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Al Jalila Foundation awards over Dh 4 million to enhance medical research in the U.A.E.

posted on 24/11/2014

Al Jalila Foundation, a global healthcare philanthropic organisation founded to position the U.A.E. at the forefront of medical innovation, has awarded more than Dh4 million in seed grants to 15 U.A.E.-based medical researchers. The seed grants are valid for two years, and will be used for research in the field of cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health and diabetes, four of Al Jalila Foundation's five research priorities. An Emirati graduate, Dr. Shehab Al Ansari, was also chosen by the Foundation's scientific committee to pursue a medical research fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the Cleveland Clinic, USA.

Out of 54 applications submitted for the seed grants, 15 candidates, including two women, succeeded following a competitive two-stage international review process with experts from the world's most renowned medical institutions, including the University of Oxford, University of Glasgow, Imperial College, University of Queensland, INSERM, University of Auckland, University of Toronto, University of Pennsylvania, University of Kansas and the University of Stony Brook. The reviewers were handpicked as leaders in each specific field of research in line with the Foundation's commitment to cultivating a medical research ecosystem built on international best practices.

Dr. Raja Al Gurg, Member of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation, commented, "Today marks a key milestone in our journey to establish medical research as a key component of the nation's long-term healthcare strategy. We are proud to be delivering on the U.A.E. Innovation Strategy launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and supporting the leadership's vision which aims to position the U.A.E. as one of the world's top nations by 2021." Professor Sehamuddin Galadari, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology and Academic and Research Advisor of Al Jalila Foundation, said, "The successful recipients have been chosen after a competitive selection process completely based on scientific merit.

"We are nurturing the scientific talent that will transform the future of healthcare in the U.A.E. and beyond. As we progress in the development of the Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre, today's grants mark our first step to bringing local and international scientists together to conduct research in the U.A.E.. The ultimate long-term goal is to elevate the quality of people's lives through developing better treatments particular to our nation and the region." Dr. Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, added, "We consider these grants as a significant step in our ambitions to cultivate a productive medical research sector. Biomedical research is very capital- and labour-intensive, and our aspiration is to be able to attract more donations to boost research activities in the U.A.E.. To achieve that we are counting on the generosity, wisdom and vision of business professionals, philanthropists and corporates in the U.A.E., who share our commitment to attaining medical advancements that will benefit future generations." The grants were awarded to scientists from medical institutions across the U.A.E., including Latifa Hospital in Dubai, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, University of Sharjah, New York University of Abu Dhabi, Zayed University and the Gulf Medical University in Ajman.

The development of the Al Jalila Foundation Research Centre, the U.A.E.'s first independent multi-disciplinary research centre, is on track for a 2016 opening. It will be a beacon for regionally relevant medical innovation produced by homegrown biomedical researchers. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC inspects development projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina

posted on 24/11/2014

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has inspected a number of its projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina and discussed several projects for targeted beneficiaries.

Headed by Salem Al Ameri, Director of Al Ain ERC branch, the ERC delegation members were briefed about the project of productive families implemented by the ERC in Srebrenica city. The project provides income to the needy families.

The project is one among many such projects implemented by the ERC in a number of countries with the aim of making a difference and help the cause of development of those in the poor categories.

In Mostar city, the delegation inspected the student hostel project built earlier by the ERC.

The ERC delegation also discussed with officials in Sarajevo the orphanage project and ways to send money to orphans regularly without delay. – Emirates News Agency WAM -


U.A.E. funds over 30 percent of health needs in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan

posted on 24/11/2014

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, has said that the Government of the U.A.E. earlier this year made a generous Dh18 million (US$5 million) contribution, as part of its ongoing humanitarian initiative, for the provision of health assistance in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan, of which Dh7 million (US$2 million) has been allocated to health activities, and Dh11 million (US$3 million) for UNHCR's water, sanitation and health initiative, WASH.

The UNHCR said that the impact of the contribution was evident in a progress report recently submitted by them to the U.A.E. Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, MICAD. The report said that through the U.A.E.'s support, UNHCR was able to strengthen the provision of essential health services by covering the cost of over 30 percent of the total health needs of both camps between January and September 2014. The U.A.E.'s aid allowed UNHCR to reach almost 94,000 Syrian refugees through two field hospitals operating with a total of 55 beds, nine primary healthcare centres, and one delivery unit in Zaatari camp. In the Azraq refugee camp, the U.A.E.'s donation is supporting a clinic that is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, and one health post, added the report.

"There is no doubt that this contribution reflects the deep and strategic humanitarian partnership established between UNHCR and the leadership, government and people of the United Arab Emirates. We appreciate the U.A.E.'s generosity, which has enabled us and our partners in the field to provide comprehensive health services and much-needed assistance in the form of water and sanitation to camp-based Syrian refugee populations in Jordan," said Nabil Othman, UNHCR's Acting Regional Representative to the GCC Countries.

The U.A.E. has a longstanding history of providing humanitarian aid to those affected by conflict, and was identified by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, as a top donor country in 2013. The federal government began providing humanitarian aid to Syria in 2012, with its financial contributions amounting to roughly Dh401 million (US$109.4 million) since then, in addition to having provided non-financial support for a number of education and health initiatives.

In Zaatari camp, the funds helped UNHCR give some 80,000 Syrian refugees access to healthcare services, enabled the possibility for 127,781 primary health care consultations, facilitated mental health treatment for 704 refugees, and allowed for the provision of 52,755 reproductive health consultations. In Azraq camp, the contribution helped 13,604 Syrian refugees get access to health services, enabled 25,650 primary health care consultations, and helped 134 Syrians with mental health issues seek medical assistance.

The demand for continued healthcare services for Syrian refugees in Jordan remains high, whether for the provision of primary, secondary or tertiary healthcare assistance. Considering that the number of Syrian refugees in Jordan continues to increase alongside the number of refugees of other nationalities, sustained support from donors is crucial to maintain an appropriate standard of health services for the refugees.

"With a worsening humanitarian crisis inside Syria and an unremitting influx of refugees seeking safety in the neighbouring countries, the sustainable provision of health and other essential services remains a major challenge, and this can only be addressed through continuous cooperation and support from our donors," Othman added.

UNHCR has repeatedly expressed its grave concern that primary health care, mental health, nutrition, rehabilitation and reproductive health services for Syrian refugees remain limited in Jordan, where more than 618,000 refugees are currently hosted. The pressing need for the provision of health services is only expected to soar as the number of Syrian refugees seeking shelter in Jordan continues to rise.

Later this year, UNHCR, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme will be launching the seventh iteration of the refugee response plan. Titled: The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan, the plan will address both refugee protection and humanitarian needs, while strengthening the resilience of communities and governments across the region hosting refugees to mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


NMC launches best 43rd National Day Tweet competition

posted on 24/11/2014

NMC launches best 43rd National Day Tweet competition

The National Media Council, NMC, yesterday launched a competition programme as part of the Council's 43rd National Day celebrations.

The programme aims to provide an opportunity for citizens and residents to interact and celebrate the Union's achievements in all fields, as well as highlight the NMC's role and its efforts in supporting the U.A.E.'s mission at all levels.

The event will also feature live competitions on local radio stations where listeners will be asked questions for cash prizes.

Another competition, which is being held for the second year in a row, is for the Best 43rd National Day 'Tweet', which will feature on the social networking sites Twitter and Instagram, on @nmcuae where participants are encouraged to tweet and upload words, sayings, poems and photographs which they feel reflect the spirit of the Union and their love for the homeland. The competition will remain open until December 10th, and contestants can enter by tweeting to # Competition_National_Media43 or by replying to the contest tweet.

Winners will be selected by an ad hoc committee on the basis the most creative posts, which will be published on the NMC's social networking accounts. The winners will be announced on the official NMC website and social media websites.


NMC receives media delegations on the occasion of 43rd National Day celebrations

posted on 24/11/2014

The National Media Council, NMC, has begun receiving media delegations visiting the country on the occasion of the celebrations of the U.A.E. 43rd National Day.

The three-day NMC programme for media guests includes meetings with Ministers and officials, in addition to paying visits to cultural sites and leading Emirati institutions to highlight the country's achievements in all areas and the roles it plays at various levels.

The council has formed teams to receive media guests at the airport in addition to a dedicated team to provide guidance and support to them. The NMC is also working on preparing for the visits in coordination with the delegates' respective embassies abroad.

Alia Al Yasi, Director of Government Communication Department at the NMC, Chair of the Programme's Organising Committee, said, "What distinguishes this year's programme is the large number of media personnel, 100 media representatives from 54 countries."


DM creates human flag of the U.A.E. as it launches 43rd National Day activities

posted on 24/11/2014

The Public Parks and Horticulture Department of Dubai Municipality launched on Sunday activities for the 43rd National Day, creating a human flag of the U.A.E. in Zabeel Park, Dubai.

Having opened the human flag event, Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, and senior officials of the civic body, joined in with workers of the Public Parks and Horticulture Department at a performance of the National Anthem.

"We intend to include all segments of the community with us in the celebrations of 43rd National Day and now we started sharing our happiness with the workers of Dubai Municipality who are the real heroes in every success we achieved," Lootah said.

Around 1,000 workers participated in forming the U.A.E. flag, wearing T-shirts and hats in the four colours of the flag and standing in the middle of Zabeel park in the shape of the flag.

Abdul Rahman Al Awadi, Director of Public Parks and Horticulture Department at Dubai Municipality, said, "The event comes as part of our keenness to make the workers happy in our happiest moments of National Day celebrations. We have plans to organise a variety of activities and programmes for workers and other categories such as handicapped and people with special needs who need more care in the society." Senior officials from different departments of DM distributed gifts and food to the workers.

"The programmes of National Day celebrations will end on the 2nd December," Al Awadi said. "The Public Parks and Horticulture Department has completed the work of 43 flags made of flowers in different parts of Dubai. The biggest flower flag is located in the 5th junction of Sheikh Zayed Road, planted in 6,500 sq.m., using 105,000 flower seedlings. 35 flower flags are planted in Bur Dubai area, 6 flags in Deira and 2 inside parks," he said.

"Last year, we organised a helicopter tour for the workers from parks department to show them the real beauty of their work and appreciate them for the hard work and dedication, and we will continue to conduct such programmes with the aim at achieving maximum happiness for all in line with the declaration of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to make Dubai one of happiest cities in the world." . – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Brand Dubai launches "Choose Your Spot"

posted on 24/11/2014

Following its efforts to introduce more art works in Dubai pursuant to the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to convert Dubai into an open art gallery, Brand Dubai has launched "Choose Your Spot", a new initiative aiming to encourage young artists to select convenient locations in Dubai for their creative artworks.

Brand Dubai, an initiative launched by the Government of Dubai Media Office, believes that artists themselves are the best people to select the most suitable locations to display their artwork, and will coordinate such projects with public and private entities in the emirate.

The "Choose Your Spot" initiative was launched during a meeting hosted by Brand Dubai in Madinat Jumeirah, and attracted 30 young artists. The artists expressed their interest in participating in this initiative, hoping to add a new dimension to the city's cultural and artistic scene so as to enhance its image as a business and financial global hub, and further highlight the emirate's innovative aspects.

The meeting also discussed the directives of the Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to Brand Dubai's team during his visit to the headquarters of the Government of Dubai Media Office in October 2014 to immediately implement the first phase of projects carried out by Brand Dubai and abide by the timeline specified for completing these projects set out in order to emphasise Dubai's rich experience in development and innovation.

Commenting on the event, the Director of Communication and Innovation in the Government of Dubai Media Office, Noora Al Abbar, said, "After His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched "Dubai Speaks to You", Brand Dubai team developed innovative ideas, and these ideas were commenced on the ground; therefore, we are keen to sustain communication with artists to discuss the latest developments and listen to their creative ideas." Al Abbar added, "Many outstanding projects have been completed over the past few months. We started with the Union House hoarding to the parking area in Emaar Boulevard and the Global Village. The next phase will witness cooperation with major real-estate developers, public and private entities and artists." The meeting also covered future projects and suggested sites for Brand Dubai's flagship, "Dubai Speaks to You". The participating artists were also briefed on the work strategy, timeframes and concepts. During the meeting, the artists presented their proposals and also selected the locations to host their artworks.

The participating artists expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the government's support which reflects deep understanding of the value of art in enriching people's life and catalysing innovation and creativity. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi Police reviews London’s Air Ambulance experience

posted on 24/11/2014

Abu Dhabi Police have discussed the means of cooperation with the Regulatory Authority of the International Extreme Medicine Conference in London with a view to leveraging the experience of the elite participants in the Conference.

This measure aims to ensure better preparation for the Emergency Medicine Conference, to be organised by the Emergency and Public Safety Department at the Directorate General of Central Operations, in Abu Dhabi next year.

A delegation led by Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed Ibrahim Al Ameri, Head of the Emergency and Public Safety Department at Abu Dhabi Police, took part in the conference which discussed topics related to pre-hospital emergency care, disaster and relief medicine, remote areas and expeditions, air ambulance missions, and the lessons learned from the London Air Ambulance services.

Lieutenant Colonel Al Ameri indicated that the delegation was briefed on London's air ambulance experience, as well as the daily services provided to London's more than 10 million citizens. The delegation also reviewed the training process to enable ambulance personnel to carry out their duties. "The London Air Ambulance services are highly developed and provided by the Institute of Pre-hospital Care," added Al Ameri.

The Head of the Emergency and Public Safety Department said, "The workshops also tackled various topics, namely the role of pre-hospital doctors in international response to humanitarian disasters around the world, crew resource management at complex pre-hospital scenes, opportunities for medical students in pre-hospital care, emergency thoracotomy and emergency neurosurgery, resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) and pre-hospital advanced airway," explained Lieutenant Colonel Al Ameri. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


An Emirati welcome: helping visitors understand local rules

posted on 24/11/2014

A U.A.E. daily has said that the way Mohammed Al Qubaisi, 40, a father of five from Abu Dhabi, sees it, visiting the U.A.E. is like visiting someone's home – everything will be fine if one approaches the experience respectfully.

"Most local rules are common sense and most visitors know that for all the modernity and tolerance, this is still a Muslim country with conservative attitudes," said The National in its editorial on Sunday.

Even so, there are some less-intuitive aspects of local culture that bear explanation, and this is why Mr. Al Qubaisi has created a website listing the main 'dos and don'ts'. The initiative is to be commended as an exercise in cross-cultural communication. Knowing local customs is surely as important as knowing the laws of the land.

"Ought this to go further, with relevant information on video screens on flights bound for the U.A.E.? Should friendly tips on Emirati culture be handed out with visas? It's important to ensure that the millions of visitors who arrive in the U.A.E. enjoy the experience fully and nothing whatsoever is lost in translation," concluded the daily.


Biggest ever audience cheer Lewis Hamilton to F1 victory in Abu Dhabi as curtain falls on exhilarating weekend

posted on 24/11/2014

The largest crowd ever seen at Yas Marina Circuit cheered Lewis Hamilton to victory as a dramatic season came to a close at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The podium prize ceremony, which saw Hamilton crowned 2014 Formula One Champion, concluded three days of track action and spectacular off-track activities enjoyed by fans across the newly-extended 60,000-capacity venue.

Throughout the Grand Prix weekend, racing fans – including a record number from overseas - have enjoyed a blockbuster atmosphere, both in the grandstands and away from the track. The final after-race concert, featuring British rock legends The Who, brought the curtain down on a world-beating, non-stop program of entertainment.

"I would like to congratulate the new world champion after what has been one of the most thrilling finales to a Formula 1 season in recent years," said Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit.

"Fans were promised an exceptional, spectacular experience and we hope the weekend has lived up to the expectations. The largest crowds in the event's short history have generated an incredible atmosphere around the whole circuit.

"For me, in my first year as CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, it's been an honour to preside over such an extraordinary event, and a fitting end to the Formula One racing season." As well as the top sporting drama, attendance was driven this year by an unbeatable range of on-site activities to suit people of all ages.

The five Oasis zones have been packed at all times with race-goers enjoying a thrilling carnival of activities including live music, theatre productions, gamezones, U.A.E. heritage and other exhibitions and numerous hospitality options.

The Heritage Village in the North Oasis area proved a popular attraction, with its lively mix of traditional Emirati activities such as falconry, local cooking, handicrafts, and henna painting.

Motoring enthusiasts enjoyed a trip down memory lane in the West Oasis's classic cars exhibition and tested their skills at the "Pit-Stop Challenge". Yas Marina Circuit's very own beach was also a big draw, as visitors wishing to relax in the sunshine took to their sun-loungers.

The hub of activity was the F1 Village, next to the Main Grandstand, where a non-stop line-up of music and dance provided the backdrop to a vast array of entertainment options including the F1 Gamezone and the Majlis Arabic Chill-Out area.

Kids were able to put their driving skills to the test at the Yas Kartzone, which was open throughout the race weekend.

As ever, the F1 after-race concert series proved a huge success. It kicked off in style on Thursday night, with a bill that included famous Middle Eastern artists such as Tamer Hosny and Mohammed Assaf. Friday was the turn of Dutch sensation Armin Van Buuren, who dazzled the audience with his high-energy set. And on Saturday the man of the moment Pharrell Williams treated the Du Arena audience to a memorable show.

"I've enjoyed every minute of this weekend," said Neil Watkins, 63, from Wales, UK, who has attended the Abu Dhabi event for the last three years. "The racing itself was really amazing. I couldn't believe the atmosphere in the Grandstand as the cars lined up on the starting grid, and that excitement lasted from start to finish."