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International community impressed by Expo 2020 Dubai’s ambitious plans

posted on 25/05/2016

Some 327 senior representatives from around the world were presented on Monday and Tuesday with the organisers' vision of Expo 2020 Dubai, set to be a festival of human ingenuity.

The Expo 2020 Dubai International Planning Meeting (IPM) included 14 in-depth sessions covering Expo 2020's legacy, theme, and master plan, as well as the city's readiness to host the global mega-event. It is aimed at engaging with potential participant countries and promoting the opportunity to take part in Expo 2020 Dubai, and demonstrating the UAE's enthusiasm and readiness for the mega-event.

UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, opened the IPM highlighting the importance of the expo as a platform for collaboration, saying, "We intend to make Expo 2020 Dubai the most inclusive World Expo ever staged."

"Collaboration has shaped our theme and every single nation here has valuable insights and experiences to offer the world," Al Hashimy continued.

"We need to hear them, and our tens of millions of visitors will need to see and understand them. The expo is a tool, a powerful live vehicle for communicating the best of what your nation has to offer."

Minister Al Hashimy added, "To have the Pacific Islands, to have Scandinavia, to have Western Europe, to have the Americas, and to have Africa all coming together talking about what their aspirations for Expo 2020 can be, and how they would want to play an integral part in it, is a true and remarkable privilege."

Around 132 nations from six continents were present at the IPM. These included India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, France, Germany, the Philippines, Canada, Australia, Russia, the UK and Ireland, as well as many African states including Mozambique, Uganda and Sierra Leone, and small-island nations such as Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. There was also strong representation from the Middle East.

Secretary-General of the BIE, Vicente G. Loscertales commended Expo 2020 Dubai on hosting its first IPM and said, "The international representatives here at Expo 2020 Dubai's IPM meeting were impressed by the plans they saw, and the level of integration and co-operation across the many government bodies involved in the delivery of a project of this scale. The potential participants also now have a clear sense of the organiser's vision for this expo to be a truly international platform for collaboration, with a global legacy that benefits each participant nation."

Ambassador of the United States to the UAE, Barbara A. Leaf, said "What I just saw, in the initial presentation on the expo, was frankly dazzling. It was magical and it makes me want to be a part of it."

She was joined in her praise by Dionyssios Zois, Ambassador of Greece to the UAE, who said, "Words are not enough to describe what I saw today. It is extremely impressive. Warmest congratulations to Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, Reem Al Hashimy and the whole team. This is professional work, with great inspiration, and I think that if the [national] capitals see the videos we just saw, no one would like to be absent from this great event. I wish to congratulate Expo 2020 and I am certain it will be the best ever expo we would have witnessed."

The agenda for the first day of the IPM included 10 high-level presentations and panel discussions. Potential participant nations heard first about Expo 2020 Dubai's legacy plans – the vision that underpins all planning for the event.

Expo 2020 Dubai will work with countries, companies and individuals on the journey to 2020, to stimulate education and innovation to support the development of the UAE's knowledge economy, as well as providing benefits to countries and organisations around the world as they seek to address global challenges.

The Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Preparatory Committee, led by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Preparatory Committee and Chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates Airline, was present for the IPM, underlying the national commitment to the event.

Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Member of Dubai's Executive Council, Mattar Al Tayer; Director General of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Helal Saeed Almarri; Executive Chairman, Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC) and Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, Khalifa Al Zaffin, joined a panel discussion that set out Dubai's readiness to host 25 million visitors to the expo in 2020 and 2021, and the preparations being made by the RTA, the tourism sector and in Dubai South to host the global event, including the ‘Route 2020' extension to the Metro, the Dubai's Tourism Vision 2020.

Director-General of the Dubai Municipality and Member of the Executive Council of the Dubai government, Hussain Nasser Lootah, and Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, were also in attendance.

The agenda for the second day of the IPM had a more practical focus for international representatives, with workshops on Expo 2020 Dubai's theme and the details of the master plan.

Each World Expo carries a central theme of ‘universal concern to all of humanity'. Expo 2020 Dubai's theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', recognises that generating sustainable solutions to global problems demands collaboration across cultures, nations and regions. It is a reflection of the modern world, connected as never before, and changing with great speed. Representatives at the IPM will be able to think about how their nation can showcase its contribution to global thinking on this theme.

Potential participants will also learn how the site masterplan for Expo 2020 Dubai symbolises the power of collaboration and connections in addressing some of the world's major challenges in the 21st century.

Expo 2020 Dubai aims to host more than 180 countries. For the first time in the history of World Expos, each country will have an individual pavilion, enhancing the ability of nations to showcase themselves. Participant countries will directly engage with 25 million visitors at the mega-event, generate a wide range of business opportunities and access to regional markets through the collaborative platform that the expo offers, and contribute to the lasting global legacy of the first mega-event in the MEASA region.

The IPM is the latest in a series of major developments by Expo 2020 Dubai in recent months. Earlier in May, the expo unveiled its master plan at the Arab Media Forum. In March, Expo 2020 Dubai revealed its new logo with a spectacular event at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. Also, ahead of the start of infrastructure works in July, the expo site has seen over 4 million cubic metres of earth moved as the site has been levelled in preparation for construction.

Potential international participants have already shown interest in Expo 2020 Dubai. In April, Switzerland became the first country to announce its intention to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai, citing the economic and political significance of the host country and the geopolitical weight of the Gulf region as one of the reasons behind its participation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295887010.html


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Expo 2020 Dubai will be 'unforgettable', says BIE chief

posted on 25/05/2016

The governing body for World Expos on Monday said the impressive preparations underway for Expo 2020 Dubai would make it an unforgettable world event.

Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales, secretary-general of Bureau International des Expositions, or BIE, said the Dubai Expo team is working in the right direction.

"I am very impressed by the preparations and presentations and I believe Expo 2020 is going to be an unforgettable event," he said.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the side-lines of the first International Planning Meeting, or IPM, hosted by Expo 2020 Dubai, Loscertales said the planning and meticulous preparations for the expo by an efficient team are up to BIE's expectations.

"Dubai has a very good expo team working hard. Participants at the IPM are also equally impressed with the messages and communications from the organisers and look forward to an excellent Expo that will truly connect people around the world."

Loscertales said the two upcoming events, Astana Expo 2017 and Expo 2020 Dubai, would provide visitors from across the world opportunities to discover and experience ideas and innovations that will define the future.

The two-day IPM, which seeks to highlight the benefits of participating in the World Expo, brought together representatives of nations from around the world.

Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Cabinet Member and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Bureau Expo Dubai 2020, said the IPM is the first major event in an ongoing programme of international engagement.

The opening day featured high-level presentations and panel discussions, followed by hands-on workshops highlighting details of the Expo 2020 Dubai master plan, theme and visitor journey. Presentations also sought to highlight business opportunities in the UAE for innovation, trade and investment, and knowledge transfer.

Expo 2020 Dubai, which will take place between October 20, 2020 and April 10, 2021, with approximately 25 million visitors expected, aims to host more than 180 countries. For the first time in the history of World Expos, each country will have an individual pavilion, enhancing the ability of nations to showcase themselves. Participant countries will be able to directly engage with 25 million visitors at the mega-event, generate a wide range of business opportunities and access regional markets through the collaborative platform that Expo offers.

The master plan of the Expo, which was unveiled at the Arab Media Forum, was displayed at the IPM. The Expo site will spread across a two sq. km., revolving around the Al Wasl meeting plaza - the figurative and literal heart of Expo 2020 Dubai.

Spreading outwards from Al Wasl will be three Theme Districts, each boasting its respective Theme Pavilion.

Ahead of the start of infrastructure works in July, the site has seen over four million cubic metres of earth moved as the site has been levelled in preparation for construction.

In April, Switzerland became the first country to announce its intention to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai, citing the economic and political significance of the host country and the geopolitical weight of the Gulf as one of the reasons behind its participation. – Khaleej Times - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/expo-2020-dubai-will-be-unforgettable-says-bie-chief


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UAE becomes member of pan-Arab General Authority of Civil Aviation

posted on 25/05/2016

JEDDAH: The UAE has become a member of the executive board of the Arab Civil Aviation Commission (ACAC), an Arab League body, and a candidate member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

This came during the ACAC's board and general assembly meetings in which Arab ministers of transport and civil aviation officials, representatives of Arab and international civil aviation organisations discussed a number of important issues.

Chairman of the GCAA, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, who is also Minister of Economy, said this achievement reflects the UAE's stature in the civil aviation industry.

He noted that cooperation between Arab countries is important for standardising the procedures and achieving the highest possible safety standards in the sector, a major driver of economies in the region. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295889653.html


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IRENA’s 11th council holds meeting

posted on 25/05/2016

More than 300 high-level government representatives from 96 countries – the highest number of countries ever represented at an IRENA Council – gathered yesterday in Abu Dhabi to attend IRENA's 11th Council meeting.

The UAE delegation at the meeting was headed by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Permanent Representative to IRENA.

Al Zeyoudi reviewed the achievements scored by IRENA over the last five years, and stressed the UAE commitment towards IRENA.

At the outset of the meeting, the Council elected Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing of the Bahamas as Chair of the meeting, and Ethiopian as Vice-Chair.

Kenred Dorsett, IRENA 11th Council Chair and Minister of the Environment and Housing of the Bahamas, said, "IRENA as a global organisation has made tremendous contributions to the advancement of renewable energy, notwithstanding its relatively short history. The Bahamas has relied heavily on IRENA to chart its renewable energy future. We look forward to the deliberations over the next few days as countries come together to guide the work of the Agency, and are humbled to be elected Chair for this important meeting." – Mr Dorsett Following the election, IRENA's Director-General Adnan Z. Amin, presented a progress report on the Agency's work. "A lot has happened since IRENA's establishment five years ago," said Amin. "We are implementing our new work programme with determination and confidence that the current biennium holds great promise for accelerating the global uptake of renewable energy. We are proud of our achievements to date and energised by the unwavering support of our Members."

Last night, the Agency gathered Member State representatives, international stakeholders and local leaders to celebrate its first five years of operations.

For the remainder of the Council meeting, attendees will discuss cost reductions in solar and wind technologies, regional work to increase renewable energy deployment in Latin America and West Africa, and IRENA's roadmap to doubling the global share of renewables by 2030. They will also discuss initiatives to increase renewable energy on islands and the strategic future direction of the Agency's work.

Composed of 21 IRENA Members, the Council meets twice annually to facilitate cooperation among Members, oversee implementation of the IRENA work programme and complete substantive preparations for the Agency's annual Assembly. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295888122.html


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UAE elected chair of Kimberley Process 2016

posted on 25/05/2016

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, yesterday said the UAE will use its new role as chair of the Kimberley Process for 2016 to highlight and enhance its efforts to facilitate global trade and commercial ethics.

He was speaking at the Kimberly Process Intersessional 2016 held at the Atlantis Hotel the Palm in Dubai.

In 2003, the UAE became the first Arab nation to join the Kimberley Process.

The Kimberley Process started when Southern African diamond-producing states met in Kimberley, South Africa, in May 2000, to discuss ways to stop the trade in ‘conflict diamonds' and ensure that diamond purchases were not financing violence by rebel movements and their allies seeking to undermine legitimate governments.

"The UAE has long been recognised as a globally important hub for trade. For centuries, our great nation has been a trading post on the busy silk and spice routes from China in the East to the West," he said.

Today, he added, these routes are experiencing significant structural change as we see the flow of goods changing course to meet the needs of developing nations across the African and Asian regions, where new cities and centres of consumption emerge almost daily.

Amidst all this change, the UAE remains strong, resilient to the rigors of the global economic climate, flexible to the needs of our trading partners and, above all, prepared for any future that we may face, according to Al Mansouri.

He added, "It is this ethos that has further driven the UAE's determination to diversify its economy beyond hydrocarbons and into many complementary sectors.

We have built successful economic sectors around the financial services, transports, tourism, industry, trade. And in 2015 introduce innovation as a tool to expedite diversification.

"The UAE Economy has proven to be among the strongest economies regionally and the most promising globally," Al Mansouri said.

He added that over the past ten years, the UAE economy has maintained high growth rates averaging 5.5%, confirming its strength through a very challenging period.

"Thanks to the UAE's wise leadership and their efforts to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil, which fall in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and the national agenda, the contribution of non-oil sectors to the national economy has reached around 70%, leaving only 30% to the oil sector."

Nevertheless, the Minister Al Mansouri said, oil continues to remain important to the UAE. We have so far made significant strides in a number of sectors and plan to lower the contribution of oil to the GDP to less than 20% by the year 2021.

The following is the full text of the speech delivered by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Kimberley Process conference in Dubai, on 24th May 2016.

"Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Good morning and thank you for joining us here today as we proudly welcome the member countries and participants in the Kimberley Process to the UAE, and to this nation's first intersessional as chair of the event.

We are deeply honoured to have been selected as chair of the Kimberley Process for 2016 and we would like to take this opportunity to thank each member and participant for their support in our election, and for their partnership in all the important work that we will be undertaking during our tenure.

Ladies and gentlemen, The UAE has long been recognised as a globally important hub for trade.

For centuries, our great nation has been a trading post on the busy silk and spice routes from China in the East to the West.

Today, these routes are experiencing significant structural change as we see the flow of goods changing course to meet the needs of developing nations across the African and Asian regions, where new cities and centres of consumption emerge almost daily.

Amidst all this change, the UAE remains strong, resilient to the rigors of the global economic climate, flexible to the needs of our trading partners and, above all, prepared for any future that we may face.

It is this ethos that has further driven the UAE's determination to diversify its economy beyond hydrocarbons and into many complementary sectors.

We have built successful economic sectors around the financial services, transports, tourism, industry, trade. And in 2015 introduce innovation as a tool to expedite diversification.

The UAE Economy has proven to be among the strongest economies regionally and the most promising globally.

Over the past ten years, our economy has maintained high growth rates averaging 5.5%, confirming its strength through a very challenging period.

We also recognise that the current fall in oil prices poses a great challenge to all oil exporting countries and the UAE is no exception.

Thanks to the UAE's wise leadership and their efforts to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil, which fall in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and the national agenda, the contribution of non-oil sectors to the national economy has reached around 70%, leaving only 30% to the oil sector.

Nevertheless, oil continues to remain important to the UAE. We have so far made significant strides in a number of sectors and plan to lower the contribution of oil to the GDP to less than 20% by the year 2021.

We also believe that the move away from oil dependency will further protect the country from the negative impact of the volatility of oil prices in international markets.

All indicators currently confirm the stability of the UAE economy and its potential to thrive even as our country becomes a major economic centre for the region and an international maritime and aviation hub that connects the East to the West, and north with the south.

We attribute the successes we are experiencing as an outcome to number of integrating factors such political stability, security, advanced infrastructure, and an enabling legislative environment, as well as openness to the world.

All these factors have made our country a desired destination for businesses and have helped the UAE build the second largest economy in the Arab world as a GDP value of USD450 billion achieving truly remarkable growth rates.

Dubai and its DMCC (the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre) are vital centres in the UAE's trade economy with commodities such as gold and diamonds featuring at the top of our list of contributors to GDP.

And this is one of the principle reasons why the trade in diamonds, and our chairmanship of the Kimberley Process, are so important to us as a nation.

In 2003, the UAE became the first Arab nation to join the Kimberley Process.

Since then, the Dubai diamond trade, under the support of the Dubai Diamond Exchange and DMCC, has grown at a significant rate and has consolidated our position as one of the leading diamond trading hubs globally.

Last year, even though prices of diamonds faced challenging market conditions, The UAE imported USD12.4 billion worth of rough diamonds and re-exported USD13.2 billion worth, giving the UAE rough diamond trade a total value of USD25.6 billion in 2015.

It is this sort of contribution from an important facet of the commodities trade, through the specialist facilities of the DMCC Free Zone, that gives us the assurance that the UAE will meet its goals of economic diversity and more.

Ladies and gentlemen, Trade is about much more than the simple exchange of goods.

As all of us here today know, trade is about building and fostering relations.

Trade is about forging prosperity from opportunity, together with our partners.

Participating in the Kimberley Process has brought us closer to many of our trading partners around the world, particularly those in Africa – the source of so much of the mineral wealth we trade.

And as we share in the fruits of this trade, we also share in the responsibility to the people and places that enable us to realise these benefits.

It is deeply rooted in our belief as an Arab and Muslim nation, that it is our primary duty to help those in need and make the world a better place.

In 2014, the UAE became the world's top humanitarian donor offering USD6.16 billion in foreign aid that year--reaching communities in more than 140 countries across the globe.

That is almost double of the target set by the United Nations for donor countries.

These achievements were only made possible thanks to governmental and non-governmental bodies dedicated to alleviating suffering and promoting development around the world.

In Africa alone, the UAE has invested more than USD5 billion in infrastructure projects across the continent.

We are also home to the International Humanitarian City (IHC), a Dubai-based logistics centre that hosts more than 50 non-governmental organisations, among them the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which are all involved in the delivery of aid during crises and for long-term development purposes.

The UAE also pledged USD120 million to support polio eradication efforts, working in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to promote distribution of vaccines.

Our work with the Kimberley Process for the past 13 years has brought us so much closer to all of our partners in some of the most vulnerable corners of the globe and has deepened our relationship with them considerably.

Ladies and gentlemen, The Kimberley Process is a global body that strives to enable trade to flourish in a safe and stable environment so that all participants and their dependent societies can benefit to the full.

And this is why we believe it is so fitting that the UAE has built so many strong and lasting partnerships within this vital institution.

In the UAE, our doors are always open to friends and partners from every corner of the globe, from every walk of life, as we strive to reach a common goal together.

That common goal is prosperity and growth.

To make sure we reach those goals, the UAE provides the stability, the infrastructure, the policy, the platforms and the places where trade flourishes like nowhere else on earth.

And that is why the UAE, together with our partners, many of whom are here with us today, is the future of trade. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295882380.html


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Dubai announces crude oil price for August

posted on 25/05/2016

The Department of Oil Affairs of the Government of Dubai has announced that it has notified customers that the official price of Dubai crude oil to be delivered in August, will be US$0.15 more than the average daily settlement price of the Oman Crude Oil Financial Contract in Dubai Mercantile Exchange for contracts being traded during the next month.

Abdullah Abdul Karim, Director-General of the Department, told Emirates News Agency, WAM, that the department sets the price of Dubai crude oil in the markets in parallel with Oman oil prices, which reinforces the transparency of pricing process commitment and setting a fair value of crude oil in the Middle East.

The official monthly price of Dubai crude oil, with the transition to the pricing futures contracts, is determined in advance, as a differential price is placed before three months, "M-3", while the official final monthly price is determined at the end of the second month, "M-2 ".

DME Oman crude oil is considered a benchmark for pricing crude oil by the countries that produce it, and it gives them a differential price that reflects the quality of the product.

Everyday at 12:30 p.m. Dubai time, Dubai Mercantile Exchange determines the daily settlement price of the Oman contract, which is the average price of transactions made within five minutes from 12:25 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., Dubai time.

On the last circulating day of the month, the settlement's window lasts for thirty minutes from 12:00 p.m. until 12:30 p.m., Dubai time. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395295860676.html


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Dubai Parks and Resorts Rights issue 1.25 times oversubscribed

posted on 25/05/2016

Dubai Parks and Resorts yesterday confirmed that the AED1.68 billion Rights Issue, which was announced on the 19th April, 2016, was oversubscribed at the end of trading on 23rd May, underlining strong investor support. Total subscription as at the close of 23rd of May, 2016, amounted to AED2.1 billion.

The Rights Issue is intended to primarily finance the development of Six Flags Dubai, the fourth theme park within the Dubai Parks and Resorts destination. Rights holders have until Wednesday, 25th May, 2016, to exercise their Rights to subscribe for New Shares in Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Raed Kajoor Al Nuaimi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Parks and Resorts, said, "There is no doubt that a significant gap exists for theme park destinations in the regional market and Indian sub-continent. We are pleased to see the extent of shareholder support for the Rights Issue, which confirms investors' appetites to share in the growth of the UAE and of Dubai Parks and Resorts."

The allocation of Additional New Shares will be on a pro-rata basis for persons who subscribed for Additional New Shares, based on the number of Additional New Shares requested by such persons, at the same issue price as the New Shares.

The Rights Issue, approved by Dubai Parks and Resorts' shareholders at the General Assembly Meeting held last month, was launched to raise AED1.68 billion to primarily finance the development of the Six Flags Dubai theme park, an extension of the current Dubai Parks and Resorts offering. Once the Rights Issue has concluded, Dubai Parks and Resorts' issued share capital will become AED7,999,912,670. None of the additional capital being raised will be used to fund the existing Dubai Parks and Resorts offering, which is expected to open in October this year.

Six Flags Dubai will be the fourth theme park at the Dubai Parks and Resorts destination and is expected to include around 27 rides and attractions for all ages when it opens in Q4, 2019. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395295860917.html


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Participants in inter-faith conference praise UAE's efforts in promoting tolerance

posted on 25/05/2016

PARIS: Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, praised the UAE for promoting tolerance and peaceful existence.

In statements to WAM on the side-lines of the second forum on East-West relations, organised by eastern and western elders to promote inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue, he said this reality in the UAE is self-evident where more than four million people of 200 nationalities live and work peacefully with nationals of the UAE.

The UAE, he noted, is way ahead of some of the world's most advanced nations in terms of supporting minorities on its territory and preserving their full rights, health insurance and promoting the culture of peaceful coexistence, justice, respect of others, equality for all regardless of their different faiths.

Hassen Chalghoumi, head of Imams in France, praised the UAE for presenting itself as a global model of coexistence evidenced by becoming the first country in the world to create a ministry for tolerance.

The UAE is Muslims' favourite destination of tolerance, moderation and promotion of inter-cultural dialogue.

Andrea Riccardi, a former Italian minister and founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, an international Catholic lay organisation dedicated to peace making, praised the UAE for playing an effective role in promoting the values of coexistence and inter-faith dialogue. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295894133.html


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Grand Imam of Al-Azhar praises UAE's efforts in projecting true image of Islam

posted on 25/05/2016

PARIS: Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and head of the Muslim Council of Elders, Ahmed El-Tayeb, yesterday thanked the leaders and people of the UAE for playing an effective global role in spreading moderation and projecting the true image of Islam distorted by terrorism.

In a statement to WAM on the fringe of the second forum on East-West relations, organised by eastern and western elders to promote inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue, said, "I would like to thank the leader and government of the UAE for backing peace efforts, the Council's and the Al Azhar's message of peace."

"It is only natural that peace governs relations between Muslims and Christians. History bears witness to 14 centuries of fraternity and coexistence between them. During this period, they were not involved in faith-based wars. Both parties should preserve this gain," El-Tayeb said.

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar said dismissed claims by some in the West that Christians in the East are being persecuted and said "I spoke about this with Pope Francis. He was convinced of the fact that Christians in the East do not suffer any persecution."

El-Tayeb added, "I told him (Pope Francis) that the number of Muslims who fall victim to terrorism is tens of times bigger than the number of Christian victims. All Christians and Muslims have to join hand to eliminate this obnoxious blight."

The next forum on East-West relations will be held in Cairo or in the Vatican, he noted. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295893836.html


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UAE to set aside 15pc of projected 4-year budget for humanitarian assistance

posted on 25/05/2016

ISTANBUL: The United Arab Emirates has announced that it will increase its humanitarian contributions to 15 percent of its projected budget for the next four years.

Addressing a session of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul yesterday, Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, highlighted the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to support the people affected by humanitarian crises and to contribute to building capabilities of the global humanitarian community.

"We are allocating 15 percent of our projected budget to humanitarian action over the four coming years. By 2020, we will double our contributions to humanitarian actions. We are committed to making this summit a turning point in humanitarian action. We urge other states and parties to do the same because our success is measured by how we provide assistance to the most vulnerable. We should not let this opportunity slip from our hands," she noted.

Dr. Al Shamsi thanked the government of Turkey and the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the preparation of this summit.

"We support this summit and we are committed to shouldering our responsibility and contributing by implementing the five core responsibilities identified by the Secretary-General and the humanitarian agenda. We hope this summit will be crowned with success and that we reach consensus on ways of implementation and to improve ways to fund humanitarian action," she said.

This summit, she added, aims at improving the global response and at the same time is a call for reforms, especially in this region which has plenty of resources but is beleaguered by conflicts that have led to more than 30 million internally displaced people and refugees in the Middle East and North Africa.

"We hope this summit is a moment of adoption of real humanitarian action," she added.

Dr. Al Shamsi announced that the UAE is determined to implement seven of the core responsibilities.

"We are committed to continuing our efforts to take precautionary actions by co-operating with the international community to end the conflicts in addition to our action to address climate change and to deal with the root causes of conflicts. We are going to co-operate with local governments and local communities in order to build capacities so as to be able to confront crises. This has been demonstrated by our support to societies affected by war such as those in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria."

"We are committed to providing support to all development and humanitarian actions and to bolster long term development action," Dr. Al Shamsi said.

She also said the UAE is committed to providing aid to countries that are playing host to a large number of refugees.

"We are calling for implementation of all actions on initiatives aimed at the welfare of women and children as well as supporting youth in order to make them responsible citizens. We also seek to provide education and vocational training opportunities to them," she said.

Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, said that the World Humanitarian Summit is being held at a critical juncture for the region, referring to the commitments announced by the UAE, which demonstrate how serious the country is in shouldering humanitarian responsibilities.

She also underlined the UAE's pioneering role on the global humanitarian scene, thanks to the unlimited support of its wise leadership.

The UAE delegation to the summit includes Khalifa Shaheen Al Marrar, UAE Ambassador to Turkey, Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant under-secretary of the Ministry of foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Khalifa Al Marzooqi, UAE Consul General in Istanbul, and other ministry officials and representatives from Emirati humanitarian agencies. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-international-international-aid/1395295882152.html


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ERC provides medical materials to Al Thawra Hospital in Yemen's Ta'ez

posted on 25/05/2016

TAIZ: The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) Authority has provided a new batch of medical supplies to Al Thawra Hospital in the Yemeni province of Ta'ez.

The medical supply, which included medicines and surgical instruments, were handed over yesterday to the hospital in the presence of Ta'ez Governor Ali Al Ma'amary, hospital officials and ERC representatives.

Al Thawra hospital plays a key role in tending to the increasing number of wounded people in the province.

The supplies were transported to Ta'ez through the unpaved mountain roads. The main access roads to the province have been closed due to the siege that is entering its second year, leading to an acute shortage of medicines and medical items.

The ERC said in a statement issued yesterday that one its key priorities is to improve the declining healthcare services in Yemen through maintenance of hospitals and other healthcare facilities and provision of other logistic services such as ambulances, power generators, water and sewerage services, medical equipment and medicines.

This year, the ERC has implemented several humanitarian aid and relief programmes in Ta'ez, despite the complex and risky situation. Over 40,000 families have benefited from these programmes. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates-arab-international-aid/1395295874665.html


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Emirates Foundation and Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy launches first innovative youth project

posted on 25/05/2016

Emirates Youth Council in cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy and other six institutions, has launched the first innovative endowment for youth projects in the world, making the UAE world's first country that supports the youth projects with diversified services based on the innovative endowment concept.

The move is part of an interaction between the council with the institutions taking part in the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy to revive the endowment as a developmental tool for communities.

These institutions offer innovative services to youth worth AED5 million annually, with the endowment assets worth AED63 million. The range of services include logistical, advisory, training services and technology, media and legal work. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295885782.html


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Mohammed bin Rashid honours winners of Think Science Competition 2016

posted on 25/05/2016

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, honoured yesterday 50 young Emirati scientists who won the Think Science Competition 2016 at a ceremony held at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai on Tuesday.

Organised by Emirates Foundation, the event was also attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

"Our responsibility is to prepare generations for future and our ambitions are to have scientists who contribute to the progress of mankind," Sheikh Mohammad said during the award ceremony of the competition's fourth edition.

He added that the new generations should master innovation, analysis, communication and leadership skills more than ever before. "We need to promote the concept of innovation among young people as well as creating appropriate environment to encourage our schools and universities to provide them most important skills in research methodologies and discovery."

The competition is part of the Emirates Foundation's Think Science programme, which aims to encourage and empower Emirati youth, between the ages of 15 and 35 years, to follow their passion for science with interactive, hands-on activities in the fields of engineering, energy, aviation and other technological industries.

The winning projects were selected from among 235 projects that were developed and completed by more than 640 university and high school students. The projects competed at the national level in the science categories of electrical engineering, environmental sciences and management, industrial and mechanical systems, energy, smart and safety systems, physics and chemistry, transportation, aerodynamics and aviation.

This year's competition opened the door for talented people aged between 25 and 35 years, who have completed their academic study, to participate in the competition.

The contest is supported by the Ministry of Education and Abu Dhabi Education Council, and it demonstrates the foundation's continuous efforts to inspire and empower UAE youth to innovate in the fields of science and technology.

"Our vision through Think Science programme is to offer our youth a platform that strengthens their creative capabilities and contributes to the country's policy regarding science, technology and innovation," said Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Managing Director of the Emirates Foundation.

Sheikh Sultan was speaking on behalf of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Chairman of the Emirates Youth Foundation.

He noted that there is an Emirati youth scientist in each Emirati house that needs someone to discover and offer an opportunity. "It is our responsibility to turn ambitions of those youth into reality so as they lead the UAE into the highest ranking." – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295882424.html


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MBRF signs MoU with Nobel Foundation to host Nobel Museum Exhibition in Arab and Islamic countries

posted on 25/05/2016

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and the organisers of the ‘Nobel Museum Exhibition', has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nobel Foundation to host the exhibition in a number of cities in the UAE as well as other countries.

The MoU is based on the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to extend the reach of Nobel Museum Exhibition to various Arab and Islamic countries to enrich the knowledge of the young generation in these countries.

Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF, said consultations are taking place with authorities in several cities of the UAE as well as Arab and Islamic nations to determine the next destination for the Nobel Museum Exhibition. He explained that, in accordance with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed, the Foundation is seeking to build knowledge-based societies in the region and beyond through quality initiatives that offer knowledge to millions of people.

Bin Huwaireb said the Nobel Museum Exhibition in other cities will be organised under the same theme of the annual session in Dubai and will be managed by the authorities in those cities in collaboration with MBRF. He also pointed out that the third edition of the exhibition in February 2017 will focus on physics.

The second edition of the Nobel Museum Exhibition is being held from February 21 to May 30, 2016, at Children's City at Dubai Creek Park. Organised under the theme, ‘Exploring life: the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology', the exhibition has been attracting thousands of visitors from different age groups with its focus on Nobel Prize winners in the fields of medicine.

Nobel Museum Exhibition in its second year features seven sections offering insights on a number of issues in an interactive manner. As part of the event, MBRF organised the ‘Nobel Prize Series 2016' event, which included special panel sessions and lectures aimed at promoting the concepts of creativity and innovation among young people, students, and encouraging them to take up scientific research.

On the side-lines of the Nobel Museum Exhibition 2016, the Foundation also held three specialised workshops by specialists from the Nobel Foundation.

The Nobel Museum Exhibition 2016 has been visited by a large group of dignitaries and officials, who commended it for efficient organisation and distinctive content. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295894654.html


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Child prosecution section set up in Abu Dhabi

posted on 25/05/2016

The Attorney-General of Abu Dhabi, Ali Mohammed Abdullah Al Balushi, has issued a decision establishing a specialised section for the child within family prosecution in the context of societal and legal responsibility of the public prosecution to protect the rights of children.

The move follows the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department to prepare for the implementation of the child rights law or 'Wadeem' as of mid-June.

Al Balushi said child prosecution aims at developing necessary frameworks and procedures to provide maximum protection for the child from birth until he/she reaches the age of eighteen. He praised the wise vision of Sheikh Mansour on establishing the child prosecution to provide more protection.

Eight-year-old Wadeema was a child who had been tortured and murdered, and her body abandoned in the desert. But her death sparked legislation in her name that aims to protect other children from suffering the same fate. – Emirates News Agency, WAM – http://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395295883895.html


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