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"UAE's Youth in National Service" documentary to be broadcast on National Geographic Channel today

posted on 30/06/2015

Pilot Staff-Brigadier Sheikh Ahmed bin Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the National and Reserve Service Authority, attended the launch yesterday evening of the documentary film, "UAE's Youth in National Service", part one of which will be broadcast on National Geographic Abu Dhabi Channel this evening.

The film offers a realistic view of the lives of six young Emiratis moving from young adulthood to become able-bodied men, preparing to protect the security and pride of their homeland as new recruits in the UAE's National Service.

The film will be broadcast as a series of four episodes exclusively on the National Geographic Channel to highlight one of National Service's batches aged between 18 and 30 years, and will also shed light on the harsh basic military training, both physically and mentally, which they underwent for three months, from the perspective of 6 of the youths. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Encouraging young Emiratis to get involved with the UN

posted on 30/06/2015

Emiratis are vastly under-represented among United Nations' staff because they believe pay is too low and educational requirements too high.

Weyakum is aiming to change that. The UAE social enterprise hopes to spur more Emiratis into joining the UN's Young Professionals Programme, a recruiting initiative aimed at graduates under 32 years old.

More than 40,000 candidates apply each year to start a career with the UN through the programme, but few are Emirati.

"The UAE has always been selected as a participating country because we are severely under quota,” said Ameera Amir, the founder of Weyakum, or With You.

"I attended talks and heard discussions about how Emiratis would never be interested for a number of reasons, which included misconceptions about the UN's pay scale as well as the educational requirements at the UN.”

The programme consists of an entrance examination and professional development, and each year countries underrepresented in the UN are invited to take part.

"The fact that the programme provides all candidates with a fair opportunity was intriguing, as I believe there are so many Emiratis who could participate as qualified individuals without being given preferential treatment,” Ms Amir said.

"I believed that all these misconceptions could be easily eliminated through awareness sessions and that is precisely what I sought to do in summer 2014.”

Ms Amir conducted a nationwide awareness programme to give all Emiratis a fair chance to participate. The group helped with writing resumes and cover letters to make sure their applications fit with requirements.

"Regardless of whether they get accepted or not, this was a big step for us all,” she said.

"The candidates were happy about the training they received with regards to how one should approach these sort of applications, write strong cover letters and tailor resumes to fit the job requirement, as they have used their acquired skill set to apply for other jobs.”

Heba Al Hashmi, 26, has applied to the UN programme through Weyakum.

"I did my bachelor's in international studies and I've always wanted to make a difference in the world and work for the UN but I wasn't sure how to do that,” Ms Al Hashmi said.

"Through Weyakum and Ameera I learnt the ropes and I hope to be selected for the coming year. Hopefully, more Emiratis will apply too.”

John Ericson, of the UN's office of human resources management, was full of praise for Ms Amir's work.

"The UN is seeking to increase the number of Emiratis working for the organisation,” Mr Ericson said. "One way to join the UN is to take the Young Professionals Programme recruitment examination.

"In this regard, we highly appreciate the efforts made by Weyakum, under the leadership of Ms Ameera Amir, to attract, inform and encourage qualified young Emiratis to participate in the YPP.

"Her efforts have been instrumental in increasing the number of persons from the UAE who applied for the examination in 2014 and we are grateful for her continued efforts to encourage more Emiratis to participate in 2015.”

Weyakum's mission is to empower and equip Emiratis with the right skills needed to succeed in their professional lives, in line with the Government's Vision 2021 to invest in providing a more diversified and competitive Emirati workforce. – The National -


Khalifa University ranked #1 in the UAE for faculty/student ratio, faculty publications and number of faculty with PhDs

posted on 30/06/2015

Khalifa University has been listed among the top 25 universities in the Middle East/North Africa Region by QS, Quacquarelli Symonds, a British company specialising in higher education and student mobility, that releases annual rankings from around the world.

In addition to the top 25 mention, the university placed first in the UAE in three categories, including faculty/student ratio, publications per faculty researcher and percentage of faculty in possession of a PhD.

Currently, Khalifa University boasts a faculty to student ratio of 9 students per faculty member in the undergraduate programme, which allows for greater hands-on attention and guidance. All Khalifa University professors are required to possess a PhD and are actively engaged in both undergraduate and graduate education, as well as publication of their research and other scholarly activity.

The QS World University Rankings are an annual publication regarded as one of the three most influential and widely observed university measures. QS has been producing global rankings since 2004 and continues to expand its activities in the ranking and evaluation of higher education institutions worldwide. The ranking of Khalifa University within the top 25 Arab Region universities this spring follows upon its ranking amongst the top 500 universities worldwide in the 2014 QS World Rankings, released last autumn.

"We are very pleased with our university's performance in the latest QS rankings," said Khalifa University President, Dr. Tod Laursen. "As a relatively new university, established in 2008, it is quite unusual to have this sort of impact so early and I am very proud of the work our faculty, staff and students have done to bring this to this point. As nice as this recognition is, however, it is important for us all to know that our work is far from done. Our students are now regularly competing and performing admirably in international competitions, and continually ranking in the top tiers in regional and local competitions."

He added, "We pride ourselves in accepting only the best students, and hiring only the best faculty, and we can see the results of those high standards in these rankings. I look forward to seeing the fruits of these efforts as we keep working toward enhanced recognition both nationally and internationally." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Florida University presents Certificate of Merit to Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak

posted on 30/06/2015

The University of Florida granted H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the Certificate of Merit in recognition of her great efforts in promoting the Emirati women's education and their empowerment to keep pace with the latest scientific developments.

The move comes within the framework of scientific relations between the UAE universities and the University of Florida, as well as the status of Sheikha Fatima in educating and empowering women in all fields.

The extensive and increasing academic links with international universities reflect the policy of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and its strategies in the light of the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Chancellor of the University of the United Arab Emirates.

The University of Florida is one of the prestigious American universities, which was founded in 1853. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Proceeds from song played at UAE Expo pavilion to help Nepal earthquake victims

posted on 30/06/2015

A catchy rap number, Sara's Song, which is being played at the UAE Pavilion at the Milan Expo is now for sale on iTunes, with proceeds going to victims of Nepal's earthquakes.

The song comes from the short film The Family Tree, about the challenges overcome by past generations of Emiratis. It is being screened at the pavilion and has been seen by thousands of visitors each day.

The UAE team decided to launch the song on iTunes after numerous requests from Expo visitors for a copy.

"I saw the audience singing along with Sara's Song,” said Mahra Mustafa, 9, the Emirati actress who plays Sara in the film.

"People were joining in the chorus, they loved the song. I think kids will also really like the song, it's really fun. I feel really proud to be part of everything.”

Peter Vine, director of the UAE Pavilion Project in Milan, said the team there was delighted with its popularity.

"It has been an incredibly enthusiastic response, easily demonstrated by the visitors singing and dancing to Sara's Song,” he said.

"Many have asked for a copy of the song so we thought this would be the best way to do it.”

The song, available for Dh2.99, was released in English and Italian.

Soul singer Natalie Williams sang the English version, while the Italian version was by 12-year-old star Arianna Vignoli.

The song emphasises the interconnection between man, land and animals, and how, through the right choices, people can leave an environmental legacy for the next generation.

Dr Vine has a personal connection with Nepal.

His daughter was there during the earthquake that struck five days before the Expo launch on May 1.

Like thousands of anxious families he was unable to contact her for a few days.

"My daughter was caught up in the Nepal earthquakes just as we were about to open the pavilion,” he said.

"She then became involved in helping people to reconstruct their homes.

"We thought it would be good to support charities in Nepal that are working in this field.”

The song's lyrics urge people to unite for the common good of the planet:

So come on, stand up, shout out, let's go.

It ends with:

I believe, I care, I'll come with you

I'm in, I'm there, It's my planet too. – The National -


UAE condemns terrorist attack on Egypt's State Prosecutor

posted on 30/06/2015

The UAE has condemned the terrorist attack on Egypt's State Prosecutor, Hisham Barakt, stressing that it stands in full solidarity with Egypt in the latter's efforts to fight extremism and terrorism.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) expressed full confidence that these heinous terrorist crimes that aim to destabilise social peace and spread violence and did not respect the sanctity of the Holy Month of Ramadan, will not stop Egypt's intensive efforts to achieve stability and fight against terrorism.

The Ministry also emphasised the UAE's unwavering stance and full support to all efforts exerted by Egypt to safeguard its stability and security. It also expressed heartfelt condolences of the UAE's leadership and people to the Egyptian people and the family of the deceased. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE reiterates solidarity with Egypt, condemns yesterday's terrorist act

posted on 30/06/2015

CAIRO: The UAE Deputy Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Khalifa Al Tunaiji, has reiterated the country's condemnation of the terrorist attack in Cairo yesterday that led to the killing of Egypt's State Prosecutor, Hisham Barakt. Al Tunaiji said such cowardly terrorist operations would not thwart Egypt's march to end terror and attain stability.

Addressing an emergency meeting of the Arab League's Council, which opened yesterday and was chaired by Jordan, Al Tunaiji reaffirmed the UAE's full solidarity with Egypt, saying the recent terrorist crimes in several countries, which claimed innocent lives during the holy month of Ramadan, contravene all beliefs.

"The UAE vehemently condemns the abhorrent terrorist crime of targeting Al Imam Al Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait. The leadership and people of the UAE stand by the brotherly Kuwait in the fight against terrorism and extremism," he said.

"This crime which targeted a mosque and innocent worshippers is an act of grave escalation by an extremist group that exploits religion to justify its barbaric acts. It is designed to undermine the security and stability of Kuwait and its integrated social fabric."

Al Tunaiji went on to say that such crimes require the international community to rally efforts to confront the cowardly acts and twisted thoughts which pay no heed to human lives and sanctity of mosques. He offered condolences to the victims' families and wished the injured speedy recovery.

Al Tunaiji also expressed the UAE's condemnation of the terrorist attack which targeted two hotels in Sousse in Tunisia and renewed solidarity with the latter in its battle against terror.

On his part, Somalia's Ambassador to Egypt and its permanent representative to the Arab League, Abdullah Hassan Mahmoud, praised the efforts being exerted by the UAE to support his country as well as provide relief support to Somalia.

He also condemned the terrorist attack on the UAE aid convoy in Mogadishu, Somalia recently that left a number of Somali people as victims and injured.

In his speech at the opening of the urgent meeting, the Somali Ambassador decried the terrorist incidents that took place in Kuwait and Tunisia, as well as the assassination of Egypt's State prosecutor Hisham Barakat this morning.

Addressing the audience, Nabil El Araby, Secretary-General of the Arab League, lauded the role being played by the UAE to provide assistance to the Government of Somalia in the reconstruction of the country's institutions as well as its relief programmes for the Somalis.

He also condemned the terrorist attack that targeted the UAE aid convoy in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia and those which took place in Kuwait and Tunisia as well as Barakat's assassination, , noting these terrorist incidents backed by criminal terrorist organisations such as Daesh (ISIL) and others are aimed to destruct the Arab communities and their social fabric, and to destabilise the security and stability of the Arab countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE calls on UN Human Rights Council to adopt report of Commission of inquiry on Gaza Conflict

posted on 30/06/2015

GENEVA: The UAE has called on the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a report compiled by the Council's Commission of inquiry on the Gaza Conflict.

Saeed Rashid Al Habsi, Charge d'affaires, UAE Mission to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva, expressed the UAE's deep indignation at Israel's non-collaboration, as an occupying power, with the Commission.

Delivering the UAE's address at the Human Rights Council's interactive dialogue with Independent Commission of Inquiry on Gaza, Al Habsi noted that this is not the first time that Israel has shown no cooperation with the Council's Commissions set up as a result of resolutions issued by the Council.' This is part of a systematic policy Israel is following which is non-compliance with the UN resolutions and not cooperating frequently with the Council's mechanisms,' he added. The dialogue is part of the 29th regular session of the Human Rights Council which is taking place from 15th June to 3rd July, 2015.

The UN Gaza Inquiry finds that 'the extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented.' In the Israeli aggression on Gaza in the summer of 2014, the death toll alone speaks volumes: 2,251 Palestinian civilians were killed, and 11,231 were injured, mostly women and children. A total of 2,358 homes were completely destroyed, 13,644 were partly destroyed, 60 mosques were completely destroyed while 109 others were partly destroyed.

Al Habsi said the report confirms that impunity prevailing in case of serious crimes committed by Israel, the occupying power, remains one of the key factors responsible for perpetuating the conflict and denying the Palestinian victims access to effective mechanisms of justice. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE becomes founding member of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

posted on 30/06/2015

The UAE has signed the Articles of Agreement (AOA) establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing yesterday, and has become a founding member of the international financial institution that was first announced during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) session held in Indonesia in October 2013.

Under the directives of the UAE Leadership, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State led discussions on behalf of the UAE. After agreeing on the basic principles, ADFD was mandated to represent the country in AIIB Governors' Council as well as coordinate, manage and follow-up projects implemented through this partnership.

The AOA was signed on behalf of the UAE by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), carrying out the Fund's mandate to represent the country as a founding member of AIIB. With this, the UAE joins 57 other nations that have already become founding members in the Beijing-based institution.

The proposal to set up AIIB was initiated with the aim of establishing a new platform to promote regional and international cooperation in infrastructure development across Asia with a focus on energy, power, transportation, telecommunications, rural infrastructure, agriculture development, water supply and sanitation, environmental protection, urban development and logistics, among others.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: "The signing of the AOA, establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, is a historic moment for the UAE. It articulates the vision of our wise leadership and the importance they attach to supporting infrastructure development projects. This agreement is crucial in paving the way for accelerating economic development across Asia. In addition to enhancing the country's role within the global economy, the UAE's affiliation to the institution as a founding member will support the country's growing interests in Asia. "

Expected to start official operations by the end of 2015, the bank seeks to provide new financial resources for infrastructure development and improvement across Asia, while maintaining balanced economic growth in the countries of the region while addressing the financial challenges facing infrastructure projects.

The bank will additionally promote investment activities, specifically in productive sectors that leverage available resources and support projects that translate a long-term economic impact on the region. In particular, AIIB will cater to the development needs of its least economically developed members, and encourage the private sector to invest in projects and initiatives with widespread development impact.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) said: "The signing of this agreement with AIIB is aligned with the vision of the UAE leadership to promote international collaboration towards fulfilling the development goals of developing countries."

He added: "The UAE has been playing a prominent role in aiding emerging countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable development through extending developmental and humanitarian assistance. AIIB's objectives are well aligned with the social, humanitarian and development aid program carried out by the UAE in more than 145 countries across the world.

"The UAE's affiliation to AIIB as a founding member will boost international cooperation towards furthering development efforts across Asia. Additionally, it will give fresh impetus to the economies of Asian countries through the infusion of more funds to infrastructure projects that will help stimulate economic growth and create hundreds of new job opportunities."

Al Suwaidi also indicated that the bank will primarily focus on bridging the gap in the availability of adequate financial resources for infrastructure projects that have resulted in poor infrastructure investment in Asian countries.

He expressed his confidence that the UAE, with its long history spanning more than 43 years in financing quality infrastructure projects to the highest international standards, can effectively contribute to the growth and diversification of resources dedicated to fund infrastructure projects across Asia. This will be achieved through offering concessionary loans to finance development projects and deepen regional cooperation and integration with other Asian nations in areas of mutual interest.

The UAE was ranked as the largest donor of official development aid according to a report issued by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2013 and 2014. The country's development aid in 2014 totalled Dh18 billion, or 1.17 percent of the nation's GDP. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai International Financial Centre highlights Dubai’s status as major asset management hub

posted on 30/06/2015

Dubai International Financial Centre, the mature global financial hub connecting the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas, is participating at the four-day Fund Forum International 2015, in Monaco.

The annual fund management conference, taking place from June 29th to July 2nd at ‘The Grimaldi Forum', serves as a thought-leadership platform on subjects such as boutique funds, future of crowdfunding, and the adoption of technology to optimise client servicing. The gathering of fund managers, which also co-locates an exhibition centre to promote networking, has drawn the attendance of more than 1,200 senior level attendees, including some 600 plus key asset managers, and over 70 leading CEOs, CIOs and boardroom leaders.

A long-standing exhibitor at the forum, the platform serves as a facilitator for DIFC to leverage discussions with leading fund managers on the increasing potential of the asset management sector in Dubai and the wider region. In addition, as part of their efforts to showcase the centre's enabling investment ecosystem, key DIFC representatives attending the forum seek to highlight the financial hub's strategic access to emerging markets, as well as efficient financial systems and conducive legal and regulatory framework.

Commenting on DIFC's participation at the event, Arif Amiri, Deputy CEO, Dubai International Financial Centre Authority, DIFC, said, "The FundForum International provides a unique platform on a global scale for meeting decision-makers and presenting them with DIFC's decade-long economic growth story and key competitive advantages. Dubai's increased emphasis on diversifying the economy to curtail dependence on oil has led to significant redistribution of wealth.

"Fund managers have been the beneficiaries in this transition of investment re-allocation. Since their introduction only a decade ago in the DIFC, the asset management industry has been incredibly successful. Growing beyond US$10.4 billion in 2014, assets under management of fund managers and financial institutions in DIFC are now estimated to stand tall at US$250 billion by 2024."

Arif Amiri added, "The Middle East and North Africa region domiciles nine of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds with assets of approximately US$2 trillion. At the same time, the number of High Net-worth Individuals, HNWIs, across the region, both institutional and private wealth, has advanced significantly. Rising income level combined with lower inflation rates have led to an increase in the aggregate savings of the population across the region. We therefore see tremendous scope for the development of long-term savings and wealth solutions catering to the increasingly affluent and aspirational young population."

According to the 2014 World Wealth Report, the number of HNWIs across the Middle East surged by 16.0% in 2013 to 0.6 million, while total wealth reserves also registered an increase by 16.7 percent to US$2.1 trillion. Moreover, a PwC 2014 study unveiled that assets under management in the Middle East and Africa region are expected to rise to an estimated US$1.5 trillion by 2020, from a total of US$ 0.6 trillion in 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate of approximately 12 percent. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DBS Bank Singapore receives approval to issue letters of credit for Trading on Dubai Mercantile Exchange

posted on 30/06/2015

The Dubai Mercantile Exchange ( DME ) yesterday announced that the DBS Bank's Singapore office has been approved to issue Letters of Credit (LCs) for trading crude oil on the Exchange. DBS is the first Singapore bank to receive such approval and will be able to issue LCs directly from Singapore on behalf of its clients to guarantee deliveries of Oman crude oil through the DME.

Owain Johnson, Managing Director, DME, said, "We are pleased to announce that DBS is the first Singapore bank with regional Asia presence to be awarded this status. As a major bank in Singapore with a strong credit rating, we believe DBS would play a significant role in contributing to higher trade volumes conducted by over 400 commodity players based on Singapore. DBS ' support is a significant step that will further enhance the trading environment offered by the Exchange and allow our customers to manage risks more effectively."

John Laurens, Managing Director and Head of Global Transaction Services, DBS said, "Growing our Global Transaction Services franchise is one of the bank's strategic priorities and we have made significant progress on this front over the past few years. As a leading trade finance partner for corporates in Asia, receiving this endorsement from DME enables DBS to provide this valuable risk management tool, while leveraging Singapore's position as Asia's leading oil pricing and trading hub[1]. We look forward to building the trade finance business actively with our clients and playing a more active role in facilitating trade between the Middle East and Asia." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates Metrology Institute to add leap second to UAE Standard Time

posted on 30/06/2015

The Emirates Metrology Institute, EMI, the reference body for measurements in the UAE, has announced that a leap second will be added to UAE standard time just before 4 a.m. on July 1st, when clocks will read 03:59:60.

The move aims to conform with other timing centres around the world, which will also add a leap second at the same time (11:59:60 pm UTC on June 30th) to adjust for the slight differences in time between highly accurate atomic clocks and the rotation of the globe.

Dr. Helal Al Kaabi, Executive Director of Emirates Metrology Institute, QCC, said, "EMI is closely monitoring all major metrological activities internationally to ensure active participation of the UAE in the development of metrology. Our latest move to add a leap second to UAE standard time follows a decision by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, based at the Paris Observatory, in January 2015 to add a leap second to Coordinated Universal Time, UTC, at the end of June this year."

Until 1968, the length of the second was based on the rotation of the Earth by observing mean solar time at astronomical observatories. However, the rotation speed of the Earth fluctuates unpredictably, and has been found to even slow down due to friction caused by the ocean tides.

Today, more than 400 atomic clocks in around 70 institutes are combined to form the international time scale, called Coordinated Universal Time or UTC. These atomic clocks are significantly better at keeping time than the rotation of the Earth. The variations in the Earth's rotation cause the mean solar day to diverge gradually from the extremely stable UTC time scale. To prevent this difference from building up to more than 0.9 seconds, UTC is adjusted occasionally with a one-second step known as a 'leap second'.

Since the leap second procedure was introduced on 1st January 1972, a total of 25 leap seconds have been needed. The leap second at the end of June 2015 will be the 26th.

The Emirates Metrology Institute was launched by Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council, to enable accurate measurements within manufacturing, research and environment sectors in the UAE. EMI's role is to maintain and disseminate the National reference standards, necessary to assure traceability of measurements, to international standards and the International System of Units, SI. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mubadala and Trafigura create joint venture to invest in base metals

posted on 30/06/2015

Mubadala Development Company, Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, and Trafigura Beheer), a market leader in the global commodities industry, yesterday announced the signing of an agreement to create a 50/50 joint-venture company to invest in the base metals mining sector, including copper and zinc.

As part of the agreement, Mubadala is acquiring a 50 percent share in Trafigura's flagship mining operation, Minas de Aguas Tenidas, MATSA, which owns the Agua Tenidas, Sotiel and Magdalena mines in southern Spain, which produce copper, zinc and lead concentrates.

"MATSA has a strong competitive position and excellent expansion potential, with capacity expected to more than double over the next two years," said Ahmed Yahia Al Idrissi, Chief Executive Officer, Mubadala Technology and Industry. "Investing in MATSA is a key step in growing and diversifying our existing metals and mining portfolio."

"This builds on our existing sector strategy and partnership with Mubadala. We are identifying new opportunities and investing thoughtfully together, in ways that complement our existing portfolio," said Jeremy Weir, CEO, Trafigura.

A two-year investment and expansion plan by Trafigura for MATSA is nearing completion and included a new treatment plant which has close to doubled annual processing capacity to 4.4 million tonnes per annum.

Under the joint venture, day-to-day operations at MATSA will continue as usual, including existing terms and conditions for employees, contractors and suppliers. This agreement is subject to relevant regulatory approvals. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Jebel Ali Port wins top industry award

posted on 30/06/2015

DP World's flagship Jebel Ali Port has been recognised for Excellence in Container Terminal Operations at the first ever Navis Inspire Awards 2015.

Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World said that the sought after industry prize underlined the global marine terminal operator's customer-centric approach, innovation, process excellence and the commitment of its employees.

Bin Sulayem's comments were made during a special event held in Dubai to celebrate the award and to congratulate DP World's UAE Region team for the achievement. Some of the DP World senior management in attendance included Vice Chairman, Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, Group CEO, Mohammed Sharaf, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for the UAE Region, Mohammed Al Muallem, and UAE Region's Chief Operating Officer, Mohammed Ali Ahmed.

Navis, a provider of operational technologies for terminal operators, revealed the winners of the awards in a special ceremony in San Francisco, USA. The trophy for Excellence in Terminal Operations was received by Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer, DP World, UAE Region and Pedro Caballero, Director for Terminal Planning and Performance.

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem said, "Winning this global award is a top honour. Our vision for the business, strategy, customer focus and engagement are all key features integral to the success of our operations at Jebel Ali where an inspired, skilled and experienced team is delivering first class performance.

"Providing excellent customer service coupled with motivated employees are among our top priorities alongside a continuous drive for innovation and process excellence. These factors have combined to bring about this success.

"The award also reflects the achievements of Dubai. We are fully supportive of Dubai's strategic plan in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to turn the emirate into a leading economic and trading hub."

Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, added, "Customer service is at the heart of everything we do and we ensure we stay ahead of demand so our customers can maximise the efficiency of the supply chain and improve their competitiveness."

The Navis Inspire Awards recognise excellence in container terminal operations and highlight companies who use the Navis Terminal Operating System (TOS) and optimisation modules to innovate, optimise and deliver value at their terminal facilities and in their broader communities. Categories for the Awards include Terminal Operations Improvement, Innovation, Customer Impact and Community Impact. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


EGA participates in Europe's largest aluminium exhibition

posted on 30/06/2015

Emirates Global Aluminium, EGA, one of the world's largest primary aluminium producers, successfully strengthened ties with the European market and pro-actively sought opportunities to take advantage of potential growth in the region by participating at GIFA 2015, which took place in Germany earlier this month.

Walid Al Attar, Chief Marketing Officer, EGA, explained that the four-yearly trade exhibition was leveraged to showcase EGA's industry leadership, specifically its high quality aluminium products, proprietary in-house developed technologies, exemplary operating practices and commitment to sustainability.

"GIFA is a well-established platform for industry networking as well as showcasing innovations that will shape the future of the sector. It is the largest aluminium exhibition in Europe and the most important trade fair in the world for foundry technology," said Al Attar.

Al Attar reiterated that Europe is a key region for EGA, both currently and for the future, saying, "EGA metal has been shipped to Europe since 1996, with consistent growth in volumes over the last 19 years. In 2014, about 23 percent of EGA's total annual production was exported to about 24 countries in Western and Eastern Europe – making Europe our second largest market region."

"Looking ahead, the European Union as a whole needs to import approximately 60 percent of its primary aluminium requirements. This translates into ample opportunity for us to achieve continued growth in sales to Europe," added Al Attar.

Evidencing a deep corporate commitment to the region, EGA has well-established offices in Zurich and Milan and has developed an extensive transport and logistics infrastructure to facilitate door-to-door delivery of products, which are shipped via about 44 ports across Europe. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE’s concentration of air pollutants within permissible national limits: Ministry of Environment and Water

posted on 30/06/2015

Fahad Mohammad Hareb, Director of the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water's Air Quality Department, has said that country's Atmospheric Particulate Matter, also known as particulate matter, PM, or particulates, PM 2,5 levels as per the latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA), annual study via satellite did not exceed an annual concentration of 30mg per m3 comparable to the World Health Organisation guidelines.

The WHO's Regional Strategy for Health and Environment 2014-2019 for the Eastern Mediterranean noted that the UAE has very low mortality resulting from environmental consequences compared to other countries in the region. The results confirm that the country has undertaken significant efforts to improve the ambient air quality as an important component associated with quality of life. It also highlights the UAE National Agenda which will advances UAE Vision 2021's goal of ensuring high quality of life for its citizens and residents in a sustainable environment.

According to the Ministry of Environment and Water, Hareb said that air quality is one of the leading priorities under the UAE's National Agenda because it is associated directly with human health, the environment and its impact on the economy. The country attaches great importance to improving air quality by achieving 90% of the WHO Air Quality guidelines as a target by 2021. Therefore, efforts have been taken to properly monitor and regulate emission levels throughout the UAE at federal and local levels.

He added, "We continue to strengthen both human and financial capacities in the field of monitoring and controlling through a large network of stations. There are currently 46 air quality monitoring stations in addition to a range of dust monitoring stations in crusher and quarry sites and cement factories. The UAE has directed special attention towards the development of legislative frameworks necessary to reduce pollutants and emissions in order to improve air quality."

The minister said that the UAE's air quality is exposed to many natural and manmade pressures as a result of development factors such as the increase in the number of industrial facilities, the rise in energy and water consumption, and growth in the number of vehicles due to the population's growth and demand. Electricity consumption for air-conditioning consumes over 51% of a buildings annual electricity consumption, needed to ensure comfortable living standards within the region, but even though consumption levels are over 90%, the fuel for the production of this energy is natural gas, the cleanest and most efficient form of producing electricity from a carbon based fuel.

Vehicle exhaust emissions are the next biggest contributor to the air emissions in the UAE followed by heavy manufacturing industries. While all measures are being undertaken by authorities to reduce emissions and improve air quality, it must be noted that the natural environment in the region is also a big contributor to the air quality, from naturally airborne dust particles to major sand storms, as well as high humidity and naturally emitted minerals from coastal areas.

In the context of promoting environmental sustainability, Hareb said that the Ministry is implementing all measures to transform the national economy into a low-carbon and green economy. It has accordingly launched a series of initiatives aimed at reducing pollutant concentrations, including the National Strategy for Green Development, promoting broader public transport, use of cleaner fuels such as unleaded gasoline, low-sulphur or green diesel and natural gas as an alternative fuel for vehicles, and the use of renewable and nuclear energy for generating electricity.

In addition, it promotes Green Building Standards and green applications in government buildings such as district cooling technology which cuts down electricity usage by approximately 75 per cent while raising the efficiency of the air-conditioning system to improve performance and consequently reduce the environmental footprint. In cooperation with the federal and local authorities, the Ministry is encouraging all sectors to adopt initiatives and implement programmes to improve air quality and reduce emissions to secure a healthy environment and reduce the rate of pollution.

He also added that the UAE is exerting great effort in monitoring ambient air quality, noting that data provided by monitoring stations on ambient air quality measure all the criteria required to calculate the air quality index as per the National Agenda. Air Quality National limits and permissible levels have all been previously set in accordance with the Council of Ministers Decree No. 12 for 2006 concerning air pollution, and Hareb said, "Currently, we are working on a study to develop a national standard for PM 2,5."

In line with its ongoing efforts to improve the quality of ambient air, the Ministry recently signed an agreement with seven governmental agencies for the launch of the UAE Air Quality Network. Hareb revealed that the Ministry has signed a contract with Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to study the relationship between fine particles, in addition to air quality monitoring via satellite.

Another project for reducing emissions from the transport sector is the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel. Technical regulations, standards and guides for vehicle conversion to natural gas were planned and developed, with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company converting around 2,900 buses and taxis in Abu Dhabi and opening 16 refuelling stations. Additionally, Emirates Transport has converted over 1,600 taxis to operate on natural gas, and work is currently under way to introduce hybrid vehicles as well as plug-in electric vehicles to the UAE market to greatly reduce traffic emissions within city streets.

Hareb also highlighted that with regards to improving the quality of fuel used in the transport sector, the Council of Ministers had issued a decision in 2013 to update product specifications related to diesel to reduce the percentage of sulphur from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 10 ppm or below, this is now in effect, and is required that all diesel fuel used in the country conforms to this standard. This will greatly contribute to the reduction of emissions of sulphur dioxide from diesel engines and thereby improve the air quality. The UAE is the Middle East's first country to support this type of diesel. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Nakheel appoints Van Oord for Dh550 million, 23.5km coastal work at Deira Islands

posted on 30/06/2015

Master developer Nakheel has appointed marine engineering contractor Van Oord to deliver 23.5 kilometres of coastline and breakwaters at Deira Islands, its new, 15.3 sq. km waterfront city in Dubai.

The Dh387 million contract, signed yesterday (Monday) with Van Oord Middle East Limited Dubai Branch, includes beaches, quay walls, rock edges and breakwaters at Deira Islands, which is set to transform Dubai's Deira district into a world-class hub for tourism, living, retail and entertainment. The overall cost of the coastal work is around Dh550 million.

The two-year contract - stage one of Nakheel's water edge delivery programme at Deira Islands - includes 8.5 km of beaches, 3.5 km of quay walls and 9.5 km of rock revetments at two of the four Deira Islands. The work includes a 4km stretch of waterfront, big enough to accommodate more than 500 yachts and boats, at the 4.5 million square metre south island. Van Oord will also build 2 km of breakwaters to protect the newly-created basin and beachfront.

Nakheel has previously engaged Van Oord for dredging and coastal work on its world-famous waterfront projects in Dubai, including Palm Jumeirah and The World which added 300 km to Dubai's coastline. Deira Islands will add another 40 km, including 21 km of beachfront.

Deira Islands, one of several Nakheel developments underway in line with the Government of Dubai's tourism vision, paves the way for hundreds of new hotels, serviced apartments, mixed-use buildings and marinas. Nakheel itself is developing a significant chunk of the south island with a host of new attractions including Deira Islands Night Souk, Deira Mall, and Deira Islands Towers and Boulevard. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


‘Green Deal’ adds momentum to Dubai’s green economy drive

posted on 30/06/2015

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai in collaboration with the Dubai Green Economy Partnership (Dubai GEP) and Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of DED, launched ‘Green Deal', the region's first crowd sourcing platform entirely focused on verifiable green initiatives.

The announcement was made by Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED; Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Chairman of DGEP, and Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; Fahad Al Gergawi, Secretary General of Dubai GEP and CEO of Dubai FDI; and Jamal bin Ghalaita, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Islamic in the context of the World Green Economy Summit 2015.

Green Deal is part of DED's strategy for stronger participation in community initiatives through providing innovative services and products. Observing a green philosophy, the campaign carefully screens products in terms of its economic viability, its impact on the environment and its strategic fit to the Dubai Demand Side Management 2030 through a purposely convened high level committee of experts.

"The Green Deal initiative is aimed to support the community at large as well as business owners, academics, individuals and families through improved awareness on reducing energy costs and promoting sustainable services and smart applications in line with the directives of the leadership in Dubai. It is an innovative model that enables people in the UAE to have a smooth transition towards green products and allows end users to review eco-friendly products or services, and purchase them from a single source," said Al Qamzi.

Al Qamzi also linked DED's participation in the initiative to its role consumer protection, whereby it can enhance the transition to green products and services.

The Dubai Green Economy Partnership is an initiative of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, bringing together top tier stakeholders to consolidate clean energy programmes and initiatives. Dubai FDI will be the leading facilitator responsible for designing and implementing the programme. The initiative is supported by Emirates Islamic.

"Green Deal is a collective platform which will allow users to view and buy pre-verified energy and water consumption products and services. Crowd-sourcing will allow for economies of scale to extend economic benefits to end users, while ensuring that proper due-diligence and a fast track approach facilitate early adopters of new initiatives within Dubai' strategic vision," commented Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi.

Fahad Al Gergawi said Green Deal will facilitate market adoption of green technologies and products amongst UAE residents by removing as much complexity as possible from the procurement exercise and by leveraging the collective bargaining power of larger communities. "As a one stop shop, Green Deal will result in a hassle free alternative that will encourage a faster adoption of green products in the region and invite numerous new providers to the marketplace. Crowd sourcing has been successful nationally and internationally, hence a green focused platform is expected to further enhance the success potential."

Jamal bin Ghalaita said, "Emirates Islamic is proud to be part of the Green Deal initiative, highlighting our commitment to support innovations that bring about improvements in the quality of life in the UAE. Building a platform for green sourcing will not only offer residents easy access to environmentally responsible products, but also help in boosting the UAE's green economy. This partnership demonstrates how collective collaboration can bring about social and economic change in our communities." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Etihad Airways and Pakistan International Airlines announce new codeshare agreement

posted on 30/06/2015

Etihad Airways and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have signed a codeshare agreement which will provide travellers with enhanced connections between the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and beyond.

Etihad Airways will place its EY code on PIA flights between Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Abu Dhabi.

In return, PIA's PK code will be placed on Etihad Airways' flights between Abu Dhabi and Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore and PK code will also be added to Etihad Airways' flights from Abu Dhabi to many of the global destinations operated by Etihad Airways.

Flights can be booked from 30 June 2015 via travel agents or through the airlines' sales offices and contact centres. The first travel date will be 27 July 2015. This will facilitate travellers with a choice of more than 70 destinations.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways' Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: "Our unique partner strategy has been highly successful and we are pleased to add Pakistan International Airlines to our growing list of successful code share partners.

"There is a long and proud history of travel between Abu Dhabi and cities across Pakistan, and this new codeshare agreement – between the national airlines of the UAE and Pakistan – will make that experience, as well as travel onwards to Africa, Europe, and the United States, that much easier."

Khurram Mushtaq, Director Marketing of Pakistan International Airlines, said: "This is indeed a great opportunity for PIA to join hands with Etihad Airways, connecting Pakistan to UAE and around the globe, expanding reach to more destinations for the convenience of valued passengers." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE firm installs coloured solar panels on Swiss building

posted on 30/06/2015

Dubai-based Emirates Insolaire LLC, a pioneer in unique solar technologies, has created history with the successful installation of the world's first KromatixTM coloured solar panels on a building façade in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Emirates Insolaire is a joint venture of Dubai Investments PJSC [DI] and Swiss INSO Holding Inc.

The entire installation is capable of generating sufficient electric power annually for two families of four people each. Each coloured solar panel can generate above 150 watts electric power per square metre on the roof, or above 110 watts per square metre on façades.

The building, boasting a unique blue façade with the Emirates Insolaire glass panels, has the unique recognition of having the first coloured, photovoltaic solar panel façade in the world worth Dhs850,000.

Two other similar projects in Basel, Switzerland, and Austria have also been completed.

Emirates Insolaire continues to receive enquiries for its coloured solar panels from the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, as well as from Europe, Asia, the US, and Brazil, among others.

Going by the projects on hand, demand and enquiries across the globe, Emirates Insolaire expects sales over 50,000 square metres for coloured solar panels in 2015 alone.

Globally, the photovoltaic market has grown 40 per cent year-on-year and the number of installations foreseen for 2015 is 160 GW – approximately 800 million square metres of glass.

Rafic Hanbali, managing partner of Emirates Insolaire, said: "The completion of Emirates Insolaire's first project in Lausanne is a major milestone for the company. With the KromatixTM technology, the company has ushered in a paradigm shift in solar applications because of its aesthetic appeal to any building façade and efficiency due to its power generating attributes. The company sees significant growth opportunities going forward not only in the Europe but across the globe.”

KromatixTM solar panels can supply between 20 to 60 per cent of the needed energy for a building. One of the important advantages of the Emirates Insolaire technology is that the coloured KromatixTM solar panels, photovoltaic or thermal, offer high efficiency. – The Gulf Today -


Dubai Land Department: No increase in Real Estate Registration Fees

posted on 30/06/2015

Dubai Land Department has confirmed that real estate registration fees that are currently set at 4% will not be increased. It has also stated that it does not plan to raise the charges, which are collected from dealers to complete their real estate transactions, in the near future.

The Department stressed that decisions to increase the various fees relating to real estate are issued by Dubai Executive Council. The Council issued resolution No. (30) of 2013 to determine the value of real estate fees, including real estate registration charges.

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, discounted what he said were rumours relating to a real estate registration fee increase.

"A number of market players are talking about alleged reports that Dubai Land Department will be increasing real estate registration fees from 4% to 8%. This is a baseless rumour and only serves to encourage the return of speculation. It confuses buyers and needlessly compels them to speed up their purchasing decisions," he said.

Bin Mejren advised those in the market with an interest in selling property to follow professional methods on a competitive basis when promoting their properties, such as focusing on price and quality. He also added that the real estate market in Dubai is stable and is enjoying sustainable growth, meaning that there is no requirement to revisit the fees for various activities and servicing in the near future.

In September 2013, Dubai Land Department implemented Dubai Executive Council's resolution to increase the real estate registration fees from 2% to 4%. The charges are paid by the seller and the buyer equally unless otherwise agreed between the two parties. Through implementing this resolution, the Department succeeded in eliminating speculation that was challenging the market. The decision was seen as being instrumental in preventing speculators reap quick profits and threatening the interests of investors and the market in general.

The real estate market and investors welcomed the decision for its positive effect in increasing the attractiveness of property investment in Dubai. In spite of the tax increase to 4%, it still remains less than 110 real estate markets around the world.

Bin Mejren also confirmed a deadline extension for real estate developers and investors to register their properties in the Dubai Land Registry up until the end of October 2015. He said that this would enable all parties to complete the registration requirements, which document their contracts and protects their rights. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE envoy presents copy of credentials to Secretary General of Jordan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

posted on 30/06/2015

Bilal Rabea Al Bedour has presented a copy of his credentials to Mohammad Taisir, Secretary-General of the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, as ambassador of the UAE in Jordan.

During the meeting, the two parties discussed ways to boost bilateral ties in various fields. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohamed bin Zayed attends seminar entitled "Every last child-eradicating polio"

posted on 30/06/2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, today attended, a discussion session under the title "Every last child-- eradicating polio" at his Ramadan Majlis.

The seminar examined the International and UAE's efforts to combat polio across the world and particularly in Pakistan.

Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, Director of UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (PAP) disclosed the successful results of the second phase of the Emirates Polio Campaign in Pakistan in implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is aimed to provide humanitarian an development aid, support health sector and its preventive programmes in Pakistan which came in the light of the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to eradicate polio across the world.

He added that final successful results were successful through immunization of millions of Pakistani children with more than 73.2 million polio vaccines from January to May 2015.

He reiterated that success the humanitarian efforts and initiatives which came in implementation to the directives of the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa proves for the whole world that the UAE's efforts are effective and distinguished, adding these efforts and initiatives are aimed to enhance human health and societies as well as achieve their humanitarian objectives.

He also highlighted the initiative of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed is aimed to eradicate polio in the most difficult areas of the incubator of the disease across the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Federal Supreme Court sentences accused in Al Reem Island case to death

posted on 30/06/2015

The State Security Circuit of the Federal Supreme Court, chaired by Judge Falah Al-Hajri, yesterday sentenced to death the defendant identified as A.B.A. in the case known in the media as "Ghost of Al Reem."

The court cited the charges against her and ordered confiscation of materials seized at the scene of crime, as well as the closure of the convict's website.

While issuing the verdict, the judge said the UAE has been and continues to be home of security, peace and stability, and a role model for social cohesion and peace. Of late, he continued, certain forms of unfamiliar crimes in the UAE society have been emerging, adding that these crimes are characterised with violence and use of force, threats and spread of terror.

"These crimes, whether committed by an individual or a group, have exposed public security and safety to danger. They also threaten the constitution and laws, and therefore, it is necessary to tackle such actions," he said.

Justice Al Hajri noted that such acts require a special law to combat terrorism, citing the law No. / 7 / for the year 2014 regarding combating terrorism crimes.

Earlier, the public prosecution charged the accused with murdering Ibolya Ryan, an American citizen, whom the defendant deliberately stabbed to death, with an intention to kill and stir up fear among those living in an apartment in one of the buildings along the Abu Dhabi Corniche. The accused tried to detonate a homemade bomb near the door of the apartment to kill all the tenants, but it did not explode.

She was also accused of illegally collecting prohibited explosive materials and of having assembled these without a licence. The convict also established and managed the e-mail account with a false name to disseminate activities of the terrorist organisations. She also published information with an intent to harm the reputation and prestige of the State and its symbols. She also provided funds to a terrorist organisation with the prior knowledge that the funds would be used in committing terrorist operations. The accused committed these crimes to spread terror and with an intent to cause death and provoke terror among the people and threaten the State's security.

The Federal Supreme Court also sentenced to three years imprisonment the accused identified as N.M.A. on charges of spreading rumours to create hatred, disturb public order and damage the reputation and prestige of State's institutions. He was fined Dh500,000. The court also confiscated the seized electronic devices and ordered the closure of the private electronic website of the accused.

In the third case, the Federal Supreme Court heard the case of a 19 year-old Emirati, identified as S.Y.M., accused of seeking to join Daesh, the terrorist organisation, with prior knowledge. The court set September 7 as the date to hear the plea of the defendant's defence lawyer.

Earlier, the state security prosecutor demanded punishment to the accused under Federal Law No. 7 of 2014 on combating terrorist crimes, in keeping with their indictment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Ministry of Labour allows enterprises to complete transactions at any Tas’heel centre across the UAE

posted on 30/06/2015

Starting this Wednesday, July 1st, the Ministry of Labour has decided to allow facilities to print and complete transactions through any Tas'heel service centre deployed in any emirate, regardless of its registry location.

Humaid bin Deemas Al Suwaidi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Labour Affairs, said, "The ministry's decision came after completing the last phase of limiting labour services provision to Tas'heel centres, concluding with Abu Dhabi on the 15th of June."

"The ministry's move comes in line with the directives and aspirations of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that all government services must reach customers according to the highest degree of quality and excellence," he said.

Al Suwaidi explained that, "The ministry's decision would reduce costs for employers and saves their time and effort, especially since most of them have several offices in different areas and cities. Now, public relations officers can cut down on the hassle of roaming between different cities to complete transactions, and choose the closest centre to do so."

"For example, employers in the Emirate of Dubai, have 8 centres to choose from for transaction completion, however, starting Wednesday, they can choose any of the 40 centres across the UAE which are supervised by the Ministry of Labour," he added.

Al Suwaidi said that the ministry had informed all service centres of the decision to make sure all the centres prepare accordingly and avoid confusions and errors, plus ensure highest level of customer satisfaction. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -