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Supported by the UAE National Media Council

MoH reduces prices of 280 types of innovative pharmaceutical products

posted on 25/01/2015

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Health for the public health sector and licensing policy, has announced the fifth initiative of the Ministry of Health (MoH) to reduce the prices of innovative medicines, and ease burden on patients.

According to the fifth initiative, prices of 280 pharmaceutical products will be reduced by 6-55 per cent with effect from 1st February with the participation of 26 international companies.

This initiative falls within the framework of the strategic partnership between both the MoH and the private sector, and all the international pharmaceutical companies operating in the country. It also comes under the guidance of Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health.

Al Amiri commended all the efforts of international pharmaceutical companies in accepting the initiative of the MoH to reduce the prices voluntarily, given the strategic partnership between the two parties and the close relationship that binds the Ministry of Health and the international companies operating in the country.

He pointed out that the initiative aims to support patients, especially those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, high cholesterol, infectious diseases, intestinal diseases, arthritis, gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases, skin diseases, viral diseases and others. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Public transport ridership in Dubai hits 531m riders in 2014

posted on 25/01/2015

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), revealed that public transport means of the RTA, have lifted 531.350 million riders in 2014 compared to 440.672 million riders in 2013, and 367.657 million riders back in 2012.

Accordingly the average daily ridership of public transport means in Dubai (the Metro, tram, buses and marine transit modes (abras, ferry, water taxi, water bus) in addition to taxis (Dubai Taxi and franchise companies), clocked about 1.475 million riders; which compares well with the average of 1.3 million riders recorded in 2013 and about one million riders in 2012.

"The public transport network in Dubai, which is almost complete in terms of modes with the launch of the Dubai Tram on 11/11/2014, has become a key element in the mobility of people in various parts of the Emirate of Dubai. RTA's efforts in this regard contributed to the rising numbers of public transport means riders across the board,' Al Tayer said.

'The share of public transport in the mobility of people has leapfrogged from 6% in 2006 to 14% in 2014 and the RTA is endeavouring to push it to as much as 20% by 2020.' Moreover, he added the RTA has managed to transform the culture of various segments of the community and their attitudes towards using public transport. People have started to grasp and feel the benefits associated with the use of mass transit means such as the physical comfort, peace of mind, financial saving, high safety, lower expenses of car usage in terms of fuel and maintenance among others.

"The RTA is proceeding with the efforts to make public transport systems the first choice for people, be it citizens, residents or visitors, in their daily mobility to work, home or have a time out,' he explained.

The RTA, he continued, has ambitious future plans for upgrading roads infrastructure as well as the composition and efficiency of public transport system, and delivering smart services to the public. There are more than 35 mega projects in hand highlighted by the designing and undertaking public transport means for the hosting of Expo 2020 including the extension of the Red Line of the Dubai Metro, upgrading roads and junctions leading to the site of Expo, and procuring new trains to keep up with the sustained growth in the number of metro users in the lead up to 2020 such that passengers can have better services.

"The RTA is also planning to broaden the coverage of bus network to reach 16 new areas, improve services in 19 areas by 2020, and uplift the water transport means which is anticipated to experience huge growth with the launch of the Dubai Water Canal linking the Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf,' the RTA chief added.

"The Dubai Metro, both the Red and Green Lines, lifted last year 164.307 million riders compared with 137.759 million riders in 2013 and 109.491 million riders in 2012. The number of riders using the Red Line of the Dubai Metro saw a considerable growth compared to 2013 and 2012 with the ridership rising steadily from 71.914 million riders in 2012 to about 89 million riders in 2013 and shot to around 104 million riders in 2014. The ridership of the Green Line grew from 37.576 million riders in 2012, to 48.873 million riders in 2013 and continued the upswing in 2014 to hit 60.289 million riders. Thus the average daily ridership of the Dubai Metro last year exceeded 450 thousand riders and the figure went past the half million mark during holidays.

"Since launched on 11/11/2014 till the end of December last (50 days),the Dubai Tram has lifted about 531 thousand riders. The public bus ridership last year hit 135.5 million riders compared with 115.67 million riders in 2013 and 107.8 million riders in 2012. The average daily ridership of public buses was 371 thousand riders compared with 321 thousand riders in 2013, and 299 thousand riders in 2012.

"The public bus route users accounted for the lion share of the total number of users of buses serving 91.888 million riders, followed by metro stations feeder bus service which accounted for 24.432 million riders, inter-city bus service lifted 12.89 million riders and corporate bus rental service served about 5.8 million riders.

"Marine transit means, comprising abras, water bus, water taxi, and Dubai Ferry have lifted about 13.26 million riders last year recording a slight increase from 2013 level which was 13.223 million riders. Abras accounted for the largest share of marine transit mode users serving about 12.613 million riders and the rest is shared by the Water Bus, Water Taxi, and Dubai Ferry.

"Taxis in Dubai (Dubai Taxi, Hala Taxi and franchise companies) lifted last year 108.875 million riders in more than 217.751 million trips compared to about 174.018 million riders in 2013, and 137.39 million riders in 2012. Dubai Taxicabs of the RTA have alone made 46.675 million trips in which it lifted 93.35 million riders. The ridership of Hala Taxi service which was launched by the Dubai Taxi Corporation last May clocked about 2.355 million riders whereas the ridership of franchise companies (Cars Taxi, National Taxi, Metro Taxi, Arabia Taxi, Hala Taxi Cars, and City Taxi) lifted about 122.45 million riders served in 61.022 trips," said the Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.

Al Tayer was delighted with these indicators which depict the effectiveness of plans and programs undertaken by the RTA in providing a variety of options for moving people in Dubai.

"The strategic and executive plans for roads and transport pursued by the RTA based on the principle of integration i.e. achieving smooth and accessible mobility in the Emirate, hinges on the provision of integrated solutions comprising improving and broadening roads network and crossings, upgrading various components of mass transit systems such as the metro, tram, buses and water transport means, enhancing the technology used in traffic and transport systems to ensure the optimal utilisation and highest efficiency of the roads and mass transit system, adopting policies capable of reducing the semi total reliance of the public on private vehicles and increasing peoples' reliance on other transit systems including public transport, and encouraging journey-sharing practices especially in a city like Dubai where the ownership of private vehicles is as high as one vehicle per two persons among residents," he concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Fazza International Para-Archery qualification underway

posted on 25/01/2015

World-class para-archery athletes from nine different countries began competing at the qualification round of the 1st Fazza International Para-Archery Competition 2015 at the Dubai Club for the Disabled on Friday.

A total of 23 athletes from the UAE, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Romania, France, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic aimed their bows and arrows at the target to qualify for the final round on Sunday at tournament hosted by the Dubai Club for the Disabled and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre in cooperation with the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare, Dubai Sports Council and the UAE Paralympic Committee.

The inaugural edition of the event is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, as part of the Fazza Championships calendar, aimed at promoting international camaraderie and competitiveness among disabled athletes. After the Friday's qualifying round action, Philippe Horner (FRA) topped the compound men's open category with 685 points, followed by Jiri Klich (CZE) and Eric Pereira (FRA) with 679 and 665, respectively. In the distaff side, lone competitor Wurood Al Murshedi (IRQ) pulled in a total score of 643.

Shortly after topping the qualifying round, an ecstatic Horner said: "It was a good result for me today. Although in the beginning it was very difficult for me, I managed to play well so it is a very good outcome and I will try to do my best in the final rounds tomorrow.”

In the recurve men open category, Martin Chaloupsky (CZE) topped 11 other para-archers with 603 points, followed by joint second and third Stephane Gilbert (FRA) and Siraj Alsaqer (IRQ) who both scored 597 points.

Chaloupsky said he initially had trouble with his first 36 arrows, but he managed to find his groove in the second half. "The weather was very cold this morning, but after the second half it got better with the sun shining and that helped me a lot,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Recurve Women Open category saw current world number two Zahra Nemati (IRI) dominating the competition with a score of 634, followed by Brigitte Duboc (FRA) with 563 and Aynur Rustamova (AZE) with 354.

The night before qualifying round, the Dubai Club for the Disabled hosted a gala dinner for all the athletes and the organisers where Thani Juma Berregad, chairman of the Dubai Club for the Disabled and head of the Organising Committee for the Fazza Championships for People with Disability, welcomed all participants, saying, "We hope you enjoy your stay here at Dubai, which is hosting the tournament for the very first time. More than the competitive aspect of the competition, we hope your experience will be filled with wonderful memories of camaraderie and sportsmanship.”

Archery action resumes on Saturday at the Dubai Club for the Disabled with the team competition. Podium places and medals will be awarded on Sunday. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationsports