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Solar Impulse 2 opens new horizons of renewable energy, says Mohammed bin Rashid

posted on 27/07/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that Solar Impulse 2 returned to Abu Dhabi yesterday after its 40,000 kilometres round the world flight without using a single drop of fuel.

He added that this global journey, from and to Abu Dhabi, opens vital new applications for renewable energy in all walks of life.

Sheikh Mohammed wrote on his official Twitter account: "Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE and home to the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA, stands as a global pioneer in renewable energy." - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298199171.html


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Mohamed bin Zayed: A bright page of innovation is written down with the success of Solar Impulse journey

posted on 27/07/2016

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has said a bright page of innovation has been written with the success of Solar Impulse journey around the world.

Sheikh Mohamed wrote on his Twitter account: "Congratulations to the crew. We hope the success of @solarimpulse helps to deliver Abu Dhabi‘s message about the need to invest in clean energy and encourage innovation."

He also wrote: "Masdar will always motivate innovation; & @solarimpulse arrival to #AbuDhabi is not the end. It is a new beginning (that will lead) towards more achievements."

Sheikh Mohamed also congratulated Switzerland on this success "which proves that partnership and cooperation for the good of mankind is our ultimate goal." - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298202778.html


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Solar Impulse 2 journey provides new proof of renewable energy efficiency: Hamdan bin Zayed

posted on 27/07/2016

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region, has congratulated 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, for the successful circumnavigation of the globe by Solar Impulse 2 and safe return to Abu Dhabi Tuesday.

Solar Impulse 2 landed yesterday at Abu Dhabi's Al Bateen Airport, after flying around the world without using a single drop of fuel. The plane arrived in Abu Dhabi, from where Solar Impulse had started in March last year, after taking off from Cairo on Sunday and flying for about 48 hours. Solar Impulse 2 began its journey from Abu Dhabi in March 2015, with stopovers in Oman, India, Myanmar, China, Japan, the United States, Spain and Egypt.

In a statement on the safe return home of the Si2, Sheikh Hamdan emphasised on the UAE leadership's directives to enhance the UAE's leadership in renewable energy so as to deliver sustainable development goals, deploy clean and renewable energy technology, and create an innovation-drive environment that generates job opportunities and stimulates economic growth.

'The landmark return of Solar Impulse 2 to Abu Dhabi serves an important message to future generations that it is high time to think differently and that the humanity is capable to induce change. We need to make innovation and sustainability part of daily life and the foundation on which the future will be built,' HH said.

The 16-leg journey around the world, HH added, provided a new testimony of how clean renewable energy technologies are efficient enough to build a more sustainable future.

'The historic journey is a gateway to the future that counts on widespread sustainable use of clean renewable technologies to improve quality of life across the globe,' HH stressed.

Sheikh Hamdan also acknowledged Masdar, official host partner of Si2, for its major contributions to deployment of the renewable energy sources and solutions across the region and globally.

As it circumnavigated the world, Solar Impulse 2 flew over countries where Masdar projects are already demonstrating the potential of renewable energy to extend energy access, reduce carbon emissions and diversify the energy mix. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298183594.html


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Saif bin Zayed inspects Solar Impulse, stresses UAE is international hub for all kinds of energy

posted on 27/07/2016

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, inspected the Solar Impulse 2 that returned safely to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday morning after it successfully completed its historic round across the world without using a drop of fuel.

Sheikh Saif confirmed the keenness of the wise 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 and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to support innovation and sustainability through developing renewable energy projects.

'The UAE is an international hub for all sorts of energies, projects and initiatives which aim to ensure better future for the world and hosting the Solar Impulse project by Masdar confirms the country's pivotal role in the renewable energy field," Sheikh Saif said.

Sheikh Saif congratulated the pilots and crew for achieving a new record in the history of aviation, stressing that with determination and will there will be no impossible and "Welcome to Abu Dhabi." H.H. said.

Sheikh Saif and those accompanying him were briefed by pilots on the Solar Impulse project which includes the vision of the project that aims to enhance spread of clean technologies and innovative uses of renewable energy, which are in line with the UAE's approach towards securing a sustainable future. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298197949.html


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Over 8,000 new companies joined Dubai Chamber in H1 2016

posted on 27/07/2016

This year, Dubai maintained its attractiveness to global investors as in the first half of 2016, over 8,000 new companies joined the membership of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry bringing its total membership to 193,000 with a 4.3% growth. This new addition takes the non-profit business organisation membership closer to 200,000 while enhancing the Chamber's reputation as one of the largest chambers of commerce in the world.

According to a report on its half-year activities, while the Chamber's membership maintained a pace of sustained growth, its members' total exports and re-exports reached AED 138 billion with Saudi Arabia ranking as the top-most destination with members' exports and re-exports in the region valued at AED 44 billion.

Also, the Chamber registered a growth of 2% in the issuance of certificates of origin in the first half of this year totalling more than 478,000, compared to 469,000 COOs issued during the same period last year.

Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, stated that Dubai's economy has once again showed its resilience in facing the adversities of global economic challenges while sustaining its trade sector which has time and again proved its competitiveness on a global level.

"The emirate's capability in reducing the effects of the global economic slowdown comes from its competence based on the economic diversity and the UAE's strategy to move away from oil resources which actually complements the vision of the country's wise leadership in creating a competitive economic order," Buamim said.

The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber further added that the Chamber's future strategies are based on the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as the Chamber is implementing innovative initiatives to strengthen Dubai's position as an attractive global business destination.

He also said that the Chamber is putting the finishing touches to this year's launch of its new strategy for 2016-2021 in line with the Dubai Plan 2021, to enhance the emirate's lucrative business environment and the competitiveness of its businesses in the overseas markets.

Buamim lauded the Chamber's efforts exerted in the past months to promote its members' presence in the emerging markets of the world by opening international offices, while launching smart services and innovation strategies as well as organising several important global economic conferences and forums which he said contribute to increasing the competitiveness of Dubai businesses in the overseas markets while also boosting the strength of companies operating in Dubai.

He also said that the Chamber has issued 125 ATA Carnets for the temporary import of goods during the first half of this year, adding that this service demonstrates the emirate's leadership in facilitating global trade, while supporting MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) sector in Dubai, especially with Dubai recently maintaining its 14th position among the world's top destinations for business events affirmed by the Union of International Associations (UIA) in its international meetings statistics.

Buamim added that in the first half of this year Dubai Chamber as part of its efforts to stimulate private sector growth in the emirate, received 308 international delegations from 67 countries totalling over 519 government officials and businessmen, while the Chamber's five international offices held 202 meetings with potential investors.

In light of the rising importance of settling commercial disputes amicably in the emirate, Dubai Chamber received a total of 516 arbitration and mediation cases in the first half of the year. The organisation's initiative Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), received 115 arbitration cases in comparison to the 97 cases received during the same period last year, while Dubai Chamber's Legal Services department received 401 mediation cases compared to 301 received in the same period last year.

As part of its commitment to create a favourable business environment and to support business growth, Dubai Chamber studied, reviewed and followed up on 26 federal and local legislations and draft laws, while sending its recommendations to the Government of Dubai Department of Legal Affairs and to the concerned authorities, notably the draft federal law regulating the mining activities and the protection of mineral resources in the UAE, a draft federal law on financial leasing contracts, draft by-law on environmental protection and development, cabinet resolution regulating the use of coal as a solid fuel, draft law concerning civil establishments in the emirate of Dubai, and the draft unified law and its by-laws for food safety for GCC countries.

Dubai Chamber, while endeavouring to move towards smart services and to provide the highest quality of customer service under the ongoing strategy to attract larger foreign investments to Dubai while promoting the emirate as a major global destination for trade and finance, served 194,000 customers particularly as the organisation won the top spot for Customer Happiness at the Dubai Government Excellence Program award ceremony held this year in the emirate.

In the first half of this year, Dubai Chamber opened its new international office in the Mozambican capital, Maputo, bringing the number to 5 international offices, as all these offices held 202 meetings and nine events with companies and investors looking to enter the Dubai market or access for Dubai businesses to the markets where these offices operate from.

The Dubai Association Centre (DAC), granted 23 licences for the establishment of global professional associations in the emirate. The Centre's aim is to highlight Dubai's position as a strategic hub of trade and finance supported by a stimulating investment environment and modern infrastructural facilities for global associations to make their base in the region.

The Centre, which was established in the beginning of 2014 under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dubai Business Events (DBE, part of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing) and the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), allows a formal environment where international non-profit, scientific and professional associations can form a membership-based community and open a regional representative office to conduct business in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.

Dubai Chamber's Tejar Dubai initiative, an entrepreneurship development programme that aims to help young Emiratis turn their business ideas into realities, launched four commercial projects in the first half of the year taking the number to 20 projects launched thus far.

Also, the Chamber concluded the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition organised in cooperation with the Smart Dubai Office with the aim to strengthen the role of entrepreneurs in transforming Dubai into a "smart city." In this first successful session of the competition, Dubai Chamber received 350 innovative ideas and is currently preparing to launch the second session of the competition.

The Chamber in collaboration with IBM also launched the ‘Dubai Digital Entrepreneurship Hub', an online community that will support Dubai's technology and start-up ecosystem while accelerating innovation and stimulating the local economy under the umbrella of Smart Dubai initiative This new launch follows Dubai Chamber's earlier Smart Business application, the E-COO for issuing Electronic Certificates of Origin, Africa Gateway Smart Application, and Smart Mediation application which is the first-of-its-kind in the region providing all legal services on a single smart platform as well as the Human Capital Management (HCM) smart app which provides HR services to Chamber employees quickly at the click of a button from their hand-held devices.

All the apps are part of the Chamber's efforts to build a fully-integrated mobile community and to help members do business with ease as well as to promote the concept of smart business amongst the business community in line with Dubai's vision to transform the emirate into a smart city.

Dubai Chamber's Centre for Responsible Business continued to play its important role in instilling a culture of responsible business in the UAE by launching various CSR, corporate governance and sustainability projects and organised 16 events to assist members of the business community to apply responsible business practices that enhance their performance and competitiveness. The Centre's events were participated by 1,370 individuals and company representatives. Its Give and Gain day had the participation of 768 volunteers while it provided 1,200 advisory hours to 106 companies participating in the CSR label programme as the Centre's Sustainability Network membership reached 65 in the first half of the year.

During the first half of this year, Dubai Chamber concluded a trade mission to South Africa and Mozambique on the sidelines of the opening of its 5th international office in Maputo, Mozambique. The trade mission brought together business leaders and investors from public and private sectors as well as local chambers of commerce in South Africa and Mozambique to discuss stronger bilateral ties and future investment cooperation.

The Dubai Chamber-organised 10th World Retail Congress was held for the first time in the region and outside of Europe with the participation of over 1,400 top local and international retail personalities. The success of the congress led to the announcement of hosting the 11th session in Dubai next year.

As part of its Global Business Forum series, Dubai Chamber organised the first session of the Commonwealth of Independent States Global Business Forum (CIS-GBF) which was attended by over 1,000 participants from 50 countries from CIS, the Gulf and other global countries and provided an ideal platform for holding more than 100 bilateral meetings to discuss and promote investment opportunities between businessmen, investors and companies from the two regions.

The Chamber also organised the 5th session of the Dubai Hamburg Business Forum entitled "The Internet of Things: Innovation to Connect" in cooperation with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. The forum opened up new horizons for fruitful cooperation and joint ventures in various important economic sectors for the business communities of Dubai and Hamburg. Both chambers also signed a MoU to advance the process of innovation and the introduction of advanced technologies and the Internet of Things in the business sector.

Dubai Chamber organised the UAE-Mexico Business Forum in partnership with the Mexico Embassy in the UAE and ProMexico on the sidelines of the Mexican president and his accompanying delegation's visit to the country, as according to its goal the forum promoted investment opportunities between the UAE and Mexico. - Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395298180827.html

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395298180871.html


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Seasonal demand and expected projects lead to brighter business outlook in Dubai in Q2 2016

posted on 27/07/2016

Expectations of acquiring new projects/orders, improvement in market conditions, higher demand due to the festival season and new customers have had a significant impact on the overall business outlook in Dubai, as shown in the quarterly business survey conducted by the Department of Economic Development (DED).

The composite Business Confidence Index (BCI) of Dubai firms rose to 117.5 points during the second quarter (Q2) of 2016, up 7.4 points from the same quarter of 2015 and also higher than the Q1 2016 index score of 116.5.

Businesses generally were optimistic on sales and volumes as 44% of those surveyed (500 firms) expected the situation to improve, against 39% in the first quarter on 2016, and another 44% expecting stability to prevail. While 48% of the businesses in Dubai expect their sales volume to increase in the third quarter of 2016, 37% anticipate volumes to hold steady.

A comparison of the forecast for Q3 2016 versus that for Q2 2016 shows that all parameters, except the selling prices index, have maintained a steady trend. The net balance for selling prices has increased from 1% for Q2 2016 to 5% for Q3 2016 on the back of rising raw material costs and projections of improvement in demand. The net balance for sales volume stands at 33% for Q3 2016, higher than the 27% for Q3 2015 and 31% for Q2 2016.

In line with the emirate's growing profile as a manufacturing hub and source market for finished products, the manufacturing sector was the most optimistic across all parameters – revenues, volumes, selling prices, employment, profitability as well as new purchase orders for the third quarter of 2016.

Confidence on receiving new orders/contracts/projects both from the government and private sectors and an increase in demand are the major factors keeping manufacturers buoyant compared to their counterparts in the trading and services sectors. Within the manufacturing sector, furniture and plastics manufacturers hold the strongest outlook for volumes.

The transportation sub-segment of the services sector is the most optimistic for Q3 2016, while the travel & hospitality segment is the least optimistic about their volumes. Within the trading sector, the most optimistic segments are computers, auto, construction materials and food & beverages.

The current survey also shows that large companies continue to be more optimistic compared to SMEs, with composite BCI scores of 121.8 and 111.0 points respectively. Although marginally less optimistic compared to the overall business community (117.5), exporters are more confident than domestic-market oriented firms with respect to revenues, volumes, profits and purchase orders but are less optimistic about selling prices and employment.

Competition, market conditions, delayed payments and rental/leasing costs were among the main challenges cited by most businesses. The proportion of businesses that intend to invest in capacity expansion and technology upgrades has gone up in Q2 2016 compared to the previous quarter; 69% of the companies plan to invest in expansion of capacity in Q2 2016 versus 61% in Q1 2016 and 65% intend to upgrade technology in Q2 2016 versus 57% in Q1 2016.

With respect to innovation, 88% of the businesses said that they have not implemented any type of innovation in their businesses. Of the remaining, 40% indicated that the main purpose for implementing innovation was quality improvement. 87% of the firms did not have any provision for research and development (R&D). Of the 13% that had an ongoing budget or made provisions for R&D, 29% had budgeted more than 10% of their sales towards this end.

DED conducts the quarterly surveys as an effective tool to measure the pulse of the business community and allow the government and the private sector to track and analyse major trends and issues that have a bearing on economic activity in Dubai.

The Q2 2016 (April - June) survey covered 500 companies in Dubai. The companies were asked to indicate if they anticipated an ‘increase,' ‘decrease,' or ‘no change' in key indicators such as sales revenues, selling prices, volumes sold, profits and number of employees. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395298187354.html


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Safest countries to do business in: Dubai puts UAE in Top 5

posted on 27/07/2016

The UAE is popularly-known as a safe haven in the world of business. Rightly so. Be it property, banking and finance, tourism, trade and travel, the UAE – Dubai to be precise – attracts foreign direct investments in a host of sectors from investors across different nationalities across all the continents.

This fact was underscored further in the recently-released study, claiming that the Emirates is the among the safest countries in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions to do business in – nearly at par with South Korea, Singapore, Japan and other developed countries.

"The UAE is near the top for the region in terms of having the lowest business costs of terrorism. In addition, Korea and Singapore are near the top in the region for life expectancy, while UAE has the lowest incidence of tuberculosis.

In addition, Singapore, Japan, and the UAE, and South Korea rank among the top four in terms of protection of human health from environmental risks, and UAE has the lowest per capita natural disaster deaths,” revealed the Pinkerton Risk Index Report, the Michigan-based unit of Securitas AB in a recent report.

Now the establishment of recently-announced Dubai Wholesale City will augment the emirate's position among the cities who matter for the big businesses.

Even in the event of an economic or political volatility in the region, the first and foremost choice for the regional investors is the UAE – or Dubai to be to be precise.

Thanks to the investor-friendly policies, stable government, progressive policies, state-of-the-art infrastructure, least crime rate in the world, the UAE's status as a safe haven gains further credence to prove the point that the UAE is, indisputably, among the the safest country to do business.

he index uses data based on factors including natural disasters, disease, terrorism, social unrest and economic problems.

In the category of Hazard, Event, Operational and Physical Risks, the UAE is rated fourth safest country after Japan, Singapore and South Korea in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East.

Similarly, in the Technology, Information, Market and Economics Risk, the UAE is perceived to be a strong and stable country for investments in these sectors.

The UAE is rated fifth in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, leading all the countries in both the regions except Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Globally, Singapore is the safest nation to do business, followed by Switzerland according to global risk management company Pinkerton's new tool to help corporate clients assess threats on a country-by-country basis. – Emirates 24/7 - http://www.emirates247.com/business/economy-finance/safest-countries-to-do-business-in-dubai-puts-uae-in-top-5-2016-07-26-1.636802


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Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Thomson Reuters to host second ‘Innovation 4 Impact’ pitch competition

posted on 27/07/2016

The second edition of the Innovation 4 Impact Competition will take centre-stage at the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2016 (GIES 2016) to be held under the theme ‘Inspiring Change', at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, from October 11-12. Islamic digital economy entrepreneurs from around the world will compete for a chance to win cash, gain global publicity, and attractive in-kind prizes.

Organised by the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, and Thomson Reuters, the Innovation 4 Impact Competition is designed to support emerging Islamic digital economy entrepreneurs from around the world in showcasing their businesses, as well as connecting with investors and customers, gaining access to expert mentoring, and competing to win cash prizes and in-kind benefits.

During GIES 2016, the emerging entrepreneurs from the Islamic economy space will engage in pitch sessions with leading entrepreneurs and investors from UAE and from across the region.

The winner of the competition will also receive office space for one year at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre, DSOA's wholly owned technology incubation centre and the largest of its kind in the MENA region.

The upcoming edition of GIES will explore the social impact of diverse sectors within the Islamic economy. Digital economy represents a key driver of change and social development given its capacity to transcend geographical boundaries and drive economic activities with ethical dimensions in line with the principles of Islamic economy.

Dr. Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, said, "Innovation 4 Impact signifies our commitment towards supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs in the field of Islamic digital and Arabic content. The annual event strengthens DSOA's proposition in supporting Dubai's vision to emerge as the Capital of Islamic Economy. Innovation 4 Impact aims to empower Islamic digital economy entrepreneurs globally and to serve as a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their business ventures to a distinguished panel of experts, prospective investors, as well as prominent professionals in the Islamic economy domain."

Supported by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), Innovation 4 Impact provides value-added services for the selected entrepreneur including exclusive mentoring, access to leading investors in the region, as well as support to fine-tune their ideas. Innovation 4 Impact effectively nurtures start-ups and enables them to contribute to the further development of Islamic digital economy.

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said, "It is our privilege to support this competition for the second consecutive year. The digital infrastructure is an important pillar of positioning Dubai as the Capital of Islamic Economy and this competition stands as a platform for digital economy entrepreneurs. We believe that digital economy is an important driver of innovation, competitiveness, and growth. The Innovation 4 Impact competition is aligned with our aim of creating a generation of leading experts who are capable of accelerating the growth of digital Islamic economy."

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters, Middle East and North Africa, reiterated the shared commitment among Thomson Reuters, DSOA and DIEDC to develop the Islamic digital entrepreneurial ecosystem in the MENA region. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298187021.html


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Etihad Airways announces additional A380 service to New York’s JFK Airport

posted on 27/07/2016

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, yesterday announced plans to increase Airbus A380 service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport, in response to heightened demand from guests traveling between the two destinations.

Beginning on June 1, 2017, the airline will upgrade its second flight between Abu Dhabi and New York JFK to its award-winning A380 aircraft which features The Residence, the only three-room suite available in commercial airline operation, and its award-winning First Apartment cabins.

The new service will join the airline's existing daily A380 service, replacing the current daily Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Etihad Airways first began welcoming guests on board its first A380 flight between New York JFK and Abu Dhabi in November 2015.

"The response we have received from Etihad Airways guests traveling between Abu Dhabi and New York since we launched the service nearly a decade ago has been phenomenal, and we are delighted to further expand our world-class product for all guests traveling to and from New York," said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' Chief Executive Officer.

Baumgartner continued, "Our commitment to our guests has always been to be the very best airline in the world by totally reimagining the travel experience and delivering the highest levels of comfort, luxury and world-class hospitality at every point in their travel journey, on the ground and in the air, across all classes of service."

The Residence guests enjoy the ultimate in luxury. Every part of the travel experience is tailored and bespoke including a chauffeur-driven ride to the airport and a private three-room suite that includes a living room that seats up to two guests, a double bedroom, and a separate en suite shower room. Guests in The Residence are looked after by a dedicated Butler trained at the legendary Savoy Hotel in London. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298195252.html


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EEG’s Glass recycling campaign is back on track

posted on 27/07/2016

In an effort to jumpstart its Glass recycling initiative the Emirates Environmental Group is delighted to share with the community that its Glass collection campaign is back in full force after a gap of 10 months.

Recycling is a value that EEG has been sharing with the community for over two decades. Having multiple benefits of reducing carbon emissions, saving landfill space and energy, reducing costs and many more, recycling has become an integral part of the culture of many nations and the UAE is steadily moving forward in the right direction.

The advantages and benefits of recycling are simply too many to ignore which is why EEG dedicates so much of its time and workforce in advocating the practice and asking the UAE community to join in this needful act.

EEG began its glass recycling campaign in October 2005 as a pilot project. The campaign offered a platform to all sectors of the community to recycle their used glass bottles and close a major gap in the local recycling scenario. Since the launch of the campaign more than a decade ago, EEG has collected 2,248,572 kg of glass bottles from across the UAE and sent the same for recycling. In August 2015 to its disappointment, EEG had to suspend its Glass recycling campaign as the factory was facing contamination issues raised as a result of mixing of glass and ceramic material.

EEG has always been at the forefront when it comes to creating multi stakeholder platforms and uniting the different strata's of the community for a common cause. To this effect, EEG has re-launched the glass recycling campaign with the support of a local recycling factory, Random Global FZCO in Dubai. The new signed agreement is a pivotal step in EEG's Recycling Initiative, a unique programme aimed at reducing the environmental impact of Glass. This will also result in the reduction of glass being dumped in the landfill if the respective entities undertake the recycling programme efficiently.

Through this initiative EEG urges the public and private organisations in particular the hospitality industry, academic institutions and students to recycle their waste glass bottles; Divert Glass Bottles from landfills; and help conserve resources by encouraging effective recycling programmes.

As part of the programme, EEG will accept different types of glass from all sectors within the UAE, such as corporate, hotels, academic institutions and families. These bottles will then be channelled to the factory for recycling.

After signing the agreement Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson, EEG said, "We are very happy with this agreement. As an environmental organisation we have always believed in sustainable environment practices and we are happy to sign this partnership deal with Random Global who shares a common interest in this area. This agreement is a major step in encouraging environmental-friendly practices within the UAE and we are proud to be the torch bearers of this community campaign". - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298183206.html


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Etihad Airways announces additional A380 service to New York’s JFK Airport

posted on 27/07/2016

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, yesterday announced plans to increase Airbus A380 service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport, in response to heightened demand from guests traveling between the two destinations.

Beginning on June 1, 2017, the airline will upgrade its second flight between Abu Dhabi and New York JFK to its award-winning A380 aircraft which features The Residence, the only three-room suite available in commercial airline operation, and its award-winning First Apartment cabins.

The new service will join the airline's existing daily A380 service, replacing the current daily Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Etihad Airways first began welcoming guests on board its first A380 flight between New York JFK and Abu Dhabi in November 2015.

"The response we have received from Etihad Airways guests traveling between Abu Dhabi and New York since we launched the service nearly a decade ago has been phenomenal, and we are delighted to further expand our world-class product for all guests traveling to and from New York," said Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways' Chief Executive Officer.

Baumgartner continued, "Our commitment to our guests has always been to be the very best airline in the world by totally reimagining the travel experience and delivering the highest levels of comfort, luxury and world-class hospitality at every point in their travel journey, on the ground and in the air, across all classes of service."

The Residence guests enjoy the ultimate in luxury. Every part of the travel experience is tailored and bespoke including a chauffeur-driven ride to the airport and a private three-room suite that includes a living room that seats up to two guests, a double bedroom, and a separate en suite shower room. Guests in The Residence are looked after by a dedicated Butler trained at the legendary Savoy Hotel in London. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298195252.html


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Etihad opens new First and Business Class Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport

posted on 27/07/2016

Etihad Airways has opened a new premium lounge at Los Angeles International Airport.

The new lounge, set within the Tom Bradley International Terminal, is Etihad's third premium offering in the United States, with others in Washington DC and New York, and complements the Abu Dhabi airline's daily Boeing 777 service from the West Coast.

Etihad said in a statement that the new facility moves away from the normal conventions of airport lounge design, and features the same "Modern Arabian" decorative elements which characterise its new international lounges.

It features an à la carte dining area, showcase bar, TV area, shower facilities, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, multi-zone electrical and USB power outlets, and a selection of international magazines and daily newspapers. A separate VIP area can also be made available when required, Etihad said.

The lounge is open for the exclusive use of Etihad First Class and Business Class guests, Etihad Guest Platinum, Gold and Silver members flying on EY170, and Etihad Airways Partner (EAP) airlines' equivalent Platinum and Gold members.

The opening makes it 15 premium lounges globally for Etihad, including the.

"Our new First and Business Class Lounge in Los Angeles demonstrates our unwavering commitment to travellers on the US West Coast, and in the United States as a whole, by providing them with the intuitive hospitality they have come to expect from our people and our brand," said Martin Drew, Etihad Airways senior vice president Americas. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/business/aviation/etihad-opens-new-first-and-business-class-lounge-at-los-angeles-international-airport#6


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Port operator DP World forecasts brighter second half

posted on 27/07/2016

DP World is projecting a better performance at its container terminals in the second half of this year as it expands its operations in the UAE and internationally.

Volumes edged up 2.5 per cent in the first half on a reported basis, mainly owing to growth in India and Europe.

The ports operator handled 31.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in the first six months of 2016, a 1.2 per cent increase on a like-for-like basis, the company said yesterday.

Container volumes at a consolidated level – which refers to volumes at terminals DP World controls – rose 1.6 per cent on a reported basis, but fell 1.4 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Growth in Australia and Latin America languished in the first half, while UAE volumes dipped 6 per cent because of a drop in lower margin cargo.

DP World expects better performance in the second half of this year thanks to expansion plans at terminals in the Netherlands, India, the UK and Turkey, Sultan bin Sulayem, group chairman, said in a statement.

"We continue to focus on driving profitability by targeting higher margin cargo, improving efficiencies and managing costs," said Mr Sulayem. "We are encouraged by the progress we have made in the first half of 2016, and we remain confident in meeting full-year market expectations."

DP World plans to spend between US$1.2 billion and $1.4bn this year to expand its terminals in Jebel Ali in Dubai, the Economic Zones World free zone in Jebel Ali, London Gateway in the UK and Prince Rupert in British Columbia, Canada.

It expects to have about 86 million units of gross global capacity by the end of this year, up from 79.6 million units at the end of last year.

DP World's net profit rose by 30.7 per cent last year, beating analyst expectations, thanks to the port operator's acquisition of a free zone in Dubai in 2014 and growth in throughput. – The National - http://www.thenational.ae/business/shipping/port-operator-dp-world-forecasts-brighter-second-half


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New batch of 80 diplomats sworn in before Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed

posted on 27/07/2016

A new batch of 80 male and female diplomats took the oath of office on Tuesday before H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the ministry premises in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking at the ceremony, Sheikh Abdullah affirmed that the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, spared no effort to empower its citizens and provide them with opportunities to unleash their energies in order to significantly contribute to building the future of their country.

Sheikh Abdullah emphasised the ministry's commitment to absorb competent citizens who are capable of serving and representing their country honourably inside and outside the country.

HH urged the new diplomats to work diligently and shoulder their responsibility properly taking into consideration the status of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as a mirror image of the UAE abroad.

HH wished the new diplomats good luck in delivering the vision and serving the goals and principles of the UAE's diplomacy by serving its citizen in the country and representing his interests overseas.

Highlighting the magnitude of responsibility placed on the new diplomats, HH said he was confident of their abilities to push the nation's development process forward and uphold values, principles and approaches of the UAE's diplomacy and cope with the rapid regional and international transformations. He was also confident that they would perform their duty with complete confidence and ability to achieve and innovate in a way that delivers objectives of the UAE foreign policy and diplomatic work.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Mohammed Mir Al Raisi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Dr. Abdul Rahim Al Awadi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs; Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Jarman, Assistant Foreign Minister Political Affairs, and a number of senior officials and heads of departments at the ministry, attended the ceremony.

On the side-lines of the event, Sheikh Abdullah honoured a group of employees who won the competition for an innovative platform, an initiative launched by HH this year under the theme 'Your health is our priority' to encourage employees to present creative ideas and implement them as a part of the efforts to promote and serve the diplomatic corps in aspects of health.

A jury received more than 119 entrants and selected the three best innovative ideas. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298192792.html


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UAE condemns church attack in France

posted on 27/07/2016

The United Arab Emirates has condemned the attack which targeted a church in northwest of France and led to killing of a priest, describing it as a barbaric and sinister crime.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement issued yesterday that targeting places of worship is a proof that terrorism knows no religion or principles and that its main purpose is to sow sedition and hatred.

The ministry added that the shocking crime exposes the despicable face of the perpetrators and those behind them and requires all to firmly work together to confront terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

The statement expressed UAE's solidarity with the friendly Republic of France and support to all its actions it may take in such circumstances. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international/1395298205410.html


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Suqia extends deadline to participate in US$ 1 million Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award

posted on 27/07/2016

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Water Aid Foundation, Suqia, has extended the deadline to apply for the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Water Award until 30th September, 2016.

The US$ 1 million award was launched by the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, MBRGI, to find solutions to international water scarcity.

Suqia is a major contributor to implementing the objectives set by MBRGI, to combat poverty and disease by finding sustainable solutions for water scarcity. Suqia also works in water-scarce or water polluted areas by using desalination and purification technologies to provide clean water.

"The award encourages leading corporations, research centres, institutions, and innovators from all over the world to find sustainable and innovative renewable-energy solutions to the problem of water scarcity. The award also encourages studies and research to address water pollution, by using solar energy, in cooperation with a number of international educational institutions," said Al Tayer.

"Suqia is a beacon of the UAE's attempts to do good for the planet, by providing sustainable solutions for water scarcity, and to reduce contamination of drinking water throughout the world. Suqia also participates in international efforts to supply clean water, and eliminate water-related life threatening diseases, while protecting clean water from being polluted," added Al Tayer.

"The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award comprises three categories: The Innovative Projects Award is worth US$500,000, the Innovative Research and Development Award is worth US$400,000 in the category of national and international institutions, and the Innovative Youth Award is worth US$100,000," said Mohammed Abdulkareem Al Shamsi, Acting Executive Director of Suqia. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298179517.html


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New Ministerial Decree to assure punctual payment of wages

posted on 27/07/2016

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has launched a new Decree to ensure employees' wages are fully paid within a period not exceeding 10 days from the due date as registered in the WPS, wage protection system, the Decree will come into force in October, 2016.

Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said that companies employing over 100 workers must pay wages within a period not exceeding 10 days. If they fail, the ministry will stop granting them any additional work permits starting from the 16th day from the date of delay.

"Two main things should be considered in this matter: firstly, salary delays occur usually if the company fails to pay wages a month from the due date, the second, which refers to completely refraining wages, starts after entering into the second month, however, the Decree shall refer to each case in a different matter," he said.

The Decree states that if a company delays wages by one month from the due date, which means the company has entered into the refrainment phase, the ministry shall inform the judicial authorities and other related parties to take all necessary punitive measures against it, causing a complete strike against the other companies owned by the same employer, plus prohibiting the employer the ability of registering any new companies.

Furthermore, if a company continues to refrain wages, the ministry shall take necessary measures to use the bank guarantee, in addition to downgrading the company into the third category and enable the workers to move to another company.

"If the company fails to pay wages for 60 days from the due date, then administrative fines shall follow, not forgetting the punishments that had been already meted out for failing to pay wages a month from the due date," Ghobash added.

Administrative fines hit AED5,000 per worker's delayed wage, up to a maximum of AED50,000 dirhams in cases that include multiple workers complaining about delayed wages for over 60 days.

On the positive side, the ministry will lift the ban from violating companies granting them the ability to apply for new work permits if they immediately pay delayed wages during the first delay month, while the ban will last for 60 days for companies that fail to pay wages for more than two months.

The Decree reiterates that if a company frequently refrains salaries, the ban duration will double, after paying the wages.

Additionally, if the ministry comes across any sort of salary delays or refrains by companies that employ less than one hundred workers, the current regulations shall apply, from work permit ban to fines, then public trial referral if the company fails to pay the money within 60 days. However, if the company records such violations more than once per year, then, in this case, the ministry shall apply the penalties as above for companies that employ over 100 workers.

The decree clearly states that the Ministry shall not proceed with any transactions with companies that do not register for the wage protection system. In addition, it will stop dealing with the owners of these companies until they register in the system, thus ensuring that workers' rights have been met. - Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395298167594.html


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