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Supported by the UAE National Media Council

UAE wins seat in SOMENA Regional Advisory Council

posted on 19/04/2015

MARRAKECH: UAE Special Olympics has added another feather in its cap when Thani Juma Belregad won a seat in the Special Olympics Middle East and North Africa (SOMENA) Regional Advisory Council in the council's elections which held during the ongoing meeting in Moroccan city of Marrakech.

Belregad will also act as advisor to the SOMENA Regional President.

The Marrakech meeting, which is scheduled to conclude tomorrow under the presidency of Ayman Abdel Wahab, Regional President & Managing Director of the Middle East/North Africa region, will discuss the MENA's strategic plan that will be presented to the upcoming international strategic conference in Bahrain.

Mohammed Mohammed Fadil Al Hamili, Chairman of UAE Special Olympics, said the landmark achievement was a fruit of the support provided to the sports by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

On his part, Belregad affirmed that he would do everything in his power to develop and advance games of mentally challenged persons in the region.

He said that his election to the post highlighted the UAE strategy towards adaptive sports and parasports. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/sports/1395279428507.html


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Italian Academy honours Jawaher Al Qasimi for empowering working Emirati women

posted on 19/04/2015

The Italian Academy, one of the world's most prestigious institutes for fashion and design, has honoured H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Honorary Patron of the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), for her major role in empowering and supporting Emirati working women.

The academy also appreciated her efforts of supporting cooperation between women who work in traditional Emirati crafts and students of the Italian Academy in Florence, during the grand fashion show held in Florence, Italy, on Friday, 17th of April.

The honouring coincided with a visit by the delegation of the SBWC and the Executive Office of Sheikha Jawaher to the headquarters of the academy in Florence - one of the most prestigious institutes for art, interior design, fashion, accessories and photography. The honouring ceremony took place on the side-lines of a fashion show held by two of the Italian Academy's talented students. Andrea Mazzone and Francesca Baldanzi, who featured the event using over 3,000 feet of thread and embroideries, the stylistically traditional of "Talli" pieces are the product of more than 20 Emirati women working together within the "Bidwa" project of the SBWC.

Ameera BinKaram, Chairperson of SBWC, and 65-year-old Emirati woman, Fatima Mahmoud "Umm Ahmed" from Dibba Al Hosn, received the honouring on behalf of Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi.

"Umm Ahmed" supervises the training and teaches Emirati women the skills of "Talli" craft within the "Bidwa" project, which was launched by the SBCW, to support and empower women economically and socially.

The Italian pieces inlaid with the Emirati "Talli" were greatly admired by designers, students and audience members alike, who were visibly impressed by the striking colours and patterns which incorporate the latest fashion trends while staying true to the vibrant traditional Emirati spirit of the designs.

During the visit, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the SBWC and the Italian Academy, to strengthen cooperation between both sides in the area of developing traditional Emirati crafts - especially "Talli" - and to incorporate it into modern fashion designs and other fashion products while promoting it globally.

The MOU was signed by Ameera BinKaram, and Vincenzo Giubba, Founding President of the Italian Academy during a press conference at the academy's premises, in the presence of a large number of Italian and international media representatives.

Due to the positive result of the series of previous contacts between the SBWC and the Academy, the MOU aims to move the "Talli" craft and other UAE's traditional crafts forward and to more advanced levels of popularity and worldwide fame.

Following the signing of the memorandum, BinKaram underlined the eagerness of Sheikha Jawaher to empower and support Emirati women in all walks of life. The Sharjah Business Women Council seeks through the "Bidwa" programme to revive the traditional Emirati crafts and train women on how to skilfully take up the traditional crafts and make their own high quality products in a professional manner as well as help them sell their products in local and global markets.

During the press conference, BinKaram said, "We are delighted at this collaboration with the Italian Academy, where the memorandum of understanding will provide additional support to producing women working in the UAE craft sector by marketing their creative products on a global scale and incorporating them into fashion and other fashionable products. We also aim to expand the vocational training programmes for producing women and develop their skills through cooperation with international designers, able to promote passion for "Talli" and other traditional crafts."

Vincenzo Giubba, Founding President of the Italian Academy, also expressed his pleasure and that of the academy students over this cooperation with the Sharjah Business Women Council. He said, "This collaboration will constitute a new addition for us at the academy, in terms of the quality of designs used, and even the ideas inspired by the traditional crafts created by Emirati women. We strive to develop this collaboration to include more areas, through other sections and traditional lines and crafts undertaken by the SBWC as part of the "Bidwa" programme."

Giubba introduced the audience to the role played by the SBWC in supporting talented Emirati women and qualifying them to enter the business world, with a focus on fashion. The founding President of the academy announced that the designs that were displayed during the fashion show will be offered for sale through global fashion houses that cooperate with the academy - with a percentage of the sales be allocated for the Emirati women who mastered in turning the coloured threads into perfectly made fabrics.

During the visit, the SBWC delegation toured the Italian Academy and its various administrative and educational departments, and also visited a number of classrooms, focusing specifically on those studying fashion design, products design, graphic design and photography. The delegates met with a group of students from various countries and listened to their views and reasons behind the selection of the subject they choose to study as majors.

Last year, the SBWC launched the "Bidwa" project to support and develop traditional crafts with a view to enhancing women's contribution to economic sectors in the UAE and preserve traditional Emirati crafts by marketing products inspired by the authentic local heritage.

The Council managed to reach 200 producing women through field visits to neighbourhoods and cities in Sharjah to train them on how to develop the "Talli" craft and other traditional crafts.

"Bidwa" is part of "My Heritage" programme launched by the Council two years ago, as a platform that brings together companies and individuals committed to ethical practices in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, to meet the demand for products and accessories related to the lifestyle in both local and international markets.

The project aims to preserve traditional crafts by passing on traditional crafts to younger generations and creating high-quality products that appeal to the market, in order to achieve a sustainable source of income for women, thus providing them with economic empowerment that ensure social stability and security, independence and a decent living. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395279409522.html


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National Service And Reserve Authority Signs MoU With Etihad Airways

posted on 19/04/2015

The General Command of the Armed Forces, represented by the National Service and Reserve Authority (NRSA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Etihad Airways.

The ceremony at Etihad Airways' Headquarters in Abu Dhabi also included a tour of the airline's Medical Centre which has been certified to conduct the National Service's medical examinations and screenings.

The MoU was signed by Major General Pilot Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoon, Chairman of National Service and Reserve Authority, and Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Etihad Airways Chairman. Hamad Al Shamsi, Etihad Airways Deputy Chairman, and Mohamed Hamad Al Mehairi, Etihad Airways board member, also attended, accompanied by James Hogan, Etihad Airways' President and Chief Executive Officer.

UAE nationals from across Etihad Airways have been undertaking national service training since the end of 2014 and more are expected to join the program during the year.

Under the MoU, the Etihad Airways Medical Centre will conduct examinations for the airline's staff who are called upon for national service. The airline will comply with the agreed guidelines and report the results to the National Service and Reserve Authority.

Etihad Airways was applauded by Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoon for its initiatives which show the airline's commitment and capabilities in promoting the national service program.

He said: "The MoU will ensure close collaboration and coordination between all parties, especially in the area of medical examinations, which will be conducted at the world class Etihad Airways Medical Centre."

Etihad Airways announced last week that it had received accreditation from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to operate the country's first Aeromedical Centre (AeMC), allowing the Medical Centre to perform functions on behalf of the GCAA.

Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Etihad Airways' Chairman said: "We are delighted today to build upon the partnership with the National Reserve and Service Authority and cement Etihad Airways commitment to UAE national service initiative, which has been approved under Federal Law No. 6 of 2014, issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.

"We are proud of the role that UAE nationals play in the national airline and the crucial role they'll play as part of the national service program."

James Hogan said: "As the national carrier of the UAE, Etihad Airways is committed to growing and developing a highly qualified cadre of UAE nationals and empowering them to play an even greater role in the airline's world-class business.

"Since the launch of our UAE national development strategy in 2007 the composition of our UAE national workforce has increased from four to 23 per cent, and we now employ more than 2,200 UAE nationals across the spectrum of our operations."

Mr Hogan stated that Emiratis are now the number one nationality group in Etihad Airways as well as the number one nationality group at the manager and higher management levels.

Currently there are more than 150 UAE nationals working in positions at the airline's offices and airport destinations across the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

Many of them have also been placed on assignment with Etihad Airways' partner airlines worldwide. More than 6,000 UAE nationals are set to join the airline by 2020.

Mr Hogan added: "Etihad Airways will continue to utilise strategic collaborations with a wide a range of UAE government, educational and Emiratisation institutions, including the Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council, Higher Colleges of Technology, Ministry of Higher Education, and Abu Dhabi University."

UAE nationals also have the opportunity to join 21 Graduate Development Programs which are certified by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). These areas include cadet pilot training, technical engineering, information technology, finance, sales, airport operations and human resources.

The programs are designed to match the needs of the airline with career opportunities for the national workforce.

Upon completion Graduate Managers are also awarded an IATA diploma depending on their chosen specialisation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395279425388.html


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Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi announces official launch of new postal code system in Sharjah

posted on 19/04/2015

Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Urban Planning Council (SUPC), has launched the first phase of the actual operation of the postal code system in Sharjah, implementing the directives of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

As part of the inauguration, Sheikh Khalid installed the first postal code sign on Thursday April 16th, the move, which follows the pilot phase of the project, signalled the implementation of phase one in Al Majaz 2, Sharjah, officially launching the new project.

The postal code system, which aims to raise the efficiency of the postal services provided to the emirate's community, will be linked to the geographical information systems (GIS), as per the internationally applicable standards.

The first phase of the postal code project, which is implemented by Sharjah Urban Planning Council, in collaboration with the Department of Planning and Survey, and the Emirates Post Group, will cover Al Majaz 2 and Al Rahmaniyah 5.

Covering Sharjah City, the project will involve the installation of signboards designed in accordance with the addressing system and spatial guidance, as well as the postal code proposed by the Emirates Post Group that caters to the needs of the Postal Distribution Department to facilitate and speed up the process of postal distribution to the required locations across the emirate.

Sheikh Khalid said, "This vital and important project comes in line with the vision and directives of Sheikh Sultan, to develop essential projects to serve the emirate's residents, visitors and future generations. This project emphasises our commitment to developing integrated infrastructure according to the highest international standards and high quality specifications, to ensure their sustainability in meeting the various needs of our society. The postal code is a key factor to improve the level of services provided to the public. Equipped with the latest technologies, the postal code system will offer easy and fast postal services to both individuals and the business community, which will contribute to strengthening the position of Sharjah as an urban and investment-friendly environment."

The postal code system will allow the community and all divisions of society – including emergency services, and other service sectors – to use it in a simplified manner that helps them easily identify their destinations and the city's streets and roads in a very short time. It will also boost trade movement and business activity by facilitating the travel of people and the accurate delivery of services to outlets and the business community. The system will also help visitors to travel easily and identify their various destinations throughout the emirate of Sharjah.

The SUPC has launched a mobile app for Sharjah's postal code system to provide easy and accessible services to everyone. The mobile app has been developed in line with the best international practices in this field, to facilitate the identification of the postal code of each area. The app will enable its users to know the postal code through maps, and will allow them to receive the postal code along with the area's maps. It also adds the user to the list of contacts, so as to identify his or her place easily in the event of frequent visits to the same area. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395279410835.html


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Makani to be usable on Google and HERE maps

posted on 19/04/2015

Dubai's own satellite location address and navigation system, Makani, will be compatible with Google and HERE maps, an official said. Dubai Municipality's Makani (My Location) assigns a 10-digit number to every building in Dubai on a digital map and guides users to the location — down to its front door or main entrance — using the free Makani smartphone app.

It is accurate up to one metre of the pin selected on the map.

Makani numbers are also going up on buildings, allowing residents or tourists without digital access to guide friends, taxis or emergency responders to the location.

All they have to do is say the number over the phone or text it — there is no need to give directions, street names or landmark references. The recipient simply copy pastes or punches in the number in the Makani app to see the building or location.

In the future, the building or address will be traceable on Google and HERE maps as well using the Makani number, said Abdul Hakim Abdul Kareem Malek, Director, Geographic Information System Department, Dubai Municipality.

Malek expects Google and HERE compatibility to be online by 2016, if not this year for at least one of them.

The compatibility can boost the number of people using Makani numbers and help it gain currency in everyday use, he said.

HERE maps are found in Nokia and Windows smartphones while Google maps are popular in Android and Apple mobiles.

There are millions of Google and HERE map users in Dubai and the Makani app itself has been downloaded more than 10,000 times on Google Play (the Android app store). It has a 5-star rating on the Apple store for iPhones.

The Makani app will also be available on Windows and BlackBerry smart app stores within April, Malek said.

Makani coordinates can also be converted to formats used on other location tracking systems such as DMS (Degree, Minutes, Seconds) and Latitude-Longitude within the app itself.

"Soon everyone in Dubai will start using Makani — friends, taxis, courier companies, ambulances,” he added.

The system is still new; it was officially launched on April 4 by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

However, the Makani numbers for most buildings have been available on the app for much longer than that. The physical plates are being rolled out and expect to be in place for all buildings within six months.

There are around 125,000 buildings in Dubai that will be registered with Makani.

Virtually all buildings recently received Makani number stickers and guides to build awareness on the system. The stickers, sometimes found in reception areas or next to lifts, will be replaced by permanent Makani plates on front entrances.

"Seeing is believing and the plates will help introduce a culture of change in how we give and use addresses.”

With Makani, the problem of language, accent or pronunciation differences does not arise.

The plates can also be scanned by smartphones using the QR code reader apps, providing a digital copy of the number that can be quickly shared online.

"Makani is a first of its kind system in the world. It's getting great feedback and everyone will be forced — in a positive sense of the word — to use it,” Malek said.

He added that he has met Emirates Post officials who have shown interest in Makani and praised the advantages of the system during a presentation. "It's their decision if they want to use it. They are happy with it.”

Malek added that he anticipates Dubai taxi operators will use Makani by the end of the year. "Already some taxi drivers are using it of their own accord,” he said.

Makani can also be used online through its website, makani.ae.

Malek had earlier said there is a plan to integrate other services with Makani, such as displaying the location's contact information, services and nearby facilities, possibly using Augmented Reality features on smartphones. – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/transport/makani-to-be-usable-on-google-and-here-maps-1.1494098


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National Ambulance receives International Accreditation for its high standards of pre-hospital care in northern regions

posted on 19/04/2015

National Ambulance has been awarded Joint Commission International Accreditation (JCI) for its high quality Emergency Patient Transport service in the northern regions.

The award makes National Ambulance the only pre-hospital service in the UAE to have achieved this prestigious international standard.

JCI is an international standard for quality healthcare and patient safety. It requires health care organisations to meet exacting performance standards across all of its operations including clinical governance and administration.

The standards are respected across the world and reflect the achievement of high quality and best practice in patient care. The award swiftly follows JCI accreditation for National Ambulance's private client provision.

Commenting on this landmark achievement, Mohamed Ibrahim Al Ameri, Chairman of National Ambulance Board of Directors said, "The successful accreditation of our service in the northern regions is another significant milestone in the pursuit of excellence National Ambulance has embarked upon since its inception."

Ahmed Saleh Al Hajeri Deputy CEO of National Ambulance said, "We are proud of this important achievement as we are the only pre-hospital service in the UAE to have reached this standard; reflecting our long-standing commitment to providing quality in emergency pre-hospital care. This commitment is demonstrated in our utilisation of advanced technologies, the most modern vehicle fleet and the retention of a well-trained team that is dedicated to providing excellence in all we do."

National Ambulance commenced operations in the northern regions to provide round-the-clock, rapid emergency response to patients across UAE's northern regions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395279418684.html


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UAE inventor wins four medals in Geneva exhibition of inventions

posted on 19/04/2015

GENEVA: UAE inventor Ahmed Majan won four medals for his latest inventions at the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions, which concluded yesterday in Geneva. The fair is recognised as the world's most important market place for exhibitors from 45 different countries.

Majan said he presented five inventions, three of them new, in the tough competition from around 1,000 inventors and producers from across the world.

Two of his innovative creations the smart saddle, which was displayed for the first time, and a GPS for tracking a solar-powered bicycle scooped gold medals. He also won two silver medals for his remote control device of fishing nets and a smart duck trap. Majan won the highest number of accolades that an individual could harvest.

The Emirati inventor dedicated the landmark achievements to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and other UAE leaders.

'Support and encouragement by the visionary and thought leader, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, often leads to achieving the top position and provides the key to excellence,' Majan said, adding that his participation at the exhibition was aimed at proving the UAE's merit at the top rank and raising the country's flag aloft at this international invention forum.

He also praised H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, for his continued encouragement and unwavering support for his career towards innovation and invention.

The UAE Permanent Representative to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, said Majan's participation at the Geneva exhibition of inventions reflected the bright image that the citizen has achieved in areas of innovation and invention.

The UAE, he added, always encourages innovations that serve the humanity.

Majan has also received special citation from the Chinese Innovation and Invention Society for having invented the smart saddle. Spanish inventors honoured Majan during their visit to the UAE pavilion at the exhibition. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395279425084.html


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President's initiatives Follow-up Committee approves housing projects

posted on 19/04/2015

In line with the directives of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Follow-up Committee of the Initiatives of UAE President has approved a list of 504 eligible citizens whose houses require maintenance or replacement.

These projects are in implementation of the directives of the President and follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to secure adequate housing for the citizens across the UAE.

The approval came following a meeting of the committee, held under the chairmanship of Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs.

The projects include maintenance of 105 houses at a total cost of Dh 40.1 million and urgent replacement of 75 houses at a total cost of Dh 63.9 million.

The committee also approved construction of 330 houses for citizens in Ajman, costing Dh 239.3 million and completion of a 45-house residential complex in Umm al-Qaiwain at a cost of Dh 37.4 million.

Also approved were road projects in Umm al-Qaiwain, Fujairah and Sharjah at a total value of Dh 60.4 million. The committee sanctioned an Dh 20 million package as part of the Fujairah water pipeline project.

To meet the rising demand for electricity, the committee approved an Dh 15.7 million project to supply and install a third transformer in Khor Fakkan power station.

Al Za'abi said the projects were being implemented in keeping with the wise leadership's directives to provide stable and decent living standards and comfort to the UAE citizens.

He praised the support extended by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, to the committee and its projects, which are expected to be implemented on schedule and in accordance with the field's current best practices.

The meeting was attended by Jabr Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Saeed Mohammed Al Meqbali, Rashid Saeed Al Amri, Mohammed Ibrahim Al Mail, Mohammed Hassan Al Ma'ini and Ali Mohammed Dahmani. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395279402994.html


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Mohammed bin Rashid tours Arabic calligraphy exhibition

posted on 19/04/2015

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday visited the Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition at Wafi Mall, Dubai, and viewed collections of calligraphy masterpieces by accomplished artists from across the Arab and Islamic world and Europe.

Organised by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority from April 14th to May 15th, 2015, the exhibition showcases 140 masterpieces and works of classic and modern Arabic calligraphy.

Sheikh Mohammed directed the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority to organise such cultural and heritage events in Dubai and across the UAE, particularly in central markets, parks, metro stations as well as air, land and sea ports so as to make Dubai a large diverse cultural and artistic museum.

H.H. expressed his absolute support for cultural events that promote the rich Arab culture and instil it among present and future generations as 'we want them to adhere to it and taste its beauty, whether in poetry, literature, reading or written and spoken form.' 'Whoever reads the holy Quran and becomes conversant in reciting its verses and comprehending their meaning will definitely be skilful in Arabic, the language of the holy Quran,' Sheikh Mohammed said.

'Our language is our identity; we should protect, preserve and promote it so that it becomes a source of pride and dignity for our future generations,' he added.

Sheikh Mohamed was accompanied during the tour by Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC), Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health, and Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Ibrahim Mohammed Bu Melha, Dubai Ruler's Advisor for Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs, Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai's Protocol Department, and a group of cultural figures. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395279425612.html


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Tackling the T-Rex and other Dinosaurs at SCRF 2015

posted on 19/04/2015

For the first time in the UAE, the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival is bringing T. Rex: The Killer Question exhibition this year, taking place from April 22 to May 2 at the Expo Centre.

Featuring everything children and visitors need to know about the most famous and fearsome dinosaurs from the terrifying T- Rex (Tyrannosaurus Rex to the experts) or the tricky Triceratops or even the armoured Ankylosaurus, head on over to the SCRF 2015 where all these and more will be on display.

There they will be able to find out what those dinosaurs looked like, their eating behaviour and how they evolved. The visitors can inspect the T. Rex skeleton and examine unearthed bones freshly delivered from London's Natural History Museum. There will be plenty of model dinosaurs on display and raft of information to help the visitors sort out fact from fiction surrounding those most fascinating prehistoric creatures.

SCRF is among the largest festivals of its kind and brings together more than 120 international and local publishers over the 11-day event. Organised through the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) this year's 7th edition will feature 2,028 events and activities geared to cultivating a love books and reading among young people in the UAE.

Hind Abdullah Lenaid, General Coordinator of Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, said, "We are delighted to be able to bring this world renowned exhibition to Sharjah Children's Reading Festival this year. Dinosaurs have always held a great fascination for young people and adults alike and we are sure visitors to the festival will be captivated by the display. It is always our intention in the UAE to think of the child first and to promote their wellbeing not only physically and educationally but also culturally. In that way, and in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to promote literacy and child welfare, the SCRF aims to enrich children's imaginations and provide them with friends for life through the gift of reading."

The UAE tops the list of participating countries with 40 publishing houses, followed by Lebanon with 25 and Egypt with 17 publishing houses, alongside Australia, Canada, and India, among many other countries. A raft of entertainment and creative activities will be laid on for young people during the festival such as face painting, shape making, theatre shows and sand art. There are also story-telling sessions, competitions and puppet shows. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395279411728.html


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