The UAE will host Expo 2020!

Joint statement issued on GCC FMs' meeting with US Secretary of State

posted on 04/08/2015

The GCC foreign ministers held a meeting yesterday with the US Secretary of State John Kerry, in presence of Dr. Abdelatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary General of the GCC.
During the meeting, which was attended by Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the two sides discussed ways to furthering the GCC-US relations, as well as several issues of mutual interest. They also exchanged views on the current developments in the Middle East.
Following the meeting, the two sides issued a joint statement in which they said they discussed progress of the GCC-US strategic partnership and areas of cooperation announced in Camp David on 14th May.
The statement also covered nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1, stressing the importance of regional relations on the basis of the principles of good neighbourliness , non-interference in the internal affairs and resolution of disputes through peaceful means.
It also tackled the situation in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya and the need for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of comprehensive and just peace that would lead to creation of an independent and coherent Palestinian state. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283990776.html

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Arab Coalition will continue to back Yemen, says HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed

posted on 04/08/2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, emphasised yesterday that the Arab Coalition will pursue its mission of supporting the Republic of Yemen, its people and legitimate government, in order to achieve stability and security in the country and alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people affected by the attacks by rebels against its legitimacy.
HH Sheikh Mohamed appreciated the role of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, and his able leadership of the Arab Coalition during a meeting with visiting Yemeni Vice-President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah at Al Bahr Palace.
'The UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will continue its assistance and support to the Yemeni people until they realise their national aspirations in rebuilding their country,' HH said.
'Operation Restore Hope has delivered a tangible result which we see today in the form of solidarity, co-operation and joint Arab action which heralds a new phase whose banner will be stability and development in the region,' he affirmed.
HH hailed the role of the gallant UAE Armed Forces in the Arab Coalition and the contribution of the UAE people to Arab causes and glory.
'With the support of the Arab Coalition, the Yemeni people are capable of liberating their country from rebels who are against the legitimacy,' the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, while expressing the hope that welfare and peace would prevail in Yemen, and the Yemeni people enjoy security and stability so as to lead their nation towards building and development.
During the meeting Bahah updated Sheikh Mohamed on the latest political and security situation in Yemen and the efforts being made by his government to maintain security and stability starting from Aden.
Sheikh Mohamed was also briefed on the ongoing relief operations to assist affected people as well as the programmes the government is conducting to qualify health, social and educational facilities, and public services.
Sheikh Mohamed said, 'We are addressing the humanitarian challenge with complete seriousness and sound planning and we will apply an effective mechanism to alleviate the suffering meted out by the rebellion. We will not let the Yemeni people endure suffering, we will support and assist them.' The Yemeni vice-president expressed his gratitude to the UAE for standing with and assisting Yemen in its quest to preserve its security and stability and enabling its legitimacy.
Bahah said a number of UAE soldiers had sacrificed their lives while supporting legitimacy in Yemen, adding, 'The UAE's historic stance will live forever in the memory of the Yemeni people.' The meeting touched upon ways to enhance fraternal bilateral ties for serving the mutual interests of the countries and people and discussed various recent events in the Arab, regional and internal arenas. Sheikh Mohamed and Bahah also exchanged views on an array of topics of common concern.
H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and a number Sheikhs, Salem Khalifa Al Ghafli, UAE Ambassador to Yemen, and a group of officials attended the meeting. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283978634.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid receives Yemen's Vice President

posted on 04/08/2015

Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received the visiting Yemeni Vice-President and Prime Minister Khaled Mahfouz Bahah at Zabeel Palace this evening.
Sheikh Mohammed reviewed with Bahah the current situation in Yemen in the light of recent political and security developments, following the return of Aden and several provinces to the legitimate government.
The Yemeni vice-president conveyed the gratitude of President Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi and the people of Yemen for the brotherly support given by the UAE and its people to the legitimacy in Yemen and for delivering humanitarian assistance in the affected areas of Yemen.
Sheikh Mohammed renewed the firm stand of the UAE leadership in support of Yemen and its people and to the international legitimacy and peace. He expressed the hope that Yemen will regain peace and stability under the legitimate leadership and government.
The meeting was attended by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State, Lt. General Mohammed Abdul Rahim Al Ali, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defence, Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director-General of Dubai Protocol and Hospitality Department, Salem Khalifa Al Gahfli, UAE Ambassador to Yemen and members of the delegation accompanying the Yemeni vice-president. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283990093.html

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Yemeni Vice President offers condolences to families of UAE martyrs in ''Operation Restore Hope''

posted on 04/08/2015

Yemeni Vice-President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah has conveyed the condolences of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Yemeni people to the families of Emirati martyrs who died in the line of duty during ‘Operation Restore Hope,' under the Arab alliance to support the people of Yemen and their legitimate government.
Bahah separately visited the families of martyrs, namely First Lieutenant Abdul Aziz Sarhan Saleh Al Kaabi in Al Ain, Saif Yuosuf Al Falasi in Dubai and Hazim Obeid Khalfan Al Ali in Sharjah, to convey President Hadi's sympathies.
The Yemeni Vice-President expressed his heartfelt condolences to the martyrs' families, praying to the Almighty Allah to grant their soul rest in Paradise and bestow patience and solace upon their families.
'The martyrs made their homeland, families, Arab identity and humanity proud of them for the sacrifices they made to support their fellows in Yemen,' he said. He also valued the strong, honourable and historic stance of the UAE in support of Yemen in its current crisis and paid a glowing tribute to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, 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, for the tremendous and continuous support the UAE is extending to the legitimate government and the people in Yemen during the crisis.
Bahah also hailed the UAE's active role in the 'Operation Decisive Storm' and 'Operation Restore Hope' for supporting the legitimate government in Yemen as well as its humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people at this critical time. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283976921.html

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ERC inaugurates water project in Bosnia

posted on 04/08/2015

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has inaugurated a water project in the Travnik Municipality in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of the UAE Suqia Initiative, launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to provide clean water to approximately five million people worldwide.
The commissioning of the water project was attended by Salem Al Ameri, head of the ERC in Al Ain, along with the president of the Travnik Municipality and a number of Bosnian officials.
Al Ameri said in a speech during the opening ceremony that the project, which cost US$186,000, would provide water to 1,000 families.
He added that the ERC had implemented the project in a village in the Travnik Municipality based on thorough studies on the need for drinking water in the rural regions.
'The ERC has been working diligently to deliver objectives of the UAE Suqia Initiative in digging wells, provision of water tanks, purification of water for drinking and the provision of solutions to wastage of water,' he said, referring to the impact of the Initiative in improving water supply in arid regions in Africa and Asia.
The president of the Travnik Municipality expressed deep appreciation to the ERC for completing the project in a record 40 days.
The water project, he said, would help villagers to improve their living conditions.
Beneficiaries expressed their profound thanks to the ERC for implementing the project, which they said would end their long suffering to fetch water and bring about a paradigm shift in the development of the area. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283967999.html

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Red Crescent provides Dh81m in local aid during first half of this year

posted on 04/08/2015

Local aid, including food and clothes, provided by Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) reached Dh81.1 million in the first half of 2015, helping 806,523 people across the UAE.
The aid was distributed within the charity organisation's several projects, and included humanitarian help, medical aid, rehabilitation of the disabled and helping families of prisoners.
Announcing the official numbers, Saeed Rashid Al Mansouri, Deputy Secretary General of Local Affairs at the ERC, said the highest amount of money was given to its student programme totalling Dh18.7 million.
For its humanitarian project, Dh17.3 million was given, while its medical aid programme saw Dh13 million donated.
Additionally, the assistance of prisoners' families saw Dh5.1 million donated, with 1,737 families being reached by the Red Crescent's support. Dh3 million was donated to its rehabilitation of the disabled project, and Dh552,500 was given to support local institutions.
Following the announcement of its local aid distribution, Emirates Red Crescent also became the first humanitarian organisation in the UAE to receive ISO certification from the International Organisation for Standardisation.
The group was specifically given the ISO 9001:2008 certification which, according to the ISO, is based on meeting the following criteria: "Strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. Using ISO 9001:2008 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services.”
Dr Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of Emirates Red Crescent commenting on the recognition, said, "The certification shows the commitment to support and develop its services on an ongoing basis … obtaining the certificate will make us continue to develop and improve the services provided by the authority, especially in the domestic arena for its beneficiaries.”
"This achievement reflects the vision of the senior leadership to adopt the best practices that reach the highest levels of customer and staff satisfaction. The ISO certification represents a turning point for the Red Crescent's move towards excellence and innovation, and enhances the gains made in the delivery of humanitarian services,” he added.
Mohammed Yousuf Al Fahim, Vice Secretary-General for Support Services at the ERC, said the recognition is due to the world-class services provided by the ERC, and added that the organisation was continuing to improve and adapt in line with the UAE's smart government policies.
"The Red Crescent has made great strides in quality management, excelling in services, and easing the procedures which have gained customer satisfaction. We have recently launched a number of services that enhance our programmes and improve performance, in line with the general strategy of the UAE's smart government policy, making all our services easily accessible to customers,” he said. – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/society/red-crescent-provides-dh81m-in-local-aid-during-first-half-of-this-year-1.1560783

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With prominent UAE contribution, UN reaches ground-breaking agreement on Sustainable Development Goals

posted on 04/08/2015

NEW YORK: With a prominent UAE contribution, the United Nations yesterday concluded negotiations on the landmark Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the most far-reaching international decision on development in the 70-year history of the organisation.
The goals specify outcomes to be achieved by 2030 across a broad range of social, environmental, and economic areas.
Reflecting its international leadership, the UAE was notably credited for driving new goals on gender equality and sustainable energy, and also led the 22-country Arab Group in the negotiations. The SDGs will be adopted by all 193 UN member countries during a summit in New York City on September 25-27, influencing government policies and trillions of dollars in spending.
"The SDGs represent a breakthrough in the way the international community thinks about the interlinkages between growth, social norms, and the environment, and the UAE is proud to have high ambitions across these objectives," said Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's ambassador to the United Nations. "Countries now have a clear guide for transformation at home, as well as for the way they can support sustainable development in other countries."
The SDGs have two principal dimensions. They first represent a commitment by each country to achieve the SDGs domestically. Annual reports will look at performance in the wide range of sectors covered by the SDGs, from school enrolment rates to provision of clean drinking water to agricultural practices. For the UAE, most goals will be met automatically because of the UAE's high development level and existing green growth strategy. However, the UAE will need to establish a framework to monitor and report progress. Second, the SDGs encourage investors and providers of foreign aid to align their activities to achieve the 2030 outcomes in other countries. The UAE has been the world's top donor for two years in a row, based on aid as a percentage of gross national income, resulting in high interest in the negotiations on UAE positions. The forthcoming strategy under the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development will outline how UAE aid will be directed toward the SDGs.
"The SDGs validate the UAE's longstanding approach to make development progress through innovation," said Majid Al Suwaidi, the lead negotiator and the head of climate affairs and sustainability at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "The challenges of resource scarcity and climate change mean we have to quickly find new means to both raise people out of poverty and enable continued economic growth in wealthier countries. We were able to take many lessons from our own development and embed them in the SDGs - for instance, granting equitable rights for men and women to strengthen our economy, and using renewable energy to power it."
The SDGs are the successor of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were launched in 2000 and expire this year. The MDGs have been one of the most successful tools to focus international attention on poverty eradication, facilitating major gains on health and education in the lowest-income countries. UAE organisations like Dubai Cares, which supports children's and especially girls' education in 38 lower-income countries, have been prominent in the MDG agenda. The SDGs will also stress poverty eradication, but they are designed to cover a greater spectrum of development issues. New focus areas include energy, water, peace and social inclusion, climate change, ocean management, agriculture, and sustainable industrialisation, among others. There are 17 SDGs with 169 underpinning targets vs. 8 MDGs with 21 targets. Importantly, the SDGs will apply to all countries, not poor countries alone. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283948434.html

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OFID: UAE is on track towards reaching MDGs on time

posted on 04/08/2015

Vienna: UAE's Economic Vision 2030, a robust capital spending plan on education, healthcare, industry, tourism, infrastructure, and renewable energy projects, generated Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress and put the country on track towards reaching most of the MDGs on time, according to the annual report of the Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) for 2014.
The report, issued yesterday, said the UAE's GDP in 2014 was supported mainly by its perceived safe-haven status amid regional instability, its tourism and hospitality sectors, and a rebounding real estate sector.
'The sovereign wealth fund buffers help the country to enjoy lower fiscal breakeven oil prices, allowing it to continue on its path of gradual fiscal consolidation. The current account surplus narrowed due to lower oil prices but remained at a healthy level of 11.1% of GDP. The banking system continued to be well-capitalised and the rate of non-performing loans declined,' the report noted.
In the report's forward, Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, OFID Director-General, said,' By the end of 2014, cumulative commitments had climbed to almost US$18bn, following a record US$1,553m in approvals during the year. Disbursements also hit a new high of US$1,331m. These figures are not only immensely satisfying in themselves but also a powerful testament to the success of our various restructuring programs and our desire to do more.' 'Operations throughout 2014 continued to be led by our strategic focus on the vitally important water-food-energy nexus. With the global population expected to reach nine billion by 2050, these three areas sustainable water access, modern energy access and food security represent the defining challenges of this century.' OFID, he added, has made clear its readiness to mobilise all means at its disposal to address these issues and, in 2014, allocated US$823m or 53% of total approvals to nexus-related initiatives. Within the nexus, support to the agriculture sector leapt to four times the sum committed in 2013, bringing it close to par with the water and sanitation sector. Predictably, however, it was the energy sector that drew the bulk of approvals, with a record US$456m given in support of 29 projects in 24 partner countries.
'In keeping with our Energy for the Poor initiative and the spirit of our 2012 Ministerial Declaration on Energy Poverty, all financing mechanisms were brought into play to facilitate the broadest possible range of solutions.
Of particular note was the increased share going to renewables, particularly through the private sector window, whose 2014 portfolio was heavily pro-renewables and included, among other ground-breaking projects, two prize-winning solar installations in Jordan. Renewable solutions also featured strongly in the record US$5.9m approved under the grant-financed energy poverty program.' Among all the financing windows, the public sector maintained its position as the central pillar of OFID's operations, drawing 65% of total commitments for the year. The funds supported 41 projects in 34 countries and included a maiden public sector project in Argentina.
'Resources channelled through the grant program totalled US$25m and helped support over 60 initiatives, the majority of them at community level. Although they represent just a fraction of our commitments, we consider grant financed projects to represent the very essence of our mission. Efficient and quick at delivering results, they are in their own right an important instrument of development. In 2014 alone, in addition to the new funding, we were able to successfully complete 67 previously approved grant-financed projects benefiting 50 countries,' he concluded.
According to the report, the social and economic performance of OFID Member Countries in 20141 continued to be influenced by the international oil market, as well as the slow recovery of the world economy and, to some extent, by other socio-political issues.
Despite growing by 3.3% in 2014, the world economy continued to address the legacy of the global financial crisis, including debt overhangs and high unemployment. The volume of world trade contracted to 3.1%, from 3.4% in 2013, largely as a result of the deceleration in global activity, slower expansion in Latin America, a sharper first quarter inventory correction in the United States, as well as the impact of the Ukrainian conflict in Russia and neighbouring countries. Advanced economies grew at 1.8%, up from 1.3% in 2013, mainly due to better performance from the USA, the UK and Germany. Emerging and developing economies on the other hand did not fare as well, with GDP dropping three percentage points to 4.4%.
OPEC continued to contribute to the world oil supply by producing 30 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2014, a decline of 167,000 barrels per day from 2013. World oil demand increased by 1 mb/d in 2014 to 91.2 mb/d, where the incremental demand was met by non-OPEC supply. Oil prices took a nosedive in the second half of 2014, going from US$100 per barrel in June to just over US$50 per barrel at the end of the year. This was partly as a result of new oil sources from North America increasing the global supply, OPEC's November decision to maintain current output, and a general slowing of oil demand in China and other developed countries because of the uncertain economy. The oversupplied market led the commercial OECD oil stock to reach around 100 million barrels higher than the latest five-year average in November 2014. The value of the OPEC reference basket of selected crudes averaged US$96.29 per barrel in 2014, a decline of US$9.58 from the previous year.
OFID Member Country governments remain committed to making further headway towards sustainable, inclusive, and diversified growth and improving social outcomes, including achievement of the MDGs. Although the plunge in oil revenues has confronted economies with constraints, positive growth rates, increased fiscal spending, and new pledges of financial assistance have had positive spillover effects. For example, trade and financial linkages, including demand for imports, outward remittance and foreign direct investment, have had a constructive impact at both the regional and global levels. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283961097.html

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UAE envoy opens Etihad Airways' regional headquarters in South Africa

posted on 04/08/2015

PRETORIA: UAE Ambassador to South Africa Hamad Hareb Al Habsi opened yesterday the new regional headquarters of Etihad Airways in Johannesburg, in the presence of Maurice Phohleli, Vice President, Africa Sub-Sahara and Indian Ocean at Etihad Airways, the airline's staff and diplomats.
Al Habsi said the UAE had made huge achievements, thanks to its wise leadership's vision for transforming the country into a premier tourist destination. He praised the role played by the UAE national carriers, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines, in strengthening the country's relations, as well as economic and commercial cooperation, with the world's nations.
Al Habsi congratulated Etihad Airways staff in South Africa and wished them success. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283982208.html

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Italian trainees source new opportunities through Etihad Airways partnership

posted on 04/08/2015

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has selected 12 Italian trainees to join its engineering division and take part in a unique training opportunity on the fleet of one of the fastest growing airlines in the world.
The trainees were chosen after extensive assessments, and once qualified will have an opportunity to develop their careers at the aircraft line and light maintenance facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport as it continues to expand. The Graduate Engineering programmes are conducted by Etihad Engineering in partnership with the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Polytechnic.
The initial two-year, college-based part of the programme will be followed by a further two years of practical, on-the-job training. The comprehensive programme will allow trainees to obtain a B1 (Engineering License in Airframe and Engines) or B2 (Avionics) License in Aviation Engineering Technology, accredited by both the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Jeff Wilkinson, Senior Vice President of Technical for Etihad Airways, said, "This is a great opportunity for young people from our equity partners to immerse themselves within an organisation of engineering excellence. In doing so, they will acquire the knowledge, skills and experience which will enable them, and the organisation they represent, to grow personally and professionally."
The UAE and Italy already share strong links through a partnership between Etihad Airways and Alitalia, with the airlines acting as the official global carriers for Expo Milano 2015. The carriers have played a key role in bringing international visitors to the event, with an estimated eight million attendees travelling to the conference by air.
The training opportunity is an extension of the close working relationship between the two nations and is providing development opportunities for young Italians in the Middle East. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -
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Masdar Institute and MIT Developing Innovative Renewable Energy Storage Technology

posted on 04/08/2015

Abu Dhabi, 4th August, 2015 (WAM) - Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop an innovative energy storage technology that can support renewable energy in the UAE.
Dr. Saif Almheiri, an assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at the Masdar Institute, is working with MIT on a unique electrochemical energy storage technology that has the potential to be a key storage solution for electrical power sourced from renewable and conventional energy.
"Coming up with ways to store renewable energy so it can be banked when plentiful and distributed when needed is one of the more exciting engineering challenges. There are a few solutions in the market today, but they tend to be expensive and cannot be used in all the operating environments that require renewable energy uptake. But the technology we're working with has the potential to overcome these obstacles" Dr. Almheiri explained.
The battery they are developing aims to help the UAE store its renewable energy in a secure and dependable manner. Developing such a novel energy storage system could also provide the UAE with a valuable product for global energy storage market, which is forecasted to reach US$113.5 billion by 2017. With an effective and realistic energy storage technology, the UAE will be able to take advantage of its plentiful solar and wind energy, providing the country with clean power to take it into the next century.
He believes the needed breakthrough in electrochemical energy storage will be in Redox Flow Batteries (RFBs). An RFB is a rechargeable battery built around two chemical components dissolved in liquids contained within different tanks in the system and the flow of the liquids is separated by a membrane, allowing the electrical energy to be stored in chemical energy, and then converted back into electrical energy when wanted.
Dr. Almheiri is now collaborating with MIT scientists to develop the novel non-water-based VRFB system that provides the higher conductivity, better solubility limits and stable electrodes that tomorrow's reality demands.
"One of the most promising of all of the redox solutions is one based on the metal known as vanadium. Vanadium can exist in a solution in several different oxidation states, so it can effectively take the place of both of the necessary chemical solutions in the RFB - meaning it can be vanadium on each side of the cell. Using the same element avoids the risk of contamination across the membrane that can otherwise, over time, impair or damage a battery," he explained.
Another advantage of the VRFB is that its capacity is limited only by the size of the tanks used to store its electrolytes. Vanadium is easily able to handle the give and take of electrons that is crucial to a rechargeable battery, making it a very stable source element. A VRFB can be discharged and recharged 20,000 times, maintaining their near unchanging battery performance for decades.
This technology, however, is not yet fully optimised. Using a water-based solution to hold the electroactive vanadium imposes two limitations. It requires the operating temperature range for RFBs to be limited to 0-100oC, so the water does not freeze or evaporate. Second, the open circuit voltage is limited to only 1.2V to keep the water solution electrolytes electrochemically stable, which restricts the energy density of RFBs.
"To help VRFB, we are looking to discover new solvents to replace the water. This could allow the open circuit potential to exceed 1.2V, enhancing the energy density of the RFB," Dr. Almheiri said.
Moving forward, Dr. Almheiri and his team will examine various supporting electrolytes and solvents and design advanced electrodes, which conduct electricity, with improved electrochemical reactions and stability. They intend to build a working flow battery cell and will test the system's stability and ability to cycle back and forth - charging, discharging and recharging. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283977627.html

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Shams Dubai initiative: a qualitative addition to Dubai’s renewable energy portfolio

posted on 04/08/2015

Sustainable development, in its comprehensive sense, contributes to improving the quality of life at various levels. It encourages the rational and responsible use of natural resources, striking a balance between the general requirements of development and the sustainability of the ecosystem. A focus on sustainability also drives social development, including job creation. Adopting green practices also advances several economic sectors, particularly traditional, renewable, and clean energy sectors. Sustainability is underpinned by a number of pillars that are essential drivers for all types of development.
With its emphasis on boosting alternative and renewable energy sectors, Dubai continuously explores innovative forward-looking strategies and initiatives to promote the rational use of natural resources and create more solutions that replace traditional energy sources in a manner that supports the Emirate's sustainable development and bolsters its local and regional position as a role model for sustainable development. This has paved the way for Dubai to set forth an ingenious sustainability vision to conserve natural resources by launching a series of leading initiatives. In its endeavour to achieve these objectives, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is inspired by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to achieve the sustainable development, promote the welfare and happiness of citizens and residents, and shape a sustainable future for generations to come.
DEWA provides Dubai with electricity and water services and continuously enhances the transmission and distribution networks by adopting global best practices and the latest innovative technologies. Through this role, DEWA supports the national efforts to achieve the vision of the country's wise leadership by launching a variety of green initiatives and distinguished energy projects. These include DEWA's three flagship initiatives, which support the Smart Dubai initiative, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world in 3 years through 100 initiatives and 1,000 smart services that enhance the quality of life in Dubai and achieve its sustainable development.
DEWA's three initiatives are: Shams Dubai to encourage household and building owners to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on rooftops to generate solar power, Smart Applications and Meters, which includes using smart applications to speed service connection and improve response times, and the Green Charger to build the infrastructure and charging stations for electric vehicles in the Emirate.
"Our objective in the transition to become the smartest city in the world is to achieve the happiness of society and provide instant and seamless smart services anytime, anywhere. Dubai has all the elements to reach top positions globally and has become a leading global hub for business, finance, tourism, green economy and sustainability. The smart grid will contribute to the infrastructure by connecting renewable sources of energy and promoting environmental initiatives supported by qualified staff thus building a sustainable future for Dubai. The strategic objectives of these initiatives support the long-term Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to establish the UAE as one of the global leaders in this area, and a global hub for exporting and re-exporting green products and technologies, while maintaining a sustainable environment that supports economic growth in the long run. The initiative includes a range of programmes and policies in energy, agriculture, investment, and sustainable transport, in addition to new environmental and construction policies to raise the quality of life in the UAE," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA.
"DEWA's first initiative, Shams Dubai, encourages household and building owners to produce electricity from solar power and enables them to contribute to achieving Dubai's vision by producing their energy needs using PV panels on rooftops, and connecting them to DEWA's grid. The electricity is used on site and the surplus is exported to DEWA's network. This pioneering step reaffirms Dubai's leadership in solar energy as a safe and clean renewable energy source. It helps decrease dependence on the dwindling traditional hydrocarbon sources such as oil, gas and coal. Renewable energy guarantees a sustainable future for generations to come. Shams Dubai supports the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai the smartest city in the world. Launching the initiative implements council resolution number 46 of 2014, issued by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, to regulate the connection of solar energy to Dubai's power grid," added Al Tayer.
Shams Dubai consolidates the foundations of Dubai's environmental sustainability and contributes to achieving the goals of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, launched by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to diversify energy sources and reduce energy demand by 30% by 2030. The Strategy initially set the percentage of renewable energy in Dubai's energy mix to be 1% by 2020 and 5% by 2030. Since then, DEWA has raised the target to 7 % by 2020 and 15 % by 2030.
The adoption of solar energy will be markedly rewarding to home and business owners by reducing their electricity bills. Even though installing the PV system requires initial investment, the electricity bill will be notably lower throughout the PV system's lifecycle, which could extend to 25 years or more with regular maintenance. Other considerable benefits include boosting the property's market value, curbing, and even eliminating, the carbon footprint, supporting Dubai's economy and ensuring a sustainable future for the Emirate by allowing solar energy to be produced locally.
The solar panel industry has evolved over time, due to their increasing popularity and adoption rates worldwide and the continued international efforts to provide innovative, efficient and cost-effective technologies in this field. Undoubtedly, this has contributed to lowering the costs associated with solar panels, encouraging more households and businesses to benefit from this sustainable technology. Several other factors also drive the use of solar panels. These include the direction of the rooftop, shadow levels, the rooftop itself, and the equipment size and type. DEWA recommends its customers to consider the advice of one of its certified consultants or contractors to assess the standards for installing a solar power system and obtain proper guidance on the best possible solutions that befit the specific case of each customer's place of living or work.
To ensure the highest safety levels and adopt the best international standards across all its business activities, DEWA has developed a set of rules and regulations that govern the installation of photovoltaic systems. It has introduced a number of guidelines to guarantee the use of the safest, most reliable equipment. DEWA also provides its customers with the ability to benefit from the expertise of its accredited consultants and contractors, which, in turn, boosts safety standards and helps customers to make informed decisions in purchasing the proper equipment and installing and maintaining the solar energy system.
Solar energy experts expect Shams Dubai to be widely received in Dubai and that it gets a lot of support from public and private organisations for its financial savings and for its role in reducing the carbon footprint.
Shams Dubai supports the UAE's national outlook, the vision of its wise leadership, and the increasing desire of Dubai residents to scale down their carbon footprint and reduce carbon dioxide emissions resulting from power use. These efforts support Dubai's endeavour to create a healthy, safe and sustainable environment for present and future generations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395283967719.html

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WFES 2016 will launch a dedicated area for Sustainable Transport

posted on 04/08/2015

Industry experts have called for the greater adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles following the UAE government's recent revision of subsidies.
The topic is expected to become a central focus of the 2016 edition of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES).
In support of the country's sustainability agendas, through both the UAE Vision 2021 and Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, WFES 2016 will launch a dedicated area aptly named WFES Sustainable Transport. The new section will host manufactures showcasing the latest sustainable transportation technologies.
Naji El Haddad, group event director, WFES 2016 shared: "Revising fuel subsidies in the UAE is already leading to higher prices at the pump, boosting demand from motorists, educational institutions, organisations and mass transit authorities to rapidly adopt the latest fuel efficient hybrid vehicles."
He added: "The UAE is set a regional trendsetter in reforming fuel subsidies and supporting national sustainability agendas. In turn, the UAE is primed to quickly become a fast-growing market for hybrid and electric vehicle manufacturers."
As of 1 August 201, ADNOC and ENOC, in close collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Energy, have revised transport fuel subsidies. The move has aligned both petrol and diesel prices to global price indices and operating costs.
Hosted by Masdar and part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, WFES 2016 will be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on 18 – 21 January 2016. It will run in parallel with the International Water Summit and EcoWaste conferences. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395283969104.html

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DGCX records 15% growth in daily volumes and highest monthly open interest in July

posted on 04/08/2015

The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) has registered 11% YTD (year-to-date) volumes growth from the same period last year, trading over 7.5 million contracts.
The Exchange also recorded the highest average monthly Open Interest (OI) in July 2015 with 78,391 contracts, beating the previous high of 59,688 contracts in March 2015. The growth in OI was driven by strong performance in the Exchange's emerging markets contracts particularly on the newly launched Quanto products.
A key indicator of the Exchange's robust performance was the growth in average daily volumes (ADV) during July, which reached an average of 49,673 contracts a day, recording an increase of 15% over same period last year.
Volumes in the Exchange's precious metal segment saw new highs with the recent introduction of Indian Gold Quanto futures. The Gold Quanto greatly complements DGCX's contract on Gold, and allows investors to gain access to the Indian gold market without being exposed to movements in the USD-INR exchange rate.
Together, the recently launched Quanto products on Indian Gold and Indian Rupee accounted 13% of DGCX's July volumes, which reflects significant traction that the new contracts have gained amongst the regional FX and Bullion trader community. While Indian Rupee Futures retained top performer status recording a substantial growth of 13% from last year and continues to be the largest Exchange Traded Derivative (ETD) product globally. DGCX's currency segment saw a strong growth, as YTD volumes in G6 Currency pool grew 22%.
In July 2015, S&P BSE Sensex futures - the first equity index futures that marked the bourse's entry into the equity asset class, completed two years of trading on DGCX Sensex Futures. Structured as a quanto future, DGCX Sensex futures provides a unique opportunity for regional traders to participate in one of the largest and fastest growing Emerging Markets. Since launch, Sensex futures have seen tremendous growth with trading surpassing that of the onshore Sensex futures to which it is referenced. The contract targeted specifically at Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Diaspora in the UAE has seen noteworthy interest from the Dubai based brokers.
The recent volatility in the energy sector drove heightened interest in trading the DGCX WTI futures, which registered a year- to-date increase of 66% compared to the same period last year. The Exchange is planning to expand its product offering in energy sector soon.
Gaurang Desai, Interim CEO of DGCX, said: "Following the exceptional H1 performance, we are delighted to witness another month of strong trading. Our newly launched Quanto products are generating a lot of interest and increased participation from market participants. These contracts' unique value proposition provides significant arbitrage and hedging opportunities from exchange rate fluctuations and makes them an effective risk management tool for offshore investors looking to gain exposure into one of the world's largest emerging markets. As we enter the second half of this year on a promising note, our focus remains on introducing more products that are relevant to investors within UAE and larger GCC region, and expanding our member base and reach internationally." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395283956642.html

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SCAD: Y-o-Y prices down for 13 groups of building materials in June

posted on 04/08/2015

Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) issued yesterday its monthly report on the prices of building materials for the month of June and the second quarter of 2015, with increases ranging between 0.7 percent for the ‘Steel' group and 8.6 percent for ‘Construction labour costs", while decreases ranged from 0.2 percent for ‘Waterproofing products' and 4.2 percent for ‘Power cables'.
The average wages of ‘Construction labour' grew by 8.6 percent in June 2015 compared with May 2015. Increases in this group ranged between 6.7 percent and 12.5 percent.
The average prices of ‘Pipes (uPVC)' increased by 6.7 percent in June 2015 compared with May 2015, as a result of an increase in all items in this group.
Steel Average steel prices edged up 0.7 percent in June 2015 compared with May 2015.
According to the report, the average prices of ‘Power cable' declined 4.2 percent in June 2015 compared with May 2015, as a result of decreases in all items of this group.
The average prices of ‘Waterproofing products' nudged down 0.2 percent in June 2015 compared with May 2015.
June 2015/2014 SCAD reported decreases in the average monthly prices of 13 groups of building materials during June 2015 compared with June 2014. The falls ranged between 0.4 percent for ‘Transport equipment rents' and 17.3 percent for ‘Waterproofing products'.
‘Waterproofing products' decreased by 17.3 percent in June 2015 compared with June 2014, as a result of a decrease in the prices of most of the item constituting this group.
The average prices of ‘Wires' decreased in June 2015 compared with June 2014: the largest fall was recorded for ‘Wires for residential towers' (down 14.9 percent), followed by ‘Wires for small buildings', (down 9.3 percent), and ‘Wires for apartments' (down 2.0 percent).
The average prices of ‘Steel' dropped 13.3 percent in June 2015 compared with June 2014.
Despite the overall downward trend, some building materials items have seen increases in June 2015 compared with May 2014. These include: False ceilings, Tiles and marble, Aggregates and sand.
The average prices of ‘False ceiling' increased by 5.7 percent in June 2015 compared with June 2014, due to increases in most of the items of this group. The average prices of ‘Tiles and marble' surged 5.4 percent in June 2015 compared with June 2014. The average prices of ‘Aggregates and sand' increased by 2.8 percent in June 2015 compared with June 2014.
Most of the building materials groups recorded higher average prices during Q2 2015 compared with Q1 2015. Increases ranged between 0.5 percent for ‘Cement' and 6.0 percent for the ‘Construction labour'. While the average prices for some groups showed no change in Q2 2015 compared with Q1 2015.
Meanwhile, some groups displayed higher prices in Q2 2015 compared with Q1 2015. These include: ‘Waterproofing products' (down 9.7 percent), ‘Steel' (down 7.7 percent), ‘PVC Pipes' (down 6.0 percent), and ‘Natural stone' (down 3.9 percent).
The average prices of building materials showed mixed trends in Q2 2015 compared with Q2 2014. Increases ranged between 0.1 percent for ‘Concrete' and 6.1 percent for ‘False ceiling', with ‘Tiles and marble' increasing by 4.5 percent, ‘Aggregates and sand' by 2.8 percent and ‘Roofing materials' by 1.7 percent.
A downward trend dominated price change over the period under review, with decreases ranging between 0.4 percent for ‘Transport equipment' and 17.2 percent for ‘Waterproofing products'. Other key significant falls in the prices were observed in the ‘Steel' group (down 13.6 percent) and ‘Wires for residential towers' (down 13.0 percent). – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395283946109.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid launches Meydan One, new 3.67 million SQM development

posted on 04/08/2015

The Meydan City Corporation announced the development of a new 3,671,000 sqm leisure, residential and hospitality destination within the heart of Dubai, at a VIP launch event at The Meydan Hotel.
Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum officially approved the development of Meydan One, which will become home to more than 78,300 residents and feature the 711m tall Dubai One tower, the Meydan One Mall, a civic plaza with dancing water features, a 4km canal and a 100 berth marina.
The first phase of the development, located between Meydan and Al Khail Road, is scheduled for completion before 2020, when Dubai's population is forecasted to hit 3.4million.
The Meydan One Mall will be a never before seen concept, featuring a 150m x 80m retractable roof which will be opened in the cooler, winter months to create an alfresco shopping and dining atmosphere. With more than 300 restaurants, cafes and kiosks offering fine dining and fast food options, the mall will also attract flagship retailers, luxury stand-alone outlets and nightlife.
Set to become Dubai's No. 1 leisure destination with a gross floor area of 5million sqm, it will feature the world's longest indoor ski slope at 1.2km, a 25,000 sqm indoor multi-purpose sport facility, over 5.3km bicycle and jogging trails, a 9km boardwalk, the largest dancing fountain in the world reaching over 420m long, a 300m long beach, a civic plaza to host up to 60,000 people and a one of a kind heritage village.
Meydan Chairman Saeed Humaid Al Tayer said – "In a city which never stops innovating, today's announcement is significant for the future of Dubai and the UAE. We have committed to developing a multi-use destination which goes beyond expectations and will cater to every kind of person living and working here, as well as those who travel from around the world to visit.
"Our efforts in creating world-class indoor and outdoor sporting facilities reinforce the role we are playing in the community to create sustainable, sought after services that will contribute to the health of our nation. These are exciting times at the Meydan City Corporation and the hard work starts now to ensure Meydan One is Dubai's No. 1 leisure, hospitality and residential district.
"This development is a forward thinking, interactive enterprise geared towards the Dubai of tomorrow. The encouragement and support we have received in the past from our trusted partners will now help the Meydan One development come to life. The first phase will be completed as Dubai prepares to host the World Expo 2020."
The 25,000 sqm indoor multi-purpose sports facility will offer every sport imaginable, including tennis, football, basketball, volleyball, squash, indoor cricket, mixed martial arts, softball, a baseball batting cage, lacrosse, golf and hockey. Skiing and snowboarding will be facilitated on the 1.2km ski slope.
Meydan Arena is located at the base of the ski slope structure and with a seating capacity of 8,000 will play host to sporting events, live concerts and theatrical shows. Outdoor sports options will include football pitches, mountain biking, walking and running trails, a skateboard park and a BMX park.
The new civic plaza, large enough to comfortably host 60,000 people, will be home to a floating stage, fountains and a waterfall. The 420m long jet fountain displays will be the world largest and will include light laser shows choreographed with digital screens. Any kind of event will be possible, from civic gatherings, concerts, UAE National Day celebrations, film, art and food festivals, sport and fashion shows.
The 300m long beach, sitting adjacent to the aqua marine Crystal Lagoons, will offer visitors swimming, paddle boats, sea kayaking, beach volleyball and night time light displays, as well as direct access to a new Water Park, beach bar and restaurants.
The world's tallest residential tower, The Dubai One and its integrated podium incorporate 350,000 sqm of gross floor area, 885 residential apartments, a 5 star hotel with 350 hotel keys, a conference centre, a 360-degree observation deck at 655m high (world record), a sky restaurant at 675m high (world record), a plaza view restaurant and terrace as well as the Meydan One Marina Yacht Club.
Meydan's vision began with the completion of the Grandstand in 2010 and was underlined by the Group's role in the development of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, specifically District One, a collection of premium villas within the heart of new Dubai. The construction of Meydan One will complete the company's commitment to helping create the future of Dubai through the development of attractive, family oriented residential and lifestyle projects.
Present at the launch were H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State, Lt. General Musabah Rashid Al Fattan, Director of Dubai Ruler's Office, Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai Protocol and Hospitality Department, senior officials and members of the business community. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283983726.html

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Mohammed bin Rashid approves plans for new residential communities

posted on 04/08/2015

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has approved plans for two new residential communities in Dubai.
The 8,000 plot project is part of HH's diligent efforts to build a happy community in Dubai and provide citizens with a comfortable life.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said that HH had ordered distribution of land to eligible citizens in Wadi Safa, an extension of Ned Al Shiba, and Al Aweer 1 (Al Tai). Each plot of land (120x100) will span 12,000 square feet.
Lootah explained that a community of 1,400 and 1,000 villas will come up in Wadi Safa and Tai respectively.
The two new residential areas will be fully serviced with all amenities including mosques, schools, gardens and sports facilities, and shopping centres, in addition to clinics, libraries and other essential services, he added.
He explained that demographic growth and growing demand for residential lands have prompted the municipality to study re-planning of areas with a new perspective so as to help citizens have their own homes. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283969289.html

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Ministry of Higher Education announces plans for International Leadership Conference

posted on 04/08/2015

Under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, International Leadership Conference and Awards will be held in February 2016, according to an announcement of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The conference themed on Building a Sustainable Future, will be organised by Alliance Capital Group.
The 'Undergraduate Business, Economic, Finance International Leadership Conference and Awards' hopes to establish a dialogue platform for university students in the business industry and help them recognise opportunities and challenges which separate university education and the practical reality of the business sector. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283955011.html

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Emirates Reit to invest Dh208.3m to build new school in Dubailand

posted on 04/08/2015

Emirates Reit, a Sharia-compliant real estate investment trust incorporated in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and listed on Nasdaq Dubai, has acquired a freehold land plot and will fund the development of a new school in the Akoya development.
Emirates Reit agreed with Jebel Ali School to build and enter into a 26-year lease for their new school facility.
Emirates REIT acquired the freehold land plot from Damac Crescent Properties for Dh98.5 million (including acquisition costs), and immediately leased it to Jebel Ali School, providing an initial net income in excess of 10% of the acquisition costs of the plot.
Emirates REIT simultaneously entered into an Istisna agreement with Jebel Ali School, to build their new facility.
The construction of the school facilities is estimated to cost approximately Dh109.8 million, bringing the total investment to Dh208.3 million. Upon completion, the school will account for approximately 9.2 per cent of today's portfolio value of Dh2.25 billion.
The internal rate of return for this project should exceed 11 per cent, and Emirates Reit will account for an immediate valuation gain of Dh6 million.
Akoya is a residential development expected to house more than 44,000 residents when complete in 2018, providing a large and immediate catchment area for the planned school. In addition, demand for the school will also come from adjacent major residential developments including Arabian Ranches, Mudon, Motor City and Dubai Sports City. – Emirates 24/7 - http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/emirates-reit-to-invest-dh208-3m-to-build-new-school-in-dubailand-2015-08-03-1.599040

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Online registration is now open for the 12th Dubai International Film Festival

posted on 04/08/2015

Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) announced yesterday that online registration is now open for media, industry and students for the 12th edition of the Festival, which will run from Wednesday, 9th December until Wednesday, 16th December.
Heading into its 12th year of hosting the widest and latest choice of Arab and world cinema, DIFF has earned a reputation as the leading destination for Arab cinema and the most anticipated films from around the world. Screening more than 118 films, the 2014 edition included 55 world and international premieres from 48 countries.
As well as presenting an exciting and irresistible film programme, The Dubai Film Market (DFM), DIFF's renowned industry arm, continues to support filmmakers by offering a hub for Arab cinema and broadcast. The leading sales and acquisitions platform in the region will bring key industry players under one roof with access to a range of initiatives that support and fund projects originating from the Arab world alongside its various project arms.
These include post-production and production funding support programme Enjaaz, the Dubai Distribution Programme (DDP) and the fourth IWC Filmmaker Award. With the return of Dubai Film Connection, the region's co-production market, the DFM will continue its commitment to nurturing UAE and Arab talent to further accelerate the film industry in the region.
The DFM will offer extensive opportunities for all industry delegates; last year over 2,500 executives, distributors, producers, commissioners, funders, advisors and buyers attended the Festival from 81 countries to do business. Emerging as an invigorating market place, with an increasing demand for stands and representation of sales companies and film commissions; it's the perfect place for filmmakers to pitch new ideas, meet potential production investors and production partners.
Sales agents and distributers can access the successful Cinetech, a fully-digitised library of the festival's film programme plus a selection of recommended content by the DIFF programmers and from regional and international sales agents.
Now open for online registration, DIFF is offering media and industry candidates exceptional access to the 12th edition of the Festival, an unrivalled programme of screenings, red carpet galas, master-classes, discussions, industry support, workshops and the opportunity to meet filmmakers, onscreen talent and industry professionals from across the globe.
Shivani Pandya, DIFF Managing Director said: "Our programmers are busy scouring the Arab world and beyond for a line-up of cinematic gems ensuring that there is something for everyone this December. We look forward to bringing guests from around the world to Dubai, ranging from acclaimed directors, producers and actors to profiling exciting new filmmaking talent who will benefit from all the festival has to offer. With an expanded Dubai Film Market (DFM) programme including the return of the Dubai Film Connection and the Muhr Awards celebrating excellence in our region, DIFF is proud to be a crucial part of the continuing growth of Arab cinema in the region, delivering an industry backbone while simultaneously deepening the cinematic culture in the UAE." – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395283969562.html

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