posted on 24/04/2014
Six new destinations and 71 extra flights a week to India are the highlights of Abu Dhabi International Airport's summer 2014 flying schedule for air travellers, the busiest in its history.
The number of weekly flights available for business travellers and holiday makers has increased by 18% compared to last summer, from 1,052 to 1,242.
New routes to be served this summer include non-stop flights from Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles in the U.S.A., Zurich in Switzerland, Belgrade in Serbia, Perth in Australia, Jaipur in India and Yerevan in Armenia.
Abu Dhabi International Airport will also see more flights this summer in the Gulf region to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. Additionally, more aircraft will fly to Pakistan with extra flights to Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Karachi, Peshawar and Rahin Yar Khan.
European cities to be further linked with the UAE's capital city including Rome, Moscow, Munich, Athens and Dublin.
Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore will each witness 14 extra flights a week from Abu Dhabi - the greatest growth in the Indian market. There will be 10 new services to Mumbai, eight to Cochin and seven to Delhi on a weekly basis. The new route to Jaipur, operated by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, will operate once a day.
Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said, "The summer schedule will be the largest flying programme Abu Dhabi has ever operated. The growth compared to last year is a testament to the eyes of the world looking more and more at the UAE's capital, and to the country's national airline, Etihad Airways, satisfying that ever growing demand." – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 24/04/2014
Dubai Investments, DI, has raised the foreign ownership limit in the company from the existing 20% to 35%. A proposal to this effect was approved at yesterday's 18th Annual General Meeting and Extraordinary General Meeting at Dubai Investments House.
The company also approved a proposal to distribute 7% cash dividend and 7% bonus shares for the year ending December 31st, 2013.
The AGM also re-elected the same Board of Directors for a term of three years. The Board includes Sohail Faris Ghanim Al Mazrui, Hussain Mahyoob Sultan Al Junaidy, Khalid Jassim bin Kalban, Ali Fardan Ali Al Fardan and Mohamed Saif Darwish Al Ketbi.
In his keynote address at the AGM, Mr. Al Mazrui spoke about the strong growth achieved by DI in 2013, and the promising outlook for 2014. "Dubai Investments has registered fast-paced growth over the years with a strategic focus across three industry sectors - property, manufacturing and contracting, and investments, and aims to add value to its diversified portfolio through prudent use of capital and sound management skills," Al Mazrui said.
Around 67% of DI's total asset base is in the property sector which positions DI as a major real estate player in the UAE. DI plans to develop its land bank of nearly 25 million square feet of Gross Floor Area owned by its subsidiaries Dubai Investments Park Development Co. LLC, Dubai Investments Real Estate Company LLC, Al Taif Investments LLC and Properties Investments LLC, a joint venture company.
DI's manufacturing businesses have also witnessed a strong growth thrust across a wide array of manufacturing and processing industries. DI's investment portfolio of Dh 1.06 billion, comprising investment in trading shares, bonds, structured products and other minority investments, have also realised gains over the years.
During 2013, DI's net revenue was Dh 2.8 billion as against Dh 2.3 billion (restated) in 2012, an increase of 22%. Net profit attributable to shareholders was Dh 822 million compared to Dh 321 million in 2012, an increase of 156%. Total assets of the Group as on December 31st, 2013 stood at Dh 12.62 billion compared to Dh 12.36 billion (restated) at 31st December 2012.
Presenting future prospects, Al Mazrui said, "The outlook for 2014 is very positive with economic indicators pointing to growth across all sectors, led by an upswing in the real estate sector - particularly in companies engaged in the manufacturing of construction materials, which remains one of our key focus areas at Dubai Investments. We have a strong thrust in developing our real estate portfolio during the year. We are also actively working on certain divestments as well as new acquisitions, which are expected to contribute significant returns to the shareholders." – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 24/04/2014
In the desire of Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) to present unconventional indicators as demonstrated by the Centre's recent similar initiatives, e.g. "Personal Inflation Calculator" and "Purchasing Power Calculator", SCAD issued yesterday a new indicator the "Expected Inflation Rates". The report provides an analysis of the results of the CPI for the month of March and the first quarter of 2014, detailed by household welfare levels, by household type and geographical region, with the base year 2007. The report also presents the expected inflation (for the first time) for the second quarter and the first half of 2014.
Butti Al Qubaisi, SCAD's Director General, reiterated the Centre's commitment to adopt innovative ideas in order to maximise the usefulness of its database, adding that knowledge of the expected inflation rate would directly impact people's lives and place them in a better position to deal with the present and future of trends of the economy.
The expected inflation is a highly significant indicator that can give insights into the future for monetary policy makers. In the compilation of the new index, SCAD's experts analysed the historical price data of a long time-series at the level of the main expenditure groups and subgroups of the consumer basket, corrected the data or seasonal changes, and then calculated the expected inflation rate for the second quarter and the first half of 2014 in Abu Dhabi region.
It is worth noting that the expected inflation rates should be treated as statistical forecasts. The actual figures may turn out to be above or below these forecasts, in the event of abrupt unforeseen prices changes.
As the report indicates, consumer inflation for the Q1 2014 was 2.3 percent, compared with the same period of 2013, as shown by the increase in the CPI to 126.3 points during the first quarter of 2014, up from 123.4 points during the same period of 2013. This rise in prices reflects the net change or the outcome of upward and downward movement in the prices of the consumer basket during the periods compared.
Expected inflation Compared with Q1 2014, the CPI is expected rise marginally (by 0.4 percent) to 126.7 points in Q2 2014, expected for the second quarter and the first half of 2014 has been determine, with a corresponding slight increase in consumer inflation from 2.3 percent in Q1 2014 to around 2.5 over Q2 2014.
As for inflation during the period between January - June 2014, the actual CPI results for the period between January- March 2014 and the estimates for the period between April- June 2014 suggest that the average CPI in the first half of 2014 will be around 126.5 points. Accordingly, the estimated annual inflation for the first half of 2014 is expected to be around 2.4 percent.
Consumer Prices during Q1 2014 As SCAD's report reveals, the "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" group accounted for the largest rise in the index during the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013, contributing 31.1 percent of the overall change, due to increases in the prices of most the subgroups of this group.
The second largest contributor to the overall increase in the CPI over the first quarter of 2014 was "Food and beverages", which contributed 22.0 percent of the change, the group's rose by 2.9 percent y-o-y during first quarter of 2014.
The next largest contributor to the overall change in consumer prices during Q1 2014 compared with the same period of 2013 was the "Clothing and footwear" group, which accounted for 12.6 percent of the overall increase occurring between the aforesaid periods.
Another significant increase was observed in the prices of the "Restaurants and hotels" group, which grew by 5.6 percent during the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013. This group contributed 10.2 percent of the total increase recorded by all groups between the two periods under review.
Consumer Prices during March 2014/2013 Average consumer prices increased by 2.4 percent in March 2014 compared with March 2013, with the CPI reaching 126.4 points in March 2014, up from 123.5 points in March 2013. This increase in prices reflects the net movement (increases and decreases) in consumer prices between the periods compared.
The most significant increases, during March 2014 compared with March 2013, were observed in the "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" (up 2.7 percent), the "Restaurants and hotels" group (up 6.7 percent) followed by "Clothing and footwear" (up 3.2 percent), "Miscellaneous goods and services" (up 5.2 percent) and "Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance" (up 3.9 percent).
Consumer Prices during March/February 2014 The average consumer prices increased by 0.1 percent in March 2014 compared with February 2014. This overall increase in prices between the two months reflects the net movement (increases and decreases) of consumer prices during the periods compared.
Consumer prices during Q1 2014 detailed by Household Welfare levels: The rise of 2.3 percent rise in consumer prices during the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013, resulted in an increase of 1.8 percent in consumer prices for households of the bottom welfare quintile for the same period of comparison. The corresponding rise for other welfare levels was 2.4 percent for households of the top quintile and the middle quintile.
Consumer prices during March 2014/2013 detailed by Household Welfare levels: The rise in consumer prices in March 2014 by 2.4 percent compared with March 2013 pushed up prices for households in the bottom welfare quintile by 1.2 percent and top welfare quintile by 2.6 percent, while prices increased for households in the middle quintile by 2.3 percent.
Consumer prices during March 2014/2013 detailed by Household Welfare levels: During March 2014, consumer prices increased by 0.1 percent compared with February 2014. This caused an increase of 0.3 percent in consumer prices for households in the top welfare quintile.
Consumer prices during Q1 2014 detailed by Household Type: The 2.3 percent rise in consumer prices for the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013, pushed up consumer prices for citizen households by 2.4 percent, for non-citizen households by 2.3 percent and for share households by 2.0 percent.
Consumer prices during March 2014/2013 detailed by Household Type: The 2.4 percent rise in consumer prices for March of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013, pushed up consumer prices for citizen households by 2.5 percent, non-citizen households by 2.4 percent and share households by 1.4 percent.
Consumer prices by Region As SCAD's report reveals, 2.3 percent increase in the CPI in for the first quarter 2014 compared with the same period of 201 3, resulted in an increase of 2.3 percent in the CPI for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain an increase of 2.4 percent for Al Gharbia region. The increase in the CPI in Abu Dhabi Region contributed 67 percent of the total increase achieved during the first quarter, Al-Ain Region contributed 25 per cent while Al Gharbia region contributed 8 percent of the total increase achieved during the period.
Consumer Price Index - Abu Dhabi Region The inflation rate in the Abu Dhabi region was 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period of 2013.
The inflation rate in the Abu Dhabi region increased by 2.5 percent in March 2014, compared with the same month in 2013.
The CPI increased by 0.2 percent in March 2014, compared with February 2014. The major groups that increased in March 2014 compared with February 2014 were "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" by 1.2 percent, "Miscellaneous goods and services" by 0.4 percent and "Transport" with an increase of 0.5 percent.
Consumer Price Index- Al Ain Region The inflation rate in the Al Ain region was 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period of 2013.
The inflation rate in the Al Ain region increased by 2.4 percent in March 2014, compared with the same month in 2013.
The CPI decreased by 0.1 percent in March 2014, compared with February 2014.The major groups that decreased in March 2014 compared with February 2014 were "Food and beverages" by 2.0 percent.
Consumer Price Index, Al Gharbia Region The inflation rate in the Al Gharbia region was 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period of 2013.
The inflation rate in the Al Gharbia region increased by 2.5 percent in March 2014, compared with the same month in 2013.
The CPI decreased by 0.2 percent in March 2014, compared with February 2014. The major groups that decreased in March 2014 compared with February 2014 were "Food and beverages" group by 2.3 percent. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 24/04/2014
The National Bank of Fujairah PJSC, NBF, has earned a net profit of Dh 115.3 million in Q1, 2014 compared to Dh 90.7 million in the corresponding period of 2013, showing an improvement of 27.1 percent.
The bank operating profit was Dh 151.5 million compared to Dh 127.5 million in Q1 2013, an improvement of 18.8%, whereas net impairment losses were Dh 36.2 million compared to Dh 36.8 million in the corresponding period; an improvement of 1.7%.
The nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio also improved to 4.3% from 4.6% on 31st December 2013 and 7.2% on 31st March 2013, according to results of the first quarter period ended 31st March 2014 which were released on Wednesday.
Total assets of Dh 22.7 billion were up 5.7% from Dh 21.5 billion at 2013 year end, and up by 27.4% from 31st March 2013.
Sir Easa Saleh Al Gurg, KCVO, CBE, and Deputy Chairman, said, "NBF's strong start to 2014 highlights not just the success of the bank's strategy of steady and sustainable growth, but the renewed optimism that has started to take root in the country.
"Our performance, evidenced in the growth in operating income, operating profit and net profit, is testament to the strength and sustainability of our core business. Re-invigorated by a respectable external rating profile and backed by robust liquidity, stronger capital position and prudent policies, we are confident that we will be able to partner our customers to achieve greater heights together with the strong support of our shareholders." – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 24/04/2014
A Federal National Council (FNC) committee has met to discuss a draft Federal Law which aims to implement a ban on the use of illegal substances in the Horse racing and Equestrian industry in the country.
The committee, which oversees foreign affairs, planning, petroleum, mineral wealth, agriculture and fisheries, yesterday revised and approved the law, which is part of the U.A.E's Vision 2021, after adopting modifications to the new legislation.
The legislation incorporates stricter provisions to combat the circulation and use of banned substances in the UAE and will work towards ensuring that effective preventative strategies are implemented as well as that international standards on doping are being met.
Representatives from the Ministry of Water and Environment, the National Anti-Doping Committee, UAE Racing Authority and the Emiri Court in Dubai were also present at the meeting. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 24/04/2014
Pedestrians could soon benefit from a new set of guidelines for the installation of underground utilities in Abu Dhabi Emirate's urban developments.
The Utility Corridors Design Manual (UCDM), launched yesterday by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), aims to reduce the width of public Right of Ways (street width) and potentially, therefore, the distances pedestrians have to walk, by making more efficient use of the space below street level.
It provides planners, developers and engineers with clear guidelines for the exact location and width of underground ‘corridors' for utilities such as water pipes, storm-water drainage, power cables, fibre-optic cables, sewage pipes, and district cooling systems beneath new streets across the Emirate.
Arranging these corridors into a narrower configuration will enable developers to design more pedestrian-friendly streets, with shorter distances to walk. The UCDM also oversees the provision of corridors for trees, streetlights and landscaping above new streets.
To produce the manual, the UPC collaborated with a number of stakeholders, including the Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Al Ain City Municipality, Western Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council and the Department of Transport, as well as utility companies and service providers.
Mohamed Al Khadar, Executive Director of Development Review and Estidama, UPC, said, "The launch of the UCDM is another milestone for the UPC. In line with the requirements of Vision 2030, it will ensure that utility corridors are efficiently planned underground, which in turn will create more attractive and walkable streets aboveground for the benefit of pedestrians.
"The UCDM will be added to our suite of planning policies, regulations, guidelines and manuals that drive our Complete Sustainable Communities initiative forward for the creation of more comfortable, liveable and sustainable communities." – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 24/04/2014
With the hot summer days approaching, a ten-day water festival dedicated to more than 13 sports and activities will kick off on Thursday in the Western Region's Al Mirfa city.
The sixth Al Gharbiya Watersports Festival will also feature the largest sailing race since its inception, with a total prize money for all contests going up to Dh4.5 million. Entry and participation is free for the public.
"For younger marine lovers, we have the children's village where methods of pearl diving and net making will be taught in workshops. Children will also be allowed to participate under full supervision in some marine activities,” said Festival Manager, Obaid Al Mazroui.
Those with a less extensive knowledge about water sports may also benefit from free training sessions in sailing, rafting and para-sailing. Comprehensive safety measures will also be taken to ensure that participants and visitors remain unharmed.
"We have 24-hour life guards, in addition to rescue boats and a full ambulatory unit provided to us by the Abu Dhabi Police on standby. Guests may also benefit from around 30 tents which we have set up to provide a complementary night's stay for whoever wishes to attend several days of the festival,” Al Mazroui added.
Other relaxing family activities such as bike riding, sand sculpting and performances of popular troupes will also be available on the beach. – Gulf News – Read more: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/general/al-gharbiya-water-sports-festival-kicks-off-on-thursday-1.1323512
posted on 24/04/2014
The 23rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), is set to take place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 30th April - 5th May, 2014.
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and Kitab, ADIBF 2014 is expected to draw more than 1,025 exhibitors from 50 countries and showcase over 500,000 literary works from across the world.
Kitab, a joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and the Frankfurt Book Fair, will continue to create synergy in the publishing industry at a regional and international level.
In addition to presenting Sweden as the guest country of honour, this year ADIBF will spotlight the works of the tenth century classical Iraqi poet Al Mutannabi.
ADIBF provides a platform for Arab and international publishers, literary agents, booksellers, distributors and cultural organisations to discuss new initiatives and trade publishing rights. The event will also integrate seminars on new industry trends, digital publishing, children's literature and translations as part of a unique agenda to encourage a love for reading and literary matters.
Distinctive modules to look forward to at ADIBF 2014 are the ‘Spotlight on Rights' programme offering subsidies for translations to and from Arabic, an ‘Arab Rights Showcase' featuring new Arabic publications for which foreign rights can be bought, an ‘Illustrator's Corner' presenting skills and works of artists from across the globe, an ‘eZone' focusing on content developers, an ‘Education Chapter' to facilitate discussions between educators and educational publishers, a ‘Creativity Corner' and a ‘Show Kitchen' hosted by famous chefs.
The literary expo will be open from 9:00am to 10:00pm at hall numbers 8, 9, 10 and 11 as well as in the ICC Auditorium of ADNEC on all five days except Friday, when it will open from 4:00pm to 10:00pm.
Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Chief Commercial Officer at ADNEC, said, "ADNEC is happy to welcome yet another edition of ADIBF, the fastest growing publishing event in the Arab world. Standing at the midpoint of world cultures, Abu Dhabi is a cultural epicentre for books and learning.
Within this context, ADIBF 2014 is set to cast a spell on literary buffs in the capital city through hosting storytelling sessions, book signings and inspiring literary talks by authors in different languages. Year after year, ADIBF is among the key exhibitions hosted by ADNEC in terms of visitor turnout and is regarded a benchmark event for similar initiatives around the world." – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 24/04/2014
Housing assistance worth Dh283 million has been handed out to Emiratis through the Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme.
Following a meeting of the SZHP board of directors this week, 476 UAE nationals will receive financial aid towards high-quality housing.
Of the recipients, 310 will be offered grants and loans worth Dh200m and 166 will receive assistance to complete the construction of their homes, worth Dh83m.
The scheme has developed a package of "smart services” to make the process of applying for funding easier for applicants.
The beneficiaries will be notified through a text message and get a copy of the approval on the SZHP website.
Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, chairman of the SZHP, said that new mechanisms had been adopted to set the amount of assistance based on the number family members, the median income per member of household, the total income, and the kind of requested assistance.
The meeting also reviewed the progress of the SZHP's projects under construction in Al Ittihad Residential Complex and Khalifa Residential Complex Project in Dibba, Fujairah.
Last month 420 people were approved for aid totalling Dh207m as part of the scheme.
The SZHP previously launched several initiatives to reduce the cost of building a house, including signing partnership agreements with building-materials companies to offer discounted rates to beneficiaries. – The National – Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/zayed-housing-scheme-helps-476-emiratis
posted on 24/04/2014
Waste headed to landfills in Dubai is set to reduce. Dubai Municipality's (DM) waste management department has announced the expansion of its door-to-door project ‘My City… My Environment', a drive that will ensure more areas in Dubai segregate waste at source, recycle it and thus reduce waste sent to landfills. DM has chosen Dulsco, Averda and Trashco as its strategic partners for the project.
Abdul Majeed Saifaie, Director of waste management department, said that the programme will see volunteers visiting houses in the identified areas and explaining the complete process with regard to this initiative. Residents will also be informed about the campaign through public education activities, road shows, talk shows on radio, posters and banners explaining the importance of the initiative, he further said.
Every house will be given two 240-litre colour-coded green and black bins. Each bin will carry clear instructions. Green bins will be meant for recyclables such as plastic containers, cardboard boxes (flattened out), newspapers, magazines, books, papers, mineral water / glass / plastic bottles (emptied out), aluminium and metal cans, milk and juice bottles. The black coloured bins are meant for all other types of ‘general' waste such as leftover food, vegetable and fruit skins, meat, dairy products, fish waste, disposable cups, trays, containers, paper towels, napkins, eggshells, nutshells etc., he said.
The drive will cover Jumeirah 1, 2 and 3, Al Safa 1 and 2, Umm Suqueim 1, 2 and 3, Al Manara, Umm Al Seif and Al Barsha 2 and 3. "General Waste will be collected daily and recyclables will be collected on alternate days.”
"The Dubai Municipality will discontinue the large trolley waste bins service. Such waste bin trolleys that are placed on the streets will not be visible on road post May 15, 2014 in these areas,” Saifaie added.
The waste collection and recycling service for residents is an initiative that will educate the public and help the municipality efficiently recycle household waste.
Saifaie said: "Dubai adheres to global standards when it comes to cleaner and greener environment. As we are moving forward to host World Expo 2020, our aim is to make Dubai clean and green. Hence, we have launched several such initiatives to create a healthy ecosystem. We are confident that this unique initiative will be a great success with the help of public support. In fact, Dubai residents have always shown great support for anything we do to encourage more recycling in this city”.
In recent years, the Dubai Municipality has encouraged private players to actively support waste collection and transportation. At present, around 70% of the total waste in Dubai is collected by private sector for recycling. – Khaleej Times – Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/nationgeneral/2014/April/nationgeneral_April182.xml§ion=nationgeneral
posted on 24/04/2014
The Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police seized 1,469 vehicles, and took all the legal necessary actions against motorists for driving at dangerous speeds of over 200km/hr on the internal and external roads of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The offending vehicles were seized during the first quarter of this year for posing a major risk to other road users, and causing serious traffic accidents that result in deaths or serious injuries.
Brigadier Eng. Hussein Ahmed Al Harithi, Director of Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, stated that no leniency would be shown to violators of traffic rules and regulations as "reckless motorists are endangering their own lives as well as lives of other road users". He also stressed that road monitoring has been increased through the traffic patrols, and civil patrols of the Traffic Investigation Section on various roads; in addition to air patrols and radars, "Violators will be detained and their vehicles impounded," he added. Brigadier Al Harithi also stressed the need to abide by the legal speed limits displayed on road signs, which were determined after thorough studies of the traffic movement and population density. Speed limits are also established after examining all the common reasons behind road accidents in order to reduce them and their resulting deaths and injuries, and the damages they cause to roads and public facilities, that the government has spent billions to build, improve, expand, and light according to the highest international standards.
Al Harithi appealed to drivers to adhere to the legal speed limits and to not exceed them. He noted that risks of excess speeding include losing control of the vehicle, and failure to avoid others' mistakes. Speeding also decreases the amount of time a motorist ordinarily takes to make a correct decision that would protect him/her from potential road hazards in case of an emergency. He called upon families, society segments, and traffic safety ambassadors to enhance efforts exerted to raise awareness of that important segment of community about the risks of driving at high speeds.
In conclusion, Brigadier Al Harithi stated that the Traffic and patrols Directorate has increased traffic awareness through lectures and exhibitions organised at various universities and schools, with a view to improve drivers' behaviour in general, particularly young drivers. To this end, the directorate has launched several new social initiatives, including "You are the backbone of this country" initiative that targets that particular society segment. It adopts a unique approach to implant traffic education in the largest and most important segment of society, which is responsible for building the country and preserving its gains, in order to protect them from the risks of driving at high speeds. – Emirates News Agency, WAM