Dr. Ibrahim AlAbed speaking to media representatives
A global media delegation visiting the UAE on the occasion of the 41st National Day celebrations
UAE: Development, growth and giant achievements
The United Arab Emirates National Media Council has organized a successful and eventful program on the occasion of the 41st National Day celebrations that swept across the country amid the joy and pride in the course of development, growth and giant achievements. The program's events and seminars received positive widespread reactions at home and abroad.
65 journalists from 26 countries visited the UAE, at the invitation of the National Center for Media to cover the National Day celebrations.
The delegation met Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, then visited the Emirate of Fujairah, where it was received by Engineer Mohammed Saif Al Afkham the Director General of the Fujairah Municipality, to see the seven emirates achievements in the presence of Abdullah Alhantaiwi.
"The Middle East Times International" and its Internet network were represented by colleague Daniel Shalala, the English affairs editor.
Nahyan bin Mubarak receives The Global Media Delegation and feast in their honor
His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research received the global media delegation on the margins of the 41st National Day celebrations at his palace in "Boutayn".
His Highness gave the delegation a comprehensive idea about the country's evolution since its inception in the second of December 1971 by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul and the progress and prosperity achieved in all fields in the reign of His Highness President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, may God preserve him.
He emphasized that the wise leadership of His Highness the Head of State supports all educational institutions, noting that the education sector in the UAE accounts for 20 percent of the total state budget worth eight billion and 200 million dirhams to complete the implementation of the education development strategy in the State.
UAE economy strong: Al Suwaidi
Governor of Central Bank of the UAE Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi has said the UAE economy is strong and registering the highest growth rates in all the economic and social sectors in line with the state’s policy of the economic diversification.
“The banking system in the UAE is stable and has a high solvency sheet in accordance to the “Basel 3” criteria,” he added, noting that the number of national banks in the UAE had reached 23 banks, 807 branches and 28 electronic units, while the foreign banks reached 22, 83 branches and 52 electronic units. In addition to 6 Gulf banks with one branch.
Al Suwaidi said there are 113 representative offices of foreign banks, 25 financial companies, 23 investment companies,120 exchange companies and 4, 346 ATMs in the UAE.
The remarks were made today afternoon at a meeting held by Al Suwaidi with 65 journalists representing 26 Arab and foreign countries at Grand Millennium Hotel. The event marked the UAE’s 41st national day anniversary.
Al Suwaidi underlined that the banks operating in the country enjoy solid capital base, pointing out that the volume of banks’ assets in the country reached at the end of last October US$476 billion dollars, deposits US$ 316 billion and the volume of lending US$ 296 billion. He added that the total profits of the banks in the UAE reached at the end of last October AED24, 689 billion.
He said the Central Bank of the UAE works to achieve financial stability in the country through the creation of a financial system that is able to address any risks.
Lubna expects growth of foreign trade by 10- 15 per cent
Foreign Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi said that the UAE foreign trade would see growth by 10- 15 per cent in 2012.
She added while meeting 60 journalists representing different continents, at Grand Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi, that the UAE foreign trade policy focuses on expansion of non oil sector with different countries worldwide, and boosting ties with its trade partners in five continents.
The journalists were invited by National Media Council to cover the UAE's 41st national day anniversary celebrations.
Sheikha Lubna said the growth rate of UAE foreign trade in 2011 was 23 per cent against 14 per cent in 2010, surging by DH47 billion.
The minister added, India was the top UAE trade partner last year as the trade between them stood at US$53 billion, followed by China at US$14 billion in the same year.
She said the UAE's Gross Domestic Gross was ranked second in the GCC after Saudi Arabia - this was the case with the investments in 2010.
Sheikha Lubna said the gold constituted 50 per cent of the UAE's exports last year.
The UAE minister said the UAE had managed to overcome the effects of the world financial crisis, thanks to growing energy demands in Asian markets- but this does not mean dropping the European markets, which enjoy high productivity, especially in the advanced technology.
She also referred to trade openness with Russia, Central Asian countries, Australia and South East Asian countries. The UAE - Russian trade stood at US$2 billion last year, noting that there are 40 Russian companies operating in the UAE with exception of Russian companies at the UAE free trade zones. -
UAE seeks peaceful solution to islands issue
The developments the UAE has seen over the last four decades were not only in infrastructure, urban and economic fields, but also cover the human development, said Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
“UAE works in the light of its culture and history, and is keen on updating its political systems, and expand the participation, governance and always looking forward in the presence of a number of challenges it faces”, he noted.
Dr Gargash was speaking at a meeting held here on Thursday, addressing 65 media men and reporters from 26 Arab and foreign countries, who are visiting the country at an invitation of the National Media Council on the occasion of the 41st National Day celebrations of the UAE.
He said: “The entire international community is concerned over the Iranian nuclear programme, and we are concerned too, because any decisions or developments in this regard would have complications on us and any military action would be a disaster in the region.”
“Al Qaeda had hijacked the religion over the last 10 years, which resulted in a state of instability in a number of countries, and created some tensed flash-points in some other states”, he said.
He added that the UAE is keen on updating its education system to meet challenges. “ We have been looking forward to have a modern education system, and meet the future needs’, he noted.
He said the UAE had been carrying out humanitarian works and economic support to Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan for the last 10 years.
Speaking on the situation in the Middle East, Dr Gargash said: “ What happened in Gaza Strip showed that the problem is still existing, and there must be a radical solution for it, and that is the two-state solution”. He said that Israel doesn’t want that solution, and has been trying to change the events on the ground by building settlements and confiscating lands.
He said the issues, our foreign policy is concerned with, do not confine to the regional and Arab ones, but also include the events in some neighbouring countries.
“Our relations with India and Pakistan are strong”, he said, and pointed to the initiative of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, towards the Pakistani girl Malala Yousoufzai, who was injured in Taleban attack.
On human rights issue in the UAE, he said : “ There is a positive view for the issue, but we still face challenges. He said that a number of labour force exporting countries have recognised in the international forums, especially the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, that the UAE has made important achievements in improving the work environment and the conditions of workers”.
On the status of woman , he said: “We are Arab and Islamic society, and Islam has empowered woman to work, and grants her rights, hence the Emirati women hold higher posts abroad, especially in the UAE embassies and consulates general.”
He said the death penalty is also a challenge in the UAE, adding that “there are obvious matters which cannot be changed in religion, and we as an Islamic society developed our human rights”. The death penalty was carried out only once over the last 10 years in the UAE, he recalled.
He said the UAE has free media, transparent laws, effective participation and continuous dialogue.
He shed lights on the current incidents in Egypt, and said: “Egypt is a pivotal Arab state, and the developments taking place in it on both cultural and political levels, undoubtedly have impacts on the Arab world.
On UAE relations with Iran, he said: “ Our relation with Iran is ripe and agree on some issues and disagree on others”. He however, said Iran is our neighbour, and we are important trade partners with Iran, and the UAE does not seek to create any confrontation, but wants to develop that relation, through direct negotiations or refer the case to the International Court of Justice “.
“We want a peaceful solution to the UAE three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Mousa occupied by Tehran,” he said
A year and a half ago, the Iranians requested us for the bilateral dialogue, and sought to avoid media, he said, adding that we had arranged for the dialogue in the course of a year, and we showed our good intentions by taking a number of measures. The dialogue was scheduled to begin last April, but the Iranian President visited the three occupied islands, and announced that the three isles are Iranian, and no power would change this fact. Dr Gargash said this showed that they are not serious in resolving the issue.
We are still demanding to resolve the issue or implement the international law or refer to the International Court of Justice.
On the Iranian nuclear programme, he said we support the right of the country in obtaining peaceful nuclear powers, and Tehran should pay attention to the concern of the World and the International Nuclear Agency over its nuclear programme.
He also spoke about the situation in Syria, and said: “The situation had changed to a civil war, and was militarised, so we look forward to seeing a political solution and the transfer of power smoothly. “ Syria cannot afford the transfer of power in a chaotic way as the environment for the transfer is not available. He, however, voiced concern over the on-going conflict and destruction in Syria, saying that the horizons for political settlement are blocked, and called on the opposition to make their presence felt.
Reem Al Hashimi briefs media delegations on UAE's potentials to host Expo 2012
Reem Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020 in Dubai said that UAE has made tremendous achievements in all fields under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This came during her meeting here at Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel with 65 Arab and foreign journalists hailing from 26 countries, invited by the National Media Council, NMC on the occasion of UAE's 41st National Day.
She said, during this significant progress, much focused was given on building human resources and infrastructure making the UAE one of the most developed and civilized countries in the region.
For all these reasons and potentials, she added, the UAE has decided to host Expo 2020 in Dubai, expressing the optimism to win the international support for hosting this economic, tourist and cultural gathering which is expected to see about 160 countries and will last for six months.
Reem Al Hashimi, underlined the keenness of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to rally regional, Arab and international efforts for hosting expo 2020, based on the potentials and capabilities that UAE enjoys to compete on hosting the event in Dubai.
She referred that Expo 2020 coincides with the golden jubilee of the country's celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2020, indicating that UAE has strong and strategic relations with the countries of the region and the continent of Africa, garnering support to vote Dubai for the country's bid.
The minister unveiled a plan to help the developed and poor countries in their participation in Dubai Expo, supporting indirectly and finding solution of their poverty through supporting their projects.
She informed the reporters about the masterplan for Dubai Trade Centre-Jebel Ali, the proposed site to host the six-month World Expo 2020, adding that the site was selected due to its strategic location, equidistant between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and adjacent to the Dubai World Central airport and Jebel Ali Port, providing ease of access for the millions of international and local visitors expected.
The total cost of establishing Dubai Expo headquarters will be between 2 to 4 billion US dollars.
The site masterplan, is inspired by traditional Arab souqs, and integrates the UAE's unique architectural heritage and environment of vibrancy and trade with the requirements of the Expo to foster the fundamental principles of innovation, partnership and collaboration between participants and visitors.
UAE Minister of State, said that the theme of the expo "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future" reflects on Dubai's cultural diversity and its ability to bring different creative minds together on a single platform.
The 438-hectare site will be one of the largest ever used for a World Expo and will ensure an unforgettable experience for the event's 25 million visitors.
The host of the expo will be decided through a popular vote. Around 160 member nations will cast their votes to choose between Dubai (UAE), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Yekaterinburg (Russia), Ayutthaya (Thailand) and Izmir (Turkey).
She confirmed that Dubai is the strongest among five candidate cities due to the UAE's status on the political, economic, humanitarian and international map as well as its prestigious reputation in the regional and international circles and its strong relations with all countries of the world.
She also noted that UAE is considered one of the world's most secure and stable nations and is one of the top 10 countries of the world having low rates of crimes according to the international statistics.
"35% of our student body at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology are women": Dr. Nawal Al Hosany
Ladies & Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of the Media, Salam Alaikom and good morning. On behalf of Masdar, a very warm welcome to everyone.
On the occasion of UAE's 41 National Day, I would like to extend my warmest greetings and praise to The UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and to all citizens and residents.
The National Day of the UAE is a great occasion for us to remember the country’s glorious journey towards progress. Today if it is reckoned a leading regional hub of the Middle East, it is primarily because of the country’s visionary leadership and the dedication, perseverance and unflagging effort demonstrated by its people.
Our commitment to sustainable development is rooted deeply in the values of our country, shaped above all by our founding father the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan. These values include a respect for nature, an emphasis on education, a stress on rights and opportunities for women, and an open and tolerant society.
Recently, the UAE was rated 18th globally in “Where-to-be-born-index, 2013, and first in the Arab World, placing it ahead of many developed countries.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of our nation, once said, "Nothing could delight me more than to see the woman taking up her distinctive position in society ... Nothing should hinder her progress ... Like men, women deserve the right to occupy high positions according to their capabilities and qualifications."
Today, we can see women engaging and excelling in many different industries in both the public and private sectors; all as a result of the significant efforts to empower women with education, entrepreneurship, and with equal opportunities.
The UAE has 4 women cabinet ministers, 9 out of 40 members of parliament are women, and women are represented in government, the private sector, the judiciary and even the armed forces.
Looking specifically at women role in the “Renewable and Sustainability industry”, we clearly notice that their engagement continue to play a major role in the development of this industry and the advancing of technology to combat the challenges of climate change.
For instance, 35% of our student body at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology are women, we have young women developing patents for important future renewable technologies, visiting Antarctica, representing the UAE in international initiatives such as the C3E Clean Energy Ministerial, and negotiating our positions in international negotiations including G20, Rio+20, and the UNFCCC.
Sustainability is a core value for Masdar, and we believe that it is a key criterion that we must use in making decisions. We think about the degree to which the actions we take can be repeated in the future without any significant loss in quality, resources or efficacy.
Masdar City for example is one of the world’s-first low-carbon urban developments powered by renewable energy and a test bed for cutting edge clean energy and efficiency technologies. Masdar City’s successes can most clearly be seen in two areas:
1- The sustaiable supply chain
2- and the built environment.
Regarding the supply chain, Masdar City’s engagement with local and international suppliers has resulted in the city helping develop and bring to local markets a range of green building materials, including low-carbon cement; high-recycled-content aluminium; sustainably sourced timber; water-based, low-VOC paints; and 100% recycled steel reinforcing bars.
To help increase awareness and promote the green practices in the construction sector, Masdar created the FutureBuild.com portal to serve as a platform to connect architects, designers, contractors and clients in the construction industry and be used as a trusted tool to specify products and manufacturers and help achieve desired projects' building rating level.
As examples of successes in the built environment, the Masdar Institute’s residential buildings are designed to use 54% less potable water and 51% less electricity than business as usual, while 30% of buildings’ power demand is met by rooftop PV and 75% of hot water is provided by rooftop thermal collectors.
In This regard, the UAE through Masdar is being a change agent in the industry, and has already played a leading role in the discussions on renewable energy and sustainability. Our commitment to sustainability and renewable energy continues to drive the company’s strategic direction as it takes on an increasingly prominent role in global effort toward advancing renewable energy and clean technology.
Locally, Masdar is collaborating with other entities such as “Abu Dhabi Municipality” and it also invests, and develops energy efficiency projects in the region and around the world.
To foster the deeper international cooperation essential for tackling the world’s major challenges in sustainability and renewable energy, and to encourage the dialogue between broad industry stakeholders to strengthen strategic partnerships, Masdar is hosting “ Abu Dhabi Sustainability week” that will take place Next January bringing together the World Future Energy Summit, the International Water Summit, the International Renewable Energy Conference, IRENA’s 2nd General Assembly and the Zayed Future Energy Prize Award Ceremony.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize was established in 2008, and it represents the vision of the late Founding Father and President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who championed environmental stewardship.
Just as HH Sheikh Zayed's environmental conservation achievements have been internationally honoured, the Zayed Future Energy Prize was established to recognize and honour outstanding, innovative achievements and leadership in the global search for a sustainable energy future.
The Prize categories focus on supporting emerging businesses, individuals and support future generations that have innovative ideas and projects that can create a positive impact on meeting the requirements of our greatest energy and sustainability challenges by providing real-world solutions.
Each category is evaluated based on the four core criteria of the prize; Leadership, Long-term Vision, Innovation, and Impact.
The Five categories of the Prize are:
1. Large corporations
4. Lifetime achievement
5. And for the first time The Global High Schools Prize
Abu Dhabi non oil sector's contribution set to increase effectively by 2030
The Undersecretary of the Economic Development Department- Abu Dhabi Mohammed Omar Abdulla has expected the Abu Dhabi non oil sector's contribution to the economy would rise by 64 per cent by 2030, thanks to the development of productive sectors, especially the industry, tourism, telecommunications and transport.
The remark was made during a meeting organised by National Media Council (NMC) yesterday morning with 65 journalists from 25 countries, who are visiting the UAE upon the invitation from NMC to cover the UAE's 41st national day anniversary.
Abdullah said the UAE led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has scored huge achievements in all fields, citing that the UAE has become the second Arab strongest economy.
While marking the 41st national day anniversary, he continued, the UAE is set to score more achievements in the light of well planned policies to become solid economy that serves East and West.
Abdullah added that since the launch of Emirate of Abu Dhabi's Economic Vision 2030, the government has been embarked on sound basis of the economy, noting that the economic progress in Abu Dhabi was not accidental nor a short termed one, but had resulted from good planning outlined by the leadership of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
He lauded the directives by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to exploit huge economic potentials.
Abdullah stressed the important role of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development in the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular. He added that the fund aims to create new generation of Emirati entrepreneurs.
He underlined the strategic significance of building Khalifa port in Al Taweelah area in Abu Dhabi and the expansion of Abu Dhabi Airport, being a vital trade hub for East and West.
Abdullah said the statistics show the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE registered strong economy performance and recovery as GDP registered growth with non oil performing very well.
He stressed the keenness of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi on attracting new investments to contribute to achievement of sustainable development objectives.