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Solar Impulse 2 takes off for Abu Dhabi in final leg of round-the-world journey

posted on 24/07/2016

Solar Impulse 2 has taken off for the last time on its historic round-the-world trip using nothing but the power of the sun. Piloted by the project's co-founder, Bertrand Piccard, the zero-fuel aeroplane took off Cairo at 3 a.m. UAE time, and is expected to arrive at Al Bateen Airport in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

Mr Piccard, who initiated the project 12 years ago, said that Egypt was where he first began thinking of making a circumnavigation using only solar power.

"I'm excited to come so close to the goal, but unfortunately there are still so many people we have to motivate before having a world running on the same clean technologies," Piccard said, according to a report in yesterday's edition of the English language daily, The National.

The Masdar-sponsored plane first began its round-the-world journey in March 2015, when it took off from Abu Dhabi, and Piccard dedicated his first flight to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who he met 12 years ago. He said that the UAE has been a stalwart support for his adventure.

"Today, we are living the final moments of a once in a lifetime adventure contributing to setting a new milestone in aviation, one centred not on speed or height, but instead on exploring new clean and efficient technologies that can almost make it possible for the plane to fly with unlimited endurance, a week, a month, something that was never done," said Andre Borschberg, the project's co-founder and co-pilot.

The final leg of the journey is expected to be as challenging as the previous 16, mostly due to the heat in the Middle East. The hot temperatures will test the limits of the plane and can cause thermals and turbulence, forcing the pilot to wear an oxygen mask for extended periods of time.

"We have never had to deal with temperatures so high before on our round-the-world tour, but a little challenge at the end of our mission is always good," Solar Impulse said on their blog.

The plane has been piloted by both Piccard and Borschberg around the world, stopping off at 16 cities to raise awareness on the viability of renewable energy.

The flights across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans each took 5 days to complete, pushing each pilot to their physical limit as they flew the Solar Impulse 2 solo. "The question isn't the plane," said Mr Borschberg in April, "It's the question of the pilots being in the right physical and mental state to complete the flight."

The warmer, thinner air above the Saudi desert also means Solar Impulse's motors will have to work harder to propel the vehicle forward. This will require careful management of the energy reserves in the plane's lithium polymer batteries; to be sure they can sustain the aircraft through the night hours.

"We thought it was going to be an easy flight because it's always good weather between Egypt and Abu Dhabi across Saudi. But actually, it's extremely difficult to find a good strategy," Piccard told reporters before the flight. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298088238.html


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UAE condemns terrorist attacks in Munich

posted on 24/07/2016

The UAE has strongly condemned the 'heinous terrorist crime' which left a number of innocent civilians in dead Munich, Germany on Friday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has said in a statement that the UAE condemns in the strongest possible terms the 'heinous terrorist crime'. It also confirmed its full solidarity with the friendly Republic of Germany and standing beside it in all actions that have to be taken in this circumstances.

The statement reaffirmed that this heinous terrorist crime makes it imperative for everyone to work decisively and without hesitation to counter terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

In the statement, the ministry offered sincere condolences to the Government and people of Germany and the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for the wounded. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298055969.html


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UAE embassy provides assistance to stranded citizens in Berlin

posted on 24/07/2016

BERLIN, 24th July 2016 (WAM) - UAE Ambassador to Berlin Ali Abdullah Al Ahmed affirmed yesterday that all Emirati citizens in Germany are fine and that the citizens who were stranded following the halt of mass transit system in Munich on Friday, have all been reached and taken to their places of residence.

The UAE embassy confirmed the safety of all UAE citizens in the wake of the shootings in Munich on Friday evening, according to the German police. It advised all UAE nationals to be cautious and not to leave their residences unless necessary.

The embassy noted that the warning issued by the police is confined to Munich only and urged the UAE citizens to register in the 'Twajudi Service' and to communicate with the UAE mission in case of emergency via the General Consulate number in Munich 00494120010 or the Embassy number in Berlin 004930516516. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298053282.html


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Maltese Acting President meets Abdullah bin Zayed

posted on 24/07/2016

VALLETTA: The Acting President of Malta, Dolores Cristina, on Friday met with H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his accompanying delegation, who are currently visiting Malta.

During the meeting, Sheikh Abdullah conveyed the greetings of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to the Maltese Acting President, and their wishes for further progress and prosperity to the people of Malta.

They discussed the overall relations and cooperation between the UAE and Malta, and ways to develop them to further contribute towards opening up new horizons for joint work. The two sides also reviewed opportunities for partnership between the two countries in a number of sectors.

Sheikh Abdullah and Maltese Acting President exchanged views on a number of issues of mutual concern as well as the latest regional and international developments.

Cristina asked Sheikh Abdullah to convey her regards to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. She also emphasised her country's keenness to enhance ties with the UAE.

The Acting Maltese President welcomed Sheikh Abdullah and those accompanying him, wishing them a successful visit, which would contribute towards enhancing ties between the two friendly countries in the best interests of both sides.

Sheikh Abdullah praised the UAE-Maltese relations, thanks to the support provided by the leaders of the two countries to develop them in various domains. He reiterated the importance of the economic, trade and investment ties with Malta, and ways to promote joint investment projects between the two sides.

Salem Isa Al Qattam Al Zaabi, UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to Malta, also attended the meeting. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298040544.html


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Abdullah bin Zayed, Maltese counterpart discuss bilateral relations

posted on 24/07/2016

VALLETTA: Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta, George Vella, on Friday met in the Maltese capital, Valletta, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his accompanying delegation, who are currently visiting Malta.

During the meeting, they discussed the prospects of cooperation and ways to promote them, especially in the economic and investment and energy sectors, with the aim to benefit the two countries and their peoples. They also reviewed current regional and international developments, and exchanged views on a number of issues of common interest.

Sheikh Abdullah stressed the UAE's keenness to enhance cooperation and relations in all areas with the Republic of Malta.

For his part, Malta's foreign minister expressed the wish to strengthen bilateral relations between his country and the UAE, praising the development and growth that the UAE is witnessing in all fields.

Sheikh Abdullah commended, at a joint press conference with Vella, the strong relations between the UAE and the Republic of Malta, which has a special importance for the UAE. He said it was his first time to visit Malta, and praised the natural environment enjoyed by Malta. He pointed out that the UAE and Malta share a number of things such as architecture and language.

Sheikh Abdullah expressed his satisfaction at his meeting with Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta, whom he invited to visit the UAE. He promised to do so later. He added that the visit would be an opportunity to discuss many issues of mutual interest, and ways to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The UAE foreign minister welcomed Malta's decision to open an embassy in the UAE.

Salem Isa Al Qattam Al Zaabi, UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to Malta, also attended the meeting. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298038355.html


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Abdullah bin Zayed, Maltese Prime Minister discuss co-operation

posted on 24/07/2016

VALLETTA: Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has met with the visiting H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and his accompanying delegation, in the Maltese capital, Valletta.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta George Vella also attended the meeting.

Sheikh Abdullah conveyed the greetings of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to the Maltese Prime Minister, and their wishes for further progress and prosperity to the people of Malta.

They discussed the overall relations and co-operation between the UAE and Malta, and ways to develop them to further contribute towards opening up new horizons of joint work. The two sides also reviewed possibility of providing partnership opportunities between the two countries in a number of sectors.

Sheikh Abdullah and Muscat exchanged views on a number of issues of mutual concern as well as the latest regional and international developments.

The UAE foreign minister praised the UAE-Maltese ties, thanks to the support provided by the leaders of the two countries to develop them in various domains. He also referred to the strong relations and co-operation between the two countries in various fields, stressing that the UAE's keenness on boosting ties and looking forward to opening up wider horizons of co-operation between the two countries.

Malta's Prime minister reciprocated by asking Sheikh Abdullah to convey his greetings to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He also emphasised his country's keenness to enhance ties with the UAE.

The Maltese Prime minister welcomed Sheikh Abdullah and those accompanying him, wishing success of the visit that would contribute towards enhancing ties between the two friendly countries in the best interests of both sides.

Salem Isa Al Qattam Al Zaabi, UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to Malta, also attended the meeting. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298035963.html


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Gargash leads UAE delegation to Arab Foreign Ministers’ meeting

posted on 24/07/2016

NOUAKCHOTT: Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, yesterday chaired the UAE's delegation at a preparatory meeting of Arab foreign ministers, held ahead of the 27th Arab Summit hosted by Mauritania.

The members of the UAE delegation include Juma Mubarak Al Jenaibi, Ambassador to Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Eisa Abdullah Al Kalbani, Ambassador to Mauritania, Jassim Mohammed Al Khloufi, Director of Arab Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Yacoub Yusuf Al Hosani, Director of Legal Affairs at the Ministry, and Ali Mattar Al Manna'ee, director of the office of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

In an opening speech, Gargash thanked Mauritania for making substantial efforts to host the Arab summit.

He also said that the UAE looks forward to the success of the summit, the fulfilment of pan-Arab aspirations and goals in the near future and making important implementable decisions that live up to the ambitions of Arab people.

He also expressed his confidence that Mauritania's presidency of the forthcoming summit will be a constructive addition to the progress of joint pan-Arab action. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/arab/1395298083217.html


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University of Sheffield awards honorary PhD to Amal Al Qubaisi

posted on 24/07/2016

The British University of Sheffield, has awarded Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), an honorary doctorate in recognition of her work in the political, educational, cultural, academic and social fields.

Al Qubaisi, a graduate of the Sheffield University, was honoured by the university as the first woman to head a parliamentary institution in the Arab world and the Middle East, and her active role in adoption of Arab and international humanitarian issues as well as her role in activating parliamentary diplomacy.

She was honoured at a grand ceremony held at the university in the presence of Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, deans of faculties, teaching staff, the graduates of the university in a number of disciplines, including architecture.

Lady Justice Rafferty, Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said, "The University of Sheffield is proud of Dr. Al Qubaisi as one of its graduates who obtained PhD in Architecture," and noted that "her huge achievements, including her post as the FNC speaker, make us all proud."

Speaking on behalf of the university, she said, "This deserved honour is granted to her in light of achievements and advancement of parliamentary, social and cultural issues with global and humanitarian dimensions to contribute towards developing the community, empowering youth and women as well as protecting human heritage."

For her part, Dr. Al Qubaisi welcomed this honour, saying she was proud of being a graduate of the University of Sheffield, which enjoys prestigious international status, and is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. She referred to the historic relations between the UAE and British peoples, adding that the UK is a top destination for Emirati students of all disciplines.

Dr. Al Qubaisi hailed the UAE women's progress, thanks to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and huge support 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.

She said that the Emirati women's empowerment saw a qualitative shift over the last 10 years under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Members of Supreme Council, Their Highnesses the Rulers of Emirates. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298067970.html


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UAE, Armenia sign agreement on promotion and protection of investments

posted on 24/07/2016

YEREVAN, 24th July 2016 (WAM) - The United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Armenia signed in Yerevan on Friday an agreement for promotion and mutual protection of investments.

The agreement was signed by Younis Haji Al Khouri, Under-secretary of the UAE's Ministry of Finance and Garegin Melkonyan, Armenian Deputy Economy Minister, in presence of Artsvik Minasyan, Armenian Economy Minister and Dr. Jassem Mohammed Al Qasimi, UAE Ambassador to Yerevan.

The Armenian economy minister lauded the progress witnessed in the UAE, particularly in economic fields. He underlined the growing Emirati investments in Armenia and the marked increase in the numbers of the Emirati tourists visiting Armenia.

Khouri said the UAE was looking forward to developing its economic ties with Armenia. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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Italian Embassy in Abu Dhabi becomes first embassy to install solar PV panels

posted on 24/07/2016

The Abu Dhabi-based Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB) has issued a licence to the Italian Embassy to install the photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs of buildings and car shades at the embassy.

The introduction of the photovoltaic solar panels makes the Italian embassy the first embassy to be powered by solar PV panels.

Saif Saeed Al Qubaisi, Director-General of the RSB, stressed the importance of this initiative, which promotes sustainable practices. "This is compatible with the 25 goals of the Abu Dhabi Emirate plan, launched recently to promote sustainable environment and optimal use of natural resources," he said.

For his part, Liborio Stellino, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the UAE, thanked the bureau for its cooperation and tireless efforts to implement this initiative. He added that the initiative also reflects the great interest of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and international cooperation in promoting the sustainable environment.

He referred to the symbolism of installing the solar system at the Italian embassy in Abu Dhabi, adding that the step come before Italy takes over the leadership of the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency next year. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298075595.html


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Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to increase hybrid and electric vehicle use by 2020

posted on 24/07/2016

The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy has adopted a strategy to achieve sustainable development to create a low-carbon economy and promote the use of hybrid cars and electric vehicles.

The Supreme Council of Energy assessed its preliminary objectives for 2016-2020, to create a market to facilitate the use of these vehicles.

It launched the Dubai Green Mobility initiative, to encourage the use of sustainable transport and electric vehicles. The initiative has been presented to relevant stakeholders for their support.

"In adherence to the Smart Dubai initiative 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, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy is working in cooperation with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's (DEWA)'s EV Green Charger initiative, to establish electric vehicle charging stations across the Emirate, with 100 charging stations already set up across Dubai in 2015. This supports the Supreme Council's directive number 1 of 2016, and the directives of the Dubai government to ensure that, between 2016 and 2020, 2 per cent of all cars purchased are either electric or hybrid vehicles. This target is set to increase to 10 per cent by 2030", said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy.

"In compliance with the Dubai Plan 2021, and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, and in cooperation with other government bodies in Dubai, the Supreme Council launched the Dubai Green Mobility initiative to promote the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, to reduce carbon emissions within the transport sector, which is the third-highest gas-emission producing sector in Dubai. The initiative aims establish a market for electric and hybrid vehicles in the Emirate, and contribute to a 16 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020," he added.

"The market for hybrid and electric vehicles will promote the use of sustainable transport, and encourage the use of environmentally-friendly vehicles by all citizens and residents in Dubai," said Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395298032315.html


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Emirati cadres run Taweelah A2 for full day

posted on 24/07/2016

Taweelah A2, the first independently owned and operated power and water company in the UAE, has achieved a significant milestone in its operating life when the UAE national cadres undertook all operations, maintenance and support functions without the support from expatriate staff for 24 hours.

On 21st July the plant made history by becoming the first Independent Water & Power Producer (IWPP) in Abu Dhabi to run with UAE National staff only for a full 24 hours. Working two separate shifts from 10:00pm 20th July until 10:00pm 21st July a team of 30 Emiratis ensured the lights remained on and there was water to drink in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Faris Obied Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Board Committee, had stated in his speech to the participant employees that "we have achieved today a huge accomplishment not only for the sake of the company but for the sake of the whole Emirate of Abu Dhabi".

He pointed out that the production and the sustainability of power and water comes within the strategic priorities. Al Dhaheri explained that the process of Emiratisation of critical functions at ADWEA and its partners and all IWPPs "is considered as an essential goal; while Emirates CMS Power Company had taken an important step to achieve this goal, and we congratulate them on their achievement."

Al Daheri added, "The achievements and success attained by ADWEA and its partners wouldn't have been possible without the interest and involvement of our prudent leadership.”

He congratulated and thanked the administration and employees of Emirates CMS Power Company for their achievements and the integrity of everyone who was involved in attaining this honourable success. "This achievement has also highlighted the capabilities and commitment of national manpower in running and maintaining the power plant and for handling the responsibilities despite the summer high temperatures.

HR at the site is managed by Mr Suhail Al Meqbaali who is responsible for recruitment and staff welfare. He explained how the training program for staff works with employees in technical roles having to pass internal training exams within the company to become competent to operate or maintain equipment. "At each stage of training, staff will be interviewed by a board of examiners who will confirm the trainees knowledge and competence, this together with external training courses and selection of staff with excellent academic qualifications ensures staff are completely capable of operating or maintaining the plant. The achievement of training our staff and developing them towards independent plant operation was from Hareesh Nambiar the Plant General Manager.

Operations Manager, Eng. Mohammed Karam, confirmed that all staff had been looking forward to this day for some time. "We were well trained, knew our responsibilities and knew we could deal with any situation the plant could throw at us. We have been working towards this day for some time and understood its importance for our country and industry".

Khalid Al Hosani, the Maintenance Manager at the Taweelah A2 plant, explained that, "the plant was supported by UAE engineers and technicians over the 24 hour period, specialising in Mechanical, Electrical and Instrumentation engineering. With hundreds of items of equipment including pumps, motors, valves, control systems, etc. there are many things that can break-down due to normal wear and tear. But we had well trained and competent maintenance staff available to deal with any problem."

Engineering Manager, Sabri Al Jaberi is responsible for long term maintenance planning at the site and delivery of external resources such as cranes, spare parts and specialist tools. "We treated this as just another normal working day" said Al Jaberi. "We have been doing the same work for a long time now and much of what we do has become normal routine for us. "We felt confident in running and maintaining the plant without expatriate support."

Shift Manager, Eng. Ali Al Besher, who took charge of dayshift running explained, "this is a large plant consisting of three gas turbines, two steam turbines and four desalination units. I was proud to take full responsibility for the plant over my 12 hour shift".

Emirates CMS Power Company value is around AED 1.5 billion. It employs around 100 staff at its location in Al Taweelah, around 45% of those staff are UAE nationals who have been working at the plant for a number of years.

The output of the plant, around 710MW of electricity and 50 million gallons of drinking water each day, represents around 5% and 6% respectively of power and water supply for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Company is a member of the ADWEA group of companies and is jointly owned by ADWEA and Marubeni Corporation; a Japanese energy company. The staff who ran the plant on the 21st July were pleased to celebrate with a cake cutting and presentation of commemorative items from the Board of Directors. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395298067264.html


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Foreigners invest AED57 billion in Dubai's real estate market in H1 2016

posted on 24/07/2016

Some AED57 billion was invested in Dubai's real estate market in the first half of 2016, recent data released by the Dubai Land Department (DLD)'s transactions report revealed Saturday.

The 26,000 investors are nationals of 149 countries, with the majority being nationals of members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), according to the report issued by the DLD's Real Estate Research and Studies Department.

Sultan Butti Bin Merjen, Director General of the DLD, said: "The Dubai real estate market has managed to maintain its robust appeal this year and is now emerging as one of the foremost property investment destinations in the world, bolstered by the decline in some regional economies and serious challenges faced by other countries around the globe."

- GCC Nationals DLD's investment report, revealed that citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) contributed AED22 billion to the Dubai property market, a figure which encompasses 8,000 transactions. Emirati investment reached AED14.523 billion, which was acquired from 4,543 investments.

Citizens of Saudi Arabia came in at second place with transactions reaching AED4 billion originating from 1,946 investments.

In third place were Kuwaiti nationals, with 743 investment transactions worth more than AED1 billion, followed by nationals from Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.

- Arab Investors Arab investors from outside the GCC contributed more than AED7 billion to the real estate market in the first six months of 2016, with 7,577 investments made by 16 different nationalities. DLD's report revealed that Jordanian investors were ranked first, with 765 investments worth more than AED1.5 billion. They were followed by Egyptian citizens who invested AED1.37 billion stemming from 710 transactions and the Lebanese whose investments amounted more than AED1 billion, which was derived from 423 transactions.

- Foreign Investors The total value of foreign investment in the Dubai real estate market reached more than AED28 billion, drawn from 14,314 investments belonging to 149 nationalities. Indian nationals came in top of this investor field, making more than AED7 billion worth of property transactions arising from 3,656 transactions.

The British were listed second with a total of AED4 billion worth of property transactions resulting from 2,010 transactions, while Pakistani investments were third with AED3 billion, which was gained from 2,073 transactions. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395298076376.html


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Shurooq highlights importance of Economic Development in achieving sustainability

posted on 24/07/2016

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) participated in the second edition of the GCC-British Economic Forum, which took place on July 21.

Organised by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce and hosted in London, the forum saw the attendance of senior Emirati and British officials, executives, decision-makers, investors and businesspersons.

Held under the banner: ‘Vision, Challenges and Ambitions: Integration Prospects for a Better Future,' this year's edition of the GCC-British Economic Forum provided participants with the chance to explore emerging opportunities to forge business partnerships across industry sectors and build direct networks to facilitate business. The event was supported and sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and UK Trade & Investment - a UK government department that works with overseas investors looking to the UK as an investment destination.

The second GCC-British Economic Forum was held to enhance prospects for GCC-UK cooperation, with the aim of strengthening relations in the future and accomplishing sustainable development for both countries. During the event, Shurooq highlighted the importance of economic development in achieving sustainability for communities and positively affecting the lives of individuals and families living within them.

The forum featured five discussion panels on subjects that included economic reform as a driving-force behind building a strong balanced economy; how to achieve sustainable development; the role of government and private sector partnership for securing investment in the future; economic development as a key pillar of sustainability and the possible effects on GCC-UK trade and economic exchange following the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

Participating at the forum from Shurooq included Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, and Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh, Deputy Director of Sharjah FDI, where Shurooq took part in the second of the forum's session held under the title ‘Social and Economic Development'. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal spoke about economic development as a being key element of the overall sustainability of communities and the long-term positive effects of Shurooq's projects on people's lives and on the environment.

"The GCC-British Economic Forum is an essential platform that serves to inform participants, the audience and stakeholders about important economic and investment opportunities, in addition to facilitating a discussion on the potential of the future partnership between the GCC and the UK in a variety of fields," said Al Sarkal.

"The UK is a strong economic ally of the UAE and Sharjah and our participation in the forum confirms the strength of our ties, with this our second visit to the UK since the beginning of the year. The warm reciprocal nature of our relationship sees us witnessing positive feedback from British investors and companies that have started or who are in the process of starting their businesses in Sharjah," he added.

"Since its inception in 2009, Shurooq has been successful in forging a unique economic environment through the variety of projects it has implemented and overseen. Its aim is to launch and manage quality developments that meet the sustainable development criteria and which create high levels of satisfaction for visitors and for residents who live near and around these projects. This strategy is in alignment with the UAE's vision to create a happy, productive and engaged community," Al Sarkal continued.

"Our premium destinations that include Al Majaz Waterfront, Al Qasba, Al Noor Island and Al Montazah Amusement and Water Park, all support the economic environment. They create a positive impact in their surrounding areas by contributing to raising the number of real estate units. These popular family leisure destinations have provided citizens with jobs, have enhanced the environment and have integrated essential aspects of sustainability with communities. We fully anticipate that our other projects in Sharjah, such as the Kalba Eco-tourism project, will have a similar effect," he said.

"During this important forum we were able to promote Sharjah's advantages in various sectors, especially tourism and recreation, environmental development, health care, transportation and logistics, among others. We look forward to welcoming more British companies and investors who want to gain a foothold in Sharjah, because it is the heart of the Middle East and the gate through which they can communicate with world markets," Al Sarkal concluded. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395298068865.html


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UAE Ambassador to UK hails Dubai International Arabian Races

posted on 24/07/2016

LONDON: Sulaiman Al Mazroui, UAE Ambassador to the UK, hailed the support of prudent leadership to the sports in general and equestrian sports in particular, which has enabled the UAE to be a pioneer in the sports at regional and international level.

He also praised Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR), due to kick off tomorrow at the Newbury Racecourse in the UK.

The remarks were made by Al Mazroui during a meeting with the media delegation that will cover DIAR, at the embassy.

Mirza Al Sayegh, the Director of the office of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Organising Committee and others attended the meeting.

Al Mazroui confirmed that the UAE has achieved notable development in all fields and, therefore, it was natural to be a pioneer in the equestrian sports, especially in light of the unlimited support from the wise leadership.

He also emphasised the important role and continuous support and care provided by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid to the Arabian purebred horses, as well as his keenness to attend DIAR competitions at Newbury.

At the end of the meeting, Al Sayegh presented a memento shield to the UAE diplomat. Dubai International Arabian Races. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298073837.html


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Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival begins Sunday in Italy

posted on 24/07/2016

The first round of the H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival will begin today, Sunday as part of the first round of the Toscana Endurance Lifestyle 2016, being held in Tuscany, Italy.

The second round of the festival is slated for 30th July, while the third will be staged on 27th and 28th July and the fourth on 10th and 11th September.

General Manager of the Dubai Equestrian Club, Mohammed Issa Al Adhab, said the festival will give a boost to global endurance sport. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298086620.html


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Etihad Airways supports Arab Film Festival Australia

posted on 24/07/2016

Etihad Airways and Arab Film Festival Australia are joining forces again in 2016 to bring the best of contemporary Arab Cinema to Australian audiences.

The 13th annual Arab Film Festival Australia opened last night in Sydney showcasing diverse films from Australia, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and Syria. The festival programme ranges from a powerful story of a mother searching for her son who is missing at war to a comedy about a couple on a mission to stop each other's snoring.

The festival will travel to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth over the next three weeks.

Etihad Airways' Senior Vice President Marketing, Shane O'Hare, said Arab Film Festival Australia was an important part of Etihad Airways' Australian sponsorship portfolio. "As the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways is committed to promoting a deeper appreciation of modern Arabian arts and culture.

"As the Principal Sponsor of Arab Film Festival Australia, the airline plays an important role in bringing stories from the Arab world to Australian audiences. This year's festival will reach thousands of filmgoers in four Australian cities - including Perth for the first time ever," he added.

Arab Film Festival Australia Co-director Fadia Abboud said the festival was delighted to partner with Etihad Airways for the ninth year in a row.

"It is our objective to present amazing stories from the Arab world by capturing authentic voices, unique communities and current issues with sophistication and sensitivity. Etihad Airways helps fulfil this objective by connecting the festival with the best talent in contemporary Arab cinema," she added.

Abboud said, "The airline's support has enabled the festival to bring Assad Fouladkar - the acclaimed director of Halal Love - to Sydney as the special guest for this year's opening night."

The festival is produced by Information and Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.). Its organising committee represents Australia's diverse Arabic-speaking communities and cultures. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics-international/1395298031609.html


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Musanada completes the concrete and steel structure of Al Ain Hospital

posted on 24/07/2016

Abu Dhabi General Services Company, Musanada, has so far completed 32 percent of Al Ain Hospital, which will be handed over to Abu Dhabi Health Services Company – (SEHA).

This forms part of Musanada's efforts to realise the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and to carry out the projects that grab the attention and close follow up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, aimed to provide high quality health services in line with highest international standards, ensuring that such services are accessible to UAE nationals wherever they live across all the UAE.

"The new hospital will provide integrated medical services to everyone living in Al Ain City in accordance with latest international standards and practices in the area of health facilities," noted Eng. Mohamed Al Shuweihi, Musanada's Healthcare Acting Director. "This will help to enhance the healthcare sector in Al Ain city and the emirate of Abu Dhabi in general, while addressing the needs of the growing population of that region."

The hospital's concrete and steel structure has been completed, along with the primary substation which is being handed over to Al Ain Distribution Company. The main refrigeration equipment have been installed at the utility building along with 25 percent of the façade work.

The AED4.4 billion hospital project is located at Al Jimi in Al Ain city, and stretches over 347,000 square meters. It consists of the main hospital building, a 1,500-parking facility, a logistics centre, a 60-MW primary substation, as well as other facilities and advanced medical treatment services that will meet the needs of the community in that area. It will also include 104 advanced specialised clinics, 17 radiology rooms for X-ray, CT Scan and MRI services, as well as 22 specialised rooms for endoscopy procedures and diagnosis. The hospital will be supplied with state-of-the-art medical and technical equipment keeping in pace with latest advances and developments in the area of diagnosis and treatment, providing more assurance of a successful and comfortable treatment process within the minimum timeframe.

The hospital project will have 719 beds, including 484 beds for general medicine, surgery, children's ward and maternity, 67 for ICU, 142 for medical rehabilitation, and 26 for VIP patients and royal suites.

Al Shuweihi indicated that the building will have a unique aesthetic, architectural and health specifications that will provide distinguished treatment services to community, representing a significant move in this critical sector, featuring this new medical facility as a healing oasis. It has been designed according to sustainability criteria that significantly reduce energy and water consumption and make full use of energy from the sun's rays.

Furthermore, the design employs the latest international medical standards that provide an ideal environment for healing and comforting illness, while simultaneously taking into consideration the privacy and traditions of the UAE. furthermore, the design incorporates features to meet future healthcare requirements, such as expansions, in order to provide patients with high-quality healthcare services. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298053817.html




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