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UAE Armed Forces team returns to heroes welcome after climbing to summit of Mount Everest

posted on 27/05/2016

The UAE Armed Forces team, the first UAE team to ever climb the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, received a hero's welcome yesterday at Al Bateen Private Airport, returning from their challenging and successful mission.

The 16-strong group, which included physios and descent specialists, reached the summit of Mount Everest last Thursday (19 May), where they raised the UAE flag in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the unification of the country's Armed Forces. This UAE Armed Forces' group is the first Emirati climbing team to reach the summit, which is 8848 metres above sea level.

When they arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday, they were greeted by H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, as well as friends and families. Some of the highest ranked officers in the Armed Forces were also present to welcome the heroes home.

Sheikh Nahyan shook hands with each team member, congratulated them on completing their expedition and thanked them on behalf of the UAE for their efforts.

"The team has proven their ability to challenge themselves and shown their strength and determination during this expedition. They conquered one of the toughest challenges in the world and embodied the spirit and determination of the UAE Armed Forces," Sheikh Nahyan said.

He dedicated their feat to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

UAE Armed Forces Everest team member Hassan Rashid Al Naqbi said, "We are very thankful for the warm reception we received here today. We are delighted that our continuous training, teamwork and dedication to the mission allowed us to reach the mountain summit. We have faced some of the toughest challenges on our journey, but together we embodied the spirit of the UAE Armed Forces and experienced first-hand some of the difficulties that our comrades in the Armed Forces come across every day."

Staff Major General Eisa Saif Al Mazrouei, Deputy Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces, who hosted the team at the General Headquarters of the UAE Armed Forces before leaving for Nepal on their expedition said, "To climb Mount Everest is a great adventure. The team has trained tirelessly for years to plan and execute this mission to the highest international standards and ensure that they are in peak physical condition. I would like to congratulate the team who showed us how much hard work and dedication it takes to summit Mount Everest." - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395295986079.html


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Two new species added to the global list of invertebrates after discovery on Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

posted on 27/05/2016

Two new species have been added to the global list of invertebrates after they were unexpectedly discovered on Abu Dhabi's Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, during regular seasonal wildlife trapping carried out by researchers at the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD). The Gasteruptiid Wasp (Gasteruption alwathbaense), measuring 11.3mm, and the Dance Fly (Drapetis wathabiensis), measuring 2-3mm, have now been added to the list of hundreds of invertebrates already recorded on the reserve.

"This discovery further enhances Al Wathba Wetland Reserve's status as a biodiversity hotspot that must remain protected. EAD is proud of this discovery and will continue to ensure the effective management and monitoring of species, water quality and vegetation on the reserve," said Dr. Shaikha Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of the Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector at EAD.

The new Gasteruptiid wasp (Gasteruption alwathbaense) will have its genetic data analysis and DNA sequencing released through the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD). It is one of four Gasteruptiid wasp species described in the UAE.

Dr. Andreas Stark from the German Entomological Institute, Senckenberg (Muncheberg, Germany) has identified the Dance Fly (Drapetis wathbaiensis) and confirmed the species.

Dr. Salim Javed, Acting Director of Terrestrial Biodiversity has suggested the name for the Dance Fly, Drapetis wathabiensis ‘as it draws on its origin of first discovery, cementing Al Wathba in the history books for species identification'.

The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve (45 minutes away from Abu Dhabi and covers a total area of 5 km2) was declared a protected area by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1998. Sheikh Zayed's vision was to provide a suitable habitat for migratory birds and a breeding area for the Greater flamingo. The reserve has been managed by EAD ever since.

As a result of its ‘protected' status, Al Wathba has since become a safe breeding haven for the Greater Flamingo, which bred successfully for the first time on the reserve in 1998. Today, the reserve supports a rich variety of wildlife including 238 species of invertebrates, 11 mammals, 10 reptiles and more than 250 species of birds. The reserve is also rich in plant species, with 37 species having been documented.

In 2013, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve was recognised internationally and declared as a Ramsar site, the first in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. With this recognition, this site joins a prestigious list of over 2,000 other internationally recognised wetlands around the world. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295949206.html


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Mohammed bin Rashid inspects concourse D building

posted on 27/05/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday inspected the AED 4.5 billion Concourse D, at the Dubai International Airport.

The new building is deemed the world's first airport green building to receive the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). It is also the world's first dedicated facility at Dubai International Airport, home to Airliner's growing fleet of super jumbos. The building features dedicated first and business class lounges.

Accompanying Sheikh Mohammed during the tour were, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director- General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai, Engineer Khalifa Al Zafeen, CEO of Dubai Airports.

Sheikh Mohammed toured the building and was briefed on its designs and components, which aim to provide maximum comfort and good facilitations for travellers through this global airline network building.

During the tour, Sheikh Mohammed got into the gate transfer train that connects Terminal 1 with the new Concourse D, which is kilometre and half-long trip to the departures hall.

The hall includes a large area, 13,000 square metres, for shopping, including the free market, shops, restaurants and other leisure facilities. Sheikh Mohammed also toured counters of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

He continued his tour in the building with total area of 150,000 square metres. At the arrival lounge, he was briefed on the facilitations provided at the arrival.

The passengers expressed their happiness to see Sheikh Mohammed, praising the building's world-class facilities. He exchanged greetings with them. He also expressed his satisfaction at the confidence of the passengers.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed inspected the First Class and official guests lounges, and other facilities.

He hailed the efforts of Dubai Airports staff including engineers, administrative and technical staff under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group.

During the tour, Sheikh Mohammed was briefed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed on the strategic plan set by the Dubai Airports regarding Dubai International Airport till 2020, including Concourse D.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed briefed Sheikh Mohammed on the capacity of the building, with a capacity of up to 18 million passengers annually, and connects 17 runways. http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics-emirates/1395295992990.html


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Etihad Airways is ‘Most innovative Airline of last ten years’

posted on 27/05/2016

Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has been presented with the title of ‘Most Innovative Airline of the Last Ten Years' at the Telegraph UltraTravel Awards, which were held at the London Savoy Hotel.

The awards are known as the ULTRAs and are conducted by an annual survey where readers of The Telegraph's luxury-travel magazine UltraTravel and The Telegraph's luxury website recognise their favourite brands currently operating in the travel sector today.

The airline was particularly recognised for having redefined the premium flying experience with the launch of The Residence, its ultra-premium cabin on the Airbus 380 and a focus of the airline's ‘Flying Reimagined' campaign.

Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said, "I'm delighted that readers of the Telegraph and particularly followers of the ULTRAs have recognised the commitment to innovation of the airline over the last ten years. It's been a remarkable period of growth as we have looked to build the best airline brand operating in the skies today.

"What we have offered to date is just the beginning of our story and we aim to surpass what's been delivered so far and continue to meet the high expectations of travellers who are looking for that special experience right across all cabin classes." - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395295987016.html


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Etihad Airways unites innovation with Hollywood glamour for virtual reality movie

posted on 27/05/2016

Etihad Airways has released its highly anticipated 360-degree virtual reality film starring Academy Award winning actress Nicole Kidman. This marks the first time that a Hollywood actor has ever starred in a fully immersive virtual reality movie.

The five-minute feature, titled 'Reimagine', is a major coup for the innovative national airline of the UAE, and immerses its viewers in a fully experiential journey following Nicole Kidman through one of its new Airbus A380s flying between New York and Abu Dhabi.

The airline has used cutting-edge technology and multidisciplinary mediums in the feature to bring to life its acclaimed guest experience and hospitality story by engaging the consumer in various sensory interactions onboard the virtual flight. Each scene in the film takes on a theme intended to stimulate the senses of light, sound, motion, and conversation.

Nicole Kidman, Academy Award winning actress and Etihad Airways' brand ambassador, said: "The film is a culmination of Etihad's vision to tell the airline's story in an extremely innovative way and a commitment to engaging with the public as has never been attempted by an airline before. It was a great challenge but one which has definitely paid off and it was great to be part of such an exciting project."

Throughout the experience, the viewer meets and engages with a number of characters including the actress herself, her film director, an opera singer and even an Emirati guest with a falcon in First Class. The journey also provides personal interactions with the Savoy-trained Butler in The Residence, the airline's luxurious private three room cabin, the inflight Chef in First Class, the Food and Beverage Manager in Business Class, and the Flying Nanny, trained by the Norland College in the United Kingdom.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' Chief Executive Officer, said: "We want to share Etihad's story in a completely new way, using technology to make our consumers a part of the narrative and to experience an Etihad Airways A380 flight first-hand, from anywhere.

"The film demonstrates how, as an innovative brand, we continue to break down the barriers of convention and lead the way in intelligent communication and best practice not just within the aviation industry, but across the fields of marketing, communication and technology."

The adventure takes the viewer through the twin-decked aircraft and covers its luxurious interiors including Economy Class, Business Class, and First Class, before concluding with a focus on Nicole Kidman enjoying the unique features of The Residence.

Shane O'Hare, Etihad Airways' Senior Vice President Marketing, said: "In December 2014 we completely reimagined the travel experience with the launch of our new A380 fleet, setting a new standard in innovative design, service and technology. This was followed in 2015 by a tremendously successful adverting campaign starring Nicole Kidman.

"This immersive VR film is a massive step-change in the way we present the Etihad Airways brand and product to the consumer using highly innovative new mediums. Based on the success of our recent campaign with Nicole, the decision to take this partnership to the next level was an obvious one."

The film, which has taken more than six-months to produce, was filmed exclusively in Abu Dhabi, and utilised state-of-the-art VR technology in its creation. An Etihad Airways A380 was used for three days and fully customised prior to filming; overhead lockers, seats and other sections of the aircraft's interior were removed to allow for the installation of cutting-edge Red Dragon cameras, which were used to perfectly capture the actress' movement through the aircraft. Hundreds of individual lights were required to ensure smooth and uninterrupted shots.

Etihad Airways collaborated with the Barbarian Group, a subsidiary of Cheil Worldwide, and the creative digital production company MediaMonks to produce the film. The feature was directed by the renowned husband and wife directing duo Anthony Atanasio and Valerie Martinez. The film used pioneering filming techniques to ensure a seamless production with no warping or stitches, achieving unrivalled VR results.

Ola Björling, MediaMonks' Global Director of VR, said: "As the most multidisciplinary medium there is, virtual reality relies more heavily on craft and execution than anything that has gone before it. We believe the display of artistry in every facet of this production is setting a new benchmark for live-action VR."

The virtual reality film is available on a dedicated website vr.etihad.com and will be followed by an updated version in stereoscopic sound on June 17. To guarantee the full experience, viewers will need to download the Oculus VR app on the airline's dedicated website and view the film using a virtual reality headset, such as Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard. Viewers will also be able to watch the film as a 360 degree video on YouTube.

On May 29, Etihad Airways will host a red carpet premiere and roundtable discussion for 'Reimagine' at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/aviation/etihad-airways-unites-innovation-with-hollywood-glamour-for-virtual-reality-movie


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Emirates wins home run with LA Dodgers

posted on 27/05/2016

Emirates Airline is making a new pitch to drive home its safety message to travelers.

And, they're getting a little help from their new friends, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The two joined forces in a new video with Emirates flight attendants showcasing pre-takeoff safety measures, in a creative performance at the Dodgers Stadium on how to best prepare for nine innings of baseball.

Moments before the game against the Cincinnati Reds started, nine members from Emirates cabin crew made their way to the field and gathered around the pitcher's mound for a pregame warm up and first pitch.

rom pointing out the 10 stadium gates and 21 terraced entrances to seventh inning stretch tips and how to prepare for a rally cap emergency, the Emirates cabin crew – who were later joined by Dodger legend Orel Herscheiser for the first pitch – delivered a witty performance to share in the Dodger's fandom and celebrate Emirates' first year of sponsorship for the iconic team.

Emirates scores with football safety video

The Emirates airlines' ‘baseball safety' video, filmed at the Dodgers Stadium on May 23, complements its launch of a second daily A380 service from Dubai International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, set for July 1, 2016. – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/business/aviation/watch-emirates-wins-home-run-with-la-dodgers-1.1835336


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UAMC awards Saif bin Zayed Gold Pendant of the First Order

posted on 27/05/2016

The General Secretariat of the United Arab Media Council (UAMC) has honoured H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, with the Gold Pendant of the First Order in recognition of his support for the UAE's security media in line with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In a statement, the council said the accolade coincides with designating Sharjah Capital of Arab Press for 2016.

The Security Media Department at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior was also honoured with the Al Haitham Arab Media Award, recognising it as the best Arab security media department in 2016.

The UAMC was established in Bahrain in 2012 and has three main offices in Manama, UAE and Jordan. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295986169.html


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MEPRA honours Noura Al Kaabi with Visionary Award

posted on 27/05/2016

The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) has honoured Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairwoman of twofour54, Abu Dhabi's media free zone, with the MEPRA Visionary Award, recognising her valuable contribution to the communication industry in the region.

Commenting on the award, Al Kaabi, said, "I am honoured and humbled to receive this award from MEPRA. The PR and Communication industry plays an important role in the growth story of the UAE, supporting all sectors to build their reputations and in doing so, helping to build the reputation of the UAE. The work MEPRA is doing to support communication professionals with the latest trends and tools will help to ensure the UAE is at the forefront of best practice in the region."

This came during the second "MEPRA Leadership Majlis" at the Ritz Carlton on 25th May 2016.

MEPRA is a non-profit organisation that is proud to represent the interests of PR practitioners working in the region. MEPRA endeavours to highlight the strategic role of public relations and help set high standards for quality and ethical conduct by all practitioners.

MEPRA's prestigious forum was held under the theme, ‘The Future of Public Relations in the Middle East: Innovation, Disruption, and Relevance' and saw discussions amongst prominent PR and communication specialists on a plethora of industry hot topics.

This year's MEPRA Majlis showcased the Benchmark survey results, a major new research report developed by MEPRA, allowing agencies and in-house departments to evaluate their practices and performance across 12 elements of communications. Approximately one hundred and thirty eight senior PR practitioners from 233 offices across 14 Middle East countries, and employing more than 1,600 PR associates, took part in the study.

Commenting on the event, Brian Lott, Chairman of MEPRA, said, "MEPRA has been introducing innovative techniques to improve the standards in public relations across the region. We believe that the communications industry in this region has evolved as a whole and a platform like the MEPRA Majlis is a great way to evaluate how far we have come and how we can adopt creativity and efficiency in our campaigns. With the introduction of the Benchmark tool, we want agencies and in-house departments to analyse how their practices are lucrative and identify new areas that can be tapped."

With over 200 attendees, the gala provided the perfect pedestal for communication professionals the opportunity to network and build new relations.

The speaker line-up included: Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chair of twofour54 Peter Baumgartner, Chief Operating Officer for Etihad Airways Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation and Communications Officer for GE Yousef Tuqan, Vice-President of Marketing and Analytics at Careem Furthermore, the Majlis featured a panel discussion between regional communicators on the topic of ‘Who drives innovation, clients or the PR industry'.

The panellists included: Deema Kingsmill – Moore, Marriott International Simon Buerk, Blue Rubicon Tod Donhauser, Edelman Aida Al Busaidi, Stakeholder Communications, DTCM Sconaid McGeachin, H+K Strategies. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295981301.html


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UAE Energy Minister visits Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

posted on 27/05/2016

Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy, has visited the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi and received an update on the project as well as details of a recent construction milestone at the plant from senior Emirati engineers.

He was received at the plant by ENEC's CEO, Mohamed Al Hammadi, and other senior management.

The completion of major electrical installation work at Unit 1 represents another milestone in the continued progress from construction to commissioning of the plant at Barakah. Teams from ENEC and its prime contractor, the Korean Electric Power Corporation, KEPCO, have now completed installation of the last piece of major electrical equipment at Unit 1.

During the tour, Al Mazrouei witnessed the progress made and milestones achieved since his last visit in September, 2015. This year alone has seen the energisation of the switchyard for Units 1 and 2, the completion of Cold Hydrostatic Testing at Unit 1, the completion of Unit 2's Reactor Containment Building dome structure, and most recently, the completion of major electrical work at Unit 1.

The UAE Minister of Energy hailed the progress of Barakah, saying, "I am consistently impressed to see the progress being made at Barakah and the manner in which ENEC continues to deliver with the highest international standards of safety, quality and performance at the very forefront of all its activities. This approach ensures the long-term sustainability of the UAE peaceful nuclear energy programme."

"Nuclear energy will play a critical role in the provision of clean and sustainable energy to power the future of the UAE and diversify the nation's energy supply."

The Minister also met with some ENEC employees who have come through the Energy Pioneers programme, ENEC's successful human capacity building programme that has seen over 400 students study and train in nuclear energy with ENEC's support.

As part of the completion of major electrical installation at Unit 1, teams from ENEC and KEPCO installed and inspected more than 454 pieces of electrical equipment, such as switchgears, motor control centres, and transformers.

Minister Al Mazrouei also met with members of ENEC's senior management team and received an update on the company's programme to deliver safe, clean and reliable nuclear electricity. The visit included an update on ENEC's Culture of Safety, and specific demonstrations on how the organisation prioritises the safety and quality of all work carried out at the Barakah site.

ENEC's Chief Executive Officer said, "We now have over 19,000 workers at Barakah delivering on our mission to connect safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE. As our programme continues to advance, this is a role we take on with great pride and responsibility, and as always, safety remains our overriding priority."

Since its inception in 2009, ENEC has focused on the safe delivery of the UAE's peaceful nuclear energy programme, expertly managing the complexity of the site development to ensure that all construction work meets the highest standards of safety and quality.

Unit 1 is now more than 87 percent complete and all four units at Barakah are more than 65 percent complete. ENEC's team will be responsible for the operations of the four nuclear energy units that are expected to provide up to a quarter of the nation's electricity needs and to save up to 12 million tons of carbon emissions every year. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395295966185.html


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UAE partakes in Arab-German Business Forum

posted on 27/05/2016

BERLIN: The UAE is participating in the 19th Arab-German Business Forum, organised in Berlin, from May 25th to 27th, as a partner country of the event.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, is heading the UAE delegation which includes other senior officials from the ministry and other local and federal government bodies.

More than 600 leading Arab and German experts and decision-makers from business, politics and science are participating in the two-day conference aimed at enhance existing business relations between the two sides.

The participants are focusing on sectors like logistics and mobility, financial services, industrialisation, sports industry, free zones, infrastructure megaprojects, women entrepreneurs, construction and housing as well as start-ups and SMEs.

Al Mansouri, in a speech at the forum, said the historic German-Arab relations are driven by the industrial capabilities of both sides and the purchasing power of Arab markets.

The UAE, he noted, is Germany's largest Arab trade partner while Germany is the UAE's sixth largest trade partner.

The UAE accounts for 25 percent of trade between Germany and Arab countries which stood at US$25 billion in 2015.

Non-oil trade between the two countries stood at US$15.5 billion in the same year, a three percent growth from 2014. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295972420.html


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Abu Dhabi’s non-oil GDP reaches Dh196b in Q4

posted on 27/05/2016

Abu Dhabi's non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached Dh196.1 billion during the fourth quarter of 2015, marking an 8.2 per cent increase from the Dh182 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2014.

According to a statement from Abu Dhabi's Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the non-oil added value in fixed prices in the emirate reached Dh99.3 billion in Q4 2015, while the added value of the oil activities grew by 7.1 per cent during the same period.

In the third quarter of 2015, the growth of non-oil GDP reached 7.1 per cent compared to a growth rate of 3.9 per cent in the oil GDP.

Khalifa Al Mansouri, acting undersecretary of Abu Dhabi's DED, said the figures reflect the diversification in the emirate's economy and the stronger contribution of the non-oil sector to the GDP. He also said that such contribution from non-oil fields was in line with the emirate's objectives of the Vision 2030.

He pointed that the Abu Dhabi's GDP by the end of Q3 2015 amounted to Dh200 billion, adding that such economic growth was the result of efforts to leverage the challenges of lower oil prices to an opportunity to enhance diversity in the economic structure.

"The results of development indexes of Abu Dhabi economy in 2015, issued by ADDED, have shown good performance of some non-oil sectors, reflecting Abu Dhabi advantages including economic and social stability, solid financial position and competitive business environment. Such advantages would enable Abu Dhabi to transform the challenges of global economy opportunities for more economic diversification, focusing on non-oil sectors set by Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030,” Al Mansouri said.

Meanwhile, the report also showed that the contribution of non-oil sectors to the GDP reached 50.8 in the first quarter of 2015, remaining stable at 50.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2015. – Gulf News - http://gulfnews.com/business/economy/abu-dhabi-s-non-oil-gdp-reaches-dh196b-in-q4-1.1834939


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UAE participates in GCC FMs and Minister of Russian FA meeting

posted on 27/05/2016

MOSCOW: The fourth round of the Strategic Dialogue between Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the GCC member states and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation took place in Moscow on 26th May, 2016.

The meeting was co-chaired by Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, current GCC Presidency, with participation of Foreign Ministers of the GCC States and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, GCC Secretary-General.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs led the UAE delegation at the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, Lavrov welcomed the audience, hailing the fourth round of the GCC-Russian Strategic Dialogue which was launched five years ago. He also wished that this dialogue would be a new impetus to strengthening co-operation between the two sides.

He said that the GCC states and Russia held a number of meetings, citing that some GCC leaders held meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Lavrov pointed out these efforts would contribute to the development of co-operation between the two sides.

In his speech at the beginning of the meeting, Al-Jubeir expressed GCC's appreciation to Russia for hosting the strategic meeting between the two sides. He also pointed to the GCC states' pursuance to achieve further co-operation and co-ordination with Russia in the best interest of the GCC peoples and Russia as well as to serve security and peace in the region.

Dr. Abdul Latif Al-Zayani said that the GCC states hoped that this meeting would strengthen joint relations and co-operation. He also added that the dialogue between the GCC and the Republic of the Russian Federation was launched in November 2011 in Abu Dhabi, where a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Strategic Dialogue was signed.

He also noted that the MoU had developed a mechanism for dialogue and co-operation between the GCC and the Russian Federation in the political, economic and cultural fields.

Al Zayani also expressed the wish that the meeting would contribute to enhancing the strategic dimension in the relations of the two sides in order to serve common interests and to promote international peace and security.

The two sides also tackled the GCC-Russian ties, joint co-operation in various fields, the latest political and security developments in the region and the international efforts to fight terrorism, as well as the latest regional and global issues of mutual interest.

For his part, Dr. Gargash said that the meeting was fruitful, adding that the strategic dialogue represents an important platform to brief Moscow on the GCC approach towards the developments in the region and "allows us to have a depth insight about the Russian approach towards the region."

He added, "In this context, we have seen a greater understanding from the Russian side, and through dialogue and communication, we seek to strengthen these significant ties, which would result in joint positive results.

For his part, Dr. Gargash indicated that the meeting was fruitful, adding that the strategic dialogue represents an important platform to brief Moscow on the GCC approach towards the developments in the region and "allows us to have an in-depth reading about the Russian approach towards the region."

He added, "In this context, we have seen a greater understanding from the Russian side, and through dialogue and communication, we seek to strengthen these significant ties, which would result in joint positive results." - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395295986970.html


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Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Int'l Cooperation inaugurates consular section in Cairo

posted on 27/05/2016

Assistant Undersecretary for Consular Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ahmed Elham Al Dhaheri, has opened the consular section and a fifth visa-issuing centre in Cairo.

The new section will streamline and speed up issuing Emirati visas for Egyptians and other nationals who reside in Egypt and speed up their entry into the UAE through e-gates at the UAE's points of entry.

In his opening speech, Al Dhaheri expressed appreciation of the Egyptian government's efforts in promoting bilateral relations with the UAE in several spheres.

He said the opening of the two new facilities is aimed at bolstering consular cooperation, improve customer service and facilitate entry of workers into the UAE.

Present at the opening ceremony were Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs and Egyptian Expatriates, Hisham Al Nakeeb, UAE Ambassador to Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Juma Mubarak Al Jenaibi, and others.

Al Nakeeb said the two new facilities represent an important development in bilateral relations between the two countries.

He expressed appreciation of the UAE's positive initiative. He praised the new visa-issuing system as one of the world's most efficient and one that saves time.

The responsibilities of the new centre include verification of passports, biometrics including eyeprint ID, commission medical tests through 12 centres accredited by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention to identify individuals with contagious diseases and therefore save costs.

Through its overseas visa centres and fully-integrated and highly secure online system, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation provides administrative services in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295972002.html


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Coalition Command in Yemen issues statement on protection of civilians and respecting international law

posted on 27/05/2016

RIYADH: The Arab Coalition Command in Yemen said in a statement yesterday that the coalition forces abide by international law in all their military operations across Yemen to protect civilians and their properties.

The statement referred to the aggressive acts and military hostilities committed by the Houthi militia and the former president's forces in Yemen, as well as their seizure of weapons depots that included projectile systems from the military and security institutions in Yemen.

"In light of the United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding the Yemen crisis, the hostile acts and military escalation by the Houthi militias and the former president's forces, their takeover of power which threatened the stability and security of Yemen and neighbouring countries, the Arab coalition forces intervened in Yemen on the basis of the self- defence principle, and upon a request from the legitimate President of Yemen to restore the security and stability to Yemen and its people," it added.

The statement underlined that the coalition command set rules of engagement in line with the international humanitarian law. These rules include the following: identification of the military targets that passes through several stages. It starts from selecting a target, analysing it and confirming it is a military target through several sources to avoid mistakes. There is a list of sites prohibited from being targeted, notably those with civilian presence, places of worship, diplomatic quarters, international governmental and non-governmental organisations and cultural sites. The list is updated constantly and sent on a periodic basis to all coalition forces units to ensure that they are aware of those restrictions.

Legal advisers shall be deployed to work with planning cells to study proposed targets and approve them so that no location is targeted unless its legitimacy and compatibility with the international humanitarian law is verified.

The coalition forces use precise and guided weapons, in spite of their high cost, in order to avoid any mistakes, collateral damage and casualties. They drop warning leaflets in the areas where military targets exist as a protective measure before any operation to ensure that civilians are not in the vicinity.

The coalition forces in Yemen constantly seek to develop capabilities of the coalition forces in the field of targeting mechanisms through specialised training courses in this field with some international centres such as (San Remo) institute for international humanitarian law, specialised in armed conflicts, and with collaboration of some friendly countries in the field of training specialists in these matters.

The coalition forces apply additional reviews on selected targets to increase the level of accuracy regarding the targeted sites. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/international/1395295985467.html


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Sheikha Fatima welcomes measures taken to implement 'Wadeema Law' on child protection

posted on 27/05/2016

H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has said that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has become one of the leading nations in child protection and welfare and an enabler of children, who represent a vital segment of the community, have their rights guaranteed by law and without discrimination.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima said that the UAE was founded on the values of justice, equality and altruism and has extended a helping hand to the needy in various parts of the world since it was founded 45 years ago and that attention to children has always been an inherent part of UAE community values, providing them with the best social, education and health care.

Sheikha Fatima made these comments following the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department to begin preparation for the implementation Wadeema law and establish a child prosecution body dedicated for children in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which will be tasked with developing frameworks and procedures to provide maximum protection for children from birth to age eighteen.

Sheikha Fatima also said that the establishment of a child prosecution would provide an integrated, legal framework for child protection and will at the same time act as a deterrent, and will seek the harshest punishment for those who infringe on the rights of children, or those who cause children any physical, emotional or psychological abuse.

Her Highness went on to say that the importance of the Wadeema Law complements the social legislation system which already exists in the UAE, which works to ensure that children's rights are protected in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the UAE is part of, and is endorsed by His Highness the President of the UAE. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295951816.html


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UAE hosts roundtable on 'Every Woman Every Child Everywhere' Initiative

posted on 27/05/2016

ISTANBUL: The UAE delegation participating in the World Humanitarian Summit, held in Istanbul, Turkey, has hosted a roundtable for international partners and heads of humanitarian organisations concerned with women and children's issues.

During the roundtable, which was chaired by Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State and Head of the UAE delegation to the World Summit, the UAE's outstanding efforts in this area were reviewed in the light of the vision of its wise leadership represented by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Also during the roundtable, a video presentation was shown on the achievements and efforts made by H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, GWU, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, FDF, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, for women and children worldwide. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295950542.html


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European-UAE Human Rights Working Group holds sixth meeting

posted on 27/05/2016

The European-UAE Human Rights Working Group held its sixth meeting in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

The UAE side was headed by Amna Al Muhairi, Director of Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and included representatives from the ministries of Human Resources & Emiratisation, Justice, Interior and from the office of the Minister of State for Happiness, office of the Minister of State for Youth Affair and the Women's General Union.

The European side was headed by Patrizio Fondi, Head of the EU mission to the UAE and included a number of EU officials.

The meeting discussed various topics of mutual concern on human rights, as well as cooperation in implementing UN mechanisms and the efforts to achieve gender equality, women empowerment, workers rights, religious tolerance, freedom of expression, combating violent extremism, and other issues. - Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395295947321.html


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Institute of Applied Technology honours NMC for supporting student media training

posted on 27/05/2016

The National Media Council, NMC, has been awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Institute of Applied Technology, IAT, in recognition of its role in supporting and providing training programmes to media students.

The IAT recently held a ceremony to honour government agencies and institutions who support its training programmes, and the NMC was honoured for its participation in the training of a number of students in the media field.

Abdullah Saleh bin Bedou, Director of the NMC Office in Al Ain, said that training IAT students comes within the framework of strengthening the bonds of cooperation between the NMC and both government and private sectors and in line with its strategic objectives in promoting community participation. http://www.wam.ae/en/news/general/1395295953492.html


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Ajman Ruler underlines importance of census for sustainable development

posted on 27/05/2016

H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, yesterday underlined the importance of census and resulting statistics for sustainable development.

He called for conducting a comprehensive census across the UAE to provide a sound foundation for government decisions.

Sheikh Humaid was speaking during a meeting, at his Court, with Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and head of Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

He directed all local government authorities in Ajman to fully co-operate with the federal authority's team to achieve common goals.

The ruler also called for more joint initiatives and programmes to back the UAE Vision 2021 and the development goals.

Minister Al Hashimy said the success of the federal authority hinges on co-operation between all federal and local bodies and continued communication between the private and public sectors so as to transform the UAE into one of the world's top countries in terms of competitiveness. http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295980087.html


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