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Rains continue in Western Region

posted on 27/02/2017

Rains, which began to pour from the first morning hours on Sunday, have continued to rain on towns in Western Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

There was joy on the faces of children and adults about the rains. Some have gone to streets to celebrate and enjoy this wonderful atmosphere. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


France confirms commitment to join growing band of nations to sign up for Expo 2020 Dubai

posted on 27/02/2017

France, which gave the world one of the most enduring symbols of World Expos, the Eiffel Tower, has confirmed its commitment to Expo 2020 Dubai, joining a growing number of nations who have publicly announced their participation.

According to a press statement from Expo 2020 Dubai, the UAE and France share a history of strong bilateral ties and these close links were further strengthened yesterday when France officially confirmed its participation in a letter from French Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, addressed to Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The letter was delivered to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee and Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, by Pascal Lamy, French delegate to the 2025 World Expo.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed said, "France, of course, has staged several Expos, including in 1889 when Gustave Eiffel's famous tower was unveiled to the world. That lasting mark on humankind is a hallmark of World Expos and we are working hard here in the UAE to ensure that our first to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region can be similarly impactful."

Through its main theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future', Expo 2020 will provide a platform to encourage creativity, innovation and collaboration. This is underpinned by three interlinked subthemes, Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

Known as a hotbed of creativity, France remains a leading country in global innovation, with 10 French entities ranked in the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators. The Expo is particularly close to the heart of the French people as the country's capital, Paris, is home to the Bureau International des Expositions, BIE, the intergovernmental organisation responsible for overseeing and regulating all international exhibitions. France has also bid to host the World Expo in 2025.

Lamy said, "France is proud to have presented its candidature to the World Expo 2025 and has already made important steps to build a strong and coherent project, showing its will to revive its historical ties with the tradition of the World Expos.

"In that perspective, working closely with the inspiring project of Expo 2020 Dubai will definitely help France succeed in building and promoting its 2025 World Expo project."

France and the UAE have worked on several large projects in recent years, including the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi, reflecting both countries' focus on the importance of education and culture for our youth.

The UAE is also home to an estimated 35,000 French nationals and more than 700 subsidiaries of French companies. Bilateral trade between France and the UAE reached US$5 billion in 2016 and the UAE is France's second-largest export destination in the Gulf, with exports mainly comprising food, aeronautics, consumer luxury goods, and electrical and mechanical equipment.

More than 265,000 French tourists visited the UAE last year and there is a wide variety of direct flights available between the UAE and a number of French cities, including Paris and Lyon. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


DIFC, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City sign MoU

posted on 27/02/2017

In an effort to encourage further cooperation and collaboration between the financial centres, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).

The MoU calls for sharing best practices of mutual interest, exchanging information on banking, financial service and securities, legislation and regulation, cooperation in the area of training, assistance in organising seminars and conferences on selected issues enhancing the mutual development of the centres, and exchanging information on trends in relevant international financial services activities and products, in particular within the fintech field.

The MoU was signed on Sunday by Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority and Ajay Pandey, Director and Group CEO of GIFT SEZ. The terms of cooperation will also include the intention to establish a programme of International Exchange for entities based in DIFC and GIFT, enabling them to set up entities in Gujarat/Dubai on mutually agreed terms.

"We are delighted to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with GIFT, especially at a time when UAE ties with India are growing ever closer. India represents the UAE's third largest trading partner as well as one of the world's fastest growing economies, and natural synergies between the two centres exist which will certainly benefit our respective clients. DIFC has provided a natural springboard from which Indian firms can access a concentrated pool of wealthy investors, all underpinned by English common law and unrivalled connectivity to the South to South corridor. We look forward to continued collaboration with India as we progress with the delivery of our 2024 Strategy, part of which is become a world-class, leading, financial hub," said Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority.

"We are honoured to sign this MoU with DIFC, the leading financial hub located in the MEASA region, and one that we are delighted to become aligned with. We are certain of the mutual benefits that will arise as a result of the agreement and we look forward to share the benefits with our collective clients operating in the financial services sector and beyond," said Ajay Pandey, Director and Group CEO of GIFT SEZ.

DIFC has witnessed an exponential growth in the number of Indian firms operating from the Centre - from hosting one Indian institution in 2007 to more than 25 Indian firms at present. In 2016, HDFC Life was the first Indian insurance to open a branch in DIFC. IDBI Bank expanded their offices last year preparing to bring more of their ME operation and manage it in the Centre.

Indian institutions make up the third largest community of financial firms at the Centre after the United States and the UK and account for more than a quarter of the current employed workforce. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


President of Latvia calls for boosting economic ties between UAE, Latvia

posted on 27/02/2017

Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis, has invited Emirati investors to seize business opportunities in Latvia through establishing a new economic strategy between the business sectors of the two countries, especially in areas of tourism; trade; innovation; and the Latvian emerging enterprises.

Addressing the UAE - Latvia Business Forum, organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, DCCI, on the sidelines of his visit to the country, President Vejonis , added his country "is a portal for Emirati traders and investors wishing to enter into northern and central Europe's most promising market."

"Latvia and the UAE share a single vision for the future, and are keen to strengthen economic cooperation so as to harness the existing potential to unlock prosperous future," he said.

The Latvian President referred to the existence of investment opportunities for UAE companies in several sectors, notably education; trade; industry; logistics; food and pharmaceutical industry, stressing the importance of organising such forums for bolstering economic and investment ties between the two countries.

The event was attended by Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of DCCI; Hamad Buamim, Director-General of Dubai Chamber; Arvils Aseradens, Minister for Economics and Deputy Prime Minister of Latvia; Andris Ozols, Director of Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, as well as Emirati and Latvian businessmen, and representatives of the private sector in the Emirate of Dubai.

Al Ghurair stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral investment relations between the UAE and Latvia, expressing the commitment of the DCCI to providing possible facilities that could help investors promote their activities. "There is a desire between the two parties to strengthen the frameworks of economic and trade cooperation to serve the common objectives of both parties," he added.

He noted that such platforms would help build communication between the business circles in the two friendly countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE wins best pavilion award at OTM tourism exhibition in India

posted on 27/02/2017

MUMBAI: The UAE pavilion has won the award for best pavilion for interior design at the International Exhibition OTM in Mumbai, India.

Representatives of all official UAE tourism authorities participated in the national pavilion, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy. The UAE pavilion operated under the slogan "Visit the UAE".

Mohammed Khamis Al Muhairi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, and Minister's Advisor for Tourism Affairs, stated that winning the award for the second year in this international and regional platform for co-operation and tourism promotion "is consistent with the nation's efforts to promote the tourism sector and its attractive destinations on an international level, under the framework of a comprehensive strategy that aims to focus on the UAE as a tourist destination."

He added that winning the award represents another step on the tourism sector development path, and proves the importance of the joint national efforts to achieve greater success and future accomplishments.

Abdullah Saleh Al Hammadi, Head of the Tourism Department at the Ministry of Economy, spoke about the UAE pavilion's creative design, which was built on a 352 square metre space. The pavilion was well received by a large audience due to its attractiveness and the skills of its representatives, he added.

Al Hammadi said that the pavilion had space for various exhibits that introduced its visitors to all of the UAE's main tourism sites and events, and highlighted its services and tourism facilities, as well as promoted several forms of tourism in the UAE.

The UAE delegation included representatives from the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai, the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, the Tourism Development Authority of Ras al-Khaimah, the Fujairah Tourism and Antiquities Authority, the Department of Tourism Development in Ajman, as well as Emirates Airline, a number of representatives from hotels and tourism companies and from several state tourist attractions. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE leads region in domain names registrations: TRA

posted on 27/02/2017

By registering more than 205,000 national domain names (.ae) by the end of February 2017, the UAE has maintained its lead in the Arab region in registering national domain names, a Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) official told the Emirates News Agency, WAM.

"The national domain name is a key element in the development of the internet industry in the UAE, as it represents an important form of digital identity for any company or institution operating in the UAE. It also contributes positively to elevating the UAE's competitiveness. The domain's impact extends to affect other areas, such as the proliferation of the internet and the nation's e-commerce infrastructure. We would like to express our gratitude to all those who use the national domain name (.ae) in their websites and e-businesses, and would like to thank our partners, the domain name registration services (.ae) providers, for their continuing efforts to promote the (.ae)," the official said.

The national domain enables any individual or company to register a specific domain name and enjoy the benefits of the national domain name (.ae). Individuals and companies reserve the right to use their domain name for a certain period, and this requires complying with the terms related to the Domain Name Registry Operator Service Agreement.

'TRA strives to achieve its vision of providing the optimum environment for the ICT sector to thrive and lead. This increment indicates that the TRA has made great strides towards this vision,' he stated.

He noted that the significant growth in the number of registrations on the national domain .ae was an indication of the quality of this service, and its importance in helping registered companies reach out to a wider community.

The TRA is confident that the demand for registration with the national domains will continue to gain momentum, due to its capacity to meet the users' needs and its role of protecting Intellectual Property Rights, the official remarked. Domain Administration (.aeAD ), the regulatory body and registry operator for the .ae domain, a subsidiary of TRA, is mandated to manage the national domain. It has also established the new framework, which includes an administrative structure to guarantee a sustainable growth of the namespace and promote competition by accrediting multiple .ae registrars.

The national domain name (.ae) attracts key companies who wish to take advantage of business opportunities, events and exhibitions that are hosted by the UAE. It also ensures the use of the national domain name to maintain the intellectual and commercial property rights of the owners of well-known brands in the world. The registration process is easy, as it does not take more than three minutes, even as accredited registrars compete to provide services with premium standards, including smart applications and online registration. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Schmidt Heilbronn opens Headquarters in Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone within KIZAD

posted on 27/02/2017

Schmidt Middle East logistics, a wholly owned company by Schmidt Heilbronn, a world leader in dry bulk logistics and a global specialist for dry bulk polymer logistics, has launched operations of its multi-user logistics hub based in Khalifa Port Free Trade Zone (Khalifa Port FTZ) within Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD).

The AED 20 million facility allows Schmidt to open the gates for highly specialized logistics in this region, with UAE playing an important role as a distribution hub for the GCC.

Schmidt ME Logistics facility at Khalifa Port FTZ comprises a warehouse providing about 2000 square meters of storage area, a silo battery containing nine silos, a tilting platform, a packaging line, a repair shop and a service station, as well as offices and social rooms. In addition, the facility offers services such as truck transport and customs clearance.

This multi-user chemical and petrochemical dedicated hub is set to offer its services to clients within UAE and the rest of the Gulf region and will act as the company's Middle Eastern Head Quarters. Schmidt Middle East Logistics has leased about 22,000 square meters of prime land at Khalifa Port FTZ in order to setup an economical and efficient solution to store, handle and distribute different bulk materials like polyethylene, polypropylene, catalysts and additives for the chemical and petrochemical industry.

Mana Mohammed Saeed Al Mulla, CEO of KIZAD, commented: "We are delighted to contribute to the Emirate's business portfolio by welcoming Schmidt Middle East Logistics to KIZAD's Khalifa Port FTZ, now home to its regional headquarters. Schmidt is one of the world's leading dry bulk logistics solution providers and its new, state-of-the-art facility will benefit from a strategic location that offers great regional and international transportation links."

"The readily available supply chain connections at KIZAD, coupled with excellent transport infrastructure allow our investors to receive materials and reach their clients and markets fast, smoothly and cost-effectively. It is such services that attract major players such as Schmidt ME Logistics to Khalifa Port FTZ in KIZAD. To date, we have over 130 investors benefitting from our outstanding services and access to regional and international markets," Al Mulla concluded.

Dr. Hoppmann, CEO of Schmidt Middle East, commented, "Our hub in KIZAD represents a key part of our expansion plans in the GCC to better serve our customers. We have also recently launched our facility in Bahrain, in addition to serving our existing customers for their onsite projects in Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar, and Oman."

"We continue to develop our infrastructure and facilities in the region as part of our commitment to our customers, and in order to facilitate the growth and efficiency of their operations in the region. We are confident of the future growth of this sector in the region, and we will continue to offer world-class services we are known for," he added. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai South opens new Business Centre

posted on 27/02/2017

Dubai South has launched its new Business Centre in the Business Park to allow companies to leverage its strategic location in close proximity to the Al Maktoum International Airport and Expo 2020 Dubai.

Meeting market demand and anticipating the accelerated growth of innovative start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, in the country, the new business centre was opened by Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman, Dubai Aviation City Corporation and Dubai South.

The keynote speaker at the inaugural event, which was attended by over 100 SMEs, was Abhishek Ajay Shah, Co-Founder and Managing Director of RSA Logistics, one of the first tenants to establish operations at Dubai South.

The centre offers fully-furnished offices in varying sizes that are built to suit all business requirements, from SMEs to startups. It also offers secretarial and office services, such as reception and telephone assistance, and fully-equipped meeting rooms with the latest audio and visual technologies, ideal for conferencing and meetings.

Speaking on the occasion, Khalifa Al Zaffin said, "Dubai, under the directives of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has been encouraging innovative, path breaking projects and supporting entrepreneurs to establish small- and medium-sized companies. We aim to achieve the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021, to promote economic diversity and growth in the UAE."

"The opening of the new Business Centre is an essential element in fulfilling Dubai South's commitment toward building a knowledge economy by encouraging start-ups and propelling the growth of SMEs. The centre offers excellent business solutions for companies aspiring to expand, develop and grow in a competitive business environment and plug into the global value chain," said Dubai South's Acting CEO, Ahmed Al Ansari.

For a minimum fee of AED30,000, companies can set up operations at the new Business Centre. Understanding the distinct nature of startups, especially in the technology, innovation and creative fields, the centre offers easy, hassle-free registration and set-up, also at the same time encouraging them to scale up fast and grow their presence within the Business Park.

The other incentives include facilities and license privileges applicable to the Free Zone. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Dubai Cares CEO receives PAM Award in recognition of his commitment to quality education for all

posted on 27/02/2017

Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Dubai Cares, received the 2016 PAM Award in recognition of his strong and visible commitment, outstanding achievements, and advocacy for quality education in developing countries, particularly in the Mediterranean countries.

The award was presented to the Dubai Cares CEO during the 11th Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), held in Porto city, Portugal, from 23rd to 24th February 2017.

This is yet another achievement for the UAE, in addition to the many accomplished by the country.

Al Gurg, the only person to be recognized by PAM this year, has been a primary driver of success for the UAE-based global philanthropic organisation since 2009. He has enabled Dubai Cares to contribute to the evidence-base in education, leverage funding, and invest in strategic relationships and programmes that support the global education agenda. His focus has been to develop Dubai Cares as a recognised best-case practitioner, and a global leader in education programme design and innovation that is grounded in a philosophy of continuous monitoring, evaluation and rigorous research.

"I am both honoured and humbled to be receiving this award, which I consider to be not a personal accolade, but a testament to the outstanding work of Dubai Cares and the positive impact it has made on the lives of children in developing countries. If I should be recognised for anything, it should be for the fact that I have surrounded myself with an extremely professional, devoted and driven group of professionals that has worked so well together across the years," Al Gurg said.

"This recognition for my work at Dubai Cares by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean – an organisation which shares our core beliefs, values, and commitment to social and economic development – is a true honour for all those involved in our mission. I am confident it will further motivate us, raise awareness and engagement with our work, and encourage more people to support us, as we strive to ensure children overcome the barriers of poverty and inequality to secure the education that is their right and hope," Al Gurg added.

As part of its integrated, impactful and sustainable education programmes launched in the Mediterranean region, Dubai Cares supported thousands of children in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, as well Syrian refugees, all of which are PAM member states.

The PAM Award is awarded every year by the 28 member states of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean to individuals, organisations or institutions who contribute through their actions towards establishing bridges among the people of the region to foster understanding, mutual respect, socio-economic co-operation, political dialogue, confidence building and solutions to conflicts. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC provides food aid to employees of National Malaria Control Programme in Yemen

posted on 27/02/2017

AL MUKALLA: Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has distributed food to workers and staff of the National Malaria Control Programme in Al Mukalla, Yemen, to assist them amidst deteriorating economic conditions there.

Shawki al-Tamimi, ERC supervisor in Hadramaut, said the ERC would continue the distribution of the food, as part of its intensive plan to relieve the suffering of the needy.

Dr. Yasser Abdullah Bahshim, the programme manager, hailed the role of the ERC for providing assistance to the staff and workers.

Dozens of beneficiaries of this aid have expressed their thanks to the UAE and the ERC team for their efforts in the delivery of the humanitarian assistance. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


ERC delivers medical supplies to Mocha Hospital in Yemen

posted on 27/02/2017

MOKHA: The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has delivered medical supplies including medicines and equipment to Mocha hospital in Yemen.

The assistance is part of a number of urgent humanitarian works carried out by the authority in war-affected areas of the Arab Republic in various service and development domains.

The aid also included medicines for children and newborn, other food assistance, special equipment for clinical examination of pregnant women and ambulatory medical care.

The ERC volunteers say that the aid is the second for Mocha Hospital, in line with authority's efforts to support the population after the end of war in the city. They hailed ERC's efforts to continue its generous support for various areas in Yemen, especially in the coastline stretching from Aden to Mocha. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Over 190 athletes to compete in World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai

posted on 27/02/2017

From 27th February, a total number of 194 athletes from 33 countries will be competing in the Fazza World Para Powerlifting World Cup Dubai 2017, which will serve as a qualifier for the World Powerlifting Championship to be held in Mexico in September this year.

The 8th Fazza World Para Powerlifting World Cup Dubai 2017 will be held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC). It is being organised and supervised by the Dubai Club for the Disabled with the support of their strategic partners Dubai Sports Council, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare (GAYSW), and the UAE Paralympic Committee.

Jon Amos, Chairman of the IPC Powerlifting Committee, said Fazza World Para Powerlifting World Cup Dubai 2017, is one of only two qualifying events before the World Para Powerlifting Championships.

"The fact that we have got an agreement to have five competitions in Dubai is a big thing. We have not done that with any other country yet. If we didn't believe that this is one of our key competitions during the qualification period, then we would not have had an agreement," said Amos thanking the Dubai Club for the Disabled and other stakeholders in the Fazza World Para Powerlifting World Cup Dubai 2017. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -