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Dubai attracts visitors, becomes international hub for education

posted on 25/08/2016

The Ministry of Economy in Dubai, Dubai Customs, DP World, Emirates SkyCargo, and the Department of Commerce and Tourism warmly welcomed the University of Dubai's (UD) international MBA students from its partner university, the University of North Florida, for a Study Abroad Programme focusing on learning about the rich Arabic culture, the innovative education system, and the resilient governance and economy of the UAE.

The programme consisted of class lectures, company visits, and cultural trips in Dubai and Abu Dhabi aimed at showcasing the success stories of both Emirates which highly contributed in UAE's economic growth and development.

Dr. Bastaki said, "We, at UD, are proud to be an international, educational hub that attracts students from all over the world. Our goals revolve around establishing a friendly environment for our visitors and enabling them to witness the beauty of UAE and Dubai."

UD Executive for Internship, Careers and International Students, Redempta Rodriguez – San Jose, commented that UD is honoured to welcome international students seeking a unique learning experience.

UD has always been and will continue to be an attractive meeting spot for knowledge seekers. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai satellite captures Yas Island image 600km above Earth

posted on 25/08/2016

Mangrove forests, waterway arteries and development on Yas Island have been captured in a satellite image from space.

The red roof of Ferrari World and the green course of Yas Links Golf Club can clearly be made out in the one-metre resolution image taken by one of Dubai's satellites 600 kilometres above the man-made island.

The final true-colour photograph is a combination four separate images taken in red, green, blue and black-and-white bands, said Salem Al Marri, assistant director general of scientific and technology affairs at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre.

"The reason we do this is so we can take each band by itself and study and analyse it to see what the naked eye cannot see," said Mr Al Marri.

The information obtained from images can be used for environmental projects, urban planning and infrastructure development, disaster management, mapping, scientific research and to provide specialised reports.

These are provided free of charge by the space agency to local government and educational entities and at a cost to commercial enterprises, said Mr Al Marri.

Launched in 2013, DubaiSat-2 captures high-resolution images as it circumnavigates the globe 14 times a day, including four times over the UAE. The second UAE-owned satellite was built mainly by engineers in Dubai and South Korea.

KhalifaSat, the first satellite built entirely by Emirati engineers, will augment Dubai Sat-2 when it is launched in 2018 and provide more detailed images thanks to a higher-resolution camera. – The National -/


Sanad, Etihad Airways sign $265 million deal

posted on 25/08/2016

Sanad Aero Solutions GmbH (Sanad), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, yesterday announced an expansion to its existing relationship with Etihad Airways, national carrier of the UAE.

The 12-year sale and lease-back agreement is valued at US$265 million and sees Sanad add an additional 12 spare engines in support of the airline.

Sanad, which announced that its leasing portfolio reached $1 billion worth of assets in 2015, has seen tremendous growth since it was established in early 2010. It has assets supporting a growing number of industry leading airlines and partners across a wide variety of modern aircraft.

James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group President and CEO, said, "Since its launch, Sanad has provided a broad range of financial solutions for Etihad Airways' spare inventories and has been a key enabler to our growth. We look forward to furthering our relationship with Sanad as we continue to grow."

The relationship between Sanad and Etihad Airways dates back to the company's establishment. The first deal was signed in 2011 and included the financing of GE90 and Rolls Royce Trent spare engines. Additional deals included the financing of rotable component spares in 2013 and most recently, the addition of GEnx and GP7200 engines and spare landing gear, nacelles, and thrust reversers for the airline's Airbus A380, A330, Boeing 777 and B787 aircraft.

Troy Lambeth, Chief Executive Officer of Sanad, said, "Etihad Airways is an important partner and we are delighted to expand our relationship with them and with NBAD and BofAML through this transaction which is our largest to date. We are well positioned and committed to supporting the market in our continued growth."

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) provided financing facilities to Sanad in support of the agreement which includes seven GEnx-1B 74/75, four GP7270E and one V2527-A5 engines. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


flydubai joins Dubai Tourism's first-ever East Africa roadshow

posted on 25/08/2016

Dubai's low cost carrier flydubai is participating in the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing's (Dubai Tourism) first-ever East Africa roadshow, joining 14 Dubai-based partners in showcasing a wide range of services and upcoming attractions.

flydubai will take part in the road show in Kampala on 24th August. The show will then continue to Dar-es-Salaam on 30th August.

The roadshow provides a platform for local operators to meet directly with the airline and learn first-hand about the services and choices available to passengers when choosing to fly directly to Dubai for business or leisure, the carrier said.

The CEO at Dubai Tourism, Issam Kazim, said, "The potential of Uganda and Tanzania as a source market is positive, and this roadshow provides us with the opportunity to directly interact with the operators here and showcase what Dubai has to offer. We look forward to making long-lasting and fruitful trade relationships during the trip to further grow the tourism market in Uganda for the benefit of all."

flydubai currently operates 82 weekly flights to 11 destinations in Africa, including 3 weekly flights to Entebbe and 4 weekly flights to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi airport installs new 'faster' luggage screening system

posted on 25/08/2016

Airports has installed a new Automated Tray Return System (ATRS) to speed up the process of hand luggage screening at Terminal 3 in Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

The new system allows for the processing of more than four times the number of baggage that conventional screening lanes do, reducing screening wait times and congestion, and providing a smoother travel experience for passengers.

Unlike the conventional system that allows only one passenger at a time to load their belongings into the tray, the ATRS provides four stations at which travelers can simultaneously prepare their bags for screening.

The ATRS also has two buffer stations, seven redress stations for cleared trays, four reject stations for suspicious trays, and two search stations. The system operates with a Hi-Scan 7555 aTix machine and is equipped with two operator workstations allocated remotely in an imaging room, through which the live images can be analyzed separately.

Any trays containing suspect belongings can be diverted to the search area for further investigation, away from the cleared lane.

Mohammed Al Katheeri, Acting Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, commented: "We are constantly looking at ways that we can innovate and provide our passengers with a smooth, world class travel experience.

The Automated Tray Return System with a remote screening feature in Terminal 3 at AUH, is the latest best-in-class addition to an array of technologies that we have put in place. We can now process more passengers per hour in a secure and controlled environment, improving overall operational efficiency and enhancing public safety and security." – Khaleej Times -


Abu Dhabi Global Market signs agreement with Securities and Exchange Board of India

posted on 25/08/2016

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority, FSRA, of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, SEBI, to enhance regulatory cooperation and facilitate cross-border activities.

The MoU establishes a framework for both authorities to provide assistance, exchange regulatory information and co-operate in supervising and overseeing the compliance of financial institutions with their respective securities and derivatives markets laws and regulations. The MoU also enables both regulators to include initiatives such as joint training and technical assistance to strengthen the high regulatory standards and practice in both jurisdictions.

Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer of the FSRA, and Sunder Rajan Raman, Whole Time Member of the SEBI Board, signed the Memorandum in Abu Dhabi.

Richard Teng said, "With the internationalisation of capital markets, ADGM is committed to establishing closer cooperation among global regulators to facilitate cross-border financial activities and uphold the integrity of markets. The growing economies of India and UAE will offer plenty of exciting investment opportunities for investors worldwide.

"This initiative further strengthens the working relationship with the SEBI for the mutual beneficial development of the financial services industry and the capital markets in our jurisdictions. By harnessing our joint efforts and co-operation, financial institutions and companies can further expand their global footprints through ADGM's internationally recognised platform that is underpinned by global standards and best practices."

S. Raman said, "The MoU will enhance the bilateral cooperation between the authorities and would establish a stronger relationship with ADGM. With the markets getting inter-connected and the financial entities operating globally, the MoU will be a valuable tool for cross-border cooperation. The MoU will also promote exchange of information for technical assistance and training needs, apart from facilitating cross-border investments between the jurisdictions." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Second Edition of Sharjah FDI Forum to be held in September

posted on 25/08/2016

The second annual Sharjah FDI Forum will take place on 28th and 29th of September 2016, under the slogan "Sharjah FDI: The Gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia", hosting more than 300 elite decision makers, business leaders and economic experts who will gather to exchange their knowledge and expertise on trends and developments in foreign direct investment (fDi) in the U.A.E., Middle East and internationally.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the event is being organised by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, and for the first time this edition, the event is in partnership with the Financial Times and fDi Magazine. The event will include the attendance of a number of senior officials.

"Over the past few years, Sharjah has successfully carved out its name as an economic and investment destination and today is one of the major economic forces behind U.A.E.'s growth. The emirate has developed as a key economic hub, not just for the U.A.E., but for the region as a whole. Sharjah's reputation as a global business location can be attributed to the extensive efforts made by government agencies and authorities, who have all worked tirelessly to promote the emirate at home and abroad," said Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Shurooq.

Sheikha Bodour added, "According to a recent report published by the Global Innovation Index, it ranked the UAE first among Arab countries in terms of overall performance on the index with an estimate rise of 11 billion US$ in FDI. What positions Sharjah in a competitive advantage in this context is its unique economic competencies, geographic location and investment-friendly infrastructure which complete the remaining 6 emirates' distinctive economic features."

"The Sharjah FDI Forum will offer an unrivalled opportunity for attendees to exchange new ideas and viewpoints on how to build a business in the U.A.E., particularly in Sharjah. They can find out about the relevant tax and legal issues, learn how to create a successful investment, explore the possibilities of forging partnerships with the public and private sectors and access details about costs and locations. They will also learn more about the current business environment and the impact of the political and economic climate," said Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq.

The forum will analyse the current economic conditions prevailing in Sharjah and the UAE, and evaluate the potential opportunities that derive from them. The packed agenda will feature keynote presentations and lively panel debates, examining the outlook for global business and assessing prospects for investment in various economic sectors in the UAE and particularly in Sharjah. It will build on the success of last year's inaugural event, held to capitalise on the UAE's 2014 first placed position as the most attractive country for fDi in the Middle East and Africa.

In 2016, the U.A.E. Ministry of Economy reported that the accumulated foreign investment in the country had increased by the end of 2015 to US$ 126 billion, compared to US$ 115 billion at the end of 2014. Also in 2015, the UAE Ministry of Economy estimated the country's fDi share as 46 percent of the total investment flow to the GCC, valued at around US$22 billion. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sharjah Business Women Council explores strategic ventures in UK

posted on 25/08/2016

The Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), recently led a women delegation to the United Kingdom, aimed at inspiring and motivating businesswomen from the UAE to scale up their home-based business activities more professionally and competitively.

The SBWC is an affiliate of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA).

Headed by Ameera BinKaram, Vice-Chairperson of NAMA and Chairperson of SBWC, the delegation comprised 16 SBWC and Irthi Contemporary Council's Azyame programme members, UAE business women councils and beneficiaries of a sponsorship scheme under NAMA. The visits that took place in London and Cardiff, saw participation of representatives in a number of initiatives designed to share knowledge and expand their business acumen.

"The purpose of the trade mission was to engage women who are either currently involved in commercial operations or have a plan to establish their own business. We also want to show that we are keen to provide platforms for all members to expand their enterprises and share their entrepreneurial journeys," BinKaram said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Somali President: UAE supports our country's construction process and defeat of terrorism

posted on 25/08/2016

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of the Republic of Somalia has commended the UAE's outstanding stances under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to support his country. He also expressed his thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his role in supporting the development process Somalia.

President Mohamud noted the historical ties binding the UAE and Somalia, praising the distinguished support provided by the UAE in the humanitarian and development areas and its efforts in the field of the defeat of terrorism.

In an exclusive interview with the "Al Ittihad" newspaper, the Somali President said that his country has a historical relationship with the UAE, adding that the UAE government and people were at the forefront of those who stood by the people of Somalia since the collapse of the central government in 1990 and the outbreak of civil war and the spread of poverty and famine, as the UAE has provided significant contributions to alleviate the suffering of the Somali people along with opening of schools, hospitals and clinics.

He expressed his appreciation for the role played by the UAE's charitable and humanitarian institutions, particularly the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and the Emirates Red Crescent.

He also pointed out that the UAE has effectively contributed in supporting the Somali government's efforts to restore security and stability through the training of Somali police and military personnel along with establishing training centres and barracks for recruits.

The UAE has also been at the forefront of countries that opened an embassy in Mogadishu, one of the largest, that follows up on programmes aiming to alleviate the suffering of the Somali people and support the development and stability in the country.

He stressed that his country has made great strides in addressing terrorism posed by the "al-Shabab" movement, stressing that the Somali people have a long and rich legacy of tolerance and coexistence with others.

The Somali President told the newspaper that his country is part of the Arab Coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen and praised the role played by the Coalition's Navy to prevent the flow of weapons and terrorists into Somalia, calling on Iran to cease its continued attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of his country.

He highlighted his country's stance supporting legitimacy in Yemen represented by Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and his government, saying, "We are part of the Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen and support it." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Brand new city in heart of Bahrain thanks to AED374m ADFD grant

posted on 25/08/2016

Bahrain's housing shortage due to its growing population and economic boom is soon to come to an end thanks to an AED 374m grant from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the UAE's international development arm (ADFD).

The grant, formalised in a signing contracts in Bahrain, enables the beginning of the construction of North City (Al Madina Al Shamliya) for infrastructure services to support the building of the island.

The latest funding agreement will enable the preparation for the land reclamation to get underway and the beginning of the island construction itself, with this Phase 1 being worth AED 374m. This will quickly be followed by the start of Phase 2 on the islands themselves with AED 2.56b of the grant going into this aspect of the project for the building of the initial 2,694 houses. Upon completion of the project the new city will be the heart of a new Bahrain and will be made up of a new set of inter-linked man-made islands and will be representing a major step forward in the city state's development.

Basim Bin Yacob Al Hamer, Minister of Housing from Bahrain welcomed the grant stating, "The UAE is a committed friend and partner in our ambitious development efforts and today's agreements are another step forward in this partnership. We are hugely appreciative of this funding which will help us alleviate some of our chronic housing shortages here in Bahrain with the North City project part of a much broader plan to build 40,000 new homes for our people. I hope that such economic and social development, such as with our new airport, will be a catalyst for national and regional growth."

Commenting on the event, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), said: "Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is committed to building the infrastructure of our partner countries and ensuring they have the foundations for socio-economic growth as this is our guiding principle to development. The North City project is an important project which will be an economic boost to Bahrain through new construction and opportunities as well as easing urgent overcrowding issues. This grant is part of our wider commitment to the government and people of Bahrain as the country continues to rapidly grow and confront new development opportunities and challenges and we look forward to seeing this scheme come to fruition."

The project is being funded by the AED 9.19 billion (US$2.5 billion) grant provided by the UAE to Bahrain in 2013 as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) development programme for Bahrain. Administered by ADFD, the grant aims to support development projects in the Kingdom over the 10 years.

Under the grant provided by the UAE to Bahrain, ADFD also manages development projects across key economic sectors including housing, water, health, and transportation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Director-General of ADFD hails UAE, Egyptian ties

posted on 25/08/2016

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has commended the historic relations between the UAE and Egypt, deeming them a role model for inter-Arab fraternal ties.

Al Suwaidi made the remark on offering of the landmark deposit of US$1 billion by ADFD to the Central Bank of Egypt for a period of 6 years.

"The deposit has been made under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces," he added.

"It demonstrates the UAE's commitment to supporting our long-term partners, ensuring their economic growth and stability, and is a landmark agreement which will make an immediate difference to the Egyptian economic system," he said.

"The UAE and Egypt enjoy a strong partnership based on economic, social, demographic and cultural ties and the UAE is a proud supporter of enabling Egypt to realise its potential and address its current economic challenges," Al Suwaidi added.

Tarek Hassan Amer, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, applauded the UAE's ongoing efforts to support the Egyptian government and its economy. He also addressed the long-term friendship between the two countries and the UAE's role in promoting economic growth and financing development projects that have ensured improved livelihoods, opportunities and quality of life for the people of Egypt.

"The UAE is one of the top countries with direct investments in Egypt, and several UAE-based companies are active in various economic sectors of Egypt. The country is among the top nations that provide unconditional support to the Egyptian economy," he noted.

"I thank them wholeheartedly for this gesture of goodwill which gives essential life support to our economy," Amer said.

Since it commenced operations in Egypt in 1974, ADFD has allocated AED3.6 billion towards 17 development projects in Egypt. These projects have supported key sectors including housing, transportation and agriculture, improving the standard of living for millions of its population, and supporting the various economic development programmes and schemes of the Egyptian government. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates Red Crescent renovates university dorms in Aden

posted on 25/08/2016

ADEN: The Emirates Red Crescent yesterday opened the university student housing complex in Madinat al-Shaab town, Aden governorate, after six months of restoration, maintenance, renovation and refurnishing.

Consisting of five main buildings stretching over an area of around 59,500 square metres, the complex will accommodate 1500 students from across Yemen as well as Djibouti and Somalia.

President of Aden University, Dr. Hussain Basalamah, noted that the Emirati humanitarian major has exerted huge efforts to complete the project which is "part of the continued support from brothers in the UAE."

He praised the agency for taking initiatives to improve basic services for academic institutions and restore life to normal in Yemen.

The renovation of the facility will help bring stability to education and provide better circumstances for students despite the current situation in Yemen, he noted.

Under-Secretary of Aden Governorate, Mohammed Nasr Al Shazeli, thanked the Emirates Red Crescent for its continuous efforts to provide favourable circumstances for students from southern governorates.

Recently, the Emirates Red Crescent renovated a similar project for 190 students from Shabwah governorate who study in Aden.

Students benefited from the renovated housing units, services, utilities as well as a fully-equipped computer lab in the project, which was an initiative of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Honorary President of the Emirates Red Crescent. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sheikha Jawaher: UAE women’s progress a result of support by founding fathers

posted on 25/08/2016

Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Nama Women Advancement Establishment and wife of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, has hailed the leap forward taken by Emirati women on the road to progress and excellence, shoulder to shoulder with men in every sphere of activity, thanks to the UAE leadership's constant support and abiding faith in their role and abilities.

Speaking on the upcoming occasion of Emirati Women's Day, Sheikha Jawaher said, "UAE women have been able to walk at a steady pace on the path of success and excellence, thanks to our leadership's faith in their effective role and inherent right to support and advancement."

She added, "The UAE has never hesitated to support and encourage women to assume their responsibility and work side by side with men. As a result, today we see women excel themselves in various walks of life, including business, science, economy and politics."

Lauding the UAE leadership's crucial role in women's empowerment, she said, "We view the achievements made by UAE women as the fruit of a seed planted by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the Union, and looked after by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his brothers the Rulers of the Emirates."

She also lauded the strong support by 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, at every step of this long journey towards empowerment.

"As we celebrate Emirati Women's Day, we laud the Mother of the Nation for her strong support, which has played a major role in advancing the role of Emirati women and encouraging them to engage in the development process taking place in the country," she said.

Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, said, "With their diverse capabilities and competencies, UAE women have become the focus of world attention and have been making one achievement after another in various walks of life."

Attributing Emirati women's success to the support of the leadership, she added, "This is thanks to our farsighted leadership, which put its faith in the vital role played by women in society and provided them with the right environment to serve their country and actively participate in different fields, contributing to the security, stability and prosperity of UAE society.

"UAE Women's Day is yet another opportunity to further promote and support the high stature enjoyed by women in the country, encouraging them to continue to give their best," she said. "It is also aimed at highlighting the names of Emirati women who have emerged as role models for younger generations and preserving the gains that have helped establish the UAE as one of the world's best countries in many vital sectors."

Khawla Al Mulla, Chairperson of Sharjah Consultative Council, said, "We in the UAE live in an environment that stimulates work with the spirit of giving. This has not come out of a vacuum, it has come out of our leadership's support for citizens in general and women in particular. My election as the first woman chairperson of the Sharjah Consultative Council reflects the attention paid by the nation to women and the confidence placed in them by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah."

She attributed the golden age witnessed by women in the UAE to the sagacious leadership of the nation, which has always striven to uplift the status of women through its many initiatives and programmes. She also credited the success to the institutions that have been supporting women's empowerment and polishing their leadership and social skills through various courses and workshops, thus promoting their competencies and giving them the opportunity to prove themselves in various fields. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Amal Al Qubaisi salutes Mother of the Emirates

posted on 25/08/2016

Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC) has sent a cable of greetings to H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, on the occasion of the Emirati Women's Day.

"The Emirati Women's Day is the day when we express gratitude to the diligent efforts and the unlimited support given by Your Highness to the advancement of the women in the UAE, the GCC, the Arab countries and the whole world," she said.

Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi saluted the Mother of the Emirates H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak as a pioneer of humanitarian and social work.

"Her Highness the Mother of the Emirates has, and will always be, a role model for giving. We are proud of the role she has been playing in empowering women, both locally and internationally. Thanks to her vision and support, the UAE's women have gained a unique position and have become key contributors to the comprehensive development drive," she added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirati women take control of leadership roles in aviation

posted on 25/08/2016

Emirati women are making strides in the field of aviation, taking up leadership roles as pilots, airport managers and corporate heads with UAE's flag-carrier airlines.

Speaking to Gulf News, women in top leadership positions at Etihad Airways said this progress is a testament to the support and equal opportunities they receive. The women were speaking at a media briefing organised by Etihad Airways to highlight the achievements of its Emirati women staff.

"My father, who has long worked as a Customs officer, always dreamt of being a pilot. As his eldest child, I chose to fulfil that dream, and while there were initial fears about my safety, there were never any limits placed on me for being female,” Shareefa Al Beloushi, 31, senior first officer on board Etihad's medium and long-haul flights, told Gulf News.

"There are very few women from around the world who get to pilot passenger aircraft, and this is what I aspire to become. I have always had a passion for the sciences and for travel, so I stepped out of my comfortable banking job as a 24-year-old to pursue my dreams. Like all Emirati women, I am a driver, and this drive comes from our inspiring leaders who stress that there is no limit to what we can achieve,” she added.

Al Beloushi is one of nearly 1,500 Emirati women employed by the airline, which boasts an equal number of male to female Emirati staff.

Along with pilots, Emirati women also head up a number of Etihad offices around the world.

Fatima Al Hashemi, 30, airport manager in South Korea, said Emirati women who work abroad represent the UAE as ambassadors.

"We have the responsibility of portraying Emirati women, and it is a prestigious one. When I first started working in Singapore for Etihad's airport services there, there was a pervading misconception that all Emirati women were rich and did not like to work. So I set myself to the task and worked hard every day. By the end of my time there, people had a new appreciation for us,” she said.

Al Hashemi was therefore eager to propagate a positive image of Emirati women by moving to a new location, and she was selected to manage airport services in South Korea, an emerging market for the airline with about 300 passengers on its daily flight.

Like Al Hashemi, Fatima Al Mehairi, the 29-year-old general manager for Etihad in Canada, takes her role of representing and serving the UAE seriously.

"I studied in France, so my first three-year stint for Etihad was in Paris. This helped me share my culture with the people there, and now I have a chance to excel while also representing the UAE in Canada,” Al Mehairi said.

She added that Emirati women should not limit themselves, especially with role models like Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Woman's Union, Supreme Chair of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

"We have a special day to honour our contributions, so we should not take our roles in society lightly,” Al Mehairi said.

Arwa Al Shehi, marketing manager at Etihad's New York offices, added that Emirati Women's Day also honours the women of the previous generations.

"It is because of their efforts that we are scaling the heights today. Our achievements give an insight into the dedication with which they raised us, which is humbling,” she said.

Even within the UAE, Emirati women are transforming the aviation sector with their inputs, and they said it is because the UAE gives equal opportunities to women.

"I grew up with three younger brothers, yet there was never a time when I was made to feel less than them. Today, I encourage my two younger daughters and tell them that when they grow up, they can balance both work and family, and achieve their dreams,” said Saada Al Taei, 37, senior manager for service delivery at Global Business Service Solutions, a revenue accounting arm of Etihad.

It is only fitting that even the airline's future innovations are being led by a woman, Khowla Al Badi, who holds the position of innovation and technology execution head.

"Emirati women have always been pushed to educate themselves and in future I only see them becoming more visible on the world stage,” she said. – Gulf News -


UAE Embassy in Jakarta gets ISO certification

posted on 25/08/2016

The Consular Services Centre of the UAE Embassy to Indonesia has been awarded the ISO certification in recognition to its excellence in service delivery.

Mohammed Abdullah bin Mutlaq Al Ghafli, UAE Ambassador to Indonesia, received the ISO certification at a ceremony held yesterday in Jakarta, in the presence of representative of British Quality Management System certification SGS, which issued this certification.

This is the first such certification issued to the consulate in Indonesia for meeting the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015 on the consular services including the issuance of visas and attestation of documents.

Director of Consular Services Centre said the issuance of this certification comes in line with the implementation of directives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as well as diligence and excellence demonstrated by the centre's employees. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates Diplomatic Academy commences new academic year with student orientation

posted on 25/08/2016

The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE's international relations and diplomacy academic, training, best practice and research platform, yesterday welcomed its second cohort of students.

Over 50 new entrants attended the first of two days of orientation at the Academy campus. These students follow in the footsteps of many great UAE diplomats and the country's strong tradition of diplomacy in the UAE which has seen UAE achieve a truly significant influence on the global stage.

The orientation included an introduction to the Academy departments as well as its executive education and research and analyses teams in preparation for their Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations and UAE Diplomacy.

The diploma will equip aspiring national representatives with a greater armoury of tools, options and insights to ensure they are ready to tackle the challenges of the 21st century as the country's top diplomats and representatives in multiple sectors.

Welcoming the students, the Academy's Deputy Director General Omar Al Bitar emphasised, "the Academy is an institution that plays a pivotal role in nurturing a generation that will be tasked with enhancing international connectivity to ensure we are fit to face the challenges of our times. As the Academy moves into its second year, we are working to continually improve our offerings to give our diplomats what they need to succeed."

He continued: "Diplomacy is the sharp end of foreign policy and is more than just theory but a true profession - a skill, an art and a behaviour which reflects our standing in the world and our effectiveness in getting things done. Diplomats and soldiers are two sides of the same coin, representing and working for our country on the front line, although in very different ways. It is a practice continually learned and honed in different environments, whether by an aspiring diplomat or a seasoned government official. The Academy stands front and centre in ensuring we are all as good as we can be in a profession which is all-encompassing; a true vocation for life."

Al Bitar added: "In light of emerging global challenges and opportunities, it is vital that the next generation of UAE diplomats learns how to engage with an increasingly fast paced and uncertain world, and masters the tools to further UAE's national interests."

This year will mark the beginning of new courses, including "Preparing for 21st Century Diplomacy", covering new trends in diplomatic practice such as the use of digital tools, the Academy's flagship new module to be taught by former UK Ambassador Tom Fletcher, a renowned international diplomat and leading academic.

A further addition this year will be an innovative new course, ‘Modern Leadership and Ethics', taught by the Deputy Director General. A course taught only at the world's most elite institutions, it will tackle the sometimes difficult balance between decisive action and ethics while also emphasising how the best leaders will always keep ethics at the forefront of their decisions.

Another key course will be spearheaded by Bernardino Leon, Director General of EDA and former UN diplomat who will pass over his experience of working with the top echelons of global diplomacy and multinational organisations.

Additional courses as part of the diploma will bring together pioneering new diplomatic approaches and global best practices to the classroom which were a great success in last year's courses. These courses will aim to strike the balance between teaching students' theories and practice of international relations, security and conflict resolution, political economy, UAE history and culture, international law, foreign policy and contemporary politics of Middle East.

Student Asma Hassan AlHammadi, looking forward to the course said, "It is really exciting to be able to learn from some of the world's leading diplomats and thinkers on international relations as we prepare to represent the UAE abroad. I am looking forward to developing my skills and applying them in practice."

Another new student Saud Salam Al Suwaidi said, "this is such an important time for diplomacy with new trade agreements to support the UAE's hyper growth industries and areas of expertise, the UAE taking leadership positions on key global issues, the emergence of new regional powers, ongoing shifts in the global economy, social reform agendas and civil strife, threats to global institutions, rapidly developing technologies, the impact of climate change, the threat of global extremism, vast population growth and movements and the increased power of global corporations. I am excited by the opportunity to learn more theory and practice to make a difference on behalf of the UAE on the world stage in these debates." – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Manchester City FC to launch new City Football Schools season in UAE

posted on 25/08/2016

Manchester City Football Club are launching the new City Football Schools season in the UAE with an expanded team of professional coaches and female-only sessions for young players.

The club is also expanding the coaching premises to Emirates Palace, in addition to its current bases at Zayed Sports City and New York University - Saadiyat Campus.

City Football School's Head Coach, Simon Hewitt, said, "City Football Schools are delighted to be back for yet another season, offering a wide variety of opportunities for the next generation of footballers to hone their skills. Due to the demand over the past number of years we have now increased our facilities with three venues across the UAE capital. As well as increasing our venues, we have also increased the number of dedicated, fully qualified coaches within the team."

As well as a new venue and a larger coaching team, City Football School will also be offering a newly created female-only training session.

The new City Football Schools season begins on August 28th and runs until June 22nd, 2017, in four terms of eight and 10 weeks. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Team Abu Dhabi to take part in UIM F2 World Championship Lithuanian Round

posted on 25/08/2016

LITHUANIA: Rashed Al-Qamzi and Mohammed Al-Mehairbi will represent Team Abu Dhabi at the next round of the UIM F2 Championship in the city of Zarasai, in north-eastern Lithuania, this weekend.

Al-Qamzi and Al-Mehairbi will line-up with Team Abu Dhabi's 35 and 36 boats to take part in the racing. The fifth round of the F2 world series comes just three weeks after the team was in action at Tandberg in Norway, where Al-Qamzi claimed ninth position.

The team operating out of the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) has been enjoying a hectic few months of racing action at various European venues and has already tasted success from participating in UIM F1 H20, F2 and Endurance races in France, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Poland before embarking upon this exciting Lithuanian challenge for the first time.

Salem Al-Romaithi, Assistant General Manager of ADIMSC, said, "It's been a very busy and successful season so far and everyone involved with Team Abu Dhabi is looking forward to racing at this new venue in northern Lithuania," said "We know from the races in Campione d'Italia and Tonsberg that the competition is very stiff, but Rashed and Mohammed acclimatised well at those races and I am sure that they will use that experience to their advantage this weekend."

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


Motiongate Dubai appoints Universal Studios veteran as general manager

posted on 25/08/2016

Motiongate Dubai, part of Dubai Parks and Resorts, has announced the appointment of John Hallenbeck as the general manager overseeing the Hollywood-inspired theme park's day-to-day operations.

Mr Hallenbeck, from the United States, has more than 25 years of experience in theme park operations, having worked with Universal Studios theme parks worldwide.

He worked as senior vice president of attractions at Universal Studios Singapore and marine life park, director of attractions operations at Universal Studios Florida, and various operations and management roles with Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Japan.

Motiongate Dubai is set to open on October 31. – The National -