Abdullah bin Zayed hails UAE- Korean ties

Abdullah bin Zayed hails UAE- Korean ties

Seoul:  H. H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister has lauded the relations between the UAE and the Republic of South Korea.

On the occasion of his visit to the Republic of Korea, he said: "I am pleased to express to the Korean leadership and people my admiration for the achievements your country has made at all levels and to wish you further progress and prosperity." In a speech broadcasted by the Korean News Agency yesterday, the UAE Foreign Minister noted that "This is my third visit to your beautiful country since 2009, an indication of the importance we place on our bi-lateral relationship. Ties between our two countries have made - and continue to make - significant progress in many fields, thanks to the support of the UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and of Korea's leadership over many years".

He underlined the common desire of the leadership in both countries to strengthen the strategic cooperation between the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah thanked President Lee Myung-bak for the major role he has played in furthering the bi-lateral collaboration during his tenure as president, adding that "I look forward to continuing to enhance our partnership with your new President, Park Geun-hye as she assumes the presidency." He hoped his visit will further invigorate the strategic economic, investment, scientific and technological ties between the two countries and open new areas for cooperation for the benefit of the two peoples. "We also hope that this visit will strengthen our shared commitment to maintaining regional and international security and stability.

Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1980, Sheikh Abdullah continued "we have seen tremendous progress in the establishment of ongoing and beneficial links. The formation of the joint committee for economic cooperation in 2005 was an important milestone that marked the beginning of an era of even greater opportunity for the bi-lateral relationship." In recent years, he added the two nations have progressed from historically friendly relations to a new and dynamic strategic partnership. The partnership now covers fields that include the peaceful use of nuclear energy, renewable energy, oil, human resource development, communications and information technology, in addition to political, economic, defence, and cultural cooperation.

Sheikh Abdullah said, "The UAE is now Korea's second largest economic partner in the Middle East and North Africa and is also one of the world's largest importers from Korea. The total volume of trade exchange between the two countries rose from US$ 17.7 billion in 2010 to US$ 22 billion in 2011. At the same time, the UAE is a major supplier of energy, in the form of crude oil, for the Korean economy." "We are fortunate to have seen a substantial increase in the number of Korean nationals living and working in the UAE, including business persons, medical professionals, engineers and even university professors, who have made important contributions to the prosperity of the UAE people." He said indeed, the evidence of the contribution of Korean residents in the UAE can be seen in such iconic projects as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, which was constructed by Korean firms, as well as in important infrastructure projects, such as the four nuclear power plants being built at Barakah in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Abdullah noted beyond the economic and cultural relations, "Our political relationship is also important and is bolstered by numerous areas of joint cooperation, including in a shared concern regarding climate change, nuclear non-proliferation, maritime security and other critical global issues." Like the Republic of Korea, he continued that the UAE's foreign policy is based on firm strategic rules and is focused on commitment to the UN Charter, respect for international law, and establishment of relations with all, based on mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of others.

"We believe in the resolution of disputes through dialogue and peaceful means and support just and legitimate issues and efforts to promote international peace and stability," Sheikh Abdullah said.

He noted that the UAE adopts the principles of tolerance and peaceful coexistence in its regional and international relations, seeking to promote friendship and understanding among countries. It has developed strategic political, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, educational and health partnerships with countries on all continents, reinforcing its status in the international community.

At home, Sheikh Abdullah underlined the UAE has developed policies and strategies which focus on the human being and human rights. It has worked to provide citizens with a decent life and the highest levels of prosperity through community development and high quality education and health care systems.

"We offer excellent, world-class government services to all UAE residents, whatever their nationality. A government charter forms the cornerstone in our commitment to protect the fundamental rights of all people," he underscored.

As a labour importing country, Sheikh Abdullah said, the UAE hosts millions of expatriates from about 200 different nationalities. They enjoy a high standard of living, security and stability, as well as the freedom to practice their religious beliefs freely. In addition, our labour legislation protects their rights, while their savings can be remitted freely to their home countries.

"The UAE has made women's empowerment and equality in civic, political, social and economic rights a top priority. Women now occupy four seats in the Cabinet and seven seats in the Federal National Council. About two thirds of public sector jobs are held by women. A new law requires that at least one woman should sit on the boards of every company and organisation," he said.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed that "The protection of human rights forms an essential component of our principles, as recognised by the country's election to membership of the UN's Human Rights Council for 2013-2015. This will strengthen the UAE's active role in the international community, and will provide new opportunities to contribute to international efforts to improve human rights at a global level." As part of its efforts to promote bilateral and international cooperation in the fight against human trafficking, he noted that the UAE has signed over fourteen agreements with governments and organisations. A founder of the UN's Group of Friends United Against Human Trafficking, the UAE supports the United Nations' Global Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, and has acceded to the Bali Process on People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons.

He underlined that the UAE is keen to build bridges of humanitarian cooperation with all countries through the provision of relief and development aid. "We focus on providing assistance to poor and developing countries in the form of loans, grants and subsidies.

According to a report by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development report in January this year. The UAE is ranked the 20th most generous donor in the world. Our foreign aid has exceeded Dh 163 billion since the establishment of our country in 1971, “he said.

Sheikh Abdullah concluded that "I look forward during my visit to the opportunity to discuss some of these topics and to review ways in which our two countries can further strengthen our collaboration, both in terms of our bilateral ties and with regards to issues of global concern. The partnership we have developed is one that we value highly and I am confident that it will continue to grow in the years ahead." - Emirates News Agency, WAM


Dubai Expo 2020 Chairman welcomes the BIE Enquiry Mission

A delegation representing the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the inter-governmental organisation based in Paris that is responsible for World Expo, arrived yesterday in the UAE.

The delegation will conduct a four-day Enquiry Mission to assess the UAE's ability to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. This global gathering is expected to attract 25 million visitors.

The Enquiry Mission, led by Mr Steen Christiansen, Chairman of the BIE Executive Committee, follows the UAE's recent submission of its official Expo bid dossier. The delegation will use the bid dossier as a guide during its mission and discuss the vision behind the country's bid theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, along with expected financial costs, worldwide promotion of the event, expected visitor numbers and the long-term use of the proposed Expo site, Dubai Trade Centre - Jebel Ali.

In addition to meeting with the country's government and business leaders, the visit will include insights into the country's heritage, its commitment to education, the burgeoning art and culture scene and visits to the UAE's most famous landmarks.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline '&' Group, in his capacity as Chairman of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, said, "We are honoured to welcome the BIE Enquiry Mission to the UAE so they can see firsthand the excitement, spirit and support for Expo 2020 exhibited by our multicultural nation. With great pride we look forward to the Mission's discovery of our capabilities to not only host the event but to make it the best Expo in the event's 150 year history." Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, said, "The Enquiry Mission represents a critical stage in our bid to host the World Expo 2020. We have worked diligently to develop a thorough and detailed plan so I am confident that we can portray our capability to host such a mega-event. Importantly though, I want to leave the delegates with an understanding that the UAE's bid is not just about us, it is about an Expo for the world with an unprecedented 70% of the expected visitors to come from outside the host nation. We want to deliver an unforgettable event that does justice to our theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future' with enduring benefits for future generations." To welcome the delegation, stakeholders from across the UAE have been showing their support to bring the event to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region for the first time.

Symbolising the year in which the UAE plans to welcome the world to Expo, at 20:20 every night during the mission Jumeirah Group's iconic Burj Al Arab seven-star hotel will be lit up with the bid logo. More than 3000 school children from across Dubai also participated in a "walkathon" event on Sunday organised by Dubai Police to raise awareness of the country's bid to host World Expo 2020.

As a result of the visit, the Enquiry Mission will prepare a report detailing their recommendation to all BIE member states as to whether Dubai and the UAE would be a feasible host for the World Expo 2020. The report will be presented at the next BIE General Assembly in Paris in June 2013.

Dubai, UAE, is competing against four other candidate cities bidding to host the 2020 edition of this monumental global gathering. The winner will be announced in November 2013 following a vote by the 163 member nations of the BIE.  - Emirates News Agency, WAM


Dubai in full swing to host World Expo 2020

As November 2013 inches closer, when a final vote will go out for which city bags the World Expo 2020 deal, Dubai and the UAE is gearing up to play the host nation.

Dubai is competing against four other candidate cities bidding to host the 2020 edition of the monumental global gathering, that is expected to attract 25 million visitors. The winner will be announced in November following a vote by the 163 member nations of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the Paris-based inter-governmental organisation responsible for World Expo.

Commenting on why Dubai would make a perfect host city for the UAE’s bid to host the Expo, Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, said: “Dubai has the infrastructure, ability, expertise and desire to make the Expo work, I don’t know many cities that could effectively deal with an event like this, but Dubai will be able to, and do so comfortably. The emirate’s trump card is access. An Expo needs to be in a city that is connected, and is geographically well positioned, Dubai is both.”

He added that by 2020, Emirates will have a fleet of around 250 wide-bodied aircraft, and will have added approximately 30 more destinations.

Dubai World Central, meanwhile, will provide additional capacity to accommodate the anticipated boost in traffic that would result from a successful bid, according to Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, which, he says, “will be needed to support the UAE’s rapidly growing role as the region’s trade and logistics hub”.

On the hotels front, meanwhile, the UAE now has more hotels per head of population than any other country in the world, says Gerald Lawless, President and Group CEO, Jumeirah Group. “We will have more than enough capacity. I imagine we would cope better than anyone else from the point of view of being able to absorb all the extra visitors that would attend Expo 2020,” he said.

Further asked what the bid’s theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the future’ mean to Etisalat, Saleh Al Abdooli, CEO, Etisalat, said: “This theme could not be more appropriate for Etisalat. We believe in the ability of the World Expo to gather minds to address the major global challenges we face today, and those we will face tomorrow. The UAE is a trade, tourism and telecommunications hub, and we connect so many people in so many ways every day, not just in terms of straightforward communication, but also culturally and socially.”

On similar lines, DP World’s Group CEO, Mohammad Sharaf, said: “Ours is a business that invests for the long term and we understand from experience how connecting across borders at an individual, community and country level creates a successful future, bringing down barriers between people and generating benefits for all. And, like Expo 2020, we are also strong believers in the importance of partnership.” – Gulf News


Expo 2020: UAE has it all

With Dubai bidding to host World Expo 2020, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director-General Hamad Buamim explains to Khaleej Times why the emirate is the ideal destination and how the private sector is supporting the bid.

Dubai is one of the most connected cities in the world. Home to over 200 different nationalities, the emirate has always been a favoured meeting point for global leaders, institutions and businesses.

With its strong economy characterised by steady growth rates, the UAE is one of the world’s leading global trading nations. With a GDP exceeding US$360 billion in 2011, the UAE is the second largest Arab economy. The country accounts for 1.3 per cent of global trade, a higher percentage than much larger, more populous countries such as Egypt, Malaysia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey.

In fact, the World Bank’s Doing Business Report in 2012 rated Dubai as the fifth most accessible city in the world for enabling trade. The UAE was also ranked first in the region and fourth in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Index by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Most importantly, it is also one of the safest countries in the world. Today, the UAE has one of the world’s most open economies and one that is stable, diverse, sustainable and growing. It is a gateway to emerging markets across Asia, the Middle East, and Arica and is a significant consumer market in its own right.

Support from all around

“This ticks all the boxes for hosting a World Expo and we think Dubai is ready to bring the world together for this important event,” Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director-General Hamad Buamim said.

“Domestic and regional support for Dubai Expo 2020 is overwhelming. Local opposition to the bid does not exist. Business leaders view hosting the Expo 2020 as a great opportunity. In fact, nine in ten surveyed said the image of the UAE and commercial activity and tourism in the region would be positively impacted by hosting Expo 2020 here,” he added.

On its part, Dubai Chamber has been working with its 27 sector-specific business groups and 43 country-specific business councils to support the bid. “Last year, we organised a number of events to highlight the bid and foster private sector participation. These include a Diplomatic Circle Dinner with Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai, which was attended by 62 UAE-based foreign diplomats in support of Dubai Expo 2020; the Business Gala International in association with the Dubai Expo 2020 Bid Committee, attended by over 1,000 local and global business leaders and entrepreneurs; and Talk Expo 2020, a networking meeting for the business community to support Dubai’s bid,” he explained.

Dubai rated high

Across the board, companies have taken the initiative to support Dubai Expo 2020 using their own resources and financing. The UAE is home to 50 per cent of Fortune 500 companies, including approximately 70 per cent of the top 100 firms. It is one of the most dynamic economies in the world – where the world comes to do business.

An independent study conducted for Dubai Expo 2020 by Zogby Research Services last year found an impressive 92 per cent of business leaders rated it favourably and 85 per cent said it was relevant. The study, which questioned 154 top level executives in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the UAE also found that nine in 10 said the image of the UAE and commercial activity and tourism in the region would be positively impacted by hosting the Expo 2020 here. At the same time, 85 per cent of UAE respondents said Dubai is a good venue to host the World Expo in 2020 and 89 per cent supported the UAE’s bid. Business leaders also gave a favourable rating to the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ with 80 per cent saying they are likely to attend and 82 per cent saying they would encourage their employees to attend.

Expo site to boost private sector

At the same time, the Expo site will be a major boost for the private sector, creating a new centre for the city. The site, which is integral to the city’s wider urban development strategy, will be adjacent to the new Al Maktoum Airport in a previously undeveloped area. This area, known as Dubai Trade Centre - Jebel Ali, will be a concrete interpretation of “aerotropolis” a city integrating with its airport to develop new services and, as it is previously undeveloped, will not require any displacement of people, businesses or infrastructure. The emirate is ready to invest as much as US$4 billion to build the infrastructure for the prestigious event, it was announced in February 2012, when the UAE had launched the country’s campaign to host World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Dubai’s strengths are numerous and the city is well prepared to host such a prestigious global event. All sections of society are mobilised to help Dubai achieve its aim. Hard work, perseverance and dedication are part of the emirate’s character. These traits, along with partnership and collaboration, the founding principles of the UAE, will help us turn our ambitions into reality, said Buamim. – Khaleej Times


UAE hopes Expo 2020 will leave behind a strong legacy

Legacy” is one of the key words the Expo 2020 bid team hopes to drive home when the inspection team visits this week.

If Dubai secures the international fair, a 438-hectare parcel of land in Jebel Ali will be redeveloped as a university, museum and conference facility.

“The opportunity for the university to focus on and draw from the experience of the expo and focus on some of the pressing issues that will be identified by the expo is huge,” said Peter Vine, the project co-ordinator for the UAE’s pavilions at previous expos.

“A top quality international university of the scale and with the facilities planned will serve the UAE and the region. It’s a visionary idea and it will be a very strong legacy.”

The university would form the core of a new “institute zone” and would include research centres.

A national museum would tell the story of the UAE’s evolution and commemorate the first world fair to be held in the Arab world.

After the event, the facility would be further developed as a state-of-the-art exhibition and convention centre – the first phase of which would be the indoor entertainment venue to be built for Expo 2020.

“Throughout the development process, we have sought to ensure that the site will serve as a permanent attraction beyond 2020 and will enhance further the UAE’s long-term appeal as a premier destination for high-profile global events,” said Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State and managing director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo.

Speaking in December at the unveiling of the site plans, she said the site chosen was one of the largest ever earmarked for an expo world fair.

Helal Saeed Al Marri, chief executive of Dubai World Trade Centre and a member of the higher committee, also said at the time that legacy planning would be deployed from the earliest stages of preparations.

“Every element of the master plan has been designed with due consideration to its afterlife and with a defined strategy for reuse, striking a balance between long-term requirements for the city as well as the six months of expo operations,” said Mr Al Marri.

The site is next to the new Al Maktoum International Airport, an equal distance between Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

“The site is superb,” said Mr Vine. “For me it is vital that it is close to an airport and is between the UAE’s two major airports. The demographic of visitors to this expo was always going to be defined by air travel.

“By 2020 Dubai International will be the busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger throughput, and all you’ve got to do is persuade these people to spend a couple of days in the UAE as a result of the expo and there’s a spin-off for the UAE.

“It’s not as if we’re trying to attract more people, they’re already coming through Dubai and Abu Dhabi.”

Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, a premier partner of the bid, said: “An expo needs to be in a city that is connected, and is geographically well positioned. Dubai is both. We’ll be serving most of the world’s cities in time for Expo 2020, opening the opportunity to make the Dubai Expo 2020 the most international yet.”

That international appeal will feed the bid committee’s desire to foster “collaborative thought leadership between academia, corporations and entrepreneurs” allowing scope – as the bid slogan puts it – for Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. – The National


UAE transport system gears up for influx of 25 million visitors

About 25 million visitors could make their way to Dubai for Expo 2020 – meaning the emirate will have to be able to offer enough transport links.

But that will not be a problem, according to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

The mass-transit options the bid committee will showcase this week include zero-emission buses, new Metro stations and dedicated lanes on key arterial roads to take visitors to the planned site at Dubai Trade Centre – Jebel Ali.

The Metro will be able up to ferry more than 75,000 people a day to the site, while commuters can board one of 750 ExpoRider buses from 35 points across the city.

“Whatever infrastructure will be built, it’s an investment for the future,” said Mattar Al Tayer, the chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA.

“The Dubai Metro is an iconic addition to the landmarks and high-flying achievements ... using cutting-edge technology and carving a niche for itself as the world’s longest driverless metro project.”

Additions to the Metro and roads would match the emirate’s “sweeping development and measure up to its futuristic ambitions”, Mr Al Tayer added.

The masterplan for 2020 includes construction of an extension to the Red Line that will take passengers from Jebel Ali to the expo.

Senior RTA staff had been attending workshops since August last year to learn about the bid process and how government employees and organisations could raise awareness about the project.

The goal is to involve government staff and encourage widespread participation at all levels.

The RTA is aiming to increase the share of public transport from 13 per cent to 30 per cent by 2030.

About 1 million passengers use public transport daily in Dubai, with an average of 364,000 on the Metro. – The National


Ruler of Sharjah opens the second Government Communication Forum 2013

   H. H. Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah has stressed the importance of preserving the cultural identity as it protects human being from unlimited unruly chaos.

Sheikh Sultan was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the second Government Communication Forum (GCF 2013) held under the theme Effective Communication- Unified Message.

Present were Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, H. H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, other Sheikhs, Former UN secretary General Kofi Anan, Former Arab League secretary General Amro Mousa and former US Ambassador to UN Andrew Young, senior officials and dignitaries.

"The cultural particularities cannot fade forever as they resort to living in hibernation like plants in the depths of unconsciousness. They wait for revival, " he said, noting that "We should tackle this chaos. If it is allowed to triumph, it will have destructive effects. The cultural Identity is the protective shield that ensures survival." The Ruler of Sharjah welcomed the presence of decision makers, who took the decisive decisions in their respective posts.

He noted that Sharjah had embarked on the cultural communication since 1976 when the African- Arab Symposium was held- and a number of resolutions were adopted to revamp the cultural communication between the Arab and African countries.

The Turkish Prime Minister said the communication has impact on the world, especially on the social, political and economic ties, as well as on the policies and governments.

He underlined that politicians who could exploit the communication correctly would win votes in the elections, stressing the need for developing the methods of government communication with the citizens amid the fundamental changes being experienced by the region and world.

Erdogan said Turkey has 81 cities and the distance between the farthest points is 2, 500 km. "In accordance with my responsibilities, I frequently visit these cities. I visited 70 cities over 45 days during the elections campaign. I delivered a speech in each city as I met the voters." For his part, the Former UN secretary general shed light on his tenure as the UN secretary general. He added that the world is experiencing the fundamental changes, but noted that what "is worrying is the scale of the complications." Annan underlined that the political leaders have failed to understand their peoples, and hence adopted myopic attitudes that had led to exacerbation of the situation, and as a result the uprisings.

The Former Arab League secretary general said the Middle East is witnessing the fundamental changes due to the lack of communication between the governments and peoples on one hand, and among the peoples on the other hand. He said the approach of totalitarian governments had bad impact on the communication, noting that the whole issue ended in the repetitive and similar uprisings.

Mousa said the communication has become easier unlike the past, adding that the modern communication has become easier among people because of the technology as no government can control it.  - Emirates News Agency, WAM


Govt keen to give out unified message: Lubna

“The UAE government believes in serving its people meticulously. Based on this vision, government departments are required to unify their policies for effective strategies to communicate with the citizens and residents of the nation,” said Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade.

She was speaking at a panel discussion on the opening day of the Government Communication Forum. Speaking about the effectiveness of regional communication and the importance of merging federal and local government messages, Shaikha Lubna said: “We have strategies in place at a federal level as well as the local level. Periodically, these strategies and policies are assessed and updated in keeping with the changing needs of the nation. In fact, the UAE places a very high importance on aligning the seven emirates in order to communicate a unified message.

“With the number of channels for communication available today, governments cannot afford to be complacent. Officials have to be straightforward and sincere in delivery. These tools help serve their communication targets effectively. It is for the government to ensure that the community is able to convey its problems. And, it is the role of the government to remain aware of these social changes and new tools, adopt a proactive approach and seek to resolve the people’s concerns.”

The session sought to draw on the international experiences of the panel to define the importance of clear dialogue between government agencies. – Khaleej Times


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