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Mohamed bin Zayed receives, hails Armed Forces' team on Mount Everest climb

posted on 31/05/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has expressed his pride at Emiratis who pursue excellence and creativity to score achievements in many areas that enhance the status of the UAE regionally and globally, and raise its flag in various fields.

This remark was made when he received yesterday at Al Bahr Palace the UAE Armed Forces' team members who climbed to Mount Everest, which is 8, 848 metres above sea level.

Sheikh Mohamed praised the military team's feat to climb Mount Everest, saying their success is deemed one of the most difficult and dangerous tasks. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi lauded the spirit of co-operation, teamwork, and determination demonstrated by the team to overcome the difficulties to climb to the highest peak on earth. "I feel proud about the Emirati sons and daughters, who are also children of Zayed. They climbed the world's highest mountain peak," he added.

While congratulating them, Sheikh Mohamed said, "We were aware the task was difficult. Many of us in the UAE watched the team members while they were climbing the Everest. The risk was high and we were stricken with fear but awed with your resolve to continue the mission."

Sheikh Mohamed described them as heroes and role models for Emirati youth, adding that success of each Emirati in his/her field is the secret behind the UAE's prosperity and ranking in the first positions in different fields.

For their part, the team members thanked Sheikh Mohamed for his full support, which effectively motivated them to accomplish the mission. They added that their feat put a smile on the faces of Emiratis.

At the palace, a group of students from Abu Dhabi schools greeted the military team, and expressed joy over the reunion with the Emirati champions. The students showered the team members with flowers for their unprecedented achievement. The team members reciprocated by giving them special photos about the adventure.

The reception was attended by H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region; H.H. Sheikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan; H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation; H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of the Culture and Knowledge Development, and a number of Sheikhs and senior officials and a group of citizens. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE committed to protecting workers' rights: Minister of Labour

posted on 31/05/2016

GENEVA: The UAE's commitment to protecting labour rights is in implementation of national laws and ethical values and obligations towards workers the country is hosting and through decent work and living conditions that preserve their dignity under temporary contractual work relationship based on mutual consent and transparency, according to Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

'Towards this end, the ministry is implementing a package of policies, laws and monitoring mechanisms to strike a balance and stability in work relations with the aim of protecting workers' rights and interest of employers. The ministry is also conducting a series of campaigns to educate both contracting parties about their legal obligations,' the minister said in a statement on the side-lines of the opening of the 105th International Labour Conference in Geneva yesterday which lasts until 10th June.

The minister affirmed that the UAE is working with labour-sending countries under the Abu Dhabi Dialogue to address negative aspects the workers are experiencing due to malpractices of unscrupulous employment agencies.

The UAE delegation to the ILO conference, which includes representatives from the public, sector, employers and workers, participated separately in the meetings of the GCC and Arab labour groups to co-ordinate the stance in regards to the agenda of the ILO conference which serves their interests.

Government, Employers' and Workers' representatives from 187 member states discussed a series of work issues including global supply chains, decent work for peace, security and disaster resilience, as well as the impact of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalisation. Delegates will also consider amendments to the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention and review the report of the Director-General on poverty. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates fights against illegal wildlife trade

posted on 31/05/2016

Emirates is trying to raise awareness about the threat the trade in illegal wildlife poses to the survival of some of the planet's most endangered and iconic animals.

On Monday, the Dubai based airlines unveiled its "fifth” A380 emblazoned with special livery in support of United for Wildlife — an alliance between seven of the world's most influential conservation organisations and The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Unlike its four jet-powered siblings, this latest Emirates United for Wildlife A380 aircraft is more grounded, specifically at the traffic roundabout leading to London Heathrow airport.

The Emirates A380 model is built to an exact 1:3 scale of a real A380 aircraft and weighs more than 45 tonnes, the airline said in a statement.

Since November, the airline's four eye-catching "United for Wildlife” A380 aircraft have flown more than 4.2 million kilometres on over 800 flights spreading the message against wildlife trade.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline said: "The illegal wildlife trade has brought many of our planet's most majestic animals to the brink of extinction.”

"The need for action is urgent, and both the demand and supply side of the illegal wildlife trade has to be tackled. Through our global brand footprint, Emirates can help drive consumer awareness and interest in the issue.” – Gulf News -


Emirates Airline signs tourism development MoU with Jordan Tourism Board

posted on 31/05/2016

Emirates Airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Jordan Tourism Board, which aims to utilise the airline's global network to further boost inbound tourist arrivals to Jordan, focused on the growth of key tourist destinations in the country.

Jordan has been an important part of Emirates' network since 1986. Today, the airline offers three daily nonstop flights from Amman to Dubai where passengers can seamlessly connect onwards to a network of over global 150.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Emirates together with the Jordan Tourism Board will put into effect a range of joint marketing activities, including tourism promotions, participation in conferences and exhibitions, amongst other initiatives. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Thierry Antinori, Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, and Yazan Al Khudairi, Director of the Jordan Tourism Board and the Jordanian Tourism Attaché in the UAE.

Thierry Antinori said, "The MoU signed today underscores Emirates' confidence in the potential and attractiveness of Jordan as a world-class destination, and we are committed to promoting tourism from key target regions including the Far East and Australasia, West Asia and Central and South America. We aim to play a major part in growing the market through our strong global connectivity."

Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board, commented on the signing: "Tapping into Emirates' extensive global network will give the Jordan Tourism Board access to markets in regions that hold great potential for our unique tourism proposition. Through this MoU, our aim is to jointly put in place the best strategies and practices to increase Jordan's marketing footprint and position it as a preferred destination in markets like Australia, and the growing economies of Central and Southern America, amongst other target markets that would have otherwise had no direct link to Jordan."

Yazan AlKhudairi, Regional Director of the Jordan Tourism Board and Jordanian Tourism Attaché in the United Arab Emirates said: "The signing of this MoU with Emirates Airline holds great significance the Jordan Tourism Board because it comes at a special time when we celebrate our 70th Independence Day. It's also the first of its kind in terms of level of commitment to developing and promoting tourism in new key target markets and developing Jordan's tourism competitiveness in these regions. We hope that our efforts will inspire travellers from the Far East, Central and South America and West Asia to come and explore Jordan where they can enjoy rich history and antiquities, culture, adventure, food and much more." - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates returns to ILA Berlin Air Show 2016

posted on 31/05/2016

Emirates, the world's largest international airline, will return with its Airbus A380 to ILA Berlin Air Show 2016.

The Emirates A380 will be the largest aircraft to be showcased and the only A380 displayed at Berlin Expo Centre Airport in Schoenefeld. It will be on display and open for visitor viewing on the first two show days -1st and 2nd June.

At ILA Berlin Air Show 2014, the flagship aircraft was toured by more than 13,000 aviation enthusiasts and this year the iconic aircraft is expected be popular with visitors again.

The aircraft on static display in Berlin will be the airline's 79th A380 aircraft, a brand new delivery directly from Airbus in Hamburg-Finkenwerder. The flight deck crew bringing the brand new aircraft from Hamburg to Berlin will be New Zealand-born Captain Thomas Ziarno and UAE-national First Officer Abdulrahman Mohamed Al Busaeedi.

The Emirates Airbus A380 has been part of ILA Berlin Air Show since 2010, underlining the airline's steadfast commitment to the German market and to the Airbus flagship. All Emirates A380s are being fitted at Airbus in Hamburg including significant cabin interior work and final livery. One in every three A380s in the sky today belongs to Emirates and wherever the Emirates A380 is deployed, the experience continues to generate excitement and fascination amongst passengers and those who come to airports just to catch a glimpse of the aircraft.

As the largest A380 operator in the world, Emirates will have 79 A380s serving its network once this new aircraft joins the fleet. Last month, Emirates placed a new order for an additional two new A380 aircraft, to be delivered in the 4th quarter of 2017, bringing its order books for the aircraft to 64.

Emirates A380s currently serve over 40 destinations worldwide - one out of every four destinations on the airline's passenger network. Vienna will become the next A380 destination starting from 1 July.

Airbus estimates that Emirates' A380 orders support the employment of 41,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in Europe. About 70% of these jobs are split equally between France and Germany, with the UK having 17% and the remaining 5,000 jobs in Spain. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Parks and Resorts raises Dh1.68b in IPO

posted on 31/05/2016

Dubai Parks and Resorts has raised Dh1.68 billion from a 1.6 times oversubscribed rights issue, which was 2.5 times oversubscribed on the public tranche, at the end of subscription.

Total subscription as at close on May 25 equalled Dh2.67 billion, demonstrating strong demand from investors.

The money will be used to raise Dh1.68 billion to primarily finance the development of the Six Flags Dubai theme park.

The rights issue, which was announced on April 19, gave registered shareholders and other investors who purchased rights during the rights trading period, the opportunity to subscribe for new shares issued by Dubai Parks and Resorts at Dh1 per share.

The trading of the rights on the Dubai Financial Market commenced on May 4 and ended on May 18, with a total of 370 million rights traded. Subscription for the new shares commenced on May 12 and closed on May 25.

Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, CEO of Dubai Parks and Resorts, said: "We have been working relentlessly to create an unforgettable theme park destination. Thanks to the support of our shareholders, we have successfully raised Dh1.68 billion in an oversubscribed rights issue to fund our growth strategy by adding a fourth theme park to our destination. The addition of Six Flags Dubai will enhance our already extensive offering and further establish our position as the Middle East's largest leisure and entertainment destination. We thank our shareholders for being a part of our growth, and we are very excited to begin the next phase of our strategy."

The new shares shall be listed on the Dubai Financial Market following approval from the Securities and Commodities Authority on or around June 5. Meraas shall retain a majority shareholding of 52 per cent, with Qatar Holding increasing its shareholding in the company to 11 per cent through the acquisition of a portion of Meraas' rights, in addition to subscribing to all of its own rights.

The rights issue was approved by the Dubai Parks and Resorts' shareholders at its general assembly meeting on April 18.

Through a combination of debt and equity funding, Dubai Parks and Resorts sought to raise Dh2.67 billion. While Dh1.68 billion has been raised via the rights issue, the remaining Dh993 million has been supplied through debt financing from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank and Sharjah Islamic Bank.

At the conclusion of the rights issue, Dubai Parks and Resorts shall issue 1,678,084,962 new shares, which will increase its total issued share capital to Dh7,999,912,670. None of the additional capital raised will be used to fund the existing Dubai Parks and Resorts development, expected to open in October this year.

The capital raise will be used to fund the proposed Six Flags Dubai theme park, scheduled to open in Q4 2019. Six Flags Dubai will be the fourth theme park at the Dubai Parks and Resorts destination and is expected to include 27 rides and attractions.

Arqaam Capital Limited and Emirates Financial Services acted as joint bookrunners and joint lead managers for the transaction. Emirates NBD Bank was the sole receiving bank. – Khaleej Times -


Etisalat, Huawei collaborate to deliver first MEA 10Gbps broadband service

posted on 31/05/2016

Etisalat UAE, a leading telecom service provider together with Huawei, a leading global ICT (information and communications technology solutions) provider, have announced the successful collaboration of a new FTTH solution to provide 10Gbps broadband service.

Consumers today require high internet speeds for real-time 4K video streaming, low-latency cloud gaming, desk cloud system, and large file transfers. The launch of the 10Gbps service will enable users to experience and enjoy the fastest broadband speed available in the region today.

Esmaeel Alhammadi, Etisalat Senior Vice-President, Network Development said: "The new broadband technology demonstrates that our existing network is capable of supporting future, next-generation PON (Passive Optical Network) technology. Etisalat constantly assesses new technology to expand our capabilities and to enhance our ability to support traffic growth demand from our customers."

"Enabling a better connected world is a vision that both Huawei and Etisalat share for our customers. By partnering once again with Etisalat on this 10G consumer broadband case, we have set the stage for developing intelligent management capabilities that can increase access to the modern information society," said Poundss Peng, President of Huawei Etisalat Global Key Account. – Khaleej Times -


Abu Dhabi Global Market, Flat6Labs join hands for fintech development

posted on 31/05/2016

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and start-up accelerator Flat6Labs recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the financial technology (FinTech) eco-system in Abu Dhabi.

This MoU follows closely after the recent announcement of ADGM's proposed Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab), a tailored framework that allows firms deploying innovative technology in the financial services sector to conduct their activities in a controlled and cost-effective environment.

The proposed RegLab is the first such initiative in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The new partnership provides a framework for FSRA and Flat6Labs to harness each other's expertise and knowledge to build and introduce initiatives that strategically support the development and growth of the FinTech ecosystem in ADGM, Abu Dhabi and beyond.

The MoU underpins ADGM's commitment to work and build strategic partnerships with key industry stakeholders to collaboratively cultivate local entrepreneurship and promote technology development and innovation in financial services.

Richard Teng, CEO, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the ADGM, said: "We are glad to welcome Flat6Labs as one of our strategic partners in establishing the FinTech eco-system in the UAE. As an Abu-Dhabi based establishment, Flat6Labs is well recognised as a successful, committed and experienced technology accelerator in the region. More importantly, Flat6Labs shares our desire in fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial environment to support the growth of FinTech in the region. We look forward to launching new initiatives with Flat6Labs in the near future."

Victor Kiriakos, managing director of Flat6Labs Abu-Dhabi, said: "We are glad to work closely with ADGM in order to create and grow the FinTech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Part of our mission is to accelerate entrepreneurship in the Mena region and to successfully execute this mission, we require a collaborative mindset and we are very glad to have found in ADGM a partner that values collaboration."

The ADGM is a financial centre based at Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.

The FRSA had published a consultation paper on May 10 and is seeking industry views on its proposed FinTech regulatory framework, including the Regulatory Laboratory initiative. In this proposed initiative, FinTech participants enjoy a two-year period to develop, test and launch their products and services in a controlled environment.

The consultation period ends on June 13. – Khaleej Times -


DED Dubai launches Arabic directory on economic activities

posted on 31/05/2016

The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has published an Arabic directory on the various economic activities licensed in Dubai, as part of department's efforts to help businessmen and investors save time and improve overall ease of doing business as well as competitiveness in the emirate.

The initiative which is aimed at promoting sustainable economic development of Dubai has been taken in cooperation with the Etisalat and Dar Al-Hafiz Foundation for Publishing and Distribution.

Omar Bushahab, CEO of the Business Registration & Licensing (BRL) sector in DED said: "With the publication of this guidebook, all information on economic activities in Dubai, including explanations on each license category and activities as well as the registration and legal forms is now available. Procedures for company formation, transfer of ownership, amendments and freezing of a license are also explained, along with frequently asked questions and their answers, for the benefit of companies and anyone planning to invest in Dubai."

Bushahab added that the directory has an easily navigable format. "For example, the book has an alphabetical index to lead the reader to the required page and activities are classified and grouped according to the nature of each activity and legal forms of companies allowed to practice the activity. It's all part of our efforts to facilitate licensing and registration of companies for potential and existing license owners."

Jassim Abdulrahman Al Awadi, senior manager of the Customer Relations Department in BRL said the directory provides all necessary information on the activity name, legal forms applicable for each business activity, parties involved, documents required for each legal form as well as external approvals required for each activity.

Esam Mahmoud, vice-president SMB Marketing at Etisalat said: "We are delighted to be part of this directory, which reflects the vision of the DED Dubai and its role in promoting the economic output in Dubai through facilitating the establishment of businesses and providing a supportive environment for the corporate sector.

Mohammed Basel, General Manager of the Dar Al-Hafiz Foundation for Publishing and Distribution, said: "We are pleased to be partners with the Department of Economic Development and we have put together a comprehensive plan to market and promote the directory among the relevant communities, particularly across all authorised service centres and free zones in Dubai as well as Dubai International Airport so that it is easily available to the public." - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Lubna Al Qasimi meets Vatican Foreign Minister

posted on 31/05/2016

ROME, 31st May 2016 (WAM) -- Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, has stressed the UAE's outstanding role in promoting and strengthening constructive dialogue between different peoples and religions within the framework of cooperation and global understanding.

This came during Sheikha Lubna's meeting with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, in the Italian capital, Rome, in the presence of Dr. Hessa Abdullah Al Otaiba, UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to the Vatican State.

The UAE Minister of State for Tolerance explained that the leadership and the Government of the United Arab Emirates is keen to deepen and enrich human relations among all peoples and nations of sisterly and friendly countries and is working to contribute positively to the achievement of peace and security.

The Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See commended the wise vision of the leadership and the Government of the United Arab Emirates in promoting interfaith dialogue channels and its interest in consolidating values of religious tolerance to achieve the interests of the peoples toward understanding and integration. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates Red Crescent delivers more aid to Sri Lanka flood victims

posted on 31/05/2016

The Emirates Red Crescent has delivered more aid to victims of the devastating floods which hit Sri Lanka recently.

Affected families around the capital Colombo received foodstuff, medical supplies, hygiene materials and shelters from the UAE humanitarian agency after floods and mudslides destroyed hundreds of houses.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka has seen the heaviest rains in 25 years.

The Emirates Red Crescent team assessed damage and needs in the affected areas and is procuring relief material from local markets.

On 25th May, the reported death toll from Sri Lanka floods and landslides rose to 92. Hundreds of houses have been completely destroyed and another 4,000 partly damaged. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Khalifa Foundation implements drinking water project in Afghanistan

posted on 31/05/2016

KABUL: A massive project to provide drinking water in Afghanistan is 80 per cent complete thanks to funding provided by the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation.

Populations in the provinces of Kabul, Nangarhar, Nimruz and Nuristan are now drinking clean water. With the exception of Nuristan, the foundation will be drilling 150 wells in each of these provinces.

The vital project is being undertaken under the supervision of the UAE Embassy in Kabul in co-ordination with Nasir Ahmad Durrani, Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.

To add sustainability to the project, the foundation has hired health experts to educate villagers about the health and hygiene requirements in a simple, understandable manner.

UAE Ambassador in Afghanistan Juma Mohammed Al Kaabi said the UAE was endeavouring to support friendly countries in areas of humanitarian and developmental assistance.

He affirmed that the UAE would pursue its humanitarian initiatives to preserve human dignity and alleviate the suffering of the destitute in different parts of the world. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Al Maktoum Foundation begins distribution of 20,000 food parcels in Egypt

posted on 31/05/2016

CAIRO: The Al Maktoum Foundation is beginning implementation of a charitable project in the governorates of Egypt this week involving the distribution of 20,000 food baskets.

The move follows the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, and the first phase will be launched in Sohag and Assiut.

Mirza Al Sayegh, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, said that the distribution of the food parcels follows the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Patron of the Al-Maktoum Foundation, to distribute aid in remote areas of governorates in Upper Egypt. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi Police uses "First Emergency Respondent" rescue motorbike

posted on 31/05/2016

The Abu Dhabi Police has made special motorbike modifications for use as a first respondent. The bike features particular specifications and is equipped with manual and rechargeable electric tools and equipment to rescue victims trapped inside vehicles after serious accidents.

Brigadier Hussein Ahmed Al Harthi, Director-General of Central Operations at Abu Dhabi Police, stressed the importance of providing comprehensive capabilities and innovative technical solutions for emergency teams and rescue operations. This ensures the highest levels of response and safety for everyone involved in serious emergencies and traffic accidents.

Colonel Mohammed Ibrahim Al Ameri, Head of the Emergency and Public Safety Department at Abu Dhabi Police, said that the department's creativity and innovation team was able to design the tools and equipment to facilitate the response teams in carrying out their duties by swiftly responding to emergencies and overcoming some of the traditional challenges that face rescue and emergency teams, such as cutting into vehicles to rescue victims from the wreckage.

These efforts reflect the directives of the leadership and its eagerness to make the Abu Dhabi Police a pioneer in utilising the best of technologies and innovative solutions. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ADM to start handing over 346 communal houses to citizens in Baniyas West from tomorrow

posted on 31/05/2016

In implementation of the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and orders of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Abu Dhabi City Municipality will tomorrow, Tuesday, begin the handing over of 346 communal houses to citizens in Baniyas West.

The municipality has invited citizens who have been allocated houses in Baniyas West to report to the Head Office of the Municipality on Sheikh Zayed Street on Tuesday May 31st to complete the handing over procedures of their allocated houses.

Musabbah Mubarak Al Murar, Acting General Manager of Abu Dhabi City Municipality, expressed thanks and appreciation to the wise leadership for providing the means of a decent living and happy life for citizens.

The municipality has formed specialised teams to serve eligible citizens in the best possible manner. The municipality has completed their files, issued non-ownership certificates, and approved delivery minutes as well as electrical connection documentation, besides coordinating with the concerned authorities to hand over layouts, internal keys, and schematic engineering drawings.

15 counters at the Head Office of the municipality have been designated to run the service, and will start serving citizens from 8 a.m..

The municipality has announced that it will cater to only those customers who are related to the allocation of communal houses on that day. Customers with other transactions have been told to report to external municipal centres to process their ordinary transactions.

To further facilitate the delivery process, the municipality has dedicated free parking spaces for beneficiaries, and valet parking service free of charge. It has also deployed vehicles to offer mobile services to people with special needs covered by the Allocation Resolution at their own domiciles to complete the handing over procedures. The municipality has also deployed a fleet of electric vehicles to transport citizens from the parking area to the customer service lounge for their convenience and in celebration of their visit.

The municipality says that it will continue receiving citizens until all houses are 100% delivered to the relevant beneficiaries. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE Korea sign 3 MoUs on SMEs and Innovation

posted on 31/05/2016

The 5th UAE-Korea Economic Joint Committee ended yesterday (Monday, May 30, 2016) in the capital of Abu Dhabi. The two-day event focused on enhancing economic cooperation in sectors such as high technology, innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry and tourism of mutual importance to the economic policies and plans of the two countries.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, led the UAE delegation, while the delegates from the Republic of Korea (ROK) were headed by Ilho Yoo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance. This year's session included a preparatory technical meeting held yesterday under the supervision of Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economic for Economic Affairs, and Hoe Jeong Kim, Director General for International Economic Affairs at the ROK Ministry of Strategy and Finance. A total of eight (8) roundtable sessions were conducted to establish frameworks for cooperation between the two countries.

The UAE delegation also included other officials from the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the General Civil Aviation Authority, the Federal Transport Authority, MASDAR, and other federal and local government agencies and chambers.

The most significant outcome of the committee meeting was the signing of three key Memorandums of Understanding. The first covers a Knowledge Sharing Program (KSP) on SME and Innovation between the UAE Ministry of Economy and the ROK Ministry of Strategy and Finance, while the second involves the secondment of IT experts from the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) to the UAE Ministry of Economy in line with the latter's program for industrial property. The third is a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) on seawater desalination between Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) and MASDAR.

Al Mansouri gave a speech welcoming the Korean delegation and commending the productive bilateral relations between their countries. He noted how their commercial exchange for 2015 was able to reach USD 8.5 billion – inclusive of free zone activities – despite a slowdown in global economic growth.

The Minister added that South Korea's economic development, especially in the sectors of industry, modern technology and innovation, is a model worth taking advantage of in terms of experience and knowledge exchange. He also emphasised the productive cooperation of their countries which has turned the UAE into South Korea's largest trading partner in the MENA region and its second largest oil supplier. Korea, on the other hand, ranks among the UAE's most important global trading partners, the Minister noted.

He highlighted the UAE's outstanding economic achievements as well, saying that the country's non-oil foreign trade stood at AED 1.6 trillion in 2014 inclusive of the country's free zone activities, and that it is the third largest re-export centre in the world. The Minister invited the various Korean economic sectors to benefit from the UAE's attractive trade and investment environment in order to initiate an advanced phase of partnership between their respective private sectors and business communities.

The meeting's agenda included several topics for reviewing the progress made in implementing the recommendations agreed upon during the fourth session of the Joint UAE – Korean Economic Committee in 2014. Participants discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in various key sectors, including Clean and Renewable Energy, Infrastructure, Industry, Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and SMEs, Finance and Public Services, Healthcare and Medical Service, Education and Cultural Exchange, and Tourism. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -