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VP commissions UAE-made Baynunah-class corvette Al Hili

posted on 21/02/2017

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, yesterday officially inaugurated Al Hili, the sixth and the latest Baynunah-class corvette built by Abu Dhabi Ship Building, ADSB, for the UAE Navy, in a ceremony held at NAVDEX, the naval defence and maritime security section of the tri-service International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX 2017.

After he commissioned the new 72m-long corvette into service by raising the UAE flag on the deck, he toured the command-and-control unit and discussed the vessle's advanced combat capabilities with Navy officers.

"Al Hili corvette was produced by bright national minds and strong arms. It is a 100 percent national product and is another proof that we have long been masters of the sea. Shipbuilding was the craft of our ancestors that will always be an immortalised heritage and a source of pride for successive generations," he said.

He also congratulated the UAE Armed Forces and the Navy on taking delivery of the new pieces for the fleet, which would help protecting the UAE's sovereignty over its territorial waters.

"Godspeed. Be strong believers in Allah, trust your capabilities and skills, and preserve your weapons and your country's gains," H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said.

Baynunah corvettes are a unique class of warship with multi-mission capabilities, including coastal patrol and surveillance, mine detection and avoidance, helicopter operations, and anti-air and anti-surface capabilities. Baynunah utilises the latest in weapons and sensor technology and has an advanced firepower, said Khaled Al Mazrouei, CEO of ADSB.

ADSB has built 268 ships for the navies of the UAE, other members of the Gulf Co-operation Council, India and African countries, he noted.

Inaugurated in 1996, ADSB initially focused on naval repairs and refits and gradually expanded its expertise to include building sophisticated war ships.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of the Emirates Group; Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs; Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs; Lt. General Mohammed Abdulrahim Al Ali, Assistant Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Defence; Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces; Major General Ibrahim Salim Mohammad Al-Musharkh, Commander of the Naval Forces, and a number of high-ranking commanders from the UAE Armed Forces were also present at the event. MMYS. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohamed bin Zayed tours IDEX 2017

posted on 21/02/2017

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, continued his tours on the second day of the IDEX 2017 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), by visiting a number of participating national pavilions and exhibitions by foreign companies.

His Highness viewed during his tour the most important exhibits and developmental projects executed by international companies and the defence tools and technology. He exchanged conversation with company representatives about different sides represented in the exhibition.

He began the tour by visiting the International Golden Group, where he was received by its chairman, Lieutenant-General (retd.) Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was introduced by Fadel Saif Al Kaabi, Executive Chairman of the company, to view the most important and modern defence and military technology on offer by the group of strategic partners from the International Golden Group. The group's has a 1,500 square metre pavilion, which has over 80 companies that work in the defence and military industry from the US, Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.

He then moved to the exhibit from General Dynamics, a US defence company formed from a number of specialised companies. His Highness got to know the most important projects made by the company in the region and the developmental programmes which it aims to execute in the following stage.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan then visited the exhibition by Bell Helicopters, a US company that specialises in manufacturing helicopters. The representative of the company presented an explanation of the most important standards and systems of the company to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The tour included a visit to "AM General" an American company that manufactures heavy vehicles exhibiting in its suite its innovative cars, especially its Multi-Purpose Truck.

He also visited the Greek Suite and got to know the nature of the Greek participation in the exhibition and what the Greek industry offered.

During the tour His Highness stopped at the Military Mechanism "Jais 4x4" produced by Nimr company for vehicles, which is part of the UAE Military Industries Company.

He was accompanied by Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Yousef Mana Al Otaiba, the UAE's Ambassador to the US, and Lt. General Juma Ahmed Al Bawardi Al Falasi, Adviser to Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohamed bin Zayed praises Sudan’s role in Arab Coalition

posted on 21/02/2017

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, praised the role of Sudan under the leadership of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in joining the Arab Coalition and its support for the Saudi-led operation to bring hope to Yemen.

It also confirms Sudan's proactive position as one of the countries that offered support and standing to the Arab Coalition, he said.

He also praised the performance of Sudanese forces in field operations, alongside other Arab Coalition forces.

Sheikh Mohamed hailed President al-Bashir who spent part of his life in the UAE and provided his military expertise to the UAE Armed Forces and witnessed early stages of building the country.

"In the name of the children of the UAE, we present our salutations and appreciation for you honouring us, and we renew the gratitude for this honourable stance against interventions that aim to change the identity of the region and divide its nations to serve both regional and external agendas," His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said.

The statement came while His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his accompanying delegation, who are currently visiting the country in the Sea Palace yesterday.

President al-Bashir expressed his happiness to meet with his brothers in the UAE, as well as his appreciation for its leadership and his love for its people.

During his meeting, President al-Bashir recalled the stance of the UAE's Founding Father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his efforts to unify the people of the region and join them under one banner. He described Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as the "Wise of the Arabs" and the "Teacher of Generations".

He also expressed his happiness and appreciation at being honoured with the Zayed Medal, and said that it pleased all of Sudan's people. He also expressed his pride at the distinguished relations between the two countries' leadership and peoples.

Al- Bashir confirmed that Sudan's stance and its support for the Arab Coalition is a duty as it represents one of the requirements of the Arab security, he said," It is an honour for us that we have a role with the brothers in preservation of security, stability and the interests of the Arab countries." - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Al Bowardi decorates US Commander of Central Army Command with Emirates Military Order of First Class

posted on 21/02/2017

Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence, decorated on Monday Lt. General Michael Jarrett, Commander of U.S. Army Central Command with Emirates Military Order of First Class.

Earlier, Al Bowardi received in his office at IDEX Lt. General Garrett and the accompanying delegation. They are currently visiting the country to attend IDEX 2017.

The UAE official welcomed Lt. General Garrett and discussed with him friendship and cooperation between the UAE and U.S. and ways to strengthen them, especially the cooperation and coordination between the two countries in areas of military and defence to serve the common interests of the two friendly countries.

The two parties also exchanged views on the latest regional developments and a number of issues of common concern. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE, Russia sign co-operation agreement in defence industries

posted on 21/02/2017

The UAE and the Russian Federation yesterday signed an agreement for co-operation in defence industries, which relates to discussing specifications and capabilities of Russian fighter jets, including Sukhoi 35.

The deal was signed yesterday at the ongoing International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2017) in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Denis Manturov, Russian Minister of Trade and Industry.

The agreement was signed by Homaid Abdullah Al Shimmari, CEO of Aerospace and Engineering Services, Mubadala Development Company, and Frolkin Aleksey Yevgenyevich, Deputy Director of Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.

The agreement also provides for procurement, development and partial manufacturing of advanced air, land and naval equipment to serve the requirements of the UAE armed forces. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi's IGG, Estonia's Milrem to develop, arm military unmanned ground vehicles

posted on 21/02/2017

Abu Dhabi-based supplier of high-end defence and security solutions International Golden Group, IGG, yesterday announced its cooperation with Milrem, the Estonian defence solutions provider, to develop and arm unmanned ground vehicles, UGV, with Aselsan Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS, the largest Turkish defence electronics company.

The vehicle is the first of its kind in the UAE, and is set to meet the tactical requirements on the battlefield and to increase the combat capability while minimising the damage and operational needs, said Khalifa Al Balushi, Chief Executive Officer of International Golden Group and Chief Executive Officer of IGG Aselsan Integrated Systems, in a press release.

The prototype of this vehicle is currently being showcased at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX 2017, under the umbrella of IGG, where visitors can test and interact with the product through the remote control unit.

"Our partnership with IGG stems from our aim to expand our operations and make the required technology available to develop such vehicles in the Middle East. The Prototype is the first of its kind in this collaboration, and will be deployed in numerous missions," said Kuldar Vaarsi, Chief Executive Officer of Milrem. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Arms deals worth over AED6.9 billion sealed on day two of IDEX, bringing total transactions to AED11.33 billion

posted on 21/02/2017

Arms deals worth AED 6.919 billion (US$ 1.88 billion) were signed on the second day of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX 2017, bringing the total transactions in 48-hrs of the exhibition to more than AED11.335 billion (over US$3 billion).

Brigadier-General Rashid Mohammed Al Shamsi, Official Spokesperson for the 13th edition of IDEX, said that a total of 10 transactions were carried out on Monday, bringing the cumulative number of deals for the first and second day to 31. On day one of the IDEX, 21 deals worth more than AED4.4 billion were signed.

Speaking at a daily press briefing Al Shamsi, said that five of the deals were made with the national companies and the remaining five with international companies. Naval Staff Colonel Fahed Nasser Al Thehli, Official Spokesperson of the fourth edition of the Naval Defence Exhibition, NAVDEX 2017, was also present.

Announcing details of the deals signed yesterday, Al Shamsi said that a contract was signed with the UAE based company, International Golden Group (IGG), to buy over AED11.7 million worth of ammunitions for the UAE Air Force. Similarly a contract worth over AED9.1 million was signed with the American company, Cubic Simulation Systems, to buy and install simulations for internal training.

He said that a contract worth over AED865. 7 million was signed with Swedish aerospace and defence company, SAAB AB, to buy new airborne G6000 SRSS (Swing Role Surveillance System) aircrafts and provide additional supply of spare parts for ground hardware and perishable materials.

A contract was signed with the Russian company, ROSOBORONEXPORT, to buy worth over AED2.6 billion of anti-armour missiles, Al Shamsi said, adding that a contract worth over AED151. 2 million was signed with the German company, Rheinmentall Defence Electronics, to buy combat simulations.

A contract with International Golden Group (IGG), a UAE-based company, was signed to buy over AED290 million worth of weaponry and technical gear/equipment. A contract worth over AED611.6 million was signed with the American company, Raytheon, to purchase missiles.

The Spokesman said that a contract valued at AED23. 4 million was signed with the UAE based company NIMR Automotive, to upgrade and buy its defence 4x4 ‘NIMR' tanks.

A contract with UAE based company, Trust International Group, to buy worth about AED553. 7 million military grade explosive interactive weapons.

A contract with the UAE based company Maximus Air, nearly AED1.8 billion was signed to buy air cargo planes for commercial use.

Staff Brigadier-General Rashid Mohammed Al Shamsi said that the first two days have led to an increasing number of deals with national and international companies alike. Furthermore, he stressed that IDEX 2017 offers a platform to engage with stakeholders, foster deals, build partnerships and witness the latest in defence innovation and technology. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohamed bin Zayed receives defence ministers at IDEX 2017

posted on 21/02/2017

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met with several defence ministers and heads of delegations who are taking part in the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX, 2017, which started on Sunday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC.

The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince separately met with Greece's Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos, Slovak Republic's Minister of Defence Peter Gajdos, Indian Minister of State for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre, and Representative of the Bangladeshi Ministry of Defence Major General Tariq Ahmed.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed discussed friendship and the existing relations between the UAE and their respective countries, especially in the military and defence domains, in the best interests of all sides.

They also spoke about IDEX 2017 and the event's previous achievements, given its regional and global stature. They also discussed the exhibition's role in showcasing latest defence and military systems, which made it a key international event with participation from major companies, arms manufacturers and defence factories in the region.

Chairman of Executive Affairs Authority Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak and Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, also attended the meetings. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ADNOC awards China’s CEFC 4% interest in ADCO Onshore Concession

posted on 21/02/2017

ABU DHABI, 21st February, 2017 (WAM)--Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), signed on Monday an agreement with the CEFC China Energy Company Limited (CEFC China), awarding it the final 4% interest in Abu Dhabi's onshore oil concession. CEFC contributed a sign-up bonus of AED 3.3 billion ($888 million) to enter the concession.

The onshore concession is operated by the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations (ADCO).

The agreement, which has a term of 40 years, backdated to January 1, 2015, was signed by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, ADNOC Group Chief Executive Officer, and member of Abu Dhabi's Supreme Petroleum Council, and Ye Jianming, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEFC China.

Dr. Al Jaber said, "We are pleased to be entering into this strategic partnership with CEFC China. This agreement demonstrates the innovative and strategic approach we are bringing to our business partnerships. CEFC will complement the technical strengths of our existing partners and bring a new dynamic with their financial, commercial and investment experience."

"As ADNOC embarks on implementing its 2030 growth strategy and five-year business plan, we intend to continue to work closely with value-add partners, across the oil and gas value chain, that can contribute world-class technology industry experience and market access," he added.

CEFC China is among the 10 largest private companies in China and has a focus on energy and financial services.

CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming said, "We are delighted to expand our relationship with ADNOC and to have secured long-term and stable onshore oil rights and interests that will allow us to engage in the exploration of upstream oil and gas in Abu Dhabi, and further enhance CEFC's position in leveraging oil reserves and engage in open market trading. This agreement enhances our ability to integrate ADNOC's onshore oil reserves with our storage facilities in China and Southeast Asia. By building an energy corridor, linking China, the Middle East and Europe, we can connect the Chinese market with the upstream resources of Abu Dhabi and the terminals in Europe."

CEFC China owns a controlling stake in KazMunayGas International N.V. (KMGI), Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company, and has energy investments in China, Africa, Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region.

It has built large-scale oil storage bases in China and owns trans-shipment terminals and gas stations in France, Spain, Romania and various countries around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It also organizes an oil reserve exchange mechanism integrating oil reserves in Europe, the Middle East and China.

CEFC's shareholding completes the onshore oil concession stake earmarked for foreign oil and gas companies. CEFC joins BP of the UK (10%), Total of France (10%), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) (8%), Inpex Corporation of Japan (5%), and GS Energy of South Korea (3%) as participants in the onshore concession and shareholders of ADCO.

ADNOC retains a majority 60% share in the ADCO concession. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Brand Dubai, Meraas partner to enhance art landscape in Dubai

posted on 21/02/2017

Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office, GDMO, and Meraas, one of Dubai's leading holding companies, have joined hands to create a platform for some of the world's leading 3D artists who will showcase their unique creations at the Dubai Canvas 3D Art Festival.

Dubai Canvas is the latest initiative of Brand Dubai that stems from the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to convert Dubai into an open-air museum, and promote aesthetic excellence and innovation, in partnership with government entities and departments, developers, artists and designers.

The 25 artists participating in Dubai Canvas 3D Art Festival will work on their creations at City Walk from 22nd to 28th February, the week preceding the festival, giving the public a great opportunity to watch them at work. The artists will compete for the AED2.3 million Dubai Canvas 3D Art Award, the world's first award that recognises excellence in 3D art. The event will be held from 1st to 7th March.

Over the past few years, Meraas, one of the key players organising Dubai Canvas, hosted several art events and displayed artworks created by local and international artists.

In April 2015, its BOXPARK hosted New Zealander Gary Yong, an acclaimed graffiti artist, to create a unique 3D "BOXPARK" block letter art installation. In the same year, Meraas Holding joined hands with Dubai Culture to unveil a kaleidoscope 3D selfie wrap at The Beach at Jumeirah Beach Residence. In an earlier partnership, Brand Dubai worked with Meraas to display a public art installation titled "Sand In the Waves" on The Beach. City Walk, Meraas's high-end lifestyle destination, recently hosted the 10th edition of the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award exhibition.

In 2016, City Walk hosted the inaugural project of Dubai Walls, a ground-breaking street art initiative by Meraas. Seventeen of the world's top street artists transformed Dubai's latest urban living destination into a unique art destination with their creative works adorning its walls.

"Meraas is an active player not only in the commercial sector but also in supporting the development of the artistic and the creative landscape in Dubai. It has developed unique urban destinations that provide distinctive ambiences, promoting innovation and creativity. These destinations represent the essence of Dubai's cosmopolitan and creative spirit, which makes the city a vibrant venue for global art events," said Mona Al Marri, Director-General of GDMO.

"Our partnership with Brand Dubai stems from a shared vision to transform Dubai into an open air museum. City Walk will offer Dubai residents and visitors a platform that combines arts in its different forms - architecture, street art and 3D arts. It also provides them an opportunity to identify with their environments and enjoy the creativity it brings. This collaboration is in line with our commitment to make Dubai a better place to live, work and visit, and our vision of opening up the city for all to enjoy by promoting activity and creativity for a more active life," said Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC provides support for University Hospital at Al Mukalla, Yemen

posted on 21/02/2017

AL MUKALLA: The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has presented medical imaging device for treating premature infants for the University Hospital of Gynaecology, Childbirth and Cardiac Catheterisation in the city of Al Mukalla, Yemen.

The gesture is in line with ERC's continuous efforts and in implementation of the wise leadership's directives to promote health services in the Governorate of Hadramaut to overcome the current challenges.

ERC Supervisor in Hadramaut said that provision of this medical equipment is seen within the framework of the efforts to improve performance of the hospital services.

Officials of the hospital hailed the ERC's humanitarian support for various health sectors in the governorate, stressing that the hospital is in severe need for the aid which would alleviate the suffering of the population.

They also hailed the UAE's efforts, represented in the ERC for supporting the health sector in Yemen. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE takes keen interest in supporting higher education, says Ajman Ruler

posted on 21/02/2017

The UAE takes a keen interest in supporting higher education, helps students with training and removes all obstacles, based on a strong belief that the future will be shaped by educated and creative people, said H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, while speaking opening the Ajman Education and Training Exhibition, AETEX 2017.

The three-day event is held under his patronage and under the theme "Towards a New Era of Innovated Education."

"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, ensured that the UAE is able to advance in all sectors, in education and training in particular, and that it has earned a place among the world's most advanced countries in terms of education, which is a top priority in its policies," the Ajman Ruler said.

He urged the youth to open up to other cultures, gain more knowledge and skills, and benefit from opportunities derived from continuous education and training to keep pace with modern-day developments to make a brighter and more prosperous future.

AETEX 2017 seeks to establish a direct link between students and academicians, as well as local and international educational institutions. It further aims to enhance communication, co-operation and partnerships among some 40 exhibitors. - Emirates News Agency, WAM


Lughati strives to build knowledge-based society through Smart Arabic Learning

posted on 21/02/2017

A first-of-its-kind initiative in the Arab world, Lughati, is striving to build a knowledge-based society through pioneering the learning of Arabic the smart way.

Launched following the directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the scheme aims to enrich the Arabic language education using interactive technology and to encourage students to incorporate it into their daily lives.

Lughati forms a central component of the Ruler of Sharjah's objectives to develop the education sector in the Emirate of Sharjah and to preserve the Arabic language by incorporating modern methods into the learning process. Ultimately, it aims to make learning Arabic easier and more accessible for young people, and endear it to them as their mother tongue.

Lughati's main activities involve the distribution of smart tablets to 25,000 students and 1,000 teachers in 80 kindergartens and schools up to the fifth grade in Sharjah. The distributed devices feature innovative programmes such as the ‘Horouf' application, an interactive Arabic learning tool that was developed by Horouf - a subsidiary of Kalimat Group.

The initiative also organises training programmes for faculty members on how to use the smart tablets and incorporate them into the learning process, as well as participates in cultural, educational and social activities in the emirate.

Badria Al Ali, Manager of Lughati initiative, said, "In line with the vision of Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi, we have set an integrated strategic plan through which we seek to reach our goals. The distribution of smart tablets is being spread across six phases, two of which have already been implemented. In the first phase, we delivered tablets to 5,060 students and 232 teachers in kindergartens in Sharjah at a cost of AED 17 million. In the second phase implemented at a cost of AED 15.5 million, we distributed tablets to 2,977 first grade students and 129 teachers in 49 schools."

Al Ali noted, "Following the completion of the first two phases, the Lughati team paid field visits to kindergartens and schools covered by the initiative in order to conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify the benefits availed by students and teachers who were provided with the tablets and to ensure the continuity of Lughati initiative. During the visits, we obtained their feedback and opinions which will govern our implementation of the following four phases of the initiative."

As part of its ongoing efforts to promote the use of technology in Arabic learning, Lughati organised a series of training courses in October 2016 targeting first grade Arabic teachers, principals and resource room teachers in the emirate's public schools to train them on how to use and incorporate the tablets in Arabic learning. In order to assess the full impact of the initiative, Lughati signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Sharjah in October 2016, aimed at conducting a research study to measure Lughati's impact on students who have benefitted from the initiative throughout its first and second phases.

In July and August 2016, Lughati organised its first summer camp, which was held at Sharjah Ladies Club's Collage Centre and the Women's Sport Department (now Women's Sport Foundation), Sharjah's Golf and Shooting Club and various Sharjah Children Centres' branches in Mleiha, Al Raqqa, Kalba, Khorfakkan, Wadi Al Helo and Dibba Al Hisn. The camp saw the participation of 55 students and 25 teachers and featured an array of educational and entertainment activities that incorporated the Horouf application to develop the attendees' Arabic language skills.

As part of its efforts to introduce children and their families to the services Lughati provides to schools in the emirate, the initiative has participated in several cultural and social events over the past year. In April 2016, it took part in the eighth edition of the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, where it launched the first Theatrical Competition for Kindergarten Pupils in Sharjah. The competition - the first-of-its-kind for kindergarten pupils in the theatrical field - was organised in collaboration with the Sharjah Education Council and aimed to enrich children's Arabic vocabulary and linguistic skills. It also aspired to motivate children to use Arabic in their everyday lives as well as to sharpen their creative talents in the performing arts.

Lughati participated in the Reading Carnival held at Khorfakkan Corniche, organised by the Ministry of Education in October 2016 as part of its National Reading Policy initiative. During the event it conducted a variety of workshops and activities for the carnival's young visitors.

Marking World Teachers' Day, which is celebrated annually on October 5, Lughati organised a special activity in appreciation of teachers' efforts in supporting and developing the education system in Sharjah. It also participated in the 35th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, which saw the launch of the Lughati Cup 2016, a competition aimed at testing the Arabic language skills of primary school students in Sharjah.

In December 2016, Lughati took part in the fifth edition of the Dawahi Festival, which was organised by the emirate's Department of Suburbs and Villages Affairs. The initiative held story-telling sessions, art and crafts workshops and enabled children visiting the festival to become acquainted with its smart tablets.

The support of Arabic learning in public schools in Sharjah using state-of-the-art technology was officially announced by the Ruler of Sharjah in 2013, with the aim of developing education in the emirate, preserving the Arabic language and endearing Arabic studies to children by incorporating modern methods. After three years of operations the initiative took on a new identity when it was branded ‘Lughati,' the title approved by Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi in January 2016.

Lughati was conceived to be an educational and scientific response to the requirements for smart learning, with its introduction designed to help build a knowledge-based society through enhancing the delivery of new education. - Emirates News Agency, WAM -