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Mohammed bin Rashid and Mohamed bin Zayed discuss national issues

posted on 27/06/2016

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 met in Abu Dhabi this evening to discuss issues of interest to the nation's unity and ways to provides means of decent living standards to the citizens across the country.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan expressed pride over the social bond among different segments of the society which was clearly reflected during the holy month of Ramadan.

They prayed to Allah the Almighty to safeguard the UAE and its wise leadership and to bless the people of the UAE with further progress and prosperity.

The meeting was attended by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE Cabinet approves Eid Al Fitr holiday of Federal entities

posted on 27/06/2016

Based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the UAE Cabinet chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved Eid Al Fitr holiday for Ministries and Federal entities, starting from 28 of Ramadan 1437 Hijri year, corresponding to Sunday, July 3, with work resuming on Sunday, July 10, 2016.

The Cabinet meeting this evening at the Presidential Palace was held in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The Cabinet also approved an adjustment to the working days of the administrative and educational bodies for the year 2015-2016, adopted by Resolution No. (57/2-20) for the year 2015 on the Academic Calendar for the coming three years, marking the end of the year 2015-16 for administrative and educational bodies of public and private educational institutions under the Ministry of Education. Accordingly, the last working day for this year will be June 30, 2016.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to give priority for citizens who have completed the UAE national service in the recruitment and promotion process of ministries and federal entities, in recognition of their efforts to serve the nation.

In terms of government policies, the Cabinet approved the unified medical licensing standards for doctors and healthcare professionals at the national level. The standards include procedures for establishing partnerships between the Ministry of Health & Prevention and local healthcare entities in the UAE healthcare sector which helps attracting medical talents, facilitating their mobility, and sharing expertise, in addition to unifying licensing procedures of various medical specialisations.

In legislative affairs, the Cabinet approved a proposal to issue a Federal law amending some provisions of the Penal Code, issued earlier under Federal Law No. (3) for the year 1987, and a federal law amending some provisions of the Federal Law No. (14) for the year 1995 on combatting the use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in line with the country's vision to achieve a safe community, and contribute towards the efforts to enhance effective judicial process in line with the standards of developed countries in the field.

In regulatory affairs, the Cabinet approved a new structure of the UAE University's board, headed by H.E Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chancellor of the University, and also the cabinet has been also appointed as Mr Mohamed Albelli as Director General of the University.

The Cabinet also approved the restructure of the EITHAD Railway Company's board of directors, headed by H.E Engineer Owaida Murshid Ali Al Marar, The Cabinet approved a unified final account for the financial year of federal government ended 31/12/2015.

In international relations, the Cabinet endorsed and signed a number of agreements, including eight agreements on the exchange of information in tax matters with the governments of the Finland, Argentina, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Colombia, and Iceland. The Cabinet also approved agreements between the UAE government and the government of Jordan on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion with respect to income tax. An agreement with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation on the opening of a branch of the corporation in Dubai was also approved.

The Cabinet approved agreements between the UAE government and the government of Mauritius on the mutual exemptions on entry for holders of diplomatic and special passports and visas, and an agreement with the government of Poland on cooperation in the tourism sector. It also endorsed an agreement with the government of Latvia on economic cooperation, and another agreement with Italy in the fields of culture, arts and heritage.

The approvals also included the ratification of the agreement between the government of the UAE and the Arab Bureau of Education for Gulf States on the benefits of the Arabic Language Educational Center for Gulf States, and an agreement with Azerbaijan on the institutional cooperation in maritime transport.

The Cabinet endorsed the Protocol to amend the Convention on Offences and Certain other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft (Montreal 2014), and an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan on mutual allocation of land between the cities of Abu Dhabi and Astana to construct buildings for diplomatic representative missions. It also approved an agreement between the UAE government and the government of Lithuania on economic and technical cooperation. The agreements came as part of the UAE's keen efforts to strengthen its international standing and support friendly relations with the countries around the world. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emiratis can now apply for e-visa to travel to Tajikistan

posted on 27/06/2016

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation yesterday announced that, as of 1st June, Tajikistan's Consulate General in the UAE will begin accepting online visa applications from Emirati citizens.

The e-visa system allows holders of Emirati diplomatic, regular, special and mission-specific passports to enter Tajikistan with tourism or work visas after completing online applications without having to visit the diplomatic missions or consulates of Tajikistan.

Assistant Undersecretary for Consular Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ahmed Elham Al Dhaheri, said the ministry has received a note from Tajikistan' Consulate-General announcing that on 1st June the country's portal at http://www.evisa.ti has been used for issuing e-visas for Tajikistan.

He explained that the decision reflects the growth of bilateral relations between the UAE and Tajikistan and seeks to enhance their future cooperation in all spheres.

The fee of the e-Visa is US$50, payable by credit cards after completing an application form. The amount is non-refundable if the application is rejected.

If the application is approved, the visa will emailed to the address stated in the application form.

The e-visa is valid for up to 90 days, while the duration of stay should not exceed 45 days where the person holding the visa should leave Tajikistan before the expiry date. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohammed bin Rashid witnesses signing of MoU between DEWA, Masdar on implementation of third phase of Solar Park in Dubai

posted on 27/06/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, yesterday witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, and Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, on the implementation of the 800-megawatt (MW) third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.

The MoU signing took place at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi and was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The 800MW third phase will be constructed based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. The selected bidder for the project is a Masdar-led consortium that includes Spanish companies FRV (Fotowatio Renewable Ventures) and Gransolar Group.

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: "Masdar is proud to have been chosen to develop the third phase of the largest single-site solar park in the world. The significant scale and competitive cost of this project are a clear signal that solar energy is a reliable and commercially viable technology.

"Today's signing illustrates the UAE leadership's clear commitment to diversifying its energy sources and promoting the widespread adoption of renewable energy by cost-effectively scaling up solar power. It also underlines the UAE's firm belief that all sources of energy are needed to meet the world's growing demand for energy.

"The selection of the Masdar-led consortium to develop the third phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai is a testament to the company's experience and track record over the last decade. It also reinforces Abu Dhabi's and Masdar's growing contribution to the development of the renewable energy industry, both domestically and internationally."

"Our energy systems are evolving to be smarter and more effective. By using multiple sources of energy such as gas, nuclear and solar, we are efficiently and cost-effectively meeting our varying power needs, from base load to peak demand. This project will achieve this very objective."

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer of DEWA said: "In line with the directives of President of the UAE HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we have taken further steps to achieve our goals for solar energy by signing the agreement with the selected bidder led by Masdar for the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which will become operational in 2020 to coincide with the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. The park supports the goal of UAE Vision 2021 to transform the UAE into one of the greatest countries in the world by 2021. It is the largest single-site solar park in the world, and will produce 5,000MW by 2030 with a total investment of AED 50 billion."

"Our wise leadership has a vision to transform the UAE into the most sustainable country in the world by launching a number of clean and renewable energy projects and ensuring the Emirate's continuous growth, while at the same time protecting its natural resources, and shaping the future of energy in the region as a whole, to achieve sustainable development and promote everyone's happiness, ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come," added Al Tayer.

"We strive to implement the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to diversify the energy mix so that clean energy will generate 25% of Dubai's total power output by 2030 and 75% by 2050. This strategy relies on innovation, and research and development (R&D) as the basis for the future of energy.

"Since the announcement of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the project has attracted huge interest from the business and energy sector. DEWA received several offers from international solar energy companies, reflecting the trust and interest from investors in large projects adopted by the Dubai Government. Encouraged by the favourable existing regulations and legislation in Dubai that permit private sector partnerships in power production projects in the Emirate, the 800MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the first project of its kind in the region with this capacity."

"We aim to demonstrate to the world our excellence in the public utilities sector, and our focus on discovering renewable and clean energy resources," concluded Al Tayer. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Nawah Energy Company relocate headquarters to Masdar City

posted on 27/06/2016

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its operating subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), commemorated the move to new headquarters in Masdar City with an inaugural ceremony attended by the top management and employees from across both companies.

The move to Masdar City has a clear synergy for ENEC's mission and vision to deliver safe, clean and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE, ENEC said, adding that it is committed to powering the future growth and prosperity of the UAE through sustainable energy: a goal that FANR says aligns with Masdar City's purpose and vision.

Following the inaugural ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, Mohamed Al Hammadi, said that since its inception, ENEC has been delivering the UAE's first nuclear energy plant safely and steadily and we continue to move closer to providing the UAE with clean and sustainable energy, saving up to 12 million tons in carbon emissions every year. "Masdar City, and the renewable energy that powers its facilities, are other examples of how the UAE continues to pursue clean and sustainable forms of energy following the leadership's innovative decision to diversify the nation's supply."

"Masdar City holds many opportunities beyond its great facilities as we continue to grow as a company. The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology lies at the heart of the city and we look forward to working with educators and students to promote opportunities created by the UAE's peaceful nuclear energy program," he added.

Acting CEO of Nawah, Mohammed Sahoo Al Suwaidi, added that as the recently established operating subsidiary for the UAE peaceful nuclear energy program, Nawah will continue to work closely with ENEC, building on the momentum already laid for operational readiness of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. "Having our established headquarters with ENEC in Masdar City, strengthens our alliance and shared goal to provide the UAE's electricity needs with sustainable nuclear energy."

Masdar City, which broke ground in 2008, is one of the world's most sustainable urban developments. Located next to Abu Dhabi International Airport, Masdar City also hosts the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, the world's first graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), as well as a growing business community, from multinational companies to dynamic start-up enterprises.

Masdar City is home to the region's largest cluster of certified high-performance buildings, including the Estidama 4 Pearl development that will house ENEC's new headquarters. The building, the first to achieve a 4 Pearl rating under Abu Dhabi's green building standards, uses 64 per cent less energy and consumes 75 percent less water than standard buildings in Abu Dhabi.

Commenting on the relocation of ENEC's headquarters to Masdar City, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, said: "As a hub for energy, research and clean-tech companies, Masdar City is delighted to host the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, providing a strong base to support its strategic mandate to deliver safe, secure and reliable energy to the UAE as part of a diversified energy mix, and to further the UAE's economic diversification. ENEC joins a growing community of public, private and non-profit organisations at Masdar City, and its substantial workforce will contribute to the life and dynamism of the city greatly."

The construction of the FANR's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant commenced in 2012 and all four nuclear reactors will be operational in 2020. FANR says that at its full operational capacity, the facility will deliver up to a quarter of the UAE's electricity needs and save up to 12 million tons in carbon emissions every year.

The project at Barakah is progressing steadily, Unit 1 is now more than 88 percent complete, Unit 2 is 72 percent complete, Unit 3 is 50 percent complete and Unit 4 is 31 percent complete. Overall, construction of Units 1 to 4 is now more than 65 percent complete. All four units will deliver safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE grid, pending regulatory reviews and licensing, FANR said. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE partners with World Economic Forum to host annual meeting for shaping the future in November 2016

posted on 27/06/2016

The UAE government yesterday signed an agreement with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to host the next four editions of the Annual Meeting for Shaping the Future. The first of these meetings will be hosted in Dubai on 13 and 14 November 2016, featuring 50 specialised councils and more than 700 experts with the aim of preparing a clear future agenda to tackle the many challenges the world faces today.

The UAE-WEF partnership will aim to boost efforts of studying and foreseeing the future in a number of vital sectors related to sustainable development, improving life standards, and finding effective solutions to anticipated challenges. The partnership will also help create platforms for the experts of the Global Future Councils to facilitate communication between government organisations, private enterprises, expert houses and consulting firms. These platforms will enable collaboration in building capacity through training courses, workshop, papers and publications related to vital sectors.

Signing the partnership agreement with the WEF on behalf of the UAE Government, Mohammed Abdullah Al-Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Future, said: "Foreseeing and mapping the future is one of the UAE's major contributions to international society. The future is interlinked and connected, challenges are shared and common. In this context, it is important that we work with global councils to foresee the future and support governments around the world in formulating their strategies and preparing for the future."

Al-Gergawi added: "The UAE has always believed in planning and working with a futuristic vision. The directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, are to build local capacities and global partnerships that empowers the UAE to shape the future. Our nation is extremely active in playing a key role in foreseeing the future. The UAE is well positioned to help shape many of the vital sectors in the short and medium terms, led by a leadership that is continuously driving us forward to explore new development areas and build new economic sectors."

Al-Gergawi said: "The agreement that we have signed today with the World Economic Forum will help us build on our past partnership with WEF to forge new synergies."

As part of its agenda, the Annual Meeting for Shaping the Future will set the fourth industrial revolution as a key topic of discussion. In addition, the sessions will examine challenges in energy, food security, transport, infrastructure, artificial intelligence and other vital sectors. Furthermore, the councils will discuss the future of economic, social and political systems in light of technology integration in human lives and changes in traditional geographical borders.

The outcomes of the Annual Meeting for Shaping the Future in November 2016 will set the agenda for the upcoming WEF annual meeting in Davos, which will bring together 2,000 international leaders. The UAE will chose the councils for education, health, energy, cities of the future, and artificial intelligence.

Commenting on the new partnership, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said: "The fourth industrial revolution indicates the convergence of technologies, especially in the digital sphere. This is anticipated to have a major impact on the future of political, economic and social systems. This revolution will not just change what we do but will also change what we are. We have to be ready for the change, governments need to be prepared and willing to keep up with and adopt technological innovation. They need to get outside their comfort zone and their bureaucratic hierarchal structures and adopt new solutions to interact with their people."

Schwab added that the UAE's long term vision and ability to foresee the future qualifies the nation to lead the mandate of future innovation.

Al-Gergawi said: "The UAE government aims through this partnership to develop a global platform that brings together the best experts and minds in the domain of foreseeing and shaping the future. They will share ideas, possible scenarios and solutions that will lead to future models capable of dealing with future trends, challenges and opportunities such as the fourth industrial revolution."

Confirming that the partnership between the UAE government and the WEF will support the future of government sectors in the UAE, Al-Gergawi said the agreement will also support the nation's strategic future projects such as the World Government Summit and Dubai Future Foundation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE Space Agency and Lockheed Martin partner to train next generation of UAE national space talent

posted on 27/06/2016

The UAE Space Agency has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with Global technology leader, Lockheed Martin, to launch a comprehensive dual-track space training programme for students and early career professionals in space fundamentals.

Designed to prepare tomorrow's Emirati leaders for future careers in space, the programme will feature a comprehensive four-month space training programme that will take place at the Lockheed Martin Centre for Innovation and Security Solutions in Masdar City and in the US. The programme supports the UAE's strategic vision to create an indigenous talent pipeline of students and professionals inspired towards long-term careers in the space industry.

"The UAE Space Agency recognises the importance of partnering with a global space leader to inspire, train and develop future Emirati trailblazers in this field of space. We're proud to work with Lockheed Martin to develop capabilities and support knowledge transfer in this area of critical national significance. We look forward to seeing these early career professionals leading the UAE's space sector into a bright future," said Dr. Khalifa Mohamed Al Romaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency.

"We are committed to working together with the UAE Space Agency to execute their national priorities and space ambitions. We are excited to help develop the UAE's most important resource: the human potential that will power the country into space," said Robert S. Harward, Chief Executive of Lockheed Martin in the UAE. "This programme reflects our support for this sector of vital importance to the UAE. Lockheed Martin has been at the forefront of space exploration technology since the beginning, and we're deploying all of our expertise from around the world to encourage and train the UAE space explorers of tomorrow."

As a trusted partner of the UAE with more than 50 years of regional experience, Lockheed Martin supports the UAE's national space priorities and strategic objectives of helping build the region's space sector. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Abu Dhabi International Airport gears up for summer season

posted on 27/06/2016

Abu Dhabi Airports Company yesterday said it has geared up for the summer season with innovative passenger processing systems, reading libraries and moonlight check-in at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to keep travellers comfortable and make their journeys more enjoyable.

Acting COO of Abu Dhabi Airports, Mohammed Al Katheeri, said Abu Dhabi International Airport remains dedicated to giving its millions of passengers a world-class travel experience year-round. "With the summer upon us, we've made sure that we are prepared for a larger volume of travellers and that those using Abu Dhabi International Airport will get the most out of our top quality facilities, retail offers and F&B delights," he said.

The company will "continue to infuse innovation into our brands, promotions and marketing activities to cater to the increasingly diverse expectations of our passengers," he added.

:: Smart Travel The ‘Smart Travel' system, installed earlier this year, has changed the speed and ease of passenger processing at AUH. The initiative, which was implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and Abu Dhabi Police, allows passengers to check-in and move through immigration and security interacting exclusively with cutting-edge technology, in five easy steps.

With 25 E-registration stands, 58 E-gates, and 76 Self boarding gates located in Terminals 1 and 3, the ‘Smart Travel' system has decreased airport processing time by up to 70%, making journeys more efficient and hassle free. To date, 2,163,608 passengers have been registered in the ‘Smart Travel' system since its launch in March this year. Passengers can also utilise baggage drop facilities at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), City Check-in in Abu Dhabi, and at Al Ain International Airport, 24 hours before departure.

:: Reading initiatives As part of the nation-wide ‘Year of Reading' initiative under the directive of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Airports has launched its ‘Read & Rise' campaign at AUH.

The airport now has 20 mobile libraries at the departure gates in Terminals 1 and 3 as well as one of the region's first airport libraries, in the link between the two terminals. Books are available in several languages to cater to the diverse passenger demographic flying through AUH every day.

In a move that will delight fans of Harry Potter, the next instalment in the series, the long-awaited Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from J.K. Rowling, will be launched at WHSmith and Relay in Terminal 3 on 31st July, alongside special offers on books throughout the summer, in support of the ‘Year of Reading'.

:: Etihad Airways' moonlight check-in The UAE's national airline is offering special moonlight check-in incentives to travellers flying from AUH on Etihad Airways operated services. Moonlight check in is available up to 24H prior to departure for passengers who check-in between 1am-6am and 1pm-6pm in advance of their flight. Passengers are eligible to receive a collection of incentives, including 5kgs of additional checked baggage per guest, a 2,500-mile Etihad Guest voucher per guest, and 1 hour of free parking in the SkyPark Plaza Car Park that can be claimed via the presentation of a boarding pass-style voucher.

Moonlight check-in takes place in the SkyPark Plaza Car Park on the entrance level, opposite Terminal 3 at AUH, and runs from 20th June to 22nd July. The campaign saw more than 4,500 guests check-in during moonlight hours in 2015.

:: Enhancing the traveller experience at AUH As part of Abu Dhabi Airports' drive to enhance the traveller experience at AUH, UAE nationals can utilise the airport's Immigration Office to renew their passports in just 30 minutes! Nationals and expat residents can also settle any traffic fines at the airport's Justice Department office prior to departing from Abu Dhabi.

Across AUH the number of sleeping pods has tripled, the newly-refurbished Airport Hotel "Aerotel" has been re-opened, and luxury ground transportation vehicles are now available for arriving passengers in an exclusive partnership with Mitcheri. The all-new extension lounge in the VIP Terminal also offers partitioned spaces for passenger privacy at attractive prices.

Furthermore, travellers can benefit from the airport's recently installed way-finding kiosks that can be activated with the scan of a boarding pass, indicating important passenger departure information including routes to boarding gates and time of boarding.

Tosa Spa in Terminal 1, the children's play area in Terminals 1 and 3, baggage wrap services, and Travelex services will also remain available throughout the summer season.

Coupled with several traditional exhibits during the Holy Month of Ramadan, including Henna artists, Sougha weavers, and Maatouk coffee, guests at AUH are set for both an enjoyable and comfortable guest experience.

:: Connectivity on touchdown Mobile connectivity for arriving passengers at AUH has been made easier with the addition of 24-hour Etisalat & DU kiosks in the airport's Arrival Hall. Passengers can purchase a UAE Etisalat SIM card, e-Life products and also settle their bills, or re-register their accounts. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE, Qatar signs air transport services agreement

posted on 27/06/2016

DOHA: The UAE and Qatar have signed an agreement on Air Transport Services to provide more opportunities to their national airlines and promote and encourage economic cooperation and trade exchanges, the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said yesterday.

Director-General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, and Chairman of Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Abdullah bin Nasser Turki Al-Subaey, signed the agreement in Doha.

Al Suwaidi stressed that the agreement is set to promote bilateral relations built on the spirit of understanding, mutual respect and a desire to promote the excellent relationship in the field of air transport as well as support the joint action by the Gulf Cooperation Council members to develop the sector in the region and beyond.

On her part, Laila Ali Hareb Al Muhairi, Assistant Director-General at the GCAA, noted that the UAE and Qatar account for the one of the world's largest aviation sectors in the region and the world. This agreement, she added, contributes to sustainability of this growth. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai’s Damac awards 25 contracts worth AED3bn in H1 2016

posted on 27/06/2016

Dubai developer Damac Properties has awarded 25 construction and consultancy contracts worth AED3 billion in the first half of 2016, it announced on Sunday.

Contracts awarded include the main packages for more than 2,670 villas within its Akoya Oxygen project and the main package for Golf apartment buildings at Carson – The Drive at its Akoya by Damac project.

Damac managing director Ziad El Chaar, in a press release, said: "In Akoya Oxygen, the total number of villas now awarded exceeds 2,670. The designs of several clusters are completed, several main contractors were appointed and work started in many areas on site."

As of March 31 this year, the company has delivered over 15,800 homes, including approximately 2,000 hotel units.

The company has a development portfolio of over 44,000 units at various stages of progress and planning, comprising more than 13,000 hotel rooms, serviced apartments and hotel villas, which will be managed by its hospitality arm, Damac Hotels & Resorts. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


1,300 participations at ALECSO Apps Award, UAE telecom regulator says

posted on 27/06/2016

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE today said a total of 1,300 mobile applications are participating in the second ALECSO Apps Award, a mobile app development competition launched by the Arab League of Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO).

In a press release, the TRA said the winners will be awarded at a gala awards ceremony in Dubai in November 2016 on the sidelines of the UAE Innovation Week, a national celebration of innovation declared by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The annual ALECSO Apps Award recognises the best mobile applications that have educational, scientific and cultural significance for the Arab World. It is part of a comprehensive project which aims to provide a technical and organisational environment for the Arab industry to flourish in the field of smart applications and digital platforms by developing the capability of Arab human resources to become experts in this field.

Director-General of the TRA, Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, said: "The UAE's focus on innovation is not limited to local projects and initiatives. The nation's wise leadership envisions innovation to become part of the culture based on accumulated experiences that benefit everyone across all sectors of society and directs its promotion through meetings, conferences and awards."

"This competition comes at the heart of our country's vision to promote smart transformation and establish smart cities and mGovernment. It is very well within the TRA's strategic goal of establishing the foundation for e-government at the federal level and achieve customer happiness," Al Mansouri added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DP World contributes AED3m to Reading Nation Campaign

posted on 27/06/2016

With the Reading Nation campaign getting closer to its deadline on the 19th day of the Holy Month of Ramadan, some of the largest companies in the UAE continue to offer their support to the campaign that aims to print and distribute books to children in refugee camps and in underprivileged schools all over the world.

DP World recently contributed AED3 million to the campaign to provide 300,000 books to be distributed to schools and needy children through special teams spread across the beneficiary countries.

This highlights the global trade enabler's commitment to working sustainably and responsibly, which is essential to building a strong business for its customers, people and society. Through DP World's global sustainability programme, ‘Our World, Our Future', the company is bringing sustainability into every aspect of its work, which includes commitments and action plans to protect the environment, invest in its people, ensure the highest safety standards and take steps towards building a vibrant, secure and resilient society. Education forms an integral part and is one of the four main pillars of this programme.

Speaking on the objective of this contribution, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, and Chairman of Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation said: "The Reading Nation campaign reinforces the UAE's leading role in launching humanitarian and development initiatives that seek to meet people's demands and make them happy in the UAE and abroad. It is another example of the country's effective role in facilitating social and economic development and empowering people with education and knowledge.

"We are proud to support this campaign that reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We also realise the importance of education in making a sustainable change to societies and building a brighter future for our young generations built on strong foundations. We aim to provide these generations to come with the best knowledge tools to lead sustainable development globally."

He added: "With our global portfolio of 77 marine and inland terminals across six continents, we realise the importance of building strong relationships with global economies. We invest for the long-run and work with our partners to meet societies' needs. Our role is not exclusive to enabling trade and driving economic growth; it also includes bridging the knowledge gap since we believe that supporting education leads to advancing humanity."

He further elaborated: "We recently launched a Global Educational Programme for children aged between 8 – 14 years. The programme aims to increase awareness about the maritime sector, trade, logistics services and related career opportunities. This way we can help develop a qualified human resource pool that can drive the global trade movement into the future. The Reading Nation campaign is a true expression of the UAE's keen interest in exercising its humanitarian role by spreading knowledge globally, thus enabling everyone to keep pace with the huge transformative developments in the smart trade and digital world."

"This noble initiative focuses on building sustainable bridges with other people and nations based on mutual collaboration. Our humble contribution reflects our belief in our role as a trade ambassador that represents the UAE and enhances its efforts to spread knowledge and sciences. The country has become a global role model for innovative initiatives that support development and collaboration among people on the basis of tolerant and open-minded mutual cultures," he concluded.

For his part, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Cares, said: "We would like to thank DP World, its leadership and employees for the generous donation. This pioneering organisation contributes significantly to connecting us with the rest of the world, and through this gesture it has fittingly demonstrated its social responsibility as well. The Reading Nation campaign has validated the genuine values of our Emirati society, its corporations and institutions. It has not only achieved its target, but has also exceeded it, thanks to the wide-ranging social support extended to the visionary initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. We are confident that the campaign will enable millions of underprivileged children to build a brighter future for themselves and their countries."

The Reading Nation Ramadan campaign concludes its activities on the 19th day of the holy month to coincide with the Zayed Humanitarian Day. With still two days to go for its conclusion, the campaign has exceeded the set target of five million books to reach more than 7.3 million books that will be distributed to children in refugee camps and underprivileged students in schools across the world. In addition, the campaign is also mandated to support the educational programs implemented by the UAE's humanitarian organisations worldwide - with one million books. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sheikha Jawaher says Zayed Humanitarian Work Day should be made a national event

posted on 27/06/2016

Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, yesterday called for the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day to be made as a national event.

The Zayed Humanitarian Work Day is observed in the UAE on the 19th day of Ramadan every year in memory of the founder of the UAE federation, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who passed away on this day.

Sheikha Jawaher, who is also Chairperson of Sharjah's Supreme Council for Family Affairs and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, said that making this day an official occasion would foster the spirit of giving in the UAE.

Sheikha Jawaher, who also leads the Big Heart Foundation - a global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, paid a rich tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, saying that he was as a noble leader and compassionate father whose wisdom continues to inspire Emiratis and serves as a guiding light for them.

She said that the late Sheikh Zayed established a modern state that puts the dignity and rights of human beings at the forefront of its priorities, thanks to his wise vision and championing of charity. She said that his inspirational approach has contributed to building an inclusive society, which is dedicated to humanitarian work.

"The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan established a state that respects humankind irrespective of religion, gender or ethnicity. His legacy has contributed to solidifying the culture of giving and humanitarian work in the Emirati community. This approach is continued by our wise leadership under the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates who have followed in Sheikh Zayed's footsteps," she said.

Sheikh Zayed's legacy is seen every day throughout the UAE, the region and the world, she added. "It is felt by every Emirati and by non-nationals who are inspired by Sheikh Zayed's humanitarian values. Philanthropy in UAE society is a seed planted by the late Sheikh Zayed who instilled a love of giving in the hearts and souls of Emiratis and UAE leaders. People have learned from Sheikh Zayed the true meaning of respect and appreciation of human beings everywhere."

"We should make Zayed Humanitarian Day an occasion to renew the spirit of charity and humanitarian work carried out by the UAE in all parts of the world. It should be celebrated as a national event that shows our pledge to continue along this path with sacrifice, altruism and generosity. It should be a day on which we highlight the continuous efforts made by our wise leadership for human development and one that motivates us to continue to support civil society organisations involved in the humanitarian field."

"Humanitarian work is extremely important in human life as it contributes significantly to the stability of societies and people."

"The magnitude of the challenges we face today requires more efforts and many pressing humanitarian issues need immediate action. Issues such as health, ecological disasters, armed conflicts, the plight of refugees continue to be challenges blocking the progress of humankind. Therefore, we must all work together to mitigate these threats and create a better future for us all," Sheikha Jawaher concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Etihad Airways hosts charity Iftar for 5,000 labourers in Abu Dhabi

posted on 27/06/2016

In keeping with the spirit of caring and sharing during the Holy Month of Ramadan, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, hosted a charity Iftar for 5,000 labourers at the Workers Village in Mussaffah, Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Airways' employees and leadership contributed generously, purchasing thousands of Iftar vouchers for the labourers' meals. The annual event, organised under the theme of ‘Share your blessings this Ramadan', was hosted by the airline's Sports and Social Committee.

More than 300 employees volunteered to distribute meals to the workers breaking their fasts. Volunteers also distributed water, packets of nuts, socks, and eye shades, donated by Etihad Airways, to the 5,000 workers.

Khaled Almehairbi, Etihad Airways Senior Vice President, Abu Dhabi Airport Operations, and the Sports and Social Committee Chairman, said, "Our Sports and Social Committee conducts initiatives throughout the year to support humanitarian and charitable causes. This fosters an environment of engagement and inclusion among our staff, partner airlines and the local community.

"The generosity of our staff and the company once again enabled us to host a successful charity Iftar for workers, making the Holy Month of Ramadan a memorable experience for all, and importantly, engages with the workers who share our community."

During Ramadan, Etihad Airways organises several sporting and community events to support charitable causes. A donation drive provided thousands of items of chinaware, cutlery and glasses to seven charitable institutions in Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah, and 91 needy families in Abu Dhabi.

Sporting events included the Sixth Annual Ramadan Charity Football Tournament, which raised money to support Syrian refugees in Serbia and this year was won by the Police Saaed team.

Other charity events organised under the ‘Share your blessings this Ramadan' theme comprised a Ramadan garage sale, staff visits to the Moudhif home for the elderly in Abu Dhabi, and a visit to the children at the cancer centre in Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, to distribute Eid al-Fitr gifts. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


RTA Sharjah develops Dh98m road extension

posted on 27/06/2016

The Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority has developed some p50 percent of a key road extension that connects the Qatah - Nazwa road with the Dubai - Al Madam road against Dh98 million.

The arterial road, strategically located in the Central region of the emirate, is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, according to Eng Yusuf Saleh Al Suwaihi, Chairman of RTA Sharjah.

"The two-lane road, extending over 12.4km, will be 4.6m wide with a median road island, and 2.5m asphalt road shoulders on both directions, that all go with heavy trucks."

The project, meant to enhance public safety and security, is in line with the directions of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, he added.

"The new road will boost the capacity of the roads of the emirate and better connect its regions and districts, and link them with the federal roads all over the country."

The new road will be paved with standard asphalt layers that best suit heavy trucks and as per the latest international road development benchmarks, Eng Al Suwaihi explained.

"The project also includes the construction of a 7.3m wide concrete two-lane subway in both directions," these are apart from other necessary facilities and infrastructure supplies," he said, noting that they have finished some 50 percent of the project.

"The project is to meet the current and expected needs of the urban expansion," he pointed out, urging customers to reach the Call Centre 24/7 at (600525252) for feedbacks, inquiries, remarks and complaints." – Khaleej Times -


RTA bags award for crash alert system

posted on 27/06/2016

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has won an award for excellence in smart services. The felicitation was made in recognition of the 'Reduced Accidents' system applied by the RTA.

The authority bagged 'Transportations Smart Services Excellence' award during the 21st Middle East Smart Government and Smart Cities Excellence Awards in.

The award, which is held by the Middle East Excellence Awards Institute, is meant to honour entities that make the best achievements in the 'Smart Corporate Transition'.

Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency, who accepted the award in a ceremony held in Dubai, said: "It reflects the keenness of the RTA to adopt world-class standards in driving the bus sector to realise smart transition services at the highest safety standards for users."

The 'Reduced Accidents' system is aimed at alerting the bus driver as well as the Bus Control Centre of any hazards that may trigger accidents. The system comprises several aspects such as: A system for monitoring the driver's stress and fatigue and awakening him from the drowsy condition experienced; a system for monitoring potential crashes, and a system for warning against over-speeding.

The combined efforts between the Quality, Safety and Environment Office, Transportation Systems Department, Bus Department, and the Maintenance and Services Department contributed effectively to the successful implementation of the system in the agency.

The RTA is working to adopt the system to the entire bus fleet, as well as considering the feasibility of implementing it in other transit modes as well, said Al Ali.

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What is Reduced Accidents system?

The Reduced Accidents system is a smart system developed by the RTA that is aimed at alerting the bus driver as well as the Bus Control Centre of any hazards that may trigger accidents.

> It has a system for monitoring the driver's stress and fatigue

> It awakens drivers from the drowsy condition experienced

> It monitors potential crashes

> It warns against over-speeding. – Khaleej Times -