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Pride of UAE: Young Emirati scales Europe and Russia’s highest summit

posted on 29/07/2016

A young Emirati has scaled the highest summit in Europe and Russia, raising the flag of his beloved country in a demonstration of national pride at the top of the peak.

Yasir Albehzad, who works for UAE telecom firm du, scaled Mount Elbrus as part of his goal to climb the seven summits of each continent. It was Yasir's personal dream come true and considers it a great success towards achieving his goal of mountaineering seven summits.

Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe, and the tenth most prominent peak in the world. A dormant volcano, Elbrus forms part of the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, near the border with Georgia. Elbrus has two summits, both of which are dormant volcanic domes. With its slightly taller west summit, the mountain stands at 5,642 metres (18,510 ft); the east summit is 5,621 metres (18,442 ft), says Wikipedia.

Last month, Suzanne Al Houby, a Palestinian-born and UAE-based mother of two, became the first Arab woman to conquer the daunting seven summits of the world. She achieved the feat by reaching the summit of Denali, which is the highest mountain peak in North America, at an elevation of 6190 metres ((20,310 feet) above sea level.

In May 2016, the UAE Armed Forces team returned home to hero's welcome after scaling the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. The 16-strong group, which included physios and descent specialists, reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 19, where they raised the UAE flag in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the unification of the country's Armed Forces.

Sending a message during his descent from a climb riddled with massive storms, Yasir Albehzad shared an inspirational thought, "Life requires a lot of planning, adaptation, risks, operations and commitments. The workplace is the same and mountains are a great example of these points, but harder physically and mentally. Summiting mountains gives me a great energy to understand problems, plan, face challenges and fix them. This is what I have learnt from the mountains that have helped me throughout my career.”

He said: "When we commit to such expeditions, all the weight we carry is calculated – safety and mountaineering gear was filling the bag, but my favourite piece in the bag was my UAE flag, and I proudly carried it all the way to the peak, it keeps me going.”

Ibrahim Nassir, Chief Human Capital and Administration Officer, du, said the company nurturing its employees and inspiring them to achieve personal goals in tandem with career ones.

"I can say with pride that everyone was behind Yasir every step of the way, and we were honoured to have been represented at the summit of one of the world's highest peaks,” said Ibrahim.

"Our aim is to inspire our employees to be the best that they can be. High employee engagement leads to a dedicated workforce, which in turn leads to better customer service levels, and better business acuity.” – Emirates 24/7 -


Dundee Lord Provost welcomes Al-Maktoum College Summer School Students

posted on 29/07/2016

DUNDEE, SCOTLAND: A 63-strong group of female students from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar and Malaysia, who are in Dundee for the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education's annual Summer School Programme, met Lord Provost of Dundee Bob Duncan.

He said: "I hope the students will enjoy their visit to Dundee as previous groups have done. "The Al-Maktoum College has prepared an interesting programme for the students that includes visits to discover other parts of Scotland."

This is the 22nd educational programme of its kind since the first Summer School in 2003 and the number of students who have taken part is now over the 900-mark. The programme starts on July 15 and will conclude on August 12 from thirteen universities and colleges, their study topics will include Scottish history and culture, leadership and management, imagination, art and presentation plus civilisational dialogue.

College Principal and Vice Chancellor, Dr Hossein Godazgar, said: "We want the students to learn more about Scotland, its people, its history, culture and traditions in the contemporary world and we think the programme will encourage that.

"The work of the College is primarily devoted to research and study, so we believe the Summer School gives the visiting students a greater insight into what we are doing here, day to day.

"Once again, we are very grateful to the Lord Provost for his support and warm welcome." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirati Society Friendship delegation visits Korean Cultural Centre

posted on 29/07/2016

A delegation from the Emirati Korean Friendship Society yesterday visited the Korean Cultural Centre (KCC), the first Korean cultural centre in the Gulf region, located in twofour54, Abu Dhabi's media and entertainment free zone.

The delegation which was led by Humaid Al Hammadi, chair of the society, toured the centre to learn about its activities.

The delegation also met with Director of the KCC, Park Hyo-keon, to discuss cooperation aimed at promoting the two countries' cultures.

Park said the centre works to introduce South Korea's culture and history to Emiratis and stimulate children and adults to take a closer look into South Korea.

The centre, he added, is a vital addition because it promotes a unique culture and inspires all those who work in the zone.

stimulating learning resource for kids and adults alike to engage in Korean culture The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea opened the KCC following the signing of a memorandum of understanding signed between the UAE and South Korea in March 2015.

The agreement considered Abu Dhabi a key cultural hub in the MENA region that is home to leading cultural projects and companies from around the globe. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DEWA launches initiative to recognise most environmentally-friendly household

posted on 29/07/2016

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has launched an initiative, called Ideal Home, in cooperation with a number of government departments, to encourage the creation of more environmentally-friendly homes in the emirate.

The initiative will recognise the household that meets the highest standards of public health and safety, including environmental protection, as well as achieving best practices for the 'ideal' home environment.

Ideal Home, which concludes in September, is being carried out in cooperation with Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the Community Development Authority in Dubai (CDA), Dubai Smart Government, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, and the General Directorate of Civil Defence.

The initiative seeks to unify all relevant initiatives launched by various government departments in Dubai, and work towards consolidating a culture that conserves resources, complies with safety and security guidelines, and instil a culture of sustainable use amongst families.

"This initiative encourages Dubai families to positively compete in applying the standards set by Dubai Government, proceeding from our efforts to support the Smart Dubai initiative, which was launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Governor of Brazilian State of Goias bestows UAE Ambassador with Order of Gra-Cruz

posted on 29/07/2016

BRASILIA: The Governor of the Brazilian State of Goias, Marconi Perillo, has awarded Khalid Khalifa Al Mualla, UAE Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Order of Gra-Cruz of the First Class, in recognition of his efforts and active role in promoting bilateral relations of cooperation between the UAE and Brazil.

The UAE Ambassador was awarded the medal during a ceremony which was attended by a number of dignitaries from local and federal governments in Brazil, and a number of members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Brasilia.

Al Mualla is the only Arab ambassador to receive this honour, which is one of the highest in Brazil, and awarded to foreign heads of state or government, royals, heads of supreme courts, and foreign ambassadors. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates Red Crescent helps Yemeni people with special needs in Mukalla

posted on 29/07/2016

MUKALLA: The Emirates Red Crescent yesterday said it has launched a programme to help Yemeni people with special needs.

As part of phase 1 of the support initiative, the ERC team distributed food packs and blankets to some 200 blind male and female people sponsored by the Al Dhiyaa Society in the Hadramout provincial capital of Mukalla.

The ERC said it will distribute another 200 food packs to eligible people in Hadramout province where this disadvantaged segment have been deprived of basic necessities for years. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Priority for Emirati investments in ports, tourism sectors, says Kenyan FM

posted on 29/07/2016

NAIROBI: Amina Mohamed, Kenya's Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, met here on Thursday with Abdul Raziq Mohamed Hadi, UAE Ambassador to Nairobi.

The cabinet secretary affirmed that her country places a priority to Emirati investments in ports, tourism and hospitality sectors.

The meeting touched on bilateral relations and ways to enhance them, as well as the potential for facilitating recruitment of Kenyan manpower in the hotels and health fields.

Mohamed said the two countries will soon ratify agreements on avoidance of double taxation and investments protection. She thanked the UAE for the humanitarian assistance provided to the Kenyan people. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Yemen's political council is rebels' desperate bid against legitimacy - UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

posted on 29/07/2016

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, yesterday said the setting up of the so-called "political council" to govern Yemen is a desperate bid by those who led a coup against legitimacy and plunged Yemen into violence.

Gargash said on Twitter that the declaration issued by the rebel Houthi militia and their ally, the now-deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh, to announce the new governing body, is like a "fig leaf that nobody will be bluffed by it because the rebellion and the coup are what sparked the war.

"Any talk about having a constitutional cover is but a new farce," Gargash added.

He stressed that the international community knows very well that Abdul Malik al-Houthi who represents less than one per cent of the Yemenis is addicted to power, money and stature and that the setting up of the so-called political council comes in this context.

"Houthi's new move and the forming of his fake council exposes his naivety once again. Exclusion of others is the principle of rebellion. That is not how to do it," Gargash said, adding that the role that the ousted president plays is one of a "subservient" person.

He further said the Kuwait-hosted negotiations have shown the international community that Houthi rejects political agreement because he has "tasted power and money".

Gargash stressed that the "political council is but another political blunder which the Yemeni will pay for." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Parents have primary responsibility to raise children with good morals, says Lubna Al Qasimi

posted on 29/07/2016

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, has stressed the keen interest of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in instilling the values of tolerance, co-existence, and respect for multiculturalism in children at a young age, while maintaining the nation's customs and traditions, which are embedded in the principles of respect, co-operation, generosity and sacrifice.

In a statement, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi highlighted the various initiatives launched by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, including the most recent one, an education initiative which was announced yesterday in the form of a subject titled, "Moral Education", which will see it incorporated in the school curricula and supporting the educational process in the country.

Sheikha Lubna said that schools create a great environment to promote good values in children, and instil in them various concepts like acceptance, understanding and solidarity, which, she said, will help build the present, and ensure a positive future for coming generations.

In her statement Sheikha Lubna also emphasised the role of parents, who she said, before educators, have the primary, moral obligation, and national responsibility to raise their children to be of good character, and with good moral values.

The Minister of Tolerance went on to add that parents should also ensure that their own behaviour is fine-tuned in order to set a good example for their children. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sharjah campaign gifts summer jackets to workers

posted on 29/07/2016

The Sharjah Labour Standards Development Authority launched an awareness campaign titled ‘We Care for Your Comfort' to enlighten workers about their rights on Tuesday.

With the aim of providing a healthy work environment and protection of labourers' rights, the authority highlighted the ban on work from 12.30pm to 3pm during the summer months.

As part of the campaign, jackets that could help keep the body cool and reduce sun exposure in the hot summer weather were distributed among workers. Many workers in the area surrounding the University of Sharjah Campus and nearby benefitted from the initiative.

"We are pleased to launch this new campaign to ease workers and make them aware of their rights in line with their human rights, adopted by the UAE and approved by international conventions. We hope that this step will provide greater protection for workers in the hot summer weather,” said Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, Chairman of the Labour Standards Development Authority.

Al Qaseer stressed that the authority is keen to provide appropriate and safe working conditions for workers, especially those working in areas exposed to the sun. – Gulf News -


DM uses WhatsApp to quash rumours

posted on 29/07/2016

As part of developing the 'Authentic News' initiative, and after its success in refuting and quashing 35 rumours and gainsays since May, the Dubai Municipality launched the rumours receiving service through WhatsApp on number 0501077799, a senior official at Dubai Municipality said.

Ibrahim Deshti, Head of the Communication (Call) Centre at Dubai Municipality said the authorities' action stems from the principle of transparency and its belief in the importance of stamping out the menace of rumours fast and sensibly after ensuring the source of the false news, and after creating a sense of awareness among members of the society through its multiple channels.

As many as 12 rumours detected so far and noted were about foods, health, safety, buildings and waste," he noted.

He said most of the rumours were related to the energy drink Red Bull, Starbucks Coffee, Al Qaseem coffee, Kinder chocolate, instant yeast, Indomie and Burger King Foods, which were all handled and refuted immediately.

Deshti added that there are multi-faceted plans to link the public to the centre, especially the sector which requires direct dealing between the municipality and the public, specifically communication and enquiries.

"Operation of answering machines is being made on a trial basis to ensure the request of the caller and ensure his needs, and his complaints or remarks in general," he said. – Khaleej Times -


FGB second quarter group revenue up 3%

posted on 29/07/2016

The First Gulf Bank (FGB) reported second quarter 2016 Group revenue growth of 3%, while Q2'2016 net profits were recorded at AED 1.31 Billion compared to AED 1.33 Billion for the previous quarter.

FGB reported a Group net profit of AED 2.64 Billion for the six-month period ended 30th June 2016, compared to AED 2.87 Billion for the first half of 2015. Earnings per share for the first half of 2016 stood at 58 fils against 62 fils in the first half of 2015.

Commenting on the results, André? Sayegh, CEO of FGB, said: "During the second quarter, we generated a Net Profit of AED 1.31 Billion, a good performance amidst global operating challenges, demonstrating the fundamental strength of our business model. These results were achieved on the back of an enhanced model across our businesses, geared to support higher profitability in the medium to long term, and create sustainable value for our shareholders.

In line with our strategy to preserve a strong balance sheet and solid ratios, the three key priorities we are focusing on in 2016 are enabling us to successfully navigate current operating conditions while positioning us well for future growth. These focus areas include: prudent lending through selective origination, ensuring adequate liquidity, and maintaining disciplined resources allocation. Measures taken to deliver on these priorities allowed us to protect our returns, reduce our funding costs sequentially and attract more deposits from our international locations, as well as sustain industry-leading operating efficiency."

Sayegh added: "Our quick and determined action to adapt to new operating conditions was accompanied by our relentless focus on increasing penetration and gaining market share in key product lines at home and also across our international locations where we saw positive momentum. As a result, we are ending the period with a solid foundation and an enhanced capacity to generate healthy and balanced revenues across core business lines in a sustainable manner; as proven by the revenue increase achieved during the second quarter."

During the period, FGB's credit ratings were affirmed at A2/A/A+ by Moody's/S&P/Fitch. In addition, Moody's changed FGB's long term rating outlook from 'stable' to 'positive'. This rating action followed the official public announcement on July 03, 2016 that FGB and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) have entered into a merger agreement. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -