Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been ranked among the top ten heads of state who use Twitter for citizen engagement, according to a new study by the US Digital Policy Council (DPC), an international, non-partisan 'think tank' that promotes good governance and policy-making.
In its World Leaders on Twitter Report, DPC says: ''In 2012 His Highness Sheikh Mohammed gained 910,000 followers in just one year to have 1.3 million followers now. He regularly shared his thoughts, future plans, attended events and various achievements with citizens and followers.
As the world's most followed leaders on Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed has become a reliable world news maker.
His page on the Twitter serves as a platform for his leadership, philosophy, vision and a channel of communication with his fans and followers across the globe.
HH uses his Twitter account to regularly update his followers about his formal and informal engagements, initiatives and resolutions on various political, social, sports, educational, cultural and social occasions.
Last year, his Twitter account saw unprecedented activities where HH launched a raft of humanitarian initiatives, the latest of them was his instructions to the concerned authorities not to make any celebrations for the Accession Day on January 4. In the last two years, we highlighted key segments of the community that deserve our gratitude and attention such as orphaned children and mothers. This year, we focus on a new group: general labour employees such as gardeners, janitors, construction workers, domestic workers among others. These groups play an active role in society,'' Sheikh Mohammed said when he launched the community-driven initiative through his Twitter account.
He also launched the ''Union Tree'' initiative through his Twitter page.
In 2012, the Digital Policy Council observed a tremendous growth in the number of governments embracing social media. As more of the world becomes connected online, world leaders now recognise the opportunities social media holds as an informative and engaging tool.
Analyses as of December 2012 revealed that 75%, or three out of four heads of state, were utilising the social media site Twitter. A total of 123 world leaders out of 164 countries had accounts on Twitter set up in their personal name or through an official government office. In 2011 only 69 out of 164 countries had embraced Twitter. The new figures represent a 78% increase in the number of heads of state and national governments on Twitter from 2011.
In terms of followers, the study found that US President Barack Obama is by far the most watched world leader on Twitter, with 25 million followers. Coming in at number two? Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, with 3.5 million followers. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Oil prices are reflecting fundamentals of demand and supply and the current prices of US$105 to US$110 are considered good in light of the circumstances in some producing countries in the region and beyond, the Minister of Energy Mohammed Dhaen AL Hameli said.
"New discoveries in America and the future reserves have direct impact on oil prices, on the short term and not on the long term. I expect prices in 2013 to be similar to prices in 2012," Al Hameli said in statements to Abu Dhabi TV on the sidelines of a ceremony to sign an energy agreement with Turkey.
Speaking on demand on oil, the minister said "the world continues to suffer from the economic crisis which has been ongoing for five years now. I expect that demand on energy will go down to below the levels of last year, relatively. Maybe, there will be some stability in demand and therefore prices will stand at the same level, due to some factors which are beyond market fundamentals, such as the problems in producing countries. This has direct impact on energy prices." - Emirates News Agency, WAM
ADNOC Distribution has signed two agreements with Union National Bank (UNK) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) under which the two banks will offer financing facilities to Emirati investors in the company's latest fuel tanker leasing service.
Under the recently launched service, ADNOC Distribution will lease tank trailers from individual Emirati investors under its community support initiative. As the two lenders extend loans to investors to purchase the fuel transport trucks, the company will bear the expenses of registration, insurance and maintenance during the contractual period.
The company said in a press release yesterday that the agreements boost joint public-private efforts to prod UAE citizens to invest in small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).
ADNOC Distribution General Manager Abdulla Al Dhaheri, who inked the deals with Ala'a Erekat, Chief Executive of ADCB, and Abdulla Al Rashedi, Senior Vice President and Head of Management Services Group, UNB, said negotiations were on to strike a similar with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
He added that the fuel tanker leasing service had been in place since 1989 but the company had introduced some amendments to ensure best health, safety and quality standards.
He affirmed the company's commitment to partner with different economic sectors, especially finance, to advance community-driven services as part of its strategy to stimulate economic growth under the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2013. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
Total public revenue in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2011 surged by almost 41% driven by higher world oil prices, according the emirate's Department of Economic Development.
The report about public revenue noted the marked change in the contribution of oil revenues within the structure of public revenue in the emirate, as oil contribution amounted to 90.6%, closer to the levels that prevailed prior to the global financial crisis. This was attributed to the continuous improvement in global oil prices over the past two years, as world oil price per barrel increased from US$79.5 in 2010 to US$ 109.5 in 2011, hiking by approximately 37.7%.
Public Finance In view of the strategic ambitious visions of the government of Abu Dhabi, which aims at attaining the highest levels of excellence in various fields of economic and social life, creating a sophisticated attractive investment environment and laying the foundations of sustainable development in an open and competitive global economy, periodic follow-up to track public finance trends in the emirate, is inevitably important; as public finance stands as a cornerstone in implementation of government visions and aspirations.
in order to provide financial resources and requirements for best yielding projects, in line with the standard criteria for excellence in government performance, the Department of Finance in Abu Dhabi took the initiative to formulate the Strategic Plan (2011-2015) for setting a sophisticated financial framework based on international standards and practices, and formulating sound fiscal policies to facilitate the realisation of the initiatives of all government departments and entities in Abu Dhabi.
Public Revenue: Available data reveal that total public revenue in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi during the past year increased by almost 41%, in addition to the marked change in the contribution of oil revenues within the structure of public revenue in the emirate, as oil contribution amounted to 90.6%, closer to the levels that prevailed prior to the global financial crisis. This was attributed to the continuous improvement in global oil prices over the past two years, as world oil price per barrel increased from US$79.5 in 2010 to US$ 109.5 in 2011, hiking by approximately 37.7%.
The rise in the contribution of oil revenues during 2011, was accompanied by a decline in the contribution of other revenues, especially the marked decline in the contribution of capital revenue, which fell from its record contribution of 10% among government revenues in 2010, to 2.9% in 2011; while the contribution of the current revenue of Government Departments dropped from 7.3% in 2010 to 6.5% 2011.
Public Expenditure: The total public expenditure of the government, as data indicate, increased by 14.2% during 2011. Data also reveal that the structure of expenditure items last year, was closely similar to that of previous years. Contribution to federal expenditure, remained the largest item as it constituted 32.2% of total public expenditure during 2012, compared to 30.9% in 2011.
Expenditure on recurrent expenses of government departments acquired the second place in 2011 as it accounted for 26.8% of total public expenditure; while expenditure on aid and loans came in third position among items of spending by 25.7% compared to 23% in 2010. It should be noted that expenditure on capital payments registered the highest drop among public spending items last year; as it fell to 6.9% in 2011 compared to 10.3% in 2010. - Emirates News Agency, WAM
In accordance with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide all requirements for ambitious development plans at all levels and aspects, and in line with its endeavour to meet the Emirate of Dubai's growing demand for water and electricity services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has announced its Budget for the current year 2013 estimated at Dh 13.8 billion, compared to Dh 13.6 billion in 2012.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA, said, "The budget includes an amount of Dh 12.508 billion for operating budget and Dh 1.206billion for capital projects and capital purchases which comprises Dh 204m for 132 KV cable laying circuits at various locations in Dubai and other works for electricity transmission system in addition to Dh 52m for installation of distribution substation equipment and low voltage cables." He added, "An amount of Dh 281m will be for developing water transmission and distribution network in various parts of Dubai and Dh 562m is for purchase of cables and accessories, switchgear, transformers, pipes etc besides other items relating to capital projects and capital purchases, in addition to Dh 120.351m as administration capital budget." "The total combined production capacity at the end of 2012 is 9646 MW of electricity and 470 MIGD of water. During the last year the peak power load reached 6637 MW with a reserve margin exceeding 3000 MW. On the other hand, the peak demand for water during 2012 was 285 MIGD with a reserve margin estimated at 185 MIGD of water," said Al Tayer.
"These reserve margins will contribute to the fulfilment of the power and water requirements of the recently announced prestigious mega-development projects, such as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Garden City project among others," he added.
"Additionally, these important strategic reserves will meet the future electricity and water needs of various economic, commercial, tourism, industrial and urban sectors," confirmed Al Tayer. - Emirates News Agency, WAM