posted on 22/05/2013
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology yesterday announced that five major Japanese corporations are offering eight-week summer internships in Japan to UAE national students for the second successive year.
The internships are being coordinated by the Japan International Cooperation Centre (JICE), and supported by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
Sachiko Yamano, President of JICE, said: "The second annual internships offered at five Japanese corporations will enable the students to understand the latest technologies in their respective fields. We hope the students will find the language classes, business etiquette, practices and cultural field-trips encouraging for better interaction with company officials during the internship. We welcome the UAE national students from Masdar Institute to Japan, and hope they will have a productive learning experience throughout their eight-week stay." Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: "The students will intern with major Japanese companies to learn the latest technology in their areas of study, acting as instruments of knowledge transfer. With the support of the UAE's leadership, Masdar Institute continues to create additional learning opportunities overseas for students through the JICE internship. We hope the students will gain fresh insights during their stay in Japan and bring back clean technology expertise that will further contribute to the country's economic growth." – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
Tecom Investments, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, announced on Tuesday a new operational structure to enable the company to further focus on its core business of developing and operating business parks.
According to Tecom, the implementation of a new structure comes at a time when the region's macroeconomic fundamentals are increasingly positive, offering an opportunity for it to ensure it is strongly positioned to capitalise on Dubai's future growth prospects.
In 2010, Tecom, a diversified conglomerate, realigned its 11 business parks into five industry cluster groups to streamline its operations and to prepare for further business growth.
The five industry cluster groups include Information and Communication Technology; Media; Education; Sciences; and Manufacturing and Logistics. Additionally, a new entity, the Tecom Business Parks Operations has been created.
Under the new structure, Tecom's real estate business will be segmented into three verticals. These will be: Tecom Development & Planning (land, infrastructure and building development); Tecom Freezone Business Parks; and Dubai Industrial City.
Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO of Tecom Investments, said Tecom is preparing for the next phase of Dubai's impressive growth. "We need to be prepared for this opportunity and with this new company structure we will have clear ownership of each of the key success factors and processes to drive business stability and growth.”
Badr Al Gargawi is now CEO of Tecom Development & Planning where he will manage matters relating to land, infrastructure and building development. Gargawi will be responsible for all master planning, construction, infrastructure, and engineering development in Tecom Investments.
Malek Sultan Al Malek is now CEO of Tecom Freezone Business Parks. Al Malek will be responsible for all Tecom Investments' free zone assets comprising Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource Zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, International Media Production Zone, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Knowledge Village, DuBiotech and Enpark.
Abdulla Belhoul is now CEO of Dubai Industrial City. Belhoul will continue to be responsible for Tecom Investments' onshore assets comprising of offices, logistics facilities, labour accommodation, and industrial land in Dubai Industrial City.
Tecom's business parks are currently providing a home in the Gulf to over 4,500 companies, which range from major multinationals to local start-ups and small firms.
In 2012, Tecom Investments continued to enhance its service offerings resulting in yet another strong year across its business parks. Tecom's performance in 2012 was driven by stable revenues and improved occupancy rates. During 2012, Tecom enjoyed high occupancy rates averaging 95 per cent in Dubai Internet City, Dubai Knowledge Village and Dubai Media City, compared to 88 per cent in 2011. This is significantly higher than Dubai's average occupancy rate of 69 per cent. – Khaleej Times
posted on 22/05/2013
Etisalat Group yesterday launched its first major global Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability report in a bid to highlight and coordinate philanthropic and community-based activities across its 15 operating countries.
The document, "Etisalat CSR '&' Sustainability Report 2012", was released at the Institute for International Research (IIR) tenth CSR Summit, which is currently running at The Address, Dubai Marina.
In 2012, Etisalat's sustainability and social responsibility strategy evolved as it undertook several commitments to ensure better coordination across its global operations, including a pledge of support to the United Nations Global Compact. It has also published environmental and procurement policies within the report as concrete steps to support UNGC Principles.
The Group has supported more than 40 development, humanitarian and charity projects across its footprint during the said period.
Etisalat has been active in Egypt through many initiatives such as "Origin", a project to help meet the challenges of water security that has been implemented in 19 governorates to date. Other African countries, such as Togo, have had aid contributions split between education and health.
Etisalat has also pursued social development with an emphasis on educational initiatives in countries such as Nigeria.
Aid to Afghanistan for projects of a charitable, social and religious nature includes the distribution of more than 3,000 food packages containing basic food items to needy families in Kabul during the holy month of Ramadan. The company also provided assistance to both Sri Lanka and Pakistan for water projects, sanitation aid, education, as well as aid to orphans. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
The Nigerian operation of the UAE telecommunication services operator, Etisalat, has signed a US$1.2 billion (Dh4.4 billion) equivalent medium-term syndicated loan facility, Etisalat said on Monday.
In a mandatory filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, Etisalat said the Nigeria operation planned to use the proceeds to "refinance the existing commercial medium-term debt of US$650 million and continue its network rollout across Nigeria.
It added: "The facility has both Naira and US dollar tranches from a consortium of 13 Nigerian banks.
Etisalat has a 40 per cent stake in Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Ltd, which operates in the African country under the name of Etisalat Nigeria
Etisalat's fiscal first quarter net profit post-federal royalty increased one per cent year-on-year to Dh1.83 billion, while revenue increased during the same period 17 per cent to Dh9.60 billion
Analysts say Etisalat's local operations are facing intense competition from rival du and any major profit increase will come only from the foreign operations of Etisalat
Etisalat has operations in 15 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The company's international acquisition programme began in earnest in 2004 when it won a second mobile licence in Saudi Arabia. Since then, the company has witnessed rapid expansion that has positioned it as one of the world's fastest growing operators, with subscribers rocketing from four million in 2004 to 141 million in 2013.
Etisalat is in the process of launching fourth-generation long-term evolution (4G LTE) networks in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and it currently owns the Middle East's fastest fixed-line broadband network with speeds of up to 30 mega-bits per second (Mbps). – Gulf News
posted on 22/05/2013
Drydocks World, one of the most renowned and prolific maritime service providers operating from the Middle East, received the "Best Repair Yard" Award at the 6th Marine BizTV International Maritime Awards, organised in conjunction with ShipTek 2013.
The award was received on behalf of the company by Ali bin Towaih, Vice President, Commercial '&' Business Development.
ShipTek, in its 6th year, has set the benchmark for marine sector awards and is the largest so far. The event is comprised of a two-day International Conference on topical issues, an International Maritime Expo, and the Awards Ceremony. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces yesterday hailed the Absher initiative which was conceived and launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2012 to support Emiratisation and create new jobs for skilled Emiratis in the UAE labour market.
He noted that the unique and valuable initiative serves the interests of the nation and nationals as His Highness the President is interested in fulfilling the requirements and aspirations of the national youth and in providing them with all means of stability and dignified life.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed made his remarks at launching of the second phase of the initiative. His Highness the Crown Prince said the initiative of His Highness the President reflects the interest of the wise leadership in bolstering development plans so as to include all economic and social sectors in line with an all-encompassing and integrated strategy.
He noted that the UAE harnessed all its resources in service of Emirati nationals.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed called on all stakeholders of the Absher Initiative to establish real partnerships that contributes to economic development and to reinforce it by national human resources in line with the envisioned progress of the country.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed witnessed the signing ceremonies of agreements between the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, which oversees the implementation of the initiative, and a group of sixteen companies and establishments who recently joined the initiative.
The agreements provide for creating 3768 new jobs for Emiratis, out of a total of more than 20000 jobs planned for the next five years.
Sheikh Mohamed met with the representatives of the new stakeholders and wished them success in the move which he hailed as an action that serves the interest of all involved parties.
The ministry will ensure that the graduates have a sufficient period of training and will pay for the cost of training.
Sheikh Mohammed also met with the representatives of the top-performing stakeholders who contributed to the success of the first phase of the Absher Initiative. These include Emirates Airline, Ministry of Education, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), AL Futtaim Company, Etisalat and Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed appreciation of the institutions which cooperated in, and contributed to the implementation of the pioneering initiative. He also hailed the efforts of national institutions and private companies in driving and diversifying the national economy as creating quality jobs for the Emirati youth.
He emphasised that the Initiative will eventually be implemented, with the efforts of all stakeholders. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Chairman of the National Media Council (NMC) received the President of the China News Agency (Xinhua), Li Congjun.
During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah and Congjun discussed media cooperation, mutual visits, and the exchange of news between Emirates News Agency (WAM) and Xinhua, especially in the economy, social and culture areas.
The UAE Foreign Minister stressed the importance of the existing relations between the UAE and China, which witnessed remarkable growth over the last years in the areas of politics, economy, culture and energy.
He noted that the cooperation between the two national news agencies through the exchange of news would further boost tourism and strengthen cooperation ties and friendship between the two countries, as the two peoples would be introduced to each other's culture. "The visit of the President of Xinhua to the UAE will definitely bolster the relations between the two countries", Sheikh Abdullah said, expressing his satisfaction with the cooperation between the two news agencies, especially after the signing of a news cooperation agreement between WAM and Xinhua in 2001
The President of Xinhua thanked the UAE Foreign Minister for his hospitality, noting that Sheikh Abdullah was exerting huge efforts to enhance bilateral relations. He added that the UAE is the biggest market for China's exports.
The Chinese delegation members visited various WAM sections, where they were briefed about work at the editorial, TV news and photo transmission, information and WAM archive sections, as well as new technologies introduced by WAM.
The UAE and China signed the five-year renewable media and cultural agreement in 2001 during the visit of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed to Beijing. The agreement also covers cooperation in the areas of arts, education and sports. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
The Federal National Council (FNC) held today its 13th session of the 2nd term of its 15th legislative chapter under the chairmanship of its Speaker Mohamed Ahmed Al Murr.
Present during the session were H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Dr Anwar Mohamed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and for FNC Affairs.
Asked about the national strategy for saving water and energy, the Energy minister, who is also chairman of the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA), said the authority's strategic plan addresses future needs until 2020. He added that the plan defines a 3-phase project to raise capacity.
"The first phase was completed at a total cost of AED 2.7 billion and resulted in a 52 percent increase in water network and 49 percent increase in water storage capacity. The second phase will be completed by 2014," he said.
Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan fielded a question about violation of international laws and norms by some embassies in the country by holding direct meetings with private sector organisations and oblige them to obey their instructions and orders.
"The embassies operations are governed by the international law and the Geneva convention which regulates activities of diplomatic missions. The UAE is a signatory of the convention and therefore, any activities (by such embassies) should be carried out in coordination with the ministry of foreign affairs. Otherwise, the ministry will summon the ambassador or charge d'affaires to warn them." Sheikh Abdullah said the Embassy of the Philippines contacted some of the labour supply companies in the country.
"They have the right to make some rules but in the Philippines. They have absolutely no right to infringe the UAE government's regulations." Sheikh Abdullah went on to say that any illegal contacts made by the embassies under and pretext are considered as violations and are not acceptable by the ministry of foreign affairs.
"The ministry of foreign affairs is the key point of contact for the embassies wishing to establish communications with any sector in the country." He urged government and private entities to report any violation by any embassy or foreign diplomats to the ministry.
"The Philippines is not the only country that we can bring workers from. However, the task of any country's mission is to protect interests of its citizens. I can see no harm in what the embassy of Philippines is doing if any labour-related matter is supported by contracts." Asked about the steps taken by the ministry of foreign affairs to secure reciprocal exemption of visa requirement for UAE citizens in 34 countries, Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE was getting positive signals on this. He added that following the recent visit of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the UK, the government there pledged to consider the issue this year, while contacts with some EU countries were progressing.
In his capacity as Chairman of the National media Council (NMC), Sheikh Abdullah answered a question about misleading advertisements and the steps taken to regulate advertisement.
Sheikh Abdullah said the media in the UAE is governed by the publications law. He added that the NMC has been playing a pivotal role in reflecting the true picture.
"I agree with several points and remarks made by the FNC about the NMC strategy, its role in developing the media sector and in Emiratisation. The development of NMC has already begun with the an approval by the ministerial commission for services in February of a draft resolution to amend the organisation structure of the council. An advisory board for the council was formed in March." Sheikh Abdullah said the rate of Emiratisation at the NMC is expected to increase this year to 71 percent from 61 in 2012. He added that future plans may include creation of a high level media training academy for as part of the Emiratisation efforts in the media sector.
The plans also include improving performance of the Emirates News Agency. He praised the authorities initiative of inviting local press to cover the sessions of the national security trial.
"This is an unprecedented step that reflects transparency and freedom granted to the local media. You can read the uncensored reports about court proceedings, some of which are even sensitive." - Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, has held extensive talks with the Singaporean Minister for Foreign Affairs, K. Shanmugam and his delegation, on ways to support efforts in international development, stimulating the response to crises and providing emergency humanitarian support to those affected, in cooperation with international humanitarian organisations.
Sheikha Lubna said that the UAE is always looking to strengthen its partnerships with countries in order to alleviate the suffering of people affected by humanitarian crises, and building on the directives of its wise leadership, of the importance of global partnerships in resolving humanitarian issues.
She noted that the UAE is one of the most active countries in the world in terms of its response to the need for provision of support and assistance to those affected by such crises, as well as its efforts to provide development support and improving livelihoods in many poor countries in the world.
Sheikha Lubna highlighted the UAE delivery mechanisms for development and support through humanitarian infrastructures in poor countries, providing a capacity for building and development of road networks, building schools and hospitals, and creating job opportunities through development projects.
She also highlighted the efforts of the UAE in alleviating the suffering of refugees in various countries around the world through the establishment of camps, providing the displaced with all the means for a dignified life, through the adoption of a qualitative and holistic approach to providing humanitarian services, citing as an example the Noor Dubai Foundation, which is treating people with blindness in poor countries.
Sheikha Lubna also praised the work of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the Red Crescent Authority, who are also contributing to the construction of housing units in urban areas in many countries. The "Dubai Cares" philanthropic organisation is creating educational opportunities in many countries of the world, which reflect the position of the UAE on the world map.
Meanwhile, the Singaporean Foreign Minister praised the UAE's efforts in international development and drew attention to global recognition of its contributions, stressing his own country's aspiration to take advantage of the UAE's experiences, highlighting the strategies and mechanisms to provide support from Singapore, which is focused on technical capacity building in poor countries and providing missions and study programs for the people of those countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, has visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon on her first humanitarian visit following her designation as Eminent Advocate for refugee children by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
The humanitarian trip comes against the backdrop of a continued influx of refugees fleeing the two-year conflict in Syria, with the UNHCR projecting that one million refugees will have crossed into Lebanon by 31st December, 2013. To date, 463,000 refugees have been assisted by the UNHCR and its partners, although 102,000 of these are still awaiting registration to become documented refugees in Lebanon.
H.H. Sheikha Jawaher's humanitarian efforts throughout the Arab world and beyond have earned her the affectionate title The Big Heart - by her beneficiaries. This is not the first time Her Highness is undertaking humanitarian initiatives in Lebanon, having previously spearheaded initiatives such as B'hibak ya Libnan (I Love Lebanon), which raised over Dh23 million (US$6.3 million); and Ta'yirja' Bahrak Azraq (Bring back our blue sea), in which more than Dh1 million (US$274,000) was raised. Lebanon has also provided sanctuary for a significant number of Palestinian refugees, and Her Highness helped to raise Dh83 million (US$22.7 million) in the 'Salam Ya Seghar' (Peace for Children) campaign to aid children in the war-torn Gaza Strip.
The UNHCR and its partners - UNICEF, DRC, CLMC, Makhzoumi Foundation, SHIELD and World Vision - are collectively assisting 50,000 Syrian refugees with blankets, clothing vouchers, quilts, kitchen sets, mattresses, and recreation kits for younger refugees. In addition, the World Food Programme and DRC distributed 9,300 food vouchers that will alleviate the nutritional deficiencies of approximately 10,000 refugees in the short-term.
Speaking with refugee women at a community centre just outside Beirut, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher expressed her appreciation for the various partners who are collaborating with the UNHCR, and emphasised that there is still a critical need for further action: "The fact that some refugees are willing to navigate their way through deadly areas of landmines and mortar shelling to reach Lebanon, illustrates just how determined they are to create better lives for their children. However, a tragic pattern that keeps emerging is that some children are arriving here unaccompanied - with no idea of whether their families are still alive or dead. This makes it even more crucial to register each refugee, so that they can eventually be reunited with any surviving family members. This will also allow them freedom of movement and access to essential services. The UNHCR is facilitating enrolment of refugee children in schools so they can sit for examinations, because it is every child's right to receive education." Her Highness added that another major challenge for refugee children is access to medical treatment. Some NGO's do offer primary health care (PHC) services to registered and unregistered refugees - who constitute 88% and 12% of the refugee population respectively. However, these services are only accessible to some refugees and secondary health care access for refugees is a real challenge.
Underlining the need for urgent funding, the UNHCR estimates that with only 75% funding, the number of refugees who benefit from community empowerment interventions will be drastically reduced from 750,000 to 200,000 refugees.
H.H. Sheikha Jawaher concluded by saying: "This is not a Syrian problem or a Lebanese problem, or even an Arab problem - although the Arab world should take the lead in helping our neighbours. Instead, the enormity of the problems we are witnessing first-hand can only be resolved through the collective efforts of the entire international community. It is time to show that we are one world and our heart is big enough to comfort every refugee child. These innocent children might be homeless or motherless, but with our combined contributions they will not be hopeless." – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
The State Security Department of the Supreme Federal Court, presided over by Chief Justice Falah Al Hajiri, resumed its sessions this morning to hear the defence of the accused individuals in the secret illegal organisation case.
Yesterday's session at the headquarters of the court in Abu Dhabi was attended by seventy three male defendants and twelve female defendants, one hundred and thirty four relatives of the defendants, sixteen representatives of the media, five members of civil society organisations, including three from the Emirates Human Rights Association, one from the UAE Jurists Association and one from the UAE Sociological Association. Six defence lawyers and five public prosecutors also attended the session yesterday.
The court decided to announce its verdict in the case in its session, scheduled for the 2nd of July. – Emirates News Agency, WAM
posted on 22/05/2013
The Ministry of Education yesterday honoured teachers, schools and educational districts who contributed to developing education in the UAE at the first cycle of the Emirates Award for Educational Excellence ceremony yesterday.
The Minister of Education Humaid Al Qattami honoured the winners at the ceremony which aims to devise a clear criteria for measuring managerial and occupational excellence as well as encourage continuous development and improvement in education.
"When we decided to launch the award the ministry was confident that there will be many competent and experienced people in the educational field that deserve to be honoured and encouraged to increase their contribution in developing their performance. The award will also help in documenting their performance,” added Al Qattami.
The minister also announced the launch of two new categories in its next cycle for the next academic year — Outstanding Customer Service and Educational Studies and Research.
The chairman of the Higher Committee for Quality at the ministry Marwan Ahmad Al Sawaleh said that the award received many applicants in its first cycle.
"We have launched the award in order to achieve the highest degree of excellence and leadership in providing educational services. There was a strong demand as over 180 applicants applied for the award's thirteen categories,” said Al Sawaleh.
In total the award honoured a total of 33 winners.
One of the winners, Maria Mahmoud Al Ansari, who won in the educational category, commented on the win saying, "I am very happy that I won because I did not apply myself but was nominated by others. Winning this award and being honoured by the ministry itself acts as a testimonial to my hard work.”
Noora Al Dhanahani, who is a teacher in Al Raheeb School for Primary and Secondary Education in Fujairah, won the Khalifa Award. She said that she expected to win, "We had a workshop in our school that defined what the award was about and I have already won many awards and I did well in the evaluation and interview. Winning this award means a lot because it is by the UAE ministry of education and it is a nation-wide award.”
Other winners include the Dubai Education District which won in the best education district category and Umm Al Qaiwain district which won in the best educational service category. – Gulf News
posted on 22/05/2013
The final six European nations have booked their tickets to the FIFA Under 17 World Cup UAE 2013, after the UEFA European Under-17 Championships came to a dramatic finish in Slovakia last week, it was announced yesterday.
The qualifying teams are: Italy, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Austria and Croatia.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 takes place every two years and is one of the biggest international football events in the world.
UEFA European Under-17 Championship hosts Slovakia, alongside Russia, will make their first appearance at the FIFA U-17 World Cup as an independent nation, while Sweden makes history with its first appearance in the tournament, according to a press release issued by FIFA.
Italy booked its place after defeating Ukraine 2 - 1, finishing four points behind Russia in Group B. The Italians will be making their seventh appearance in this year's tournament in the UAE.
The last two places were clinched by Austria and Croatia after the end of the group stage of this year's Championship. Switzerland and Ukraine missed out on the opportunity to compete in the UAE after failing to make it to the finals.
In the final episode of European rivalry that took place in Slovakia last Friday, the Russian team was crowned U-17 European Champions after a hard-fought win over Italy. Both teams were fiercely defending their goals and working their best to score throughout the game, but the match ended with a clean sheet, so the winners were determined by penalty shoot-outs, where the Italians eventually lost out.
With the conclusion of the UEFA Championship, the full line-up of the 24 teams from six confederations is now complete for the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 Official Draw, to be held in Abu Dhabi on 26th August, which will then determine the groupings and initial match-ups.
This year's competition is expected to be the largest football event ever held in the UAE. Running from 17th October - 8th November, a total of 52 matches will be played over a three week period in six of the UAE's top stadiums - Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Stadium in Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah Stadium in Fujairah, Sharjah Stadium in Sharjah, Rashid Stadium in Dubai and Khalifa bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain. – Emirates News Agency, WAM