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UAE military team set up camp as they prepare to climb Everest

posted on 03/05/2016

KATHMANDU: 16 climbers from the UAE Armed Forces has set up camp in the Khumbu valley, 5,364 metres above sea level in the Himalayas in Nepal, as they prepare to climb Mount Everest.

The UAE military team will camp there for several weeks in preparation for the main adventure, which is attempting to climb the world's highest peak as the first official military team in the region.

The climbers have previously completed a nine day trek from the village of Lokla, staying overnight in several villages along the trail before reaching the Everest base camp.

Dr. Hashel Obaid Al Tunaiji, one of the team members and the doctor accompanying the mission, said that all the team members are in good health and have gradually adapted to the high altitudes and the decreasing levels of oxygen. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Solar Impulse 2 lands in Phoenix after taking off from San Francisco

posted on 03/05/2016

The Solar Impulse 2, an experimental aircraft flying around the world to draw attention to clean energy technologies, landed in suburban Phoenix on Tuesday after a flight from San Francisco.

The plane took off on Monday from near San Francisco piloted by Andre Borschberg just after 5am (1200GMT). The plane had been in California for a week since crossing the Pacific to land in Mountain View.

Borschberg, who has been alternating the long solo flights with his teammate, Swiss adventurer Bertrand Piccard, will pilot Solar Impulse across the United States and to New York.

Piccard piloted the craft from Hawaii to California.

"The sun is rising in the horizon. It feels good to be flying round-the-world with #Si2 again,” Borschberg posted on Twitter.

The 63-year-old adventurer took off at the early hour to take advantage of a clear weather window as he flies to Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Arizona, which took about 16 hours and 20 minutes.

The plane crossed some 1,160km over the Mojave Desert.

The take-off from Moffett Airfield southeast of San Francisco marked the beginning of the 10th of 13 legs in a journey that began last year in the United Arab Emirates.

The mission aims to promote the use of renewable energy, with an aircraft powered by 17,000 solar cells.

The plane's wingspan is wider than that of a jumbo jet but its weight is roughly the same as a family car.

Solar Impulse 2 was grounded in July last year when its batteries suffered problems halfway through its 35,000-km circumnavigation.

The crew took several months to repair damage from tropical high temperatures during the first Pacific stage, a 4,000-mile flight between Japan and Hawaii.

The aircraft was flown on that leg by Borschberg, whose 118-hour journey smashed the previous record of 76 hours and 45 minutes set by US adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006.

Born in Zurich, Borschberg is no stranger to adventure — 15 years ago he narrowly escaped an avalanche, and then in 2013 he was involved in a helicopter crash that left him with minor injuries.

He took catnaps of only 20 minutes at a time to maintain control of the pioneering plane during his arduous flight from Japan, in what his team described as "difficult” conditions.

Piccard, a 58-year-old doctor by training, already completed the first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight in 1999.

The solar-powered plane, which stores energy in batteries for when the sun is not shining, will stop in New York before a transatlantic flight to Europe.

From there, the pilots plan to make their way back to the point of departure in Abu Dhabi. – Gulf News -


Emirati engineers blaze trail in UAE nuclear industry

posted on 03/05/2016

Emirati women's empowerment has been taken to a nuclear level. Take Fatma Al Muhairi for example.

Ms Al Muhairi began her career in the nuclear industry with a clear aim — to get as many Emiratis as possible to join her.

This was not as easy as the mechanical engineer from Khalifa University first thought, in an industry that was then considered a peculiar choice for women.

"My family was scared at first because they wanted to know if it was safe and secure," said Ms Al Muhairi, 23, from Abu Dhabi. "They wanted to know if it was OK for a woman to work here.

"But I explained to them that it was. I am not the only woman here so they accepted it and they support me."

Ms Al Muhairi is one of nine nuclear engineers recently hired by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, or Fanr, which is lifting its recruitment of Emirati staff.

She and her female colleagues have taken part in a 14-week course at Khalifa University to learn about nuclear safety, security, safeguards and radioactivity.

They then rotate through each of Fanr's departments to see which suits them best.

Today, 61 per cent of Fanr's staff is Emirati, compared with 48 per cent six years ago. More than half of them are women.

Thirty-six of the 80 jobs held by Emiratis in the operations division are held by women, and that's just a start.

"We don't have a lot of locals so I'm going to help more of them to join and teach them, because no one will stay forever," Ms Al Muhairi said.

"I think nuclear energy is the future. It's interesting and something we have to learn because we might depend on it in the future."

She hopes to work in the safety section.

"I'm interested in inspecting and I think I have got the skills that are needed in this field.

"As an inspector I have to be aware and notice details, ensure everything is going right and make sure everything is safe, from employees to the environment to the public."

Amal bin Lootah, 23, a civil engineer from Dubai, said the national importance of the nuclear sector meant more Emiratis were needed.

"I went to South Korea as part of a youth ambassador programme, which made me interested in the nuclear industry," Ms bin Lootah said. "When you study it, you realise that nuclear is safe and you get more radiation when you travel on a plane. But people get scared."

Huda Al Tamimi, a mechanical engineer from Ras Al Khaimah who is also 23, said: "We are here to serve our country. I got the chance, so why not?

"Fanr has the vision I am looking for, which is protecting the environment and people from radioactive material and the threat from any nuclear misuse.

"We're still not operating but I'm very excited to be a part of it because it's my role to clear up the messed-up ideas about nuclear to the public."

For Amal Al Saleem, 24, a mechanical engineer from Abu Dhabi who did her internship at Airbus in Toulouse, France, the responsibility is the most challenging aspect of the nuclear industry.

"My goal was always to find a place for myself to be a part of the UAE's development," Ms Al Saleem said. "I don't want to be useless to the country and the nuclear industry will definitely be needing national engineers, which is what motivated me to join Fanr."

"My favourite would be safety because I'm interested in ensuring the safety of our programme," Ms Al Saleem said. "I want to deal with regulation of the power plant, which means we're supposed to inspect, not interfere."

With 21 fellows, including 16 from Fanr, two from the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and three from the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority, the course was taught by different instructors from the US and Khalifa University.

"It's for the young workforce of the nuclear industry," said Dr Alexander Solodov, the university's assistant professor in nuclear engineering. "Our goal is to give them a broad outlook of what nuclear is, its purpose and the understanding of the importance of safety, security and safeguards." – The National -


Dubai Cares to invest more than AED26m into Tanzania education projects

posted on 03/05/2016

More than AED26 million is being invested in two new education projects that aim to help tens of thousands of children in Tanzania.

The initiatives, launched by Dubai Cares, will focus on early childhood development in the East African country over a four-year period.

The announcement follows a visit to the country to inspect schools and see what work is currently being undertaken there.

"It gives my team and I great pleasure to witness the success of our pre-primary education programmes in East Africa," said Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive of Dubai Cares.

"In recent years, the Government of Tanzania has achieved great progress in facilitating access to early education programmes for children.

"Building on such progress, we must turn our attention to the quality of these and tackle challenges such as shortage of qualified pre-primary teachers and adequate materials."

An estimated 54,400 children will benefit over the course of the project with a total investment of AED 26,670,430.

The programme in mainland Tanzania named "Fursa kwa Watoto", which is Kiswahili for "Opportunities for children", seeks to improve access to and quality of pre-primary education and reach more than 29,400 children.

A second project in Zanzibar aims to provide pre-primary schooling for around 25,000 four and five-year-olds.

It will also look at training more teachers and bring down the current student teacher ratio of 1:115.

The projects are being conducted in partnership with Tanzania's Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Vocational Training, Children in Crossfire, the United Nations Children's Fund, Aga Khan University, and Mathematica Policy Research, the Madrasa Early Childhood Programme in Zanzibar and the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training in Zanzibar.

The lessons learnt from these projects will be used to inform policymakers in Tanzania, and the rest of Africa. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Abdullah bin Zayed heads UAE delegation to 6th session of Joint Higher UAE - Qatar Ministerial Committee

posted on 03/05/2016

DOHA: Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has stressed that the UAE and Qatar enjoy strong historic and distinguished relations based on understanding, mutual respect and joint interests to develop them.

Sheikh Abdullah made the remark yesterday at the conclusion of the sixth session of the joint higher ministerial committee in Doha.

The Qatari side was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, Foreign Minister of Qatar.

Sheikh Abdullah thanked the Qatari Foreign Minister for good hospitality and for hosting the joint session. "This meeting reflects the aspirations and directives of the leaders of both countries. It is also a good opportunity to deepen understanding and review the achievements in the framework of relations between our countries towards new horizons of joint co-operation."

The UAE Foreign Minister said that his country is looking forward to strengthening co-operation with the sisterly state of Qatar in the areas of trade, investment, renewable energy, culture, tourism, construction, security, defence and others. "We are proud to develop these relations between the two countries."

He reiterated that the co-operation between the officials of both countries has been increasing in terms of co-ordination in international organisations, at conferences and others, citing Qatar's backing of UAE candidates.

Sheikh Abdullah said that Qatar is an important partner to the UAE, stating that the volume of trade exchange stood between US$6 billion - US$7 billion in 2015, compared to US$9.2 billion in 2014, thanks to lower oil prices. He noted, "The figure prompts us to explore more options to upgrade the trade exchange."

He commended the volume of existing investments between them, and added that the number of the UAE companies in Qatar reached 1,074, while the Qatar companies in the UAE are 4,200.

The UAE minister referred to the strategic partnership in Dolphin Company L.L.C., whose production touched 6.1 trillion cubic feet of gas on 31st March, 2016.

Regarding the aviation sector, he said, the number of flights is 175 weekly. The number of Emirati visitors to Qatar reached 117,000 in 2015, while the number of Qataris to the UAE was 231,000 from March 2015 to March 2016.

Sheikh Abdullah commended the agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between the two countries in different fields, adding that they reflect seriousness of the two countries to develop relations.


UAE and Qatar affirm commitment to continuing mutual consultation and coordination towards bilateral issues

posted on 03/05/2016

DOHA: UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said meetings of the sixth session of the UAE-Qatar joint higher ministerial committee were fruitful and successful, affirming the commitment of the two countries to continue their efforts to further solidify their historic, fraternal bilateral ties and coordinate joint stances on various international issues of mutual concern.

'The UAE and Qatar need to work together to take our bilateral ties into a future that is more solid and deeper,' Sheikh Abdullah said in a joint press conference with Qatari foreign minister at the conclusion of the two-day meetings of the committee in Doha.

H.H. said his talks today with His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, had touched on joint co-operation in renewable energy, stressing the need for harnessing huge resources to develop that co-operation in view of the low cost involved and the emergence of new innovations.

Co-operation in such a field, he noted, promises the possibility of broadening of relations between the two countries, pointing to the series of agreements and memoranda of understanding they signed yesterday. H.H. expressed his hope for continuous joint work towards a better and increasingly developing and beneficial ties at all levels.

He stated that there are diverse areas for joint co-operation, including regular exchange of views on a variety of international matters.

Speaking about challenges facing the region, the UAE minister said, 'They can't be isolated from the overall challenges we are currently facing. For that, the UAE and Qatar are working together under the GCC or Arab League umbrella to address them.' Regarding Qatar's nomination for the post of director general of the UNESCO, H.H. said, 'Mutual support is always there, whether at the bilateral level or within the GCC, which issued a statement supporting the Qatari nominee.' Turning to the latest developments in Syria, Sheikh Abdullah said, 'Both Doha and Abu Dhabi have issued statements regarding the situation in Syria, affirming that the dispute can't be solved through statements and there is an urgent need for action given the tragic situation that requires serious action on the part of the UN Security Council and the Vienna Group.' H.H. affirmed that challenges facing the region - including terrorism - couldn't be addressed without solving political problems in Damascus and Baghdad.

On Libya, H.H. said, 'The UAE and Qatar were at the forefront of countries which supported the Libyan people through the GCC or Arab League when they faced Gaddafi. We also demanded the Security Council to provide protection for the Libyan people.' 'However, we hit a snag in Libya when the international community abandoned the Libyan issue before the situation became stable as the Libyans engaged hurriedly into the political process before achieving stability and finding proper mechanisms to ensure the success of the political process.' The UAE and Qatar, H.H. underscored, would continue their contacts with all stakeholders across the Libyan political spectrum to create an environment conducive for working under the umbrella of the Government of National Accord.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the two-day meetings were successful, adding that they ended with signing a number of cooperation agreements which promote the links between the two brotherly nations.

He pointed that the two sides have inked agreements in the fields of culture, organising fairs, tourism, youth and developing small and medium enterprises (SMEs), expressing hope to seeing the results of this session on the ground and to strengthen and deepen the two brotherly peoples' ties.

The foreign minister said he had discussed with his UAE counterpart all the regional issues and challenges, adding he is looking forward to the continuation of such fraternal meetings between the two countries.

He said that political dialogue was on the agenda of the committee meetings. Views on regional issues were exchanged, he said adding that talks also dealt with the two countries relations in the international organisations and continuing consultations in all international forums.

He stated that he had exchanged views and thoroughly discussed major regional issues with his Emirati counterpart during their bilateral meetings.

On Qatar's call convening an extra ordinary meeting of the Arab League Council on the situation in Syrian city of Aleppo, the minister said that the call received strong gulf support.

He said that the recent crimes committed against civilians in Aleppo obliges the international community to take an ethical and humane stance.

The purpose of the Arab League Council meeting at the invitation of the State of Qatar is to coordinate a common Arab position for moving through the Arab Group at the United Nations and the Security Council to take the measures that would contribute to solving the conflict and stop the escalation by the Syrian regime.

With regard to the Qatari-UAE coordination on Libya, the minister said that consultations and coordination will continue to pursuit the goal of realising the unity and stability of Libya.

' Some may speak about divergent views in assessing the Libyan situation but, in fact, there is continuous contact with the UAE officials and coordination towards some actions whether we agree or not. However, we are all united towards the unity and stability of Libya.

'It's this approach that brought UAE and Qatar together to support Libya's stability and advance the political process,' he added.

'We in Qatar work with other countries who have good ties with Libya to invest these relations in the best interest of Libya and its stability,' he said.

Sheikh Abdullah thanked the heads and members of the preparatory committees for their efforts in ensuring the success of the meeting.

He also thanked the members of the UAE- Qatar Business Forum. The UAE minister expressed the hope that the next session, the seventh of the ministerial committee, will be held in Abu Dhabi.

The Foreign Minister of Qatar delivered a speech in which he thanked Sheikh Abdullah and the delegation accompanying him to their second country, wishing success to the sixth session of joint ministerial committee. He also thanked the members of the preparatory committee, including senior officials and representatives of the public and private sector, for their efforts in preparing for this distinguished session, and the resolutions that would be reached.

The Qatari Foreign Minister said the joint meeting stems from distinguished fraternal ties between the UAE and Qatar, which are keen to upgrade them to reach the level of the political will of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brother His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and their interest in consolidating the joint co-operation in all fields.

Sheikh Mohammed Abdulrahman said this session is being held amid a critical regional situation that requires double the effort to strengthen co-operation and remove obstacles that hamper efforts to reach fruitful results in the service of mutual interests of the two sisterly countries.

He said the agreements signed by the two sides would spur bilateral co-operation to wider horizons.

The Qatari minister thanked the businessmen for the resolutions reached during the UAE-Qatar gathering, held between the chambers of commerce and industry of both countries to activate trade, investment and industrial activities in a manner that serves the private sector of both countries.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed Abdulrahman signed the minutes of the sixth session.

The UAE General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and the Qatari Ministry of Culture and Youth signed a MoU on sports, while the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and the Qatari General Authority for Tourism signed one on co-operation in organisation of exhibitions, while the two governments signed another on general education and culture from 2016 to 2019.

Sheikh Abdullah and Sheikh Mohammed also witnessed the signing of the MoU between the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development and the Qatar Development Bank. The MoU was signed by Saed Al Awadi, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Exports and Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank.

The meetings were also attended by Khalid Ghanim Al Ghaith, Assistant Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Economic Affairs, Saleh Mohammed bin Nasra Al Ameri, the UAE Ambassador to Qatar, a number of senior officials, and representatives from the ministries and competent authorities of the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed Abdul Rahman held a joint press conference at the conclusion of the meetings. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Amal Al Qubaisi briefs EP on UAE's strategies to empower women

posted on 03/05/2016

BRUSSELS: Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC), has confirmed the role of the wise leadership in empowering women at the national level, given their significant role as a partner in the country's development, which has contributed to occupying pioneer leadership posts as well as enhancing the overall development of the UAE society.

The remarks were made during a seminar organised by the FNC under chairmanship of Dr. Al Qubaisi in co-operation with the UAE Friends Group in the European Parliament (EP).

The forum, held at the main headquarters of EP in Brussels, was organised under the title "Women's empowerment in a politically changing world" to highlight the UAE's experience in the field of women's empowerment and to brief MEPs on stages made by Emirati women until they assumed high profile positions at the regional and international levels.

The forum was moderated by Antonio Lopez-Isturiz White, President of the EU-UAE Parliamentary Friendship Group.

The Symposium was also attended by Elmar Brok, Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF) and an EP member, and Hamed Salem Al Mazrouei, the UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and Head of the UAE Mission to European Union (EU), and European officials.

Dr. A Qubasi briefed the audience on the successful story of the UAE in empowering women and the steps taken to achieve gender equality. She said that the UAE had laid the foundations for the participation of women in the legislative and judicial institutions as a core towards creating an effective and just society.

She also highlighted the UAE leadership's vision and role to empower women, noting that the wise leadership, since the founding of the country, had aimed to involve women fully and actively in national work and deemed this as a strategic national work. It also recognised women as key partners in the development of the country and building its present and future.

She added that Emirati women have received special attention since the establishment of the UAE, thanks to the wise policy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The FNC Speaker added that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the leader of the march to empower women and completes the national strategic plan that targets women in the early establishment of the country. She added that the plan focussed on providing public and higher education to them in various specialties, provide a community development pillar and be a co-actor in the process of nation-building.

She reiterated that Emirati women have repaid the confidence reposed by the leadership, government and people in various fields and have become active partners in the country's sustainable development process.

Dr. Al Qubaisi also familiarised the MEPs with the pioneering and significant role of 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, through a number of wise resolutions and directives throughout the country's drive towards development. She also praised Sheikha Fatima's efforts aimed at ensuring a strong representation of women at all levels and avenues.

She said that Sheikha Fatima has also been working to enhance the prestige of Emirati women at various levels locally, regionally and globally by supporting them to accomplish the achievements that would contribute to development and the renaissance of the society. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


UAE can become the clean energy finance capital of the world, says chairman of the clean energy business council

posted on 03/05/2016

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) can become the clean energy finance capital of the world, according to Dr. Nasser Saidi - former chief economist of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and Chairman of the Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC). Dr. Saidi said that UAE's capital markets could 'own the clean energy finance space' and in doing so, demonstrate global leadership in impact investments.

"The long term economic returns on social investments that fundamentally shift the urban paradigm are enormous," said Dr. Saidi speaking ahead of the Clean Energy Project Financing MENA conference, presented by National Bank of Abu Dhabi and taking place in Dubai tomorrow. "We are rapidly entering a new economic age - a post carbon era, one in which the financial winners and losers may be separated by those who boldly pursue a first mover position in the solutions that support long term sustainable development, and those who stand by and observe."

"The UAE has always been a pioneering nation that has strived to reshape and define the future, continued Dr. Saidi, "and as it transitions its own economy from oil into knowledge and investments it can become clean energy finance capital of the world by owning the conversation around the subject.' Last week, more than 150 governments around the world - including the UAE - signed the Paris Climate Agreement, which sets out a framework to systematically decarbonise national economies and promote cleaner sources of energy and energy efficiency. However, with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) recently reporting that the pace of renewable energy development needs to increase six-fold in order to successfully avert irreversible climate change, financing remains a challenge.

"Even in an era of low commodity prices, the increasing commercial viability of utility scale projects in solar and wind is encouraging governments to turn to renewables as a core part of their future energy mix," commented Nathan Weatherstone, Head of Sustainable Business at NBAD.

"MENA's financial community has a real and immediate opportunity to catalyse development in the growing renewable energy sector. That is why we are delighted to support this Clean Energy Business Council event and why NBAD has committed to lending, investing and facilitating USD 10 billion in sustainable businesses within the next ten years," he said.

The CEBC's Clean Energy Project Finance in MENA conference, presented by National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), will bring together senior regional leaders from the public and private spheres to develop solutions to the renewable energy finance gap.

The conference will address clean energy project financing opportunities and the economic feasibility of the future of renewables. Global industry experts will shed light on project financing structures, latest financial and energy innovations, share case studies and lessons learned. They will discuss making projects bankable in the MENA region, along with addressing the risks and barriers of renewable energy investment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai hosts worlds’ largest materials library 'D-Town'

posted on 03/05/2016

DUBAI, 3rd May, 2016 (WAM)– The first materials library of its kind in the world, the 'D-Town Library', is opening in Dubai this year. The pioneer project will be the first in the world accessible to both design related industries and the public.

The Library will have capacity to display thousands of materials– becoming the largest archive in the world.

Following the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, of making Dubai the capital of knowledge and innovation, D-Town Library – created by the group D-Town Enterprises - aims to be a centre of information and interchange of know-how for all design disciplines. Whether one is an architect looking for varieties of wood for a project, a fashion designer searching for the latest trends in smart fabrics, or someone scouting for ideas to build a boat, they can find solutions at D-Town Library.

"The concept of D-Town Library has been put together after seeing the void in the global market - connectivity as the heart of knowledge and trade. The concept will connect and bridge the gap between the world's industries and the consumers. People need to know what is available and how to use it in order to simply start creating, enrich innovation and come up with something new. For all that to happen people need tools, and the library will be an essential tool," explained Rowdha Ali Mohammed AlSakit, CEO of D-Town Enterprises.

The space, set to open by the end of the year, will have capacity to display thousands of materials' samples catering to all types of innovative and creative minds. The list goes from the ranges of clear glass, to the most innovative tech-materials that can be used across various creative industries such as fashion, or even automotive. In addition, visitors who want to take an in-depth look at the collection can consult the expert engineers at the library to enquire about the composition of the materials, usages and manufacturing details.

D-Town Library is on the process of selecting materials and has already signed Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) with some of the most prestigious brands in the world and tied up with premium global partners from New York, Paris and Tokyo. Entities involved in the project will be hosting active educational workshops on how to integrate new materials on a project. "We want D-Town Library to become the space where the creative community meets knowledge and innovation. This will be the meeting point to likeminded people, a centre of knowledge where innovators and creatives can exchange ideas and bring their projects to life," AlSakit added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai Holding launches International Centre for 3D Printing at Dubai Industrial City

posted on 03/05/2016

Dubai Holding has launched the International Centre for 3D Printing in line with the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai an International destination for 3D printing by 2030.

The project, at Dubai Industrial City, will create a suitable atmosphere and provide the appropriate infrastructure to bring under one roof a network of design and technology suppliers as well as factories. It will include research centres and laboratories for testing materials used in 3D printed products within an integrated environment dedicated to serve construction, medicine, and consumer products sectors. It will also involve the academic sector, which will add innovation and educational value to this initiative through research and development.

The new project aims to build a network of distinguished companies in the 3D printing sector by attracting entrepreneurs and innovators as well as targeting international enterprises locally and globally by offering special laboratories for 3D printing. It will also offer services, professional training, facilities, storage solution, and other logistical support to strengthen this sector.

Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Group Chief Executive Officer of TECOM Investments, said, "The launch of the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum comes in line with the vision and strategic directions of the Emirate of Dubai to support innovation and future industry. The world is experiencing significant demand for 3D printing technologies which are set to play an important role in developing basic industries such as real estate."

She added, "We will work on providing a suitable environment for specialised companies and attracting innovative minds by offering the required infrastructure that match the aspirations of the wise leadership. We believe that the new strategy will be a vital element in creating support for Dubai's key role in the area of 3D printing."

Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said, "The establishment of the International Centre for 3D Printing by Dubai Holding will enable us take the first steps towards achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai a global centre of 3D printing technology."

The centre focuses on providing all the components in an integrated system to take this technology from the ideas and innovation stage to the design phase, and provide the materials to a promising market within the, construction, medical and consumer product sectors," he added.

Al Aleeli said that the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is particularly relevant to the construction sector considering that the strategy aims to 3D print 25% of buildings in Dubai by 2030. This will create a huge demand in the market and offer large investment opportunities for companies and investors locally, regionally and globally, he added.

Abdullah Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Industrial City, said, "The next phase of the International Centre for 3D Printing is to translate the vision of our wise leadership in the 3D printing domain by providing the latest technology and the best solutions in the industry to meet the requirements of local and international companies in this sector. The centre will offer the advantages of strategic location, advanced infrastructure, developed offices, warehouses, exhibition facilities, not to mention the integrated support system that will enable companies to establish their business. The centre will host more than 700 local and international companies to make Dubai a major hub of 3D printing technology."

Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, which aims to make Dubai a global capital of 3D printing technologies by 2030, will focus on three major sectors: Construction, Medical Products, Consumer Products.

The Dubai 3D Printing Strategy has five main pillars: Infrastructure, Legislative Structure, Funding, Talent and Market Demand. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Etihad Airways, Parma Airport sign cooperation agreement on cargo traffic

posted on 03/05/2016

Etihad Airways and Parma Airport have signed an agreement to develop cargo traffic at the airport of the central Italian city.

The exclusive agreement initially includes the establishment of a cargo transit centre at Parma Airport to receive cargo for forwarding to Milan Malpensa Airport for onward transport. The project will be developed in conjunction with Etihad Cargo and partner airlines, providing an efficient solution to companies in the region for the rapid delivery of their products to global markets.

Etihad Airways with its equity partner, Alitalia, currently offers bellyhold capacity on 38 weekly flights between Italy and the UAE. In addition there are six weekly freighter services from Milan, including a twice weekly service to Bogota and the four times a week service to Abu Dhabi, which offer a combined capacity of 800 tonnes.

David Kerr, Vice President of Etihad Cargo, said, "This agreement with Parma Airport is a further demonstration of our confidence in Italy, one of the largest cargo markets in Europe. We have already strengthened our freighter capacity out of Milan in the last few weeks, having placed a new 777 freighter on the Milan-Bogota sector, so the opportunity to use Parma gives us a further chance to strengthen our cargo services from Europe."

Parma is at the centre of one of the largest exporting regions in Italy for high value goods. These freight items require fast and secure transport, which are all factors that determine the demand for air freight services.

Guido Dalla Rosa Prati, Chairman of Parma Airport, said: "With the co-operation of Etihad Airways, the strategic development plan for the airport is already coming to life. We are really honoured to have gained the interest of Etihad Airways, a key player in the world of aviation, and I am proud of the agreement which will generate new business opportunities for Parma and neighbouring territories."

Work has already begun to adapt the airport infrastructure for the new service to be operational from July 2016. Cargo and logistics will play a central role in the ongoing development plan for Giuseppe Verdi Airport.

Alberto Figna, Chairman of the Parma Industrialist's Union (UPI), one of the key shareholders in the airport, said: "The agreement with an international partner of the calibre of Etihad Airways is confirmation of the potential of this airport and an important indication of the commitment of the Parma business community to ensuring the continuity and progress of a vital piece of infrastructure that will benefit the local economy. It is expected that the new transit centre will also have a positive direct and indirect impact on employment in the local area."

Etihad Cargo is a division of Etihad Airways with a dedicated fleet of 11 freighters and an additional freighter to be added during 2016. At the end of February, the team welcomed a new Boeing 777 to its fleet and the aircraft has recently started operations on the Milan- Bogota? route providing improved services between Europe and South America.

Over the previous year, Etihad Cargo grew its services global reach by offering bellyhold capacity on Etihad Airways' six new passenger destinations to destinations including Edinburgh and Madrid, bringing to over 100 the total number of passenger destinations on which cargo services are currently provided. Etihad Cargo also expanded its freighter services to several new markets including Dakar, Nouakchott and Douala, bringing the number of freighter-only destinations operated to 20. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


DGCX crosses 6 million contracts

posted on 03/05/2016

The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) has crossed 6 million contracts in April 2016, growing 45% over the same period last year whilst maintaining a steady Average Daily Open Interest of 109,487 contracts.

Growth was primarily driven by DGCX's currency segment, which saw a substantial increase of 43% compared to the same period last year trading 5,740,764 contracts on a Year-to-date (YTD) trading basis.

The G6 currency pair futures saw highs of 122,109 contracts with Euro and British Pound futures leading the way with a growth of 190% and 154% respectively. Among the emerging market currencies, South African Rand futures demonstrated a steady growth of 47% over same period last year. Indian Rupee options also saw brisk trading this year with 96,940 contracts traded, up 220.7% from the same period last year.

The month of April saw the Exchange setting several records especially in relation to recently launched products. Chinese Yuan futures recorded the highest monthly volume with 4,245 contracts worth US$ 212 million while the Indian Rupee Quanto recorded the 2nd highest ever Average Daily Volume (ADV) of 27,071 contracts. Volumes in US Single Stock futures were up by 107% as compared to March 2016.

Spot Gold contract continued it growth trajectory attracting local bullion participants with physical delivery of 5,760 ounces, an increase of 38% when compared to last month, similarly ADV in Gold futures witnessed an increase of 39% year-on-year (YOY).

Gaurang Desai, Chief Executive Officer of DGCX, said: "According to a recent annual survey by the World Federation Exchange, currency and commodity derivatives experienced the largest volume growth in 2015 (up 37% and 26% respectively over 2014). Our performance so far indicates that last year's trend is continuing into 2016. This phenomenon represents the tangible use of financial exchanges such as DGCX especially when investors are seeking to hedge and mitigate risks amidst heightened volatility in global markets."

Partnerships On 13th April, DGCX signed MoUs with two of China's largest banks - the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC)-DIFC and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The signing of these pacts paves the way for DGCX to collaborate with both institutions in areas of product development which is a significant milestone as the Exchange continues to grow and develop its Chinese product offering.

Also in the month of April, DGCX together with the Dubai Commodities Clearing Corporation (DCCC) organised a business breakfast briefing for ACTME (The Association of Corporate Treasurers Middle East) which drew attendance from corporate treasurers representing financial and non-financial institutions. The event served as a valuable platform to exchange information and initiate dialogue on the benefits of using financial exchanges such as DGCX to hedge against price fluctuations.

"Following on a strong first quarter, April volumes show that we remain on track with healthy volume growth, increased partnerships with prominent entities, and an effective engagement with a wider group of audience," Gaurang concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Dubai FDI-led mission to US spurs interest among innovators and knowledge-based industries

posted on 03/05/2016

Dubai's ambitious growth plans as well as policy focus on competitiveness and innovation have been explained to US investors and businesses during a series of ‘Doing Business in Dubai' seminars hosted recently across Orlando, Dallas, Denver and San Francisco, by a delegation led by Dubai Investment Development Agency, Dubai FDI, an agency of the Department of Economic Development, DED.

The delegation, co-ordinated by Dubai FDI and Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of DED, and supported by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC and the US-UAE Business Council, included representatives from TECOM, Emirates Group, Dubai South and Dubai Silicon Oasis, DSO.

Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, said that over 450 senior decision-makers from private and government sectors in the US know more about Dubai now as a result of the productive seminars and interactions the delegation had in the four cities during the 14-day mission.

"US businesses were keen to know how Dubai can enable them grow and expand. Representatives from Dubai South, TECOM and Dubai Silicon Oasis were particularly successful in highlighting the opportunities for innovation-driven and knowledge-based economic activity to thrive in Dubai's free zones," said Al Gergawi.

"There was palpable interest among US businesses in the efficiencies Dubai has added as a hub in regional and global supply chains, particularly in enabling faster movement of trade and people. We are looking forward to this interest translating into business initiatives and partnerships in the near future," added Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports.

In Orlando, the delegation addressed over 100 senior business executives in collaboration with the Central Florida International Trade Office and visited a number of research and development sites as Dubai's focus on innovation and education dominated the discussions.

The high point of the delegation's visit to Dallas was a tour of the Alliance Texas, an inland port development and logistics zone with integrated residential, commercial and aviation operation facilities. Dubai South, being a new free zone, was particularly interested in the emphasis on efficiencies and a harmonious work-life balance in the Alliance Texas ecosystem.

"The trade mission to four US cities has succeeded in initiating and facilitating communication between Dubai South and its entrepreneurial, investor and business counterparts in the US. It was encouraging to engage with and learn from the expertise and knowledge of our US partners in a range of areas related to innovation, and research and development," said Mohammad Al Falasi, Director, Business Development at Dubai South.

"Dubai South, an urban city development with a solid business ecosystem, is an unrivalled gateway to the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, and the time is ideal for collaborations between North American manufacturers and investors, and Dubai South," added Al Falasi.

The delegation held meetings with the State Economic Development Offices, VisitDenver, Denver International Airport and the Mayor's Office in Denver, in addition to site visits to a number of successful renewable energy projects. The Denver International Airport officials expressed strong interest in welcoming Emirates airline to their city.

"We were very impressed with the collaborative approach from the Dubai delegation. Not only did they use their visit to promote the vast opportunities for investment in Dubai, but they took the time to thoroughly engage with Denver leaders to build relations. It's these relations that will serve as the foundation for future partnerships between Denver and Dubai," commented Laura L.Jackson, Vice President, Air Service Development, at Denver International Airport.

In San Francisco, the Dubai delegation and Tesla Motors discussed collaboration on enabling the renewable energy pioneer to leverage Dubai's position as a hub for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, MENASA. The delegation also visited SolarCity, a renewable energy integrator, to update them on the scope for renewables in the regional markets, and met with institutions known for excellence in innovation, including Stanford University and Google.

Expressing happiness over the mission and growing trade bilateral trade, Nasir Abbasi, Commercial Attaché at the US Consulate in Dubai, said that UAE-US trade crossed US$25.4 billion in 2015, surpassing all other US trade partners in the broader region, including Turkey and India.

"I think the value of the trip was evident on all sides, be it the delegates, entities or individuals with whom they interacted. Our hope is that we can build this momentum, and we stand ready to support," added Saud Al Nowais, the UAE's Commercial Counsellor in the US.

Danny Sebright, President of the US-UAE Business Council, said that the visit by the Dubai delegation highlighted the success of sectors with special interest to US companies looking to expand their businesses abroad. "It's a testament to organisations like Dubai FDI, which so skilfully promote Dubai's business-friendly environment and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Indeed, Dubai FDI is a valuable tool for government as well as private sector institutions and the US-UAE Business Council is proud to be a loyal partner." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Federal Supreme Court hears pleading of public prosecutor in Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood

posted on 03/05/2016

The State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court yesterday heard the pleading of the prosecutors in the case of the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE in which 15 Yemenis and four Emiratis were accused of establishing a branch of the group in the UAE.

The public prosecutor addressed the court for more than an hour explaining charges against each one of the accused, demanding to the court that it hand down the most severe punishment to them.

The first to 13th defendants faced counts of raising funds and donations without obtaining permission from the competent authority while the 16th to 19th defendants were charged with joining an illegitimate, secret organisation in the UAE which works against the basic principles of the governance in the state with the aim of seizing the power. Defendants 14th to 19th – with the exception of the 15th – were accused of learning about the crime but failing to inform the authorities concerned.

The court looked into the case of three Arab nationals who were accused of supplying two terrorist organisations, Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham, with communications equipment and funds to fulfil their objectives. The court was adjourned to 30th May.

In another case, the judge decided to postpone to 16th May the hearings in the case of a US woman whom the public prosecutor accused of uttering obscene words in a public place.

The judge, at the request of the defendant's lawyer, referred her to the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City to check her psychological condition.

The hearings were attended by representatives of the media and civil society organisations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Mohamed bin Zayed receives winners of Sheikh Zayed Book Award

posted on 03/05/2016

Culture has been and will remain the key benchmark for the development and progress of nations, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, affirmed while receiving winners of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award (SZBA) 2016 at Al Bahr Palace yesterday.

'We, in the UAE, consider science and culture an integral part of our cultural legacy, development process and building of both human being and an open mind with a confident identity that does not compromise values, originality and heritage,' HH Sheikh Mohamed said.

HH congratulated the winners of the 10th edition of the award, namely the Lebanese-born French novelist, Amin Maalouf, winner of the Cultural Personality of the Year.

He appreciated the role being played by intellectual, literary and cultural personalities for instilling the values of science and knowledge in the community through their intellectual and creative works to which they deserve recognition.

HH also thanked guests at the fair, particularly Italian writers, who represented Italy as the guests of honour in this year's cycle of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF). Their participation, HH noted, had allowed Arab readers to learn about the rich cultural and creative work of a country that the UAE has strong bonds of friendship with.

'The ADIBF and the SZBA, along with other cultural events in the country, underscore the recognition of the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of the true value both science and knowledge to the community and their vital role in developing the human being and building the future through the development of thought and heightening of awareness so as to cope with transformations and address challenges,' HH said, noting the President's initiative to make 2016 a Year for Reading.

The winners were accompanied by Dr. Ali bin Tamim, the Award's Secretary-General, a delegation from the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), a number of key intellectual, literary and media figures participating in the 26th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, fair organisers, officials from the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), as well as a group of Emirati writers.

The winners of the award expressed their delight at visiting the UAE, which they said is celebrating the Year of Reading as a landmark to encourage reading and hone literary skills of members of the community with more knowledge - the main driving force for development and cultural and human progress.

They paid tributes to the UAE leadership for encouraging intellects and writers to produce more works. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Acting Director-General of NMC visits Qatar Foundation for Media

posted on 03/05/2016

DOHA: Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Acting Director-General of the National Media Council (NMC), yesterday visited the Qatar Foundation for Media.

During the meeting, Al Mansouri and Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Foundation for Media, discussed the media relations between the two sisterly countries, and ways of developing them.

The two sides stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and benefiting from the mutual experiences. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Team Abu Dhabi 35 seals class S2 victory and third overall in 24 hours of Rouen Endurance Race

posted on 03/05/2016

ROUEN, FRANCE: The Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club, ADIMSC, enjoyed a superb weekend of endurance racing on their debut at the punishing 24 Hours of Rouen in northern France. The team entered two DAC boats in the world famous race, and the Team Abu Dhabi 35 quartet of Alex Carella, Thani Al-Qamzi, Majed Al-Mansoori and Tullio Abbate, finished first in the S2 class and third overall in their DAC, after completing 792 laps of the 3.8km course on the River Seine.

"This was an amazing experience for me and the entire team," said Thani Al-Qamzi. "It's hard to put into words the experience of running at speeds for very long periods where you have to keep maximum concentration to avoid making any mistakes."

The overall race victory and the S1 class win fell to the double UIM F1 H20 World Champion: Philippe Chiappe and his fellow French crew of Peter and Nelson Morin and Rodolphe Avenel in the F1 CTIC China Team Moore entry. They hit the front towards the end of the first session on Saturday evening, after Team Abu Dhabi 35 suffered mechanical issues, and held the lead to the finish. Team Abu Dhabi 35 also suffered a propeller failure in the final hour that dropped them behind the French Team, Cegelec SDEM ITM, and into third in the overall standings. But the S2 class win was secured by an impressive 37-lap margin.

"What an amazing weekend's racing," said Carella. "The class win for Team Abu Dhabi after a long difficult race, where we overcame our fair share of problems and survived that late scare at the end."

"This race was an amazing experience for our entire team and a superb opportunity for everyone to bond together and work alongside one another over a long period of time in a high pressure environment," Salem Al-Romaithi, Assistant General Manager of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club. "It was an incredible test of endurance for the drivers, the equipment and every member of the team."

Mohammed Al-Mehairbi, Rashid Al-Qamzi, Italy's Alberto Comparato and Rashid Al-Tayer crewed the second Team Abu Dhabi 36 boat, and lost time in the first four hours of the race after running inside the top six from the start. They climbed back into contention during Saturday afternoon, but a crash late on Saturday evening for Comparato damaged the boat and forced them into retirement.

Team Abu Dhabi is sponsored by Etihad Airways and runs under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Adviser to the UAE President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –