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EU can learn from GCC's united response in Yemen

posted on 09/10/2015

A UAE paper has said that the world cannot endure another refugee crisis from Yemen while it is dealing with a migrant movement of epic proportions arising out of Syria. GCC countries are moving quickly to mobilise humanitarian aid to prevent an exodus from Yemen.

"The Gulf has a historical connection to the Yemenis, and it is important to secure the future of millions of people affected by conflict. There is widespread hunger and starvation," said Khaleej Times in an editorial yesterday.

The local healthcare system is on its last legs. Ordinary Yemenis deserve peace and security and the GCC is committed to their well being and development, unlike the EU, which is squabbling over refugees on its shores.

The UAE has taken the lead and is already rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by years of conflict. But the immediate goal is to ensure that no Yemeni man, woman or child remains hungry. Better coordination is needed to ensure shelter is available for all. Funds for Yemen are in plenty, and the United Nations has lauded Gulf contributions. Only recently the UAE promised $300 million in aid for the country.

A meeting was held in New York recently by UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatari ministers to coordinate their efforts and increase efficiencies to ensure Yemenis get the support they need without delay. Military victories have come at a price with many Gulf soldiers martyred, but coalition forces are set to push all the way to Sana'a, the capital. Marib is in their grip after the Houthi rebels fled on Tuesday.

On the war front, good progress is being made and the Houthis are being driven out of their bastions, but the tougher part will be in keeping the peace in a country which has not witnessed development of any kind for decades. All gains have been wiped away by sectarian strife and political unrest. 'The country is experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe," said UN humanitarian co-ordinator, Johannes Van Der Klaauw.

The numbers are stark. According to UN estimates, 4,500 people have been killed and 23,000 wounded since March when the conflict escalated. The population of the country is 26 million, and 21 million are in need of humanitarian aid, a jump of 33 per cent over last year. Those considered 'food insecure' is 12.9 million, a jump of 22 per cent since March, and those without water and basic sanitation are a whopping 20 million.

"Damage is widespread in the poverty-stricken country, and the effects of the conflict has parched 21 out of 22 of provinces, with 1.4 million people displaced. The UN says more than 1.2 million children are suffering from moderate to acute malnutrition; half a million are severely malnourished", added the paper.

But thanks to efforts of the Arab and GCC coalition, ports in the south have been opened and food supplies can flow into the country. Yemen imports 90 percent of its food. Now that the naval embargo has been lifted and fighting around the port of Aden has ceased, the situation is expected to stabilise. Fuel supplies can then be shipped for vehicles which will deliver food to starving people.

The first step is to check the price rise of essential commodities in the country. The next is to ensure that food and clean water reach provinces in the south under GCC control. The third is to rebuild road networks in the area. It will then be easy to set up makeshift hospitals and move doctors and paramedics to tend to the maimed and sick.

"It will take hard work and toil. But unlike the refugee crisis in Syria which has divided Europe, the GCC is united and committed to Yemen's recovery by dealing with it at the source," concluded the Dubai-based daily. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE’s resolve will not be deterred in Yemen, paper

posted on 09/10/2015

A UAE paper has said that the country has shown that its men and women who wear the uniform of this nation are proud to serve, fight and pay the ultimate sacrifice in supporting the people of Yemen On Tuesday morning, terrorists in Aden struck at Al Qasr Hotel and Sheikh bin Farid Palace in an attempt to assassinate Yemen's Prime Minister Khalid Bahah. He escaped unhurt, but four brave Emirati soldiers were martyred, along with other military personnel fighting with the international coalition to restore the legitimate government of Yemen.

Yes, Tuesday's loss of life is tragic. The evening before the cowardly attack, hundreds of Yemenis proudly gathered outside the UAE embassy in London to thank this nation for its efforts in liberating Yemen from the scourge of Al Houthis.

"These rebels have usurped the authority of the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in a misguided but politically calculated attempt to impose their sectarian beliefs on all Yemenis," said Gulf News in an editorial on Thursday.

Make no mistake, the UAE and its allies in the international coalition, who are turning back these rebels and usurpers, will not be deterred from their mission: Freeing Yemen and restoring the legitimate government. And make no mistake either, this is a cause that has the backing of a United Nations Security Council resolution and is endorsed by all the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Yemen and its people are a strategic partner in guaranteeing the security and political independence of the Arabian peninsula, free from outside influence, unbeholden to Iran.

The territorial integrity of Yemen must be respected and its geographical importance protected, ensuring the free movement of shipping through the Bab Al Mandab strait, from the Red Sea into the Arabian Sea. Any attempt by Iran or its proxies to control that key point has to be opposed both strategically and economically. And with the efforts of the UAE and its allies, that objective has been secured.

The UAE and its coalition partners have scored victories on the ground, where most of Yemen now has been cleared of Al Houthi forces and the focus is shifting towards regaining the capital, Sana'a. Yes, terrorists and extremists will always look for targets of opportunity to strike when they can, but the reality is that security and stability are being restored across Yemen by the international coalition and its partners on the ground.

And the allies are gaining ground and defeating Al Houthis and rebel forces on the battlefield. Yesterday, the party of Yemen's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, said that it was willing to accept the terms of a peace plan brokered by the UN in talks in Oman.

The General People's Congress, to whom many of the army units fighting alongside Al Houthis are loyal, now realises that they cannot turn back the coalition tide and the cause of justice, and want peace. Al Houthis, reports yesterday afternoon suggested, were coming to this same realisation. If the leadership of the rebels accept that the only way forward is to recognise the legitimacy of the Yemeni government, agree to surrender their weaponry and accept the terms of a peace agreement, they too can be partners in building a better Yemen for all, free of outside influence.

"But make no mistake either: Failing to agree means that the UAE and its allies will eradicate every trace of opposition to ensure that Yemen rises free again. The blood of those UAE martyrs these past weeks has only strengthened that resolve," concluded the Dubai-based daily. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Leadership Summit on Countering Violent Extremism highlights need for strategy to achieve peace

posted on 09/10/2015

NEW YORK: Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, has said that scholars are working to correct misunderstood concepts so as to achieve peace and prosperity instead of destruction.

In a speech during the Leadership Summit on Countering Daesh and Violent Extremism on the sidelines of the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, he said that the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, based in Abu Dhabi, prioritised peace over rights, as peace provides opportunities and openings for restoring rights in ways that war can never provide.

Following is the full speech of Sheikh Abdallah bin Bayyah during the summit: "The ship of humanity is in perilous waters: our human abode is threatened by fire, and therefore our current situation calls for urgent collaboration. Today, humankind is in dire need of the Ark of Noah. In keeping with our Prophetic tradition, our central concern is how to rescue this sinking ship. We are attempting to extinguish the fires that have engulfed our human abode; hence, we are merely firefighters and lifesavers. We must all cooperate and complement each other's roles in accordance with our levels of responsibility. The function of clerics and religious actors in such circumstances is, in the manner of firefighters, to douse the flames of fanaticism that burn in people's hearts and minds. A firefighter does not ask who started the fire or why, but rather "how do we put it out?" Therefore, at the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies based in Abu Dhabi, we have prioritised "how" over "why." In other words, we have prioritised peace over rights. I disagree with Immanuel Kant when he says he believes that justice comes first, as I support Thomas Hobbes, who put peace first. This is not to diminish the importance of justice but to recognise that peace provides opportunities and openings for restoring rights in ways that war can never provide. Speaking of philosophers, I would agree here with Friedrich Nietzsche, who believed that when civilisations fall ill, the philosophers are its physicians. Our civilisation is currently suffering from sickness, and we are prescribing a treatment.

"From the earliest periods, the task of religious scholars and jurists was to protect the scripture, preserve its purity, and ensure the soundness of its interpretation as well as the validity of its application. Without doubt, however, this scholarly task is always fraught with the twin dangers of tyranny and extremism. Nevertheless, scholars were and continue to be – at least many of them – engaged in these tasks, while constantly facing hardships and evolving conditions. It is appropriate here to pray for mercy on the souls of the scholars who have been assassinated by extremists in recent years in places such as Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Nigeria, and, only two months ago in Mali, where one scholar sacrificed his soul adding to this procession of slain scholars striving for peace.

"This critical task of the scholars is exactly what we have undertaken at the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies. We are engaged in transforming mentalities and correcting misunderstood concepts. For example, in 2010, we corrected the Mardin Fatwa used by many extremists who invoked it in their writings and practices. We identified a century-old typographical error that had distorted the original meaning. When we debated the extremists, we brought forth, from the Dhahiriyyah Library in Damascus, the only existing manuscript, which revealed the truth of our statement and the forgery of their falsehood. We are working to correct misunderstood concepts such as those relating to jihad, the idea of statehood, as well as allegiance and disavowal (wala wa al-bara) so that we may weave a tapestry of peace and not participate in a call to conflict. In this way, we are healing a historical memory filled with chronicles of conflict and war by illuminating examples of peace through such means as The Hasan bin Ali Peace Award, named after the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (God's peace and blessings upon him), who stopped the first civil war in Islam. We bestowed the first award upon Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, a 90-year-old notable scholar from India, who has dedicated more than six decades of his life to promoting peace.

"Ladies and gentlemen, our work does not conflict with economic and political strategies; rather, it complements those strategies that engender environments of peace and harmony in our societies.

"We are continuing to work for peace, both through intellectual discourse and through practical applications in the field. Concerning the former, we are co-sponsoring a conference that will focus on the rights of peoples of faiths other than Islam in Muslim-majority countries; our partner in this conference will be the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Endowments in the Kingdom of Morocco. We launched this initiative in 2012 with a symposium in Nouakchott, Mauritania, and then another in Tunisia, and it will culminate in a declaration of the rights and responsibilities of citizens, whether they are Muslims, Jews, or others; this declaration derives from the Constitution of the State of Medina. Concerning the latter approach of applications in the field, we have had two meetings with Nigerian scholars and will continue to work with them. The first meeting occurred in Abu Dhabi with the participation of 20 scholars from Nigeria; in the second meeting, we jointly convened an interreligious gathering with my friend, Dr. William F. Vendley of Religions for Peace, generously supported by the United Arab Emirates. I also discussed the prospects for peace with my two friends, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence Sa'adu Abubakr. Soon, we will also host a meeting aimed at bringing about peace in the Central African Republic; this will be done in collaboration with the King Abdallah Bin Abdul Aziz Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue.

"God willing, we shall continue along this path, and we extend our hand to anyone with good intentions who seeks peace, regardless of their affiliations and whether they come from within the abode of Islam or from without. We invite all to an alliance of cultural and educational strategies that can address the perils of war and violence and the madness of this moment in time, which an Iraqi poet of a century ago seemed to identify when he wrote, "Surely we are living in a time of such extremes: One not driven mad by it, cannot be deemed sane."

"Ladies and gentlemen, we invite you to exert your energies in the pursuit of peace through peaceful means; we invite you to rely upon ethical ways and rational approaches that by their very nature will attract our youth, and to present religion not as an adversary but a means to peace; we call upon you to redirect a portion of these vast expenditures on war towards programmes promoting peace.

"In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, religion is like nuclear power: it can promote prosperity and success, and stimulate economies when it is used for peaceful means. On the other hand, it can result in destruction when enlisted for militant ends. But religion in its origin is a power for peace, love, and harmony. And yet it can be misused by those who do not grasp its purpose, whether they are well intended or otherwise, and the result is destruction and chaos.

"We ask the One who is Exalted and Omnipotent to send down tranquillity and peace upon the peoples of this earth. Finally, I call upon all of us not to despair of one another and to remind ourselves of the counsel of Jacob to his sons, as revealed in the Holy Quran when he said, "My sons, go and seek out Joseph and his brother, and do not despair, for none despairs of God's grace save a disbelieving folk." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group discusses UAE Actions on Climate Change

posted on 09/10/2015

The UAE stands to benefit from taking action to fight climate change, according to discussions hosted by the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Group (ADSG).

ADSG, a multi-stakeholder membership organisation promoting sustainable development in Abu Dhabi, hosted a Hiwar (meaning "dialogue" in Arabic) session on climate change and the UAE's efforts in driving solutions, under the patronage and participation of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This session, entitled ‘The Journey to Paris, COP21,' shared the latest developments on the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in December 2015. COP 21 is expected to reach a new global climate change agreement.

"The international community has a shared responsibility to address climate change to ensure a sustainable future," said Dr.

Thani Al-Zeyoudi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and Director of Energy and Climate Change at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "The UAE will continue our ambitious actions to reduce emissions through clean energy investment and to reduce the impacts of climate change, not just at home but also in support of other countries."

The Hiwar gathered ADSG member organisations, government entities, as well as private and non-governmental organisations, to discuss the implications of climate change for the UAE and the wider region. It is part of a series of events, which aim to raise awareness about climate change, and inform local organisations of how they can take part in the UAE's climate initiatives.

"We look forward to the outcome of COP 21, and we hope for an outcome which will give clear signals to both the public and private sectors about the kinds of actions needed to curb dangerous levels of global warming," said Ms. Huda Al Houqani, Director of ADSG.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is keen on raising awareness on climate change issues by supporting multi-stakeholder dialogues such as this Hiwar, so that we can create solutions to benefit both the UAE and the world," said Dr. Al Zeyoudi.

The discussions yesterday highlighted the importance for Abu Dhabi's public and private sectors to continue working together to shift to a low-carbon economy," said Ms. Al Houqani.

ADSG is an initiative of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi. It was launched in 2008 to promote sustainability management and reporting and facilitate dialogue among leading Abu Dhabi Emirate organisations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Leaders at Eye on Earth Summit 2015 commit to helping the global community meet the Sustainable Development Goals

posted on 09/10/2015

At the closing of the Eye on Earth Summit 2015 in Abu Dhabi yesterday, leaders of the Eye on Earth Alliance partner organisations reinforced their commitment to helping the global community meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

"It is the obligation of each Alliance member to continue nurturing the Eye on Earth community into a stronger and more closely aligned vision for the future. Each commits their resources, influence and expertise to ensure the continued existence of the Eye on Earth community into the long-term future, not only to guarantee the free and open access to environmental and societal data, but also to assist and guide the global community in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals," stated Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi, in her closing address.

The Eye on Earth Alliance is represented by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) through the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and new partners Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and World Resources Institute (WRI).

The entities are united in their efforts to commit resources and facilitate connections to help close the data gap that currently hampers decision- and policy-making for sustainable development. Together, the Eye on Earth Alliance partners will engage with more government agencies, UN organisations, NGOs, the private sector, academia and civil society from across the globe to help advance the mission of Eye on Earth.

Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak also called on Summit delegates and the wider global community to support the efforts of Eye on Earth in improving the availability of, and access to, data and information for sustainable development.

"It is no longer possible for one entity, agency, government or region to work independently. No one member can carry the burden alone. We must share the responsibility and we must collectively strengthen our resolve. The task ahead is too large and too important. We need to commit to a shared future where environmental and societal data can improve decisions that lead to a more sustainable planet," said Al Mubarak. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Etihad Airways hosts 250 Dutch travel industry Leaders in Abu Dhabi

posted on 09/10/2015

Etihad Airways is playing host to 250 leading travel industry representatives from The Netherlands. The delegation has arrived in Abu Dhabi for the ANVR (Algemene Nederlandse Vereniging van Reisondernemingen) Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators Conference 2015.

The event is sponsored by Etihad Airways, which has provided return transportation from Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi, with all local arrangements organised by Hala Abu Dhabi, the airline's destination management company. The conference attendees include the owners and management of the Netherlands' leading travel agencies and tour operators, as well as professionals from related industries.

The aim of the this year's conference is to showcase Abu Dhabi to Dutch travellers, who have historically ventured to all areas of the globe, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and to the country's travel industry which is renowned for its professionalism and experience.

Daniel Barranger, Etihad Airways' Senior Vice President Sales, said, "I am delighted to welcome the leaders and key decision-makers of the Dutch travel industry here in Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airways places considerable importance to the Dutch market. Abu Dhabi as a destination is the ideal cultural and adventure holiday destination, providing year-round sun, a world-class tourism and conference infrastructure, and incredible leisure activities. It is also home to a leading airline which is setting new industry standards of superior service and innovation.

"Moreover, Abu Dhabi sits at the crossroads of East and West, and Etihad Airways' extensive global network, along with our Etihad Airways Partner airlines, provides the Dutch traveller with exciting stopover opportunities in the UAE, connecting onwards to the major leisure, cultural and business centres across Asia, Africa and Australasia."

In 2014 and 2015, year to date, Etihad Airways has welcomed 130,000 guests on its services from Amsterdam.

Founded on 17 February 1966, the aim of the ANVR is to combine the strength of its members in pursuit of their common social and economic interests, so that the organisation can play a prominent national and international role as the representative of the Dutch travel industry.

The ANVR's policies are shaped by its members and the association's governing body is the General Assembly of Members. Day-to-day management of the association is handled by an Executive Committee containing representatives from all branches of the industry including travel agents, air ticketing agents and tour operators.

The visiting delegation was welcomed at a dinner hosted by Etihad Airways at the Palm Garden of the iconic Yas Viceroy Hotel on Yas Island. The three-day visit included a tour of the important cultural and touristic landmarks of Abu Dhabi, an Etihad Airways sponsored lunch at the New York University's Abu Dhabi campus, and a farewell gala dinner at the opulent Emirates Palace Hotel. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Etihad Airways Engineering expands capability with new paint hangar

posted on 09/10/2015

Etihad Airways Engineering, the Middle East's leading aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul, MRO, provider, has expanded its existing capability for painting aircraft at premises adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport with the conversion of Hangar 5 into a state-of-the-art paint hangar.

The newly converted hangar has additional chillers installed for enhanced air conditioning and temperature control, improved thermal insulation, and an efficient drainage system to suit stripping and painting requirements. The hangar has also been equipped with an advanced aircraft docking system, which can be customised to serve different types of aircraft.

The addition of the new hangar effectively increases the area dedicated to painting facilities at Etihad Airways Engineering by150 percent, from 4,000 sq.m. to 10,000 sq.m..

The paint hangar also incorporates a large-format decal production facility, which will be used to repaint and rebrand Etihad Airways' entire fleet of 120 aircraft with its ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi' livery and branding over the coming months.

Aircraft belonging to Etihad Airways' partners and other airline customers also undergo repainting and maintenance operations at the Etihad Airways Engineering facility.

Jeff Wilkinson, Senior Vice President Technical, Etihad Airways, said, "We have significantly increased our aircraft painting capacity with the introduction of a new paint hangar as we continue to expand our MRO capability on new aircraft platforms.

"The team at Etihad Airways Engineering has the experience, expertise and equipment to undertake all kinds of heavy maintenance and aircraft painting for Etihad Airways, its equity partners and third party customers," he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


flydubai expands network in Russia

posted on 09/10/2015

flydubai yesterday inaugurated flights to two new destinations in Russia, Nizhny Novgorod and Novosibirsk, making it the first Dubai-based airline to serve these cities. Offering one of the most comprehensive networks from the UAE, the carrier now operates to 10 destinations in Russia.

flydubai marked its first entry to the Russian market in 2010 with the launch of flights to Samara and Yekaterinburg. Five years on, the carrier continues to grow its network in the market, opening up previously under-served destinations that had no or few direct links to the UAE.

Commenting on the occasion, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said, "Since the start of our flights to Russia five years ago, we have seen strong demand for affordable, reliable and direct services to Dubai. We are committed to growing our network in the market and the new flights to Nizhny Novgorod and Novosibirsk will provide passengers from the UAE and Russia with an accessible means to explore both countries."

The inaugural flight to Novosibirsk landed on 7th October at Tolmachevo International Airport. On board the aircraft were Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial (UAE, EU, ME, CIS) for flydubai, and key representatives from the UAE and Indian media and members of the UAE business community. The delegation was welcomed by Sergey Titov, Minister of Transport of the Novosibirsk region. During the trip, the UAE delegation is holding a series of meetings in Novosibirsk with their Russian counterparts to discuss business and trade opportunities between Novosibirsk and Dubai.

Jeyhun Efendi said, "flydubai is committed to creating free flows of trade and tourism between Dubai and the destinations it operates to. We are pleased to introduce flydubai's business class service and cargo operations to our newest destinations in Russia and to provide passengers with more options to explore not only Dubai but further afield across our network to Africa, the Middle East and Subcontinent."

flydubai's network in Russia includes Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Ufa and Yekaterinburg, providing the large Russian expatriate community in Dubai and the UAE with the option to visit family and friends more often for less. The direct flights also make it easier for businesses to explore opportunities across Russia which were not very accessible before due to the limited availability of direct flights.

flydubai has announced 18 new destinations since the start of 2015 creating a network of more than 95 destinations in 45 countries. It operates a fleet of 50 new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft with an average age of 3.1 years and has more than 100 new aircraft on order. The carrier's interline agreements allow passengers to benefit from Dubai's efficient aviation hub providing opportunity for onward travel to more than 250 destinations around the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DME named "Asia Exchange of the Year" by Energy Risk

posted on 09/10/2015

The Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME), the premier international energy futures and commodities exchange in the Middle East, was named "Asia Exchange of the Year" at the 8th Energy Risk Awards Asia 2015, which took place last night in Singapore.

The Energy Risk Awards recognise excellence across the energy and commodities markets, as well as celebrating companies that have had a particularly successful year. The winners of the Energy Risk awards were determined by editorial choice after a rigorous pitch submission and interview process. The judges paid particular attention to first-hand feedback from clients.

Owain Johnson, DME's Managing Director, said, "DME is delighted to win this prestigious award, which is a recognition of the DME team's hard work in developing the Oman futures contract to provide companies around the world with the best and most transparent environment in which to trade Middle East crude oil. Every day, around 90 firms contribute to DME's price formation process ensuring that our regulated platform provides fair pricing for oil heading to Asia."

DME has established its Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract as the most credible crude oil benchmark in the East of Suez market. As a fully regulated exchange, DME offers a fair price discovery mechanism and a transparent trading environment for Middle East oil exports. DME enables a broad range of industry players to participate in the pricing process and no single participant accounts for more than around 10% of DME pricing activity.

Over the past year DME has focused on creating a more efficient and cost-effective trading environment for its customers. The Exchange introduced a new trading mechanism, Trade at Marker (TAM), as well as accepting for the first time Letters of Credit (LCs) from Singapore and Japan. DME also recently launched "DME Auctions" – a new platform that will provide a transparent spot commodity auction system for the first time in the Middle East. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


TCA Abu Dhabi to join hands with Emirati and resident artists of the UAE

posted on 09/10/2015

Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, is calling on established and emerging Emirati and UAE resident artists and designers to submit works for a group art exhibition to celebrate the UAE's 44th National Day.

The exhibition will be organised as part of the 44th UAE National Day celebrations, and is set to open at the National Theatre on 25th November, highlighting artworks that emphasise the environment's richness and diversity.

Artists are invited to submit portfolio collections of photographs, traditional and digital paintings, drawings and other works of art inspired by the UAE, with each selected artist to showcase at least two of their works at the exhibition.

"This exhibition will focus on various aspects of the nation that are integral to the lives of the people, highlighted through the art forms on display," said Sumayya Al Suwaidi, Community Events Manager at the Culture Sector of TCA Abu Dhabi.

"It also aims to underline the evolution and growth achieved by Emirati artists and promote and honour talented emerging artists," added Al Suwaidi.

The exhibition will bring together different schools of art underlining the link ages between artistic creativity and UAE heritage. The multifaceted works of art take inspiration and raw materials from the natural environment to present an exhibition that celebrates the country's cultural ethos.

In a step to support and encourage Emirati and UAE resident artists, the exhibition will also be an opportunity for the community and generations of artists to meet, interact and learn about the country's achievements in the arts scene.

Participation in the exhibition is open to all Emirati and UAE resident artists, with enrolments for portfolio submissions open until 28th October, 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Seventh Al Ain Reads Book Show draws huge turnout

posted on 09/10/2015

The seventh Al Ain Reads Book Show has attracted thousands of book lovers of all ages keen to browse through the massive collection of the latest titles on diverse topics.

Wrapping up on Sunday, 11th October, the show is taking place at the Al Ain Convention Centre, AACC, owned by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, has drawn the participation of more than 70 exhibitors, up from 25 in the previous edition, and showcases over 60,000 titles across subjects ranging from science to literature and culture. More than 30,000 visitors have attended the show so far, which is 20 percent more than the 2014 edition.

Supporting the local publishing industry in the UAE, the show has witnessed remarkable growth since inception, and serves as a link to connect UAE authors from Al Ain with their counterparts from across the country. Additionally, it offers a carnival setting for families and allows parents to engage their children in various activities that motivate them to read and learn.

Obaid Al Shamsi, AACC's Director, said, "The Al Ain Reads Book Show has now become an annual fixture that celebrates books and book lovers in the city of Al Ain. Every year, this show only grows from strength to strength, and is one vibrant cultural event we all wait for. Today, the event assumes even greater significance with the UAE working to shape a knowledge-based economy.

Al Shamsi added, "Today, AACC has emerged as a major hub for important business events, and figures prominently on the list of the world's leading event organisers, attracting delegates and tourists from around the world. It perfectly complements our mandate at the Abu Dhabi Exhibitions Company to enhance the development of the MICE sector in Al Ain and augment its contribution to the overall business tourism landscape." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -