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Dubai SME supports Hatta Development Plan

posted on 05/12/2016

Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, has committed to funding numerous projects in Hatta for the region's Comprehensive Development Plan, launched by Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Funding the projects supports the directives of Sheikh Mohammed to provide incentives for young Emiratis to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. Two of these talented young Emiratis are Manei Al Kaabi, who has launched the first honey factory in Hatta, and Khalfan Al Bedwawi who will launch a sports project that will turn Hatta into an international destination for kayaking.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai SME, said, "The Hatta Comprehensive Development Plan reflects the importance Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid attaches to harnessing the potential and capabilities of young Emiratis in the overall development of the region. It motivates young people to actively serve their society and country by encouraging them to benefit from the region's natural capabilities."

"To contribute to achieving this ambitious vision, Dubai SME has launched three initiatives to support entrepreneurs. These include opening an executive office in Hatta to make it easier for people there to complete all their transactions, a fund has been established to support young Emirati projects in Hatta, and SME entrepreneurs in the region will be exempted from business license fees," he added.

"This funding supports the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to provide incentives for young Emiratis to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. The two projects will create new jobs for young people in the region. They will also contribute to the development of Hatta, and turn it into a distinguished sports and tourist destination, not just in the UAE, but in the region," added Al Janahi. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Etihad Airways, Magic Bus cooperate to assist young people in Mumbai

posted on 05/12/2016

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has partnered once again with Magic Bus, a community development charity, to support children and youth in India.

Mumbai-based Etihad Airways staff were joined by a team from the airline's head office in Abu Dhabi for a three-day community service project, which saw the construction of a sports field, weatherproof outdoor shelter and vegetable garden for Magic Bus in the city.

The 15-strong volunteer group comprised a mixture of Emirati and international staff, who were also joined by 20 young people from the local community supported by Magic Bus.

The project was organised in celebration of Universal Children's Day. Children and youth supported by Magic Bus in Mumbai, including those who participated in the project, will benefit from the new facilities as part of the charity's activity-based learning curriculum.

Hareb Almuhairy, Etihad Aviation Group Senior Vice President Corporate and International Affairs, said, "This latest initiative reflects how our staff constantly give their talents and time as volunteers to support local communities around the world. Etihad Airways embraces their enthusiasm, and is grateful for their support, further demonstrating our commitment and close links with charities through sustainable and tangible projects such as this one in India."

The initiative was conducted as part of Etihad Airways' iVolunteer programme, which empowers the airline's staff to make a lasting difference in communities across the UAE and around the world. Since the programme's launch in 2014, employees have donated thousands of volunteer hours to numerous community service projects in the UAE and conducted 11 international missions to countries including Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal and Kenya.

Matthew Spacie MBE, founder of Magic Bus said, "We at Magic Bus are inspired to see our long-time supporters from Etihad volunteering at the Magic Bus Centre for Learning and Development. Initiatives such as iVolunteer build connections with the community and strengthen our own efforts to build a society that enables children and youth to move from poverty."

Through its innovative programmes on education, gender and health, Magic Bus works with 400,000 young people from marginalised communities in 22 states across India to support their journey from childhood to livelihood.

Etihad Airways has collaborated with Magic Bus on several occasions in recent years. In May, together with strategic Indian partner Jet Airways, Etihad Airways took the airline-sponsored Mumbai Indians cricket team on a visit to young people supported by Magic Bus in their home city.

Since launching flights from the UAE capital to India in September 2004 with scheduled services to Mumbai, Etihad Airways has rapidly increased its presence across the country, and now flying with Jet Airways between 15 Indian cities and the airline's Abu Dhabi hub. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


KP Chair holds talks on rough diamond with South Korean officials

posted on 05/12/2016

To bolster the diamond industry in South Korea and determine the role Dubai can play in supporting Seoul becoming a diamond trading centre, the UAE Kimberley Process Chair has met with senior government and industry representatives in Seoul.

As part of the ongoing efforts to engage countries across the diamond supply chain, Bin Sulayem met with Hong Dawoon, Assistant Director of the Export Control Policy Division at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, as well as Chang Soo Nam, President of the Korea Diamond Exchange, and the KDE Board of Directors. The Korea Strategic Trade Institute (KOSTI) delivered a presentation about their work in managing Korea's KP Office.

Bin Sulayem also met with industry representatives, including Koo Hyun-Woo, Chief of Gem Laboratory, Mirae; Yu Seong-Woo, CEO of Findings and Total Jewelry; and Jung Hun Kim, Partner at the Diamond division of ST&Co, amongst other officials.

"There is little doubt of the potential for Korea to become a more prominent player in the diamond industry, both as a consumer market and as a trade hub," said Bin Sulayem. "Located in close proximity to both China and Japan, which are two of the largest consuming markets globally, there is an opportunity for Seoul to act as a catalyst for the regional trade in diamonds. It already has a world-class infrastructure and resources in place, and with support from global diamond centres such as Dubai, I strongly believe that the country can become a hub for the industry in the years ahead."

Korea has been a member of the KP since 2003 and imported over $3.8 million worth of rough diamonds in 2014. In total, the country imported $58.4 million in diamonds that year, and it is recognised as one of the largest luxury goods markets in the world, worth over $11.6 billion in 2015. However, imitation jewellery is seen as an issue for the industry, with imports being valued at $82.8 million and exports worth $178 million in 2014.

"Through meetings with the government and the KDE, it is evident that the full potential of the consumer market remains untapped. We need to discuss ways in which the industry can work collectively with retailers to raise awareness and consumer confidence in the natural diamond sector, both as a sentimental and long-term investment, over imitation jewellery," added Bin Sulayem.

The visit to Korea concluded the KP Chair's tour of East Asia, which included Hong Kong and Japan. Bin Sulaymen will next travel to Turkey to meet with senior government and industry officials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Government launches first national survey of happiness and positivity

posted on 05/12/2016

A first-of-its-kind national survey was launched on Sunday by the Government of the UAE to measure happiness and positivity across the country, identify priorities and sources of happiness for society, as well as create a database of the results to help local and federal government entities to develop legislation, policies, plans and services to achieve happiness for the entire society.

"Starting on 12th December, some 14,000 people, representing all social segments and including nationals, expatriates, visitors and tourists, will be polled in a nation-wide survey to be conducted through collaboration between the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, Abu Dhabi Statistics Centre, and Dubai Statistics Centre," said Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, while unveiling the survey.

Through the national survey for happiness and positivity, pollsters will seek feedback from participants for the following: happiness, positivity, quality of life, education, learning, healthcare, society, culture, environment, infrastructure, government services, living standards and work.

"Happiness and positivity are among the priorities and goals set by the UAE Government, which seeks to identify what affects society's happiness. The launch of the national survey of happiness and positivity comes within the context of the efforts aimed at developing precise and comprehensive scientific tools and indices that will enable government entities to embrace plans and strategies to achieve happiness throughout society," Minister Al Roumi said.

The survey, she noted, is further in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who described happiness as a top priority and a sustainable goal.

It is also in line with the vision of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, recently said "Happiness can be measured, and its evaluation is already the subject of many programs and studies", adding that the government is already measuring happiness at federal agencies.

Al Roumi called upon all to co-operate with the teams conducting the survey, to help identify how happiness can be achieved for them and help enhance the UAE's contribution to international efforts to design happiness and positivity indices.

In March 2016, during a Cabinet session, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid described happiness and positivity in the UAE as "a lifestyle, a government commitment and a spirit uniting the UAE community." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Women Establishment delegation participates in Women’s Forum Global Meeting 2016 in France

posted on 05/12/2016

DEAUVILLE, FRANCE: A delegation from the Dubai Women Establishment, DWE, participated in the 12th annual Women's Forum Global Meeting which was organised by the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society in Deauville, France from 30th November – 2nd December.

The 12th edition of the annual forum was built on the theme, "Is the sharing economy a sharing world?" and is considered one of the most prominent global forums which highlight women's position and their effective role in the development and economic process of countries.

DWE's participation comes as part of their belief in strengthening the role of Emirati and Arab women in the forum following the successful Global Women's Forum Dubai, GWFD, earlier this year, in addition to DWE's interest in discussing future and joint cooperation mechanisms with the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society and the possibility of organising additional forums specialised in supporting and enhancing women's roles and participation.

The delegation included Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, Director of Dubai Ladies Club, AlMaha Al Bastaki, Projects Manager at DWE and Aisha Saeed Harib, a member of the Dubai Youth Council, who was invited to represent the UAE from the "Rising Talents" platform, which includes more than 160 females from 50 different countries. The "Rising Talents" programme highlights young females who demonstrate an active and inspirational role within the economy and society.

Commenting on DWE's participation, Shamsa Saleh, CEO of Dubai Women Establishment, said, "H.H., Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and President of Dubai Women Establishment, is keen to increase the DWE's participation in international forums, especially those which empower women and highlight their role and position in global societies. This is where our participation in the 12th annual Women's Forum Global Meeting stems from. The delegation discussed ways to further collaborate with the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society in the future, with the possibility of organising additional forums which support women following the great success or organising GWFD during the year, which was held in the Middle East for the first time." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Over AED4.5 million saved by Dubai Volunteer app

posted on 05/12/2016

On the eve of the International Volunteer Day (IVD), the Dubai Community Development Authority (CDA) has issued a passionate appeal to individuals and companies to establish volunteerism as a common societal practice and a key contributor to national development.

Themed: Global Applause – give volunteers a hand, the IVD, mandated by the UN General Assembly, is held each year on 5 December. It is viewed as a unique chance for volunteers and organisations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to promote their work among their communities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, government authorities and the private sector.

Hana Al Harethi, Director of Social Cohesion, CDA, said volunteer opportunities announced through the Dubai Volunteer App during the current year had saved AED 4.7 million with total volunteering hours reaching 60,081.

"Dubai Volunteer," the smart app is providing an important tool that encourages different social sectors in Dubai to be part of the social services development. Individuals from all ages and nationalities can easily volunteer their time and experience to help sustaining the social and community evolution, 'she explained.

The App allows registering new volunteers, learning about volunteering opportunities provided by government departments and private businesses which are part of this comprehensive platform as well.

So far, she revealed, 105 institutions had registered with the app - 57 government entities, 57 private companies, eight educational institutions, two volunteer groups and a social club.

'These figures showed the increasing awareness about the importance of volunteer work in optimum management of expenditures, building capacities of volunteers and acquisition of skills,' she noted.

By the end of third quarter of 2016, she added, the CDA has attracted more than 5000 volunteers of different ages, nationalities and specialisations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -