cost involved in distributing the low-emission diesel. ENOC is also working with various governmental stakeholders to promote awareness on the importance of the new greener fuel standards. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Value of stocks bought by foreign investors on DFM reach over Dh 2.6bn in a week

posted on 24/10/2014

Dubai Financial Market ( DFM ) announced that the value of shares bought by foreign investors, or non-UAE nationals, from 19th to 23rd October, 2014, reached Dh 2.64 billion, while value of stocks they sold stood at Dh 2.56 bn, with net foreign investment on the market reaching Dh 77.7 million during the period, as aggregate buy.

Value of shares bought by foreigner investors comprised 48.7 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period, while value of stocks sold by foreign investors during the same period represented 47.2 per cent of stocks traded during the period, a DFM press release said.

The value of stocks bought by institutional investors during the week reached Dh 1.8 bn, comprising 33.2 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period. The value of stocks sold by institutional investors during the period reached Dh 1.5 bn, representing 28.2 per cent of the total value of stocks traded during the period.

Net institutional investment on the market reached Dh 271 million during the period, as an aggregate buy. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Five-year forecast shows improved outlook for UAE air cargo

posted on 24/10/2014

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Airline Industry Forecast 2014-2018 shows that international freight volumes are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% over the next five years. Emerging economies, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, will be the fastest-growing markets.

"Air cargo remains as vital to the global economic system as ever. This year, more than US$6.8 trillion worth of goods, equivalent to 35% of total world trade by value, will be transported around the world by air. So it is welcome to see a forecast for a return to growth for the air cargo sector after several years in the doldrums. An average of more than 4% growth for the next five years would be a marked improvement on the performance of recent years. Since 2011, for example, growth in freight tonnes has averaged just 0.63% per year," said Tony Tyler, IATA's Director General and CEO.

The United States, China and the United Arab Emirates will each be adding more than 1 million additional tonnes of freight by 2018 compared to today. The U.A.E. will have replaced Germany as the third largest market.

The fastest growing international routes will be between the Middle East and Asia, at 6.2% per year. Within Middle East (4.6%), North America to South America (3.9%), and Europe to Southern Africa (3.8%), will also grow strongly.

Significant volume imbalances will continue. The imbalance in flows from Asia to North America is estimated to be 1.1 million tonnes in 2018, and from Asia to the Middle East the imbalance will be 0.6 million tonnes.

The Middle East is forecast to be the fastest growing region over the forecast period with a CAGR of 4.7%. The second-fastest growing market, Africa, will have a CAGR of 4.4%. Asia-Pacific and Latin America, both with a CAGR of 3.8%, will be the joint third-fastest growing markets.

By 2018, the ten largest international freight markets will be the United States (10,054,000 tonnes), China (5,639,000), the U.A.E. (4,974,000), Germany (4,763,000), Hong Kong (4,648,000), Republic of Korea (3,487,000), Japan (3,480,000), the United Kingdom (2,808,000), Chinese Taipei (2,350,000) and India (2,223,000).

Iran is expected to be the fastest growing country (of nations with more than 100,000 tonnes of cargo per year) for air freight volumes over the forecasting horizon with a CAGR of 7.0% per annum. However, it is growing from a low base so it will add just 44,000 tonnes of freight by 2018 for a total of 156,000 tonnes.

The second fastest-growing market, India, will experience a CAGR of 6.8% to add 622,000 extra tonnes. Bangladesh (339,000 total freight tonnes), Ethiopia (319,000) and Nigeria (276,000) make up the remainder of the top five.

Another notable growth country will be Qatar. With a CAGR of 5.7% it will be the sixth-fastest growing and it will see 361,000 additional tonnes to take its total freight tonnes to 1,484,000. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Home production opens 8th Abu Dhabi film fest

posted on 24/10/2014

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival started its eighth edition on Thursday night with a first: It opened with a home production, putting Ali Mustafa's film From A To B in a slot usually reserved for big-budget Hollywood films.

The film is the first Emirati feature to open the festival in its near-decade of operation For festival director Ali Al Jabri, Thursday night was only the beginning.

"It's not so much change, as it is trying to bring something new. This year, what's new is opening with an Emirati film.”

Many of the films showing at ADFF over the next nine days have already won over critics at major global film festivals, and Al Jabri says he and his team sought those films out. "Having films from all over the world, especially Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, and Venice is very important for us and will make the festival very special.”

The man of the hour himself, Mustafa, was at his second red carpet event in just as many days, having been at the Happy New Year premiere in Dubai the night before.

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"To be honest, this is the paramount of my dreams because an Emirati film is opening the festival.”

Mustafa's three leads, Fadi Rifaai, Shadi Al Fons and Fahad Al Butairi, who play pals who go on a road trip from Abu Dhabi to Beirut to honour their dead best friend, also walked the carpet.

Industry heavyweights included Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the two-term president of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. Although she said she hasn't seen much from the Arab film industry, she told Gulf News she believes the representation of Arabs in Hollywood is improving. Could there be an Emirati Oscar winner in the next 10 years? "I don't see why not.”

Bollywood actor

Last year, Indian actor Irrfan Khan was at Dubai International Film Festival for the premiere of his hit film The Lunchbox. This year, he is president of ADFF's Narrative Features competition jury.

"A movie has to give you an experience. It has to engulf you in its own world. And that world should be able to give you emotional or intellectual experience.” As for his own industry specifically, he said Bollywood is "evolving”.

"Bollywood is evolving every week — evolving rapidly. The success of Haider is a sign of that,” said the actor, referring to his more recent hit, an Indian take on Hamlet. "Haider is a very complicated film, where the mother is having an affair, nobody sees that. But we don't make a villain out of her, and still people are loving that film — that's a sign of evolution.”

French-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb and American producer Edward Pressman were recipients of ADFF's Career Achievement Awards during the opening ceremony. Pressman is known for films such as The Crow, American Psycho and Wall Street. Bouchareb's most recent film, Two Men in Town, which stars Whitaker as a Muslim convert, is screening on Saturday at 8.45pm.

Bouchareb said Whitaker, who attended last year's ADFF, learned a lot about Islam for the role.

"He learned to pray, he learned Quran, he met a lot of people, imams, in Los Angeles and New York. He worked a lot and discovered the culture.”

'Charlie Chaplin visited the Middle East'

The granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin, Carmin, revealed the legendary actor "visited the Middle East”.

"I think he'd be very curious to come back and see what's changed and he'd be delightful to come here for a film festival, because he loved movies.”

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival runs until November 1 screening total of 197 films, of which nine are feature length world premieres and 48 short film premieres. – Gulf News-


NYUAD announces upcoming programme "From New York to Abu Dhabi"

posted on 24/10/2014

New York University Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, has announced its upcoming programme, "From New York to Abu Dhabi".

The programme, scheduled to begin at 6pm on Sunday, October 26th during the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, will feature films by three notable New York University community members: "Of Many", a documentary short by Linda G. Mills "Watermark", a narrative short by Gail Segal and "Return to the Sea", a narrative short by Alexis Gambis.

"Of Many" by Linda Mills explores the tension between Jewish and Muslim students on U.S. college campuses, against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, "Watermark" by Gail Segal features three French siblings who clash over real estate after the death of their father, only in this case, the real estate is memory, and "Return to the Sea" by Alexis Gambis tells the story of a young man who sets off on a long and perilous yet healing journey from the mountain to the sea, where he conducts his most ambitious symphony piece ever undertaken. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


London hammer attack sentencing could make legal history in the UK: paper

posted on 24/10/2014

Experts believe the case of Philip Spence, whose senseless and brutal hammer attack on three Emirati sisters shocked Britons and Emiratis alike, will make legal history if the judge carries out his threat to sentence him to a full life term in prison, the Abu Dhabi based English-language daily newspaper, The National, reported.

In an article published in Wednesday's edition, it said, "Spence's crime, aggravated in the eyes of the law by the premeditated possession and use of a weapon; the serious and long-term physical and psychological harm caused to not one but three victims; his not-guilty plea; and the absence of any mitigation, would normally almost certainly be treated as a Level 1 offence, for which the punishment can range from 27 years to 35." Depending on the seriousness of the offence, sentencing guidelines for England and Wales set down three levels of punishment for attempted murder, with a range of possible sentences from six years to 35.

The article explained that although only murder comes with a mandatory life sentence, where there is an issue of public protection in a case of attempted murder a judge is also free to impose a discretionary life sentence. This alone, however, would be highly unlikely to mean life. A life sentence must be passed with a tariff, stipulating the minimum time that must be served, and typically this would be about half the given sentence.

But on Tuesday at the Old Bailey, Judge Anthony Leonard, QC, told Spence, "The sentence I will have to consider is a full life term." "When a life sentence is passed with a "whole life order", the offender will spend the rest of his or her life in prison, with no chance of release. According to guidelines set down by the Sentencing Council, an independent body of the U.K. Ministry of Justice, such an order is made only in cases where "the requirements of retribution and deterrence can be satisfied only by prisoners remaining in prison for the rest of their lives"," the article reported.

Oliver Weetch, an experienced criminal barrister with the One Inner Temple Lane Chambers who specialises in defending those accused of violent crimes, said the judge's remarks had sent ripples through legal circles.

"He is bound to be thinking of a discretionary life sentence, that's practically inevitable, given the severity of the case," Weetch said.

"But while there is no bar to giving a whole life order for attempted murder, I am not aware of an example of it and this would potentially be breaching new ground.

"What are you going to advise your next attempted-murder client? This would raise the stakes. As bad as this case was, sadly one can think of worse examples, of murder cases that haven't been visited by whole life orders." Nevertheless it would, he said, "be surprising if the judge hadn't given this serious consideration before he made a comment like that. In a case of this magnitude, with so much press interest, he would be unlikely to say something like that if he didn't know it could be potentially imposed".

The newspaper went on to say that if handed a whole life order, Spence would find himself in the company of a notorious group of only 51 prisoners currently certain to end their days behind bars in British prisons.

Some of the most notorious criminals who have been given extensive life-sentences in Britain, the paper said, include infamous killers such as Ian Brady, jailed in 1966 for his part in the killings of five children, Dennis Nilsen, a former policeman who between 1978 and 1982 killed and dismembered at least a dozen young men, and Rosemary West, jailed in 1995 for the murder of 10 girls and women.

The most recent prisoner sentenced with a whole life order was Michael Adebolajo, the radical Islamist extremist jailed in February for his part in the murder of Lee Rigby, an off-duty soldier who was brutally stabbed and hacked to death near an army barracks in south London. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


RTA offers Dh1 million prizes to mass transit users on Public Transport Day

posted on 24/10/2014

The Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, is offering a bonanza of prizes to public transport riders during the fifth renewal of the Public Transport Day on the first of November. Events will be kicked off by a draw for prizes on October 26th 2014 and roll on till the date of the event.

Dr. Yousef Al Ali, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency and Chair of the Public Transport Day Committee, said, "Through the Public Transport Day initiative, which is celebrated on the first of November each year in concurrence with RTA's anniversary, the RTA seeks to encourage various community segments to shun the reliance on private vehicles and switch to using public transport modes in the Emirate. These modes succeeded in lifting about 146 million riders in the first half of 2014 through the metro, buses and the water bus." "The new edition of the Public Transport Day will be peculiar as it will be associated with an array of prizes to the worth of one million dirham offered to public transport users or those taking part in contests and events which will roll on for a week at the stations of the metro, buses and marine transport or via the social media network, starting from October 26th and culminating on the first of November 2014. About 4 KG of gold will be distributed to winners over the week along with complimentary NOL cards and other gift items," he explained.

Al Ali concluded by saying, "No doubt the Public Transport Day initiative aims to showcase the role of Dubai in supporting efforts aimed at improving the environment, achieving sustainable development, encouraging and educating the public about the benefits of using public transit means in order to increase their ridership, and promoting RTA's modern public transport means spanning the metro, buses and marine transit modes. The initiative also aims to enhance the integration between various transit modes and boost the leading role of the emirate in general and RTA in particular in uplifting public transport." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -