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President names Mubadala Investment Company's board members

posted on 22/01/2017

In his capacity as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued an Emiri Decree forming the Board of Directors of Mubadala Investment Company under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The decree stated that H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, will be Vice Chairman.

Members of the board include Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi, Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak as managing director, Hamad Al Hurr Al Suwaidi, Abdul Hamid Mohammed Saeed and Mahmood Ebraheem Al Mahmood. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395306225729.html


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Mohamed bin Zayed to take part in India's Republic Day celebrations

posted on 22/01/2017

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will attend the 68th Republic Day celebrations as a chief guest.

During the visit, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed will hold official talks with President of India Pranab Mukherjee and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He will also discuss with senior Indian officials ways to strengthen cooperation and friendship between the two countries and the two peoples. The two parties will discuss coordination and consultation on issues of common interest. They will also tackle regional and international issues.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including a number of Sheikhs, ministers, senior officials, and business and economic figures in the state. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395306204843.html


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World needs green energy and gas to meet future demand: Al Jaber

posted on 22/01/2017

At the heart of the world's sustainable development goals lies one crucial statistic. By 2040, we will require at least 25% more energy than is currently produced to meet the needs of a rapidly growing, global population, a UAE official has said.

He added that keeping pace with this demand in a way that is both economically and environmentally sustainable is one of the central challenges and was the focus of the world's largest gathering on sustainability in Abu Dhabi last week.

"The good news is that the world has already made substantial progress over the past five years towards a sustainable energy future," Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State stated in an Op-ed published by @CNNMoney on Friday.

The full text of op-ed: World needs green energy and gas to meet future demand By Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State At the heart of the world's sustainable development goals lies one crucial statistic: By 2040, we will require at least 25% more energy than is currently produced to meet the needs of a rapidly growing, global population.

Keeping pace with this demand in a way that is both economically and environmentally sustainable is one of the central challenges of our time and was the focus of the world's largest gathering on sustainability in Abu Dhabi last week.

The good news is that the world has already made substantial progress over the past five years towards a sustainable energy future.

There has been remarkable growth in wind and solar power, driven by rapidly falling costs. From 2010 to 2015, total solar capacity worldwide increased fivefold and wind power more than doubled. As the economics of wind and solar continue to become more attractive, the growth rate of both will accelerate.

Yet, as renewables have risen, hydrocarbons are also playing a vital role in responsibly providing the world's energy. Natural gas, in particular, has emerged as a primary source of low emission, low cost power.

The potential for wind, solar and natural gas working together is only now being fully understood. In the right formula, they can be combined to supply sufficient sustainable energy. It works like this: wind and solar only generate electricity when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. That means there needs to be another power source -- a base load that can always be relied on, regardless of weather conditions.

Natural gas is now the most abundant, clean-burning form of base load power. At the same time, renewable supply tends to peak, and be most cost competitive, when demand for electricity is at its highest. Wind and solar can thus trim the cost of power when it is most expensive, resulting in a significant economic benefit.

Rather than working in competition, renewables and hydrocarbons are now maximising the economic productivity of one another. The more renewables we use, the more hydrocarbons can be diverted to create higher value products or used to supply the world's growing energy demand.

This integrated model, driven by a compelling economic case, is what's ultimately driving sustainable development today and will ensure global energy security for decades to come.

In fact, there's evidence that renewables and natural gas have already begun to stabilise or reduce carbon emissions in the world's largest economies -- the U.S. and China -- for the first time in the industrial age.

U.S. emissions in 2015 were 12% below 2005 levels as a result of the gas/renewable power combination. Conversion to natural gas has had an equally profound impact on economic growth. In 2015 alone, gas added $190 billion to the US economy, 1.4 million jobs, and $156 billion in disposable income.

In the Gulf region, where there is no shortage of kilowatt-hours from the sun, we recognise that it makes perfect economic sense to combine renewable and traditional forms of energy. For over 75 years, our region has been the leader of the hydrocarbon industry. Today, we are extending our reach to become a global hub and centre of gravity for all forms of energy.

While oil and gas will remain critical drivers of the global economy for decades to come, we see the immediate and long-term advantages of a fully diversified energy mix. This belief lies at the core of the United Arab Emirates' recently announced 2050 Energy Strategy.

Around the world, we are seeing similar policies take root and bear fruit, bringing together developed and developing nations around a single unifying cause: a sustainable energy future. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395306199942.html


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ADNOC recommences crude distillation at Ruwais West Refinery

posted on 22/01/2017

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced yesterday that start-up activities have recommenced for the crude distillation as well as the associated units, while commercial production is expected shortly.

"Following further investigation into the incident last week at the Ruwais West refinery, we can confirm that gasoline and propylene production has been partially impacted and ADNOC is working on providing them from other sources," ADNOC said in a statement.

ADNOC assures its customers that it has taken measures via the market to supplement production from other sources to ensure there is no disruption in meeting customers' demand. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395306190762.html


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Abu Dhabi Culture Authority welcomes five new countries joining the UNESCO's falconry file

posted on 22/01/2017

After five years of falconry inscription, as a living human heritage, on the UNESCO's representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) welcomed the registration of five more countries to the file, bringing the total members to 18 countries, and making it the largest inscription with UNESCO. It is anticipated, after joining these countries, that other countries will seek to participate in the file.

In its efforts towards urging other countries to join the Falconry international file, and with the aim of promoting the international participation in the falconry inscription as global heritage, on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) announced the joining of five additional states to the file: Portugal, Germany, Italy, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

Falconry was inscribed on the list in 2010 with the UAE leading the efforts of 11 Arabic and foreign states in the submission process. The joint file was open to other countries to join. UNESCO accepted Austria and Hungary in 2012 in the inscription, bringing the total number to 13 countries.

UAE's role in the file success sets an example as one of the most successful models in upholding the joint human heritage in the world and its emphasis on the falconry tradition whose principles and practices were set by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, TCA Abu Dhabi said.

In view of the UAE interest, which is well known all over the world, in the nations' heritage, values and identity, falconry gained the best and widest international recognition, as a cultural human heritage.

Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director-General, TCA Abu Dhabi, stressed the importance of the five countries joining the inscription, highlighting TCA Abu Dhabi's continued support to preserving falconry, a vital part of UAE's heritage, culture and history.

"TCA Abu Dhabi has made notable success in safeguarding intangible heritage elements. In 2010, falconry gained the widest international recognition as a human cultural heritage, meeting all the international standards, and it is now considered as one of the inherent traditional elements. We regard the joining of more countries as an achievement in safeguarding human heritage, and providing elements for cooperation between various countries and cultures, and in maintaining Abu Dhabi's cultural heritage,' he said.

In 1976, he added, the UAE held an international conference for the preservation of falconry, as instructed by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first leader of falconry practitioners and environment protectors. The UAE is taking a lead in the international falconry inscription, cooperating and coordinating with countries that have already joined and plan to join in due course.

Succession of new countries joining the falconry file is an important indication to the UAE interest in safeguarding its intangible and tangible heritage, as well as its participation in safeguarding the human heritage. TCA Abu Dhabi has inscribed Al Ain as the first Emirati site on the World Heritage List, and added Al Ayyala, Al Sadu, Al Taghrooda, Al Harbia, Al Majlis and Gahwa (Arabic coffee) to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

This file is considered the largest on the UNESCO list for the intangible heritage in terms of the number of member countries and the number of practitioners (40,000 falconry practitioners), from 80 countries in the world. Therefore, it became a model for the most important cultural participations between the world nations. Accordingly, it is in conformity with the UAE policy to spread the culture of peace, tolerance and living together. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395306218600.html


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Dubai Future Foundation's unveils "Moral Machine" to explore AI's ethical and social aspects

posted on 22/01/2017

The Museum of the Future, one of Dubai Future Foundation initiatives, has unveiled a brand new project experience exploring the social and ethical aspects of artificial intelligence and evaluating the role of artificial intelligence in making political and global decisions.

The exhibit, called the "Moral Machine", was unveiled during the futuristic museum's participation at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

The "Moral Machine" is set to tour various locations of the world in the coming year to gather even more input from experts and citizens, Dubai Future Foundation said in a press release.

The exhibit took visitors to the year 2050 and demonstrated to them the role of artificial intelligence in setting government policies. It had interactive features that enabled visitors to help machine set the ethical fundamentals for future government decisions.

For example, it can help advise governments on whether they need to adopt artificial intelligence in medical solutions, accepting any potential concerns, or choosing public safety by disregarding the advancements in technology.

The Museum of the Future, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, features innovation laboratories that explore how emerging technology impact the most important areas of our lives such as healthcare, education, smart cities, energy, transportation, security. It also offers one of the world's best innovative environment to address the challenges facing future cities.

"The Dubai Future Foundation is keen on supporting all efforts directed towards building a better future. The exhibition of the Museum of the Future in Davos-Klosters is one of our efforts in understanding how to utilise future technologies such as artificial intelligence to improve human lives," said Abdulla bin Touq, Acting CEO of Dubai Future Foundation.

The museum embodies the government's vision to position the UAE and Dubai as a global hub for exploring and shaping the future, he said, and noted that it serves as an initiative for testing ideas, developing technical solutions and incubating innovations.

It seeks to become a global platform that identifies future trends in the scientific and technology fields, and serve as a core pillar in setting orientations that contribute to shaping policies and strategies that enable governments around the world to benefit from future technologies, Bin Touq added.

The Museum of the Future project is the first of its kind in the world in harnessing artificial intelligence for community, experts and leaders to make the most important government future decisions. It allows governments to gather the feedback of the community to develop plans and policies for the future.

From its headquarters in Dubai, the Museum of the Future attracts researchers, inventors and research centres, companies and financiers to work under one roof, by providing an integrated environment to test ideas and develop practical models that can be financed and promoted within the same environment.

The museum is gearing up to organise a number of events such as a permanent exhibition of the future techniques, a series of advanced research sessions that emphasise on the latest scientific findings in all fields as well as specialised workshops and scientific conferences throughout the year to discuss all the latest developments and future scientific trends and their practical application, the foundation said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395306183973.html


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UAE urges end to Rohingya crisis, supports efforts to promote harmony, says Minister

posted on 22/01/2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The United Arab Emirates, UAE, has expressed grave concern over the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and reiterated support for efforts being made to alleviate the suffering of Muslims in the Southeast Asian country while urging its government to promote harmony among Myanmar's ethnic segments.

The UAE continues to offer assistance to the Rohingya Muslims to help improve their humanitarian conditions and defend their legitimate rights, said Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, UAE Minister of State, in a speech delivered during a closed-door session of an extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers from the members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, the collective voice of the Muslim world. The meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday to discuss the crisis of Myanmar's Muslims.

"What is happening now is a slow genocide being carried out against the Rohingya Muslim minority by racist-motivated nationalism," the UAE minister said.

The Rohingya are Muslim people who lost their country and nationality and were forcibly displaced after being stripped of their legitimate rights and suffering from many violations.

"The UAE is gravely concerned over the intolerance against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. We will continue to extend a helping hand and humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya while supporting the efforts being made to alleviate their suffering and improve their humanitarian conditions," she added.

The UAE has offered more than US$1.7 million in humanitarian aid for the Rohingya, she noted.

The UAE supports the initiatives of the government of Myanmar to promote harmony among all people of different races and segments, she said, and noted that the Muslim Council of Elders recently inaugurated a conference in Cairo to open a dialogue on the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

The United Nations should shoulder its responsibility and take necessary action on the situation of the Rohingya, the UAE minister urged, and hailed the efforts being made by the OIC envoy for Myanmar to help the Rohingya.

The UAE delegation led by Minister Al Shamsi included Yaqoub Yousuf Al Hosani, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation for International Organisations Affairs, Hamad Obaid Al Zaabi, Director of International Organisations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and Khalifa Al Mahrazi, Acting Charge d'affaires of the UAE Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

At the OIC extraordinary meeting, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman called for a fundamental solution to the Rohingya crisis.

The Secretary-General of the 57-member OIC, Yousef Al Othaimeen, urged the government of Myanmar to pursue transparency and justice in its treatment of the Rohingya.

Citing reports about the situation in Rakhine state, he noted that since the Myanmar government launched its latest violent crackdown on 9th October 2016, the Rohingya suffered from widespread abuses, including discrimination, extra-judicial arrests, killings and the burning of homes.

The Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, told the meeting that the violence against Rohingya, which has galvanised Muslims in Southeast Asia, was no longer Myanmar's internal affair as it has fuelled an exodus of refugees that could destabilise the region.

Razak noted that the widespread abuses against the Rohingya, including killings, rape and the burning of thousands of homes, had driven an estimated 65,000 refugees across the border into Bangladesh in the past three months. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395306184237.html


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Sharjah’s population at 1,405,843 million in 2015, reveals Department of Statistics

posted on 22/01/2017

The Sharjah's overall population is 1,405,843 people, according to results of the Sharjah Census 2015.

'There are 175,432 Emirati nationals – 86,325 males and 89,098 females – who constitute 12 percent of the overall population.

The number of non-national residents is 1,230,417, – 834,542 males and 395,875 females – who form 87 percent of the overall population, said the Department of Statistics and Community Development in Sharjah (DSCD) as it unveiled the results of the Sharjah Census carried out in 2015, in line with the directives of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. The Sharjah Census provides precise statistical data in terms of population size, distribution, demographic make-up and socio-economic characteristics.

The DSCD published the book ‘Sharjah Census 2015' in Arabic and English, which includes the majority of results, as well as the organisational basis and methods of the census programme, its design and the methodology applied in its implementation. It also includes a detailed set of illustrations and results of buildings, housing units, households and individuals in all regions within Sharjah, following international standards and recommendations for modern census undertaking.

Sharjah City headed the population list for each municipality compared to the percentage of the total population in the emirate, with 1,274,749 people (90.6 percent). Khorfakkan City ranked second with 39,151 people (2.8 percent), and Kalba city came third with 37,545 people (2.7 percent). Al Dhaid City has 20,165 people (1.4 percent); Didda Al Hisn City has 12,573 people (0.9 percent); Al Madam City has 11,120 people (0.8 percent); Mleiha City 4,768 people (0.3 percent); Al Bataeh City has 3,958 people (0.3 percent); and Al Hamriyah City has 3,297 people (0.2 percent).

The population distribution by age group is as follows: (0-9) years old, 208,025 people, which is 14.79 percent of the emirate's overall population; (10-19) years old, 132,055 people, which is 9.93 percent; (20-39) years old, 769,813 people, which is 54.75 percent; (40-69) years old, 285,143 people, which is 20.28 percent; (70-89) years old, 8,784 people, which is 0.62 percent; (+90) years old, 342 people, which is 0.02 percent of the emirate's overall population.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of the DSCD, said: "We are delighted to unveil the results of the Sharjah Census 2015, which would have not succeeded without the support of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. We also extend our gratitude to all supervisors and enumerators, as well as the citizens and residents for their cooperation in implementing this huge national project."

Al Thani stressed that the Sharjah census is an important data source which is instrumental in planning and implementing sustainable development strategies, and supports the national agenda of the Emirate of Sharjah and of the UAE. He pointed out that the specific results of the Sharjah Census helps to launch development projects in the emirate and highlights the potential present and future needs.

The distribution of population aged four years old and above enrolled in education by education stage is as follows: there are 253,105 male and female students in total; 32,882 students (12.99 percent) go to kindergarten; 102,692 students (40.57 percent) attend elementary school; 43,659 students (17.24 percent) attend preparatory school; 34,028 students (13.44 percent) are at secondary school; 2,435 students (0.96 percent) are studying for diplomas; 1,088 students (0.42 percent) are studying for higher diplomas; 32,685 students (21.91 percent) are at university; 3,177 students (1.25 percent) are studying for M.Sc.; 304 students (0.12 percent) are studying for Ph.D.; 155 students (0.06 percent) are not stated.

As far as marital status is concerned, the distribution of population aged 15 years and older indicates that for nationals there are 30,424 males and 29,728 females who are married; 22,547 males and 22,620 females who have never married; 858 males and 2,478 females who are divorced; 296 male widowers and 3,620 female widows; and 188 abandoned wives. For non-nationals, there are 454,597 males and 209,818 females who are married; 261,497 males and 67,154 females who have never married; 827 males and 3,951 females who are divorced; 824 males who are widowers and 5,379 females who are widows.

The distribution of the population aged 15 years and above, both males and females, by employment status shows that there are 1,125,177 people. 813,554 people are employed by others; 13,219 are self-employed; 17,898 people are business owners; 705 people work for free; 84 people work at home; 8,186 people are unemployed who have worked before; 32,724 are unemployed who have never worked before; 1,932 people are students and also work; 57,776 people are full-time students; 129,632 people do domestic work only; 5,462 people are self-supporting; 11,008 people are retired; and 6,755 people are unable to work.

The workforce includes 855,709 people, and the distribution of workforce by employment sector, for both males and females, is as follows: 29,673 people work for federal government; 45,434 people work for local government; 575,610 people work in the private sector; 17,688 people work in the semi-government sector; 912 people work in the foreign sector; 433 people work in the diplomatic corps, regional or global organisations; 35,514 people work for families, including domestic workers.

The Sharjah Census 2015 also includes the types and distribution of housing units by municipality. The total of 311,173 housing units are distributed as follows: traditional housing includes 25,569 villas; 246,241 apartment; 17,673 Arabic houses; 3,203 attachments; 91 palaces; 526 caravans; while the marginal housing includes 4,606 single rooms; 350 tents; 2,163 warehouses; 3,926 marginal housing of other types; and 2,438 collective housing.

The overall number of multi-story buildings in the Emirate of Sharjah is 6,991 buildings, which includes 240,815 apartments. Sharjah City has the largest number of multi-story buildings with 6,195 buildings, which includes 243,961 apartments. There are 285 multi-story buildings with 2,471 apartments in Khorfakkan City; 255 multi-stories with 1,194 apartments in Kalba City; 112 multi-story buildings with 965 apartments in Al Dhaid City; 35 multi-story buildings with 607 apartments in Al Madam City; 92 multi-story buildings with 475 apartments in Dibba Al Hisn City; 6 multi-stories with 62 apartments in Al Hamriyah City; 6 multi-story buildings with 44 apartments in Mleiha City, and 5 multi-story buildings with 39 apartments in Al Bataeh City.

The distribution of buildings by type of building and municipality in the Emirate of Sharjah is as follows: the total number of 84,951 buildings includes 24,900 villas; 6,991 multi-story buildings; 17,227 Arabic houses; 3,711 attachments, 95 palaces, 4,865 single rooms, 915 tents, 2,784 warehouses, 733 caravan, 1,686 stores, 6,923 establishments and 9,580 buildings under construction.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid Al Qasimi, Director of the DSCD, said: "After completing, reviewing and publishing the Sharjah Census 2015, we will link the database of its results to the database of Sharjah's governmental departments and entities as well as the federal departments in the UAE. This will enable them to lay down and implement plans and strategies for social and economic development.

"The collected data, which followed international standards and recommendations, features detailed results about the seven social categories which have been recommended by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, to be supported and given full attention. These include widows and divorced women, abandoned wives, persons who were never enrolled in schooling and now wish to do so, persons who did not complete their education and now wish to do so, orphans, job seekers, senior citizens and people with special needs. Through the collected data, the government of Sharjah will be able to deliver premium services that meet the needs and aspirations of those people across the emirate, empowering them and helping them to reach their full potential," Al Qasimi Added.

The Sharjah Census was implemented following the Emiri decree No.7 of 2015 on conducting a general census of the population, infrastructure, housing and establishments in Sharjah. Article two of the decree calls for establishing a higher committee to supervise the census and to include a chairman and 11 members who represent all relevant governmental entities. The organisational structure of the Sharjah Census featured approximately 800 people including employees, field researchers, trained collaborators and supervisors, as well as expert researchers in population studies, information technology, geographic information systems and logistics equipment.

The programme implementation was based on three main stages; the first was the preparatory stage which took four months, during which census implementation plans were developed along with census logistics and technical requirements; the second stage was field operations and comprised the listing of building, housing units and establishments, data collection methods such as face-to-face interviewing, and self-enumeration (iCensus); the third stage was the post-enumeration activities that featured processing the census tabulation plan designed during the preparatory stage.

The collected data by the Sharjah Census 2015 will benefit all members of society with regard to strategic planning, economic and social developments in the emirate. It will provide decision makers and investors with reliable information about Sharjah's economic, social and cultural sectors. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395306213992.html


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Dubai South, Deyaar sign MoU to build new development

posted on 22/01/2017

A new multi-purpose development will be built on an area of 1.27 million sq feet in Dubai South, according to a memorandum of understanding, MoU, signed by Dubai South, the master developer of an emerging 145 sq. km master-planned city around the new Al Maktoum International Airport, and Dubai-based developer Deyaar.

The new development, which will be owned 50 percent by Dubai South and 50 percent by Deyaar, features residential units, shops, retail outlets and hospitality facilities.

The agreement reflects Dubai South's profound commitment to building an exceptional destination for living and investment, said Ahmed Al Ansari, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Dubai South, who signed the agreement with Saeed Al Qatami, Chief Executive Officer of Deyaar.

The new partnership will allow Deyaar to meet increasing demand on residential and commercial units and hospitality facilities, Qatami said.

Dubai South represents a vital expansion of the emirate and the MoU reflects that Deyaar's strategic plans are going in line with the government's agenda that seeks to establish a vibrant urban community that reflects the emirate's strong economic growth, he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395306231311.html


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DEWA joint project with Masdar Institute qualifies for 2nd UAE Drones for Good Award

posted on 22/01/2017

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute) have qualified for the second UAE Drones for Good Award based on their joint efforts to develop drone technology. The Award was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to use drone technology to improve living standards and establish the infrastructure to provide services using drone technologies to serve humanity. Participating teams will compete in environment, education, logistics, transportation, construction, infrastructure, healthcare, civil defence, tourism, and humanitarian aid for natural disasters.

DEWA is cooperating with Masdar Institute, graduate level, research-oriented university that focuses on the Research and Development (R&D) of clean energy and sustainable infrastructure, and the use of drones. This supports the Sirb (Arabic for ‘fleet') initiative, which was launched by DEWA to support the Drones for Good Initiative and to support Dubai's infrastructure and aid smart technologies to serve Dubai's citizens and residents.

"DEWA and Masdar Institute qualifying to participate in the UAE Drones for Good Award supports the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the UAE Vision 2021 to make the nation one of the world's best countries by 2021, and the Dubai Plan 2021 to transform the Emirate into a smart and sustainable city that is at the forefront of innovation, to become the happiest city on Earth and a safe, effective and influential city for citizens, residents, and visitors," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA.

"To achieve our vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility, and in line with our support for the Dubai Innovation Strategy to make the Emirate the world's most innovative city, we have adopted the best global practices in unmanned drones working in the energy and water sectors," he added.

DEWA has started using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to check photovoltaic panels on its buildings and facilities. UAVs save considerable time and effort as they completely scan the building's roof, which can provide images with an Ultra High Definition Resolution of over 20 megapixels. DEWA adheres to the highest safety and security standards by outfitting drones with sensors and anti-magnetic field paint to neutralise their effect on users, and on DEWA's assets.

This initiative will greatly improve operational efficiency by accelerating operations, increasing safety during regular network testing and maintenance, while accurately detecting failures. The initiative will also help monitor power plants, conduct field surveys for new projects so customers can place more trust in DEWA's services, while improving competitiveness and financial savings. The drones provide early detection by using thermal imaging for overhead power lines.

This limits risks and reduces costs, enables a quick response and is very accurate, making it easier to make informed decisions. The drones use state-of-the-art upgradable technologies such as high-definition cameras that are equipped with night-vision and laser technologies, GPS sensors, and can measure pressure, height, magnetic fields, and use ultrasound scanning. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395306213427.html


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Dubai's utility provider invites bidders for 200MW solar power plant

posted on 22/01/2017

All qualified bidders were requested to present proposals for a 200MW concentrated solar power, CSP, plant, the fourth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, said yesterday.

"This 200MW CSP Plant will be operational by April 2021, since we intend to continue generating 1,000MW from CSP by 2030. Undoubtedly, this project is another milestone achievement that will put Dubai and the UAE at the forefront in the region in producing renewable and clean energy, and supports the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum," said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the largest single-site strategic solar energy project of its kind in the world, and is part of DEWA's efforts to support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai total energy output to be 7 percent by 2020, 25 per cent by 2030, and 75 per cent by 2050.

The Request for Proposal, RFP, issued on 15th January, supports the wise vision of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai a global centre of clean energy and green economy, DEWA said in an emailed press release.

In June 2016, DEWA announced that the consortium led by Abu Dhabi's clean energy company Masdar was the selected bidder for the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, to be completed by 2020.

The total capacity of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will reach 1,000MW by 2020, and 5,000MW by 2030, with total investments of AED 50 billion.

DEWA is determined to continue building and developing a greener economy, to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 of a sustainable environment in terms of air quality, conserving water resources, more reliance on clean energy, and implementing green development in Dubai, as well as Dubai Plan 2021 to establish Dubai as a smart and sustainable city, whose environmental elements are clean, healthy and sustainable, Al Tayer added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395306183485.html


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Eco-Villa in Masdar City opens its doors, sets new standards in sustainability

posted on 22/01/2017

Masdar City's Eco-Villa, a pilot project incorporating water- and energy-saving technologies, has been completed, and a UAE national family will soon live in the sustainable dwelling prototype - it was announced on Thursday at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017.

The Eco-Villa was launched in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Dhiyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the UAE Minister of Energy; Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar; Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Head of the Energy Council and Member of Abu Dhabi's Executive Council, and Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company.

The prototype spanning 405 sq. m. is the first such dwelling to get a 4 Pearl rating as per Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council's Estidama Pearl Building Rating System. Eco-Villa will use around 72 percent less energy and 35 percent less water than a typical villa of similar size, and will bring down carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 63 tonnes annually.

The cost of construction is similar to that of a conventional home of the same size. However, its energy and water efficiency will substantially reduce running costs. The four-bedroom property is expected to consume just 97 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per square metre.

Fully equipped with 87 rooftop solar panels, the prototype is capable of supplying as much as 40,000 kWh of electricity to the national grid. A suite of passive energy and water-saving design features further reduce its impact on the environment.

"People expect a sustainable design option to be more expensive, but our Eco-Villa concept challenges this misconception," said Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director of Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar.

"The Eco-Villa stays true to Masdar City's principles of sustainable urban development in that it is cost-efficient, environmentally sensitive and culturally appropriate in both its design and function. Because of its energy and water-efficient design, residents of the Eco-Villa will receive significantly reduced power and water bills," he added.

Once a family moves in, Masdar's sustainability team will monitor the villa's energy, water and waste management performances. The data collected will enable the design of Eco-Villa to be further refined, supporting the eventual commercialisation of the building concept.

"Our Eco-Villa prototype shows that sustainable design can be implemented according to specific environmental, social and economic demands of the Gulf region," added Masdar's Baselaib.

Masdar City, one of the world's most sustainable urban developments, is home to around 300 full-time students of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. Around 2,000 apartments are either under construction or in design phase, being developed by Masdar or third-party investors. These developments will bring the residential population at Masdar City to more than 3,500 over the next three years. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395306173374.html


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Eclectic group of international artists to showcase their creations at Dubai Canvas 3D Art Festival 2017

posted on 22/01/2017

Artists shortlisted for the AED 2.3 million Dubai Canvas 3D Art Award will create and display their stunning 3D artworks at the Dubai Canvas 3D Art Festival to be held in City Walk from 1 to 7 March 2017.

The shortlist features an eclectic group of accomplished international 3D artists who bring diverse creative perspectives and technical skills.

Dubai Canvas 2017 is organised by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), in partnership with Meraas, one of Dubai's leading holding companies.

Project Manager of Dubai Canvas 2017 Ayesha bin Kalli said, "The third edition of Dubai Canvas 3D Art Festival brings together some of the most exciting artists in the global 3D art world. The artists featured in the Festival are all people who are constantly experimenting with new styles, techniques and perspectives to push the boundaries of this unique genre of art. We expect this year's Festival to be another great carnival of art and creativity."

"The AED2.3 million Dubai Canvas 3D Art Award saw a total of 122 entries from 35 countries. Artists who submitted proposals for the Award represent almost 80% of the global community of 3D artists. The initial selection committee shortlisted 25 artists for the final round of the Award. Their works will be featured in the third Dubai Canvas Festival taking place in March. We are confident that the stunning art on display at the Festival will attract large audiences across all ages," Bin Kalli added.

Many of the 25 artists in the shortlist are international luminaries in the 3D art world. Versatile Italian artist Tony Cuboliquido was the first to experiment with anamorphic 3D art and animated art with video mapping. His works have been commissioned by some of the world's largest companies including Disney, Universal Cinema, Luxottica, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Samsung and Unilever. Cuboliquido's works can be seen in the ‘Basilica of the Nativity' in Bethlehem and the Basilica of the ‘Virgin of Nativity' in Mexico City.

Dima Fatum, a Ukrainian street artist's works are characterised by unique experiments with different artistic styles and genres including surrealism, the ‘double' images and calligraphy. His work also combines post-graffiti and abstract graffiti styles.

American artist John Pugh's works focus primarily on 3D wall murals. Pugh has received numerous public and private commissions in the United States, Taiwan, and New Zealand. His particular mural style sparked the term ‘Narrative Illusionism'.

German artist Ella Mundt has collaborated with the well-known street artists Manfred Stader and Edgar Muller. She runs a studio for commissioned works with special focus on portraits.

Gennaro Troia, an accomplished Italian pavement artist, is the founder of the Neapolitan School of Madonnari, a group of artists who have exhibited their unique creations across the world.

Hungarian artist Fat Heat, who calls himself an ‘addict' to graffiti art, got bitten by the art bug in 1998 when he first encountered another artist's work on some buildings near his home. His works can be found in the form of large murals throughout Europe.

Andres Iglesias Petroselli, an Argentinian artist's work has been displayed in Brazil, Spain, France and Netherlands apart from Argentina. Also known as Cobre, Petroselli is one of Argentina's major 3D artists.

Russian artist Danila Shmelev, who has previously worked as a tattoo artist, started painting 3D art after she worked in a 3D illusion museum. She took part in the uinternational art festival ‘Stenograffia' with two 3D artworks.

A jury comprising of renowned international and local artists will evaluate the 25 shortlisted artworks to select three winners of the Dubai Canvas 3D Art Award. The winners will be honoured at a ceremony to be held at the Festival. There will also be a ‘People's Choice' award based on votes from the public.

Dubai Canvas 3D Art Festival 2017 aims to build on the success of last year's Festival. The 2016 event, which featured the works of a wide array of artists from across the world, received an overwhelming response from both residents and visitors to Dubai. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395306171495.html


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Sharjah to organise emirate's Sports Desert Festival 2017

posted on 22/01/2017

The Sharjah Sports Channel is organising a mega spectacular Desert Festival to give desert motorsport enthusiasts across the UAE a fill of adrenalin pumping, dune bashing action at Sharjah's Al Badayer Desert Camp on the E44 Hatta Road.

In what will culminate as the debut edition of the Sharjah Sports Desert Festival 2017, SSDF 2017, is a two-day event, which will kick off on Thursday, 2 February at 9:30 am and will conclude on Friday, 3 February.

With a racetrack designed by Emirati MX rally champion, Mohammed Al Balooshi, and the overall high compliance and organisational standards, this event will be the first-of-its-kind desert off-roading experience in Sharjah and the northern parts of the country.

Being held under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the event's theme is ‘Become a Desert Hero', and due to its excellent organisational standards, has won representations and sponsorships from the most prominent brands specialising in desert sports in the UAE. The event will provide these partners a prominent platform to display and highlight their premium desert sportswear, motorcycles, protective equipment, navigation devices off-roading accessories, and more.

The contestants will participate in three vehicle classes, namely, Quad bikes who will compete in the ‘Enduro Knockout' challenge, the Side X Side vehicle category who will be seeing competing in the ‘Time Trail' challenge, and finally, the MX1 and MX2 racers who will take on the ‘Enduro Knockout' challenge.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, said, "The Sharjah Sports Desert Festival 2017 is a first-of-its-kind contest being organised in this part of the UAE, which will put a world-class event on the emirate's calendar. The initiative is in line with Sharjah's vision of broadening its scope of leisure and tourism to be able to offer something that caters to a variety of tastes and desires."

"The festival is also in line with Sharjah Media Corporation's overall vision to produce and deliver original content that will not only meet the aspirations of our local audience, but also harmoniously blend Sharjah's traditions and culture, with modern world-class athletic and sports events," he added.

Rashid Al Obed, Director of Sharjah Sports Channel, said, "We are proud to organise a sporting event that requires the highest levels of expertise and competence. We want to launch it in a way that leaves both participants and audiences stunned, making them look forward to the next edition eagerly. We, of course, have the advantage of being able to host the festival at Al Badayer Desert, which is a truly unique location with picturesque landscapes and easy accessibility."

"SSDF 2017 falls under the Channel's objective of matching its strides with the rapid developments in global media, by developing fresh content for fans to enjoy," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -http://www.wam.ae/en/news/sports/1395306216662.html


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