Mohamed bin Zayed tours flood-hit Eastern region

Mohamed bin Zayed tours flood-hit Eastern region

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, yesterday conducted tour of a number of areas in the Eastern region to enquire about conditions of citizens, and to inspect services provided to them and projects being implemented to cater for their needs.

Sheikh Mohamed got assured of the well being of citizens living at villages near valleys and mountains, which experienced rains last Week.

Sheikh Mohamed's tour took him to Shouka valley dam and Al Qour valley. The 13- metre high and 107-metre long dam, with a capacity of 275,000 cubic metre, was over flooded several times due to torrential rains last Week.

At Manaiei, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi visited the place of residence of Ali bin Saeed Al Dahmani, where he was welcomed by family members as well as by citizens of Manaiei and surrounding areas.

As he shook hands with citizens, Sheikh Mohamed expressed his extreme pleasure for meeting the citizens and listening to their needs for basic services.

For their part, the citizens welcomed Sheikh Mohamed while poets recited poems showing their love and loyalty to the nation and lauded achievements the UAE has made under the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


'Dubai 2020' vision to welcome 20 million visitors per year

His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday officially approved Dubai's Vision for Tourism: By 2020, Dubai will welcome 20 million visitors per year, and the annual contribution made by tourism to the city's economy will triple.

On this occasion, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid affirmed that the UAE has succeeded in placing itself amongst popular tourist destinations on the global map of tourism, walking confidently into the future through launching ambitious developmental initiatives and high quality projects. His Highness also noted that building a robust infrastructure with high capacity and providing quality high-end services to all the visitors of the UAE is an ongoing process that also necessitate keeping up the pace of development to meet the requirements of the global markets, bearing in mind changes that may occur in such requirements so as to preserve the country's gains and earn more achievements in the tourism sector that is full of opportunities.

The UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai also highlighted the economic importance of the tourism sector, the hopes the county is pinning on it and the potentials mobilised so as to put the UAE at the forefront of regional and global tourism; essential elements to tourism that have earned Dubai a reputation as a global tourism destination. In fact, the increased number of visitors is strong evidence to this, as Dubai was able to double the number of tourists from only five million yearly to ten million tourists a year during the past eight years. His Highness also said that he firmly believes in Dubai's ability to reach even a substantial tourist influx in light of the fact that Dubai will shortly witness the implementation of wide new range of projects that will represent new elements of attraction and will open the door to welcoming larger numbers of visitors into the country.

HH Sheikh Mohammed went on to say: "We are aware that such goals are ambitious, but more important than ambition is realising these goals in reality. We are confident that the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing is capable of achieving what it aims for given the previous accomplishments and the positive results attained".

However, Sheikh Mohammed said, "We need to bear in mind that tourism is a broad service sector that one entity cannot solely be held responsible for its development; therefore, it is important that other government departments and institutions share this responsibility and join in developing this sector in order to strengthen our macroeconomic capabilities. Moreover, we expect the private sector to play a similar role in supporting this goal within the framework of the partnership that we have established decades ago. This partnership between the government and private sectors is a source of our pride and we will do all what it takes to make it a success." Developed by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) under guidance from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vision sets out how the city will both double its annual visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020, and increase the economic contribution of the tourism sector. Early estimates from a study currently being conducted indicate that the current economic contribution is in the range of Dh100 billion.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DTCM, said: "The strategy behind the Dubai Tourism Vision for 2020 will further leverage a sector which has been a central pillar in the city's economic growth, success and diversification. It is based upon two central tenets: the first being to widen our range of tourism offerings across events, attractions, infrastructure, services and packages and to enhance the overall visitor experience from arrival to departure. The second tenet is to adapt our marketing approach in order to showcase Dubai to a wider audience and grow the conversion rate of awareness to bookings. There are a range of initiatives we will put in place in both of these areas which will work together to attract more visitors to the city and encourage them to stay longer and spend more money during their time with us.

"Our role at DTCM is to act as a facilitator of growth, harnessing the collective power of stakeholders in the city and deepening engagement with parties outside of Dubai, so that we deliver the vision." The target of 20 million visitors will be achieved through meeting a number of objectives. First, maintaining existing market share of the outbound tourism of all source markets: economic and demographic factors will increase the amount of outbound tourists in each market, therefore maintaining Dubai's existing percentage market share will deliver an up-lift in visitor numbers. Second, increasing awareness and consideration to visit in a number of source markets which DTCM has identified as having significant potential for growth, such as Latin America, China and the emerging economies of Africa. Third, increasing the number of repeat visits, already a significant driver for tourism in the city.

Meeting these objectives in addition to driving up the average length of stay (currently at 3.76 days) and increasing the amount of money spent by tourists during their visits will lead to the trebling of the economic contribution that tourism makes to the emirate's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

To widen the range of tourism offerings, there are three key areas of focus: In line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed's statement earlier this year that the UAE should be the world's leading family destination, DTCM will play a central role in coordinating the activities of industry and public sector partners to expand the existing attractions, events and experiences that cater to families. This will also include creating segmented packages and tailored offerings that make the most of the Emirate's assets, including the city, desert and coastline - for example, by effectively marketing the historic and cultural sites; world-class sporting facilities; and capabilities in the cruise industry.

Dubai as an event destination is a second area of principal focus, with the aim of moving from the regional events hub to a global events and entertainment destination. As part of this, both the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) - organiser of festivals such as Dubai Summer Surprises and Dubai Shopping Festival - and Dubai Calendar, were recently integrated into DTCM. DTCM will also continue to work closely with the Expo2020 team to support and promote the Dubai, UAE bid to bring the World Expo to the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia) region for the first time.

The offer to business visitors is a third principal focus, with the strategy setting out plans for enhancing Dubai's status as a business destination. Already the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) capital of the region, DTCM will work with the industry in improving the business tourism offer to make sure that Dubai is the easiest and most effective place to do business; and to adopt a more unified approach to business and leisure tourism.

Following the announcement of the Dubai Tourism Vision for 2020, DTCM and its partners in Government will share details of its plans with industry stakeholders from both within Dubai and its key source markets at this week's Arabian Hotel and Investment Congress and Arabian Travel Market. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


Sultan bin Khalifa launches the inaugural UAE Youth Development Programme at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan has become patron of the inaugural UAE Youth Development Programme hosted at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMAS), England.

This gesture by Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan is a sign of determination to contribute to building the young Emirati generation and equip it with state of the art skills that will enable it to lead the country towards success and prosperity in accordance with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.

This programme will take place from 17th - 31st August 2013 and is for 20 selected Emiratis aged between 16 and 19 years old. The Sandhurst UAE Youth Development Programme will be run at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (RMAS) by the Inspirational Development group (IDG).

This programme has been specifically developed for students in the UAE to gain a deep and broad understanding of leadership and team-building skills. It has been designed to develop personal and commercial awareness integrated with the practical operational expertise required to lead high performing teams in a modern world.

Students will get the opportunity to get a feel of the "Sandhurst" experience whilst learning key concepts and forging lifelong friendships with their fellow students.

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was one of the first international institutions to accept UAE students four decades ago, and over 300 Emiratis have attended the Sandhurst Officer Cadet Course including members of ruling families such as His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The Academy has recently strengthened ties with the UAE, with the "Zayed Building", completed with Dh 880 million provided by the UAE, inaugurated in remembrance of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Academy.

Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan accepted the patronage of the UAE Youth Development Programme "with great pleasure" and commenting on the occasion, he expressed that: "Youth is the nation's real wealth; that's what our late father Sheikh Zayed (PBUHS) said. Therefore, investing in the Emirati youth generation is the best guarantee for a bright and successful future for our beloved country. Our role, as sons and daughters of the UAE, is to save no effort to position our country at the highest ranks among nations. I wish those students all the best and am confident that they will dedicate the skills they are going to learn from the programme into serving their country in the best way." Over the coming weeks, Sheikh Sultan has requested management of the youth development programme to visit key educational institutions as part of the recruitment campaign. This pilot programme initially accommodates only 20 participants. It is hoped, however, that, with community support, the programme will be developed significantly for future programmes. Tom Hudson; a Sandhurst graduate and UAE Country Coordinator, IDG, stated: "I was privileged to go to Sandhurst as a student, and in my view, there is no better place to learn about team work and leadership - it really laid the foundations for me to build on in later life. I know that all involved are sincerely grateful and fortunate that Sheikh Sultan has bestowed his patronage on the Sandhurst Youth Development Programme.

The launch of the programme in the week following the visit of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates to the United Kingdom, further cements the ties between the two nations. This is an amazing opportunity for more Emirati students to benefit from these ties exclusively available for them."


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