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Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority announces upcoming public programme

posted on 23/09/2014

Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the Lest We Forget Initiative, has announced its upcoming public programme in support of Qasr Al Hosn's permanent exhibition, aimed at bringing the stories of the past to life.

Scheduled to run from September 23rd until November 18th, the public programme will complement the permanent exhibition through panels and workshops which will explore the vibrant cultural heritage of the U.A.E..

The interactive programme will introduce contemporary Emirati voices, filmmakers, historians and archaeologists who will each provide fascinating oral testimonies with a view to highlighting momentous moments in the U.A.E.'s history and heritage. With a view to creating engaging dialogues and spurring discussions, audience members will be invited to share their experiences, interests, photographs and artefacts during the events.

Reem Al Mansouri, representing Public Engagement at TCA Abu Dhabi, said, "The Qasr Al Hosn public programme is an initiative to further accentuate the history of the U.A.E, whilst instilling an appetite for preserving the country's vibrant traditions and reinforcing its culture significance and bringing the history of the nation to life.

"The programme will act as a platform for discussion and debate on various aspects of Emirati heritage and contemporary culture, providing attendees with an opportunity to travel back in time and observe the Emirates through film, whilst interpreting the political, economic and social motives behind each, and to ensure that the spirit of the Fort remains alive," she added.

The programme's schedule is comprised of talks and workshops including a film screening and panel entitled "Observing the Emirates through Film" on September 23rd and "The Gahwa Tradition" workshop on October 25th, which is designed to explore the history of coffee in the U.A.E.. The programme will conclude with a talk on "How Archaeology Shapes History" on November 18th, which will explain how archaeology can help people understand history and culture in the U.A.E..

Lest We Forget is a major grassroots arts and heritage initiative that aims to archive, preserve and share vernacular photographs and oral histories of the U.A.E. through its website, workshops and exhibitions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Emirates Green Building Council, Canon kick off partnership to promote sustainable living across the U.A.E.

posted on 23/09/2014

In line with Canon Middle East's efforts to promote sustainable living, the world leader in imaging solutions has partnered with the Emirates Green Building Council to support initiatives in the U.A.E. regarding renewable resources and conservation. As part of the campaign to increase community awareness while nurturing young talent, an environmental themed student photography competition was launched to mark World Green Building Week.

The Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), founded in June 2006, is an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices. World Green Building Week, which was first organised by the World Green Building Council in 2009, is the largest annual opportunity to shine the spotlight on the mission of Green Building Councils to create sustainable built environments. In the U.A.E., EmiratesGBC, with support from partners such as Canon, is marking World Green Building Week under the theme of ‘Get Up Green Up.' As the inaugural activity, the ‘Get Up Green Up' themed photography competition was open to students enrolled at any university in the U.A.E. to submit their images for review. The competition was intended to encourage the community to become ambassadors of ‘green lifestyles' and highlight the positive contributions individuals can make. The winning image, taken by Nadia Saleh from the American University of Sharjah, was announced during World Green Building Week and she was awarded the latest Canon DSLR camera for her efforts.

Anurag Agrawal, Canon Middle East Managing Director, said: "Canon's partnership with Emirates Green Building Council is aligned to our Kyosei philosophy of encouraging sustainable growth while protecting the communities we live and work in. We are proud to be working with an organisation that is focussed on the environment and the importance of sustainability in the community.

"Visuals can make a powerful impact on individuals and this competition encouraged students to use photography to capture their thoughts on the environments they current live in. Nadia Saleh was able to emphasise how one person can make a difference while encouraging others to consider long-term sustainability initiatives that will protect our communities for future generations." Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, said: "With World Green Building Week we hope to motivate both corporations and the local community to consider their ecological impact on our natural resources. The student photography competition, in partnership with Canon, provided a hands-on opportunity for the younger generation to share their concerns, hopes and ideas for sustainable living. We are proud of all of the participants and their efforts to increase environmental awareness." Nadia Saleh, winner of the student photography competition, said: "I am honoured to receive this award and the support of the Emirates Green Building Council and Canon. I believe that sustainability is about making an everyday effort to improve our communities. I hope my photo, as well as this initiative, will inspire others to join me in promoting a green lifestyle." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai International registers record 6.6 million passengers in August 2014

posted on 23/09/2014

Passenger traffic at Dubai International has bounced back from a three-month slump resulting from a major runway upgrade project which concluded on July 20th to register a record 6.6 million passengers in August 2014.

Monthly passenger traffic at Dubai International reached 6,648,058 in August 2014, up 10.8 percent compared to 5,999,375 recorded in the corresponding month in 2013. The hub returned to full operational capacity in August following a runway upgrade project that reduced the airport to a single runway for 80 days and cut capacity by 26 percent. The year to date passenger traffic as at the end of August totalled 46,479,919, an increase of 5.7 percent compared to the 43,971,839 passengers recorded during the first eight months of 2013.

Aircraft movements during August totalled 31,214 movements, a marginal increase of 0.1 percent from the 31,198 recorded during the corresponding month in 2013. During the first eight months of the year, aircraft movements totalled 227,110, down 6.4 percent from 242,571 recorded between January and August last year, reflecting the impact of the runway closure period. Average passengers per movement during August increased to 219.7, up 5.2 percent from 208.9 recorded during the same month last year, reflecting a move by airlines to larger aircraft.

Monthly cargo volume also rebounded by 4.3 percent, reaching 192,902 tonnes in August compared to 184,877 tonnes during the same month in 2013. Year to date cargo reached 1,560,869 tonnes during the first eight months of the year, down 2.2 percent from 1,596,772 tonnes recorded during the same period in 2013.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said, "It's good to return to more robust growth figures resulting from full capacity and ongoing network expansion after being constrained to a one-runway operation for nearly three months. The numbers are far more indicative of the growth trend we expect to see for the remainder of the year and will be crucial in our journey to the top of the list of the world's busiest international hubs." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Emirates sets sights on more US routes

posted on 23/09/2014

CHICAGO: Emirates Airline, the world's largest international carrier, seeks to expand its US service, possibly making America one of its three largest sources of revenue, a senior official said.

Tim Clark, president of the Dubai-based carrier, told Bloomberg that although the US now drives just 7 per cent of Emirates' sales, the region is "hugely important” to the carrier.

Clark, who was speaking at the World Routes Strategy Summit in Chicago, said the airline is scouting new cities to add to its network after beginning service last month in Chicago, its ninth US destination.

US airlines wary

Meanwhile, US airline executives, including Richard Anderson, chief executive of Delta Air Lines, and union leaders have been wary of Emirates.

They claim the airline unfairly benefits from subsidies by the U.A.E.. Since its mid-1980s founding the carrier has grown to a fleet of 230 widebody jets, flying 43 million people to 150 destinations each year.

Emirates, which operates the largest fleets of Boeing 777 jetliners and Airbus Group NV's A380 superjumbo jets, has orders for another 260 long-range aircraft to help its expansion

into the US, Clark said.

He dismissed critics who have suggested Emirates enjoys an unfair advantage.

"If there's any subsidy, it's because the government does the right thing,” Clark said, pointing to new spending to expand Dubai's airport infrastructure. – Gulf News -


Dubai’s vibrant hotel industry set to increase capacity to 160,000 by 2020

posted on 23/09/2014

The thriving hospitality industry of Dubai, recording consistently high occupancy rates and sustained expansion, is on track to boost capacity to 160,000 by 2020.

Since 1999, Dubai's vibrant hotel industry has been on a phenomenal growth. From 378 properties comprising 254 hotels and 124 hotel apartments, offering a total of 25,188 room keys, Dubai's hotel has expanded to include a further 256 properties to reach a total of 634 establishments and 88,888 room keys — an increase of over 350 per cent, according to data released by the organisers of the Hotel Show Dubai 2014.

Issam Abdul Rahim Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, who will be making the keynote address at the show opening on September 28, said the event plays a key role for Dubai and the hospitality sector, helping to attract new investment, showcase Dubai and contribute to ultimately make the emirate one of the world's most visited cities.

"As we work towards Dubai's Tourism Vision including attracting 20 million annual visitors by 2020, a key focus is ensuring a consistent growth of the emirate's hotel inventory to ensure we cater for current and future demand. The Hotel Show is an important step towards achieving our ambitious targets,” said Kazim.

Since 1999, following the opening of the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah's Group's iconic property that ensured Dubai's place on the world's luxury stage, an average of 17 new hotels were being launched each year in Dubai.

Christine Davidson, Event Director of the Hotel Show, said the event would continue to attract decision-making hotel, hospitality and leisure professionals. "In addition, future mega events to be held in the region such as Dubai's Expo 2020 are creating a wealth of new opportunities in hospitality for the city.”

In the first half of 2014, Dubai welcomed more than 5.8 million tourists — the highest number of visitors ever achieved in the first six months of the year. As Dubai aims to become one of the top 10 sustainable cities in the world, The Hotel Show Dubai is a platform for those influencing the evolution of the global hospitality and leisure industry; design and architecture trends and green legislation are just two of the event's areas of focus, said Davidson.

Expert speakers will be profiled and dedicated features revealed to inspire and educate its visitors in these and other key areas of focus for the region's hospitality industry, organisers said.

The U.A.E. is already among the top five countries in the world for new hotel openings over the past five years. The U.A.E. also has the longest pipeline of rooms under construction with an additional 32,107 rooms in the offing while the Middle East/Africa hotel development pipeline comprises 483 hotels totalling 117,450 rooms.

Massive-scale expansion of international airports in the U.A.E., including what promises to be world's largest — Al Maktoum International with a capacity for 160 million annual passengers — and the fast pace of growth being recorded by the country's three industry-leading airlines have already been driving a relentless surge in the number of international visitors and holidaymakers to the U.A.E..

As a result, almost all hotels across the U.A.E. have been reporting impressive occupancy rate as well as steady growth in average daily rate, or ADR.

Standard and Chartered has estimated that the Expo 2020 would have positive implications on three key parts of the economy: housing, infrastructure and hospitality.

On the hospitality front, the authorities estimate that 25 million people are likely to visit the Expo, of which 70 per cent will come from outside the U.A.E..

"We see the hotel sector as one of the main beneficiaries of growth generated by the event. To accommodate the significant inflow of tourists, the hotel stock will have to expand. Since 70 per cent of the 25 million visitors are expected to come from outside the U.A.E., Dubai will need to accommodate 17.5 million tourists in the months around the Expo,” it said.

Dubai will require around US$43 billion to significantly upgrade its infrastructure for Expo 2020 that may generate additional revenues in the range of US$25-35 billion, studies show. – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Dubai Customs continues developing its user-friendly smart services

posted on 23/09/2014

Guided by the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, towards delivering first-class government services to the U.A.E. community; Dubai Customs continues developing its smart services to ensure smooth and fast completion of customs transactions.

In this perspective, Dubai Customs has upgraded its clearance services to save customers' time and effort, by enabling them to fill out customs declarations using their mobile phones without entering cargo's shipping details.

Younis Mohammed Othman, Director of Information Technology Department at Dubai Customs, said, "The customs clearance service is one of the most demanded and used by customers. A total of 4.4 million transactions were processed across all Customs centres from January to August, 2014. Dubai Customs is committed to providing world-class clearance procedures to ensure customers have an exceptional experience with our services. " He further noted that 95 per cent of customs clearance transactions are processed within the specified timeframe at all centres. Dubai Customs saved customers the time and trouble of fill out shipping details, as this information can obtain automatically through the 11 network points between DC and handling agencies.

On the other hand, Dubai Customs has introduced the new facility for issuance of Vehicle Clearance Certificate (VCC) in Mirsal 2 on smart devices, as part of the Declaration Processing Project Release 4 Project. The VCC request facility is one of the major initiatives of Dubai Customs aimed at ensuring that certificates are issued against valid declarations in Mirsal2 system. The volume of VCC transactions amounted to 504,000 between January-August, 2014.

The service features 24/7 online VCC request facility through Dubai Trade portal, bureau submission facility at DC locations, or through smart services on mobile devices. It also allows customers to electronically track the status of their VCC requests, pay service fees online, do an automated upfront validation of previous VCC and declarations, and receive the VCC in person in case the declaration is modified or cancelled after the VCC is issued. Additionally, the service generates automated emails to inform customers on the status of their VCC requests.

Moreover, Dubai Customs has developed a smart refund system for the purpose of regulating refund procedures of all cash and bank guarantees, including the goods imported under a duty-suspended case. The smart refund service was well received by customers, with 690,000 applications of refund lodged through the system during the first eight months of this year.

The kind of claims available in the new system include Claims for Duty Refund, Claims for Refund on Auction Proceeds and Non-Remittance Claims. Following the system mechanism, customers provide detailed information in their claims in to ensure comprehensive validation and sound refund settlement. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DEWA awards Dh250 million contract for 400kV substation in Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park

posted on 23/09/2014

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, has awarded the contract to build a new 400 kV substation for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Seih Al Dahal. The Dh250 million project will link the second project of the Solar Park to DEWA's grid.

The Independent Power Producer (IPP) project will generate 100MW in the second quarter of 2017. It supports the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify the energy mix by 2030.

"DEWA contributes to enhancing Dubai's infrastructure and service utilities according to the highest international criteria to meet the basic needs and keep pace with the sustainable development of Dubai," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

"These efforts support the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to establish Dubai's position in the region and enhance its role as a global hub for trade, finance, tourism, and green economy.

"DEWA works continuously to enhance the efficiency of its network to meet the increasing demand for its services and establishes pivotal projects to achieve the highest standards in efficiency and reliability," he added.

Last May, DEWA began the process to tender for the second project of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. Twenty four qualified developers have reached the second phase of the bid. They have to send their bids by 23rd October 2014. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


U.A.E. is self-sufficient in tissue production through 3 Abu Dhabi mills: Paper Arabia 2014

posted on 23/09/2014

The per capita consumption of tissue in the U.A.E. in 2013 was 12 kg, as opposed to 4.5 kg in China, 24 kg in the U.S.A. and 16 kg in Western Europe, according to industry officials.

The statistics were released on the side-lines of Paper Arabia 2014, the first-of-its-kind industry expo, which was opened yesterday at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre by Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Emirates Investment and Development PSC, U.A.E., and Managing Director of the Al Ghandi Group.

The U.A.E.'s production of tissues totalled 120,000 tons in 2013 through three Abu Dhabi-based mills: Abu Dhabi National Paper Mill (ADNPM), Queenex Hygiene Paper Manufacturing LLC (QHPM) and Crown Paper Mill. Consumption was 70,000 tons, with hotels and the tourism industry taking a significant share of this figure.

"The three Abu Dhabi paper mills serve a wide range of nearly 40 converting factories. 40 percent of the production at QHPM is consumed locally, while the balance goes to GCC and other countries in the world," said Nahed Basma, Sales and Marketing Manager, QHPM .

Helmut Berger, General Manager, Abu Dhabi National Paper Mill (ADNPM), said, "A big chunk of tissue consumption in the U.A.E. is facial tissues, quite different from the consumption in other parts of the world".

According to statistics, facial tissues represent 65 percent of the total tissue consumption in the country, as revealed at the show, which will continue until Tuesday 23rd September.

As far as the general paper industry is concerned, production and printing of paper is largely done in the U.A.E. for the entire Arab world.

Paper Arabia is a key platform for traders and industry players to interact and elite players from the industry are participating in Paper Arabia 2014 as they believe it offers opportunities to the manufacturers and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to access the lucrative Middle East and North African markets. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


99.69% establishments complied with midday break decision: Ministry of Labour

posted on 23/09/2014

The Ministry of Labour has announced that 96.69 percent private companies complied with this summer midday break, raising the level of commitment by the employers more than the past ten years.

It further stated that 77522 facilities were inspected during the period, while the level of uncommitted facilities reached to 147 mounting to 0.31 per cent. 105 thousand and 421 field visits were carried out by the ministry's inspectional team during the midday break period which started June 15th and ended last Monday September 15th.

77 thousand and 669 visits were carried out to ascertain the level of commitment to the decision while 27 thousand and 752 visits took place to raise the level of awareness amongst these establishments, according to ministry's statistics.

Mubarak Saeed Al Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, commenting on the analysis pointed out that the level of commitment by the employers has increased when comparing it to the past ten years from launching the ban, which confirms their knowledge about the importance of the decision and its role in providing a healthy work environment which safe and decent for the workers.

"The decision aims at reducing the damages workers' could get from working under the sun, which will definitely stabilise labour relations and increase productivity in the labour market, especially since the decision embodies the highest standards of occupational health and safety," he said.

He made it clear that the ministry is very transparent before taking any actions against any establishment, "The penalty is set unless proven otherwise, our inspectors record everything through photographs and video during the banned timings, and if caught, a fine of Dh 15000 will be slapped per case," he said.

The total of 17155 inspectional visits took place in Abu Dhabi and 26608 visits in Dubai, 8186 visits in Sharjah, 10154 In Ajman, 3264 to Ras Al Khaimah, 6038 UAQ and 6117 visits to Fujairah.

On the other hand, Mr. Al Dhaheri pointed out the ministry's commitment towards awareness and guidance to protect the labourers health and safety condition, all through providing free medical check-ups, educating them on proper means of protection against direct exposure to injuries, as well as the initiatives undertaken by many members of the community each year, which embodies the values of compassion and solidarity in the U.A.E. society.

"The MoL organised 50 awareness lectures about the midday decision that targeted employers and workers, as well as the organised workshops to raise awareness about the decision at labour camps where we've distributed tens of thousands of brochures, which included a detailed explanation of the decision and emphasised the importance of commitment towards it," he said.

It's worth mentioning that the Midday break stops labourers from working under the sun and in the open areas from 12:30pm till 3:00pm, and urges business owners to provide shaded areas for the workers during their break period and to completely cease work. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Traffic accidents decreased by 10.7 percent in U.A.E. over 8 months

posted on 23/09/2014

Traffic accidents registered in the U.A.E. over the first eight months of 2014 have decreased by 10.7 percent, according to statistics released by the Traffic Coordination Department at the Ministry of Interior (MoI). There have been 3,170 accidents so far this year, as compared to the 3,549 accidents registered during this same period in 2013. Statistics also show a 0.2 percent decrease in the mortality rate when compared to the same period of the current year.

Brigadier Ghaith Hassan Al Zaabi, Director General, Traffic Coordination Department, Ministry of Interior, said, "According to the indicators and due to the decrease of road accidents, the death rate of accidents has slightly decreased over the first eight months of this year with 463 deaths, as compared to 464 deaths in the same period last year." Road accident injuries decreased by 7.4 percent over the first eight months of 2014 with 4,602 injuries, as compared to 4,969 injuries during the same period last year.

Brigadier Al Zaabi attributed the decrease in traffic accidents and injuries to the effective measures taken by the MoI and the efforts of the police general headquarters and Traffic and Patrols departments and directorates across the country. He said, "These efforts are in line with the Ministry's efforts to improve traffic safety, secure our roads, create a safe traffic environment based on international standards, and to strengthen partnerships with entities concerned with traffic safety in the country." Brigadier Al Zaabi explained, "All types of road accidents, together with their subsequent injuries, deaths, and traffic fines, are the natural result of the increasing use of vehicles across the U.A.E., which is closely linked to the growing population increase and urban development. Meanwhile, traffic departments across the country bare the major burden of training and testing thousands of people who wish to obtain their driving licenses, as this is one of the most important requirements of economic and social development." "Each type of traffic accident that has been registered over the past eight months this year, has decreased when compared to last year. Accidents involving impacts and collisions have decreased by 14.5 percent with 1,989 accidents this year, as compared to 2,326 accidents in 2013," Brigadier Al Zaabi said.

Brigadier Al Zaabi said, "Registered accidents involving swerving have recorded a significant decrease of 11.5 percent with 369 accidents this year, as compared to 417 accidents in 2013. There were 744 recorded run-over accidents with a decrease of 2.7 percent when compared to the 765 accidents during the same period last year, which is due to the successful efforts made to reduce these occurrences. Other types of accidents have increased by 65.9 percent over the first eight months of 2014, with 68 accidents as compared to 41 accidents during the same period last year." Brigadier Al Zaabi stated that sudden lane changes were the main causes of traffic accidents over the first eight months of 2014 which caused 589 accidents. The second main cause of accidents was due to the misjudgements of road users with 406 accidents. "The third main cause of traffic accidents was due to the failure of road users to leave a sufficient amount of distance between vehicles which caused 350 accidents. Negligence and lack of attention is the fourth main cause, with a recorded number of 265 accidents. Speeding is the fifth main cause with 258 accidents. Entering a road before making sure it is clear caused 232 accidents, followed by the failure to comply with the rules of the lane which caused 189 accidents. Running red lights caused 187 accidents, while drinking under the influence of alcohol caused 150 accidents. Failure to give priority to crossing pedestrians caused 107 accidents," he said.

Brigadier Al Zaabi provided further details, "Sudden lane changes were also the main causes of mortality which caused 113 deaths. Speeding came second, causing 62 deaths, followed by the misjudgement of road with 48 deaths. The failure to leave a sufficient amount of distance between vehicles caused 41 deaths, while negligence and lack of attention led to 39 deaths. The failure to comply with the rules of the lane caused 34 deaths, whereas entering a road before making sure it is clear caused 19 deaths. Not giving the priority to crossing pedestrians caused 19 deaths." He said, "Sudden lane changes were the main causes of various kinds of injuries which injured 914 persons, and failure to leave a sufficient amount of distance between vehicles caused 576 injuries. Running red lights caused 406 injuries, coming in third, while the misjudgement of road users came fourth with 402 injuries. Speeding caused 390 injuries, whereas entering a road before making sure it is clear caused 353 injuries. The failure to comply with the rules of the lane led to 347 injuries, whereas negligence and lack of attention caused 303 injuries." Brigadier Al Zaabi called upon motorists and road users to abide by the rules and regulations of traffic for their own safety and for the safety of others. This advice is in order for road users to prevent hurting themselves or others in traffic accidents, which could result in injuries or loss of life and property. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Salik holds record of being the biggest tolling system in the world

posted on 23/09/2014

Salik is the biggest tolling system in the world in terms of multiple lanes covered, and the widest toll gate in one direction, said the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Providing a free traffic gate spanning 44 meters in one direction and covering 12 lanes on Sheikh Zayed Road in both directions, the toll gate system of Dubai is responsible for yet another worldwide record.

Salik has the capacity to handle 1.5 million vehicle trips every day and does not require road closures for maintenance purposes due to its technical infrastructure.

RTA has won the Toll Excellence Awards 2014 in the category of Technology sponsored annually by The International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association (IBTTA), USA.

It is the first tolling project operating on 870 frequency, and it is possible to control and monitor all components of the IT infrastructure of Salik system on both roadsides where an electronic orders system is set to issue maintenance instructions automatically, explained Maitha bin Udai, CEO, Traffic and Roads Agency, RTA.

The RTA recently launched several new top-up channels, such as the recharge voucher and the Salik smart app, which enables motorists to top up their Salik account from the ease of their smart phone.

Currently there are six Salik toll gates in Dubai: Al Garhoud gate, Al Maktoum gate, Al Safa gate, Al Barsha gate, Airport Tunnel Gate and Mamzar gate. – Emirates 24│7 -


Emirati aims for prized place at FIA Institute

posted on 23/09/2014

Emirati Mansour Al Helei is looking to take another important step in his motor sport career in Abu Dhabi next week when he competes for a place at next year's FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy.

The Automobile and Touring Club of the U.A.E. has selected Al Helei to represent the nation in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia regional qualifying event for the 2015 Academy.

Fifteen young drivers from around the region will take part in the event, which is organised by the ATCUAE and takes place at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit from 28th September to 1st October.

Al Helei is aiming to become the second Emirati to go through into the Academy after fellow Emirati Mohamed Al Mutawaa in 2012.

"The FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy has proved to be very successful in developing the best young talent for careers at the top level of motor sport," said ATCUAE President and FIA Vice President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem.

"Competition for the one place available in Abu Dhabi will be fierce, and regardless of who wins, each of the drivers taking part will gain a great deal of knowledge and experience to help them in their own careers." Among those also hoping to come out on top in Abu Dhabi will be Kuwait's Ali Makhseed, Oman's Anas Al Raeesi, Jordan's Nabeeh Muammar, Lebanon's Patrick Njeim and Saudi Arabia's Abdullah El Khereiji. The other countries represented are Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Sudan, Syria and Tunisia.

The regional qualifying event will consist of a series of demanding tests on the track and in the classroom at Yas Marina Circuit, home of the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Open to nominated drivers aged 15-23, it is one of six regional qualifiers worldwide which will deliver ten drivers into the 2015 Academy programme. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Emirati fencer Majed Al Mansoori, 21, reaches foil quarter-finals at Asian Games

posted on 23/09/2014

Emirati fencer Majed Al Mansoori, 21, made it to the quarter-finals of the men's foil individual fencing pursuit on Monday at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Al Mansoori won two of his four pool matches, defeating Kazakhstan's Bidarev Yuriy 5-3 and Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Hazzazi, also 5-3 to qualify for the round of 16, losing to South Korea's Heo Jun, the eventual silver medallist, and Hong Kong's Cheung Siu Lun.

In the round of 16 he made it past Filipino Perez Nathaniel with a 15-11 triumph to reach the quarters, where he fell 15-3 to 28-year-old Japanese Ota Yuki.

In track cycling, the U.A.E.'s Yousif Mirza won the men's 15-kilometre scratch race, one of the six events that compose the omnium cycling pursuit.

Mirza beat Kazakhstan's Artyom Zakharov, in second, and South Korea's Cho Ho-sung, in third. He also finished sixth in the 4-kilometre individual pursuit and eighth in the elimination race.

The latter three races of the omnium event will conclude on Tuesday.

In other track cycling, Ahmed Al Mansoori came fourth in the men's sprint qualifying early in the day, before he was beaten in the round of 16 by Japan's Tomoyuki Kawabata. He was eliminated in his repechage heat, finishing behind Taiwan's Kuo Lung Liao and Hong Kong's Ching Yin Mow.

In swimming, Mohammed Al Ghafri finished seventh in his men's 50-metre backstroke heat with a time of 27.59 seconds and the U.A.E. handball team also rounded out group play, falling to Oman 28-18.

In addition to Mirza's finale to the omnium event on Tuesday, the U.A.E. bowling team will be in action Mohamed Al Muhairi will compete in the men's swimming 50-metre freestyle. – The National -