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Supported by the UAE National Media Council

UAE's energy sector posted unprecedented achievements in 2015, says minister

posted on 01/12/2015

The energy sector in the UAE is well positioned to join the league of the most innovative nations, thanks to "2015 the Year of Innovation" initiative, launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Energy, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, has said.

Al Mazrouei made the remarks while talking to over 60 international media personalities, who are visiting the UAE as guests of the National Media Council (NMC) to attend the country's 44th national day anniversary celebrations.

Al Mazrouei said that one of UAE energy sector's most notable achievements in 2015 was the increase in refining capacity, following expansion of the Ruwais refinery's output from 470,000 bpd to 1 million bpd.

Other milestones, according to Al Mazrouei, included the launch of a solar powered desalination plant and the commissioning of the second phase of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, doubling its generation capacity to 200 megawatt, and opening of the Borouge Innovation centre - a new hi-tech facility that serves as the focal point of innovation and research in the field of polymer development and application technology - at a total cost of Dh550 million.

He also referred to the recent step of deregulating diesel and gasoline prices, with the aim of creating a shift in the mind-set that this commodity is like any other with prices that go up and down. He also said the step will lead customers to use wisely the finite resources that the country has.

Al Mazrouei revealed that the ministry was adding finishing touches to the draft Energy Strategy, which will be submitted to the cabinet for ratification. Also underway is the draft law that promotes rational use of energy. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE attends high-level leaders event, marking the opening of the pivotal UN Climate negotiations in Paris

posted on 01/12/2015

Members from the United Arab Emirates' delegation joined heads of states and key government officials yesterday at the United Nations' Leaders Event, marking the opening of the 21st session of Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the highly anticipated climate change negotiations hosted in Paris.

The UAE joins more than 190 nations who are gathered to discuss a binding universal agreement to tackle the threat of climate change.

"As nations unite in Paris, we are witnessing a historic moment in the global efforts to address climate change," said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change. "The UAE remains optimistic that a successful, fair and binding outcome can be achieved in Paris – setting a course for a sustainable, prosperous future."

Hosted by French President Francois Hollande, the high-level Leaders Event was attended by Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon and U.S. President Barack Obama and other heads of state and governments. The French president presented opening remarks, encouraging meaningful and practical action in the weeks ahead.

Dr. Al Jaber, head of the UAE delegation to COP21, attended the event on behalf of the UAE.

"Tackling climate change is a top priority for our country and is also an opportunity to create sustainable economic growth," Dr. Al Jaber said. "Climate action is strategically aligned with the UAE's drive to diversify its economy and create lasting knowledge-based sectors that can power our country for generations."

The UAE is a key global partner in addressing climate change. The country advocates for an agreement that provides a flexible approach that encourages all nations to take ambitious action, but allows to do so in ways that fit their national circumstances. The UAE also believes that developed countries need to fulfil their pledge to provide funding and other support to enable developing countries to transition to a low-carbon economy and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The Paris climate conference is expected to conclude on December 11 with a new universal agreement to govern climate action after 2020 which will move the world one step closer in addressing climate change. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE revenues from non-oil trade recorded Dh 534 billion in H1, 2015

posted on 01/12/2015

UAE revenues from non-oil trade recorded Dh 534 billion in H1, 2015

ABU DHABI, 30th November, 2015 (WAM) -- The non-oil direct trade of the UAE stood Dh 534.1 billion in first half of 2015 compared to Dh 521.8 billion year-on-year, achieving a growth of 2 percent, according to the preliminary statistical data of the Federal Customs Authority (FCA).

Commissioner Ali Al Kaabi, Head of the FCA said in a press statement yesterday, that the UAE total direct non-oil trade is considerably stable despite the economic crisis witnessed by many countries around the world, in addition to the slow growth in a number of advance and emerged economies, China in particular, which comes on top of the UAE trade partners. The stability and the growing trends of the foreign non-oil trade of the UAE establishes the strong position of the UAE economy, and reflects the successful economic diversification policy adopted by the UAE government, in addition to the capability of the UAE exports to strongly compete in the international markets.

The FCA preliminary data indicated that the share of imports of the UAE total direct non-oil trade amounted to Dh 337.6 billion during the said period, compared to Dh 340.6 billion year-on-year recording a drop of 1%.

The FCA preliminary statistics revealed that the native gold and processed gold come on top of the imported goods in the first half of current year, recording Dh 50.7 billion with a share value of 15% of the total non-oil imports.

vehicles came in the second place on the list of imports with a value of Dh 24.8 billion at 7.3%, non-composite diamond with a value of 22.1 Dh billion, i.e. 6.5%, followed by mobile phones recording Dh 16.1 billion with 5% then ornaments, jewellery and precious metals with a value of Dh 14.1 billion with 4%, of the total non-oil imports.

On the other hand, UAE export tremendously grew by 28% as it reached Dh 81.4 billion compared to Dh 63.6 billion year-on-year with gold export came on top at a value of Dh 28.7 billion, representing 35% of the UAE total non-oil exports, followed by the raw aluminium with a value of Dh 8.9 billion with 11%, then ornaments and jewellery with a value of Dh 7.7 billion, i.e. 9%, ethylene polymers in primary forms with a value of Dh 3.5 billion forming 4%, and finally copper wire with a value of Dh 1.7 billion representing 2% of the UAE total non-oil exports during the first half of current year.

"The UAE non-oil foreign trade has significantly grown over the last years in light of the increasing economic growth of the UAE supported by the flexible trade policy adopted by the government, the matter which shows the success of the UAE in eliminating all the trade obstacles with the foreign world, as well as simplifying and standardising the customs regulations and procedures across all the entry ports of the UAE," stated Al Kaabi.

Revenues from re-exports dropped by 2% recording Dh 115.2 billion compared to Dh 117.6 billion year-on-year.

The FCA preliminary data indicated that the non-composite diamond came first as the best re-exported commodity in first half 2015 at a value of Dh 24.1 billion representing 21% of the total re-exports, followed by ornaments and jewellery with a value of Dh 11.4 billion at 9.9%, then cars with Dh 11.3 billion with 9.8%, mobile phones with a value of Dh 8.5 billion with 6%, and aerial vehicles parts with a value of Dh 2.7 billion forming 2% of the total re-exports during the said period.

Head of FCA also pointed out that the progress of the state to the third rank at the global level in terms of customs efficiency, the reduction of the customs clearance time at the border ports and the improvement of the customs inspectors efficiency contributed to the transformation of the UAE to a regional mall linking between East and West, and to the facilitation of global trade and the capital movement for the establishment of major investment projects, taking advantage of the features and facilities provided by the state.

The UAE total non-oil trade volume reaches in terms of weight during first half 2015 approximately 86.4 million tons, 33.2 million tons of which were imports, and 48.6 million tons of exports, and 4.6 million tons of re-exports.

With regard to the UAE trading partners map in the field of non-oil trade, the FCA pointed out, in its statement, that the regional structure of the UAE trading partners in the field of non-oil trade was stable in terms of regions shares in the first half 2015, as Asia, Australia and the Pacific region maintained the first rank on top of the non-oil trade partners with a share of Dh 218.3 billion equivalent to 42% of the UAE total non-oil trade.

The European region came second in the list of the UAE trading partners with a share of Dh 129.2 billion representing 25% of the total, followed by the Middle East and North Africa Region with Dh 88.9 billion with 17%, and the American and Caribbean Region with Dh 49.5 billion with 10% of the total, and West and Central Africa with Dh 19.7 billion at 4%, and finally the Eastern and Southern Africa with Dh 14.9 billion, representing 3% of the UAE total non-oil trade during the said period.

With regard to the UAE non-oil trade with the GCC countries, the FCA stated that the share of the UAE non-oil trade with the GCC countries in the first half 2015 reached 10% of the total non-oil trade with the world, amounting to Dh 53 billion.

Saudi Arabia came on top of the Gulf countries in terms of the value of the UAE non-oil trade with a value of Dh 21.2 billion with 40% of the total non-oil trade with the GCC countries, followed by Oman with a value of Dh 12.3 billion with 23%, Qatar with Dh 7.6 billion at 14%, Kuwait with Dh 7 billion with 13%, and finally the Kingdom of Bahrain with a value of Dh 5 billion representing 9% of the total non-oil trade with the GCC countries.

In terms of trade with the Arab countries, the FCA preliminary data showed that the UAE total non-oil trade with the Arab states over the past year constitutes 17% of total non-oil trade of the country with the world, with a value of Dh 90.9 billion.

According to the FCA, the non-oil imports to the UAE from the Arab countries amounted to Dh 25.8 billion in the first half 2015, i.e. 8% of the total non-oil imports. Saudi Arabia came on top of five Arab countries exporting to UAE with a value of Dh 7.5 billion with 28% of the UAE total non-oil trade with the Arab countries, followed by Sudan, with Dh 3.1 billion with 12%, the Sultanate of Oman with Dh 2.7 billion i.e. 10%, Libya with Dh 2.4 billion, i.e. 9%, then Iraq with Dh 2.2 billion with 8% of the UAE total non-oil trade with the Arab countries.

The UAE non-oil exports to the Arab markets in 2014 amounted to 39% of the UAE total exports recording approximately Dh 32 billion. Saudi Arabia came on top of five Arab countries importing from the UAE with Dh 8.9 billion, i.e. 28% of the UAE total non-exports to the Arab countries, followed by Oman, with a value of Dh 5.2 billion with 16%, Iraq with Dh 4.2 billion at 13%, Kuwait with Dh 3.2 billion, i.e. 10%, and finally Qatar in 5th place with Dh 2.8 billion constituting 9% of the total non-oil exports of the UAE to the Arab countries.

The FCA indicated that the non-oil re-exported goods from the UAE to the Arab countries during the first half 2015, reached 29% of the UAE total non-oil re-exports, i.e. a value of Dh 33.1 billion. Iraq was ranked in the first place among the top five Arab countries to which the UAE has re-exported non-oil goods with a value of Dh 9.3 billion forming 28% of the total re-exports to the Arab countries, followed by Saudi Arabia with Dh 4.8 billion i.e. 14%, then Oman with a value of Dh 4.4 billion, at 13%, Qatar with Dh 3.4 billion with 10%, and finally Kuwait with Dh 2.6 billion representing 8% of the total re-exports to the Arab countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Upcoming Al Ain Air Championship will go interactive this year with mobile app

posted on 01/12/2015

The skies above Al Ain will play host to incredible stunts and daring feats of bravery as 10 civilian and military flying teams take to the air for the Al Ain Air Championship later this month.

Air shows are always crowd-pleasers, but, this year, audiences will have a chance to be directly involved in how things play out in the skies above.

"The format of the event has changed from an air show to an air championship,” said Sultan Al Mutawa Al Dhaheri, acting executive director at TCA Abu Dhabi. "Fans will be allowed to vote for their favourite team through a mobile app, offering them a chance to judge the best of the spectacular stunts.”

Taking place from December 17 to 19, the event will also feature plenty of on-ground entertainment.

"There will be fun-filled family activities, ranging from dramatic aerobatic displays and simulator experiences to interactive games, arts and crafts, soft play areas and car-drifting spectacles for visitors of all ages,” Mr Al Dhaheri said.

"Sunsets are expected to be picturesque, with live music entertainment and a daily hot air balloon display set to an impressive sound and light show. It will be a gastronomic feast, with a variety of food trucks from a range of different restaurants.”

Participating teams include the Breitling Wingwalkers, the Red Bull China Firestars and the Saudi Hawks, but all eyes will be on the local heroes in the form of the UAE's own Al Fursan.

The team, led by Lt Col Nasser Al Obaidli, made its debut at the 2011 Dubai Air Show.

"Al Fursan means The Knights,” Lt Col Al Obaidli said. "In the Arab world, knights are considered heroic, and have qualities such as nobility, courage, perfection and grace. The team identified with these qualities and hence we chose it as our name.

"Al Fursan represents the UAE as a nation and is part of the Air Force,” Lt Col Al Obaidli said. "Its mission is to do the nation proud while engaging and exciting people with its high-adrenalin stunts.

"We are absolutely looking forward to the championship. This is the second year that the team is participating in the show. We hope the audiences enjoy the performances and vote for their favourite one. We have seven aircraft and will have seven pilots at the championship. We don't have any female pilots on the team yet, but hope to have them someday soon.”

Being selected to fly an Aermacchi MB-339NAT as a member of Al Fursan is no easy task. Only UAE Air Force pilots flying fighter jets stand a chance.

"They have to be the best pilots of their squadron,” Lt Col Al Obaidli said. "Aerobatic flying is different from commercial or military flying.”

Lt Col Al Obaidli believes next month's event will further strengthen Al Ain's position as a global tourist and cultural destination.

This is a sentiment shared by Mr Al Dhaheri. "With a variety of tourism attractions on offer, Al Ain is becoming a must-see destination for UAE visitors and those from across the GCC,” he said. "Our aim is to showcase Al Ain's wide array of family fun attractions to attract larger numbers of visitors to this wonderful city.

"Year on year the Al Ain Air Championship has enjoyed growing popularity and presence, becoming a must-visit attraction in people's calendars.

"Visitors will experience a wonderful climate at this time of year and take advantage of a wealth of cultural, fun and exciting tourist attractions across the city.”

Tickets start at Dh30 a day and can be bought through or at the Championship Village box office on the day of the event.

For more information visit – The National -


Bee’ah teams up with Dubai Airports to install Reverse Vending Machines

posted on 01/12/2015

Bee'ah, an integrated environmental and waste management company, has signed an agreement with Dubai Airports to install Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) at Dubai International airports.

The machines scan and identify bottles and aluminium cans, then compact them for recycling after rewarding their feeders. Rewards are added as credit to Bee'ah's Loyalty Card, which entitles the holder to a wide-range of promotions and exclusive offers from participating retailers. The first wave of machines was deployed in 2012, and they've gobbled up thousands plastic and aluminium recyclables so far.

The agreement with Dubai Airports commenced with a pilot phase, in which one of Bee'ah's RVMs was placed in Terminal 3. This was launched on the occasion of Dubai Airport's Clean-up Day, an annual event attended by the authority's management and employees. As part of the launch and in the presence of Buti Qurwash, Vice President Corporate Safety and Security at Dubai Airports, Fahad Shehail, Chief Operating Officer at Bee'ah, gave a demonstration of recycling using the RVM.

"Our recycling efforts continue to gain momentum and we are pleased to introduce this innovative initiative to encourage our customers and our employees to recycle," said Qurwash.

Commenting on the initiative, Shehail said, "In line with Bee'ah's pursuit for partnerships in sustainability, this collaboration with Dubai Airports will cultivate efforts to encourage recycling among the visitors and employees of one of the busiest airports in the world"

As part of the partnership, which was agreed for a minimum duration of two years, the upper management of Dubai Airports have become members of Bee'ah's Loyalty Programme, and have been offered Green Loyalty Cards, the highest tier of the Loyalty cards offered by Bee'ah. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -