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Hamriyah Free Zone Sharjah woos international investors at JIMEX 2015 in Amman

posted on 25/05/2015

Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, HFZA, recently showcased its facilities and services at JIMEX 2015, the 12th Machinery and Electro-mechanical Exhibition held at the Amman International Motors Show Centre in Jordan.

Exhibitors representing more than 500 international companies converged from India, China, Italy, Germany, Poland, Greece, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan.

Hamriyah's participation provided an excellent chance for investors to find out about the ongoing business opportunities in HFZA and ways to gain connectivity in the regional market.

"JIMEX has a strong regional and international appeal. The UAE and Jordan enjoy distinguished trade relations and the number of Jordanian companies have been increasing steadily in Hamriyah Free Zone. Last year, there were over 40 Jordanian companies in HFZA and the number is increasing," said Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of HFZA and Sharjah Airport Free Zone, SAIF Zone.

"HFZA today serves as a growth catalyst both for multinational firms looking to expand their operations further and budding entrepreneurs," Al Mazrouei added.

During the show, the HFZA team illustrated various advantages it possesses and the different licenses provided which help investors kick-start their operations. The free zone, which houses over 6,100 companies from across 157 nations, welcomes foreign investment from more than 500 industries in the key sectors of oil and gas, petrochemicals, maritime, steel, construction and food.

"HFZA is connected to three seaports, and is well-linked by an extensive road network throughout the UAE and GCC, making it an ideal trans-shipment hub for the region," the HFZA official concluded.

Abdul Azeez Dawood and Geomon represented HFZA in JIMEX 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Ministry of Economy leads Global Trade Development Week team to China

posted on 25/05/2015

XIAN, CHINA: The Global Trade Development Week, GTDW, team, led by Ayesha Alkobaisi, Director of International Trade Organisations at the UAE Ministry of Economy and Project Director for GTDW, yesterday participated in a press conference to announce an agreement between GTDW and China New Silk Road Investment Association, CNSRIA.

In the agreement, CNSRIA has pledged to promote Global Trade Development Week to the Chinese government and enterprises and to strengthen trade relations between the UAE and China. The GTDW team, joined by Badir A. Al Musharrekh, the UAE's Commercial Attaché in China, also attended the 19th Investment and Trade Forum for Cooperation between East and West China and the Silk Road International Expo, and high-level bilateral meetings with the Chinese government and business owners.

Explaining the trade relationship between the UAE and China, Ms. Alkobaisi said, "Last year, the UAE and China celebrated the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Today's announcement is another step forward in strengthening trade cooperation between our two countries. The bilateral economic relations between the UAE and China are witnessing rapid progress due to the various developments in economic activities, including the gradual increase in investments and the noticeable growing trade volume. The people's republic of China maintained its status as the UAE's second largest trading partner, with trade volume reaching US$54.8 billion in 2014."

CNSRIA Secretary-General, Shi Yao Hua, said, "The New Silk Road initiative was launched by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in 2013. By forming the partnership with Global Trade Development Week, we are taking the significant step of sharing his vision and turning it into reality. A major aim of the Silk Road initiative is to boost our political ties and also reduce barriers to trade and investment. By connecting with the audiences at GTDW and encouraging Chinese businesses to attend this major annual event, we hope to make progress towards achieving these aims."

The "Belt and Road" initiative, short for the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, has attracted worldwide attention and aims to connect Asia, Europe and African countries through growing trade, investments and by improving transport infrastructure. It covers more than 60 countries along the ancient silk route with a total population of 4.4 billion and a GDP of US$21 trillion.

Organised in partnership with UAE Ministry of Economy, GTDW is a high-level gathering of 1,000 VIP trade leaders from government and the private sector coming to Dubai from over 100 countries. Saeed bin Sultan Al Mansoori will deliver the opening keynote speech, followed by 150 speakers representing the most influential leaders driving world trade today.

Andrew Keable, Co-Chief Executive Officer of KW Group, the organisers of GTDW, signed the agreement for the partnership with China New Silk Road Investment Association and its Dubai office, Silk Road Associates DMCC.

Mr Keable said, "GTDW has direct synergy with The New Silk Road in creating bilateral, regional and multilateral dialogue, as well as increasing the knowledge and capabilities that allow government and private sector leaders to deliver growth in international trade. This agreement presents a great opportunity for Chinese trade, investment and enterprises to connect with key figures driving international trade coming to GTDW from across the globe in Dubai."

GTDW will be held in Dubai from 27th-29th October and is the world largest trade facilitation event. It features a series of specialised trade summits that link key sectors across international trade, including business, banking, customs, corporate real estate, infrastructure, specialised economic zones, supply chain logistics and transport. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Waha Capital wins Cross-Border Deal Financing of the Year

posted on 25/05/2015

Waha Capital, a leading Abu Dhabi-based investment company, has won the "Cross-Border Deal Financing of the Year" award from US-based The M&A Advisor for its sale of Aercap Holdings N.V. shares. This announcement follows another award that the company received from Banker ME for the same transaction.

Waha Capital carried out a hedging and financing transaction in two phases in 2014 on its stake in the world's largest aircraft leasing firm, AerCap Holdings N.V.. The company effectively locked in the value of its AerCap stake by limiting downside equity market risk while preserving significant upside potential, and raised US$1.1 billion (approximately Dh 4 billion) in financing to be deployed in further investments and repayment of debt.

The award, presented to Waha Capital at The M&A Advisors' 2015 Awards Gala in New York, was held in conjunction with the 2015 International Financial Forum and featured over 300 of the world's leading cross border M&A professionals. The M&A Advisor, headquartered in New York, and with offices in London, has been presenting the awards since 1998, recognising the achievements of, and facilitating connections between, the world's leading mergers and acquisitions, financing and turnaround professionals.

Commenting on the award and transaction, Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Waha Capital, said, "We are delighted to have received the Cross-border deal financing of the year award and honoured to have been the only company in the UAE to have received this recognition. The hedging and financing transaction not only reduced risk in our portfolio by locking in the value of our stake in AerCap, it also generated significant funding, providing us with a robust platform and capital for future growth. This transaction marked a milestone year for Waha Capital, helping us generate the highest earnings in our company's history." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE Banks Federation appoints independent agency to monitor Code of Conduct compliance

posted on 25/05/2015

The UAE Banks Federation, a professional representative body representing 50 member banks operating in the UAE, has approved the appointment of a new independent monitoring agency for the implementation of its Code of Conduct by member banks. This decision was among the issues discussed at the Federation's CEOs' Advisory Council meeting held in Dubai, and chaired by AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of the UAE Banks Federation.

The council agreed during the meeting to add four new specialised committees in the field of audit, operations and payments, IT, and fraud. The federation has also recently approved the formulation of a marketing committee, in addition to its existing specialised committees. The new committee will oversee marketing activities for the 50 member banks, and will ensure ethical behaviour is observed in advertising, as well as truthfulness and transparency in all communications to customers. The committee will also support customer education initiatives and formulate a set of advertising guidelines.

Also on the agenda for the meeting was the establishment proposed by the UAE Central Bank of a Higher Sharia Authority, to complement and oversee the work of Sharia Boards of individual Islamic banks operating in the country. Representatives of the federation's Islamic banking committee are working closely with the Central Bank on guidelines for the establishment of the new body that will help to ensure consistency amongst all UAE Islamic banks in their development of new structures and products.

Mr Al Ghurair commented, "The creation of the Marketing Committee by the Federation and the commissioning of independent monitoring of advertising are tangible actions to reinforce observance of the federation's code of conduct, namely that member banks should seek to behave in a transparent and honest way in their marketing communications. This comes in line with UBF's diligence and continuous efforts to ensure that best practice is implemented by member banks in their dealings with their customers."

The federation also discussed the progress made on its upcoming annual event, The Middle East Banking forum, which will take place on 16th of November. The theme for this year's event will be Innovation, reflecting the UAE's Year of Innovation, 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sharjah Airport passenger numbers up 7% in April

posted on 25/05/2015

Sharjah International Airport posted on Sunday a 7 per cent in increase in passenger numbers for the month of April.

A total of 814,648 passengers used the airport in April compared to the 761,313 in April 2014, according to an emailed statement.

The numbers posted by Sharjah International Airport on Sunday are different to data released to Gulf News by federal regulator the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) last week which showed that Sharjah International Airport handled 673,147 passengers in April 2015, a 23 per cent increase on the 543,817 passengers that used the airport in April 2014.

The discrepancy is because the GCAA data does not include children (passengers under 11 years of age) and cabin crew, a GCAA spokesperson told Gulf News by phone.

Sharjah International handled 5,823 aircraft take-offs and landings in April 2015, a 4.47 per cent increase compared to the 5,574 a year ago, according to the airport. The airport handled "more than” 16,000 tonnes of cargo. Sea-air cargo "was around” 1,761 tonnes.

Ali Salim Al Midfa, chairman of the Sharjah Airport Authority, stated that, "We expect this growth momentum to be maintained during the summer period.” – Gulf News -


Etihad Airways honoured for Emiratisation programme

posted on 25/05/2015

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has celebrated a double win at the MENA HR Excellence Awards 2015, after being honoured in the Nationalisation Initiative of the Year and HR Professional of the Year categories.

The MENA HR Excellence Awards, now in their seventh year, celebrate excellence in human resource management and development within the Middle East and North Africa.

Etihad Airways received the Nationalisation Initiative of the Year award for pioneering one of the UAE's most successful nationalisation strategies, with a focus on offering dynamic career and development opportunities to Emiratis in the UAE and other markets worldwide.

The airline currently employs more than 2,300 UAE nationals across its global business. Emiratis remain the number one nationality group amongst total employees based in the UAE, and amongst employees at manager level, executive level and within Etihad Airways' pilot community. Under plans to accelerate its employment of UAE nationals over the next five years, Etihad Airways is expected to recruit more than 6,000 UAE nationals by 2020.

A number of initiatives are underway to create rewarding careers for Emiratis. Last year, Etihad Airways opened a Revenue Accounting Centre of Excellence in Al Ain, which will create job opportunities for over 1,000 UAE nationals by 2017. Etihad Airways has also expanded its broad portfolio of specialist development programmes for UAE nationals to include areas such as finance, revenue management, network planning and cargo.

There are now a total of 22 UAE national development programmes offered by Etihad Airways for Emiratis to develop key skills and gain practical experience, enabling them to fast track their managerial careers with the airline.

In addition to the Nationalisation Initiative of the Year award, Etihad Airways' Chief People and Performance Officer, Ray Gammell, received the HR Professional of the Year award.

Mr Gammell, who joined Etihad Airways six years ago, is responsible for the strategic HR direction of the airline, which has almost 25,000 employees worldwide. He was named HR Professional of the Year by the judging panel for embedding a culture of performance, talent, meritocracy and engagement at Etihad Airways, creating world-class benefits for the airline's staff and supporting a number of restructuring programmes with Etihad Airways' equity partners.

Mr Gammell said, "Etihad Airways is a people business and we need dedicated, hardworking and passionate employees to maintain our position as the World's Leading Airline.

"Emiratisation is fundamental to this process and remains the number one priority of the HR division. The fact that we have been presented with the Nationalisation Initiative of the Year award reflects the considerable success of our nationalisation strategy, which is focused on providing Emiratis with world-class career and development opportunities in the UAE and across our global network. It is also a much wider reflection of the collective efforts, hard work and commitment of the entire HR team, which has built a strong culture of performance, and I thank them for their tremendous contribution," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE Youth Empowerment Strategy launches Youth Opinion Survey

posted on 25/05/2015

The UAE Youth Empowerment Strategy, an initiative by the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Community Development, in cooperation with the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, is currently conducting a study on the opinions of Emiratis between the ages of 18 and 34 years.

The 2015 Youth Opinion Survey, which is available in both Arabic and English on, seeks to determine the attitudes, beliefs, and opinions of Emirati youth from all seven Emirates on 12 aspects of life.

The results of the survey will be used to provide evidence for the Youth Empowerment Strategy, as well as to measure the status of youth in key areas and the challenges they face.

The survey, the first of its kind nation-wide, is part of the strategy which will be launched at the end of 2015 consistent with the UAE Vision 2021. It consists of 70 questions and is expected take about 20 minutes to complete. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Abu Dhabi Police train with LAPD

posted on 25/05/2015

The security support unit at Abu Dhabi Police took part in daily operations with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Capt. Mohammed Al Buls, head of operations planning, said his team was divided into groups and each paired up with an LAPD patrol unit. Officers went to crime scenes saw arrests. The teams also contributed to investigations used for training purposes. He added that during a meeting with Capt. Martin Baeza, commanding officer of the Hollenbeck division in Los Angeles, a number of issues were discussed to promote joint cooperation.

Capt. Baeza praised the efforts of the security support team during its participation in LAPD patrols and said security support officers showed efficiency and professionalism.

Abu Dhabi Police security support also participated in an air wing exchange with the LAPD. Capt. Gary Walters, head of air support, gave a thorough explanation on the role of air wings in supporting ground patrols, while responding to critical situations that require the intervention of helicopters, which contribute to the monitoring of the movements of suspects and to their arrest. – The National -


Abu Dhabi Municipality completes traffic improvements on Sheikh Zayed Road

posted on 25/05/2015

The Abu Dhabi City Municipality is currently undertaking a project involving improvements on the Sheikh Zayed Road between the intersection of Haza bin Zayed junction and Qasr Al-Bahr junction, as part of the Municipal System's keenness to enhance the performance of the infrastructure to meet the needs of the sweeping development seen in Abu Dhabi.

Construction work on the project began in December 2014 and it is set for completion this May. The scope of works in the project includes modifying the traffic usage of the road so that it contains three lanes, enabling smooth access to the junction of Qasr Al-Bahr tunnel for motorists inbound from Hazaa bin Zayed Street junction heading outward.

This has increased the traffic intake of the street and streamlined the traffic flow in that part of Sheikh Zayed Road. Work also included introducing and operating a signal light at the right-hand exit for traffic inbound from Sheikh Hazaa Street heading outward, enabling motorists passing through the signal to enter the tunnel at Qasr Al-Bahr or use the junction with Dalma Street. Work also included the rainwater drainage network, replacing barriers and plastic cones with more flexible metal barriers, modifying the lanes at the exit of the Sheikh Zayed Tunnel, adding new lanes and merging a lane on Sheikh Zayed Road, new directional signs, pedestrian crossings and road markings.

The Sheikh Zayed Road and Tunnel opened in 2012, marking the operation of the longest tunnel in the Middle East, stretching 3.6 km, of which 2.4 are covered, to join up with the large integrated modern infrastructure in Abu Dhabi Emirate.

The Sheikh Zayed Road and Tunnel project epitomised the commitment of Abu Dhabi Government to improve the quality of service and provide a modern road network that contributes to the sweeping development in hand, capable of generating economic impact as well. It is one of the core components of Abu Dhabi Master Development Plan aimed to upgrade the infrastructure, widening the network of roads, bridges and tunnels to provide the highest levels of traffic safety, providing safe utilities and roads offering smooth traffic flow, catering to the continued economic growth of Abu Dhabi, and boosting the concept of road services. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Du to introduce cloud-based teaching platform in schools

posted on 25/05/2015

A new cloud-based teaching and learning platform will allow teachers to engage and connect with every student virtually in class.

The smart software, called Cloud Class Flow by du telecommunications, is currently in its pilot phase and is being tested in Dubai International School at two sections of grades six and 10, since February.

Acting principal of the school Nafez Al Hayek said the students and teachers have both benefited from the pilot phase, where teachers were able to deliver multimedia lessons across a connected learning environment.

"Using a username and password, students can access all the classes' content from the cloud-including assignments and assessment tests — on their tablets and laptops. By using this smart way of teaching, teachers are engaging and connecting students in a collaborative way.”

Al Hayek said 120 students are now using the software in their English, maths, science and French classes. In the long run, he hopes to have a paperless school, where all content is accessed online.

Jawad Shaikh, Executive Vice President - Digital business at du, said Cloud Class Flow will eventually be available commercially to all schools who wish to adopt smart learning, once the pilot phase is complete.

"The smart solution will give teachers the option of accessing each other's lesson plans and also access the lesson plans of schools from other countries in order to learn from each other's experiences.”

Shaikh said currently Du is still studying the feedback and is looking to study student outcomes after the introduction of the software.

Goncalo Fernandes, Head of Digital Services Enterprise at du, said teachers can create their content from scratch or import the same from the shared community.

"Overall, it unanimously increased the level of engagement so the results are very promising,” said Fernandes.

English teacher Emad Al Hamrawi, who used Cloud Class Flow to teach his grade six students, said it helps both teachers and students learn.

"Students don't like to learn with pen and paper, but there are happy to do so with technology. Even the weakest student is excited. For the teacher, having the content on the cloud means carrying fewer papers. The programme also corrects and grades the assessments so that means having less writing and paper to correct.”

Grade six students Rena Hussain and Jowanna Otaibi said the solution helps them understand the subject better.

"It made learning easier, I understand better. I like that we solve the exercises together in class,” said Rena.

Jowana said being book free is a plus.

"Books can be heavy, so this is a great solution to this problem. It also makes learning exciting and easier,” she said. – Gulf News -


Emirates Falcons Photography Club aiming to hit the heights with new photography exhibition

posted on 25/05/2015

Thirty four skilled members of the Emirates Falcons Photography Club, EFPC, are set to unveil their best work at a special exhibition in Al Ain after they teamed up with Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, to put on the show.

The club, which is based in Ras al-Khaimah and is under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of Ras al-Khaimah Ports and Customs Department, will be making a special journey to the Qattara Arts Centre in the Garden City to display 30 of their very best images in a three week show, starting on May 27th.

Organised by TCA Abu Dhabi, the exhibition will act as a showcase for the 30 photographs taken by 30 of the members of the EFPC, which is also a member of the International Federation of Photographic Art, FIAB. The club members are from different nationalities and backgrounds, meaning the exhibition will boast a whole host of different styles and influences.

"We are interested in supporting and enhancing the art scene in the UAE," said exhibition coordinator, Nawal Al Ketbi. "The collaboration between Emirates Falcons Photography Club and the TCA is a perfect way of building bridges between the photography community in the UAE and the general public, who we are convinced will be enthralled by the quality and range of the pictures that will be on show at this exhibition." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


A celebration marking Africa Day takes place in Abu Dhabi

posted on 25/05/2015

A number of diplomats from different African communities have celebrated Africa Day in Abu Dhabi in the presence of many officials from the GCC and the ambassadors of 27 African countries. The ceremony was held at the Armed Forces Officers Club, and featured fashion shows inspired by different African heritage and folklore.

Dick Patrick Esparon, Ambassador of the Republic of Seychelles and Dean of the African Ambassadors Group, pointed to the importance of holding such events, which highlight the wise leadership's keenness to develop relations between African nations based on the historical relations and common interests.

During his speech at the ceremony, he said, "2015 marks the 52nd Anniversary of the African Union, AU, previously known as the Organisation of African Unity, OAU. Since it was founded, the AU's aim has been to push for peace and prosperity."

He also mentioned that 2015 is the ‘Year of Women's Empowerment and Development', which he believes an opportunity for the African man to take a more central role in the empowerment of African women.

"As we look forward to the next 50 years, it goes without saying that improved healthcare, physical security, quality education, food self-sufficiency and food security are priorities for Africa. Currently, six out of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa. Our success in these areas will depend on developing new and creative ideas in line with technological advances."

In conclusion, Dick Patrick Esparon stressed the importance of celebrating joint-achievements that have been made between different African parties, and also hailed the relations between the UAE and Africa.

During the ceremony, which was attended by more than 800 officials, businessmen and members of African communities, the launch of the official magazine of Africa Day took place, which represents all the previous achievements that have occurred throughout the ongoing relations between African communities.

Africa Day is considered a consolidation of the evolving political, economic and cultural relations between countries of the African continent. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Abu Dhabi drivers have good outing at Rally de Portugal

posted on 25/05/2015

Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Kris Meeke and Mads Ostberg had an excellent day at the office in Vodafone Rally de Portugal, Round 5 of the FIA World Rally Championship.

The Northern Irishman ended the day in a strong second overall while the Norwegian was well inside the points in seventh going into the penultimate day. At the wheel of the third DS 3 WRC, Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al Qasimi was forced to retire at the half-way stage of day two with mechanical issues. But the Abu Dhabi ace will restart on Saturday under Rally 2 regulations.

Al Qasimi, behind the wheel of the newly updated DS 3 WRC for the first time, enjoyed the 3.36km Lousada spectator stage on Thursday night on the Rallycross Circuit where nearly 50,000 fans had lined the route to see their favourite drivers in action from close range.

On Friday, the first two special stages went relatively well for Al Qasimi. However, even before he could start SS4, Sheikh Khalid encountered hand-brake issues with the DS3 WRC and despite trying several times he was unable to fix the issue himself. As a result, the car was taken of the start area where crews were then able to temporarily fix the issue and take the DS 3 WRC to the service area.

"It is a pity really that I had to encounter this hand-brake issue at a time when I was really enjoying driving the updated DS 3 WRC. In fact, we encountered similar issues during the tests but then, this is the nature of rallying, anything can happen. Now we will restart under Rally 2 regulations. It will mean I will incur a time penalty, but then I want to finish the event and bring the car home safely on Sunday.”

Rally organisers then cancelled the re-running of the Ponte de Lima stage, the SS5, because of nearby forest fires. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationsports