World's biggest peace dove to be unveiled in Dubai today

World's biggest peace dove to be unveiled in Dubai today

The world’s biggest peace dove made of 1.2 million buttons in the colours of the UAE flag was completed in Dubai setting a new record. It will make its way to the Guinness World Records to highlight the UAE’s stature as a peace-loving nation.

At the ceremony, the committee will receive an official certificate from the Guinness World Records.

In April 2012, the Dubai Sports Council and “Peace and Sport, l’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport” formed a strategic alliance to make sport a driving force for development, education, social cohesion and peace in the entire Middle East region and further afield. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


UAE stresses support, participation in Milano Expo 2015

The UAE has confirmed its support and participation in the next World EXPO, which will be held in Milan, Italy in 2015.

A meeting of the UAE EXPO Planning Group took place at the National Media Council on 03 and 04 March. Key parameters of the project were discussed by architects, planners, creative consultants and specialist companies.

Leading companies attending the meetings included the architectural practice founded by Sir Norman Foster, Foster + Partners, that designed much of Masdar City as well as the Abu Dhabi Central Market and the Zayed Museum. They were also architects for the award-winning UAE Pavilion at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, China. That sand-dune shaped building was subsequently brought back to the UAE and now stands on Saadiyat Island, adjacent to Maanarat.

"We hope that the UAE's success in Shanghai can be repeated and even surpassed in Milan", stated the Commissioner General of the UAE Pavilion and Director General of the National Media Council, Ibrahim Al Abed.

A key aspect of EXPO 2015 Milan is its focus on sustainability and Masdar will play a significant role in helping the EXPO 2015 team adhere to One-Planet guidelines and achieve a carbon neutral project. "This is not just a matter of good practice and environmental responsibility", stated the Project Director, "but it is an integral part of the UAE story and its exhibition under the event's general theme: Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life'".

"We have some really exciting plans for the UAE's pavilion at EXPO 2015", stated the Pavilion Director, Abdulla Al-Aidarous, noting that "I can promise both the organisers and the general public that the UAE Pavilion will surprise and delight all who will visit it." The team will be developing the project throughout this year and will enter the main building phase early in 2014 with the aim of being ready for testing prior to the opening of the EXPO in 2015. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


Thousands catch Qasr Al Hosn grand finale

Thousands of visitors flocked to the Qasr Al Hosn Festival for a walk through Abu Dhabi's history before the celebrations drew to a close at midnight yesterday.

They wandered the sandy compound to watch the historical exhibitions and live performances, checked out the traditional souq stalls, horses, camels, falcons and salukis, and met the Emirati craftspeople.

The 10-day festival, which began on February 28 and took place next the Qasr Al Hosn, the symbolic birthplace of Abu Dhabi, gave Emiratis, expatriates and tourists a chance to engage in Abu Dhabi's rich cultural past.

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; and Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed, the Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region, were among yesterday's visitors.

By 6pm, there were 2,488 visitors, but the numbers surged an hour later to 3,859, according to organisers.

Over the past nine days, 23,288 attended. March 8 registered the highest number of visitors, with 7,296. These figures do not include attendees to the show, The Story of a Fort, Legacy of a Nation by Franco Dragone, which attracted at least 800 people a day.

"It reflects the importance to the nation's history in this iconic celebration of Qasr Al Hosn," Faisal Al Shaikh, the director of the festival, and director of the events bureau at Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

"The festival is becoming a national destination for traditional and cultural activities as the community came together to celebrate 250 years of Emirati history, culture and tradition."

Sandra Takac, 35, a housewife in Abu Dhabi who is originally from Serbia, said the festival was "nice and well-organised".

She was with husband Alen, 36, and their children Alexander, 5, and Alexandra, 3, at the desert area. They took photos of Alexander who enjoyed his camel ride.

"It's nice to learn about the UAE's history in this way," she said. "It brings us closer to Emirati culture and history."

It was the second visit for Shamma Al Khouri, 18, a student at Zayed University and resident of Abu Dhabi, and her family.

She came with her mother Aisha Darwish, 50, her sisters Mariam, 16, and Osha, 6, and brothers Diab, 9, and Mohammed, 5. They attended the festival the previous day.

"We came here to know more about how our people lived in the past," Shamma said. "We feel proud that people from other countries are here to know our culture, so it will be well-known in the world."

They were at the desert section of the festival, where Mohammed held one of the falcons. They took photos of the camels and stood next to Abu Dhabi police officers wearing their old brown uniforms.

"My grandfather used to work at Qasr Al Hosn," Shamma said. "Every Eid, my mother and other children would visit the fort and the sheikhs would give them 'Eidya' or gifts."

The fort is currently under restoration. Plans are under way to open it as a historical attraction.

Zeinab Al Tourq, a Lebanese housewife and an Abu Dhabi resident for 37 years, snapped a few photos of nephew Mohammed, who is Emirati.

"Today's the last day so we didn't want to miss the festival," she said. "We've been reading about in the newspaper."

Ms Al Tourq said the festival was a good opportunity for Mohammed to know more and understand his heritage, while watching Mohammed hold a falcon.

"His classmates have been talking about it and it's nice that he's here to experience the festival," she said.

A Takatof volunteer took Grant Olivier, 45, an aeronautic engineer from South Africa, and his family to a tour around the sandy compound. He was with his wife, Suzana, 50, and daughter Capria, 14.

"There's a wonderful mix of culture here," said Mrs Olivier. "Before coming here, I'd never heard of Abu Dhabi. We'd like to understand people's culture better and be able to integrate." – The National


Abu Dhabi targets 2.5 million tourists in 2013, says Abu Dhabi Tourism '&' Culture Authority

Berlin: The Abu Dhabi pavilion at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB Berlin) was the most attracting at the venue of the one of the world's leading travel trade shows where it showcased the emirate's most compelling offerings to date, according to Director of Promotions and Overseas Offices at Abu Dhabi Tourism '&' Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) , Mubarak Rashid Al Nuaimi.

Abu Dhabi pavilion at ITB Berlin, held between 6-10 March, was packed with 63 stakeholders representing a product line of over 80 offerings including state-of-the-art attractions, luxurious beachfront resorts, city centre hotels, the Arabian Gulf's first integrated wellness medical centre, tour operators and a sustainable desert retreat, Al Nuaimi said in statements to WAM.

The emirate's tourism industry, he added, is set to receive 2.5 million tourists in 2013, up from last year's record 2.3 million tourists, stressing that Abu Dhabi's strong tourism products and attractions are the driving force behind this targeted increase.

TCA Abu Dhabi is set to participate in the forthcoming World Travel Market Latin America, taking place in Sao Paulo on 23 - 25 April 2013 ahead of Etihad Airways' launch of service from Sao Paolo to Abu Dhabi this June, the TCA Abu Dhabi official said.

He also revealed that TCA Abu Dhabi will also participate in 17 international shows to be held in 17 countries and will organise 8 roadshows in 23 cities around the world.

He also noted that Saadiyat Island, with a 9-km compelling shoreline, is the perfect venue for the international debut for DNA Centre for Integrative Medicine '&' Wellness.

He also highlighted Aldar, Abu Dhabi's leading property development, management and investment company, brought Yas Island to ITB Berlin where it showcased Yas Island, the venue for the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi which is the world's largest indoor theme park and the first ever Ferrari theme park in the world. The park hosts over more than 20 Ferrari-inspired rides and attractions for the entire family including the world's fastest roller coaster and the region's first duelling coaster.

He noted that the sustainable desert attraction of Arabian Nights Village, set on a dedicated plot in Al Khatem, half way between the UAE capital and the emirate's heritage heartland of Al Ain, made its ITB debut in the Abu Dhabi pavilion where it promoted the UAE traditions and culture. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


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