EMIRATES NEWS (16/11/2012)





Cabinet approves issuing of a draft federal law on Child's Rights

            His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, stressed yesterday that all children have the right to live a safe life in a stable environment.

He made his remarks while chairing the Cabinet meeting held this morning at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, during which a draft federal law on the protection of children was discussed. The meeting was also attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

"We will never relent with those who violate the fundamental rights of children," he said. "The new law covers all areas relating to children's rights and contains mechanisms that will ensure its application." Sheikh Mohammed also instructed that the law should be known as 'Wadima's Law,' after the eight-year old Emirati girl who was recently killed by her father, who then buried her body in the desert, a crime that shocked Emirati society.

The new law, approved by the Cabinet, includes 72 articles which cover all children's rights guaranteed by international conventions and in accordance with the rules of Islamic Sharia and the principles of the Emirati Constitution. The law includes the health, educational, cultural and social rights of the child in addition to providing guarantees to provide their protection, together with the relevant mechanisms for this. One chapter specifies penalties for breaches of the law.

The Cabinet was also briefed during its session yesterday on the report on the work of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, which was formed in order to combat this crime in cooperation with the relevant authorities.

It also approved the final accounts of the federation and of the Federal National Council, the UAE University, the Higher Colleges of Technology, Zayed University, the General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and the Federal Electricity and Water Authority. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Cairo Declaration calls for peaceful solution of issue of three UAE Islands occupied by Iran

            Cairo: Arab and European Foreign Ministers expressed concern at the conclusion of their meeting yesterday at the headquarters of Arab League's General Secretariat, about lack of progress regarding solution of the conflict between the UAE and Iran over the three UAE Islands- Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa occupied by Iran.

They reiterated their support towards finding an amicable solution in accordance with the international law whether through direct talks or referral of the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

The ministers welcomed the resolutions of the Counter-Piracy Conference held in Abu Dhabi this year. They also welcomed the agreement reached by the Syrian opposition parties in their recent meeting in Doha under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Saif bin Zayed hails GCC states’ security cooperation efforts

            The 31st meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States’ Interior Ministers kicked off yesterday in Riyadh. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior led the UAE’s delegation to the meeting.

Sheikh Saif commended the efforts exerted by the GCC states to further develop the security cooperation in the interest of peoples in the region, recalling the role played by the late Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz. ‘The GCC security had lost a man in the stature of Prince Naif, who had the set rules to counteract extremism and terrorism,’ he added.

He expressed confidence in HRH Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, Saudi Minister of Interior to bear the responsibilities in the footsteps of the late Prince Naif.

Sheikh Saif revealed that the GCC Interior ministers were planning to launch an initiative in the memory of late Prince Naif. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

 

The Turtle wins best HD Movie Award for 2012

            In front of a glittering audience of movie makers and media personnel gathered at Grand Habtoor Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai on 12 November, 'The Turtle' - a 14-minute film made by the UAE National Media Council for its pavilion at EXPO 2012 - won the award for Best HD movie of 2012.

The award ceremony was organised by BroadcastPro Middle East in conjunction with ASBU - a reputed and innovative non-profit broadcast organisation in the pan Arab world and an IBC award winner.

H.H. Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Media Council, welcomed the recognition of the film by the distinguished international panel of judges. "I am delighted that The Turtle continues to win public and professional recognition", he said. "It is a strong story that sheds light on an issue that the UAE is serious about tackling. There is no doubt that it will inspire many young people to respect our environment", he added.

The Turtle was also a recent recipient of the Golden Dolphin Award at the Cannes Corporate Media and TV Awards in Cannes, France and was instrumental in the UAE Pavilion being granted a Silver Medal at EXPO 2012 Yeosu, Korea, where it was narrowly beaten by China for the top award.

The news was greeted enthusiastically by the film's entire production team including its facilities provider, Filmworks, that supported the production and entered the film into the competition. Filmworks has also provided key services to major feature film productions such as Mission Impossible.

The Turtle's youngest actor, Ahmed Al Dahouri, was particularly happy that the recent award in Cannes had been reinforced by this latest accolade, placing the film on the top rung of the ladder for locally produced movies over the past year. "I hope this means that the film's important message reaches even more people", he told the National Media Council, when he was informed of the award.

The BroadcastPro Middle East Awards have been designed to reward excellence among individuals and end user companies who have deployed winning or innovative technologies or made significant contributions to the local broadcast industry.

ASBU teamed up with BroadcastPro Middle East as part of its efforts to tie with a partner that understands the market but also respects the need for integrity and credibility in choosing winners. "Our partnership with ASBU is designed to encourage greater participation from across the pan Arab market and to ensure that the choice of winners is a transparent and competent process," stated the BPME spokesperson. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Arab women's role in Energy and Climate Change highlighted at WEF in UAE

            Regional and international women leaders in energy and climate change converged in the UAE to discuss opportunities and challenges to women's empowerment and leadership in climate change, in advance of the UN climate negotiations (COP18) to be held in Doha at the end of this month.

The high-level majlis titled 'Arab women leading the way in energy and climate change' was jointly hosted by the Directorate of Energy and Climate Change at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice and Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company.

Held on the sidelines of World Economic Forum in the UAE, the session highlighted the active engagement of women leaders across the Gulf and Arab region in addressing climate change and promoting sustainable development. The panellists additionally explored ways to enhance women's participation at COP18 and identified gender-climate outcomes that women would like to see from the negotiations.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: "With the UN climate change negotiations being held in our region for the first time, the GCC will receive significant international attention in the coming weeks. Women are an integral part of our society. Empowering women, will, without a doubt, equip them with the ability to take on an active and participatory role in advancing sustainable development and addressing climate change concerns.

"In line with the directive of our wise and visionary leadership, the UAE has achieved great strides towards empowering women: Today, nine out of 40 members at the UAE Federal National Council are women. It's equally noteworthy that the UAE women constitute 66 per cent of the public sector workforce, 30 per cent of which are senior decision makers".

Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, director of Energy and Climate Change at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and president of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, and Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, director of Sustainability at Masdar and director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, headlined the event as keynote speakers.

Addressing the women's majlis, Mary Robinson said: "Women's contributions - political, economic, social and environmental - are central to tackling the global challenges we face today. Women can play an important role in bringing about positive societal transformations. For this reason, there is a real need to catalyse women's leadership as gender equality and women's empowerment will contribute to a more just world for all".

"COP 18 provides an important opportunity for the region to show leadership on climate change. There is renewed hope that next month in Qatar, countries can agree to act together to take positive action on climate change and embrace a new model of development, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions, builds resilience to climate change and delivers sustainable development for all," Robinson added.

Moderated by Noura Al Kaabi, member of the Federal National Council and Chief Executive Officer, twofour54, the panel included Dr. Amal Al Ghaferi, Faculty, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology; Audrey Choi, Managing Director and Head, Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance; Beatrix Schmlling, CDM Implementation Team Leader, Masdar; Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Executive Director, Institute for Human Capital Development (IDHC), Zayed University; Eng. Maryam Al Balooshi, Environment Manager, UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and Sarah Al-Dorani at the COP18 Presidency Team.

Held for the first time in the GCC region, the COP18 offers a valuable opportunity to highlight the positive achievements of the region with regards to women's education and empowerment in the context of clean energy and climate change.

This year, the Conference of the Parties will specifically look at ways to integrate women's participation in addressing the UN's mandate of tackling environmental issues such as pollution caused by countries' industrial emissions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

World oil market is balanced: Al Hameli

            The world oil market is currently experiencing a balanced condition which helps satisfy demand of customers, Mohammed bin Dhaen Al Hameli, Minister of Energy, said yesterday.

Al Hameli said the UAE, as an OPEC member, is committed to see a stable and well-supplied world oil market and fair prices for both producers and consumers so as to fuel global economic growth.

The minister made his remarks during separate meetings with US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, British Minister of State for International Development and Canadian Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations Cal Dallas, who are currently visiting the UAE to attend the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC 2012) at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).

Al Hameli discussed with the ministers avenues of joint energy cooperation and informed them about the UAE's determination to further develop its trade and economic cooperation, especially in oil industries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

US participation in Adipec to boost energy ties

            General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Monday received US Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman at Al Bahr Palace, who is currently visiting the UAE to attend the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Adipec 2012) at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec).

General Sheikh Mohammed welcomed Poneman and his accompanying delegation and hoped the US participation in the major oil and gas exhibition would contribute to pushing bilateral energy cooperation forward.

The meeting explored mechanisms of boosting joint cooperation in area of energy and discussed a host of topics of mutual interest. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UK minister highlights strength of British business ties with UAE at ADIPEC 2012

            Speaking to industry decision makers attending the Middle East's largest oil and gas show yesterday, Britain's Minister of State for International Development said the UAE and UK were building on 200 years of shared history and that UK industry was at the forefront of development in the energy sector.

The Right Honourable Alan Duncan MP, the official head of the UK delegation attending the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition (ADIPEC), said the large presence of UK companies at the event reflected its importance to British industry.

Addressing VIP delegates at the Middle East Petroleum Club, an exclusive networking venue for top oil and gas officials, he said, "UK companies now lead the world in many areas of finding, developing and extracting oil and gas as well as managing installations in an export industry worth over US$10bn a year, roughly equivalent of 25% of the UK's total energy sector." Oil and gas provides 440,000 jobs in the UK and generates a quarter of the country's tax revenues. Responsible for a total capital investment of GBP8.5bn in 2011, the sector is the UK's largest industrial investor.

A former oil trader and a regular visitor to the UAE over the last 30 years, Mr Duncan was attending ADIPEC a week after the official visit to the UAE of British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Mr Duncan said the prime minister's recent stay was a "demonstration of our commitment to the relationship with UAE, politically, culturally and commercially. Ours is a partnership of equals, building on the firm foundation of our shared history stretching back 200 years." The minister said the UK pavilion at ADIPEC showed the diversity of Britain's offer to the regional oil and gas industry and the capabilities of its technology. Mr Duncan said British expertise had been honed by the experience of working in the North Sea, a highly challenging environment for oil and gas exploration and production.

Mr Duncan praised the extensive collaboration between the UAE and the UK on energy development, pointing to their involvement in Masdar, the London Array wind power project, and the Abu Dhabi-headquartered International Renewable Energy Agency.

He said continued cooperation between the two countries would seek to promote additional opportunities for the UAE workforce, in line with Abu Dhabi's 2030 Vision.

Mr Duncan extolled the virtues of ADIPEC 2012 and the Middle East Petroleum Club as a world-class venue for business exchange.

"As a networking opportunity it's clearly fantastic and I think the British presence is so encouraging," he said. "[The Middle East Petroleum Club] works really well, and I think the whole atmosphere, the way it is laid out and the way it is hosted is excellent." Hosted in a purpose-built marquee in the grandstand area of Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the Middle East Petroleum Club is a new innovation at ADIPEC providing a discreet setting for high-level discussions between oil and gas decision makers, who sealed agreements worth more than US$4bn at the previous show in 2010.

Simon Mellor, Senior Vice President of dmg::events, organiser of ADIPEC 2012, said: "We were delighted to receive Mr Alan Duncan at the Middle East Petroleum Club and to have the opportunity to share his insights with the industry's top executives in such a luxury setting." The 15th edition of ADIPEC, the largest oil and gas show outside North America, is being held on the theme 'Sustainable Energy Growth: People, Responsibility '&' Innovation' from November 11-14.

Covering 38,000 square metres of exhibition space, including an 8,500-square-metre outdoor complex, ADIPEC 2012 is nearly 20% bigger than the 2010 show in terms of exhibition space and has more than 1,600 exhibiting companies and 13 national pavilions.

ADIPEC 2012 expects to host 50,000 visitors from 91 countries and 300 expert industry speakers. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE's first ever oil and gas museum attracts visitors

            Visitors to this year's Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) have been treated to the UAE's first ever oil and gas museum.

Titled the ADIPEC Museum, this unique collection of photographs, equipment, maps and documents illustrates the history of the local oil industry from its humble beginnings with the signing of the Red Line Agreement in 1928 to the present day.

Hosted in an outdoor marquee at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the 500-square-metre museum also has a chronological display of photographs of the Abu Dhabi region dating back to the 1930s. The photographs illustrate the growth of Abu Dhabi in the last 70 years from a modest fishing community struggling in the wake of a dwindling pearl diving industry into the 8th largest oil exporter in the world.

"The ADIPEC Museum is the first of its kind in the Middle East and offers a perspective to visitors on how far Abu Dhabi has come because of the development of oil," said Kimon Alexandrou, Commercial Director at dmg::events, the organisers of ADIPEC. "Every photograph or display is rooted in a specific historic context and shows that oil and gas has promoted diversity and ensured the prosperity of the UAE." Curated with the guidance and support of Fareed Alsayed Abdulla, Senior Vice President (Bab '&' Gas) at ADCO, the ADIPEC Museum opened to visitors on November 11.

The ADIPEC Museum was assembled over the past year and offers visitors a unique opportunity to look at materials that have never been seen before in a single public display

The curators poured over 17,000 photographs from 15 local and international archives.

Archive material from ADNOC, the UAE Ministry of Energy, Abu Dhabi Petroleum Company, among others, was loaned for the display. Authors, academics and local dignitaries were also interviewed in the process of curating the museum, along with current and former employees of the UAE oil and gas industry.

The museum is a notable collaborative effort between international oil companies. Four of the seven original signatories of Abu Dhabi's first oil concession agreement of 1939, namely: ExxonMobil, Total, Shell and BP, are significant contributors to the museum.

The contributors, along with Partex, have loaned dozens of rare photographs including those depicting exploration and production in onshore and offshore fields as well as the late Sheikh Zayed inaugurating various oilfields.

A series of interviews and short films also accompany the exhibits, describing the history and experiences of current and former industry executives.

"ADIPEC attracts significant worldwide interest and it is important for visitors to know about the UAE's history. The museum is important for the local population and especially for the oil companies who do business here because it gives them a cultural and historical perspective to work with," said David Heard, formerly a petroleum engineer for the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Company, who appears in one of the interviews.

The ADIPEC Museum is located in the Offshore and Marine Hall at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and is open from 10am to 6pm daily until November 14. For more information, visit www.adipec.com.  – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

IRENA / ADFD renewable energy facility opens for applications

            The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE invited applications for the first tranche of USD 350 million funding to boost renewable energy in developing countries, offering the potential of sustainable and affordable energy to millions of people who previously had limited or no access to energy.

Applications, which will be accepted until 12 January, are open to government-led or -guaranteed projects in IRENA member and applicant countries from the developing world, said a statement from Irena.

Broadening energy access is crucial to achieving international development goals, and renewable energy offers the opportunity to power communities not served by conventional energy.

But mobilising finance remains a significant challenge to a successful scale-up.

The United Arab Emirates has committed to providing USD 350 million to renewable energy projects endorsed by IRENA over seven funding cycles, through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). The first funding cycle offers USD 50m.

IRENA has developed evaluation guidelines to select projects for funding that are innovative and replicable, broaden access to energy, and address issues identified in the Millennium Development Goals.

The guidelines also seek to ensure projects selected represent a diverse range of technologies and locations, and address energy security issues. Shortlisted projects will be sent to the ADFD for final selection.

"The time has never been better for promoting renewable energy in the developing world," said Frank Wouters, IRENA Deputy Director-General. "Costs have fallen, demand is growing, and renewables offer an unprecedented opportunity to broaden access.

But we need finance to make this a reality. With this new facility, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and IRENA are making innovative renewable energy projects bankable and providing opportunities for new renewable energy businesses to grow in energy-poor areas", he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

M1 increases to Dh 289.8 billion by end of September, says UAE's Central Bank

            Money supply aggregate M1 (currency in circulation plus monetary deposits, i.e., current accounts and call accounts at banks) increased by 1.7%, from Dh 285.0 billion at the end of August 2012 to Dh 289.8 billion at the end of September 2012.

The Central Bank of the UAE announced, in its yesterday's statement, that money supply M0 (currency in circulation + currency at banks) decreased by 1.6% from Dh 55.7 billion at the end of August 2012 to Dh 54.8 billion at the end of September 2012.

The Bank added that money supply aggregate M2 which comprises of M1 and quasi-monetary deposits (resident time and savings deposits in Dirhams, commercial prepayments in Dirhams and resident deposits in foreign currencies), increased by 1.3%, from Dh 835.0 billion at the end of August 2012 to Dh 845.5 billion at the end of September of the same year.

"Money supply aggregate, M3 (M2 plus government deposits at bank operating in the UAE as well as at the Central Bank) increased by 1.8%, from Dh 1,048.8 billion at the end of August to Dh 1,068.1 billion at the end of September of the same year", the statement said.

Total bank deposits increased by 1.5% during the month of September 2012 to close at Dh 1,143.8 billion. Meanwhile, total bank loans and advances (net of provisions and interest in suspense) increased by 1.2% to reach Dh 1,103.2 billion, and total bank assets increased by 1.7% to reach Dh 1,763.9 billion, at the end of September 2012.

During the first 9 months of 2012, intermediary monetary aggregate M2 increased by 2.4%, while bank loans and advances increased by 3.0% and bank deposits increased by 6.9%. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Abu Dhabi inflation at 1.2 percent over the first 10 months of 2012 Y-O-Y

            Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi issued yesterday its monthly report on the consumer price index (CPI) and the inflation rate in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for the month of October and the first 10 months 2012.

The report analyses the CPI calculations for the periods under review, with the year 2007 fixed as the base year. It also details CPI results by welfare levels and types of households.

The single largest contributor to the y-o-y rise in consumer prices during the first ten months of 2012 was the "Food and non-alcoholic beverages" group, which accounted for 52.5 percent of the rise in the index during the said period, due to increases in the prices of most of the subgroups within this group, namely, the "Coffee, tea and cocoa" subgroup, which surged by 8.5 percent, followed by the "Meat" subgroup, (up 7.1 percent), "Oils and fats" (up 6.1 percent), "Fish and seafood" (up 6.0 percent), and vegetables (up 5.6 percent).

The next largest contributor to the overall y-o-y rise in consumer prices over the first ten months of 2012 was the "Restaurants and hotels" group, which accounted for 49.3 percent of the increase in the CPI during this period as the group's prices climbed 16.8 percent.

The cost of "Furnishings and household equipment and routine maintenance of houses" advanced 2.9 percent y-o-y over the course of the first ten months of 2012, contributing 11.5 percent of the overall y-o-y rise in consumer prices during the period under review.

Education contributed 12.3 percent of the y-o-y rise in consumer prices during the first ten months of 2012, compared with the same period in 2011, while the "Transport" group contributed 6.8 percent of the rise observed during this period, reflecting an overall increase of 0.9 percent in the average prices of the group.

The main group that slowed down the rise in consumer prices over the first ten months of 2012 compared with the same period of 2011 was "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" which contributed -43.5 percent of the overall change in the CPI, with the average prices of the group falling by 1.3 percent between the periods compared.

Consumer prices in October 2012/2011 As SCAD's report finds, average consumer prices increased by 0.8 percent in October 2012 compared with October 2011, as the CPI stood at 123.7 points in October 2012, compared with 122.7 in October 2011. The increase represents the combined outcome of a range of upward and downward changes in the consumer basket items between the two months compared. The largest individual increase in consumer prices between October 2012 and October 2011 was observed in the "Restaurants and hotels" group, which soared 14.5 percent, followed by "Clothing and footwear" (up 4.0 percent), "Alcoholic beverages and tobacco" (up 3.0 per cent), "Furnishings and household equipment and routine maintenance of houses" (up 1.6 percent). On the other hand, the prices of the "Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels" group decreased by 1.3 percent between the same periods of comparison.

As for month-over-month inflation, average consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in October 2012 compared with September 2012 reflecting the outcome of the various changes in the prices of the consumer basket items between the two months compared.

Detailed by welfare levels, the 1.2 y-o-y rise in consumer prices over the first ten months of 2012 pushed up prices for households of the "bottom" welfare quintile by 1.4 percent for same period of comparison. The corresponding rise for other welfare levels was 1.1 percent for households of the top quintile and 1.3 percent for households of the middle quintile.

According to SCAD's report, the 0.8 rise in consumer prices in October 2012 compared with October 2011, when detailed by welfare levels, is shown to have impacted consumer prices for households of the upper and bottom welfare levels by a 0.9 percent rise for the same period of comparison. Meanwhile prices increased by 0.8 percent for households of middle welfare level.

The 0.1 percent rise in consumer prices in October compared with September 2012 led to a proportionate rise of 0.1 percent in consumer prices for households of the middle and the lower middle welfare levels.

A breakdown by household type of the 1.2 rise in consumer prices during the first ten months of 2012, compared with the same period in 2011 shows that prices advanced by: 1.3 percent for citizen households, 1.0 percent for non-citizen households and 1.7 percent for shared households.

As a result of the 0.8 rise in consumer prices in October 2012 compared with October 2011, consumer prices increased by 0.8 percent for citizen and non-citizen households and by 1.3 percent for shared households between two periods compared.

The 0.1 percent rise in consumer prices in October compared with September 2012 caused prices to nudge up by a proportional 0.1 for non-citizen households and by 0.2 percent for shared households.

In preparing its monthly CPI reports, Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi follows the methodologies adopted internationally in this field, using a broad and highly representative basket of goods and service, to ensure accuracy in the calculation of the index, which is the sole officially authorised source for monitoring changes in prices and inflation in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

SCAD has recently developed the computing of the CPI so that it is compiled according to households' types and levels of welfare. As for the welfare level approach, the population is divided into five segments (quintiles) representing five levels of welfare, based on average per capita annual expenditure. Each quintile reflects the consumption pattern represented by that quintile. In regard to the household type approach, the population is divided into three types of households as set out in the results of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (2007-2008), namely, national, non-national and collective households.

To represent all regions of the Emirate, the selected sample of items included in the Consumer Price Index basket uses actual data from the 2007 household income and expenditure survey. The sample of outlets were selected in such a way as to represent points of purchase for a large base of consumers all over the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, taking into account the geographical distribution of sources within the emirate. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Etihad Airways passes Emiratisation milestone

            Etihad Airways has welcomed Noora Al Marri, its 1,000th Emirati member of staff, to the airline.

Noora, who is 23 years old and from Abu Dhabi, recently joined the airline's graduate manager development program (GMDP). She was encouraged to join the UAE's national airline by her husband, an officer cadet from batch 19 of the cadet pilot program, who joined last year.

Ray Gammell, Etihad Airways Chief People and Performance Officer, said: "We are delighted to welcome Noora, the airline's 1000th Emirati employee, to the Etihad Airways family.

"Etihad Airways recognises the vital role of UAE nationals in the ongoing development and running of our business and we look forward to supporting Noora as she embarks on her career with Etihad Airways, the UAE's national airline." Etihad Airways now employs more than 1,000 UAE nationals across its seven divisions, with Emiratis comprising 21 per cent of the airline's core employee workforce. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Flydubai set to touch down in Maldives

            Honeymooners on a budget will be cheered to hear that flydubai is set to launch flights to the Maldives, becoming the first low-cost carrier to serve the popular destination in the Indian Ocean.

Flydubai, currently on a major expansion throughout the region and beyond, will begin flying to Malé, the capital of the Maldives, on January 19, operating five flights per week, starting at Dh1,730 (US$470).

"We are very excited about adding Malé to our destination network," said Ghaith Al Ghaith, the chief executive of flydubai. "As the first low-cost carrier from the UAE to fly to the Maldives, we are making this island paradise even more accessible."

Popular among honeymooners the world over, the Maldives comprises 1,190 coral islands.

Tourism arrivals to the Maldives rose more than 15 per cent in the first quarter of the year from a year ago, flydubai said, citing official Maldives statistics.

Moreover, there has been a 77 per cent rise in passengers from the Middle East over the same period, driven by the opening of a number of regionally based hotel chains. Last December, for example, Jumeirah Group's Vittaveli Maldives opened its doors.

"We anticipate a strong demand for flights from the GCC, in particular Kuwait, as well as markets such as Russia, CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] and Central and Eastern Europe," said Mr Al Ghaith.

The Maldives "is one of the most sought-after destinations for honeymooners from this part of the world", said Sunil D'Souza, the regional travel director at Kanoo Travel. "Definitely people will look for low-cost carriers to mitigate the cost element."

The Maldives welcomed almost 1 million tourists last year, up 17.6 per cent over the previous year, said flydubai. The carrier "offers a low-cost model with innovation and excellent service", said Mr Al Ghaith.

"This proposition has proved very popular with our passengers and will undoubtedly be a draw for those looking to experience one of the world's top holiday spots at an affordable price."

Flydubai aims to expand its fleet to 50 planes in four years from 26 currently. The carrier flies to 51 destinations and has earmarked up to 20 more possible routes for the next few years.

This year, flydubai has launched eight routes: Bucharest; Sana'a; Basra and Najaf, Iraq; Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Taif and Tabuk, Saudi Arabia; and Skopje, Macedonia.

The airline, founded in March 2008 by the Government of Dubai, hopes to make its first profit this year, said Mr Al Ghaith this month. It began flying in 2009. – The National

 

Etisalat-Huawei partnership to cover 4G network

            Shanghai: Etisalat says its strategic partnership with China-based Huawei would enable it to cover 85 per cent of the UAE’s populated areas under the advanced 4G LTE-FDD (fourth generation long-term evolution frequency-division duplexing) network in 2013.

“Etisalat and Huawei’s close cooperation in pioneering the world’s most advanced ICT [information and communication technology] products and services, can deliver faster and more accessible telecom services to our customers across the UAE. There is no doubt that the new generation of communications will have a vital role in enhancing the development process in all communities,” said Jaber Al Janahi, Vice President of Corporate Communications at etisalat.

A group of mediapersons from the UAE accompanied senior executives from etisalat to China to visit Huawei’s various state-of-the-art facilities, countrywide. Huawei annually invests an average of 10 per cent of its revenue into research and development (R&D).

Etisalat was the first in the region to launch the 4G LTE-FDD in 2011 in collaboration with Huawei. The first phase of the project covered around 80 per cent of the populated areas in the country with close to 1,000 stations. Etisalat now plans to increase the number of stations to extend its 4G coverage in the populated areas and strengthen the internal coverage for buildings, malls and airports, in addition to other key buildings.

As for the 3G network, Etisalat currently covers around 99.8 per cent of populated areas with more than 5,500 stations.

“Etisalat will continue to expand its 3G network in conjunction with the second phase of the LTE project,” the telecom operator said.

Huawei, an employee-owned private company, has established end-to-end capabilities across the carrier networks, enterprise and consumer markets by providing competitive solutions and services, which have been deployed in over 150 countries serving more than one-third of the world’s population.

In 2011, Huawei recorded revenues of US$32.4 billion (Dh119.16 billion), a year-on-year increase of 11.7 per cent. Huawei provides 45 of the world’s top 50 telecommunications operators with unified platforms, consistent experiences, and adapted solutions. In the Middle East, Huawei has established a strong relationship with key operators such as etisalat.

Huawei aims to become one of the leading mobile phone brands in the world and to be the third-largest smartphone vendor with 15 per cent market share by 2015. Huawei is currently the world’s sixth-biggest maker of mobile phones. In the Middle East, Huawei’s 2011 consumer sales revenue was US$175 million, and its 2012 annual sales target is US$200 million.

The Middle East is one of the fastest-growing regions worldwide for Huawei with regional contract sales across the Middle East in 2011 totalling US$3.22 billion, a 20 per cent increase from the previous year. – Gulf News

 

Abu Dhabi Motors turns three of its cars into art work

            Everyone’s celebrating art in Abu Dhabi this month, even Abu Dhabi Motors. The exclusive BMW and MINI importer and sole dealer for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain has turned three of its own cars - a Mini Coupe, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and a Rolls-Royce Phantom – into individual works of art. 

The cars have been on display at the Umm Al Nar showroom since Nov. 5 along with an art exhibition called ‘The Road is your Easel’ in partnership with Opera Gallery Group of Dubai. The exhibition showcases a fine collection of exquisite art pieces and will run until the 5th of December. 

Arno Husselman, general manager of Abu Dhabi Motors, told Gulf News that the management wanted to run the exhibition at the time when Abu Dhabi Art was taking place. “We want to support and participate in this and this is why we chose this time to hold an art event,” he said. 

However, transforming cars into pieces of art is nothing new to the BMW Group internationally. 

“Because BMW has this history with art cars, we decided to add to that and we said we’d do what no one has done before and that is a Rolls-Royce, one BMW and one MINI,” he said. 

The design for the cars has been locally made and the project took two months in preparation. “For the Rolls-Royce, the design of the car looks like the inside of a micro-chip… something futuristic,” he said. 

While these cars are currently not painted, but foiled with the design, Husselman said that the designs can be painted if anyone requests it. 

Currently only three colours are allowed on a car in Abu Dhabi. “This is what makes it unique. You’re not allowed to drive a car that. That’s what makes it so expensive,” he said. “It costs more than Dh30,000 to foil a car like that.” 

Although the designed cars are on sale, Abu Dhabi Motors is hoping to get them to go worldwide. “We’re going to send these pictures to BMW and show them what we’ve done with the cars,” he said. – Gulf News

 

27,000 to clean up UAE on Dec 12

            Ever thought about the plastic bag you dumped on the road before getting into your building? Chances are a cleaner picked it up. But what if no one noticed it? Each year, tens of thousands of volunteers pick up waste from UAE’s deserts and industrial sites, leaving behind more reasons to think.

“Negligent waste disposal is a fundamental factor that contributes to environmental damage; however, this is not a difficult issue to address, said Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson, EEG. “By spreading awareness and engaging the community in acts that positively contribute to environmental sustainability and preservation, we will definitely fight this habit.”

Last year, volunteers taking part in the Clean up UAE campaign by the Emirates Environment Group (EEG) collected a massive 97 tonnes of waste from more than hundred different sites. This year, the campaign hopes to collect even more waste.  The massive nation-wide campaign has set a goal of bringing together 27,000 people to remove paper, plastic and aluminium waste from 107 sites in all the seven emirates of UAE.

“We focus on mountain areas, beaches, industrial areas and wadis and try to tell the community why they need to take care of it.”

Partnering with different organisations, municipalities and recycling companies to make the campaign a reality, EEG’s national cleanup campaign started with six sites in four emirates in 2002.

“This campaign is only made possible because of a very strong partnership between the public and private sector as a lot of organisations take responsibility for different clean-up groups while providing logistical support to ensure the waste collected reaches a recycling point.”

This year, the group is planning to make the event a month long campaign with different activities planned in the lead-up to 12-12-12, which will be the clean up date.  Habiba also called on more adults to participate in the initiative as she reiterated that the participation of students is vital for the success of the campaign. “But we want to see more grown-ups come for the clean up.”

She also emphasised the need for participants to register beforehand as it provides for better planning and organisation.

In 2011, the cleanup campaign in Dubai saw volunteers collect 80 kilograms of plastic and 120kg of paper. – Khaleej Times

Khalifa receives Yemeni President, discusses bilateral ties

            President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan received yesterday at the Al Dhiyafa-Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi, the Yemeni President, Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Arriving at the palace accompanied by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the visiting President was accorded an official ceremonial reception.

The two presidents walked up to the dais as a band played the Yemeni national anthem, following which the Artillery Regiment fired a 21-gun salute to the country's guest. Later the two Presidents inspected the guard of honour lined up in the courtyard of the palace.

The President then accompanied the Yemeni Head of State to the Union Hall at the Palace, where the latter shook hands with Sheikhs, ministers and senior officials, as well as with commissioned and non-commissioned officers who had arrived to welcome him.

The Yemeni President arrived in the country yesterday in a two-day state visit. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Yemen's Foreign Minister lauds UAE-Yemeni relations

            Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr Abu Bakr al-Qurbi has stressed the keenness of President of Yemen Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi, on boosting the UAE-Yemeni relations in the best interest of the two peoples.

He added the President of Yemen visited and met President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to express the appreciation of the Yemen's government and peoples to the UAE's contribution during the Yemen's standoff, citing the GCC initiative, which settled the Yemeni crisis, and humanitarian aid provided by the UAE to Yemen.

The Yemeni Foreign minister told Emirates News Agency (WAM) in an interview that the leaders of the two countries discussed yesterday the latest developments in Yemen, especially the GCC initiative and the role expected to be played by the UAE and other GCC states to enable the Yemeni government to continue implement the initiative.

He added that the two presidents tackled the regional issues, economic, security and political challenges that face Arab peninsular.

Asked about the security situation in Yemen, al-Qurbi said it is getting better as the security forces had liberated the areas occupied by Al Qaeda, indicating that this organisation still poses a threat that has to be tackled by the government and people of Yemen.

He commended the distinguished relations between the UAE and Yemen. al-Qurbi referred to the progress being experienced by the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Lubna, Couchepin discuss UAE-Swiss economic and trade relations

            Ways to promote economic and trade relations between the UAE and Switzerland were discussed yesterday by Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi and former Swiss President Pascal Couchepin.

Discussions took place on the sidelines of the 2-day third meeting of Emirati-Swiss Friendship Forum which started yesterday.

Sheikh Lubna underscored the need to benefits from the gains achieved by the UAE-Swiss economic relations.

She expressed hopes for substantial future growth in the relations with Switzerland.

For his part, Couchepin, who is also Co-Honorary chairman of the Forum, expressed Switzerland's interest in expanding cooperation with the UAE. He hailed the UAE's economic achievements. He welcomed coordination on renewable energy and water research. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Abu Dhabi achieves record-breaking results at World Travel Market

            Abu Dhabi's participation in last week's World Travel Market (WTM) in London produced outstanding results for stakeholders in the Abu Dhabi Tourism '&' Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) pavilion, securing a record 550+ meetings with key business partners.

Additionally, TCA Abu Dhabi representatives held meetings with a record 101 travel trade contacts and over 45 key media, to explore destination promotion opportunities.

Mubarak Al Nuaimi, International Promotions Manager, TCA Abu Dhabi, said the emirate's delegation had witnessed a consistent stream of visitors to the Abu Dhabi spectacular with people keen to learn more about the destination's many tourism developments and to learn about its culture and heritage.

"We've managed to communicate to people all our new hotel openings, and attractions such as Yas Waterworld and Arabian Nights Village," commented Al Nuaimi. "Also, lots of people from the industry have talked to us about the Formula 1Etihad Airways Grand Prix, and are aware of our packed calendar of events in coming months." The soon-to-open Yas Waterworld on Yas Island received a deluge of requests during WTM, with plenty of travel industry delegates wanting information on the new attraction.

"We held several business meetings as a result of people approaching the stand. We've secured some new business leads which we'll follow up and confirm in the coming weeks. We've also met with several tour operators who are taking groups of travel agents to Abu Dhabi in the near future and we've been able to incorporate the waterpark in their itineraries," said John Kerr, Director of Sales at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi.

Mark Osborne, Director of Sales '&' Marketing, Aloft Abu Dhabi said: "The most beneficial meetings we've had have been with contacts who visited the stand without a planned meeting. We've had over 30 meetings in total and have successfully built brand awareness. We're confident that as a result of WTM two new business leads will quickly be converted once we return to Abu Dhabi." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Hazza bin Zayed opens ADIPEC 2012

            H.H Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, yesterday inaugurated the 2012 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), which expects to host 50,000 visitors from 91 countries over the next four days and 300 expert industry speakers at the venue which runs at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre.

Sheikh Hazza said that the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the guidance and support of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, had helped drive the development of the Abu Dhabi oil and gas sector and the advancement of the UAE's energy industry as a whole.

He said the event reflected the huge progress made by Abu Dhabi and the UAE's oil and gas industry and attracted the biggest national and international oil and gas companies.

Sheikh Hazza expressed satisfaction at the overall arrangements made for the event which attracted more than 1,600 exhibiting companies and 13 national pavilions will take part, with national oil companies from around the world represented along with leading multinationals.

"The UAE opens its doors to companies which has proven capabilities to modernize and develop the UAE's oil and gas industry," he said, praising the presence of national oil companies', Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and its group of companies in particular.

He further emphasized the need for diligent work and efforts to develop national resources to back the national industry with highly specialized scientific qualifications.

The 15th edition of the largest oil and gas show outside North America is being held on the theme 'Sustainable Energy Growth: People, Responsibility '&' Innovation'.

Minister of Energy, Mohamed Bin Dha'en Al Hameli, opened the ADIPEC conference programme yesterday.

Al Hameli said the scale of ADIPEC and its setting in Abu Dhabi made it an ideal platform to address the complex technical and logistical challenges of exploring for and producing oil and gas at a time of increasing global energy demand.

Al Hameli said: "The next four days will provide opportunities for networking, doing business and above all learning more about recent developments in the oil and gas industry." Formally introducing the conference component of ADIPEC 2012, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) and Chairman of the ADIPEC 2012 conference programme, Ali Rashid Al Jarwan, said this year's itinerary was the most comprehensive to date, with more than 400 presentations and technical papers scheduled.

Al Jarwan said: "This year offers more depth and scope than ever before. ADIPEC was founded on the principle of sharing knowledge and experience. This principle is as relevant now as it was 25 years ago when ADIPEC was established." During the opening ceremony, Al Jarwan recognised the enduring contribution to industry excellence of Egbert Imomoh, President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, organisers of the ADIPEC conference.

A former senior executive with Shell Nigeria, Imomoh praised ADIPEC as "an environment of collaboration and education." "ADIPEC will help us growing individually [at the SPE] and as a society," he added.

Al Jarwan, CEO of ADMA-OPCO, moderated the first Executive Plenary Session on day one, titled Growth and Sustainability.

Speaking on the challenges and priorities of responding to growing global energy demand were Christophe de Margerie, CEO of Total; Andrew P. Swiger, Senior Vice President, ExxonMobil; Antonio Costa Silva, Chairman of the Management Commission, Partex Oil and Gas; Robert Dudley, Group CEO, BP; and Sami Al Rushaid, Chairman and Managing Director, Kuwait Oil Company.

Innovation and trends in the technological advancement of the oil and gas sector were the key topics in the day's second plenary session, titled Technology Deployment.

Addressing delegates were Ashok Belani, Executive Vice President Technology, Schlumberger; Bernard-Duroc-Danner, President, CEO and Chairman, Weatherford; Hirobumi, President, Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC); Matthias Bichsel, Executive Director Projects and Technology, Shell; and Mohammad Husain, President and CEO of Equate.

Qasem Al Kayoumi, Manager Offshore Division, ADNOC, and Ray Mitro, Vice President, Upper Zakum Field Development, ZADCO, moderated the session.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, ADIPEC 2012 takes place from November 11-14 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Covering over 38,000 square metres of exhibition space, including an 8,500-square-metre outdoor complex, ADIPEC 2012 is nearly 20 per cent bigger than the 2010 show in terms of exhibition space.

More than 1,600 exhibiting companies and 13 national pavilions are attending the four-day show, with national oil companies from around the world represented along with leading multinationals and small to medium-sized businesses.

Simon Mellor, Senior Vice President of dmg::events, organiser of ADIPEC 2012, said: "As the world's energy challenges have grown and as the role of Abu Dhabi and the Gulf in meeting the world's energy needs has evolved, ADIPEC has become a hub for new thinking, more innovative solutions and the networking and business activities of a growing community of industry players." ADIPEC is supported by ADNOC, the UAE Ministry of Energy, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, and sponsors include the world's leading oil and gas companies. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

MBRF, UNDP launch "State of Education in Jordan" report

            Amman:  The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) and the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) at the United Nations Development Programme on Sunday jointly launched the "State of Education in Jordan" report as part of the Arab Knowledge Report 2010-2011.

In remarks at the launch ceremony in Amman, Jordanian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Wajih Mousa Owais hailed the role the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation plays in promoting knowledge and development in Arab countries as well as in sponsoring the report which contributes to defining challenges and developing solutions to issues which hinder the building of knowledge-based society.

For his part, Chief Executive Officer at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation Sultan Ali Lootah stressed that Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is interested in promoting knowledge in Arab countries to revive the glories of Arabs and Muslims as well as to prepare a rich environment of knowledge for the next generations to match societies of advanced nations.

The Arab Knowledge Report 2010-2011 is the second in a series of reports that the United Nations Development Programme is jointly producing with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF). This year's report addresses the crucial issue of preparing future generations for the knowledge society.

The report adopts the triad of skills, values and enabling environments as the basic pillars for preparing the future generations. The basic argument is to investigate and address the issue of providing future generations with the required skills (cognitive and conative and social) for active participation in knowledge society building processes. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank issues world's first hybrid perpetual tier 1 sukuk

            Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), yesterday announced it has successfully issued the world's first Shari'a- compliant hybrid tier 1 sukuk and the region's first publically issued perpetual and tier 1 instrument. This strategic transaction marks a key milestone for the global Islamic finance industry and a major and rare innovation by an Islamic bank.

The US$1 billion perpetual non-call six-year issue was priced at an expected profit rate of 6.375 per cent, which is one of the lowest rates achieved for any perpetual instrument by a global bank.

The ADIB perpetual Sukuk was well-received by investors, accumulating 330 orders for an order book of over US$15.5 billion. The result was that, given that the initial Benchmark size of US$500million was oversubscribed by over 30 times, ADIB decided to take the upper limit of the deal comprising of US$1 billion.

The issue was driven by broad demand across three regions, with allocations of 38 per cent to Asia, 32 per cent to Middle East, 26 per cent to Europe, and 4 per cent to US Offshore investors. By investor type, the Trust Certificates were sold to private banks which took 60 per cent, Asset and Fund managers bought 26 per cent, commercial banks 11 per cent and other 3 per cent.

Commenting on this strategic transaction, Tirad Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB, said: "I am delighted that ADIB and the region's first ever hybrid tier 1 issue received extremely strong investor demand from across the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Investors have in particular been impressed by the simplicity of our tier 1 hybrid capital issue, which was structured in a way that was simpler, safer, transparent and mutually beneficial for both investors and our bank. The outstanding success of the issue is a testimony to in ADIB's strong brand and credit credentials in global capital markets." "We are proud at ADIB to lead the way in industry best practice and standards setting with yet another successful Shari'a-inspired innovation. The success of this unprecedented transaction in the Middle East will enable the industry to realize the benefits from raising capital through the issuance of hybrid instruments as a cost efficient and non-dilutive capital raising solution that lowers the cost of capital." Tirad added.

"ADIB has always been proactive in complying with new rules and regulations. The new issue designed, among others, to boost Tier 1 capital to comply with Basel III global standards in anticipation of its implementation in the UAE is a testimony to ADIB's forward- looking approach." He concluded.

The certificates will be issued by ADIB Capital Invest 1 LTD, a special purpose company, and be listed on the London Stock Exchange. ADIB, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered, were the joint lead managers and book-runners for the offering. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

US Ambassador hails Khalifa Fund's efforts to spread the entrepreneurship knowledge in the UAE

            Efforts of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to promote entrepreneurship in the UAE yesterday was praised by the U.S. ambassador to the UAE Michael H. Corbin.

"The Khalifa Fund has done a great deal to assist entrepreneurs with creating an environment for success, and I look forward to their ongoing efforts to enhance the role of entrepreneurs throughout the UAE. I especially thank the Fund for their support for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai this December. By hosting the summit, Dubai is placing itself at the forefront of promoting entrepreneurship in the region", the U.S. ambassador Corbin said in remarks at the Tajrebati (Arabic for my experience) Forum, organized by the Fund in Dubai for a number projects funded through its offices in the northern regions At the Tajrebati Forum, Senior Manager for Entrepreneurship Development the Fund Najla Al Midfa gave a presentation on Khalifa Fund's financial and non-financial programs, its goals for the northern regions top promote awareness on entrepreneurship and to provide different supports to projects to help boost economic growth of each emirate.

Manager of Khalifa Fund's branch in the northern regions Yousuf Al Marshoodi explained the required process to get the Fund's services and the mechanism for funding. He also encouraged the youths to get benefit from the UAE President gift for the emirates to support them in getting their own projects start which will help the local economy growth.

Manager of Sougha imitative, Leila Ben Jasem, gave a presentation on Sougha which aims to create job opportunities for the artisans and will help also in the local heritage sustainability through attract the talented artisans in all over the country and to train them and improve their skills in entrepreneurship.

At the forum, participants gave presentations on 6 projects funded and supported by Khalifa Fund. The owners explained how they started with the Fund to create and run their business. Khairiyah Mohammed talked about how Khalifa Fund funded her to start her own project in preparing the traditional food and she simply said that helped her to increase her income.

Hassan Saber, owner of Special Taxi project in Fujairah, said that despite an unfortunate accident, he started his own enterprise by running a roastery business selling premium Belgian sweets and premium nuts. For some reasons, he was not able to continue running this business. That , however, did not stop him from applying for funds from Khalifa Fund.

Amna Salim, the owner of Glamour Design in Um al-Qaiwain, is an ambitious young entrepreneur who started designing clothes as a hobby and now owns a successful brand and own boutique in the emirate. Amna's business was funded by Khalifa Funds Khutwa program.

Nora Al Muhairi spoke about her experience with Khalifa Fund which enabled her to expand her project with a famous trademark in chocolate business. Nora hopes to expand her project in other Gulf countries upon getting funds from Bedaya program which is supported by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

Wael Al Sayegh spoke about his Family Martial Arts Leadership Academy, the first in the UAE. His world-class leadership facility teaches adults, children and families to improve their lifestyle and achieve social stability.  - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE nationals top list of Dubai real estate brokers

            UAE nationals top the list of real estate brokers in Dubai, followed by Indians and Pakistanis, according to Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).

In the first nine months of 2012, the total number of real estate brokers reached 3,094.

Six hundred and twenty UAE nationals currently work as real estate brokers, while Indians come second with 438 brokers. Pakistanis take the third position with 428 followed Britons at 304. Egyptians stand fifth with 160 brokers while Filipinos were 10th with 59.

Yousef Al Hashmi, director of Rera's Real Estate Licensing Department, called on UAE nationals to maintain their prominent presence in this profession due to their experience and knowledge about the UAE’s real estate market.

He stressed Rera’s success in controlling and organising the profession and brokerage firms, emphasising that it is not possible for individuals or companies to undertake brokerage activities without registration in the brokers’ register in Dubai created by Dubai Land Department in accordance with by Law No. 85 of 2006.

In order to bring transparency in the market and control broker activities, Rera has unveiled plans to fine brokers instead of their brokerage firms if the former was found to have misled investors, co-operated with unlicensed brokers or made phone calls to their clients to promote/advertise a project.

Rera imposed fines totalling Dh900,000 on 22 real estate companies and brokerage firms during the first half of 2012 for violations such as hiding information from investors; co-operation with unlicensed brokers; failure to maintain privacy of firm and client; using telephone calls for promotions and advertisement purposes without obtaining official approval and arranging deals without the knowledge of their accredited office. – Emirates 24|7

 

Emirates Steel increases production by 33%

            Emirates Steel has announced the increase in its steel production volume by 33% through the end of Quarter 3, 2012.

Owned by Senaat GHC, the Company has increased its dispatch of prime quality finished goods by 10% compared with the levels achieved in the same period of 2011.

"Despite the challenging conditions faced in both our domestic and regional markets, the Company has delivered a strong performance in the first three quarters, delivering volumes which were underpinned by the excellent performance of our Phase 1 assets and the continuing ramp-up of our Phase 2 steel manufacturing plants," said Engineer Suhail M Al Ameri, Emirates Steel's Chairman and CEO of Senaat GHC.

Commenting, Engineer Saeed G Al Romaithi, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Steel, said that 95% of the Company's finished products were produced from its own manufactured steel, against 83% to the end of Quarter 3 in 2011. "The increased volumes of own manufactured steel has enabled us to remain competitive in the context of the threat of low cost imported materials," he added.

According to figures released yesterday, rebar production increased by 10% in the nine months compared to the same period in 2011, and the output of wire rod increased by 4%. Steel production increased by 33%, and the production of direct reduced iron (DRI) went up by 20%.

"These figures reflect significant increases in our production and sales volumes," said Engineer Al Romaithi. "The construction sector is the primary consumer of our rebar and wire rod products. Our objective is to be one of the leading regional companies in steel making," he pointed out. The Company sells around 70% of its finished products in local markets, while the balance is exported.

He believes that construction projects in the GCC region will be the key driver supporting the steel industry's growth in near term, followed by oil and gas, petrochemicals and other infrastructure projects. "Although some stability is returning to the GCC's construction sector, we believe that infrastructure projects will accelerate the region's recovery over the next few years," highlighted Engineer Al Romaithi.

Emirates Steel's increase in its domestic market share to 60% has been achieved through targeted efforts to support key customers and by pursuing sales policies that assist in bringing stability to the market. As well as focusing on the domestic market, the Company has made sustained efforts to increase its exports to the regional markets, achieving a year on year increase of 30% in export volumes, its most significant export markets being the GCC states.

The first nine months of 2012 have been an exciting period, with the Company progressing the hot commissioning of the first heavy sections mill in the region. The commissioning is ahead of plan and the Company is already marketing its new products and the feedback from its new customers, including steel stockists and fabricators, is positive. This is the latest achievement in the expansion of the Company's integrated steel complex in Musaffah and this step has extended the product range to include large-size sections, beams, columns, angles and sheet pile materials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Dubai Customs seizes ivory worth Dh15m

Dubai Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle into the country a large quantity of ivory hidden in 40 boxes containing green beans.

The customs authorities put the market value of the 215 pieces of fine ivory seized at the Jebel Ali Port at around Dh15 million.

The consignment which originated in an African country aroused the suspicion of customs officials who sent the containers for scans and uncovered the contraband. The inspectors later manually searched the boxes and recovered tusks of 108 elephants killed by poachers.

Poaching has caused a decline in the number of African elephants from millions to a few hundred thousand in the past decades. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Expo 2020 team continues academic community outreach programme at the British University in Dubai

            As part of an ongoing outreach campaign to generate support for the UAE's bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, the Expo team this week opened an informational kiosk on the campus of The British University in Dubai (BUiD).

This kiosk, which provides visitors key insights into the UAE's Expo bid, is designed to encourage students and faculty to take part in the country's campaign to win the right to welcome the world on the eve of the UAE's 50th anniversary.

This initiative at BUiD follows similar programmes recently launched at the American University in Dubai, the Canadian University in Dubai, the University of Wollongong in Dubai and Zayed University. These events are part of a continuing series of outreach initiatives designed to raise nationwide awareness of the country's Expo bid among diverse communities, including young people.

Throughout the daylong outreach programme, the Expo team highlighted how hosting the Expo would create new opportunities for young people to think, explore and connect with the global community while learning first-hand about innovative solutions to the world's biggest challenges.

Professor Abdullah Alshamsi, BUiD's Vice Chancellor, said: "The British University in Dubai is very pleased to support the UAE's bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. Since this event is an international event that conforms to the strategic plan of the government of Dubai and the UAE, and as Dubai is an international hub for world trade and economic activity, we are confident of success due to the highly developed and integrated urban infrastructure already in place in Dubai and its world-class management." The Expo team also encouraged the academic community across the country to join the campaign, commenting that these ongoing outreach initiatives are key to raising awareness among students and strengthening the UAE's Expo bid.

Dubai, UAE, is competing against four other candidate cities bidding to host the 2020 World Expo, including Ayutthaya (Thailand); Ekaterinburg (Russia); Izmir (Turkey); and Sao Paulo (Brazil).

The winning city will be announced in November 2013 following a vote by the 161 member nations of the Bureau International des Expositions - the international body responsible for overseeing the bidding, selection and organisation of World Expos. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Dh1m up for grabs at Abu Dhabi falconry contest

            Prizes worth more than Dh1 million are on offer in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Falconry Competition this month.

More than 500 birds are expected to take to the skies over the five-day contest, which will highlight three disciplines.

Starting on November 29, owners and their birds will converge on Shabkhat Al Sarami at Al Wathba for the event at the Etisalat Village.

The biggest prize – Dh250,000 and a Lexus SUV worth about Dh400,000 – will go to the owner of the falcon that covers 400 metres in the fastest time. The birds need to complete the course in less than 20 seconds to get past the first of three rounds.

The 30 fastest birds will qualify for the final.

In the second event, falcons will follow a model plane with a "bait" bird trailing behind it. The winner will be the falcon that flies the longest distance and time.

"It's a new technique," said Mohammed Al Mahmood, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. "It's the first time it has been done in a competition. There will be a lot of action and fun for everyone attending this."

In the third competition, the birds will be timed from the ground to a balloon 200 metres in the air. "This competition is more linked with how strong the falcon's muscles are  and how powerful it is at climbing," Mr Al Mahmood said. Instead of speed on the flat, he compared it with running up stairs.

Along with the cash prizes, 18 luxury cars will be up for grabs. Two of them will be awarded in a raffle.

So far, 175 owners have registered and Mr Al Mahmood said he expects many more by the time registration closes on November 20.

"It is the first time we have done this in Abu Dhabi," he said. "We are expecting entries from across the GCC and other countries because we received so many requests from abroad. We hope it will become an annual event."

Registration is open at www.fcad.ae to anyone with a falcon. – The National

 

Diabetes walk on November 16

With less than a week before an annual walk in aid of Diabetes, Walk 2012, more than 14,000 tickets have already been issued. And organisers have said they are hoping for more than 17,000 participants on the actual day.

Issued tickets had come from more than 5,500 registrations online and 9,000 tickets secured by different organisations in the private and public sectors.

To be held on November 16 at the Yas Marina Circuit, two days after the World Diabetes Day, Walk 2012 aims at promoting a healthy lifestyle by adopting the smart, simple steps of a balanced diet and regular exercise, such as a 30-minute brisk walk each day. – Khaleej Times

 

Emirati author unveils ‘life-changing’ book

A ‘‘scientific’’ book related to human thoughts and feeling has been launched at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

The book title “Left Side of the Heart”, was given by its Emirati author Hamad Al Hamadi, at a ceremony attended by a large number of SIBF visitors and top officials from Dubai and Sharjah government. Large numbers of visitors flocked to stalls to buy the book. According to the author, the book, published by Kuttub Publishing House, is a life changer. He said his series of writing on Twitter about humans’ changing behaviour has encouraged him to write this book where he has detailed ways to help its readers lead a better life.

This book would help the reader to learn rational decision making in life.

The author said: “There are a lot of books of this kind written in English and various languages, but it’s very difficult to find even two of such books in the Arab world. This is what encouraged me to write this book on topics based on our culture and reality of life.”

Dr Al Hamadi said that his book achieved the best sales in the emirate, particularly at the SIBF. He said he started writing earlier on different topics but he stopped it to start this work because it’s more useful to readers. “I am planning to continue writing books on these topics to help people lead a healthy and better life,” he said. – Khaleej Times

 

Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan hails success of World Festival for purebred Arabian Horses

            H. H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs has lauded the success attained by the Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan World Festival for Purebred Arabian Horses on the horse race tracks.

He stressed in remarks on the sidelines of conclusion of the festival, which was held this evening on the horse racecourse of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, at the opening of racing season of the club, that the allocation of cup at the festival in the name of "mother of Emirates" Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and childhood is "An appreciation to the role of Sheikha Fatima regarding her dedication and care for the activities that deepen and consolidate loyalty and allegiance to the UAE culture and heritage."

 

Sheikh Mansour added that this competition contributed to turning of the festival into a global framework for the exchange of experiences and deepening relations among the lovers of equestrian sports, especially Arabian horses. He said it also helped to galvanise efforts to develop and improve the horse breeding, which is a qualitative addition to outstanding UAE record in the field at the international level. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

            Dubai has mixed-use creative spaces aplenty these days, with non-profit foundations and art spaces offering ever more artist residencies to those looking to concentrate on their craft. Abu Dhabi's mega-museums may be in the pipeline, but the capital still has to catch up when it comes to community building for the city's home-grown artistic talent.

Abu Dhabi Art Hub (ADAH), which opened last week, may go some way to addressing that. "The government of Abu Dhabi is going forward with big, art-related projects," says Ahmed Saleh Al Yafei, the founder of ADAH. "In coming years, this will put Abu Dhabi on the map in the art world - so it's a new era that will require secondary support of art and artists."

From that premise, Al Yafei has turned an angular building in the industrial Musaffah quarter into Abu Dhabi's first live-work space for artists. It houses a robust residency programme, studio spaces and room for 16 art-related companies to occupy. There's adjoining apartments, a coffee shop and an art supplies store on the way and Al Yafei even refers to an internal business centre for helping artists deal with managing their income.

"When artists live and work together, they are both completing each other and working in a competitive way, pushing to make something better and different," says Al Yafei, who comes from a real estate background but says he is an art collector.

Creating a living community like this in Musaffah is a laudable but ambitious task. "It's a 24-hour space," says Al Yafei. "But we're not trying to do everything ourselves. It's a hub and needs artworks and artists - we will try not to enforce or put any limitations on the exhibitions we show, except for our culture and religion of course. We will show everything from street art to traditional art. The artists are the masters of themselves during their exhibitions and this is a platform for them."

ADAH has launched with four resident artists, including the Saudi artist Nouf Al Semari and the Uzbek painter of traditional scenes from around the region, Alim Adilov.

Al Yafei notes that funding for the space will come from a combination of sharing profits from sales in exhibitions and workshops that take place in the space. "We try to be smooth and reasonable so that we can make the artist feel that they only need creativity to work."

• Abu Dhabi Art Hub is in Musaffah, off Street 7. Next month will see a focus on Japanese arts and culture. There are opportunities to exhibit and to take part in forthcoming residencies. Visit www.adah.ae. – The National

Khalifa receives Yemeni President, discusses bilateral ties

            President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan received yesterday at the Al Dhiyafa-Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi, the Yemeni President, Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Arriving at the palace accompanied by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the visiting President was accorded an official ceremonial reception.

The two presidents walked up to the dais as a band played the Yemeni national anthem, following which the Artillery Regiment fired a 21-gun salute to the country's guest. Later the two Presidents inspected the guard of honour lined up in the courtyard of the palace.

The President then accompanied the Yemeni Head of State to the Union Hall at the Palace, where the latter shook hands with Sheikhs, ministers and senior officials, as well as with commissioned and non-commissioned officers who had arrived to welcome him.

The Yemeni President arrived in the country yesterday in a two-day state visit. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Yemen's Foreign Minister lauds UAE-Yemeni relations

            Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr Abu Bakr al-Qurbi has stressed the keenness of President of Yemen Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi, on boosting the UAE-Yemeni relations in the best interest of the two peoples.

He added the President of Yemen visited and met President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to express the appreciation of the Yemen's government and peoples to the UAE's contribution during the Yemen's standoff, citing the GCC initiative, which settled the Yemeni crisis, and humanitarian aid provided by the UAE to Yemen.

The Yemeni Foreign minister told Emirates News Agency (WAM) in an interview that the leaders of the two countries discussed yesterday the latest developments in Yemen, especially the GCC initiative and the role expected to be played by the UAE and other GCC states to enable the Yemeni government to continue implement the initiative.

He added that the two presidents tackled the regional issues, economic, security and political challenges that face Arab peninsular.

Asked about the security situation in Yemen, al-Qurbi said it is getting better as the security forces had liberated the areas occupied by Al Qaeda, indicating that this organisation still poses a threat that has to be tackled by the government and people of Yemen.

He commended the distinguished relations between the UAE and Yemen. al-Qurbi referred to the progress being experienced by the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Lubna, Couchepin discuss UAE-Swiss economic and trade relations

            Ways to promote economic and trade relations between the UAE and Switzerland were discussed yesterday by Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi and former Swiss President Pascal Couchepin.

Discussions took place on the sidelines of the 2-day third meeting of Emirati-Swiss Friendship Forum which started yesterday.

Sheikh Lubna underscored the need to benefits from the gains achieved by the UAE-Swiss economic relations.

She expressed hopes for substantial future growth in the relations with Switzerland.

For his part, Couchepin, who is also Co-Honorary chairman of the Forum, expressed Switzerland's interest in expanding cooperation with the UAE. He hailed the UAE's economic achievements. He welcomed coordination on renewable energy and water research. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Abu Dhabi achieves record-breaking results at World Travel Market

            Abu Dhabi's participation in last week's World Travel Market (WTM) in London produced outstanding results for stakeholders in the Abu Dhabi Tourism '&' Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) pavilion, securing a record 550+ meetings with key business partners.

Additionally, TCA Abu Dhabi representatives held meetings with a record 101 travel trade contacts and over 45 key media, to explore destination promotion opportunities.

Mubarak Al Nuaimi, International Promotions Manager, TCA Abu Dhabi, said the emirate's delegation had witnessed a consistent stream of visitors to the Abu Dhabi spectacular with people keen to learn more about the destination's many tourism developments and to learn about its culture and heritage.

"We've managed to communicate to people all our new hotel openings, and attractions such as Yas Waterworld and Arabian Nights Village," commented Al Nuaimi. "Also, lots of people from the industry have talked to us about the Formula 1Etihad Airways Grand Prix, and are aware of our packed calendar of events in coming months." The soon-to-open Yas Waterworld on Yas Island received a deluge of requests during WTM, with plenty of travel industry delegates wanting information on the new attraction.

"We held several business meetings as a result of people approaching the stand. We've secured some new business leads which we'll follow up and confirm in the coming weeks. We've also met with several tour operators who are taking groups of travel agents to Abu Dhabi in the near future and we've been able to incorporate the waterpark in their itineraries," said John Kerr, Director of Sales at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi.

Mark Osborne, Director of Sales '&' Marketing, Aloft Abu Dhabi said: "The most beneficial meetings we've had have been with contacts who visited the stand without a planned meeting. We've had over 30 meetings in total and have successfully built brand awareness. We're confident that as a result of WTM two new business leads will quickly be converted once we return to Abu Dhabi." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Hazza bin Zayed opens ADIPEC 2012

            H.H Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, yesterday inaugurated the 2012 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), which expects to host 50,000 visitors from 91 countries over the next four days and 300 expert industry speakers at the venue which runs at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre.

Sheikh Hazza said that the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the guidance and support of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, had helped drive the development of the Abu Dhabi oil and gas sector and the advancement of the UAE's energy industry as a whole.

He said the event reflected the huge progress made by Abu Dhabi and the UAE's oil and gas industry and attracted the biggest national and international oil and gas companies.

Sheikh Hazza expressed satisfaction at the overall arrangements made for the event which attracted more than 1,600 exhibiting companies and 13 national pavilions will take part, with national oil companies from around the world represented along with leading multinationals.

"The UAE opens its doors to companies which has proven capabilities to modernize and develop the UAE's oil and gas industry," he said, praising the presence of national oil companies', Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and its group of companies in particular.

He further emphasized the need for diligent work and efforts to develop national resources to back the national industry with highly specialized scientific qualifications.

The 15th edition of the largest oil and gas show outside North America is being held on the theme 'Sustainable Energy Growth: People, Responsibility '&' Innovation'.

Minister of Energy, Mohamed Bin Dha'en Al Hameli, opened the ADIPEC conference programme yesterday.

Al Hameli said the scale of ADIPEC and its setting in Abu Dhabi made it an ideal platform to address the complex technical and logistical challenges of exploring for and producing oil and gas at a time of increasing global energy demand.

Al Hameli said: "The next four days will provide opportunities for networking, doing business and above all learning more about recent developments in the oil and gas industry." Formally introducing the conference component of ADIPEC 2012, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) and Chairman of the ADIPEC 2012 conference programme, Ali Rashid Al Jarwan, said this year's itinerary was the most comprehensive to date, with more than 400 presentations and technical papers scheduled.

Al Jarwan said: "This year offers more depth and scope than ever before. ADIPEC was founded on the principle of sharing knowledge and experience. This principle is as relevant now as it was 25 years ago when ADIPEC was established." During the opening ceremony, Al Jarwan recognised the enduring contribution to industry excellence of Egbert Imomoh, President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, organisers of the ADIPEC conference.

A former senior executive with Shell Nigeria, Imomoh praised ADIPEC as "an environment of collaboration and education." "ADIPEC will help us growing individually [at the SPE] and as a society," he added.

Al Jarwan, CEO of ADMA-OPCO, moderated the first Executive Plenary Session on day one, titled Growth and Sustainability.

Speaking on the challenges and priorities of responding to growing global energy demand were Christophe de Margerie, CEO of Total; Andrew P. Swiger, Senior Vice President, ExxonMobil; Antonio Costa Silva, Chairman of the Management Commission, Partex Oil and Gas; Robert Dudley, Group CEO, BP; and Sami Al Rushaid, Chairman and Managing Director, Kuwait Oil Company.

Innovation and trends in the technological advancement of the oil and gas sector were the key topics in the day's second plenary session, titled Technology Deployment.

Addressing delegates were Ashok Belani, Executive Vice President Technology, Schlumberger; Bernard-Duroc-Danner, President, CEO and Chairman, Weatherford; Hirobumi, President, Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC); Matthias Bichsel, Executive Director Projects and Technology, Shell; and Mohammad Husain, President and CEO of Equate.

Qasem Al Kayoumi, Manager Offshore Division, ADNOC, and Ray Mitro, Vice President, Upper Zakum Field Development, ZADCO, moderated the session.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, ADIPEC 2012 takes place from November 11-14 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Covering over 38,000 square metres of exhibition space, including an 8,500-square-metre outdoor complex, ADIPEC 2012 is nearly 20 per cent bigger than the 2010 show in terms of exhibition space.

More than 1,600 exhibiting companies and 13 national pavilions are attending the four-day show, with national oil companies from around the world represented along with leading multinationals and small to medium-sized businesses.

Simon Mellor, Senior Vice President of dmg::events, organiser of ADIPEC 2012, said: "As the world's energy challenges have grown and as the role of Abu Dhabi and the Gulf in meeting the world's energy needs has evolved, ADIPEC has become a hub for new thinking, more innovative solutions and the networking and business activities of a growing community of industry players." ADIPEC is supported by ADNOC, the UAE Ministry of Energy, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, and sponsors include the world's leading oil and gas companies. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

MBRF, UNDP launch "State of Education in Jordan" report

            Amman:  The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) and the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) at the United Nations Development Programme on Sunday jointly launched the "State of Education in Jordan" report as part of the Arab Knowledge Report 2010-2011.

In remarks at the launch ceremony in Amman, Jordanian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Wajih Mousa Owais hailed the role the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation plays in promoting knowledge and development in Arab countries as well as in sponsoring the report which contributes to defining challenges and developing solutions to issues which hinder the building of knowledge-based society.

For his part, Chief Executive Officer at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation Sultan Ali Lootah stressed that Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is interested in promoting knowledge in Arab countries to revive the glories of Arabs and Muslims as well as to prepare a rich environment of knowledge for the next generations to match societies of advanced nations.

The Arab Knowledge Report 2010-2011 is the second in a series of reports that the United Nations Development Programme is jointly producing with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF). This year's report addresses the crucial issue of preparing future generations for the knowledge society.

The report adopts the triad of skills, values and enabling environments as the basic pillars for preparing the future generations. The basic argument is to investigate and address the issue of providing future generations with the required skills (cognitive and conative and social) for active participation in knowledge society building processes. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank issues world's first hybrid perpetual tier 1 sukuk

            Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), yesterday announced it has successfully issued the world's first Shari'a- compliant hybrid tier 1 sukuk and the region's first publically issued perpetual and tier 1 instrument. This strategic transaction marks a key milestone for the global Islamic finance industry and a major and rare innovation by an Islamic bank.

The US$1 billion perpetual non-call six-year issue was priced at an expected profit rate of 6.375 per cent, which is one of the lowest rates achieved for any perpetual instrument by a global bank.

The ADIB perpetual Sukuk was well-received by investors, accumulating 330 orders for an order book of over US$15.5 billion. The result was that, given that the initial Benchmark size of US$500million was oversubscribed by over 30 times, ADIB decided to take the upper limit of the deal comprising of US$1 billion.

The issue was driven by broad demand across three regions, with allocations of 38 per cent to Asia, 32 per cent to Middle East, 26 per cent to Europe, and 4 per cent to US Offshore investors. By investor type, the Trust Certificates were sold to private banks which took 60 per cent, Asset and Fund managers bought 26 per cent, commercial banks 11 per cent and other 3 per cent.

Commenting on this strategic transaction, Tirad Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB, said: "I am delighted that ADIB and the region's first ever hybrid tier 1 issue received extremely strong investor demand from across the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Investors have in particular been impressed by the simplicity of our tier 1 hybrid capital issue, which was structured in a way that was simpler, safer, transparent and mutually beneficial for both investors and our bank. The outstanding success of the issue is a testimony to in ADIB's strong brand and credit credentials in global capital markets." "We are proud at ADIB to lead the way in industry best practice and standards setting with yet another successful Shari'a-inspired innovation. The success of this unprecedented transaction in the Middle East will enable the industry to realize the benefits from raising capital through the issuance of hybrid instruments as a cost efficient and non-dilutive capital raising solution that lowers the cost of capital." Tirad added.

"ADIB has always been proactive in complying with new rules and regulations. The new issue designed, among others, to boost Tier 1 capital to comply with Basel III global standards in anticipation of its implementation in the UAE is a testimony to ADIB's forward- looking approach." He concluded.

The certificates will be issued by ADIB Capital Invest 1 LTD, a special purpose company, and be listed on the London Stock Exchange. ADIB, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Standard Chartered, were the joint lead managers and book-runners for the offering. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

US Ambassador hails Khalifa Fund's efforts to spread the entrepreneurship knowledge in the UAE

            Efforts of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to promote entrepreneurship in the UAE yesterday was praised by the U.S. ambassador to the UAE Michael H. Corbin.

"The Khalifa Fund has done a great deal to assist entrepreneurs with creating an environment for success, and I look forward to their ongoing efforts to enhance the role of entrepreneurs throughout the UAE. I especially thank the Fund for their support for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai this December. By hosting the summit, Dubai is placing itself at the forefront of promoting entrepreneurship in the region", the U.S. ambassador Corbin said in remarks at the Tajrebati (Arabic for my experience) Forum, organized by the Fund in Dubai for a number projects funded through its offices in the northern regions At the Tajrebati Forum, Senior Manager for Entrepreneurship Development the Fund Najla Al Midfa gave a presentation on Khalifa Fund's financial and non-financial programs, its goals for the northern regions top promote awareness on entrepreneurship and to provide different supports to projects to help boost economic growth of each emirate.

Manager of Khalifa Fund's branch in the northern regions Yousuf Al Marshoodi explained the required process to get the Fund's services and the mechanism for funding. He also encouraged the youths to get benefit from the UAE President gift for the emirates to support them in getting their own projects start which will help the local economy growth.

Manager of Sougha imitative, Leila Ben Jasem, gave a presentation on Sougha which aims to create job opportunities for the artisans and will help also in the local heritage sustainability through attract the talented artisans in all over the country and to train them and improve their skills in entrepreneurship.

At the forum, participants gave presentations on 6 projects funded and supported by Khalifa Fund. The owners explained how they started with the Fund to create and run their business. Khairiyah Mohammed talked about how Khalifa Fund funded her to start her own project in preparing the traditional food and she simply said that helped her to increase her income.

Hassan Saber, owner of Special Taxi project in Fujairah, said that despite an unfortunate accident, he started his own enterprise by running a roastery business selling premium Belgian sweets and premium nuts. For some reasons, he was not able to continue running this business. That , however, did not stop him from applying for funds from Khalifa Fund.

Amna Salim, the owner of Glamour Design in Um al-Qaiwain, is an ambitious young entrepreneur who started designing clothes as a hobby and now owns a successful brand and own boutique in the emirate. Amna's business was funded by Khalifa Funds Khutwa program.

Nora Al Muhairi spoke about her experience with Khalifa Fund which enabled her to expand her project with a famous trademark in chocolate business. Nora hopes to expand her project in other Gulf countries upon getting funds from Bedaya program which is supported by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development.

Wael Al Sayegh spoke about his Family Martial Arts Leadership Academy, the first in the UAE. His world-class leadership facility teaches adults, children and families to improve their lifestyle and achieve social stability.  - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE nationals top list of Dubai real estate brokers

            UAE nationals top the list of real estate brokers in Dubai, followed by Indians and Pakistanis, according to Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).

In the first nine months of 2012, the total number of real estate brokers reached 3,094.

Six hundred and twenty UAE nationals currently work as real estate brokers, while Indians come second with 438 brokers. Pakistanis take the third position with 428 followed Britons at 304. Egyptians stand fifth with 160 brokers while Filipinos were 10th with 59.

Yousef Al Hashmi, director of Rera's Real Estate Licensing Department, called on UAE nationals to maintain their prominent presence in this profession due to their experience and knowledge about the UAE’s real estate market.

He stressed Rera’s success in controlling and organising the profession and brokerage firms, emphasising that it is not possible for individuals or companies to undertake brokerage activities without registration in the brokers’ register in Dubai created by Dubai Land Department in accordance with by Law No. 85 of 2006.

In order to bring transparency in the market and control broker activities, Rera has unveiled plans to fine brokers instead of their brokerage firms if the former was found to have misled investors, co-operated with unlicensed brokers or made phone calls to their clients to promote/advertise a project.

Rera imposed fines totalling Dh900,000 on 22 real estate companies and brokerage firms during the first half of 2012 for violations such as hiding information from investors; co-operation with unlicensed brokers; failure to maintain privacy of firm and client; using telephone calls for promotions and advertisement purposes without obtaining official approval and arranging deals without the knowledge of their accredited office. – Emirates 24|7

 

Emirates Steel increases production by 33%

            Emirates Steel has announced the increase in its steel production volume by 33% through the end of Quarter 3, 2012.

Owned by Senaat GHC, the Company has increased its dispatch of prime quality finished goods by 10% compared with the levels achieved in the same period of 2011.

"Despite the challenging conditions faced in both our domestic and regional markets, the Company has delivered a strong performance in the first three quarters, delivering volumes which were underpinned by the excellent performance of our Phase 1 assets and the continuing ramp-up of our Phase 2 steel manufacturing plants," said Engineer Suhail M Al Ameri, Emirates Steel's Chairman and CEO of Senaat GHC.

Commenting, Engineer Saeed G Al Romaithi, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Steel, said that 95% of the Company's finished products were produced from its own manufactured steel, against 83% to the end of Quarter 3 in 2011. "The increased volumes of own manufactured steel has enabled us to remain competitive in the context of the threat of low cost imported materials," he added.

According to figures released yesterday, rebar production increased by 10% in the nine months compared to the same period in 2011, and the output of wire rod increased by 4%. Steel production increased by 33%, and the production of direct reduced iron (DRI) went up by 20%.

"These figures reflect significant increases in our production and sales volumes," said Engineer Al Romaithi. "The construction sector is the primary consumer of our rebar and wire rod products. Our objective is to be one of the leading regional companies in steel making," he pointed out. The Company sells around 70% of its finished products in local markets, while the balance is exported.

He believes that construction projects in the GCC region will be the key driver supporting the steel industry's growth in near term, followed by oil and gas, petrochemicals and other infrastructure projects. "Although some stability is returning to the GCC's construction sector, we believe that infrastructure projects will accelerate the region's recovery over the next few years," highlighted Engineer Al Romaithi.

Emirates Steel's increase in its domestic market share to 60% has been achieved through targeted efforts to support key customers and by pursuing sales policies that assist in bringing stability to the market. As well as focusing on the domestic market, the Company has made sustained efforts to increase its exports to the regional markets, achieving a year on year increase of 30% in export volumes, its most significant export markets being the GCC states.

The first nine months of 2012 have been an exciting period, with the Company progressing the hot commissioning of the first heavy sections mill in the region. The commissioning is ahead of plan and the Company is already marketing its new products and the feedback from its new customers, including steel stockists and fabricators, is positive. This is the latest achievement in the expansion of the Company's integrated steel complex in Musaffah and this step has extended the product range to include large-size sections, beams, columns, angles and sheet pile materials. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Dubai Customs seizes ivory worth Dh15m

Dubai Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle into the country a large quantity of ivory hidden in 40 boxes containing green beans.

The customs authorities put the market value of the 215 pieces of fine ivory seized at the Jebel Ali Port at around Dh15 million.

The consignment which originated in an African country aroused the suspicion of customs officials who sent the containers for scans and uncovered the contraband. The inspectors later manually searched the boxes and recovered tusks of 108 elephants killed by poachers.

Poaching has caused a decline in the number of African elephants from millions to a few hundred thousand in the past decades. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Expo 2020 team continues academic community outreach programme at the British University in Dubai

            As part of an ongoing outreach campaign to generate support for the UAE's bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, the Expo team this week opened an informational kiosk on the campus of The British University in Dubai (BUiD).

This kiosk, which provides visitors key insights into the UAE's Expo bid, is designed to encourage students and faculty to take part in the country's campaign to win the right to welcome the world on the eve of the UAE's 50th anniversary.

This initiative at BUiD follows similar programmes recently launched at the American University in Dubai, the Canadian University in Dubai, the University of Wollongong in Dubai and Zayed University. These events are part of a continuing series of outreach initiatives designed to raise nationwide awareness of the country's Expo bid among diverse communities, including young people.

Throughout the daylong outreach programme, the Expo team highlighted how hosting the Expo would create new opportunities for young people to think, explore and connect with the global community while learning first-hand about innovative solutions to the world's biggest challenges.

Professor Abdullah Alshamsi, BUiD's Vice Chancellor, said: "The British University in Dubai is very pleased to support the UAE's bid to host the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. Since this event is an international event that conforms to the strategic plan of the government of Dubai and the UAE, and as Dubai is an international hub for world trade and economic activity, we are confident of success due to the highly developed and integrated urban infrastructure already in place in Dubai and its world-class management." The Expo team also encouraged the academic community across the country to join the campaign, commenting that these ongoing outreach initiatives are key to raising awareness among students and strengthening the UAE's Expo bid.

Dubai, UAE, is competing against four other candidate cities bidding to host the 2020 World Expo, including Ayutthaya (Thailand); Ekaterinburg (Russia); Izmir (Turkey); and Sao Paulo (Brazil).

The winning city will be announced in November 2013 following a vote by the 161 member nations of the Bureau International des Expositions - the international body responsible for overseeing the bidding, selection and organisation of World Expos. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Dh1m up for grabs at Abu Dhabi falconry contest

            Prizes worth more than Dh1 million are on offer in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Falconry Competition this month.

More than 500 birds are expected to take to the skies over the five-day contest, which will highlight three disciplines.

Starting on November 29, owners and their birds will converge on Shabkhat Al Sarami at Al Wathba for the event at the Etisalat Village.

The biggest prize – Dh250,000 and a Lexus SUV worth about Dh400,000 – will go to the owner of the falcon that covers 400 metres in the fastest time. The birds need to complete the course in less than 20 seconds to get past the first of three rounds.

The 30 fastest birds will qualify for the final.

In the second event, falcons will follow a model plane with a "bait" bird trailing behind it. The winner will be the falcon that flies the longest distance and time.

"It's a new technique," said Mohammed Al Mahmood, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. "It's the first time it has been done in a competition. There will be a lot of action and fun for everyone attending this."

In the third competition, the birds will be timed from the ground to a balloon 200 metres in the air. "This competition is more linked with how strong the falcon's muscles are  and how powerful it is at climbing," Mr Al Mahmood said. Instead of speed on the flat, he compared it with running up stairs.

Along with the cash prizes, 18 luxury cars will be up for grabs. Two of them will be awarded in a raffle.

So far, 175 owners have registered and Mr Al Mahmood said he expects many more by the time registration closes on November 20.

"It is the first time we have done this in Abu Dhabi," he said. "We are expecting entries from across the GCC and other countries because we received so many requests from abroad. We hope it will become an annual event."

Registration is open at www.fcad.ae to anyone with a falcon. – The National

 

Diabetes walk on November 16

With less than a week before an annual walk in aid of Diabetes, Walk 2012, more than 14,000 tickets have already been issued. And organisers have said they are hoping for more than 17,000 participants on the actual day.

Issued tickets had come from more than 5,500 registrations online and 9,000 tickets secured by different organisations in the private and public sectors.

To be held on November 16 at the Yas Marina Circuit, two days after the World Diabetes Day, Walk 2012 aims at promoting a healthy lifestyle by adopting the smart, simple steps of a balanced diet and regular exercise, such as a 30-minute brisk walk each day. – Khaleej Times

 

Emirati author unveils ‘life-changing’ book

A ‘‘scientific’’ book related to human thoughts and feeling has been launched at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

The book title “Left Side of the Heart”, was given by its Emirati author Hamad Al Hamadi, at a ceremony attended by a large number of SIBF visitors and top officials from Dubai and Sharjah government. Large numbers of visitors flocked to stalls to buy the book. According to the author, the book, published by Kuttub Publishing House, is a life changer. He said his series of writing on Twitter about humans’ changing behaviour has encouraged him to write this book where he has detailed ways to help its readers lead a better life.

This book would help the reader to learn rational decision making in life.

The author said: “There are a lot of books of this kind written in English and various languages, but it’s very difficult to find even two of such books in the Arab world. This is what encouraged me to write this book on topics based on our culture and reality of life.”

Dr Al Hamadi said that his book achieved the best sales in the emirate, particularly at the SIBF. He said he started writing earlier on different topics but he stopped it to start this work because it’s more useful to readers. “I am planning to continue writing books on these topics to help people lead a healthy and better life,” he said. – Khaleej Times

 

Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan hails success of World Festival for purebred Arabian Horses

            H. H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs has lauded the success attained by the Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan World Festival for Purebred Arabian Horses on the horse race tracks.

He stressed in remarks on the sidelines of conclusion of the festival, which was held this evening on the horse racecourse of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, at the opening of racing season of the club, that the allocation of cup at the festival in the name of "mother of Emirates" Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and childhood is "An appreciation to the role of Sheikha Fatima regarding her dedication and care for the activities that deepen and consolidate loyalty and allegiance to the UAE culture and heritage."

 

Sheikh Mansour added that this competition contributed to turning of the festival into a global framework for the exchange of experiences and deepening relations among the lovers of equestrian sports, especially Arabian horses. He said it also helped to galvanise efforts to develop and improve the horse breeding, which is a qualitative addition to outstanding UAE record in the field at the international level. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

            Dubai has mixed-use creative spaces aplenty these days, with non-profit foundations and art spaces offering ever more artist residencies to those looking to concentrate on their craft. Abu Dhabi's mega-museums may be in the pipeline, but the capital still has to catch up when it comes to community building for the city's home-grown artistic talent.

Abu Dhabi Art Hub (ADAH), which opened last week, may go some way to addressing that. "The government of Abu Dhabi is going forward with big, art-related projects," says Ahmed Saleh Al Yafei, the founder of ADAH. "In coming years, this will put Abu Dhabi on the map in the art world - so it's a new era that will require secondary support of art and artists."

From that premise, Al Yafei has turned an angular building in the industrial Musaffah quarter into Abu Dhabi's first live-work space for artists. It houses a robust residency programme, studio spaces and room for 16 art-related companies to occupy. There's adjoining apartments, a coffee shop and an art supplies store on the way and Al Yafei even refers to an internal business centre for helping artists deal with managing their income.

"When artists live and work together, they are both completing each other and working in a competitive way, pushing to make something better and different," says Al Yafei, who comes from a real estate background but says he is an art collector.

Creating a living community like this in Musaffah is a laudable but ambitious task. "It's a 24-hour space," says Al Yafei. "But we're not trying to do everything ourselves. It's a hub and needs artworks and artists - we will try not to enforce or put any limitations on the exhibitions we show, except for our culture and religion of course. We will show everything from street art to traditional art. The artists are the masters of themselves during their exhibitions and this is a platform for them."

ADAH has launched with four resident artists, including the Saudi artist Nouf Al Semari and the Uzbek painter of traditional scenes from around the region, Alim Adilov.

Al Yafei notes that funding for the space will come from a combination of sharing profits from sales in exhibitions and workshops that take place in the space. "We try to be smooth and reasonable so that we can make the artist feel that they only need creativity to work."

• Abu Dhabi Art Hub is in Musaffah, off Street 7. Next month will see a focus on Japanese arts and culture. There are opportunities to exhibit and to take part in forthcoming residencies. Visit www.adah.ae. – The National

Abdullah bin Zayed receives Tony Blair

            H. H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister has received in his office International Quartet Committee for Peace in the Middle East Envoy Tony Blair, who is currently visiting the country.  The two sides discussed the latest developments regarding the Middle East peace process, and the efforts exerted by the committee to push forward the regional and international efforts in this respect. Mohammed Mahmoud Al Khaja, director of the office of Foreign Minister attended the meeting. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

National Council of Tourism and Antiquities promotes awareness about UAE's history

            The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities initiated contact with the Ministry of Education to develop an overall plan to enable the youth to read and learn more about the history of the UAE.

The move was in response to a recent call by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to nationals to read more to expand their knowledge of the history of their country and to preserve it as an integral part of the national identity, according to Chairman of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities Abdul Rehman Al Owais who is also the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

As part of an overall educational programme and response to the call, the Council made visits to tens of schools nationwide and organised lectures and competitions to encourage students to read about the UAE's history and antiquities, he noted.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid's call adds a boost to efforts to raise awareness of the national heritage of the UAE, to document and preserve its history and to give the youth an opportunity to learn more about it, he further noted.

Al Owais cited Umm Al Nar which goes back to the 3rd Millennium BC as one of the civilisations which originated from the UAE and expanded into the Arabian Peninsula and interacted with other ancient civilisations in Mesopotamia and India. He also cited Julfar city, from the 4th Hijri century, and the Jumeirah Islamic city of the Umayyad period.

Following its success, the programme was integrated in the Council's 2014-2016 strategy, the Director General of the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities Mohammed Khamis Al-Muhairi said.

Upon its establishment, the Council collaborated with the Ministry of Education to develop a project to raise awareness of students of the antiquities and ancient history of the UAE, Al Muhairi noted.

The country's rich history dates back to the Neolithic period around 5,500 BC or 7,500 years ago. Islam was brought to the country by envoys of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in 630 AD. Pearl diving and seafaring were the main means of livelihood of the early inhabitants of the country then.  - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE home to 8th largest mosque in the world

            The United Arab Emirates is home to some of the most beautiful and extravagant mosques in the world. The UAE leadership has taken special interest in building and keeping these mosques and they have now become landmarks.

            In total, the UAE has around 4,818 mosques out of which 1,418 mosques are located in Dubai, 2,289 in Abu Dhabi and 600 in Sharjah. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is considered to be one of the most important mosque in the UAE as it is the final resting place of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The Sheikh Zayed grand mosque is also the largest mosque in the UAE and the 8th largest mosque in the world. – Gulf News

 

Etihad Airways named the best Airline in the Middle East

            Etihad Airways has been recognised as "Best Airline in the Middle East" for 2012 by the readers of Premier Traveller magazine in the USA.  The prestigious award was presented at Premier Traveller’s "Best of 2012" awards gala dinner yesterday, November 8, at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles.

Award winners were determined by a survey of more than 10,000 readers.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We are delighted to be named Best Airline in the Middle East by the readers of Premier Traveller. Our region is fiercely competitive, driving the highest levels of service and setting new standards. To be recognised as the best therefore, is especially meaningful. It is largely attributable to our uncompromising commitment to providing the highest levels of hospitality and service to our customers across all cabins throughout their entire journey, on the ground and in the air." In the US, Etihad Airways currently operates direct daily flights between Abu Dhabi and New York and Chicago. The airline will launch daily services to Washington, D.C. in March 2013. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Emirates Cardiac Society launches first 3D heart simulator

            The Emirates Cardiac Society launched the first 3D echocardiography simulator in the UAE, at the third annual Emirates Cardiac Society Congress.

The congress aimed to increase awareness and educate people about the risk factors of cardiovascular disease as well as introduce new preventive treatments.

“Twenty-five per cent of people who die in the UAE, die from CVD, this means that one out of four deaths is caused by CVD. This is because of a higher incidence of risk factors such as diabetes, which is 25 per cent, hypertension 30 per cent, overweight and obesity is almost 50 per cent and high cholesterol is almost 30 to 40 per cent,” said Dr Fahad Baslib, head of cardiology at Rashid Hospital and chairman of the Emirates Cardiac society.

The ‘Heart Works’ simulator is the first of its kind in the UAE and as it will help track the rising incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) which is the number one killer in the UAE.

Provided by Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, the simulator will be shared among different hospitals in Dubai in order to train its physicians on how to use echocardiography on a dummy which is much safer than using a real patient.

This will lead to better diagnosis and management of patients with CVD ailments and so help in tackling the rising incidence of CVD.

According to a recent local arm of an international study, 41 per cent of the UAE population aged 30 years and older has high blood pressure (hypertension), significantly higher than the global average of 25 to 30 per cent according to latest data from the World Health Organisation, which has also warned that prevalence will double to 50 to 60 per cent by 2025.

The UAE is already seeing a rise in cases of hypertension, especially among a growing number of younger people (under 35), as a result of unhealthy lifestyles including poor diet and lack of exercise.

However, because the disease is symptomless, many people are unaware they have high blood pressure and go undiagnosed.

UAE statistics show that as many as 20 per cent of the local population is affected by diabetes, with no signs that this number decreasing.

“Echocardiography is an effective tool in picking up heart disease before symptoms even appear in a patient, and is the most widely used and cost-effective diagnostic imaging tool in cardiology. HeartWorks is a mannequin with a virtual reconstruction of a heart and is an optimal way for physicians to increase their skills in this area without any discomfort to a patient,” said Dr Alessandro Salustri, Consultant Cardiologist at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City.

Dr Baslib added that the aim of this year’s conference was to emphasise prevention through new treatment, new devices and educate the public about the risk factors of CVD like smoking, lack of exercise, junk food and the importance of screening for diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol which are the causes of CVD.

The 3rd Emirates Cardiac Congress was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel from November 1 to 3, under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, the UAE Minister of Finance and President of the Dubai Health Authority, and was inaugurated by Qadi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE tops MENA in prosperity rankings

Jeddah -  Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries span the Legatum Prosperity Index rankings. The United Arab Emirates, for example, ranks in the top 30 overall, while Iraq and Afghanistan—two new countries in the Index this year —rank within the bottom 15 countries in the Index according to a report published by the Saudi Gazette

The best performers are Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Among the worst performers are Afghanistan, Syria, and Iran, where more than 40 percent of the population report that they cannot rely on relatives and friends.

In MENA, Tunisia was hardest hit in the social capital stakes, falling to 122nd out of 142 countries, with Syria also dropping 30 places to 131st since 2010.

However, the entrepreneurship and opportunity sub-sector rose across the region as a result of falling business start-up costs and greater connectivity via mobile phones, internet connection and security.

Most notably, Saudi Arabia climbed from 54th to 46th since last year.
Jeffrey Gedmin, president and CEO of the Legatum Institute, said: “The Legatum Prosperity Index allows us to paint a comprehensive picture of what makes a country truly successful, encompassing traditional measures of material wealth, as well as capturing citizens’ sense of wellbeing – from how safe they feel, to their perceived personal freedom. GDP alone can never offer a complete view of prosperity.

“In the Middle East and North Africa, we are beginning to feel the impact of the Arab Spring, as social cohesion and the number of citizens who believe they can rely on friends and family for help has fallen

Globally, Norway, Denmark and Sweden topped the overall index and Finland was ranked seventh.

A new generation of Asian “Tiger Cub” countries has also emerged, with Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia all scaling the rankings.

In Tunisia, the percentage of the population that believe they can rely on friends and family for help has dropped from 88 percent in 2010 to 71 percent in the 2012 Index. During the same period, Yemen declined from 76 percent to 66 percent, well below the global average.

Despite differences across the region, most countries have improved their performance in the Entrepreneurship & Opportunity (E&O) sub-index over the last three years. This parallels a global improvement in the E&O sub-index in recent years, which has been caused, in part, by increasing levels of communications technology such as mobile banking. This has allowed more aspiring entrepreneurs to launch their own businesses. The MENA region has seen the second largest improvement.

Alongside greater connectivity, improvements in the E&O sub-index are partly due to a decrease in business start-up costs. Start-up costs have decreased throughout the region with the exceptions of Algeria, and Yemen, where they remain mostly unchanged. A significant improvement has been experienced by Egypt where business start-up costs decreased from almost 16 percent of GNI per capita in 2009 to 6 percent in 2012.

In Europe, overall prosperity has increased, with the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany each climbing the rankings and included in the top 15. However, more than two thirds (24 out of 33) of European countries have seen a decline in their Economy score since 2009 – undoubtedly as a result of ongoing economic difficulty in the region.

Another common regional trend is the sharp decline in the Social Capital sub-index experienced by most countries since 2010. Social Capital is important to prosperity because it measures the level of social cohesion, reciprocity, and trust in a society. – Saudi Gazette

 

Financial markets to close on Thursday, resume transactions on Sunday to observe the Islamic New Year

            Securities and Commodities Authority(SCA) has announced that the financial markets nationwide will close on Thursday, Nov. 15, and resume transactions on Sunday, Nov. 18, to mark the Islamic New Year.

            It seizes this blessed occasion to congratulate President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and Their Highnesses Members of the Supreme Council, Rulers of Emirates, on the occasion.  - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

Emirates NBD Securities introduces eBrokerMobile

            Emirates NBD Securities yesterday announced the launch of "eBrokerMobile" the first approved Mobile Trading Application for UAE stock markets in order to provide investors with enhanced services and the opportunity to experience the latest technologies. The launch of this new application is part of Emirates NBD Securities' continuous efforts towards making their customers' investments and trading activities more accessible.

The new app allows investors to be updated with the market trends and latest developments and gives them the opportunity to make smart investment decisions and execute trade transactions, wherever they are.

General Manager of Emirates NBD Securities Abdulla Al Hosani said: "Mobile technology is a great tool for opening up trading opportunities for investors on the move and those who do not have access to other trading portals. We, at Emirates NBD Securities, are pleased to introduce our first iPhone app which will provide investors easy access to investment and trading facilities".

Commenting on this development, Executive Vice President and Head of Operations Division at Dubai Financial Market (DFM) Hassan Al Serkal said: "DFM strongly supports various brokerage firms in their efforts to provide investors with highly sophisticated services and the most proficient and flexible communication channels including online and mobile trading. Certainly, these services respond to the investors' needs and make stock trading much easier from wherever they are. We are delighted to see such constructive efforts from Emirates NBD Securities as well as other DFM-licensed brokerage firms, and we have spared no effort to provide the necessary technical requirements in preparation for this service and look forward to see it achieving the desired interest from investors". - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE becomes a member of the WRO Advisory Council

            The International World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Advisory Council has selected the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) as a permanent member ahead of the (WRO) competitions in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The UAE will be represented in the WRO Advisory Council by Dr. Najla Naqbi, Programme Manager, Office of Planning and Strategic Affairs at ADEC and Kerry Bailey, special adviser of the school operations at ADEC.

This selection comes after the success of the ADEC in spreading the culture of Robotics at the local and Arab levels through the organisation of the local robot competitions annually, in addition to the development of the Arab robot competitions, which was hosted in Abu Dhabi in May 2011, and the organisation of WRO 2011.

The WRO Advisory Council includes Japan, China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Denmark. The UAE was selected to represent the Arab countries.

Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of the ADEC said this achievement would not have been achieved without the support of the UAE leadership to the educational initiatives. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE remains ideal destination for expat workers

            The UAE and other countries in the Middle East used to be very transient with many expats choosing to work here for only a brief period. Nowadays, more foreigners are staying longer and looking to build their corporate careers in the country.

A study by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) showed that majority of the executives surveyed had been working in the region for more than five years and planned to stick around “in the foreseeable future.”

Of the 68 people questioned for the study, half of them expressed intention to stay for more than five years, while a little over 17 per cent said they would stay for either up to three or five years.

Expats were apprehensive about moving elsewhere for fear that they would get less remuneration, relocate their entire family and develop a fresh support network and social circle.

Peter Felix, AESC president, said the findings illustrate that the “UAE continues to be the preferred destination among employees”.

The workers’ positive sentiment can be attributed not only to the level of opportunities and salaries available in the country, but to the good quality of life and work culture in the area. “The economic conditions in the West have [also] driven executives to consider opportunities elsewhere,” he added.

The survey also found that the UAE’s tax-free environment helped more than half of the employees save between 11 and 30 per cent of their income each month. Majority of the respondents worked in IT, technology and telecoms sectors. More than half (55.4 per cent) were holding general manager, CEO and COO positions.

The survey mirrors the findings of another recent study by HSBC which found that the Middle East continues to draw financially minded expatriates. While expats in many countries around the world are still feeling the economic pinch, those who work in the Middle East remain “relatively positive about the state of their local economy”, the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey said.

Career opportunities are considered the key driver for expatriates heading to Qatar (77 per cent), Saudi Arabia (76 per cent), Bahrain (74 per cent) and the UAE (65 per cent). Within these countries expats also benefit financially, the report said.

“Alongside high salaries, the low tax rates on personal income in many Middle Eastern countries have helped expats to secure increased disposable income as a result of their move, in comparison to those living in other regions,” said the report which surveyed more than 5,000 expatriates around the world.

N.S. Cubile, who has been working in Dubai for more than five years, said she’s “very much willing” to stay for five more years. “I’m fortunate to have a good-paying job, which I also happen to enjoy doing. The tax-free scheme, lifestyle and cost of living in Dubai are much more ideal compared to other countries,” she said.

However, while expatriates are staying longer, a huge portion of them still feel a much stronger affiliation with their home country most likely because their countries are getting better as a place to live and work.

In the UAE, 53 per cent of expatriates intend to stay and the rest are either “actively looking” or “considering” to return home or move to another country. The same sentiment is shared among expats in Saudi Arabia (66 per cent), Qatar (63 per cent), Oman (52 per cent), Kuwait (64 per cent) and Bahrain (66 per cent).

“These expats have always intended to move to the Middle East for a set period of time, before returning to their home country or moving to another expat posting,” the HSBC report said. – Gulf News

 

Demand for commercial property at four-year high in UAE

            The UAE commercial sector is stabilising as demand from occupiers topped neared a four-year high, according to a new report.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), in its third quarter UAE commercial property survey, said: “There was a further gradual recovery in real estate sentiment in the UAE during the third quarter, as occupier and investment indicators improved on the more positive mood seen in the second quarter. Indeed, strong demand for both office and retail space has seen the headline net balance rise to the highest reading since 2008.”

Although the UK-based institute expects further rise in available space despite a relative oversupply of office space, rental levels are expected to remain unchanged.

On the investment side, purchaser enquiries rose once more across all sectors and expectations for future transaction activity picked up smartly.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the country is benefiting from its safe haven status in the region and a subsequent influx of capital is being directed into the real estate sector.

“With demand high and finance available, it isn’t surprising to see capital value expectations rally,” the report said.

Dwindling supply of assets in distress was one of the reasons for the optimism about future values.

“Expected supply of foreclosed property largely stabilised in the third quarter, after rising for the past three years.  Alongside this, demand for distressed real estate remains high and this is likely to be supporting values,” Rics stated.

Jones Lang LaSalle, in its Global Market Perspective Fourth Quarter 2012 report, has already emphasised that the Dubai office market will become neutral (balanced) in 2014 and 2015 though 2013 still remains tenant-favourable.

As per its global office market conditions matrix (2013-2015), Washington DC, Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, Stockholm will join Dubai as tenant-favourable markets next year.

The matrix puts New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London West End, Moscow and Beijing as landlord favourable markets, while Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Paris, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Tokyo will hold a neutral status.

“While the overall office market continues to be tenant-favourable in Dubai, demand is still concentrated on just a few buildings and locations, and the range of prime buildings in single ownership is more restricted than the overall vacancy figures would suggest,” JLL said.

The global property consultants estimate around 460,000 square metres of office space to have been delivered over the first nine months 0f 2012 with additional 335,000 square metres likely to enter by year-end. The current office stock in Dubai stands at 6.9 square metres.

Citi, last week, emphasised that Dubai’s real estate market recovery was in sync with the wider economic upturn and strong economic fundamentals of the emirate. – Emirates 24|7

 

Dubai sees consumer confidence rising

            Consumers and business owners in Dubai have stepped into the final quarter of 2012 with renewed confidence and a brighter outlook on jobs and spending, according to the quarterly Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) published by the Department of Economic Development.

Positive sentiment guiding consumer behaviour and planning was largely visible across Dubai during the July-September 2012 period. Overall consumer confidence recorded in Dubai during the third quarter was 129, well above the average of 100 and seven points higher than Q2 2012.

CCI recorded in the third quarter of 2012 is the highest since the corresponding quarter of the previous year. A growing confidence on personal finances is among the highlights of the third quarter index. Nearly 77 per cent of the consumers sounded positive on their current financial situation and 86 per cent have a brighter outlook for the next 12 months.

Consumer perceptions on Dubai’s economy has also shown remarkable improvement in Q3 2012 with 66 per cent people expressing positive sentiment on the current state of economy as against 55 per cent in the second quarter. Dubai’s economy is also set to improve in the next 12 months, according to 84 per cent of the respondents.

Two-third of the consumers rated job prospects during the third quarter as very good even when job security and the state of the economy remained the topmost concerns for most of them. Business owners are more positive on jobs, thus giving job seekers stronger reasons for optimism.

“Consumer confidence is a clear indicator of the perceptions on the state of the economy and its key drivers. As recent surveys indicate, Dubai is witnessing rising confidence among consumers, which is clearly reflected on spending patterns and future planning,” said Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.

The Consumer Confidence Index is based on responses to three questions regarding perceptions of local job prospects, personal finances and whether it is good to buy things that people need and want, all over the next 12 months. Responses vary from Excellent or Good to Not so good or Bad.

Conducted in each quarter, the survey gathers feedbacks from 2,000 respondents, equally divided between the four quarters of the year. The respondents are all Dubai residents and cover males and females as well as nationals and expatriates, in the 20 to 59 age group.

“The responses in the survey help understand where the local market is headed and to what extent consumers are willing to spend or save. As a result businesses and development planners are able to prepare well for the future and avoid negative market implications,” added Al Qamzi.

Consumer behaviour over the third quarter also shows a more prudent and careful approach. The percentage of consumers spending on holidays, outdoor entertainment, new technology products, home make-over or in paying off debts, including credit cards and loans, showed a decline compared to the second quarter. Meanwhile, four per cent more consumers started putting their money in to savings in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. – Gulf News

 

Third batch of aspiring female space explorers to join Space Centre Houston training

            After two highly successful editions, the region s only space exploration program is turning its attention to girls between the ages of 12 and 18 who aspire to be engineers, scientists, or even astronauts in the near future.

Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, Director General of the Institute of Applied Technology (IAT), said "The program, which aids in developing talents and encourages the students between the ages of 12-18 to learn more about space and pursue it as a potential career in the future, offers a multitude of experiences that present a specialised peek into the world of space, along with the expert presentations and focused activities. This kind of program can have a massive impact on today s Emirati youth and, subsequently, the United Arab Emirates as a whole." He told WAM that 25 female students will be selected through rigorous process to join Space Centre Houston's Space Camp  Training which is the visitor centre of NASA Johnson Space Centre from 15 to 25 December 2012.

Ahmad Al Mulla, Director of the Department of Student Affairs at the Institute of Applied Technology, said "We recently had an awards ceremony to celebrate the 25 students from the 2nd batch who had attended the program in July of this year," added He added "Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi awarded the 25 students, who had been carefully selected among 128 applicants, for their dedication and hard work. Seeing the success the program has brought our two previous batches, we were very encouraged to repeat the experience for our female students." "We've always considered providing this experience to an all girls batch from the start. As part of the community, girls have as much to add to the future as boys do. It is important to provide them with a positive educational environment to enhance their learning experience. I am positive that we will have many eager students who are interested in taking part in this challenging experience," said Hussain Al Ansari, CEO of Space Ed-Ventures.

Space Ed-Ventures is the GCC s pioneering youth program that can be tailor-made to run for up to 4 weeks, allowing students with an inclination towards science and engineering to hone their interest with focused educational space training at the world s most advanced techno-hub, NASA.

Over the summer, 25 students from the Institute of Applied Technologies (IAT) embarked on a life changing 7-day intensive aerospace engineering and youth space training program at Houston Space School that is the visitors centre for NASA Johnson Space Centre. The shortlisted applicants were carefully handpicked from the 128 entries that came through in the last edition.

"We have had 2 successful trips so far. The students were given a chance to see a world far beyond their everyday lives. It is a life-changing experience and has helped students understand their interests much better. It gives them a much stronger sense of identity and better understanding of what they hope to become," added Al Ansari.

For 15-year-old Suhail Abdulaziz, the week-long program has become the highlight of his academic career. "I have always had an interest in physics and engineering, but until the space camp, I didn’t t realise that there are actually many more areas (in these fields) that I could specialise in someday. I also learned what my strengths and weaknesses are through group work," Suhail said. "The high point of the trip for me was working on robots and experiencing zero-gravity. This experience separates me from others my age. It is something that will follow me throughout my life, and has helped widen my options." As with every edition, the selected students will have the opportunity to work on projects that simulate real-life scenarios, troubleshooting and creating solutions in groups. Some of their assignments will include designing a functioning rocket that will be tested and launched on site. They will also engineer robotic Mars rovers similar to the real one on the red planet, to collect samples from the terrain for analysis. The students will also undergo the same training procedures as actual astronauts, including the opportunity to meet returning space explorers with real-world experience either in the control room or on the shuttle. At the end of the week-long intensive, they will be expected to present their findings and solutions that will be peer-evaluated and overseen by the Space Centre Houston administration for presentation style and content knowledge. Capping the trip, Space Ed-ventures will take the cadets on a historical and cultural tour of Houston, including museums, boardwalks and iconic parks.

The specialty of this edition of the program is that it is open exclusively to female students who are eager to experience hands-on training. Taking cultural factors into account, Space Ed-ventures will facilitate chaperones interested in accompanying successful participants as part of a family package. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE and Pakistani anti-narcotics units foil attempt to smuggle 16 kg of heroin into UAE

            UAE and Pakistani anti-narcotics units have busted an eight member gang for attempting to smuggle 16 kilograms of heroin into the UAE.

Lt. General Saif Al Shafaar, UAE Ministry of Interior Undersecretary, hailed the constructive cooperation the Pakistani Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) and Special Investigation Services (SIS) had accorded to the anti-narcotics liaison office at the UAE Embassy in Pakistan.

Speaking about the operation codenamed ''Thanks Pakistan'', Colonel Saeed Al Suwaidi, Director General of Anti-narcotics Department, MoI, said the anti-narcotics liaison office at the UAE Embassy in Pakistan had received a tip-off from reliable sources that a group of Pakistanis were planning to traffic the drug into the UAE.

The smugglers, he added, had made five consecutive attempts, four through Pakistani airports and one through Dubai International Airport, to smuggle the drug but all were aborted thanks to the close concerted coordination and cooperation between competent authorities in the two friendly countries. He said all the eight members of the gang were arrested.

He added that 15 kg of the total haul were seized in Pakistani airports. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

 

UAE duo top Dubai women’s 5k race

            Runners from Ethiopia dominated the 2012 Dubai Women’s Run 10k, but it was the UAE national team duo of Bethlem Belayneh and Alia Mohammad Saeed who hogged the limelight in the 5km at The Palm Jumeirah on Friday morning.

While Belayneh and Saeed took the top two spots in the 5km, Yami Gulma Belainesh and Elfnesh Dibaba Wako from Ethiopia were third and fourth and Great Britain’s Emma Phillips, who had won the 10km race last year, fifth.

Belayneh, who became the first woman athlete to represent the UAE at this summer’s London Olympic Games, finished in a modest 16 minutes and 42 seconds, but that was enough to keep her ahead of defending champion and teammate Saeed (16.45).

The 10k run saw an Ethiopian come home first, as Tehy Gebre Gissow finished in 34.27, leaving Russia’s Natalia Puchkova (34.32) in second and Hungary’s Erdelyi Zsofia (35.19) third.

Dobromir Karamarinov, President of the Association of the Balkan Athletic Federations (ABAF) and President of the Bulgarian Athletic Federation (BAF), presented the winners with their prizes and trophies in the presence of Adv. Ahmad Al Kamali, President of the UAE Athletics Federation (UAE AF), and Nasser Al Rahma from the Dubai Sports Council.

Though not pleased with their times in the race, both Belayneh and Saeed were happy to use this race as part of their preparations for next month’s West Asian Athletic Championships, to be held in Dubai.

“This was a good run for me after the Olympics and the time could have been faster if it was not for the humidity,” Belayneh told Gulf News.

Saeed, who clocked 15.38 on her way to victory last year, thought she suffered due to a slow start. “But it is okay with me as one of us has won the race,” she said.

A total of 3,626 runners registered for the event — an increase of more than 400 compared to last year. “This race is about the sustainability of the race and we are glad we are meeting the dual goal of women’s health and fitness at the same time,” said event director Liesa Euton. – Gulf News


 














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