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National service builds generations who can address challenges, says Abu Dhabi Crown Prince

posted on 28/02/2017

The national service is one of the bedrocks for building generations who are capable of addressing challenges and instilling the values of loyalty, belonging and sacrifice for protecting the nation, preserving its achievements and gains, spurring national development and consolidating the nation's security and stability, said His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

He was speaking to the Abu Dhabi Executive Council's employees who had completed the national service training programme. The meeting was held on Monday at the Wahat Al Karama - Oasis of Dignity - a permanent tribute to the UAE's brave soldiers and other Emiratis who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their nation.

'The national service is an honour for the nation's youth, an opportunity to hone their skills and build their character. It is an investment in the generation who represents the present of the UAE and its promising future,' the Abu Dhabi Crown prince said.

'The UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will proceed confidently towards a bright future driven by the determination and will of its citizens,' he added.

The employees were delighted to meet His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and expressed their appreciation for his support for the young generations.

They said they were proud to be among the batches of youth who enrolled for the national service. They also pledged to continue their dedication and sacrifice.

The employees also toured the Memorial, which features 31 massive aluminium-clad tablets, each leaning on the other, thus symbolising the unity, solidarity and mutual support that bind together the leadership and the citizens with the servicemen and women who protect them. The visit also included the Pavilion of Honour and the Memorial Plaza. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi Crown Prince briefed on "Your Body is a Responsibility" campaign

posted on 28/02/2017

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was briefed on "Your Body is a Responsibility" campaign during a meeting with Major-General Pilot Sheikh Ahmad bin Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the National and Reserve Service Authority.

The meeting was held at the Bahr Palace on Monday.

Called 'Jasadak Amana" in Arabic, the 12-month health education initiative was launched by the National and Reserve Service Authority under the patronage of the General Command of the Armed Forces.

While briefing the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, the National and Reserve Service Authority Chairman said that the campaign aims to increase health awareness and education, and encourage all segments of the community to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

During the year-long health campaign, organisers, in collaboration with public and private health and sports bodies, will focus on carefully selected health, psychological and behavioural topics, with the prime goals being to reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases and negative behaviour among individuals and educating them about best preventive methods.

According to Muza Al Shehi, Director of the initiative, every month, the campaign will focus on a specific health and sports issue that is in sync with the World Health Organisation's agenda.

'A holistic assessment will be conducted at the end of the initiative," she said.

Al Shehi added that an app called "Challenge" was launched to promote the objectives of the campaign and would enable users to prepare a customised sports and nutrition programme.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed praised the efforts of the organisers for focussing on the national health and sports drive, and added that it would help maintain mental and physical health being, improve performance, and ensure mental and psychological balance.

He called for launching similar programmes to instil a healthy and positive lifestyle among early age groups.

The initiative followed a successful application of Total Force Fitness, TFF, a framework for building and maintaining physical readiness and mental health and wellbeing for the national service recruits. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Saif bin Zayed inspects UAE Forces as part of "Waves of the Gulf Duty" force in Bahrain

posted on 28/02/2017

MANAMA: H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, inspected the UAE's forces as part of the "Waves of the Gulf Duty" force in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

He also delivered the regards of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to the visiting force.

During his visit to the forces on Monday, he assured the troops who joined him and told him that all was well, and that they were representing the UAE in the best light, as they are the ambassadors of righteousness, goodness and peace.

He stressed that the forces of evil and terrorism which had committed a series of criminal and terrorist acts recently in the brotherly Kingdom of Bahrain will only increase the UAE's determination and insistence on facing it with firmness, as the security of the Gulf is one.

He assured the safety of the members of the UAE's forces, wherever they are, when they return home safe and victorious. They are a source of pride for everyone, and are soldiers of justice and what is right.

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed had arrived in Bahrain this afternoon and was received at Manama Airport by Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahraini Deputy Prime Minister, and a number of other officials.

His Highness was accompanied by Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, Acting Assistant Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Affairs, Major General Jassim Mohammed Al Marzouqi, General Commander of Civil Defence, Brigadier Juma Ahmed Hamel Al Qubaisi, Brigadier Dr. Salah Obaid Al Ghoul, Director of the Law Respect Culture Bureau in the Ministry of Interior, and Mohamed Abdullah Al Nuaimi from the Civil Defence GHQ, and a number of officers from the Ministry of Interior. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Consul General in New York promotes UAE as one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

posted on 28/02/2017

NEW YORK: Majid Al-Suwaidi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Consul General in New York, delivered keynote remarks at the inaugural World Affairs Council 2017 Travel Conference in Harrisburg, the capital city of Pennsylvania in the United States.

The conference featured panel discussions on international travel trends and included an exhibition of tourism trade show booths.

During the conference, Consul General Al-Suwaidi provided insights on the UAE's history and how it has become a model for a successful country.

"The UAE is a modern, oil exporting country with a highly-diversified economy," Consul General Al-Suwaidi said. "In fact, the UAE stands as the 2nd largest economy in the Arab world, which is no small feat considering we're less than 50 years old and have about 8 million people."

Consul General Al-Suwaidi also highlighted the UAE's tourist attractions, including its architecture, sports and entertainment, shopping and nature.

"The UAE is renowned for its architectural design, claiming some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world," Consul General Al-Suwaidi said. "The country also has a myriad of sporting events and entertainment for young people and business travelers to enjoy."

The event was held at Central Penn College and was attended by students and business professionals interested in international travel opportunities. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC continues to distribute food parcels in Shabwah Governorate in Yemen

posted on 28/02/2017

SHABWAH: Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, distributed on Monday the relief aid to the residents of Shabwah Governorate as part of its food parcel distribution project.

The project is being implemented in tune with the UAE's humanitarian support to alleviate people's suffering. It also aims to continue with the charitable and humanitarian efforts to improve the living conditions and support security and stability.

ERC supervisor Shawqi Al Tamimi said that the parcels distributed during the second phase of the project aimed to ease the suffering of the population, and ensure there was no food shortage in the governorate.

He added that the UAE aid in Shabwah and various liberated areas were significant, and came at the right time to improve the situation in the governorate.

The beneficiaries extended their thanks and appreciation to the UAE's government and the people for supporting the Yemeni people. They also lauded the efforts being taken to help Shabwah Governorate. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC distributes more humanitarian aid in Yemen

posted on 28/02/2017

HADRAMAUT: Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has provided urgent humanitarian aid to the population in Sah Directorate in Hadramaut Governorate. The gesture was in line with the relentless efforts exerted by the UAE to lessen dire humanitarian conditions witnessed by the population in these areas.

The aid was in immediate response to the calls of the population in the area. The ERC team stressed that the philanthropic authority gives priority to the populations in remote valleys and villages who are witnessing dire humanitarian conditions.

The beneficiaries extended their thanks and appreciation to the UAE government and ERC for supporting the Yemeni people. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC provides urgent relief aid to residents of coastal Yakhtal town after its liberation

posted on 28/02/2017

AL MOKHA: Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, team in Yemen have offered urgent relief aid to residents of coastal Yakhtal town, located some 12 kilometres north of Al Mokha city, after it was retaken from the coup militia.

The move is part of the ERC efforts to alleviate the suffering of families that live in difficult conditions imposed on them by Al Houthi militia.

It has so far distributed more than 5, 000 food baskets, blankets and tents to families in the liberated town.

The beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to the UAE and the ERC for helping them, especially the residents of western coast regions whose people suffered the blockade imposed on them by Al Houthi militia over two years. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Oil price recovery highlights positive effects in global market, says OPEC’s UAE governor

posted on 28/02/2017

Ahmed Mohammed Al Kaabi, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Oil and Gas industry and Mineral Resources at the Ministry of Energy, and UAE Governor for the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Opec, said that crude oil prices have started to recover, highlighting the positive effects in the global market during the current year.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, he stated that oil markets are currently steady, supported by positive indicators that signal the desire and commitment of oil-producing countries for an agreement to reduce their production, which aims to rebalance global oil markets.

He added that speculators are attracted to buying future contracts in global oil markets, recently highlighting the large buying positions in crude oil, which contributed to the rise of prices at their highest levels in three years.

Al Kaabi stressed that the activity by traders is considered among the most efficient tools for market movement and for preserving stability. He noted that the enthusiasm of traders for buying oil, signals positive market sentiments that leads to a price recovery. He also believes that the rise in the buying of contracts at record levels, shows that speculators are trying to increase global prices.

Opec pledged to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels per day from 1st January, the first reduction of oil production in eight years, to prop up prices and eliminate oversupply. It reached a 90 percent compliance rate in the first month of the agreement.

Global oil market analysts are closely monitoring the producers' commitment to implement the agreement and comply with their pledges on reducing production, as well as US stock market values and the change in oil demand during the coming months, especially with the Asian refining maintenance period between April and June 2017, in addition to the levels of United States crude oil exports, Al Kaabi said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Yachting industry one of main pillars for growth of Dubai’s maritime sector, says DMCA official

posted on 28/02/2017

DUBAI, 28th February, 2017 (WAM) -- The yachting industry's importance to Dubai's maritime sector and the challenges facing the sector came under spotlight at the 2017 Middle East Yachting Conference held yesterday on Monday in Dubai.

The yachting industry has proven to be one of the main pillars for the growth of Dubai's maritime sector and emerged as a main contributor to economic development, supported by leading initiatives that have had a great impact on the confidence of regional and international investors in the competitive advantages of the local maritime sector, an industry expert said.

'Yachting has helped significantly improve the components of the local maritime sector, especially ports, marine services, and the operation and maintenance of huge marine vessels – all of which have made Dubai one of the most important global maritime hubs along the likes of Singapore, London, Oslo, Shanghai, Hamburg and Hong Kong,"Nawfal Al Jourani, Chief Officer of Dubai Maritime Cluster Office,Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), said as he opened the first session on ‘A winning combination: Engaging the Boating Community in Dubai' which discussed the history and development of the local maritime sector and its role in supporting the local economy. The features of the Dubai Maritime Sector Strategy and key developments, major challenges and available opportunities in the local sector were highlighted as well.

Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) joined the elite sponsors participating in the conference, held as part of the launching of the latest edition of the Dubai International Boat Show, the largest event of its kind in the Middle East, running from February 28 to March 4 at the Dubai International Marine Club, Mina Seyahi.

The conference was held under the theme ‘Honouring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Shaping the Future' and included extensive discussions on major emerging local and regional trends and future plans for the maritime sector with a particular focus on relevant sustainability issues.

Several leading international experts, government officials and decision-makers from various maritime sectors worldwide were participating.

Hamed Hassan, senior manager of the DMCA's Registration and Licensing Department, presented the latest in the field of registration services and commercial licensing provided by the authority to Dubai's vital maritime leisure industry.

Hassan said: "The DMCA intends to open new channels for exchanging knowledge, successful experiences and best practices with leaders of the regional and international maritime sector. This will enable us to identify new mechanisms for optimizing available opportunities for driving the development of the recreational navigation industry in Dubai and the Middle East. We are pleased to participate in the 2017 Middle East Yachting Conference which provides a platform for supporting efforts to transform Dubai into a global yachting powerhouse. We are confident that the extensive discussions and positive talks with the pioneers of the maritime sector will lead to effective partnerships for boosting the growth, sustainability and competitiveness of the yachting industry which in turn promotes the competitiveness of the local maritime cluster."

The conference was widely participated in by distinguished keynote speakers, regional and international experts, and pioneers of the maritime sector.

It featured a series of seminars and extensive panel sessions on major maritime topics and themes – including the present and the future of the maritime sector, ways to improve the quality of ports and marinas in the Middle East, the impact of the value added tax on the UAE's yacht market, and prospects for sustainability in the regional and international ports sectors. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Over 65% of ADX-listed companies paid total cash dividends of AED22.7 billion in 2016

posted on 28/02/2017

A total of 43 out of the 66 public-listed local and foreign companies on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange or ADX announced cash dividends worth AED22.7 billion in 2016.

The cash dividends paid by the listed companies grew by 9 percent compared to 2015 when it stood at AED20.8 billion.

The number of local and foreign investors, who benefited from cash dividends paid by the domestic listed companies to the tune of AED21.7 billion, reached 201,400 last year.

By the end of 2016, ADX general index grew by 5.5 percent and the volume of trade reached 29 billion shares, a 6 percent growth compared to 2015, whereas market capitalisation of listed companies reached AED 475 billion.

ADX paid AED10.8 billion, around 50 percent of the total amount, through direct transfer to shareholders' bank accounts while AED10.9 billion were paid through cheques.

"Last year, 65 percent of the listed companies (domestic and foreign) approved cash dividends to their shareholders. Nearly 43 out of the 66 companies have posted profits totalling AED33.7 billion," said Rashed Al Blooshi, Chief Executive of ADX.

The total number of investors on ADX reached 961,800 by the end of 2016.

Al Blooshi said, "The integrated digital services provided by ADX, which made it the first among the region's exchanges to pay cash dividends directly to shareholders' bank accounts, aims to ensure a high degree of accuracy and transparency in monitoring and follow-up. Thus it is important for investors to update their International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs) to ensure accuracy and credibility in receiving their cash dividends.

"The high-yield cash dividend distributions are one of the most important incentives to attract investors. These play an important role in stimulating the liquidity drive on ADX because much of it is pumped into the exchange again," Al Blooshi added.

"We would like to urge investors to update their contact details and their bank account information, including the International Bank Account Numbers so that they can receive their cash dividends promptly. ADX has provided multiple and easy ways to accomplish this, both through the e-services provided to investors on the Exchange's website and through an investor's broker," the ADX CEO said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Ahmed bin Saeed lays foundation stone of Silicon Park Project

posted on 28/02/2017

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, unveiled on Monday the commemorative plaque and laid the foundation stone of "Silicon Park", the first integrated smart city project taking shape at the hi-tech park.

Once complete, the landmark development spanning 150,000 square metres and constructed at a cost of AED1.3 billion will reinforce the green credentials of Dubai and the wider UAE.

Hosted under the patronage and presence of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the unveiling ceremony was attended by Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DSOA, and senior management from DSOA.

Set for completion in Q4 2018, Silicon Park will comprise 71,000 square metres of office space, 25,000 square metres of commercial space, 46,000 square metres of residential area and the 115-key business hotel Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis. In addition, it will feature value-added contemporary lifestyle facilities, such as restaurants, cafes, prayer rooms, a shopping centre and an underground parking space that can accommodate more than 2,500 cars.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said, "In line with the vision of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world, we have conceptualised Silicon Park with smart technology at the core of its DNA."

"With the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021 in mind, the integrated smart city project reflects global trends for smart cities and incorporates most of the KPIs of the UAE National Agenda, including cohesive society, safe public and sustainable environment. We are confident Silicon Park will offer a modern holistic lifestyle for residents, workers and visitors," he added.

Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni said, "Since its establishment, Dubai Silicon Oasis has remained committed to providing a superior quality of life for its residents and a highly enabling work environment for its business partners. In line with the Dubai Plan 2021, we have designed Silicon Park to reflect the strategic direction of our government on smart cities that focuses on six pillars: life, society, mobility, economy, governance and environment."

As a smart community, Silicon Park will feature intelligent solutions from charging docks for smart devices on the streets to smart pop-up furniture and digital play tables, as well as optimally designed bus shelters, piazza shading and other public amenities. Furthermore, its residential units will boast sophisticated remote-controlled systems that can regulate lighting, air conditioning and electrical appliances in addition to controlling the movement of windows and curtains.

Silicon Park's sports amenities, such as health and fitness centres as well as running tracks and cycling trails, will allow residents to prioritise their health through enjoying a variety of sporting activities, and therefore live more holistic lives. Once open, the project will offer a spectrum of office spaces and modern business facilities including meeting halls and a multi-purpose conference centre.

In compliance with Dubai Municipality's Green Building Regulations and Specifications and international LEED standards, DSOA seeks to ensure environmental sustainability in all its initiatives. Silicon Park will leverage green building materials and control mechanisms as well as solar panels and double-glazed windows to reduce heat absorption.

The project will optimise the use of renewable energy resources and adopt measures to achieve efficiency in energy consumption. In line with this objective, it will feature smart lighting systems with motion sensor controls that respond to traffic and pedestrians.

Silicon Park will also include a control centre that collects and analyses data gathered through sensor devices. The collated information will enable seamless management of smart devices to ensure the delivery of best-in-class smart services to employees, residents and visitors.

Completely free of regular vehicles, Silicon Park will use electricity-powered alternatives as the primary mode of transportation. All residents and visitors owning electric vehicles will be able to access the charging stations set up across the premises. In addition, they will have the option to use smart rechargeable electric bikes as a means of conveyance.

A wholly owned entity of the Government of Dubai, DSO operates as a free zone technology park for large enterprises as well as medium and small companies looking to set up their offices in Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Seha enters Guinness World Records by creating 114 sq.m mural

posted on 28/02/2017

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) has set a Guinness World Records for 2017 by creating the largest mural, measuring 114 sq.m.

That recognition came during a ceremony organised by Seha to celebrate receiving the Guinness World Records certificate.

The ceremony was held at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain city, and was attended by 800 employees and their families from Sewa's health facilities. These facilities were honoured for their role in achieving the record number during the Week of Creativity last year, in addition to their contribution to the Year of Giving.

Dr. Matar Al Darmaky, CEO of Seha, stressed the company was proud to set a Guinness World Records title for the UAE by creating the largest mural, which included some 900 creative ideas.

He emphasised the keenness of the company by creating a stimulating environment for innovations. Seha seeks to provide creative services to facilitate access to the company, he noted. He highlighted that the strategic goal of the company was to establish a happy and healthy society.

The 114 sq.m mural was more than five times the earlier record set by a 20 sq.m mural. The mural was the result of a group effort and was divided into four categories: Operational efficiency, clinical services, customers and personnel relations. More than 120 projects were chosen by a committee, which will implement the innovative ideas during the next few years.

Sultan Al Motawa Al Dhaheri, Board member of Al Ain Club for Investment, expressed his pleasure at setting the Guiness record. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mother of the Nation Festival will offer more than 100 interactive activities

posted on 28/02/2017

Groundwork for the 2nd Mother of the Nation Festival commenced on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi Corniche, ahead of the festival's official opening on 26th March, the organising committee at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority announced yesterday.

Preparations for the festival have started on-schedule, as over one kilometre of the Abu Dhabi Corniche beach will be transformed ahead of the festival's opening, and construction progress is now clearly visible along the designated site for the occasion.

Scheduled to be held from 26th March to 4th April, the Mother of the Nation Festival will offer more than 100 activities, including an extensive selection of exhibitions, performances, workshops, food and beverage offerings and exciting events designed to encourage visitors to believe in the significance of a sustainable future.

Residents and visitors of all ages will be given the chance to experience unique concepts in an environment of distinct perspectives as the festival highlights the qualities of sustainability, responsibility, cultural exchange and openness in celebration of the extensive contributions and vision of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

The festival will include a wide variety of interactive events that are organised across four diverse activity zones: the Happiness Zone, the Progress Zone, the Souq Zone, and the Beach Dining Zone. The centrepiece of the festival, the Mother of the Nation Pavilion, will celebrate the role of women across all aspects of life.

The four zones will collectively form a national cultural and social event that offers visitors a range of exciting new activities for the whole family. The Happiness Zone has new events such as the Bu Tinah Sea Adventure, a magical adventure with colourful shipwrecked Dhows, and the Tranquil Park, with trees of books can be found in place of leaves, which can be picked from the hanging branches.

The Progress Zone will consist of interactive and multimedia experiences that engage visitors with innovative concepts, encouraging them to think about a brighter future. An exciting new event this year is the Water Light Graffiti, where visitors can experience the glow of thousands of LEDs in the dazzling interactive installation. There is even a Virtual Reality Area, where customised content and created virtual reality will bring the whole festival experience together.

The Beach Dining Zone will conduct interactive Chef Challenges this year, where food fanatics and aspiring chefs can participate in cooking competitions against one another. This year, the Souq Zone will also offer a new selection of traditional shops and international brands, to offer visitors a unique retail experience.

Another exciting new signature event that's not to be missed this year is the PixelPyros, a digital firework display where visitors will have the opportunity to control the large-scale light installation themselves. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Canvas 3D art festival to open on 1st March

posted on 28/02/2017

The third edition of Dubai Canvas, the public 3D art festival organised by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office, will open on 1st March.

Dubai Canvas 2017 will feature the works of 25 artists shortlisted for the AED2.3 million Dubai Canvas 3D Art Award, the world's first award that recognises excellence in 3D art. Held in partnership with Meraas, one of Dubai's leading holding companies, the Festival will run from 1st to 7th March in City Walk and the public can attend it for free.

Initially, there were 122 entries from 35 countries and artists who submitted proposals for the award represented nearly 80 percent of the global community of 3D artists. A jury comprising renowned international and local artists will evaluate the 25 shortlisted artworks to select the top three winners. The winners will be honoured at a ceremony, to be held at the festival. There will also be a "People's Choice" award based on public votes.

Commenting on the occasion, Mona Al Marri, Director-General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, said, "Dubai Canvas has become a magnet for the world's most accomplished 3D artists, which reflects Dubai's growing status as a global art hub. The success of the annual art event also signifies the growing vibrancy and international diversity of Dubai's art scene, and the creative and innovative spirit of the city. This year, the art featured at the festival is based on the theme of happiness, which has been inspired by the UAE's own focus on people's happiness as one of its most important goals."

Public spaces in City Walk, Meraas' urban living destination, have been converted into open-air "canvases" for the artists to create and display their works. The participants started working on their artworks a week before the official opening of the festival, giving the public a rare opportunity to watch the master artists at work.

Leading international 3D artists and the UAE-based art organisations will also hold free workshops to teach art skills and there will be dedicated ones for children. The festival will also host a variety of entertainment shows, including acrobatic displays and musical performances.

"The workshops, which will impart both basic and advanced art skills, present a unique opportunity for members of the public to learn from some of the world's most innovative 3D artists and local art organisations. Families can spend time together to explore their creative talents and abilities, and more experienced artists will benefit from exposure to street art techniques that can widen their palette," said Brand Dubai Director Maitha Buhumaid.

The UAE-based organisations conducting workshops include The Cultural Office of H.H. Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Art Dubai, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre, Maraya Art Centre and the Mine Gallery. Some of the leading international 3D artists conducting workshops at Dubai Canvas include Odeith, Leon Keer, Fanakapan, Cuboliquido, Gennaro Troia and Andres Petroselli. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


World’s elite athletes return to UAE capital for annual World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

posted on 28/02/2017

The 9th successive Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will be returning to the IPIC Arena, Zayed Sports City from 10th to 23rd of April 2017.

As the pinnacle of sporting championships, the event was officially launched yesterday by organisers, the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, in front of the world's media, sporting professionals, dignitaries, sponsors and special guests, in what is set to be a key highlight of this year's sporting calendar. Speaking at the official launch press conference of this great event were Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Office of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation; Aref Al Awani , Secretary-General of Abu Dhabi Sports Council; Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of School Operations, Abu Dhabi Education Council; Hamad Al Ahbabi, Acting Director of Business Support on behalf of IPIC; Yaqoob Alsaadi, Head of Abu Dhabi Sports Channels; and Fouad Darwish, General Manager at Palm Sports.

The ninth edition of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship will welcome back the world's elite to the recognised ‘home of Jiu-Jitsu' for two weeks of gripping competition. More than 7,000 competitors from over 100 countries will descend on Abu Dhabi to fight it out for world titles and cash prizes of up to AED 3 million.

Fahad Ali Al Shamsi said of the 2017 event: "Since its inception, the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship has gone from strength to strength and is gaining prestige on the world stage. This year we will see even more participants than ever take to the mats of the IPIC Arena across the two weeks of competition, which is a testament to the competition's growth.' "For example, since 2013 the number of athlete's competing in the Championship has grown on average 32 percent year-on-year with a fantastic overall growth of 596 percent. Specifically, in the UAE we now have over 250 UAE players competing, which equates to annual growth of 44 percent. We are proud to play a part in motivating aspiring Jiu-Jitsu players at local and international levels and we are committed to developing the sport across the Emirates.

"Not only this, over the past several years we have seen enormous interest in Jiu-Jitsu itself worldwide. Our attendance has peaked to over 31,000 which is an average year-on-year growth of 44 percent since 2013.

"The UAE's commitment to Jiu-Jitsu over the years has undoubtedly strengthened its position as a global leader within the sport and we look forward to seeing that develop in future years to come."

All eyes will be on the championship this April as millions of people across the globe tune-in to watch their favourite competing athletes battle it out on the floor. The competition will be broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports Channels across the region, as well as live-streamed online and the official UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation social media channels.

Yaqoob Al Saadi expressed Abu Dhabi Media's firm commitment to covering the international pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship, which affirms Abu Dhabi's position as the capital of the sport year after year.

"This Championship is one of the most important sporting events, which Abu Dhabi Sports Channels is always keen to cover with the highest standards of professionalism and objectivity using the latest in international best practices and broadcasting technologies," he said.

Al Saadi also stressed that Abu Dhabi Sports has made the necessary preparations for covering the championship from the beginning of April, and has allocated a dedicated channel 24/7 that will air programmes, documentary films, exclusive interviews and other segments both locally and internationally.

Al Saadi noted that Abu Dhabi Sports works side-by-side with the Jiu-Jitsu Federation, officials and all stakeholders in order for the sport to attain Olympic recognition after successfully contributing to its inclusion in the World Beach Olympic Games in San Diego, the Asian Beach Games, the World Indoor Championship and the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.

For the first time ever, the contest will hold a dedicated Para-Jiu-Jitsu event and competition for players with disabilities and special needs. This comes as part of a the UAEJJF's social responsibility pledge in the 2017 ‘Year of Giving', which also includes partnerships with initiatives such as the national health initiative ‘Jasadak Amana' (Your body is your responsibility) and the UAE Food Bank. Workshops will also run alongside the event covering CSR topics such as the environment, social responsibility, culture, and education, demonstrating that the event offers far more than a Jiu-Jitsu championship and will inspire the community to leave a lasting legacy.

Kicking off the world event is the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Festival and after its success in 2016, the Festival is set to return bigger than ever with new extended dates from 10th to 15th April. The festival is an opportunity for members of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and loyalty card-holders under the age of 18, plus white belts and members of the military, to compete in a world professional environment against their peers.

Following the Festival, The Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship takes place on 16th and 17th April. This is where the next generation of professional players will once again compete in the state-of-the-art arena for two days of inspirational competition with the chance to add points to their 2016-2017 season.

The youth activities at the event aim to teach the fundamental values of Jiu-Jitsu; courage, loyalty, respect, commitment and discipline, and outlines the UAEJJF's motto of "Participating in building a strong generation". The best youth players will be monitored by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation throughout the competition, offering a select group support and encouragement to develop their skills.

The elite Jiu-Jitsu contest will take place from 18th to 22nd April and will see the UAE's ‘national treasures' go head-to-head with a record-number of international participants from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Korea, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom and the USA. Over 360 medals are up for grabs in what is sure to be a nail-biting competition and this is an invaluable opportunity for athletes at all levels to represent their sport on a world stage.

As part of the action, fans will experience the ultimate clash of Jiu-Jitsu talent at the highest level with the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Legends competition on Saturday 22ndApril. The Jiu-Jitsu Legends competition will see ten world-renowned contenders, both current and retired, fight it out for four gold medals. The closing day of the championship (Sunday 23rd April) will host a red-carpet awards ceremony to honor winners as well as sponsors and participating parties who have contributed to the success of the championship. Winners will be selected according to new international rankings, developed by the Federation during 2016/2017 season and based on the performance of the players in the final round of the tournament.

For those not competing, the event will see the return of the IPIC Fan Zone, a fun-filled family festival atmosphere not to be missed. The IPIC Fan Zone includes sponsor activities, family events and interactive stands, making it the perfect family day-out. The annual raffle returns, giving the public a chance to win exciting prizes including two brand new cars from Premier Motors that include a Jaguar XE and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

On this occasion, Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Minister of Energy, said: "We are proud that IPIC is sponsoring the Championship for the fourth consecutive year, and happy with the great successes that this championship reaches year after year. Since its launch, the ADWPJJC witnessed continuous achievements and has become a major rising sporting event in the country, which has also made Abu Dhabi the global capital of Jiu-Jitsu. We are pleased to contribute to the Jiu-Jitsu sport and lead it to such a prestigious level."

The Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship will be an unequivocal celebration of the martial art across the country and outlines the region's enthusiasm for the sport across all levels – from grassroots and community participation, to youth engagement, military use and professional sporting talent. The ninth edition promises to be an action-packed fortnight of competition and fun with something for everyone, from Jiu-Jitsu players, international fans, local followers and the general public alike. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -