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Mohamed bin Zayed visits Abu Dhabi Global Market, gets briefed on achievements

posted on 25/04/2017

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited on Monday the Abu Dhabi Global Market on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi.

He was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Adviser, H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority and Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed was briefed by Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market, on the main achievements of the market since its inception in 2015, and the continuous developments that enforced its position as an important financial centre in the region and the world, as well as its ongoing contributions to supporting the UAE economy.

Sheikh Mohamed was also briefed on the main accomplishments of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, such as winning the title of the Best Financial Centre in the Middle East and North Africa Award in its first year, and top ranking of Abu Dhabi and Dubai Financial Markets in Deloitte's' international report on the best finance technology centres in the region for 2017. He was also briefed on the launching of an integrated framework of action for financial technology and inaugurating of the 'Organisational Laboratory' initiative, the first of its kind in the region that targets emerging financial technology companies.

Sheikh Mohamed was also apprised of the strategy adopted by the Abu Dhabi Global Market, which enabled it to achieve the fastest rate of registration of funds in the region during its first year. The market established the first special system for real estate investment funds and co-operation with the Singapore Monetary Authority to establish a platform for the development of financial technology and encourage innovation in the financial services sector.

Plans are afoot to transform the Abu Dhabi Global Market into a global aviation financing centre and its successfully completed the first aviation deal between French corporate and investment bank Natixis and Etihad Airways, Al Sayegh informed Sheikh Mohamed.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi was introduced to the modern techniques used at the Abu Dhabi Global Courts, which include an integrated electronic portal and innovative technical services for the management of judicial services.

He stressed that the UAE, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has consolidated its economic position internationally due to the flexible policies, effective strategic planning and the clear vision regarding different economic sectors in the country.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed called upon the employees at the Abu Dhabi Global Market to exert more efforts and invest in all available opportunities in the UAE to promote economic and commercial growth, and to put additional plans in place to promote the economic activity taking place in the country.

He added that the Abu Dhabi Global Market, along with other financial markets in the UAE, play a vital role in consolidating the position of the UAE as one of the leading international business and financing hubs.


Mohamed bin Zayed receives Archbishop of Jerusalem

posted on 25/04/2017

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received at his palace here on Monday Archbishop Atallah Hanna of Jerusalem.

During the meeting, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed the visit of Archbishop of Jerusalem to the UAE. They exchanged views on a number of issues of mutual interest, particularly with regard to the consolidation of the principles of tolerance, love and peace among peoples of the region, as well as the rejection of manifestations of violence, extremism and terrorism.

The two parties also reviewed aspects of bilateral cooperation and ways to promote and consolidate the common human values among the peoples of the region based on tolerance, respect and confidence building.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed noted the firm approach of tolerance, peace, social coexistence and respect for religions adopted by the UAE, stems from the legacy of forefathers that contributed to consolidating the country's international status as a peace loving country that seeks the wellbeing and stability of the peoples of the region and the world.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi stressed viability of the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan regarding the UAE's relations with the region and the world, based on mutual respect, sincere love, cooperation and development. "This legacy is sustained by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan," he said.

The Archbishop of Jerusalem praised the positive role played by the UAE in maintaining ties of brotherhood, friendship and coexistence among all sectors of society in an atmosphere of friendliness, tolerance and respect.

Among others present were H.H. Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Ain Region, H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, a number of Sheikhs, senior officials and citizens.


Japan's Crown Prince receives UAE Foreign Minister

posted on 25/04/2017

TOKYO: Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito received the visiting UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday, to explore ways to bolster joint co-operation.

Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito and H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed also discussed the latest regional and global issues of mutual concern.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah emphasised the UAE's sincere desire to strengthen co-operation with Japan in various fields.

Prince Naruhito welcomed Sheikh Abdullah's visit, affirming that the UAE has become a beacon of leadership and excellence in different walks of life.


Abdullah bin Zayed meets Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs in Tokyo

posted on 25/04/2017

TOKYO: H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, met with Fumio Kishida, Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs, in Tokyo today.

During the meeting, both sides discussed the strategic relations between the two countries and the means to strengthen and develop them in economic, commercial, investment and tourism fields, among others.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah stressed the strong relations between the UAE and Japan, praising the level of bilateral relations connecting the two friendly countries and people.

Kishida welcomed H.H. Sheikh Abdullah to Japan, emphasising the depth of the strategic relations between the two countries.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah and Kishida signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning the political deliberations between the UAE and Japan.

Two official MoUs were exchanged, one of them regarding visa exemptions for diplomatic and special official passport holders from both the countries, while the other was for facilitating simple entry procedures into the Japanese territory for the UAE citizens, who hold regular passports with the pre-registration system. The procedures will start from 1st July, 2017. Ordinary Japanese passports are exempted from entry visa to the country following the cabinet decision in 2001.

Sheikh Abdullah held a joint press conference with the Japanese Minister.

His Highness thanked the Japanese minister for hosting him today and for the fruitful discussions on bilateral co-operation between the two countries, as well as international issues of common interest.

His Highness stressed that Japan has been a strategic partner of the UAE since its foundation in 1971 and the start of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"This relationship differs from a relationship in the field of gas and oil, as a greater and wider relationship, for during the first nine months of 2016 our non-oil trade reached US$8 billion while Japanese tourism reached 86,000 Japanese visitors, along with the presence of 4,000 Japanese residents in the UAE," he said.

Sheikh Abdullah today expressed his happiness at meeting a group of Emirati students studying in Japan. "I was very happy with their level of academic achievements and their positive impression of this country," he added.

His Highness further added, "We look forward to listening more about the Osaka file at Expo 2025, highlighting that the UAE is very happy to host Expo 2020. We believe that this opportunity is appropriate and important for us, to exchange our expertise and learn about the Osaka file and develop our knowledge about this file."

His Highness stated, "The UAE completely supports Japan against North Korea's test firing of ballistic missiles and its threat to international security and peace, and we support all the defence measures taken by Japan."

At the end of his speech, His Highness thanked the government and people of Japan, adding, "I thank our historic partners who spent, and continue to spend, significant efforts to develop this relationship between the two countries."

During the press conference, Fumio Kishida clarified during that the meeting with Sheikh Abdullah included exchanging visions and points of view regarding a group of cases of common interest, whose foundation was strengthening the strategic partnership between both countries in all areas.

The meeting was also attended by Khalid Omran Al Ameri, UAE Ambassador to Japan.


Abdullah bin Zayed meets Japanese ministers of economy and education

posted on 25/04/2017

TOKYO: UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, met separately Hiroshige Seko, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Hirokazu Matsuno, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, on Monday as part of his visit to Japan.

During the meetings, the two sides discussed the possibilities to expand scope of joint cooperation in areas of trade, industry, education, culture, sciences and technology.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed termed UAE-Japan ties as 'solid' and emphasised the UAE's keenness to further consolidate them, particularly in economy, industry, trade and education.

The Japanese ministers welcomed Sheikh Abdullah's visit, lauding the progress and development being witnessed by the UAE.

Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and Khalid Al Amri, UAE Ambassador to Japan, attended the meetings.


Arab Parliament renews support to UAE's measures to regain sovereignty over occupied islands

posted on 25/04/2017

CAIRO: The Arab Parliament, AP, has renewed support for UAE's sovereignty over its occupied islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, and to all measures taken by the UAE to regain sovereignty over the islands.

In the final statement issued at the end of its fifth general meeting in Cairo on Monday, the AP called on Iran to respond to the sincere and serious calls by the UAE to resolve the issue of its occupied islands through peaceful means, either by direct negotiations or by referral to the international arbitration.

The AP also applauded the UAE's firm approach of committing to the principles of peaceful co-existence, good neighbourliness, mutual respect, non-interference in other countries' internal affairs and adopting peaceful means to settle international disputes.


New Zealand to join Expo 2020 Dubai’s festival of innovation, collaboration and ideas

posted on 25/04/2017

New Zealand Minister for Economic Development, Simon Bridges formally announced the country's participation in Expo 2020 Dubai today by delivering a letter of acceptance from Simon William English, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

The country shares close ties with the UAE, as well as a shared vision in many key areas, such as energy and education. It has also been a vocal supporter of Dubai on its journey to hosting the next World Expo.

The Expo will be a festival for all, where, through its theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', it will give people a glimpse into the future as well as providing a platform to encourage creativity, innovation and collaboration.

New Zealand's desire to take part in the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region is grounded in the country's core values, Kaitiaki, Ingenuity and Integrity.

Kaitiaki is a New Zealand term used for the Maori concept of guardianship, reflecting the country's goal of preserving its environment and culture for generations to come. The idea of Kaitiaki, along with New Zealand's other values of ingenuity and integrity, echo the Expo's three pillars, Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

The use of more clean energy is a common goal of the UAE and New Zealand, who signed an agreement in 2014 on the deployment of renewable energy solutions in various parts of the world.

New Zealand already generates nearly 85 percent of its total energy supply using renewable sources, while the UAE has set a target of 44 percent of its energy coming from clean sources by 2050, with Dubai setting a target of 75 percent.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, said, "There are many goals in common between New Zealand and the UAE including working towards achieving a clean and renewable future. New Zealand's decision to take part in Expo 2020 underlines the importance that Dubai plays as a global destination and a point of convergence for the peoples of the world, consistent with Expo's overall theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'."

New Zealand Ambassador to the UAE Jeremy Clarke-Watson added, "New Zealand has a strong trade and economic relationship with the United Arab Emirates. Our countries embrace innovation and technology, so we are excited to share knowledge and ideas as we work together towards Expo 2020 Dubai."

While New Zealand and the UAE already have strong ties in renewable energy, trade and agriculture, New Zealand is also keen to strengthen relations in technology, space, health care, environmental planning and protection and medical research.

The country is an important supplier for the UAE's food and beverage, health and infrastructure sectors in particular. Non-oil trade between the two nations stood at AED2.6 billion in 2015.


Over 6.15m passengers used Abu Dhabi International Airport in Q1

posted on 25/04/2017

Over 6.15m passengers passed through Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) in the first quarter of 2017, a rise of 1.8 percent in airport traffic compared with the 6.04m achieved in January-March last year, according to figures released by airport management on Monday.

Airport management reported that its leading five destinations over the period - London, Bangkok, Bombay, Doha, and Jeddah. accounted for 17.3 percent of the airport's passenger traffic for the January-March (Q1) period.

By contrast, transit and transfer traffic grew by 2.1 percent in Q1 to account for 65.8 percent of total traffic at Abu Dhabi Airport, while origin and destination (O&D) passenger traffic accounted for a 34.2 percent share of the total, growing by 1.2 percent compared with the first quarter of 2016.

According to the airport traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal 3 grew by 28.2 percent in the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year, with Etihad Airways accounting for the majority 76.9 percent share of the total.

In addition, the airport reported that its total passenger traffic in March 2017 reached 2,032,642 – up +0.3 percent on its March 2016 performance where it handled 2,025,842 passengers.


Etihad Aviation Group appoints Robin Kamark as CEO of Airline Equity Partners

posted on 25/04/2017

Etihad Aviation Group appointed on Monday Robin Kamark as Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Airline Equity Partners.

Kamark will be responsible for leading and developing the Group's minority equity investment strategy, which includes stakes in airberlin, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Etihad Regional and Virgin Australia.

Reporting to the Group President and CEO, Robin Kamark takes over from Bruno Matheu, who has held the role since May 2016, and is leaving for personal reasons.

Kamark is a 17-year veteran of the airline industry, rising through a range of strategy, commercial and general manager roles at SAS Group to become Chief Commercial Officer. For the last five years, he has been Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Storebrand ASA, a leading Nordic financial services business.

Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group, said, "Etihad Aviation Group continues to invest in world-class talent at the most senior level, building our executive team to lead the business into the next stage of its development.

"Robin is a well-respected leader in global aviation, with wide-ranging experience at SAS Group. He performed important roles in the restructuring of that airline and has broadened his experience more recently in financial services. Our equity partner strategy continues to be an important element of our business model, and Robin will drive the strategy by adjusting and progressing our approach," he added.


Passenger traffic at DXB up 7.4 percent in Q1

posted on 25/04/2017

Passenger traffic at the world's number one airport for international passenger numbers, Dubai International, DXB, climbed 7.4 percent during the first quarter of 2017 to 22,496,596 compared to 20,948,690 recorded during the same period last year, according to traffic results released today by Dubai Airports.

The year to date totals follow March results which saw a 3.8 percent increase in passenger numbers to 7,511,431 compared to 7,237,509 reported in March 2016. The more modest growth rate in March was due to the timing of the Easter holiday which fell during March in 2016 and during April in 2017. The number of passenger flights in March grew 1.0 percent to 34,634 compared to 34,303 last year while year-to-date flight numbers were up 0.5 percent to 100,638 compared to 100,116 recorded during the first quarter of 2016.

The average number of passengers per flight in the first three months of the year was 224, compared to 209 during the corresponding period in 2016, an increase of 6.8 percent.

During the first three months of the year, Eastern Europe was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth at 33.3 percent as the appreciation of the Ruble against the US Dollar over the past year has increased spending power in Dubai and spiked demand in the Russian market.

Asia was the next fastest growing market, with 22.6 percent as a result of additional capacity provided by Emirates and flydubai in markets such as Thailand, China and the Philippines, and is followed by South America at 22.2 percent.

Conversely, the impact of travel bans and electronic device restrictions is starting to be felt on North American traffic figures, which were down 4.3 percent during March of 2017 versus the same period last year. Year to date traffic to and from North America is up 2.5 percent.

India remained the top destination country during the first three months of the year with a total of 3,031,866 passengers, followed by the UK with 1,618,334, Saudi Arabia with 1,572,963 and Pakistan at 1,166,642 passengers.

London topped the list of destination cities during the period under review with 974,950 passengers, followed by Doha, Bangkok, and Mumbai with 797,729, 633,496, and 618,638 passengers respectively.

Freight volumes were also on the rise in the first quarter of 2017 with 636,479 tonnes passing through DXB, up 3.5 percent from the 615,144 recorded during the same period last year. This result was positively impacted by an 8.4 percent boost in cargo volumes in March with 235,503 tonnes being handled compared to 217,202 tonnes in the same period last year.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said, "While there are fluctuations in growth market-by-market the overall trend is quite positive as evidenced by the 7.4 percent increase in passenger numbers during the first quarter. That result keeps us well on track to meet our 2017 forecast of 89 million passengers."


Dubai reports stellar 11 percent year-on-year increase in international overnight visitors over Q1 2017

posted on 25/04/2017

Dubai's tourism sector sustained momentum in its strong start to 2017 with the emirate's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, known as Dubai Tourism, reporting a stellar 11 percent increase in overnight visitation in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2016. January to March 2017 saw 4.57 million travellers visit the city, reflecting over double the growth achieved in the first quarter of last year.

Among Dubai's top 20 source markets for inbound tourism, China and Russia continued to top the growth trajectory charts with unparalleled 64 percent and 106 percent increases over Q1 2016, delivering 230,000 and 126,000 tourists respectively. Attributable in a large part to the positive regulatory changes enabling citizens from both countries to obtain free visas-on-arrival in the UAE, this performance spike has resulted in both countries moving up in their rankings as key feeder markets for Dubai, with China at number four and Russia at number 11.

Retaining their stronghold on the top three positions were India, KSA and the UK, accounting collectively for 30 percent of total Q1 visits to Dubai, with India becoming the first ever market to record nearly 580,000 visitors in any one quarter, with a massive 23 percent growth in arrivals between January and March.

Despite its 8 percent drop over 2016, driven due to a backward shift in annual school holidays, KSA continued to drive volumes with 440,000 visitors, while the UK rallied growth with its 5 percent increase to mitigate the declines from KSA and Oman, which rounded off the top 5 with 214,000 overnight guests.

The remainder of the top 10 all saw positive contributions, with Iran up a strong 39 percent, Pakistan up 17 percent, the United States up 6 percent, posting a strong recovery over 2016 performance, Germany maintaining stability, and Kuwait bringing up the GCC contribution with 10 percent growth.

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director-General of Dubai Tourism, said, "Q1 2017 has set us off on a very strong trajectory for the year and we are pleased to see our strategic investments and policy reforms yielding such definitive impact. As Dubai continues to evolve and expand the breadth and depth of its tourism proposition, we expect to amplify the appeal of our city as the top consideration not only for first-time visitors, but also repeat business and leisure travellers. Thanks to the support from our visionary leadership, backed by the strength of our stakeholder collaboration, we have made tremendous strides in ongoing efforts to increase the city's accessibility, minimise barriers to travel, and make it as seamless as possible for prospective tourists to visit and revisit Dubai. China and Russia's strong acceleration in response to our initiatives are a clear reflection of the importance of such measures as facilitators of tourism sector growth."

Almarri went on to say that the positive start to 2017 is an encouraging endorsement of Dubai's overall strategy, saying, "We are prudently aware that travel is among the leading industries undergoing a global transformation. In order for Dubai to fulfil its commitment to the '10X Agenda' set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, we must be true innovation leaders. Beyond marketing and promoting the city with the endorsement of all our industry partners, our agenda is focused on amplifying advocacy and putting the ‘voice of our travellers' at the very heart of defining our future growth priorities. We look forward to the continued support of our government, public and private sector partners as we move a step closer towards delivering 20 million visitors per year by 2020, as well as to collectively creating today, for global travel, what the world may aspire to in 10 years' time."


Dubai Aero triples jet fleet with multi-billion deal

posted on 25/04/2017

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise , DAE, has reached an agreement to buy Dublin-based AWAS Aviation Capital Ltd. from U.K. private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners, DAE announced on Monday, April 24th .

The multi-billion deal will propel DAE, one of the Middle East's biggest plane-leasing companies, into the top rank of global players in the field.

The deal will swell the DAE portfolio with 263 aircraft that AWAS owns, manages or has on order, boosting the fleet to 394 planes valued at more than US$14 billion, according to a statement by the Dubai-based company. Among the acquired aircraft are 23 due for delivery before the end of 2018.

DAE's Managing Director Khalifa Al Daboos called the deal "strategically compelling," saying it will establish the firm in the aircraft-leasing top 10. The transaction will be financed with existing cash and debt and should be completed in the third quarter, he said.

Terra Firma currently owns 75 percent of AWAS, with the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board holding a 25 percent stake.


Emaar Hospitality Group unveils 6 new hotel projects at ATM 2017

posted on 25/04/2017

Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of Emaar Properties, today unveiled six new hotel projects as part of its regional and international expansion plans, at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2017.

The new hotels and serviced residences in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Egypt add to a portfolio of upcoming properties under the three hotel brands of Emaar Hospitality Group – the premium luxury Address Hotels + Resorts, the upscale lifestyle Vida Hotels and Resorts, and the contemporary midscale Rove Hotels.

With 10 operational hotels and three serviced residences already, Emaar Hospitality Group now has a pipeline of 26 upcoming projects, a testament to the home-grown competencies of the Group and its expansion strategy to operate hotels in key locations in high-growth markets.

Announcing the new projects at a press conference in Dubai, Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, said the Group's expansion is underpinned by a commitment to deliver superior guest experiences through distinctively branded properties in key markets globally.

"We are marking our tenth decade of operation this year, and in such a short span of time, we have established our reputation as a home-grown Dubai hospitality group with a fast-growing regional and international footprint. The upcoming properties highlight our competencies as a hotel and serviced residences operator, committed to delivering guest-centric lifestyle experiences.

"We have recorded a positive growth year in 2016 and continue to build on the success, with the launch of new properties including Address Boulevard and three Rove Hotels in a span of just nine months, all in Dubai. This demonstrates our focus on not only serving the luxury hospitality market of the city but also to create distinctive brand experiences that appeal to the new millennials and next generation of travellers," added Harnisch.

Emaar Hospitality Group's track-record – with average daily rates and occupancy levels higher than industry average – reflects the strong growth of Dubai's tourism and hospitality sector, said Harnisch. "The Dubai Tourism Vision and Expo 2020 Dubai are strong drivers of growth for the industry, and we will continue to drive our expansion and create a truly world-class infrastructure for visitors to Dubai."

Emaar Hospitality Group's new projects include Address Dubai Creek Harbour and Address Residences Dubai Creek Harbour in Dubai, which will serve as a vibrant hospitality and leisure hub within Dubai Creek Harbour, the 6 sq km mega-development anchored by the iconic new Tower, designed by Santiago Calatrava. The project opens to spectacular views of the waterfront and the Downtown Dubai skyline.

Also under Address Hotels + Resorts are the new Address Marassi Beach Resort and Address Residences Marassi Beach Resort, which are part of the beachfront Marassi master-planned development by Emaar Misr in Egypt. Emaar Hospitality Group has already signed a management contract to operate Address Marassi Golf Resort + Spa in the same master-development. These add to the upcoming projects of Address Hotels + Resorts in Dubai, Fujairah, Bahrain and Turkey.

Four new projects will be operated under the Vida Hotels and Resorts brand. These include the Vida Dubai Creek Harbour, Vida Dubai Marina and Vida Residences Dubai Marina. Further, Vida Hotels and Resorts marks its expansion to Abu Dhabi with the management contract to operate Vida Beach Reem Island Abu Dhabi and Vida Residences Beach Reem Island Abu Dhabi, both for Aldar Properties.

Having already expanded with hotel management contracts in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Vida Hotels and Resorts is further strengthening its international portfolio with Vida Marassi Marina and Vida Residences Marassi Marina in Egypt.

Emaar Hospitality Group plans to expand its footprint to other high-growth markets as well as gateway cities such as India and China, and other global gateway cities for the group.

"While we are focused on international markets, we are also growing our footprint in the UAE to meet the burgeoning demand for hotel rooms – in the luxury, upscale and midscale segments," said Harnisch.

This is reflected in the recent opening of Address Boulevard, the first city lifestyle resort under the portfolio of Address Hotels + Resorts, and three Rove Hotels – Rove Downtown, Rove City Centre and Rove Healthcare City. The Group is on course to open Rove Trade Centre shortly as well as drive the roll-out of six more hotels in Dubai Marina and Dubai Parks and Resorts, among others.

The current portfolio of hotels by Emaar Hospitality Group in Dubai includes Address Boulevard, Address Dubai Mall, Address Montgomerie, Address Dubai Marina, Palace Downtown, Vida Downtown, Manzil Downtown, Rove Downtown, Rove City Centre and Rove Healthcare City.

"An award-winning hospitality and leisure provider, our commitment is to surpass guest expectations. In addition to expanding our portfolio, we are driving the digital transformation of our services to create added value for our guests. Our projects are showcased at ATM 2017 and we look forward to strengthening our partnerships at this premier event, and to highlight our focus on doubling our portfolio by 2020," concluded Harnisch.


NBAD shareholders approve name change to 'First Abu Dhabi Bank'

posted on 25/04/2017

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) shareholders have approved the proposal to change the name of the UAE's largest bank to ‘First Abu Dhabi Bank'.

The new name, which was proposed by the bank's Board of Directors upon legal merger completion on April 2, 2017, was approved by shareholders at a General Assembly Meeting held today.

Abdulhamid Saeed, Group CEO, said: "Reflecting FGB and NBAD's deep roots and experience in the region, the new name, First Abu Dhabi Bank, represents our union as one uniquely strong financial institution which will support the economic development of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and MENA region, and celebrates the proud legacies of both banks. The strong endorsement of the new name amongst our shareholders is a clear vote of support for the new journey we are now embarking on together and our vision for the future."

The new name will take effect upon receipt of UAE Central Bank and Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) approvals. A new brand identity will be unveiled in due course.


Sharjah Ruler inaugurates monument of Sharjah as Arab Culture Capital

posted on 25/04/2017

H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated on Monday the monument of Sharjah as the Arab Culture Capital 1998.

Its new location is near the University City of Sharjah, in the vicinity of the Islamic World Park, overlooking Al Dhaid Road, to the east of Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital Monument 2014.

The new monument consists of four levels covered with high-quality types of granite and designed to highlight Sharjah's architecture, cultural heritage and innovative designs.

Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi was briefed by the project officials on the most outstanding features of the monument, including the audio-visual equipment, an advanced night-lightning system, as well as loudspeakers fixed on the sides of the monument. With four entrances, the new project also includes commemorative paintings designed to fit the monument's unique geometric wall patterns.

The new monument is strategically located at one of the most important streets in the centre of Sharjah. Many educational, entertainment, and service facilities will be included to attract more visitors.

The Sharjah Ruler also inspected the progress of work at the Islamic World Park, which is located around the Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital Monument 2014. During his tour, he was also briefed on the park design. Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi inspected the construction progress of 16 descriptive monuments for Muslim scientists, known for their creativity in fields of science, literature and general knowledge.

Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi was accompanied by Eng. Ali bin Shaheen Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Public Works Department; Eng. Salah bin Butti Al Muhairi, Adviser at Sharjah Planning and Survey Department; Mohammed Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Director of the Sharjah Department of Protocol and Hospitality; Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director-General of Sharjah Media Corporation, as well as engineers, supervisors and dignitaries.


SEDD launches ‘Sharjah Industrial Guide’ project

posted on 25/04/2017

The Sharjah Economic Development Department, SEDD, has launched the "Sharjah Industrial Guide" project as part of its 2017 strategic plan to develop the industrial sector and ease its procedures in the Emirate of Sharjah, in addition to the Emirate holding the largest industrial base in the country and the region.

The project was launched through a workshop held in the department headquarters, to which many authorities and entities contributed, such as the Sharjah City Municipality, Department of Sea Ports and Customs, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, SEWA, Directorate of Town Planning and Survey, Ministry of Economy, Sharjah Civil Defence, as well as Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

On the occasion, Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, SEDD Chairman, said, " The economic vision that the department adopts pertains to sustainable development and, according to the Executive Council, works on the development of the industrial sector and facilitates procedures through such a guide."

He added that such a guide reflects the vision of SEDD to lead the comprehensive development of the diversified competitive knowledge-based economy in a way that ensures an encouraging and stimulating business environment and investment based on the economic well-being of Sharjah.

In addition, he pointed out that the "Sharjah Industrial Guide" project was set to achieve the economic well-being of the Emirate through the best international standards in terms of ease of approach and clarity and within the framework of improving the performance of government institutions and develop working mechanisms.

He said that Sharjah is considered an ideal investment environment, especially in the industrial sector, as it provides investors with facilitates and high-quality services. It is also considered a perfect investment environment due to its strategic location, owning many industrial areas, ports on the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, as well as a modern international airport.

Mariam Nasir Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Industrial Affairs Department at SEDD, said that the project's launch comes as a clear guide and tool for the concerned parties. This guide provides a range of services and procedures adopted in the Emirate.


UAE Pavilion at Hannover Messe to have significant impact on national economy, say delegates

posted on 25/04/2017

HANNOVER: The UAE economy will receive significant benefits as a result of the national pavilion at Hannover Messe according to Emirati industry leaders and economy officials, as the group today discussed during a press conference at the pavilion's official opening.

The 70th edition of the Hannover Messe was inaugurated yesterday by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who spoke of the need to advance international free trade agreements, urging her counterparts to remove protectionist barriers to trading policies.

Ali Abdullah Al-Ahmad, UAE Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, said, "The UAE's participation in Hannover Messe, the largest industrial exhibition in the world, is a reflection of the strong historical strategic and trade relations with Germany."

The UAE is Germany's largest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa region, with bilateral trade amounting to 15.52 billion Euros in 2015, equivalent to 30 percent of the total regional trade with Germany.

"Today, Germany is a leading country when it comes to the industrial sector, and Hannover Messe will serve as the best venue to learn about the recent developments in this sector from Germany and around the world. It will also showcase the booming progress being made in the UAE's industrial sector, in line the UAE Vision 2021," Al-Ahmad added.

Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry, spoke of the importance of advancing bilateral and mutually beneficial trade agreements in pursuit of global socio-economic growth.

"Hannover Messe provides a premier platform for promoting partnerships and new business models for the industrial sector of the future. The United Arab Emirates looks forward to the wealth of knowledge, advanced technologies and best industry practices awaiting its participants. We are also eager to strengthen existing affiliations with the industrial trade and form new ones that complement our growth strategy," he said.

The UAE Cabinet recently announced a six-pillar plan to advance and lead the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. The plan includes close collaboration with the World Economic Forum in efforts to produce an advisory council solely committed to advancing revolutionary technologies on a worldwide scale.

Ali Majed Al Mansouri, Chairman of the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi, said, "Hannover Messe is the world's largest annual event for industrial technology and manufacturing, which represents a significant amount of national economic development as we move towards a diverse post-oil economy. The manufacturing sector accounts for roughly 13 percent of our non-oil GDP and is a rapidly growing field that will help boost our efforts to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our presence here this week will help cement the UAE's role in these exciting developments."

With some 6,500 exhibitors and 250,000 visitors, Hannover Messe is a unique platform raising awareness about some of the most cutting-edge industry manufacturers and business services in the UAE, including leading free zones.

The UAE Pavilion at Hannover Messe is organised and hosted by the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi. Representation this year consists of 15 organisations, from industry specific manufacturers to major economic and government entities, of which are the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Other exhibitors include Strata, Abu Dhabi Ports, Emirates Global Aluminium, ZonesCorp, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, DMCC, as well as the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority, DAFZA.


Federal Supreme Court sentences Emirati national to ten years for joining Daesh

posted on 25/04/2017

The State Security Chamber of the Federal Supreme Court has sentenced an Emirati citizen identified as K.A.M to 10 years in prison for joining the Daesh terrorist organisation.

The court also ordered the 21-year-old to be placed under observation after serving his jail term.

The Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals sentenced him to one year in jail, but the State Security Prosecutor challenged the verdict and referred the case to the apex court, which handed down the current judgment.


Legendary boat ‘Maiden’ to champion global message for girls' right to education

posted on 25/04/2017

Maiden, the iconic boat that sailed into the record books in 1990, will sail again, spreading the message via a huge global campaign that every girl has potential and the right to an education. The campaign is called "The Maiden Factor".

Maiden is returning home to the UK 27 years after making history at the Whitbread Round the World Race with her all-female crew.

Skipper Tracy Edwards' achievement with Maiden in 1990 inspired a generation of women. She defied critics who believed it wasn't possible for an all-female crew to take part in the Whitbread Round the World Race – one of the most gruelling tests of human endurance. Maiden won two legs of the race and came second overall – the best result for a British boat since 1977 and a record that has never been beaten.

Tracy has worked tirelessly to bring Maiden back to the UK. Her restoration in Southampton will take a year, after which Maiden will sail again, spreading the message via a huge global campaign that every girl has potential and the right to an education. The campaign is called "The Maiden Factor".

HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: "My father, King Hussein I, would have been the first to offer his support and guidance to the new Maiden Project announced this week. I, as a young girl, fondly remember his ‘hands-on' involvement with the original project which made sporting history, and surprisingly feel how the issues of female equality and values he championed all those years ago seem even more relevant today.

"Having the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE back at the helm is something I know my father would have been so happy to learn and he would have wanted me to be part of this project.

"As his daughter, I feel honored and humbled to be involved with the resurrection of the Maiden project as it embarks on its new chapter of maritime history. The knowledge that Maiden will once again travel the seas, means not only will the memory and legacy of my late father live on but we can all use this a platform to highlight the need of equal access to education for girls in all corners of the globe, referencing something that he always believed in: ‘anything is possible'."

Tracy Edwards MBE said: "It's shocking to me that over 61 million girls around the world are still denied one of the most basic rights; access to education. The struggle to get Maiden to the start line represents the barriers faced by so many, whilst also proving to the world that girls can overcome them, and achieve great things.

"The crew of Maiden faced many obstacles and prejudices. Very few people believed an all-female crew could complete the race and not only did we prove everyone wrong, we won two legs and came second overall. Now we would like to do the same for women around the world, who are being denied an education and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

"To have support from HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan in honour of Her father is incredibly special as I know that without HM King Hussein I, Maiden would not have happened.


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